So you're tired of spending your nights with Spot, 007 and Orville Redenbacher? Don't despair. Take these tips from the experts:
* Get rid of all dead-end relationships. (Cross them out of your address book.)
* Dispose of, or at least put away, all photographs, gifts and mementos of past relationships. (This includes jewelry.)
* Set a date by which you want to be married and post it all over your home.
* Make a plan of action on how you will find a mate and pick three mate-meeting options: networking, volunteering, personal ads, sports or the like. Then throw yourself into them.
* Says one expert: On a first date, ask 10 specific, planned questions. Bring along an index card if you need to. Don't rely on chemistry to let you know who is right for you.
* Says a different expert: Don't conduct a first date like an interview or an audition. Have fun, listen and assess whether you are physically attracted.
* Take time to get to know your partner, and keep sex out of the picture.
* Continue to date a number of people until you know that you are in a mutually committed relationship. Don't put all your eggs in one basket until you know that basket is going to last a long time.
* Don't live together.
* Honestly evaluate what you have to offer.
* Make a (short) list of what you want in a mate.
* Make a list of 100 things that have ever interested you--juggling, sky diving, standing on your head--and research them. Find out who else might be involved. Then pick five of those things and do them.
* Become more approachable--make eye contact and smile at people.
* Each day, compliment someone of the opposite sex.
* Become aware of the differences between men and women.
* Maintain a lot of friendships so you are not desperate for a mate to fill your social calendar.
* Make sure your life is happy and interesting; don't rely on meeting someone to make you happy.
* Before you focus on finding the right person, be the right person.
Sources: Hilary Rich, Richard Gant, Carole Kirschner, John Wingo, Suzanne Brierley.