I am often called a psychotic optimist—because I believe that love exists for every single person on this planet. Approaching Valentine’s Day, people often ask, “What’s the secret to finding happy love?” The common denominator of every client that found love was that they’d stopped their self-sabotaging behaviors and replaced those with successful strategies. The “stop” and “start” behaviors were different for every successful person, but here are some of the most common ones that you might identify with—and can put you on the superhighway to finding love this year.
If you’re not in a relationship and want to be, you can be. If you’re in one that’s not healthy, you can find a better one. Think hard about what you’re doing well and what’s not working—what to stop and what to start—and have someone give you a helping hand. I promise you, love exists for everyone—especially you.
STOP believing in “types.” When someone says “my type,” I hear “dating pattern.” If you have a type, you might just be doing the same wrong thing over and over again, with no success.
START casting your net wider, because your mate will come to you in an unexpected package.
STOP dating bad guys/gals.
START dating high GHQ men (High in Good Husband Qualities)! High GHQ men are kind, reliable, consistent, and “like you a little more” than you like them. Bad boys are, well, bad. You can’t fix anyone except yourself. And if you’re looking for a wife, “High in Good Wife Qualities.”
STOP “speed dating” and getting rid of someone after date one just because there is no “chemistry.”
START giving love a chance to develop. Chemistry can grow—and sometimes the real first date is the second date! Unless you see any dealbreaker behaviors (angry, abusive, addictive, critical), give him/her up to five/six dates to let the love develop.
STOP having sex too early.
START practicing “sexclusivity”—waiting until you are in an exclusive relationship to have sex. Successful women wonder why sleeping with a man on the third date is a bad idea. Why? It usually stunts the emotional growth of the relationship. He should love you before hopping in the sack. Old school? Maybe. Good advice? Definitely.
STOP thinking butterflies in your stomach are the sign you should be looking for!
START knowing that butterflies are often a bad sign. Butterflies are often fear and anxiety and your body’s way of saying, “Danger up ahead! Run!” I don’t know any women who married the guys that gave them butterflies.
Gandhi is the founder and president of the Smart Dating Academy, one of the nation’s top date and relationship coaching firms. Called “The Fairy Godmother of Dating,” she is the dating expert featured on multiple news and media outlets.