Does it ever feel like you are always looking for love in all the wrong places? You know exactly what you want from your life partner, you just haven’t quite worked out if that person actually exists, or where to find them. Or you thought you’d found your Mr/Miss Right, but they’ve turned out to be more like Mr/Miss Could-Be-Better. If it seems like you’re constantly bashing up against a brick wall in your search for a soulmate, it’s probably time for a fresh approach.

Often when someone sets a goal, the first thing they consider is: ‘how am I going to achieve it?’ So if your goal is to find that perfect, loving and committed relationship, with someone who ticks all your boxes, you might start by deciding where you’re most likely to find that dream person. This is where so many people go wrong. Instead, the real question to ask yourself is: ‘who do I need to become?’ It might sound counterintuitive to say that the path to true love starts with changing yourself, but trust me here – your relationship with yourself is the longest and most important relationship you’ll ever have.

When you think about everything you’re looking for in your perfect match, how many of those criteria also describe who you are? Remember that like attracts like – so what type of person do you need to become if you’re going to have the relationship that you want? You probably already have a mental checklist of all the traits and characteristics you want from your ideal partner – covering everything from physical appearance and personality to outlook on life and long-term hopes and dreams. But what would the person you’ve just described look for in a partner, and are you the type of person who can attract them?

Let’s say you want a relationship with someone who’s open, honest and easily able to share their emotions, but you struggle with opening up and feeling vulnerable yourself. Or you want someone adventurous, in the hope that they’ll coax you out of your shell, but you’re too scared to start making those steps by yourself. Why should your expectations of yourself be lower than your expectations for your partner? Don’t wait for that person to come along and bring those traits into your life – get out there and create them in yourself.

“Success is something you attract by the person you become,” writes Darren Hardy in The Compound Effect. The same applies to romantic success – a beautiful, love-filled relationship, with someone who loves you, is something that you attract by the person you become. Likewise, personal development guru Jim Rohn once said: “If you want to have more, you have to become more.” It’s not enough to simply search for the right person; you need to become the right person.

Of course, this is all very easy to say – but, in practice, how do you go about making it happen? The key is getting really clear and specific with yourself about exactly who you need to be in order to attract and keep the kind of person you desire. Think carefully about the qualities you already have and the qualities you need to work on. What is it that can make you uniquely attractive to the kind of person you’re looking for?

As a coach I can’t answer that question for you. Only you know what areas of your life and yourself you need to work on and how to get there, but I can guide and encourage you along that path. And while I can’t guarantee that ‘The One’ will fall in your lap straight away, I can promise you this: once you raise your expectations of who you can be, everything else in your life will begin to slot into place.