Jana Hocking knows a thing or two about dating – the singleton is a columnist who often writes about her love life.

So it probably came to the Australian journalist’s surprise that she’d been making a “mistake” on first dates for years.

Jana told news.com.au: “When it comes to first dates, I often find myself treating them like an audition. I glam myself up, have a glass of courage (aka Champagne), tell my witty jokes, laugh at his jokes like he’s the world’s best comedian, and put on a show.

“Yep, if I thought a tap dance would add an extra bit of sparkle to the date, I’d strap on my tap shoes.”

You may be wondering what’s wrong with that!

But relationships don’t often start well when one person is making more effort than the other.

Jana Hocking
Jana Hocking used to spend hours getting prepared for first dates – before making a realisation

When speaking to author Jordanna Levin on her podcast, Jana realised she’d been putting all her effort into making a good impression.

By focusing on turning on the charm herself, she failed to think about whether she actually liked the other person or not.

It can also lead to you making all the effort while the other person doesn’t try.

So to stop herself falling into this trap again, Jana has started “manifesting” her dream date.

This involves picturing what type of man she wants in her head – and not just settling for a string of bad first dates.

Jana Hocking
Jana has started “manifesting” her dream man in the hope of finding him

Jana added: “To manifest your dream date, you’ve first got to decide what traits in a partner are important to you. So start by writing them down.

“The other cheeky thing about manifestation is that you’ve got to take responsibility and ownership of your manifestation.

“So if you’ve decided you want a fun, hard working, emotionally open, go-getter – then get out there and find him.

“I read this great quote the other day that said: ‘If you want something, start by taking one small step every day to get you closer to making it happen.’”

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