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Seven steps to help you find love

Woman's Hour is on a mission to find the secret to falling in love. We've been investigating, as part of Woman's Lab, if there's a science to successful dating or an art to flirting well?

Jean Smith, the author of Flirtology - Stop Swiping, Start Talking and Find Love, thinks we should leave the world of online dating and apps behind and focus on making connections in real life. Easier said than done maybe...but as a start Jean has shared her top dating tips with us in the hope of helping you find love...

1. Start with a hello

"Start simply. Start having interactions everyday with everyone."

"So whether it’s just a good morning, a hello, or when you’re getting a coffee chatting to the person behind you. If you start doing that in low pressure situations it means that when you’re at a friend’s party and you see someone who looks interesting, it’s just you again chatting with people but this time you might find them really attractive."

2. Put down your phone

"Online dating forces us to look at people as objects, so I’ve always had a problem with it. Now, we have the apps as well with the added captology. They’re designed to keep us addicted."

"It totally can work…but it’s about where do we want to put our energy? So, in the case of online dating it used to be people would come home from work, open their computer and then spend the rest of their evening, on their computer, looking at a screen."

"Anything you put your energy towards, you will have results. The problem is everyone knows someone who has a success story but worldwide there are over a billion people doing this. So my point is, there should be more success stories considering how many people are using this."

3. Don't play the blame game

"It’s really easy to blame…'people are busy' or 'there are no single people' or 'there are no good men, there are no good women'."

"It’s really easy to put the blame on everyone else but once we start looking at our own behaviour and admitting and recognising 'fine we might be going to different venues but are we actually talking to anyone new or are we in the corner chatting?' that's the issue."

"Once we take the responsibility that’s when major change can happen."

4. Listen to science

"There’s so much bad advice out there…combined with the fact it’s an area where people feel quite vulnerable and of course rejection is a huge factor."

"When packaged as a science…if people say 'there’s no one out there' or 'if I approach someone they will reject me'. I can say: 'OK, well what’s your sample size of experience? How many times have you actually done this?' And they say: 'Well actually never.' So, it’s just a way of grounding people in something that’s real."

5. Let nature do its thing

"If there is a connection, the flirting will happen naturally. People don’t realise this."

"I’ve created an acronym called H.O.T A.P.E which encompasses all the flirting behaviours I found in my research. It’s the 6 signs that people recognised someone was flirting with them and also they used it to flirt with others. It’s: humour, open body language, touch, attention, proximity and eye contact."

"People should just do what they want and don’t block themselves with their mind."

6. Take the first step

"It’s been ingrained for many women, for many generations, that they shouldn’t approach a man. I can’t wait until we get rid of this, it’s so unhelpful. It doesn’t match where we are in society."

"Part of the new rules of flirting are anyone of any gender can approach anyone. So, for same-sex couples too. Everyone approaches everyone first as a human, not as an object, not as a hot man or a gorgeous woman, it’s just as a human."

7. Try it sober

"I think if more people used this motto, 'If you act like yourself then you attract people who like you', then if you do get rejected you just think 'Oh that’s an effective weeding out mechanism and I’m obviously not a good match for that person' that would help."

"People feel they need to drink to get more courage or to numb this fear of rejection but you don’t need to do that."

Listen to Jean Smith chat to Jenni Murray on Woman's Hour for more on flirting, dating and relationships.