Matchmaker Devora Alouf
Make room in your life for another- caught up in work and kids and commitments? How will you fit a new person in? Think before you jump in! And open the door to let them in!

Each date you go on is an opportunity for growth and learning. It is better to have tried and learned from the experience, than not to have tried at all. If you have loved and lost- pat yourself on the back for having loved at all, for having had the courage to try. Then pick up the pieces and try again. For having once loved, you have learned to be a better person, you have honed your skills, and you are ready for more.

Look your best- just like going for an interview. Dress your best, polish your shoes, floss and powder your nose, THEN go out on a date. It shows respect for the other person, and it shows you at your best.

Give your date a chance- give her/him your all, your attention and your care. If you date more than one person- your heart cannot be in it, for it is distant and detached. Give her/him a best possible run, and enjoy the ride for its lessons and its rewards.

Note the virtues of your partner. Don’t look for virtues- FIND them, and demonstrate your feelings clearly and openly. Appreciation is a good habit to get into.

Stop waiting for Prince Charming to sweep you off your feet. Focus on the man before you right now, as you would want him to focus on you.

Stop looking over her shoulder. You might think, as you sit with the woman before you, that just around the corner might be another woman more attractive, more intelligent, more refined. That may be true. But if you keep thinking that way, no woman will ever be good enough.

Count your partner’s virtues- it is good practice in preparing to enjoy increased blessings tomorrow in the company of a loved one.

Be humble and forgive- your imperfections and your date’s.

Get deep- it is easy to be an over materialistic, over physical, disposable, instant gratification type of person. It takes time and effort to allow a person to gradually show you how amazing they are. Chemistry and magic happen gradually. Let them blossom at their own pace.

Emotional intimacy comes from giving and from revelation. Go past the small-talk and open a window to your soul, and watch the bonds begin to strengthen. Be real, be you, be there, and your partner will be encouraged to share and to give as well.

Laugh. Smile. Lighten up, and stop analyzing so much! Love is not a cerebral exercise in conductivity- enjoy the moment and the company of your partner, the here and the now, and the future may just happen for you both. Enjoy each date, each human being you are honored and privileged to spend time with.

Be flexible. Mutual respect and admiration have away of bridging the gap, even when the gaps are seemingly insurmountable. Don’t discount a person because he/she doesn’t have the “right” education, or lives in the “wrong” city. Stop judging and stop looking for a “turn key” package to fall in your lap. Allow the other person to be at least as imperfect and dynamic as you are. Sometimes all it takes is to have a person believe in you, encourage you, and nurture you to be the best that you can be. Let them try in earnest.

Go to the type of events and places where you are likely to meet people of the “right” sort for you.

Learn your Red Lines and be clear about them. Learn to avoid the obvious “no go” situations and relationships. Learn to ask the right questions and find out if the person is even in the “ball park” for you. What are the values you share? Does the person have a history of dead end relationships? What are this person’s goals in dating? Has this person recently broken up from a serious relationship? Learn to spot the Red Flags- and spot the person who is ready, right, and available for you.

Give them a second chance- dated someone way back when? Wonder have they grown since then? Maybe former concerns are now moot. Spot the changes, slight though they may be. Who said you’ve always had 20/20 eye sight?…

Don’t panic at the first sign of trouble. Conflicts are natural and healthy- you are two distinct individuals with different experiences and perspectives, bringing different strengths and weaknesses. Friction is inevitable, but adjustments are not. Work on discovering the way to work through the differences, and you will have learned a life lesson. Handle with care and sensitivity- and clear the air for deeper understanding. Be supportive and compromising, be sensitive and patient, and work through the rough times so you will be there to enjoy the good times together. Make each conflict an opportunity for growth.

Communication, communication, communication. This is the entire book of love!

Life is a journey, a process, and love is a beginning. Together your partner and you will be complete, apart you are each an incomplete and evolving “list”. The idea is to grow together.

Move from a place of GETTING love, to a place of GIVING love- then step back and watch what happens…

Your friends have your best interests at heart- let them fix you up on dates, even if the “hit and miss” experience has you gasping for air. At least your friends are trying. We are all human, and all anyone can do is try. So spread the word that you are looking, and don’t give up till you meet the one and only, till you “hit and win”!

Seek help- if you know you have a problem, from commitment phobia to drinking, from fear of intimacy to being a workaholic- seek help now. Do what it takes to get yourself into the best shape for a healthy self and a healthy relationship.