COMMITMENTS : Tired of Being Single? Well, Only You Can Change Things

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.

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