I am a professional matchmaker, and not all that long ago, I got myself hitched... finally. I had been in the dating business for over 15 years, first with my matchmaking business, Samantha's Table, that I founded over 16 years ago and then with my dating app, The Dating Lounge that I founded this year. During that time, I remained single, even though I have helped thousands find love and get married. Over the years, people constantly asked me how I could be so good at my job, but that I was still single myself. I couldn't help but wonder this as well. My only explanation was that I was so busy worrying about everyone else's love lives that I neglected to pay proper attention to my own.
Then, one day, I decided that I was ready to get myself married. In order to accomplish that, I had to make some radical changes. Given the fact that I spend day in and day out listening to what men like and don't like when it comes to dating, I already knew the "secret sauce" for getting married... now, I just needed to practice what I preached.
Here are 10 ingredients in my secret sauce for getting yourself to the altar:
Stop making excuses for why you are single. It's not "his" fault, it's yours. You are the only constant in every relationship you have had, so start taking responsibility for some of the mistakes.
Make real changes that are action oriented instead of just spewing BS out of your mouth. Single people tend to go on and on about what they should do, but they never actually do it. Do it. Dump that guy you have been wasting your time on, tell your mother to mind her own business, ask out that girl you have been noticing at the gym. Whatever it is, JUST DO IT.
Change something about yourself in the looks department. You need a sprucing up, regardless of whether or not you are a supermodel. When you make a change in your physical appearance, people notice and they compliment you. This in turn makes you feel good and renews your confidence, which shines through when you are out there meeting men or women. Get a new winter hair-do, go to Sephora for a contour makeover, try a new cologne -- be creative.
Get with the dating-in-the-millennium program. In today's world, single people either use dating apps or work with matchmakers. This is a fact and not a marketing push for my business or my dating app. Stop making up reasons why you can't partake in the ways of modern dating. You are not as high profile or private as you think. The truth is, no one cares if you are online dating or using an app. If they're single, they're doing it too!
Do a major self-assessment. It's time to be brutally honest with yourself about what you are doing wrong in your dating life. You know deep down why you aren't successful with men or being dumped by women. Are you a negative person that comes across with the weight of the world on your shoulders? Do you need to lose weight and get your looks together? Are you too difficult and demanding? The list goes on and on. You need to admit whatever the problem is to yourself and work really hard to change that behaviorism.
Enlist a brutally honest friend who is not scared to hurt your feelings. Too often, single people only seek dating advice from their closest friends who see them through rose-colored glasses. These friends love you, but they are not helpful in getting you a mate. You need to find a friend who doesn't mince words to give you the real skinny on why you are a dating disaster, and then you need to take what he or she says to heart.
Get rid of your stringent checklist. As single people get older, logic would say that they become more open on who they would like to marry. However, to the contrary, many single people will say, "If I waited this long, I might as well get everything I want in my mate." This is not possible. The longer your checklist is, the longer you will stay single. You need to go through your list and eliminate as much as possible.
Think about moving homes. Single people tend to be very sedentary when it comes to living. How many times have you said, "I would buy a home, or move somewhere new, but what happens if I meet someone? What would I do with the apartment then?" How long ago was the first time you said that? That's right, years ago, and you are still unattached and have flushed all that rent money down the toilet. Go ahead and live the life you want now.
Don't put your life on hold. Plan vacations and book your New Year's Eve plans now. How often do you procrastinate making plans because you are hoping you will be in a relationship so won't be able to keep them? And how has that worked out for you? If you do get into a relationship, you can always incorporate your partner into your existing plans. Live your own life, and you will be surprised when someone jumps into it and joins you.
Follow my grandmother's advice: If you get invited, go, because you never know who you are going to meet. Too often, single people turn down invitations because they believe they already know who is and who is not going to be there. This needs to end now. You get invited, you go and see who you can meet. This is how I met my husband!
Do you have any other advice to share to help someone actually get married?
Samantha Daniels is a well-known Professional Matchmaker and Dating Expert as well as the founder of The Dating Lounge, the exclusive invitation-only iPhone dating app for upscale people looking for real relationships. You can follow her on Twitter @Matchmakersd. For more information, go to http://www.samanthadaniels.info
Follow Samantha Daniels on Twitter: MatchmakerSD