4 Powerful Ways To Stop Attracting DUDS — And Find A Keeper

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4 Powerful Actions to Attract New Love Into Your Life

How to stop attracting duds and find a keeper

I hear it all the time.

"All the good ones are taken" or "I haven’t had a date in so long, my girl-parts are shriveling up (or the male equivalent)!" 

Sometimes it feels like the Universe is conspiring against you in the relationship department, but the answer is not to throw your hands up and go hibernate somewhere with a pint of your favorite ice cream. 

Sometimes, it’s a big fat wake-up call for you to stop and take a look at what you’re doing to sabotage your love life. Ugh… not a happy thought. So much easier to blame it on the Universe, isn’t it?

If you’re ready to shake things up around you, you need to shake things up inside you, too. Here are a few ways you can do that:

1. De-clutter your space.

I somehow managed to get through high school and college without ever taking a physics class, but one classic law of physics that I’ve always known about is that "nature abhors a vacuum" (yes, for some reason, "abhors" was the word!).

The idea is that once you create that vacuum, all kinds of things will flow into it, including, in this case, a healthy relationship. So, how can you create more space in your life, literally and figuratively?

First, get rid of those stacks of old newspapers piled by the back door, purge your overflowing closets, and clean out those stuffed shelves in your kitchen and bathroom. It may sound strange to think that clearing out your physical space can also create space for a juicy new relationship, but talk to any Feng Shui expert and they’ll tell you how powerful it is to get the "chi" or energy flowing again in your environment, with unexpected side benefits.

Then, look at the ways you’ve allowed your time to be cluttered as well. Have you booked every night with parties, exercise classes, and dinner with the girls, to the point that you’d have a hard time scheduling a first date? I’m not saying to sit around at home waiting for love to knock at your door, but at least create some time for them when they do.

2. Identify your self-limiting gremlins.

This is really another form of de-cluttering, but a little trickier than pinpointing space-and-time-fillers. What nasty narratives does your inner-pessimist whisper in your ear?

  • "I’ll be hurt if I trust someone."
  • "I’ll be smothered or controlled."
  • "There’s no such thing as real love."
  • "I’ll be rejected if I ask for what I want."

Are any of those familiar? Or maybe you’ve got some special ones of your own.

Take a moment or two (but not too long) to quiet your mind and hear what your particular relationship gremlins have to say. Some of them may have been with you since childhood, and some may have cropped up more recently after a painful breakup.

Regardless of how old those voices are, they can be equally effective in side-tracking your best intentions. So, once you’ve named them, it’s time to deconstruct them.

The first step is to write them down. Then, one by one, write out new beliefs in the present tense and speak them out loud regularly: "I attract a compassionate, trustworthy partner" or "I feel confident that I will be accepted for who I am".

Yes, this is the classic recipe for creating "positive affirmations", but there’s now some very cool brain science that supports this practice to actually create new neuro-pathways to success. Try it out!

3. Be crystal clear about your deal-breakers.

Once you’ve opened up some space in your life and muzzled your negative mind-talk, you need to be super clear about who you want to invite in.

I’m certified by the Relationship Coaching Institute (RCI) to facilitate something called the Conscious Dating Self-Discovery and Readiness Program" and the crux of the process is to name your:

  • Requirements (deal-breakers)
  • Needs (negotiables)
  • Wants (what I call your "wouldn’t it be nices")

As you make your way through the workbook, you look at your core values, define your life purpose, visualize your perfect day, examine your relationship history, and a bunch of other powerful exercises, all designed to get you to really zero in on your top 10-15 "must-haves" in a relationship.

Qualities like: family-oriented; emotionally intelligent; committed to a healthy lifestyle; open communication; shared sense of humor… the list to choose from is long, but the idea is to narrow it down so you don’t end up with an unrealistically high bar for your future partner to hurdle.

(Read Lori Gottlieb’s Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough to understand how destructive that can be.)

It may sound unromantic to be so left-brained and linear about how to attract your life partner, but isn’t it also unrealistic to think that it will just "happen when it’s supposed to"? Sounds like pretty magical thinking to me.

After taking hundreds of singles through this process, I can tell how powerful it is to create that kind of clarity in your relationship quest. You feel confident that you’re not falling into old patterns and that you’re choosing someone for the right reasons.

You feel more in control — in a good way — and not at the mercy of your hormones or some else’s agenda.

But maybe one of the most important outcomes of getting focused like this — whether you do some formal program or create the list yourself — is that you’re sending a big, flashing message to the world that you’ve done the work and you’re now ready and open to attract a real keeper.

4. Practice the Law of Attraction.

In order to really ramp up the voltage in that message, you need to start being, acting, and living like the kind of person you want for a partner.

In short, you need to become a successful single to create a life that’s physically healthy, emotionally satisfying, financially sound, and spiritually rich, whether you’re in a relationship or not. None of that "You complete me" hooey à la Tom Cruise in the movie Jerry Maguire.

Frankly, there’s nothing more unattractive in the dating scene than someone who’s barely got their act together and is desperate for someone else to make them whole.

Which brings us to the last ingredient in the attraction recipe. If you want to attract the healthiest relationship possible, you need to be doing your own ongoing personal growth work as well!

If you’re committed to uncovering those unhealthy patterns, identifying your deeply held values, and reading everything you can about successful marriages, you’ll be less likely to be led astray by a charmer or a commitment-phobe, and more likely to attract a partner who’s got the same priorities.

Now that you know how to find a keeper, are you ready to get out there again after working on these few important adjustments? Have you cleaned house (internally and externally), neutralized your inner saboteur, declared your deal-breakers, and created a rewarding life for yourself?

Now it’s time to re-enter the game with a new playbook and "turn your cab light on", in the words of my friend Nancy Slotnick, dating coach and founder of Matchmaker Café.

That same "Universe" that seemed to only be sending you duds? It was just waiting for you to get really clear about who you are and what you want — let it know you’re now available.

Relationship Coach Deborah Roth has been married 35+ years to the same complex, wonderful guy and loves supporting singles to stop attracting the same duds and finally find a keeper, all while creating a fabulous, fulfilling life. To learn more about the Conscious Dating Program, you can visit Spirited Living or email her at Deborah@SpiritedLiving.com to schedule an introductory coaching session or to get a list of her favorite relationship books.