3) Fish from a small pond.
You know how Prince Charming invites every single eligible lady to the ball? Note to Disney: That’s actually not the best dating strategy. A 2010 study found that more mate options cause information overload, leading us to make choices based on superficial characteristics (like, say, Cinderella’s fancy ball gown). When we have fewer options, we make better choices, based on characteristics like career and education, which predict compatibility. So if you’re browsing online profiles, don’t spend an evening looking through 300 options. You’ll probably just choose the hotties. Instead, look at 10-15 profiles at a time and contact the person who seems most interesting. You’ll be more likely to stumble on lasting love.
4) Put yourself out there.
We’re gonna give it to you straight: You will never meet someone sitting on your couch watching reruns of Law and Order while eating cereal out of the box. So as awesome as that sounds, if you want someone to watch with, venture outside your apartment. “Don’t turn down opportunities,” says Rachel Sussman, LCSW, marriage and family therapist. You can meet people in unexpected places, from an awkward singles mixer to the water fountain at the gym. If you keep an open mind, you’ll be more likely to find that one great person in a roomful of randos. Meeting new people can be stressful, but choose to have fun with it—and call a friend to laugh it off when it turns out to be a total fiasco (you know sometimes it will).