There are over 50 million single men in the United States over the age of 18. Even if you subtract out the men who are too old and too young for your woman, that's a lot of competition.
Wondering how to stand out in the crowd? Use these 10 tips:
1. Be someone she can trust
John Gottman, one of the world's leading experts on marriage has shown that trust (and fear of betrayal) are the most important issue for couples. He's also shown that trust is essential to building a healthy relationship. Research has found that "trust is related to the secretion of oxytocin, which is the 'cuddle hormone', the hormone of bonding." If she can trust you, she might want to date you.
"Couples who believe their connection is sanctified or centered on God, seem to have more success than other pairings in overcoming ... difficult situations" according to this report. Whatever your religion, beliefs or values, sharing (and practicing) them as a couple can strengthen your budding relationship. You'll also be able to share a church community, which can help you during stressful life events.
3. Practice excellent self-care
When you take good care of your physical body, mind and soul, you not only become the whole package everyone is looking for, but you also learn to understand the importance of supporting your partner's self-care. Treating ourselves kindly trains us to naturally treat others with the same level of compassion.
4. Put her first
If you have a list backup girls to date if things don't work out, let them go. Keep your focus on the girl you have decided is for you. She'll know if she's just one date on a long list or if you're texting someone else under the table. Make time to be with just her, even if that means skipping out on bowling night with the guys - it's unwise to leave a pretty girl sitting home alone too often.
If either of you have children, demonstrate your parenting skills. The ability to be trusted with children, love them as your own or at the very least enjoy them immensely is extremely attractive. If you don't have any children of your own, borrow a niece or nephew and show her what a cute dad you'll be. If you feel inadequate in the parenting area, try taking a parenting class or spending more time with your friends who are good parents.
There is a reason God gave us two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. Watching how she shows you love and listening to what she tells you is important. To catch her eye, ask more questions than you answer. Remember important pieces of information (like her favorite spot in the park and go-to treat) and use them to spoil her often.
7. Speak the language of love
Gary Chapman in his book, "The 5 Love Languages," details the different ways we all love and want to be loved. Whether it's quality time, physical touch, receiving gifts, words of affirmation and acts of service, learn each other's languages and speak them often to win her heart.
8. Fight fair
Learn to maintain your cool, even when you have every reason to be angry. Learn to listen when you are upset and work on finding a compromise (or agreeing to disagree). The ability to work through issues calmly and fairly will impress any girl.
If something does go wrong (like offending her or forgetting a birthday) reach out and make repair attempts as soon as possible. Flowers, cards and candy are all examples of repair attempt, but so is a heartfelt apology. John Gottman, explains that "in relational terms, repair is less about fixing what is broken and more about getting back on track. Masters of relationships repair early and often. And they have lots of strategies for how to repair". Do what you can to regain her trust.
10. Be financially stable
You don't have to be rich, just have a plan for your future. Adding the ability to pay your own bills to all your other good qualities and you'll be unstoppable. Show your woman that you're able to work hard, provide for a life together and be able to make smart financial decisions and she'll be all yours.
Last of all, be the kind of man you would want your sister, daughter or mother to date. Reach higher every day, be a little better and do a little better and you will be well on your way to finding someone to walk alongside you.
Shannon Symonds, Author of Safe House due to be released July 2017 by Cedar Fort, has 15 years experience working as an Advocate for victims of domestic and sexual violence while raising 6 children in Seaside Oregon. She loves to write, run and Laugh