If you’re tuning in to season eight of Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker, you’ve already met Patti Stanger’s newest hire—fabulous attorney and former beauty queen, Candace Smith, who is now the hardworking Director of Recruiting on the heart hunter squad. Smith uses her background in entertainment and vast professional network to recruit new clients and new potential matches for them. We asked her to share thee secrets to an awesome love connection in 2015. 

ESSENCE: What kind of man is really ready to date seriously?

SMITH: Someone who has taken the time to truly understand, respect and love him or herself. Once you have invested in yourself, you are able to prioritize more accurately what you want and need from a companion. Men who are ready to date tend to have achieved a certain level of success professionally and no longer find fulfillment in superficial relationships and the nightlife scene.

ESSENCE: Where can single women find quality men these days?

SMITH: Quality men are everywhere! Some of my favorite places are grocery stores, upscale sports bars, steakhouse and comedy clubs. I feel that having an open, optimistic mind is the first step so that the Universe can present and you can receive. I suggest expanding your social circle with philanthropic activities—whether you join a committee at a museum, volunteer at a shelter or get involved in the extracurricular activities of a church or spiritual center. A solid circle of quality friends is always a wonderful resource and there is nothing wrong with sharing with them that you are ready to date in case they know of anyone great.

ESSENCE: What are some of the biggest issues women face when finding love? 

SMITH: Believing in their heart that they deserve a healthy, loving relationship. I emphasize the importance of self-love with all clients, especially women because they tend to have difficulty expressing their wants and needs for fear of scaring a man away. I suggest women first focus on their overall betterment, physically, emotionally, spiritually and professionally, and then they will feel confident in what they bring to the table and be willing to walk away if need be.

 ESSENCE: When a guy catches a woman’s eye, what’s the secret to pulling off a great introduction?

SMITH: First and foremost, eye contact and body language signal to the guy that there is interest. While so many women focus on being sexy, in reality men, as most people, are attracted to happy, vibrant, confident people. Smile! Then, simply approach him in the same way you would if you noticed a girl you thought you went to high school with—be authentic, secure and casual. Please avoid pick up lines and tactics like acting as if you recognize him or know him. Introduce yourself and ask a relevant question. For example, if a game is on, ask whom he is rooting for or if he is eating, ask how the dish is. You will know and feel if there is interest and can adjust accordingly.

Tune in to new episodes of The Millionaire Matchmaker on Thursdays at 10pm EST on Bravo.