Finding your dream man is easier if you stop trying. Surprising? Maybe. Most experts will tell you, though, that finding the right man means first building a good relationship with yourself.

1. Start With Yourself

"If you don't like yourself, you can't like other people."

-- Robert A. Heinlein

If you’re unhappy with yourself then no outside relationship will make you happy. Invest time in personal development and get to know yourself. Talk with your friends about their experiences, read books, or look for a reputable seminar to attend.

2. Decide What’s Important

Think about characteristics that fit with your goals and passions. Are you career-oriented or more laid-back? What hobbies or activities do you enjoy? What moral and religious values are most important to you? Which of these characteristics are “must haves” and which are more flexible?

3. Pursue Your Passions

What do you really like to do? When you’re doing things that you really enjoy, you feel happier and you’re spending time with others who enjoy those same things. Put some energy into your favorite activity or hobby and you’ll probably like the results.

4. Try Something New

What have you always wanted to do? Is there an activity or a training course or a new skill you’d like to try? Then give it a shot, even if you’re a bit afraid. At best you’ll discover a fun new activity and meet new people; at worst, you’ll discover you don’t like it and move on to try something else.

5. Desperate No More

Dr. Joyce Brothers says, “No matter how love-sick a woman is, she shouldn’t take the first pill that comes along.” She’s right. It’s hard to be objective when a man is interested in you because it feels good to be wanted and you may not want to see anything that is negative about him. That’s why it’s so important to have a strong sense of self-worth, so you’ll be able to recognize when someone is or is not a good fit with the characteristics that are important to you.

6. What If He’s The One?

“I was nauseous and tingly all over….I was either in love or had smallpox.”

-- Woody Allen

How do you know if you’ve really found the “right” man? There’s no easy answer to this question. You need to pay attention to the little messages from your heart and from the people around you. Does he really have the characteristics that are important to you? Do your friends and family like him? If not, they may see something in him that you don’t, so ask them to be candid with you and listen to their thoughts with an open mind.

7. What If He’s Not The One?

This can be a very painful realization, especially if you’ve put a lot of your heart into a relationship. As hard as it is, you’re better off slowing things down or bringing them to a halt if it becomes clear the relationship is not right for you.

It may seem strange to look for your dream man by not looking for him. Time and again, though, most women find that when they focus on their own self development and build satisfying lives for themselves they tend to attract the kind of man with whom they can have a fulfilling long term relationship.

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