Some Love Advice I Really Hate

There is a certain brand of love advice that makes me cringe as a single woman, “Follow your intuition.” Which is why a piece in the Daily Mail, featuring excerpts from Joanna Scott’s book The Love Key: How To Unlock Your Secret Powers And Find True Love, made me want to bang my head against a wall. More on the magical powers you can unlock after the jump. Scott advocates tapping into your intuition through meditation and seven other steps, gaining insight into your past relationships, and learning to pay attention to psychic red flags. I have no problem with this advice, in fact I think it’s sound. But what she suggests next is embarrassing.

“Take a piece of paper and write out at least 100 things you would like in your future partner. Once you’ve noted the qualities you would like, you will have a picture of the person with whom you want to spend your life. Believe it or not, that person exists and is on his way. Your soul mate might  be a new person or an old friend who drifts back into your life at exactly the right moment.”

This makes me angry. Are any single men engaging in this kind of behavior? No! Why should women? We know that love is not some magical fairytale where a genie pops out and grants you a soul mate with the 100 qualities on your list. I think that there are many right people for us at different times in our lives, maybe even multiple soul mates, but a piece of paper won’t make someone fabulous appear out of the ether. While I think it’s important to have clarity on what you are looking for in a mate, this kind of magical thinking is what allows women to avoid being active subjects in their love lives. The idea that love “happens to you” is ridiculous.

Oh, and in the meantime, when you’re waiting for your soul mate to drift into your life at exactly the right moment, you can “mind-read” your dates to suss out Mr. Rights from Mr. Wrongs.

“Feelings are the messengers of the intuition. Pay attention to how you feel when you’re spending time with a new love interest. Most people have a few nerves when they’re dating, especially if they’re really interested in someone, and this is fine. But do you feel anything else? Happiness? Comfort or discomfort? Unusual levels of anxiety? Take note.”

I do believe in using intuition in all areas of your life, dating included. Your feelings may guide you, but in the case of romance, it’s awfully easy to get feelings of lust or desire mixed up with residual insecurities from past relationships. You’re probably not going to sort that out on a date or three dates or 10. Maybe not even with years of therapy. It doesn’t mean your intuition isn’t working properly if you can’t. Love is freaking confusing.

And finally, when you’ve become adept at mind-reading your feelings about your dates, you will just know once you’ve found Mr. Right.

“Once you’ve got past the first few dates, how do you know love is long-term? Your intuition has a special way of showing you that a man genuinely cares. There are many psychic love signs — he might choose dates that match your taste — but mostly it is just a feeling. Finding Mr. Right will make you feel warm, contented, special and safe. By tuning in to your powers of intuition you will find this true love.”

Absolutely maddening. If I had a dollar for every time my gut told me I’d found Mr. Right, I’d be married. Guess what? I’m not. No shame in that. I’m just saying that sometimes that warm, contented feeling is your hormones. The only real way to know if he is “Mr. Right” is to spend time with him and see what happens. Even then, it may not work out. People change. That’s not something that you can psychically predict. Life is complicated and unexpected and so is love. Some great people may not be great for you, but it’s really hard to see that when you are in the thick of it. I wish someone had something useful to tell me, like “there is no formula for finding true love.” Now that I could subscribe to. [Daily Mail]