The Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Looking For Love

There are two ways of looking for love - three if you’re prepared to wear a sandwich board. But these are the things not to do when you’re searching for someone, as dating coach Delissa Needham explains.

The two main ways to look for love are online, on sites like Noon Dating, and offline. I help women with the offline approach. Clients who come to me have usually given up hope of finding a partner. They’ve exhausted all their dating energy by making the same mistakes most single women make. These are what they are, so you can avoid making them yourself

Mistake Number 1 : Looking where everyone else looking

The first thing people wanting to meet someone new tend to do is look in the direction of their hobbies. They join the obvious clubs and activities. Whilst this will get you out more, think carefully about where and what you’re choosing to do. Whose playground do you want to be in? Yes, you could well meet someone while learning to dance the tango, sing or play card games, but you also are very likely to find yourself in a room with a lot of single women with the same objective – and lack of imagination. So unless you want to reach your dotage alone but with a cupboard full of dance dresses, then you need to think smarter. Take Suzie for instance. I met her while I was interviewing women for my book, How I Met MY Man, And How You Can Meet Yours (see end). Suzie knew her ideal man needed to be a lover of the outdoors. But rather than join a rambling group, Suzie took up rowing. Apart from the delights of gliding across the water in beautiful scenery with a team of other people, she quite quickly met someone. And he was just her type. So be more Suzie. Think strategically. If you want to meet a partner with a nice smile, then go to a dental seminar.

Mistake Number 2 : Joining private social clubs in the hope of meeting ‘the one’

I’ve joined a few of these in my past and met a lot of men with no future. If you want to meet someone who hangs out at a bar in their downtime then this is where to be. Or, again, you could ask yourself what you want from a partner? Someone with tried and tested chat up lines? Or someone who can fly a plane, hoist a sail, or stuff a ferret. Before you part with that hefty membership fee, do your research first. Find out what the membership is made up of? What’s the age range, gender split etc. It’ll give you a much better idea of whether your money will be well spent or poured down the drain.

Mistake Number 3 : Only engaging with the outside world at social events

Don’t reserve your interactions to gatherings. Instead, practise talking to anyone and everyone as often as possible. Talk to strangers on a train, chat to people in the coffee queue. Obviously you need to be selective with your conversing, but being friendly and noticing people is a good thing. Dog owners do this naturally. There is something about having four legs on the end of lead that makes it easier to chat to a stranger. Especially if your dog is humping theirs. If you don’t have a dog, try smiling at people. See if anyone smiles back. That’s a start.

Mistake Number 4 : Sitting at home thinking you’ll never find anyone

Stop with the negative, self-defeating attitude. I interviewed many women for the bookwho found success by being pro-active, whether that was by getting a job at the golf club to joining all-male activities. Sitting slumped at home won’t help you to be in the right place at the right time to meet someone. You need to put yourself in the right place at the right time.  And look your presentable best when you do. Many of the women in my book who successfully met someone often did so in a sliding doors random moment. These are women who believed they would meet someone and so they never stepped out of their front doors looking less than their best.

Mistake Number 5 : Not making an effort

Of course what we find attractive varies from person to person, but looking your most attractive self puts you ahead of the game in a crowded landscape. That doesn’t mean feeling pressure to be something you are not, but rather making the most of what you have. I worked on a tv show where they conducted experiments on the difference between what the genders find attractive. Men not surprisingly are more likely to have sex glands in their eyes. It’s a generalisation but men are more visually attracted, whilst women tend to find characteristic qualities (humour, intelligence etc) more appealing. Think about that when you’re getting ready to head out.

Mistake Number 6 : Wearing something risky

Conversely don’t overdo it. Flaunting too much and you might just as well be wearing that on-the-hunt sandwich board.

Mistake Number 7 : Going on the hunt for a partner

Enjoy an evening with friends. Attend an interesting event. Do whatever gives you joy. Meeting someone should be the icing on the cake not the purpose of your activities. That way you will always have a positive time and enjoy your life a whole lot more.

Mistake number 8: Relying on friends for intros and invites

Why should they do all the work for you? If you rely on the sisterhood then chances are you’ll find yourself sitting opposite a blind date – someone your friend said was ‘made for you’ – wondering who exactly your friend thinks you are? Seek out your own intro’s and invites.

Mistake Number 9 : Not bothering to turn up

Don’t be picky or negative about invites. You need to believe that anything could happen, anytime, so if you want to meet someone, begin with meeting people. Meeting people leads to meeting more people and that way you just might meet ‘the one’. But you won’t if you stay at home. One of my clients went to a lunch she didn’t fancy. Got chatting to another woman who invited her to a dinner where she met two single people, one of whom she started dating. Whatever you are invited to – go. You can always leave.

Mistake Number 10: Making lists

I’ll let you into a secret – writing a long list of what you most want in a partner is pointless. I’ve had dating clients who show me a list of character requirements that would overload Amazon. One woman even specified the car she wanted her man to drive! I guarantee that list will go out the window when someone you least expect attracts you. Women will say to me they’d like to meet someone who is fit and healthy, and next thing you know they are dating a man who couldn’t bench press a peanut. Love rarely comes in the package you want or expect it to. So throw out the list. Rather I recommend you have just one thing you refuse to compromise on. Use that one thing to guide you.

By Delissa Needham

For dating coaching with Delissa contact her at or via her website

How I Met My Man and How You Can Meet Yours is available on Amazon.

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