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Keys to dating success (© Getty images)Taking and making opportunities

First, let's think about general opportunities to meet someone by chance. A little preparation can go a long way if you happen upon a 'spontaneous' opportunity. You never know when: in a lift at work, at a conference, in a pub, at your local grocery store. It's been shown that apart from meeting someone at work, or being introduced to someone by friends, the main way you'll meet someone is spontaneously and unexpectedly.
Take control and enhance these spontaneous opportunities by being aware of who's around you. If you walk around listening to your iPod in a daze you might walk right past the love of your life. If you walk around looking tense you'll be expressing closed body language to a woman who would like to catch your eye.
How to maximise your opportunities
Keep a relaxed and confident posture wherever you go. You never know when you might be able to strike up a conversation with a gorgeous girl when out and about.
Be ready to give good eye-contact, look at her and smile. If she responds with a smile then start a simple conversation - in other words 'small talk'. There's everything to gain and nothing to lose with these interactions.
Here are some other ways to make opportunities include a few key strategies:
- Become a 'Yes' person and say 'Yes' when someone spontaneously asks you for a coffee or a drink after work.
- Make sure you're the first to ask that new girl at work out for a drink.
- Widen your circle of opportunity and check out new pubs, restaurants and clubs every week.
- Break the mould - never rule out chatting to a woman just because she doesn't appear to be your usual type. Your usual type hasn't worked, so be open-minded!
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What about trying new activities?
Been stuck going to the same pubs and nightclubs for years? Why not try these:
The gym or sports venues - you might think chatting up someone at the gym is a bit of a cliche but, believe me, there are many 'sporting' success stories. I know from personal experience - I met a boyfriend at my gym when I was single. If you like sports events then you'll meet like-minded girls there too. Never rule out a simple smile across the football stand or the bar at a tennis court.
Evening classes - don't get the wrong idea that evening classes are full of dull people studying something boring! There are evening classes in so many fun activities. Check out the local listings and you'll be surprised what is on offer. Always be prepared to strike up a conversation with a like-minded woman about how long she's been interested in this subject, is this the first time she has attended a class in it, etc.
Singles events are not just for 'saddos' - there are so many singles events on offer you have no excuse not to try one out. You'll be surprised at the calibre of people who come along - rarely a saddo in sight.
And it doesn't have to be speed dating - which some people might find daunting. There are events at restaurants, for wine tasting, at the theatre, even rather chilled out and quirky singles events at places like supermarkets. A little research in your local paper or on the internet will tell you what's available in your area.
Online - there are lots of websites for singles. Some are for singles looking for love and others are aimed at people looking for a bit of fun. Internet dating has really taken off. 
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