(MO = Modus Operandi is Latin for the way you work it)

Dating can be the best time you ever had or leave you quivering under your doona, determined never to leave your house again. But it doesn’t have to be like that. You just need to sort out your dating “MO”. Where are you at in your love life? Are you dipping your toe in the love game, have bullet proof confidence and ready to mix it up with the best of them? Or are you looking for someone to hang out with at home, buy his and her something and move from an “I” to an “Us”?

Having Fun

You like the idea of being with a range of people. You’re extroverted, easy going, like to have a laugh, and not too serious about anything but where the next party is at. You’re not easily hurt. You’re very happy playing around in the shallows and as long as a person looks good or is funny, you’re there. You’re not interested in anything too challenging. You like your dating life to be like fast food. Close by and convenient. Happy ever after is not on your radar.

Your dating “MO”: You are on Tinder and Blendr and you’re never home. Clubs and bars are your natural habitat. You are in it for the fun and as long as you’re honest about your intentions, should be a great date for anyone in the same mindset. In fact you’re probably not reading this because you’re meeting someone in ten minutes and you have to get there because they sound amazing.

Something More Serious

You’re not that extroverted, even though you sometimes pretend to be to fit in. You’re often perceived as reserved and cool but you actually take rejection to heart and find dating a lot of people unsettling. You’re not necessarily ready for ever after but you don’t want to get your heart mashed by the churn and burn of the modern dating scene either. You’re quite particular about who you let into your life. Convenience isn’t such an issue for you. You’re prepared to put in a bit more to your dating life and are willing to go the extra kilometre for a potential partner who suits you. Quality, not quantity is your MO.

Your dating “MO”: Being on your own isn’t a huge issue for you. In fact, sometimes you prefer it that way. You do date and have dabbled with online dating sites but prefer to meet people through friends, or work, or anywhere that you come across someone who is interesting to you. You’ll go out of your way for someone you really like and you don’t put yourself out there unless you’re pretty sure the person is going to feel the same. Long distance love isn’t a bad fit for you. You get the intimacy and the space you require.

Happily Ever After

Introvert or extrovert, dating is a means to an end for you. If this is you, throwing your net too wide might not be the best idea. If you’re ready to settle down you might think you have to be everywhere and dating everyone due to a deep seated FOMO on the One. That type of thinking has taken on a whole new meaning now that there are so many options out there. And it can send you a little crazy. If you’re looking for the One, going out with people who are seeing someone different every night probably isn’t going to find you your Person. And constant let-downs in the love arena mean you’re wiring your brain for future disappointments in love. So relax, take a deep breath and let go a little. Narrow the playing field to people who you have an outside chance of finding something meaningful with. Start getting choosy. You may meet them online, at work, in a bar or through friends but you won’t miss them. It’s OK to be proactive but you also have to remember to breathe. Love has been around since we drew pictures on cave walls for entertainment and it will be around for a while yet. Show love the respect it deserves and it will begin to show off for you. Guaranteed.

Your Dating “MO”: Depending on how long you’ve been looking, you might be starting to feel a little internal desperation about finding true love. If you’ve been harbouring a secret fear of missing out and are on every dating site and app around and it’s starting to make you feel battle weary, time to take back control. Take yourself off sites based on quick turnover. Design your dating life to suit you. Put yourself in situations—online and in life—that are aligned with what you want. Because if you want love, the kind that lasts forever, you need to believe in it. And going out with people who are in it for a good time not a long time is going to erode that belief pretty fast. It’s not their fault. You just need to stop swimming in their pond. It’s your life and your heart. You are in control. Remember that.

So choose your pond carefully, play nice, and whatever your dating “MO”, stay safe. And if necessary, employ a flotation device!