Dating weary? Dr. Diana Kirschner offers advice for finding love—and fast.
What's a love mentor? A lot of people feel they should be able to do this on their own.
A lot of self-help books say "You really have to do it on your own; you can't rely on anybody else." The Love in 90 Days approach takes the opposite tack. It's really powerful to have someone whom you look up to, who can give you the support, validation and hope that you need to go out there and create a relationship that is really fulfilling.
A great love mentor is someone who gives you what you need, like a swift kick in the butt. They'll confront you when you're 40 pounds overweight, and say, "Well, you know, you want to take a look at yourself." A really great love mentor is someone who is in a great relationship so they know the road, too.
Are there steps women can take to get back up and move on after heartache?
There was a recent study where they found that people who are rejected show activity in the brain in the same area where the brain registers physical pain. If you have broken up or feel rejected, the pain that you feel is real and it's physiological. The same group of researchers also found that if you're in this position it helps to spend time with loved ones because it releases natural opiates in the brain and these are pain killers.
The other thing is to get out there, online and offline, and date again. Studies have shown that even if you marry on the rebound, you're not anymore likely to get divorced than if you if you're not married on the rebound. So get out there. Put your attention on other guys.
What are your secrets for online dating?
For rapid online dating success, you have to lower your expectations. I tell women to expect nothing. Even when the guy is writing you the most incredible emails—he's telling you he wants to take you to this art exhibit, and that he's never met anyone like you—you expect nothing. In my experience, as many as 4 out of 5 guys will simply fall away. This is a numbers game and the deal is: If you hang in there, you will find these fabulous guys. But you can't give up too soon.
Also: your photo is everything. Don't just throw a crummy photo up there. Men are visual.
The last chapter is called "How Happy Couples Work." How do happy couples work?
There have been many studies that show that happy, healthy couples have similar characteristics. And, there are eight habits that I talk about in the book. Healthy couples are the best of best friends. They have a ratio of five to one, positive to negative interactions: five validating, nurturing, or loving interactions, non-verbally or verbally, to one negative.
When I studied healthy couples I found that some of them even had a higher ratio, like ten loving interactions to one negative. So, think about that, you're looking for a best friend with super chemistry. And then you have it all.
How has your own relationship changed the way you counsel women?
Everything that I do is influenced by my own relationship. I've been married for more than 25 years to Sam. I broke through my own deadly dating patterns—which were extremely severe—to be able to be married to Sam. And Sam is crazy about me. He's willing to grow, and he's a good guy. This love is my own private lab. The real reason I wrote this book is that I'd like to help people find the kind of relationship that I have. He even helped me with writing the endnotes, which gives you a feel for the whole thing! He totally supports me, and I totally support him.
Watch our video interview with Dr. Diana here.
This article was originally published at YourTango. Reprinted with permission from the author.