5 Little Changes That Could Help You Find Your Next Relationship

Technically, it's never been easier to date. Pull up a dating app on your phone, and boom: You’ve got all the fish in the sea at your fingertips. But finding a datable person you think is funny, attractive, and smart? Or someone you could even introduce your friends to? Well, you might be swiping until your finger falls off. “The online thing works, but it’s a numbers game—you’re going to go through a lot of wrong people before finding the right one,” says dating expert Christie Hartman, Ph.D. For those who don’t have the energy or finger stamina to dig for that long, we’ve uncovered more efficient ways to actually find a winner. (Friendly warning: it might involve dropping a few of your own hang-ups.)

1. Work Your Networks
Check out your friends' friends on Facebook, and ask to be introduced (or included in a group hang) with anyone you think is cute. “It’s old-fashioned, but meeting friends of friends instantly ups the odds you’ll connect with someone similar to you,” says Hartman. And as long as you don’t work side-by-side, the office is another easy place to spot someone your speed, says Hartman. (Whether you both love what you do or, uh, hate it.)

2. Drop The Fantasy
You know that perfect person in your head—the one who has the smile of Bradley Cooper, has the temperament of your beloved grandma, and makes you laugh as hard as you do with your best friend? Forget them, says relationship expert Suzanne Lachmann, Psy.D.

"It’s old-fashioned, but meeting friends of friends instantly ups the odds you’ll connect with someone similar to you."

“When my patients say they can’t meet someone, one of the biggest culprits is the fantasy they have about who they’re supposed to be with," she says. "It’s always going to trump whatever’s in front of you and could cause you to miss out on something really great.”

3. Get Clubby
Opposites can attract, but most relationships blossom because of a shared commonality. And as great as it would be to find a match in your pottery class, the odds aren't exactly in your favor. Find activities that might be a little out of your comfort zone but that still interest you—running clubs, concerts, art shows, beer tastings—and you’ll be rubbing shoulders with (at a minimum) people who share your same great taste in free time, says Hartman.

"When my patients say they can’t meet someone, one of the biggest culprits is the fantasy they have about who they’re supposed to be with."

4. Say Yes
Cancelling on your brother’s apartment party to stay in and watch Netflix might sound like heaven, but suck it up and go. Same goes for that wedding you’re lukewarm about and the charity dinner your coworker wants to drag you to.

Doing stuff—and more stuff—can be exhausting, but the dating pool at each of these events is a heck of a lot more curated than your local bar. (Get asked out by your bro’s slightly chubby friend that you’d never swipe right for? Say yes to him, too, says Lachmann. “Don’t forget that a bond can grow based on other factors that don’t strike you in the beginning—he could be the one you fall madly in love with.”

5. Rewrite Your Profile
Not hearing from anyone online? Try crafting a new, more specific bio. “Sometimes mentioning one tiny tidbit—like you’re a Monty Python fan—can attract a whole new group of people,” says Hartman. (Vague descriptors like “enjoys comedy” are a lot less exciting.) And keep your profile updated like you would a resume. Throw up the most recent pic from your travels, and mention where you’d like to explore next. One other tip: If you’ve got strict preference settings (i.e., must be over 5’9" and make six figures), try taking them all down. “You risk shutting out great people who fall an inch short of those expectations,” says Hartman.

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