What's Love Got to Do With It? How Romance and Relationships Keep You Healthy
If You're...Desperately Seeking Someone
1. Toss the no-good-men mantra. "When you concentrate on the negative, you isolate yourself," says Legato, "and isolation enhances depression, which compromises your immune system." Corny as it sounds, it really does take only one good man. When you catch yourself complaining about the dating pool, bite your tongue. Be a forensic romantic instead. Collect evidence that the world is a surprising place. Look at the terrific men the women around you have found. Read wedding announcements as everyday miracles. Ask yourself: Would Audrey Hepburn or Renée Zellweger want to play you as an embittered pill in the movie of your life? Expect magic.
2. Dine with a dog. "Love doesn't have to come in the form of a romantic partner to keep you healthy," says Nancy Snyderman, MD, head and neck surgeon at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, who is crazy about her horses. "Loving animals raises endorphins. People with pets are healthier and enjoy a higher quality of life."
3. Flirt with a friend. Do whatever it takes to get those juices flowing. There are many ways to enjoy men. You don't have to act on a mutual attraction to keep life interesting and vital.
4. Don't even go there...If the soundtrack inside your head goes something like "One more dead-in-the-water blind date; I'll never find true love; I must be unlovable; there's nothing I can do about it," you may be causing your stress hormones to stay elevated. When you hear yourself drifting into that dangerous hit parade, meditate, go for a run, bring flowers to a sick neighbor—anything to stop the tape and calm your body down.
5. Take action. Instead of dwelling on whether the glass is half full or half empty, get out and do something on your own behalf. "I was 29, single, and desperate," says Domar. "I went to a conference in Jamaica and told the teacher how badly I wanted to get engaged, with a diamond and sapphire ring. The teacher said, 'Why are you waiting for a man to buy you what you need?' The following day, I went out and bought myself a beautiful diamond and sapphire ring—I found a good deal. That ring became a symbol of my ability to make myself whole. I felt less frantic. The next man I met was my husband."
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