Attention, ladies! The royal wedding between his royal highness, Prince Harry, and dish soap vigilante, Meghan Markle, is a mere four sleeps away and we know what you're thinking: "Yeah, yeah...that's all honky-dory for H and M, but where is my very handsome, very regal suitor?"
Well, he's waiting on you, my dears. Do you think Markle just sat at home twiddling her thumbs and expecting a tiara to fall into her lap? Absolutely not. She had a strategy—an eight-pronged master plan brilliantly identified by Match.com, supported by actual statistics from its Singles in America surveys and relevant site data, that we are going to share with you right here, right now.
If you follow these eight steps exactly, just as future princess Meghan Markle did, your happily-ever-after with the Prince Charming of your dreams is 100 percent definitely probably maybe guaranteed!
1. Meet Through a Friend
Time to start messaging, DMing, and tweeting everyone you know likely to have high-profile connections. (Do princes use LinkedIn?) Harry and Meghan were introduced by a mutual pal, who set them up on a blind date back in the summer of 2016. While meeting online is the top way singles meet today, 14 percent of couples claim to have met through friends last year, according to Match.
2. Trust Love at First Sight Is Not. Just. a Cliché
We'll forgive Harry for claiming something as cheesy as, "It was love at first sight," because I assume princes are born programmed with a few stock phrases. Besides, he's not alone in his romantic beliefs; Match says over half (54 percent) of singles believe in love at first sight and 34 percent of singles have experienced it. (They obviously didn't complete the remaining six steps or they wouldn't have qualified for a singles survey.) And don't worry as much about convincing your man to put stock in the romantic phenomenon too. Turns out, men are more likely to believe than women at 59 percent and 49 percent, respectively.
3. Give Long Distance Relationships a Try
If Megs and Har (I acknowledge that doesn't really work as a nickname) could make things work while living on separate continents, you can for sure handle a smaller-scale LDR, and you'll be part of the 59 percent of singles Match reports are open to being together apart.
4. Know that Age is Just a Number
Three years—the difference in Harry and Meghan's ages—can seem like an eternity (the first three grades of high school) or a flash (how long it's been since you flossed). It's all about perspective, so it's really not a big deal that Meghan is older than Harry, or if your prince is younger than you. More good news: the data from Match reveals that 39 percent of men would be into dating an older woman.
5. Show Your Adventurous Side
Go sky diving. Buy a utility belt. Try the pizza place on the other side of the street instead of your usual spot. Megan went on an African safari for, like, date two for goodness sake; you've got to boast some risk-taking and thrill-seeking somewhere in your life too. Interesting to note, a safari is actually the top five bucket list item for singles (45 percent) and more than three-fourths (85 percent) of singles agree that a potential date's "sense of adventure" is an attractive quality. If animals aren't your thing, ask your prince what other activities are on his bucket list; sixty-six percent of Match singles say they'd like to check off one of their bucket list items while on a date.
6. Meet the In-laws
This can be a little awkward even under normal circumstances, but if marrying into the family also means gaining dominion over an entire country, you're going to want to be prepared. (Psst! Read our tips!) Okay, it's technically more of a title than a real position of power, but you still want all the royal regime to like you—and, you may be exchanging pleasantries much sooner than you'd think. People reported that Meghan met Prince Charles in the fall of 2016, just a few months after the couple had been seriously dating. Similarly, 35 percent of Match survey respondents expected their partner to introduce them to family after two to three months of dating.
7. Be Poised for an Engagement
You've been ready for this engagement all your life, we get it. Still, having a sense of timeline is nice. Harry and Meghan began dating in October 2016 and announced their engagement just over a year later in November 2017, aligning them with 29 percent of Match responders who expect to be married between one to two years of dating.
8. Give Back—It's Sexy!
Now that you're engaged, in order to remain in good graces with your newly acquired prince and kingdom, quickly become involved with a philanthropy cause close to your heart. (Remember when you yourself were a charity case before stumbling across this genius article?) In lieu of wedding gifts, Harry and Meghan are asking for charitable donations, and have listed seven charities with focuses including sport for social change, women's empowerment, conservation, the environment, homelessness, HIV and the Armed Forces. (The last thing to note from our friends at Match is that altruistic singles have increased likelihood of romantic success.)
That's it! Go forth and properly prosper, queens! Just remember to give BRIDES a shout-out and a royal wave from a balcony at some point.