What is the best way to find the love of your life?
Try blind dates. Speed dating. Craigslist. Plenty of Fish. Flirt with everyone. Get the new phone app SceneTap to locate the hottest bars. Hire a dating coach.
Those are all fine options.
Yes, I'm serious.
Build a life that is so good being alone, if you attract someone, great, if you don't, it's still a great life. When you focus on building a better you simply for you, you will attract more of the same.
That's how I found my husband. I stopped looking.
I had spent years searching for Mr. Right and settling for Mr. Right Now. It took five years of counseling to park and unpack the U-Haul of the past that was dragging me down and detouring my life. If you keep dating the same person (but with different names) take a look at how he or she matches up to your mom and dad. It'll scare you right into therapy. That's a good place to unpack the U-haul.
Once I did that, I could date without all that extra baggage weighing us both down. I could trust that life would bring to me the perfect match for me alone. There was no more desperation. No more settling for less than I deserved and wanted. No competition with all other single people looking.
I started believing that there was someone for me alone, who would love me as is. Not just tolerate my flaws, but celebrate the mystery of me, flaws and all.
We've been together for 18 years. He still calls me his forever girlfriend. His love hasn't waivered, not even when I got cancer and lost my hair and my breasts and walked around bald for six months. "We're in this for the long haul," he always says.
Here are my best tips for finding your forever boyfriend or girlfriend:
Availability: He or she has to be available or there is no starting point. That means they aren't married, gay if you're straight, in a religious order that requires celibacy, actively feeding a drug or alcohol addiction or living across the world.
A light traveler: Carry-on baggage only. If he or she hasn't dealt with mom and dad and all the exes left in Texas, make a U-turn as soon as you see that U-Haul of the past. You need two whole people if you want a whole relationship.
Clean house: Get your own house in order before you set up house with anyone. Do you have all those qualities that you demand in a mate? Remember, you might attract what you are.
Listen: Pay attention to what is said and unsaid, but mostly to what is done: There's an old saying, Believe everything a man does, not what he says. The same holds true for women. Mostly though, listen to that small still voice inside of you, that inner compass, to find out what feels most right.
Practice: Every date is just practice. Relax before every first date and tell yourself, This is just a practice date. The bigger it bombs, the better story you have to tell one day.
Love yourself: If you love yourself, you don't show up starving in the relationship. You're already filled and have something to offer. A relationship isn't 50/50. You don't give 50 percent. In the best ones, you each give 100 percent.
Believe: B'shert is a Jewish concept that roughly translates to "meant to be." Before you were born, you received a match. You don't need to turn yourself inside out to find it. Be you and you will attract that person you are destined to be with.
Keep your heart open, relax and trust that more love is on its way.