10 ways to spring clean your love life and find 'the one'

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Brush away the cobwebs, decide what you really want and go for it...

Kissing, dating, relationship

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To help put a spring back in our dating step we asked Jenni Trent-Hughes, dating and relationship expert for eHarmony.co.uk to give us her best, no-nonsense advice.

Take a look at her top 10 tips below and let us know what you think...

1. Decide what you really want in a relationship

Are you looking for a casual relationship or are you looking for 'forever after'? Often it starts as one and ends up as the other. However your chances of choosing wisely will be better in the long run if you have an idea what you're looking for.

2. Decide what you really want/need from a person

Things that you want from a person tend to be external or material. Things that you need from a person tend to be certain characteristics and core values. Word to the wise...give priority to what you need over what you want. For a relationship to work there needs to be a high level of compatibility present. Whether or not you support the same football team won't matter when you start discussing children and other make-or-break issues.

3. Stop putting yourself down

If you don't think that you're a valuable commodity then why should anyone else? If you went to a shop and they said 'Please buy this, yes it's expensive but don't worry it won't last, will fall apart and you probably won't like it anyway' what would you do? You would run for the hills. By putting yourself down constantly you are sending out the message that you're just not good enough, so stop it immediately!

4. Focus on making all aspects of your life work better

Many of us seem to feel that if our love life is OK then everything else will fall into place. That, of course, is not true. Focus on improving the overall quality of your life. Feel happier, more fulfilled, work on your friendships, career, health and family relationships. The better your life works, the more attractive you will be to others.

5. Stop thinking you can't make the first move

Ladies this is the 21st century what are you waiting for? It is now totally acceptable to approach men and they love not having to always be the one to make the first move. However, a word of advice to all - approach someone in the way in which you would like to be approached, slow and subtle usually works best. In these days of social media it is so easy to send a "How about meeting up for a coffee?" message - go for it!

6. Give the process the time and attention it deserves

Your time is precious as are you. If you're looking for someone with whom to spend either considerable amounts of your time, or possibly the rest of your life then it is the most important choice you will ever make. Some of us will spend months searching for the perfect handbag but get annoyed when we don't find our perfect partner within a week. You might get super lucky, but don't be surprised if you have to put in lots of effort.

7. Learn to communicate effectively

Without proper communication a relationship is doomed so whatever you do please brush up on your communication techniques. Learn how to get your point across properly. Learn how to argue effectively. Learn how to listen.

8. Stop spying on your partner

Cut out the text snooping, the Twitter tailing, the Facebook stalking and all other forms of spying. It's not nice; you wouldn't like it being done to you. And frankly if your relationship needs constant undercover monitoring then maybe it needs a rethink. Trust is crucial in a relationship with long-term potential, so work hard to build trust with your partner. If it's not there now, then it may never be.

9. Stop trying to make the impossible possible

If the relationship is not going to work then stop trying to force it. Make a good strong effort but if the differences are irreconcilable then bow out gracefully.

10. Believe it can happen

Last but possibly most importantly of all - truly believe in your heart of hearts that a successful relationship is possible and that you deserve it. Take help and advice from wherever you can find it. Your perfect partner may be someone who you meet on an internet dating site - or they may be someone you meet on the bus. Either way they are out there, but first you must truly believe it is possible.

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