To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.

~Oscar Wilde

I love reading the Personals section from The New York Review of Books. Just have a look at this:”Smart and beautiful, yet unequivocally cute. Slender brunette with expressive, sexy eyes, head-turning presence.” Or better yet: “Stunning, intellectually curious and athletic. Tall and slim with natural radiance.”

I initially imagined that people who place their ads in this weekly would emphasize more on their intellectual capacity, but, boy, was I wrong! It wouldn’t be half as bad if these bachelors/bachelorettes truly believed that they were as fabulous as they described. However I suspect they are not unlike a lot of people I meet. People, who had tried to “market” themselves as entirely ‘different’ in order to boost their appeal. Why? Because they thought that nobody would be interested in them as who they really are.

A girlfriend of mine pretended that she loved sports when dating. This “love” obviously did not survive after their marriage. She ended up hating the fact that her husband was spending so much time watching sports and going to the games. Understandably, he was puzzled, “Didn’t you say that you loved sports?” There’s no “role play” that can stand the 24/7 reality test. One’s true color will show up sooner or later.

Being authentic is the only way to establish a lasting relationship. Each of us is a unique and wonderful individual and one would attract the likes by showing who one really is. Some people do not want to be “authentic” because they don’t like who they think they are. In order to sublate the “law of attraction” and find a life partner, you first have to live the life of your own truth, and to be a successful single.

If you want someone with financial security, you first have to examine your own money situation. Do not expect the Prince(ss) Charming to just show up and pay off your debt. If you smoke 2 packs of cigarettes a day, how would you expect your partner to be addiction-free? When you are happy and content as a single, you would pursue a satisfying relationship without the needy, grasping, desperate energy that chases away potential candidates.

The other side of this “marketing trap” is the “packaging trap”- you chose your partner by external conditions, such as job, look, height, status, wealth, etc. These external aspects rarely guarantee a happy relationship, which really is an internal experience.

Use your precious “singlehood” to explore and cultivate yourself. I heard people say, “I would go to Paris with my Mr. Right when he shows up.” In reality, Paris is not even remotely exotic. I don’t understand why so many films and TV series portrait it as inaccessible as Mars and you can only visit it when having a “Mr. Big”. If you love travel, just pack up and go, ALONE. If you want to try salsa, just sign up the class and show up. You might end up meeting people who have similar interests as you. If not, it’s still great to make friends as they provide important emotional support. Who knows? Maybe they have some nice brothers/sisters who fit right up your alley.

These friendships and interests you have developed will be useful even after you have found your partner. Do not expect him/her to be your lover/mentor, driver/plumber, cook/maid and your ATM at the same time.

I remember going to dance lessons five days a week, from Tango, Swing, Salsa, aerobic, folk dance, to adult ballet. I was not particularly happy at that point in my life. However by doing something I enjoyed, I gradually shook off the gloom and felt more connected to life. I remember cruising along the canals in Amsterdam or visiting Juliet’s balcony in Verona by myself. Yes, I did wish that somebody be there with me but I was able to enjoy the wonderful sights nonetheless. It was a long learning process for me to be happy. A few years later, I met my amazing husband who had traveled two thirds of the planet. Now we travel together and it has been a most enriching experience. And I still remember fondly the time I traveled alone. It made me who I am and I fully appreciated those days, not just as a process for waiting for Mr. Right.

Laws of Attraction works, Only when you love fully in the present can you attract someone as complete as you are.

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