TORONTO, Jan. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The arrival of the New Year always inspires change. But a laundry list of resolutions can be daunting. Experts, from fitness to finance, suggest setting realistic goals and taking small steps toward improvement. With this in mind, Lavalife.com, Canada's leading online dating site, offers simple but highly effective ways for singles to improve themselves and their dating lives – instantly.
"Right after the holiday season we see a spike in our membership numbers," explains Kim Hughes, Lavalife.com's Singles and Dating Expert. "During the holidays, people tend to reflect on the past year. Singles especially are inclined to look back and relive relationship mistakes, bad dates and the ones that got away. We want to encourage singles to not dwell on the past but to be proactive about the future."
The 10 Golden Rules are tried-and-true tips that will lead to new relationships, new friendships and a stronger, better sense of self.
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Add more photos. We may not like to admit that looks matter but they do: research shows profiles with pictures get eight times the response of those without. Plus, in the age of digital photography, there is simply no excuse for not having multiple images of your fine self engaged in your favorite hobby, traveling or on the town. Use pictures to help tell the story of you.
Be specific. Generalizations such as 'I like to have fun' or 'I love hanging out with my friends' tell prospective dates nothing since everyone likes to hang out with friends and notions of fun depend on the person. Instead, describe your ideal Sunday morning or best-ever vacation - tangible scene-setters that capture your likes and provide an icebreaker for those wanting to contact you.
Use a trusted friend as an editor. It's hard to write about yourself but a pal can make constructive suggestions about where to add detail (your humor/athleticism/killer celebrity impersonations) and where to back off (presenting a rigid list of dating must-haves).
Use Spell Check. You may not think a misspelled word is a big deal but it broadcasts an overall lack of care. Sloppy is never sexy.
Make it Your First Time. We tend to gravitate towards certain activities, leading to dates that are same-old. You may even end up at the same bar with different dates. Switch it up. Organize dates around new things such as indoor rock climbing or author readings. Activities like these become great bonding experiences while illuminating your date's character.
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Lose the grocery list. We all have core needs and values that must be met before we can look at a partner as a long-term prospect. But until that stuff is nailed down, open up your criteria. You may prefer dating blondes but Ms. Redhead might be the wittiest gal ever. The more flexible you are, the wider your dating circle will be. Plus not every date has to lead to marriage. Loosen up and view dates as fun nights out, not big events.
Don't Avoid Couples-centric Events. Nobody likes to feel like a fifth wheel but no one can diminish you without your consent. Couples have friends, acquaintances and co-workers, some of whom are bound to be single. So get out there and circulate. Accept every invitation you possibly can - from post-work cocktail mixers to community clean-up days.
Volunteer. It doesn't matter what you do (dog walking at the local shelter, serving soup at the homeless kitchen). Volunteering will put you in the path of like-minded people with good hearts and a strong sense of community. What's sexier than that?
Make people smile. We like to think attraction is all personal taste but in reality we take our social cues from others and from our sexual competitors. Use this to your advantage by getting everyone to like you. That way, when someone of interest comes along, you're in the perfect position. And you know one thing that makes people smile? Smiling yourself.
Keep it in perspective. Yes, dating can be a grind but so can housework and we still do that every week (every month?) Take good dates and bad dates in stride, try to remain optimistic, extract humor from any source and remember: the moment we're not searching for love is usually the moment we find it.
Media Contact: Kim Hughes