Are you waiting for “the one” to walk through the door and say “You complete me,” or ride up on a white horse, or heck, pull up in red Porsche with a birthday cake? It sounds silly to think you’ll luck into one of your favorite mushy movie moments, but waiting for love to happen to you is just as foolish.
Our Happiness Expert Matthew D. Della Porta, warns, “We’re conditioned through the media to believe that one day we’re going to fall in love—that it’s just going to happen—and there’s only one person out there for you.” But there are roughly 159 million women in America and only one Ryan Gosling. Those are not great odds. So how do we singles get lucky and find that special someone?
First, it’s all about your attitude. While we may tend to daydream, many are just as likely to fall into the trap of thinking only the beautiful and the rich (or The Gos) can easily meet their match, “Anyone can be lucky at love,” relationship expert Rachel Sussman, LCSW, author of "The Break Up Bible" promises.
“If you find yourself saying you’re not lucky in love, that’s a negative thought and you’re putting out that energy,” she points out. “Do everything you can to turn that statement around to: ‘I’m going to become lucky in love.’”
Sussman suggests you start by feeling lucky to be you in order to project to potential partners: “I feel good about myself. If you want to get in touch with me, great. If not, I have a life.” If you look at it that way, you may be luckier in love.
Della Porta agrees. He worries about the classic fairy tale message that our happiness is riding on this one person finding us. While that makes for a good Hollywood script, “You don’t want to over invest in someone else’s presence in your life to make you happy,” Della Porta notes. “Of course, it’s nice to be with someone, but it’s sort of icing on the cake, the cake being self-love.”
The idea is that you come first. As RuPaul points out at the end of every episode of her "Drag Race" reality show, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?” And whether you’re facing elimination competition rejection (ahem) or the dating scene, self-love will provide the strength to keep you in the game. Plus, if you’re secure in yourself before leaping into a relationship, “You’ve taken control somewhat of the situation and increased the likelihood of that luck happening,” Della Porta reasons. “The greater amount of self- love you have coming into the relationship, the more likely you are to have success in the relationship.” And there’s nothing more magnetic than the confidence that comes with self-love. “People will pick up on it,” Della Porta suggests. “Without trying very hard, it will make you quite attractive to most people.”
Once you’re feeling good, it’s time for you to get your secure, sexy self out there! And the operative word there is time. Sussman warns a common trap she sees her clients fall into is not making time in their busy, albeit fabulous, schedules to actually go out and date. “Between their work, and clubs, and traveling, I say to them, ‘You’re dating when?’ If you want to date, you’ve got to find time to do it,” Sussman points out.
Even online dating takes time. But, a recent study has shown internet dating is worth the investment because putting yourself out there can be a really effective way to up your luck when it comes to meeting someone, especially if you don’t live in an area with a lot of singles in your age bracket. According to a nationally representative study from Stanford University, about 22 percent of the people surveyed said they met their partners online. The researchers also found, “For heterosexual couples who met in 2009, the internet was the third most likely way of meeting.” It came right after introduction by friends and nearly tied with bars, restaurants and other public gathering places. Seems like nowadays, many couples are clicking— with a mouse first, then in person.
“People use technology to find the things that are important to them. So, it’s not surprising that a platform like this allows people to come together,” eHarmony Labs’ Senior Director of Research & Development, Dr. Gian Gonzaga points out.
Not sure how to begin? Another way to ensure luck is to start by creating a personal page that reflects who you are accurately. The more honest and nuanced your profile, “The more likely someone is going to be able to go ‘That’s the person I want!’” Dr. Gonzaga argues. People often make the mistake of misrepresenting themselves to seem more attractive to a wider audience, but tactics to make you look like a supermodel can backfire and even intimidate potential matches. “A lot of people think, ‘Oh, I want to attract a lot of people,’” Dr. Gonzaga has found. However, “You don’t want to be in a relationship with everybody, you want to be in a relationship with the right person.”
Another tactic Dr. Gonzaga encourages is gregarious behavior. “If you’re willing to be the one that reaches out, you’re more likely to be successful.” And that can be especially true for women online. The new crossing the bar to get the guy to notice you is messaging through an online profile— with the added bonus of privacy. No one else is there to watch you give it your best shot, win or lose. So don’t be shy about taking this chance to up your luck of finding someone.
Sussman has also found another common mistake that can mess up your mojo is being too picky. “You want to be lucky at love? Keep an open mind. I don’t think you’re going to be so lucky in love if you have a 10-page list [of qualities you’re looking for in a mate],” she argues. Dr. Gonzaga recommends asking yourself one important question, “What are the things that I absolutely can’t stand?” But don’t get out a note pad to scrawl down your answer, this list should fit on a post-it. You can only have two or three non-negotiables; the rest, you want to be flexible on. “You can certainly make a case that any of these things are important, but anyone who has lived a little while can tell you, sometimes things don’t work out as you planned,” Della Porta adds. You want to leave some room for love to surprise you.
With matters of chance like love, timing is also an incredibly important factor. Sussman believes in serendipity, but there are more factors than just two people flirting. Did one of these people recently go through a breakup? Are they both looking for the same kind of relationship? “[If] they’re both looking for someone, they have attraction to each other, and they’re at the same place, that can be a potential relationship,” Sussman points out. But those important factors have to align beyond just a simple spark-filled introduction. “And then, people say it’s luck,” she jokes.
So, in order to tap into this “luck,” you have to at least bring your relationship preparedness, from self-love to an open heart. And in the meantime, while you’re out there looking, Sussman suggests, “Live a great life, but leave room for dating. And stay optimistic!” With a little luck, you might just meet a dreamboat like The Gos.
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