If only finding your one true love were easy as The Fiddler in the Roof made it out to be. ("Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch.") When it comes to the jungle of modern dating, so many men and women don't even know where to start. There's swiping and liking, speed-dating, exclusive parties and clubs, and an app for every type of single. Yet with so many options, why do we still complain that dating is more challenging, competitive, and romantically ADD than ever?
For a little optimistic guidance in preparation for Valentine's Day, we turned to eight well-known matchmakers from across the country to help us with the most basic question: What's your top advice for singles struggling to find love?
1. Keep Your Hand In
"Be open to multiple options. People should go on Bumble and other sites as practice. Matchmakers are clearly the best option, and the vetting is already done. It just takes one, and you never know where that person will come from." -Janis Spindel, Janis Spindel Serious Matchmaking
2. If You Want a Second Date, No Beating Around the Bush
"If you're out of practice with dating, you might have a tendency to make conditional statements about future dates like 'I'd like to do this again if you would…" Don't do that. Just be clear about it and say 'I'd love to see you again. This has been a lot of fun.' The confidence will be incredibly attractive and will make it easy for your date to ask you out again." -Amy Andersen, Linx Dating LLC
3. Stop Thinking About Your Soulmate
"I've found the concept of 'soulmates' to be self-sabotaging for singles. Just get out there and meet new people! See where those interactions and feelings take you. Keep in mind what you find or don't find attractive in each date. Finding your counterpart is an iterative process. Many times, I see folks end up in happier relationships the more they learn about themselves and who they are compatible with by staying open, especially in comparison to people who cling to a fictional ideal of someone crafted in their minds." -Kenneth Shaw, Tawkify
"Love often happens when you least expect it to, with someone you might not have imagined to be your match. Don't let a long list of qualifications prevent you from finding happiness." -Amy Van Doran, The Modern Love Club
4. Don't Be a Doomed Single
"Love will come to you in an unexpected package-it always does. Become psychotically optimistic that love WILL come to you-it's a WHEN not an IF. Butterflies are usually a bad sign early in the relationship. It's your gut telling you that something is off (fear/anxiety) and that you should bolt. Give guys that don't have red flags several dates before you toss them back to the pond-we often see the magic happen after date six! To find love, you've got to have a dating plan which is fun/doable, and then take daily steps in that direction." -Bela Gandhi, Smart Dating Academy
5. Visualize Your Romantic Manifesto
"A powerful piece of advice I encourage male and female singles of any age to do is build a customized vision board showcasing your ideal love story. It can be both fun and rewarding to build your personal romantic manifesto. Start by including photos, quotes, mementos, and postcards of special destinations or vacation spots you dream of visiting with your partner. Continue the creative storytelling through imagery of romantic couples, even wedding rings and visual tokens of love and gratitude that speak to your heart. If you focus on your board and visualize the important characteristics of your future partner, statistically, the odds of this individual coming into your life are much greater. It is, after all, based on the Law of Attraction!" -Amber Kelleher-Andrews, Kelleher International
6. Start with Being Content with Yourself
"Saying the words 'I want to be in a loving relationship' is easy. But what are you actually doing to find a good relationship? What is the action you've executed after saying the words? Saying and then taking the action to make it happen is a whole other ballgame. We all know the saying: To have a good friend, you have to be a good friend. Same applies here. To have love, you must be a loving person. You can't go on these online dating sites, interact with someone, and then get busy and let the ball drop. It's these constant flakes, as well as lazy or insincere types, who wonder why they can't find a relationship. I'll be impressed when you stop complaining, and actually BE the person you say you want to find." -Amy Laurent, Amy Laurent Matchmaking
"Don't let a long list of qualifications prevent you from finding happiness."
"Take a step back and look at yourself first. It is so easy to come up with a list of 'must-haves' that you want in a significant other, but before you can attract someone who has all of these qualities, you should make sure you have them yourself. Are you the type of person that your 'ideal' match would want to date? If not, don't be embarrassed! Just start working on it. It will be impossible to find the perfect match until you feel fully content with yourself." -Nora Dekeyser, Three Day Rule