One of the reasons this step is so delectable is that for thirty to ninety days, you're allowed to completely forget your troubles. Once you get the positive energy flowing, you'll move into a place of happiness that you'll never want to leave. This happiness will be unflappable—you'll be able to be happy anytime, anywhere, even with the most obnoxious people around you or, even more important, alone. As soon as you learn to revel in the opportunity to be by yourself rather than languish in miserable isolation, you'll be free of that ugly and burdensome feeling known as desperation. And once you've attained internal happiness, you'll be ready for a mature, solid relationship. A happy woman makes a much better companion, and your stock on the dating market will soar.

Men love happy women. It's as simple as that. Hell, women, children, dogs, cats—everyone loves, and wants to be with, a happy woman. The happier you are, the happier your mate will be. The truth behind the law of attraction is that like attracts like. During my matchmaking events I often see cheerful women who are not classically beautiful attracting more men than the supermodels in the room. Why? Because the supermodels are more likely to be starving and insecure, and don't exactly exude joie de vivre.

Are you that happy person? If not, ask yourself why. Many clients come to me unhappy because they don't have a man. I tell each one that her attitude will only set her back because a man will only be drawn to her once she realizes that she can be happy without him. Men see women who are with them because they choose to be, not because they need to be. Most women don't understand this. They think they're losers because they don't have Saturday night dates, but this couldn't be further from the truth. It's far better to wait for the right guy, alone in your jammies, than to be out with someone you have no interest in, wasting time and money.

Another common reason you might be unhappy is because you're weighed down by issues from your past. We all have issues. Even the happiest, most well-adjusted woman you know has had her share of problems, I can assure you. As I mentioned before, I had to overcome the issues I had with being adopted. Now is the time to tackle your demons head-on and get over them. There's a great line in the brilliant, semiautobiographical Carrie Fisher movie, Postcards from the Edge, where Lowell says, "I don't know your mother, but I'll tell you something. She did it to you and her mother did it to her and back and back and back all the way to Eve and at some point you just say, 'Fuck it, I start with me.' "

Release your past and say, "Today's the day I start with me!" Why would you want to drag all the problems you've already hashed and rehashed, ad nauseam, into a new relationship? Bite the bullet and get therapy, if you think you need it. A word about therapy: I've worked extensively with therapists and psychiatrists in my business, but I would suggest choosing your therapist very carefully and finding one that's truly right for you. And if you've been seeing the same therapist for years and don't feel like you've made much progress, perhaps it's time to move on. Like a professional athlete—if you want to win Wimbledon, you need the right coach to get you there.
Become Your Own Matchmaker by Patti Stanger. Published by Atria Books. ?? 2009


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