Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and if you’re in an awesome relationship well . . . good on you. Send a sappy VD e-card (ask me nicely and I’ll give you the link to one featuring Michael Bolton), put a bow on that box of Godiva truffles, pop the cork on a bottle of Dom . . . I’m not talking to you right now.
If you’re between relationships, though, listen up. Love: The Psychology of Attraction (DK Publishing) just landed in my lap and it promises to help you crack the compatibility code and find a lasting, loving relationship.
I spent years getting to that place. Lucky you – Love can help you suss out Mr. or Ms. Right by the third date. Way better odds than relying on my girlfriends’ not-always-helpful advice. And its practical how-to’s, complete with whizzy info graphics, offer a less dodgy Rx for love than too many Tinder encounters. Trust me.
Here are my Top 5 Tips from Love: The Psychology of Attraction – think of them as your love life shapeup plan on the road to a storybook Valentine’s Day 2017!
1) Why do I never learn? Yes, well, I have asked myself that question . . . oh . . . I dunno . . .1000 times, maybe? Apparently, regardless of how happy we think our childhood was, we often unconsciously choose partners we hope will help us heal old wounds. Stop doing that. Instead, do some work, figure out whose affection you’re really trying to grab – you’re-never-good-enough dad? Smothering mom? And start looking for a partner who recognizes how totally amazing you are, warts and all.
2) Park the picture of your ideal partner and Hallmark Channel movie-of-the-week marriage. Be open to the intriguing off-type people who wander into your field of vision and you open yourself up to possibilities you’re ignoring as you point your laser beam on the person you think you should be with.
3) Become friends before you become lovers. What about your colleague in the cubicle down the hall? You’re both unattached. You share sushi takeout a couple of times a week, gab about your dating disasters, take him or her to weddings and such when you’re between partners. Why? Because you always have such a great time together. And that, my friends, is the foundation for a solid, lasting love affair. If you think I sound like your mother, consider this. My friend Steph and her husband were friends-without-benefits for three years before they decided to gamble on an intimate relationship. That was 10 mostly-fabulous years ago. True story.
4) Embrace the what if principle and give a spark-less first date a second chance. Seriously. OK, if the date was a disaster, you have permission to move on. But what if you had lots of fun; your date was attractive, interesting and entertaining just not oh-my-gawd he/she is The One. Come on – you’re not making a commitment, just saying yes to dinner or a movie. The more time you spend together, the more you each reveal about yourselves and who knows? Three or four or five dates in – wham – Cupid hits you right in the heart. Could happen – and what do you have to lose?
5) OK, this is really important: you are worthy of being loved. Now don’t get me wrong, you aren’t perfect. No one is. And besides, perfection is overrated – our faults, idiosyncrasies, imperfections, call them what you may, make us unique. Own yourself wholeheartedly. Be your real self, not the self you think your potential partner wants you to be. When you jettison your fear of being rejected, or found lacking, and show yourself as much compassion as you show the world, you’re ready for love.
Written by Charlotte Empey