Ian Isherwood is Kenya's quintessential matchmaker. He is founder and CEO of DateMe Kenya Ltd. His dating website, DatemeKenya.com is Kenya's largest premium dating site, with over 45,500 members and growing at a rate of 1,000+ members monthly. The company specialises in online dating, matchmaking, dating advice and relationships. Isherwood gives JACQUELINE MAHUGU 10 tips on dating and finding the right person.
1. Don't appear so desperate
If you feel you need to be in a relationship, you probably aren't ready for one. Desperation is inherently unattractive. It's like a bad smell.
No one wants to date someone who would just take anything. Acting desperate effectively says "You're so much better than me, please pick me". This isn't a great sales pitch, is it?
Don't allow yourself to be so desperate that you end up settling for far less than what you deserve. At the end of the day, it's better to be single than in the wrong relationship.
2. Tell everyone you are single
OK, maybe not everyone but do tell your close friends, family and colleagues. The people who know you well, know what you like.
The more people helping you find what you're looking for, the higher the chance of finding it. Just make sure you tell them exactly what you're looking for and don't be shy about it. This is how I met my girlfriend. I told so many people what I was looking for that when a friend was speaking to her, he actually shouted across a busy room to make sure I met her.
If you want something, make sure you're vocal about it. No one will know what you want if you never tell anyone!
3. Stop the interview process
Let love find you –that is why it's called 'falling' in love. You don't need to look at each person you encounter as if you are screening them for a job with a life-long contract, if you do you will instantly kill the natural organic flow.
Think about it, no one likes to feel as if they are being evaluated, it is likely to make them run away. Don't scare people off, take time to get to know them naturally, connect with things you both like and let whatever happens happen.
You might find a new friend, a hot date or an amazing business contact. Be open minded, let things happen as naturally as possible!
4. Get online
Online dating has taken the world by storm. They say by 2040 over 70 per cent of new relationships will start online.
The numbers are incredible! Online dating is still relatively new here in Kenya, but we're already seeing huge success. Go to Google, search through the different sites available, pick the site that fits your needs, create an attention-grabbing profile and you can start meeting thousands of other singles in your local area, across Kenya, or even worldwide if that's your thing. Just always remember to take things offline as soon as possible, meet for a quick coffee, after all the real connection always happens face-to-face.
5. Be prepared to compromise
Do you want someone to accept you for who you are and fall in love with the real you, accepting you with all your silly imperfections? Of course you do! Be prepared to do the same in return. No relationship will last if you don't compromise.
Accept that you will have good days and bad days, accept that you will think differently and want different things, just make sure you communicate well and accept the other person for who they are.
Have fun, be patient and most importantly open your mind to the idea of letting some special into your life.
6. Date yourself, love yourself
The most exciting, challenging and meaningful relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.
Most people don't really know themselves, meaning they don't know what they need from a partner. Self-discovery takes time, but it's worth it.
7. Be raw and accept who you are
No one is perfect. Accept who you are and be proud of it. Of course, you probably need to work on a few bad habits, everyone does. However, when you start to accept who you are, amazing things happen.
You instantly become more attractive, more real, authentic, respected, passionate, happy, present and confident.
This gives you a raw and natural beauty, making it much easier for someone special to walk into your life and fall in love with you, the real you.
8. Find your missing piece
Stop looking for what you want and start looking for what you need. People constantly tell me they WANT a wealthy partner, an exotic lover or to live the 'fast' life.
But in reality, they don't need any of this and they end up unhappy, jumping from one failed relationship to another. Constantly looking for things they think they need, that only fills their happiness in the short term.
Try looking for what you need, look for qualities that will add value to your life and give you genuine happiness.
9. Live the life you want to live now
Do more of what you like, set your own rules, boundaries, and start living a life that is meaningful to you. You won't please everyone, and why should you? It's your life and you need to feel fulfilled in yourself.
When you do this, you will end up finding a job you love, surrounding yourself with friends who actually care about you and you'll meet the right people who are aligned with your life path.
This means you will have a much higher chance of meeting someone you actually connect with, a true soul mate, a life partner.
10. Be yourself
They say that It's better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. When you choose to wear a mask, you only fool people on the outside.
Pretending to be someone you're not will eventually take a toll on the real you. This is perhaps the one biggest reason so many relationships fail, at the start of a new relationship people often pretend to be someone they are not, then problem is no one can pretend forever and it eventually all falls apart.
Stop wasting your time pretending. Be yourself and the right person will like you for who you are. These are the happiest, most fulfilling relationships.