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Linda Prescott is the Chief matchmaker at Ideal Introductions and has been helping people find love for over 20 years.

When it comes to finding love, especially later in life,history tells us quite often the person you are compatible with and end up with, isn’t someone you would have normally chosen for yourself. This just means that at all times you should be open-minded because you just never know. We will always have a reason behind our choices for you.

Be realistic and flexible with your desired companion criteria as it works both ways. The bigger the want list the smaller the ‘dating pool’. A bigger dating pool always means a greater chance of you finding your ideal partner. Sometimes we set the bar too high and close ourselves off to opportunities without even realising. The right relationship is built on a solid foundation of needs not wants.

Here are my top eight brutally honest tips to help you in your journey to find love.

1. Change your mind-set

We all know the age-old saying, “You have to kiss many frogs before you find your prince”. There’s truth in this idea but it’s not that you need to quickly find lots of people to kiss in order to find “the one”. The key is to approach each opportunity (think a date or meeting new people) with an open mind, heart and neutral expectations. In other words: go with the flow. Some things will work out and others will not, it’s all part and parcel with dating (and love) and the sooner you accept an adopt this attitude the sooner you will be able to see it all as a much more enjoyable and exciting journey.

2. Visualise your love/romantic manifesto

Whether it’s a physical vision board, a Pinterest board or visualising meditative exercises, you’ll be surprised how powerful it can be to visually “showcase” your ideal love story. Think of images, quotes, mementos, things you want to do with a partner, places you want to go. Picture yourself in 10 years from now with your partner – what do you see? What do you want to see? Visualise that. Just remember to be open minded and don’t focus too much on looks – you need to think deeper. You should think about the type of life you want, what’s important to you and how you and your partner both fit into that. You’ll be surprised how focussed and open to the future you are when you take the time to think about what you really want. This will also help ensure you don’t settle for a situation that is wrong for you.

3. Be proactive about meeting people

While you don’t want to become obsessed in your search for a partner, you do have to make sure you are doing things that increase your chances of meeting someone. Just like you would put in an effort to land your dream job. Think about it, it’s the person you’re going to potentially spend your life with – now, that definitely requires some thought if you’re going to have a happy and fulfilled life.

4. Know what you’re brining to the table

In other words, know your worth and be ready to talk about yourself confidently. You know you’re awesome and anyone would be lucky to have you, so you need to be prepared to talk about why. It’s quite common to get so wrapped up in focussing on what the perfect partner is like, that we forget to think about why someone would be lucky to have us. What are you bringing to the table that will attract your ideal match?

5. Remember to look up

In today’s world, we are way too ruled by technology. Step away from your tablet and look up from your phone. Connections and opportunities are missed when you’re too busy looking down. If you’re after a romantic story of how you met your partner, you’re never going to lock eyes on a crowded bus if you’re too busy swiping on your phone.

6. Stop trying to analyse them

Forget Facebook, Google and Instagram to reveal clues about a potential love interest. You are wasting your time. Talk to them instead.

7. Throw your checklist out the door

…well, the comprehensive list anyway. Sometimes throwing the checklist out the window is the beauty of life. Take weekends with no plans, for example, how exhilarating can it be to wake up and have no to-do list to stick to? When it comes to finding love, go out and enjoy life, meet new people, be open to love and above all, embrace every opportunity.

8. Forget all of the rules (and don’t beat around the bush if you want a second date)

Today there really is no “rule book for dating”. Say goodbye to waiting three days to ask someone out again and goodbye to girls having to wait to be asked out. If you’re interested, don’t beat around the bush just make the first move. Confidence is incredibly attractive.

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