When you see a couple canoodling at a Chinese restaurant (on the same side of the booth, natch), do you ever think to yourself how freaking lucky they are? Even without seeing what message lies inside their fortune cookies, it’s clear that Lady Luck has smiled upon them and brought them together — which can be a little painful if you’ve recently been overlooked in the romance department. Well, we’ve got some good news. No matter how your love life has (or hasn’t) played out in the past, you can easily turn your love luck around when you employ our proven principles. We’ve consulted top experts in the field to find out how you can inject a little more fortune into your love life and once and for all win the Lotto of love. Jackpot!

1. Open your eyes to what’s around you
“Unlucky people are generally more tense than lucky people, and this anxiety disrupts their ability to notice the unexpected,” says Richard Wiseman, Ph.D., author of The Luck Factor: The Four Essential Principles and head of the Psychology Research Department at the University of Hertfordshire in England. “As a result, they miss opportunities because they’re too focused on looking for something else.” For instance, they might go to parties so intent on finding their “perfect partner” that they then miss their chance to meet anyone who doesn’t meet that ideal. Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and they therefore see what is there waiting for them rather than focusing solely on what they’re looking for in a mate. So the next time you go to a nightclub or party, throw your pursuit of Mr. or Ms. Perfect out the window and instead focus on talking to someone who makes you laugh and relax. That’s a person worth getting to know.
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2. Tune into what your inner voices are saying
In his research, Dr. Wiseman has found that lucky people listen to their instincts, because those instincts are normally right. So for the next week, try not only listening to your inner clues, but acting on them, too. For example: Email someone whose online profile seems to silently call out to you, or speak to that stranger in the gym who’s giving you a strange sense of déjà vu. Elizabeth Bradford, 32, of Plano, TX, used this very strategy to find her now-boyfriend. “I was in line at a farmer’s market tamale stand, and a voice inside me told me to talk to the guy in front of me. I almost never make the first move, so I was nervous — but my gut told me if I didn’t say hi, I might regret it for the rest of my life. I went ahead and spoke up, and we ended up having tamales together on a park bench. We’ve been together for six months now, and the most important lesson this relationship has taught me is to always follow your inner compass. It will never steer you wrong!”

3. Shake up your daily routine
Transforming your luck can be as simple as changing where you buy your morning coffee, says Theresa Hoiles, coauthor of Love, Luck, and Lore. “When you change your routine, you’ll be more likely to take note of what’s going on around you rather than walking around on automatic pilot, oblivious to potential partners in the vicinity,” Hoiles explains. So take a different route to work, or hit the Laundromat on a Saturday afternoon instead of a Wednesday night. Mix things up to see what interesting discoveries you’ll find by straying off your usual beaten path.

4. Expect good fortune
“Luck is very often a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Dr. Wiseman attests. “And visualization helps lucky people persist in the face of failure and positively shapes their interactions with other people.” So before your next date, take a few moments to imagine yourself having the best date of your life. Close your eyes. Envision yourself smiling, connecting, and clicking with the other person. Then make it happen!

5. Keep a luck diary
In Dr. Wiseman’s Luck Lab (where he’s performed much of his groundbreaking research on the subject), he asks people to keep a daily luck diary. At the end of each day, they spend a couple of moments writing down the positive and lucky things that happened to them during the past 24 hours. “After doing that for a month,” he says, “it’s difficult for the participants not to be thinking about all the good things that are happening in their lives!” To give his technique a twist, try keeping a personal “lucky in love diary” for 30 days. Write down all the romantic things that happened to you throughout each day — i.e., describing the cute cashier who smiled at you in Starbucks or the way your date stroked your hand during dinner last night. By month’s end, you’ll feel like a luck (and love) magnet!

6. Transform bad luck into good luck
It turns out that lucky people have their share of unlucky misses, too. But Dr. Wiseman says that what makes lucky types different than the rest is that they are pros at always looking out for the bright side. “They automatically imagine how things could have gone worse, and they don’t dwell on their bad luck,” Dr. Wiseman explains. “They have a strong conviction that everything will work out for the best.” (And honestly, it usually does.) So the next time you have a bad time on a date, remind yourself of the positive aspect: dating is a numbers game, which means that every mis-match you meet only brings you one step closer to finding The One. And with the above advice to guide you, that may happen sooner than you think!

Julie Taylor is the coauthor of How to Be a Dominant Diva. She also writes for Redbook and other publications.