With the pandemic almost behind us, we all feel it’s time to get out there and mingle with the world. February is the month couples relish the Valentine’s Day feeling and singletons reflect on their dream date desires.

This is also a busy farming period where work tends to take over, but if the past two years are anything to go by, then we need to take every social opportunity we can to find what we desire and just go for it.

With venues opening back up, we need to get out of our COVID-19 cocoon and bring our social skills back up to speed.

For most singles, dating apps were the norm during the lockdowns but all that swiping, matching and chatting left our social skills and self-esteem temporarily deflated, replacing physical interaction with virtual 2D versions of bodies.

Being the month of love and with this new-found freedom upon us, finding a real-life date is just one step away. Whether we know it or not, finding a date works a lot faster in the real world than it does online, as everything about ourselves is out there on display.

Unlike with magnets where opposites attract; in the dating world like attracts like. So for example if you feel happy while chatting with someone then the likelihood of that person feeling the same is probably high. Another common phrase in dating terminology is attraction is based on interaction – meaning the longer you are in someone’s company the greater the possibility of the person falling for you.

Lastly on the dating academia is the law of attraction, which basically states that what you think you are, you actually are, and what others will think you are. So if you dress your best and think you look great then others will probably believe you.

So with this new-found knowledge in your possession, how do singles ask someone out on a date? The main point is to practice and to be honest with your thoughts and feelings. No matter if you are Brad Pitt or Halle Berry, everything must align for a relationship to start – looks are only a percentage of the overall version of anyone.

So here are four quick steps to help singletons along the way to get a date:

1 Mingle: While out and about anywhere, no matter the location – farmers market, pub, petrol station, etc – if you fancy someone, try and get close to them so you can start a conversation. If you establish eye contact then the suggestion is to approach as quickly as possible as unknowingly to you that was your cue.

2 Instigate: While in their company, strike a conversation by mentioning a statement – not a question. Something like “Cool shoes, I like them”, and wait for interaction. One of the biggest problems most single people face is their thoughts control the way they feel, which inevitably controls their actions. So if you worry a lot then the feeling you will have is fear and the actions result in anxiety. To change your actions all you need to do is change your thoughts. It sounds hard but just stop for a second and think of something super happy you have done in your life and focus on that for 30 seconds – now ask yourself how do you feel? Happy right?

3 Initiate: During the conversation aim to focus your attention on them by allowing them to talk about themselves. Give encouragement but not compliments. Allow the conversation to have pauses as that shows the other person that you are happy in their company and confident with your surroundings. Remember if you can interact with them long enough with a positive vibration then the chance of attraction is far greater.

4 Request: Lastly is to ask them out for a date. It might sound daunting but the majority admire this direct “all-in” approach. Say something like “Are you single?” Pause. “Let’s do a date tomorrow at 7pm?” Then wait and say nothing until they give you a reply.

No matter the outcome you will feel positive with the effort you put in and consciously you will have adapted your confidence level with physical action. This four-step approach works 60% of the time, so being human you know that you are not always going to succeed – so roll with the punches and get back out and try again. The big positive here is you will have a lot of fun trying and will have adjusted your dating skills and placed the power back into your hands, as opposed to being swiped online.

Paul Numan is the founder of Katch which is Ireland’s leading dating events app: www.ikatch.com