Fall In Love This Fall

Ready to find a love that’ll last through the cold-winter months—and beyond? Try these expert tips.

By Margot Carmichael Lester

o, you’ve packed thoughts of your summer fling away with the beach towels, and you’re ready to find lasting love.

What’s the best way to find someone when the beaches empty and the breeze turns cooler? Here are five
You have the power to get what you want, so start asking for it now.
fall tips to get you started.

Reach out.
“Become a friendlier person by making a conscious effort to speak to as many people as possible on a daily basis and learning to enjoy the interaction,” says Tracey Steinberg, a life and dating coach based in New York. This not only makes you more approachable, but you’ll be more likely to meet positive, upbeat people. Remember that like attracts like.
Bonus tip: Shy? Think of an outgoing friend and ask yourself what she or he would do in that situation — and then do it!

Plan ahead.
Wendy Darling, a life and family coach in New Albany, IN, says: “Think about the kind of person that you want to spend time with, and then ask yourself where that person would hang out. What kind of things might he or she enjoy spending time on? Begin going to places like that.” This doesn’t mean you can never go to a bar or a club again, but those aren’t the only places to meet your next romantic interest. “These other places might give you access to people who share more of your interests and values — just the kind of person you are interested in meeting.”

Ask for what you want.
“The more proactive you are, the more active your life will be, so stop waiting for the phone to ring and being scared of rejection,” says Jodi Lipper, author of How to Love Like a Hot Chick. “You have the power to get what you want, so start asking for it now.”
Bonus tip: “Most women just need ‘permission’ to ask a guy out, and as a result, don’t make the first move simply because they think
Take the plunge and look for love online.
they ‘shouldn’t’,” Lipper adds. “You deserve to get what you want, and you don’t have to follow anyone else’s rules in order to get it!”

Be creative.
Change up your usual routine so you’ll meet people you wouldn’t normally encounter. “In the fall, school sports are gearing up, and even if you don’t have children, the playing grounds are natural grounds to meet [people],” says Elizabeth Fournier, author of All Men Are Cremated Equal: My 77 Blind Dates. “Mingle in the stands or the sidelines with single [parents], sports fans or neighbors out walking their dogs.”

Get online.
Take the plunge and look for love online. Start by posting a great profile photo (you’ll get about eight times the responses). “The best headshot may not make a relationship, but it will help excite that person to want to know you better,” says Mathias Mullins, a portrait photographer in Orlando, FL. “Have a friend or family member take a picture in a comfortable setting.” If you want to take your own photo, invest in a tabletop tripod so you can get the right perspective.
Bonus tip: Practice your smile so that it looks natural, not forced (even though it might be). Or have someone tell you a joke right before the picture. Thanks to digital photography, you can take lots of shots so you’ll become more comfortable in front of the camera.

Follow any of this advice and you could be falling by the time the leaves are. And if you don’t find the fast track to love, just think of all the interesting people you’ll be meeting. Chances are good that one of them might just know someone who’s perfect for you!

Margot Carmichael Lester, a freelance writer based in North Carolina, also writes for Florida Weddings and Hemispheres.
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