How to find ‘the one’ by next Valentine’s day

;Here’s our guide to finding true love by this time next year

Fed up of spending the most romantic day of the year alone? Here’s our guide to finding true love by this time next year.

Banish the baggage
Potential partners will back-off pronto if they sense you’re still hung up on your ex or harbouring hostility towards a former lover. So the first step is to let go of any negativity about previous liaisons and start your search for ‘the one’ afresh – both physically and emotionally. Leave your exes in the past and concentrate on the future.

Mix and mingle
Expanding your social circle is a key measure but no good if you always end up talking to the same core group of friends when you’re out and about. Make a point of mingling at parties and talking to at least three new people every time you go out. Exchange numbers or follow up by adding them on Facebook or Twitter. The more people you meet the more friends of friends you’re likely to encounter and one of them could be your ideal match.

Be your best self
If you don’t believe you’re attractive to the opposite sex, then you can’t really expect others to. Have the courage to cast any insecurities and self-doubt about your appearance aside and present your best self at all times. Taking pride in the way you look, making eye contact and smiling will instantly improve how you’re perceived by others and in turn make you seem more confident and attractive.

Widen your criteria
We’re not ruling out the chances of randomly bumping into Mr or Mrs Right, but finding love is too big a thing to leave to fate alone. If you’re serious about finding a life partner you need to reassess your dating criteria and move away from any fixed ideas you have about the man or woman of your dreams. By ruling out the possibilities of dating someone older/younger/taller/shorter you could be seriously hampering your search for love.

Embrace your singledom
Nobody finds desperation attractive so don’t let your search for a significant other dominate your life. Join a club or take up a new hobby because you genuinely want to learn or do something new. Embrace the opportunities that single life throws in your path and above all learn how to enjoy being single. Inner contentment and independence are hugely attractive traits.

Make the first move
Don’t wait passively for things to happen. If you meet someone you feel attracted to, have the confidence to make the first move. Ask them out for a drink or invite them along to a less formal group activity you’re participating in. All relationships have to start somewhere so does it really matter who asked who?

Up your game
Maximise your chances of finding love by next year by signing-up to a reputable online dating site. Dating online gives you the chance to peruse the profiles of hundreds of potential matches in a safe environment and is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to meet a life partner in the UK. If you’re really serious about finding ‘the one’ by this time next year, you really should give it a try.

Keep an open mind
While you may not be hanging on his/her every word or be all that interested in EastEnders or the offside rule, it’s important not to judge too quickly or be dismissive when you’re out on a date. Try opening yourself up to the prospect of entering another person’s world and imagining yourself as part of it.

Be yourself
Stop trying to be the person you think your ideal match would want you to be. For one thing it’s impossible to second-guess exactly what that is, and for another it’s not all that easy to sustain. Of course you’ll want to present your cleverest, wittiest, most charming side when meeting someone new, but there’s no need to strive for perfection. Relaxing and being yourself is far more attractive.