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Date Hot - Avoid Cold - Marry Warm

16/07/2015 23:40 BST | Updated 14/07/2016 10:59 BST

Chicken Tikka Masala seems to have become the UK's national dish. We like our food hotter and spicier - and often away from home. The same goes for many of our relationships.

A curry may be exciting and more stimulating to the tastebuds but it's worth remembering that curries evolved as a way of using hot spices to disguise poor quality, even rotting meat.

Another perfect relationship analogy, don't you think?

How often have you (or any of your friends) been in the early stages of a hot and steamy 'relationship' only to discover that the spicy, delicious packaging had cleverly and deceptively obscured a particularly rotten individual? In so many cases, these seemingly 'hot' men and women are actually ice-cold. They have managed to figure out how to appear appealing to their unsuspecting prey.

They somehow manage to persuade their targets to be intimate quickly, get what they want, then leave just as quickly. They're then free to choose their next victim from the vast supply of available people online, while leaving their innocent victims wondering what happened and feeling so stupid they fell for it again.

For too many, they merely become the 'ex' in the word n-ex-t.

In the 'Tinder dating-website-obsessed' singles world, there is now so much competition out there, it's small wonder so many feel the pressure to look and be as 'hot' as possible, afraid that if they're not, no-one will be 'interested' in them. Even though it's invariably the wrong type of interest anyway.

Serial online daters know that fun dates tend to start 'hot', progress to 'warm', cool further and then on to 'cold'. Often within a few short hours, days, weeks or months.

In my capacity as a relationship writer and coach, countless women have complained that they've been deceived by men who concealed how rotten they really were. Yet women can be just as guilty of concealing their true selves. How real are they being with the combined effect of the hair, expertly applied make up, push-up bra, figure-hugging designer clothes and lots of bare flesh?

If that's you, how sure are you that the 'look' that makes you feel at your most confident is inadvertently attracting the wrong men, whilst turning off the good guys?

So if you've become tired of this treadmill and want a real, long-term, happy relationship, perhaps it's time to step back and change your entire approach.

If you have a history of being unlucky in love, could it be that you're addicted to 'spiciness'? Have you fallen into the trap of feeling you have to look hot all the time (because everyone else is) and always deserve the hottest guy or girl around?

But talk to any happily married man or woman and they will invariably tell you they ended up marrying someone who was nothing like those they used to date. Long-lasting, loving relationships invariably start far slower, moving naturally from cold, to warm, to slightly warmer still, to hot, and then on to sizzling.

The best relationships continue to 'simmer' for decades, requiring only a little extra heat to bring things back to the boil at a moment's notice.

These happy relationships are therefore more like delicious, slow-cooked casseroles rather than their hotter curry, quick-fix counterparts. Boring by comparison, casseroles are cooked at a lower temperature over a longer time, when even the toughest ingredients will be made tender and succulent, nourishing the soul and warming the heart.

So, why not be more like a casserole? For a change, why not date other casseroles, not hot curries?

For the next month, as an experiment, forget about looking hot. Don't feel the need to dress up - feel confident enough in yourself to dress down, wear less make-up and just be you; be warm; just be friendly. Don't judge anyone. In fact, date more people who are not your 'type'. Push aside how your dates look and let them get to know the real you. Get to know them as a friend. I'm often asked by young, single females "But what if they get the wrong idea?" Believe me, they're probably getting the wrong idea already!

Slow down. If, over time, they have shown they're interested in you as a person, rather than your 'packaging', show up one day looking amazing. It will probably blow their socks off.

If you really want a 'happily ever after', perhaps 'warm' is the way to go.

Roy Sheppard is the author of the Kindle "How to be LOVED: from dating to mating". The paperback version of the same book is called "How to be The One." Both books are for those who may have been unlucky in love and would like to discover why.