Modern dating has become more complicated and uncertain for many singles that are looking for love.

There are endless options (social media, mobile apps, dating websites etc.) that are supposed to make dating simpler. However, reality can be far from that: many have walked away frustrated and confused; others end up in relationships that are not healthy for them. So how do you win at the ‘dating game’?

They don’t call it a ‘dating game’ for no reason. In order for anyone to maximize their chances of winning, they first need to know and follow the rules. You also need to play the game strategically to win.

Below are 10 simple dating rules for modern single ladies:

  1. Pre-dating checklist:

Most people have a clear idea of what they don’t want in a partner, not what they do want. Without knowing specifically what it is that you want, it is very hard to attract the right man into your life. Before you start dating, make sure you sit down and write a list of all the qualities and traits that you desire, get clear on your non-negotiables and things that you will be willing to compromise.

  1. From online to offline

With the advancement of technology, conversations can start online through dating websites, forums, social media, mobile applications etc. With the ability to hide behind the computer screen, make sure you don’t fall too quickly. Take it offline and see if the synergy and connection is still there.

  1. Be yourself

As much as we want to hide our flaws, imperfections and baggage to not scare a date off, we need to learn to be comfortable in our own skin. There is no point trying to portray someone that you are not because he might fall in love with that person, and not you. Authenticity and vulnerability are very attractive qualities to have.

  1. Be open minded

Many women have a history of being perfectionists, in their life, job and definitely what they want in a partner. There is nothing wrong with having standards, but make sure that they are not impossible to achieve. This is why it is important to get clear on your non-negotiables but be open to accept others’ flaws and imperfections as well.

  1. Bring your ‘A-game’ on the date

First impressions do count so make sure that you dress appropriate for the occasion and bring your energy to the date. Talk about things that excite and interest you, be curious about him, what he likes and values. Do not complain about your job, housework or other people.

  1. Own it!

It doesn’t matter what clothes you wear or what makeup you have on, a guy can see through all your insecurities. Confidence needs to come from within and you need to walk into that date as if you own it.

  1. Let the past be in the past

We all have our own scars and baggage from the past but you don’t have to carry those with you into dates. Make sure that you have healed any emotional wounds before you start dating. Don’t compare the person you are with, with your ex and make sure you focus on sharing the learning from what happened rather than complaining/blaming.

  1. Bring your head, heart and intuition into the game

It is not uncommon for many women to feel like they have met the perfect guy in the early dating stages and allow the feelings of infatuation to cloud their judgment. Bring your head into it; make sure that he aligns with your vision and values, life perspectives and expectations. Despite how everything can seem good on paper, your intuition will always tell you if something doesn’t seem right, so listen to it!

  1. Open communication

Assumptions can be dangerous when it comes to dating. Wrongly assuming that he is on the same page as you when it comes to vision and expectation can lead to disappointment and resentment later on. Communicate openly about topics such as exclusivity, what are your expectations (marriage/children etc.), boundaries, your non-negotiables etc.

  1. Don’t go all the way on the first date

If your intention for the date is for a one-night stand, go for it! If you want to meet someone and build a relationship, it is recommended that you don’t go all the way on the first date. Keep it a mystery and make him work for it.

  1. Fall in love with the guy for who he is, not his potential

This is the common mistake that many women make. They fall in love with a guy based on his potential, rather than who he is. They often believe that with enough love and time, the man will change and become better. Ladies, don’t get yourself disappointed, men only change when they are ready. If he is not right for you now , he’s not right for you.

  1. Let go of the outcome

Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet your Prince Charming. Not every date will be an awesome one; some can be disappointing or daunting. Do not take it personally because it is simply a part of the selection process to find the best match. All animals do that and it is simply a part of nature.