Dating is a venue for creating a rewarding connection with another person. We want to believe all of this just happens naturally. Sometimes it does. However, the ease we assume should be automatic is actually the result of having these five factors understood and exhibited:

1. Know yourself:

Know your true nature and disposition. This allows you to lead with your strengths. What’s your natural style of communication? If you’re prone to light banter and playfulness, then go on your date with the intention of having fun. If deeper conversations allow for your connection to another, then use that approach. Forget what you’ve read or heard is the “right way.” There’s no one-size-fits-all template for being you.

2. Know what you want:

Be clear about the type of interaction you want. Set your rudder to point you toward your relationship goals. It’s important to identify what you want and how you want it to look in the real world. Are you interested in a casual dating experience or a committed partnership? It makes no difference as to your preference, only that your thoughts, words and actions consistently reflect your intention. This gives your date a “heads-up” as to your goals and clarifies if there’s mutual interest. This internal clarification allows you to sift through your prospective partners with mental ease.

3. Be real:

Real gets real. Game gets game. No meaningful relationship can be created from games. Drop the costume, the attitude and the posturing. The power of the real you is what will attract your perfect partner. Contorting yourself for someone else is a violation of your spirit. Oh sure, you can capture someone’s attention by being “what they want,” but is that who you want to be? At some point the game must end. Don’t sell a false image. Only by being the real you, will you set up a connection for growth and partnership.

4. Exhibit warmth:

Human warmth is the most seductive quality one can have. Charisma, allure and genuine interest are pivotal to attraction. The marketing bible, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is based on the understanding that “people like people who are interested in them.” Fluid, natural and inclusive warmth is non-threatening. Showing interest in another (when it’s without blatant sexual focus) is universally attractive. It doesn’t force an immediate decision about romantic involvement, but rather ignites an underlying attraction to flourish.

5. Allow humor:

Humor isn’t a series of one-liners or jokes. It’s a sense of lightness and playfulness. It provides a basis of ease and comfort for you both. This quality is in the top 10 of everyone’s “dating list.” Allow yourself to enjoy your time with this person, and let it flow. Too often dating feels like a job interview or a checklist that’s being assessed for the perfect candidate. If you enjoy yourself, so will your date.

Successful dating is based on these five fundamental principles. Fine-tuning the inherent qualities you already have will allow the true you to emerge, attract and connect with another. Your greatest dating asset is YOU. Who you already are, is perfect. You don’t have to become a “new you.” You just have to let the real you work for your benefit