TORONTO, Dec. 28, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The coming of the New Year always inspires change. For singles and couples alike, a laundry list of resolutions can be daunting. And yet experts – authorities on everything from fitness to finance – suggest setting realistic goals and taking small steps toward improvement. Similarly, Lavalife, the leading online dating source, offers practical, can't-miss 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 Lavalife's Singles and Dating Expert, Kim Hughes. "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 not to dwell on the past but to be positive and proactive about the future."
Enter the 10 Golden Rules: 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 or video. 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' are meaningless since everyone likes to hang out with friends and notions of fun vary with 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/compassion/killer stroganoff recipe) and where to back off (carping about exes, clinging to a rigid list of 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, same-old. You may even end up at the same restaurant or bar with different dates, making it hard to remember who really showed you a good time. Switch it up. We all have a checklist of things we want to learn or accomplish. So, when searching for date, bear these in mind. If you've never been windsurfing, rock climbing or to the opera, seek a single experienced in these areas. How to find them? Read their online profiles closely. Learning something new on a date is a great bonding experience and reveals lots about 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 guys over 6 feet tall, but Mr. Five Foot Nine might be the funniest guy 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 that you possibly can – from backyard BBQs 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 hotter 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, find the humor where you can and remember: the moment we're not searching for love is usually the moment we find it.
Lavalife is ranked the #1 dating brand in Canada and is a leading provider of multi-channel dating products. Lavalife connects, engages and entertains through a variety of web, voice and mobile offerings. Founded in 1987, Lavalife LTD markets its products and services across the United States, Canada and Australia. Lavalife's open-minded approach to online dating allows singles to choose how they want to "click" by offering three unique and distinctive communities: dating, relationships and intimate encounters. Lavalife has attracted millions of unique members who exchange 1.3 million messages every day. For more information, visit http://www.lavalife.com.