I am still amazed by how my love story unfolded. When I coach people, I tell them that they shouldn't merely learn from their mistakes—but "non-mistakes." It's always empowering to figure out what you're doing right when things go right.
With this in mind, a combo of the following good habits helped me find the love of my life:
1. I followed my intuition's guidance which I've coined with the new word "Godance." I believe there's some Universal Intelligence—be it God or a higher consciousness energy source. When you're quiet within, it will guide you to make wiser choices. For me the word "Godance" can be explained best by referencing a favorite New Yorker cartoon. Two sock puppets are talking. One of them says to the other, "Sometimes I wonder if there is a hand." For me, this "inner hand" is what I mean by "Godance," and it's highly worthwhile to listen to it!
2. I was a proud prude. I delayed physical intimacy until I was certain my man was certain about me. In Prince Harming Syndrome, I recommend not simply counting dates to figure out when to sleep with a man, but counting until you've found five out of the five essential traits listed in my book. For this reason I also recommend not drinking alcohol so you can clearly see and hear who a man is and have the willpower not to be led solely by pheromones.
3. I recognized that if you use game-playing bait, you lure in game-playing fish. If you use open and honest communication bait, you lure in a guy who welcomes these high-integrity values. Plus, open and honest talk helps you determine up front if you share similar goals like marriage and children.
4. I renamed my ex-Prince Harming as "teacher," learned my lessons and moved on. I even put him in my cell phone under "teacher." In the same way I consciously pivoted out of the Apple Store into a good mood, I pivoted out of that relationship to face the positive lessons learned and grow into a better partner. Basically, you've got to be the change you want to date (and marry!).
5. I didn't merely focus on a wish list of things to seek in a man, like sexy, funny, smart, charismatic and rich. I created a "wish feeling" to seek—the feeling of being safe. I recognized that it doesn't matter if a guy is sexy, funny, smart, charismatic and rich if he doesn't make you feel safe to communicate openly, safe to trust his commitment and loyalty, or safe to be your fullest self. A relationship of shared virtue where each partner challenges and supports the other to bloom into their best possible selves. I recommend drawing up a visualization of what this kind of love feels like, sounds like, quacks like and imagine it for five minutes a day, three times a day—a habit I had for more than a year. You know that love song: "You don't know what you got till it's gone?" Well, I've coined a new and happier love song: "It's easier to know what you got when you clearly write it down and clearly prioritize holding out for it!"
Karen Salmansohn is a best-selling author known for creating self-help for people who wouldn't be caught dead reading self-help. Get more information on finding a loving happier-ever-after relationship in her book Prince Harming Syndrome.
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