By Melanie Mar

These days, looking for love is more accessible than ever. To fit it into life’s busy schedules, there are a vast number of websites and events available to attend, but often, one can start to see dating as a daunting task. To assist you in finding the joy of dating, I’ve listed some tips below on how to enjoy the process. It’s time to date smarter!

1. Be proactive: “Should I sign up for that online dating event in my area this week?” “Perhaps I’ll join that online dating site everyone’s talking about to meet someone.” “Maybe I’ll go to that meet-up singles party tomorrow.” These are all common thoughts that tend to ruminate in the mind of someone who is single and interested in finding love but feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Just pick one new thing to do at a time. See if you’re comfortable and progress slowly on to other, more “scary” dating scenarios. If socializing in a bar with friends is a more appealing way to meet new people than a dating site, put on that little black dress and go for it. If the idea of working your way through numerous interactions and exchanging resumes fills you with dread, then simply pass. Dating smart is all about not wasting your time. Knowing where you excel and where you’re most relaxed is key to starting the process.

Related Link: How to Listen to Your Heart and Take Back Control of Your Love Life

2. Fly, social butterfly: Don’t be a hermit! Make sure you’re not saving all your love life activities for one day a month. Many singles tend to choose one or two nights to focus on dating. It’s easy to get into a routine of coming home from work and getting into your pajamas, but make the effort to get out there. Otherwise, you’re simply missing out on all the people you could be meeting. Consider the places that you’re socializing and make sure that the type of mate you’re looking for frequents those spots.

3. Talk to three new people each week: Look for ways to meet people who share the same passions you do. Compatibility is crucial, and meeting someone that already has common interests with you is a great way to go. Give yourself a goal and challenge yourself to talk to three new people every week. It’s likely that you’ll find a way to be in closer proximity to other people by doing so. Don’t forget there are singles who cross your path every day. Practice flirting by striking up conversations with them!

Related Link: Can You Tell by Someone’s Social Network If They’re the Relationship Type?

Being a smart dater means that you give everyone a fair chance, but you don’t continue dating someone if they don’t have the same long-term life plans as you. Always go on three dates with someone new. The first date could simply be awkward, and the second one may be “take it or leave it.” By the third date, though, you should have a very good idea if this person is someone you’d like to continue dating or not. It’s important not to let weeks turn into months just because it’s “comfortable” and you “can’t be bothered with the dating scene.” Eventually, this relationship will fizzle, and you’ll be back to the drawing board.

So stay smart in your dating. Keep focused; know what you want and don’t want; and make a list of your non-negotiables. Then, get out there and enjoy dating!

Melanie Mar is a relationship and life coach as well as co-owner of the Millionaire’s Club International Matchmaking Agency for the U.K. and Europe. She is certified by the WANT Institute in Androgynous Semantic Realignment and a Transaction Analysis practitioner certified by the United States America Transaction Analysis Association.