Too often I hear people complain about their inability to meet intriguing members of the opposite sex.

Yet, in a city like Los Angeles, it is not so much the absence of quality men and women – as the whiners would have you believe – but simple mistakes by or limitations of the complainants that keep them alone.

Quick action is needed to break any self-imposed isolation because the resulting loneliness often has a corrosive effect on self esteem and confidence. It’s important to remember that there is, in fact, at least one soul mate and more likely a multitude of partners out there for each and every one of us.

Once a few basic steps are taken, the problem can swiftly change from having too few to having too many prospective companions to choose among. Once that happens, the mission switches to figuring how best, how quickly, and how sensitively to weed out the clear-cut mismatches.

That strikes me as a far preferably problem to solve than thinking “Poor me, I just can’t find anyone I like.”

Here are a few basic tips that will speed the process while opening the door to love and romance:

• Enhance the Inner Game – At a recent No Waiting Dating event I met 13 women, all of whom, with one notable exception, were incredible, fun and offered something alluring. Yet that one exception stands out as a vivid example of what not to do when trying to find companionship.

I spent all of five minutes with her, yet I was pretty sure after just 30 seconds that I’d rather slit my throat then invest anymore time.

In that brief encounter I learned about her three divorces, her slacker, untrustworthy, abusive ex-husbands, her world-class struggle as a single mom to care for three ungrateful, belligerent children, and her belief that all men – not just a few, but ALL men – had yet to grasp the first rung of the evolutionary ladder.

I apologized for my existence.

I wished her well.

And, I immediately ordered a shot of Lagavulin. Neat, please.

Make that a double.

It may sound trite, but the universe does indeed return to you the energy that you project.

We all have our wounds and heartaches, yet there is little to be gained – no, make that, there is nothing to be gained – by reliving each trial and each tribulation while seeking a companion.

One way or another, through therapy, meditation or, in an extreme case, a frontal lobotomy, it is best to silence the old complaints, shelve the heart-wrenching stories and focus instead on today’s blessings and strengths and tomorrow’s hopes and dreams.

A new companion wants to know who you are now and what you hope to achieve tomorrow, not what went wrong yesterday or who was to blame for last year’s mishaps.

If relevant, all of that will become evident in short order.

• Wash Behind the Ears – Just as silencing the inner demon is essential if you hope to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right, so too is it essential to put your best foot forward. Deal with any psychological issues while at the same time taking steps to improve your health and physical appearance.

The more energy invested into improving looks – a new hair style, polished shoes, clean even if not snappy clothes – the more likely you’ll project an appealing self-image.

Begin an exercise program, even if that merely means walking around the block for a half hour instead of channel surfing.

We’re all busy. We’re all overwhelmed with a lifestyle and work load that too often seems unbearable.

But the body’s ability to heal itself is nothing short of miraculous and even a few minutes spent taking care of ourselves will yield immeasurable benefits that will make us stronger, healthier, less reactive and happier.

All that adds up to being more appealing, to being more attractive and a more authentic individual, which will increase the odds of success.

• If You Don’t Like Drunks, Do Not Go to Bars – Knowing what you want from a relationship, the type of person you hope to meet and where to find them are essential steps in successfully meeting prospective companions.

If you want a corporate type, take up golf, join a country club. If you want an intellectual, visit a bookstore, attend a lecture. If you want a fit, active person, join a local gym, practice yoga, search for coed volleyball or softball leagues.

Simply stated, go where the people you want to meet are likely to congregate.

Chances are you’ll have fun along the way, improve your own inner game, and meet dozens of interesting people, some of whom unquestionably will be dating material.

Happy Dating.