By the next day’s end Melanie said to me, “I’m already tired of being so nice to people.” (Note: Melanie is one of the nicest people on the planet.) For me, every time I tried to focus and silently speak the mantra, I thought of all my deadlines and laundry I needed to do, and how connected I felt to those things instead.
Lesson 3: Write a list of things you require in order to be happy in a relationship.
This practice asks you to honestly identify what your top needs are, and write or type them out—50 times. (During our quiet list-making, Melanie and I both actually wondered if it would be so bad to simply cut and paste.) My list included: I need to know he will be there, no matter what. I need fidelity. I need to feel butterflies, intellectually and physically. This exercise taps into your relationship must-haves rather than superficial attributes like: I want to marry a doctor. It’s empowering to be honest with yourself, but it can also be difficult. We get so accustomed to hiding our needs for fear of appearing “needy” that we’re hesitant to admit them, even in private.
Lesson 4: Make a list of words that resonate with you.
This one didn’t do it for me. You pick a bunch of “essence qualities,” either from a suggested list or on your own: words like “humor” and “passion,” then write affirmation statements to internalize them. You’re also supposed to write them on post-its and stick them in oft-looked-at places. I’m enough of a list-maker already and I didn’t want to O.D.
Lesson 5: Start a collage of cutouts that represent love, write about your life as a fairy tale, and… thank God.
For the writing exercise, start with “once upon a time” and write about yourself in the third person. Characterize yourself, perhaps, as a damsel who longs to be rescued, or the golden-locked girl waiting in the tower—whichever heroine relates your love ideals. Note: It is supposed to have a happy ending. Overall, I was not a fan of this lesson.