Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke/Bravo
Searching for love is never easy and for some New York singles, the answer to finding the right person is hiring a broker. Not to land the perfect apartment -- but the perfect mate! Bravo's new series, Love Broker premieres tonight at 10 p.m. EST and follows Lori Zaslow, co-founder of Manhattan-based matchmaking company Project Soulmate as she helps clients find love.
While Zaslow and her business partner Jennifer Zucher only handle an average of eight to 10 clients a month, in the two years since they've founded the company, a whopping 80 percent of those are either still dating, engaged or married to someone they met because of Project Soulmate.
Impressed? Zaslow sat down with iVillage to share her tried-and-true secrets to finding the love of your life.
Go to Jury Duty
While you may put off doing laundry until you absolutely have to and count your lucky stars each month you're not assigned to jury duty, Zaslow says one of the best places to meet people is by doing the things you really don't want to do -- but have to. "Go to that meeting on the other side of town or sit at the bar while waiting for your plane to arrive for a business trip," she advises. "When you’re not thinking about love or when you’re not planning it by getting all dressed up to go out, you’re just being yourself in everyday situations, which is how you would be in a relationship."
Go Home Before Your Date
With jam-packed schedules and high-demanding jobs, squeezing in time for a new guy (who may turn into a dud, anyway) can seem like a hassle. So the easiest way to check off the "must go on dates" box on your to-do list is by meeting for a quick drink or bite after work. Zaslow says this is a bad idea because you’re not bringing your best face forward: "People will go on a first date right after work, without taking a shower. But people feel the best when they look their best," Zaslow says. She advises taking time to unwind after a busy day by pushing back the date just by a few hours, and you’ll see better success with first meetings.
If Not Him, Someone Better -- or Someone He Knows
One of the biggest complaints from Zaslow’s male clients is that women are far too negative. "While all guys have different qualities they prefer, almost all men want someone who is kind and positive," Zaslow says. Having positive energy about dating, life and love makes you more attractive, and even if the date you’re on isn’t going well, Zaslow says it’s important to keep in mind that any connection can lead to someone you do click with. "I’ve had clients who didn’t match with the person they were set up with, but introduced each other to friends they thought they would like -- and they’re found love that way," she says. By remaining open to the possibilities, you’ll have more success in finding the right someone for you.
Two is Better Than Three
Going out with all of your friends can be comforting (and fun!), but it couldn’t be more intimidating for men. "Guys find it incredibly difficult to approach a group of women, so they often don’t," Zaslow says. She suggests doing activities alone or going out as a pair, which is easier for men to approach. "And it’s 2012, there aren’t any rules -- it’s okay to go up to men yourself,” she says. “They actually prefer it."
Don't Talk About the Future
"One of the biggest mistakes women make is that they over-talk and they under-listen," Zaslow says. While our minds may be running through everything we have to do today and all the things we hope for tomorrow, during the beginning stages of a dating someone new, it’s important to remain present. "Men don’t want to hear about the long-term future when they’re first getting to know you. They don’t want to know about the promotion you want, the house you want to buy or how many kids you want one day," Zaslow says. She also advises giving men time to chime instead of interrogating them or giving away everything about you from the start. "There’s not an equal amount of talking and listening oftentimes, so take a second, breathe, and let him lead the conversation," she says.
Switch Up Your Routine
It’s easy to get caught up in a routine -- going to the same grocery store, working out at the same time, stopping by the deli where they know your order, but to meet someone great, Zaslow says shaking things up can lead to surprising results. "If you always go to the same Starbucks, go to a new coffee shop for a week and just talk to people," she advises. "Or when you’re getting a manicure, talk to the woman next to you -- she may just have a friend who is perfect for you." Getting out of your comfort zone and being friendly will help put you in the right path of meeting the soulmate designed for you.
Sign Up for That Cooking Class
Too often, we’re programmed to think the only way to meet someone is through friends, while in college or at the bar. But, as Zaslow says, one of the best habitats for finding singles is doing the things you love. "Take a cooking class, join that soccer league, try rock-climbing or go on that trip," she says. "If you’re doing the things you enjoy, you will naturally be surrounded with people who have the same tastes. It makes starting a conversation easier and takes the pressure off." Best of all, because this activity makes you happy, you already have a positive outlook that men find addictive.
Watch a clip from Love Broker below!