1. Think about any and all past friendships and relationships, and write a list of everything you liked and disliked about each person. Transform the dislikes on the list to positive qualities. Then cross out everything from that list that you don’t offer to someone. And be honest—it’s important that you only leave one quality on the list that you don’t offer to someone else. This way, you’ll be able to assess whether your expectations of what a partner should bring into your life is realistic or unrealistic. If you haven’t accomplished as much as you had hoped in your life, but you’re looking for a “Who’s Who” partner, then maybe you can use the unabridged version of your list as a starting point for self-improvement projects.
2. Let go of the shame! There should be no embarrassment in admitting that you’re still single and looking. Men can quickly detect a lack of confidence. Your life is good and it could be more enhanced if you could share it with a partner. Finding the right person takes time and you’re learning with each day that passes. There’s no shame in looking—and there’s no shame in waiting.
3. Tell your family and friends that you’re ready to get serious. If people in your inner circle don’t know that you’re serious about finding a good person to share your life with, then you’re losing out on a ton of potential matchmakers. No, you shouldn’t be “tacky” in your announcement, because no one will take that seriously. But a clear “if you know someone nice . . . ” should do the trick.
4. If your list permits, open yourself up to dating “other” people. If you don’t have a strong aversion to it, think about dating someone who’s slightly different from your normal pattern. If you only date tall and cute, try a short and cute one some night. If you only date Korean men, try dating a Chinese man. Yes, there are all kinds of social implications for substantive departures from your list. And if you’re not up to it, then by all means, do not do it! But if you really want to open your world, consider broadening your options.
5. Solicit constructive criticism about your dating style and/or relationship techniques from friends. Your friends absolutely have opinions about your “dating style.” Believe me, they’re talking about you! They know if you’re too pushy or too aloof. They know if you’re dating people who aren’t right for you. They may not have concrete options for you, but if you ask them to give you friendly, constructive criticism about your dating life or your past relationship mistakes, you’ll probably learn a lot.
6. Employ alternative sources of finding dates. There’s a whole world of dating options beyond your life circle. A service such as the one provided by USquared Consultants is perfect for professional and serious minded people of color who would like to broaden their life circle and dating options. It’s a discreet, personalized, and highly customized service for people who don’t have a lot of time to waste on the dating scene.
7. Update your wardrobe and hairstyle. This may sound trivial, but sometimes our wardrobes and hairstyles get stuck in a time warp. We look in the mirror every day and somehow manage to avoid asking ourselves the tough questions about our appearance. We would all love a world where this doesn’t matter, but first impressions do matter. So, take a look at yourself and make sure that your first impression is a good impression. If you can’t see yourself, seek out help!
8. When you’re out around other single people, smile more often. When I’m talking to single people, I always ask about what they do when they connect eye-to-eye with an attractive stranger. Most people tell me that they quickly look away . . . and then look again later. Well, later might be too late for that person who’s caught your eye and is now “bummed out” that he tried to connect but failed. Smile at strangers if you think they’re attractive and looking at you. If nothing else, at least your pearly whites will get a little air!
9. Alter your daily pattern a little each day. Instead of going straight home, go to the bookstore one evening, attend one of those boring professional organization events or grab take-out from a different place. You’d be surprised who you will meet if you changed your pattern of living a little here and there.
10. Don’t play games. If you like someone, approach them and introduce yourself. If you enjoyed spending time with someone, call them up and say “I had a good time with you.” Don’t gush—just be complimentary and polite. If he can’t appreciate an open, emotional exchange, then that’s not the right person for you.