Relationships don’t just happen, they start somewhere — a simple chat, a joke shared, a question, a helping hand. It always begins with a willingness to open up to others. It’s been said that strangers are friends you haven’t met yet, and it’s true for finding a partner as well. So whether you want to make friends or start a love relationship, allow yourself to interact and engage with new people. So where do you start?

Learn who you are.  Before meeting the right person, you first need to be the right person for yourself. You have to be complete before you share yourself with someone else. Try fostering your interests. Read books with themes that mean something to you. Attend classes that draw out your passions and put yourself in situations that allow you todiscover more about you. Before getting to know someone else, you have to know yourself first.

Work your own style.  How you dress strongly reflects your character. It’s the first thing people see that makes a strong impression! So rock that plaid polo, work that wing-tip eyeliner or slay with those superstars but keep in mind that you’re dressing for yourself, not to impress someone else. No matter what you wear, make sure that it’s your inner self that always shines through.

Start the conversation.  Every conversation starts with a hello. You can catch his attention with how you look, but you can make him stay for how you think. So, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and express your interests. It’s these conversations that let him know more about you and in turn – let you know more about him.

Mind your mannerisms.  Your body language says more than the words you say. Smile more. It will make you look more friendly and approachable. Keep eye contact. It will make the other person feel you’re engaged. If anxious around new people, relax and imagine this person as an old friend.

Always be true to yourself.  Let your true colors shine the brightest. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not because a relationship built on anything but the truth is bound to crumble.

Now, get yourself out there! Meeting new people isn’t always easy but it’s the first step to any lasting relationship. Whether you score a date or gain a new friend, there’s always chance that’s waiting for you to take it. So just be yourself, enjoy the company and have fun! Learn more about unleashing your best self.