In dating – as in life – its the mistakes you don’t know you’re making that matter the most.

You may be a good (or bad) date, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get better. And some ‘mistakes’ aren’t always obvious – to you or your date.

Here’s 6 avoidable dating mistakes, and what to do instead:

  1. Beware the “Dating System”:  with the advent of dating apps & online dating, its easy to start thinking of your dating life as a ‘system’ – simply enter in the criteria you’re seeking and ‘Voila!’, your perfect match appears. If you’ve been online dating for a while, you probably know this isn’t true.  Try some new dating methods – prioritize the ‘unsystematic’ – and you’ll find better results.
  2. Search fatigue:  unlike other aspects of your life (like your career & health), more time spent searching for your match won’t necessarily lead you to dating success. Try spending less time searching, and more time doing (activities, socializing, enjoying yourself!).
  3. Be present:  its easy to be distracted when you’re meeting someone new, particularly if you’re not immediately blown away by their physical appearance. But before you start thinking about your exit, or your job, or your next date – focus in on your date and the moment – it may not lead to a happy ending, but it’ll make the experience worthwhile – for both of you.
  4. More trees, less forest:  in your quest for a relationship, you sometimes ignore the networking options right in front of you. Yes, meeting new people is important – but don’t forget about your built-in fan base (your friends, work colleagues & family) – let them know you’re single & interested in meeting someone new, and put their ‘word-of-mouth’ to work for you.
  5. Gimme a break:  one of the most common dating mistakes you can make is not taking a break from dating from time to time. You may be keen on meeting your special someone ASAP – but being in the right mind space is important when you actually find them. And you’d be surprised how often you meet new & interesting people when you’re not thinking about doing so all the time.
  6. You’re not in this alone:  dating can be hard with a busy schedule, especially if you’re not meeting the right type of people. Break out of your comfort zone, put down your smartphone and try some new dating methods – do your weekly shopping in a new neighborhood, hit a summer music fest with some friends, hire a professional matchmaker – feeling that you’re being proactive will make you feel better about yourself, a very attractive quality indeed.