July 17, 2014

7 Mindful Steps to Make Love Happen Anywhere

I have singles tell me all the time they want love to “just happen.” Well, that can only happen if you are in a mental and emotional place to receive the positive attention of others.

I see it time and time again. A man whizzes down a busy city street and doesn’t notice the attractive woman who smiled at him. Or the woman who is in such a hurry to get to the front of a line or into a subway car she doesn’t acknowledge the person who stepped aside to let her through.

My clients usually swear they never get approached in public (other than the rude guy who hits on every other woman who walks down the street). They have never met a guy in line at the supermarket, waiting for the train or grabbing a latte. I always ask them about their routine, their openness to being approached and their willingness to make a few small changes to how they go about their daily lives. When they do, they start to notice that there are in fact men everywhere. And sometimes those men want to talk to you!

We are busy, I get it. If you’re rushing home to get your significant other, then rush on! But if you’re single and you’re looking for love, there are some simple, mindful steps you can take to encourage serendipity.

1. Leave your house 15 minutes earlier. This might sound unrelated to love, but it isn’t. Give yourself permission to use the extra time to take your time. The stress you emit when your head is down, your body is tense and you are power walking (or road raging) to work is not attractive. At least, it’s not attractive to anything other than more stress and tension. At the very least, you can get your flirt on with the guy in the next lane while sitting in traffic if you’re not stressed about sitting in traffic!

2. Ditch the headphones. I live in New York City, so it feels like I’ve spent half of my life riding the subway. I love tuning out and listening to my favorite playlists as much as the next commuter, but those headphones send a clear signal — do not disturb. Same goes for when you’re in an airport, at the gym, a waiting room, perusing an art gallery or grabbing a bagel. If you’ve got your headphones on, you’re likely not paying attention to your surroundings, and if someone is paying attention to you, you’re not going to notice.

3. Get to know your neighbors. And your bartender. And your local dry cleaner. Say hello to the people you see everyday. Get to know their names. I’ve started many a conversation with a stranger because I’m chatting up the bartender or the guy who’s making my sandwich. Not only does it make the world a more pleasant place to live if we acknowledge each other (which is reason enough to do it), but it makes you that much more approachable. And you never know who is noticing what a warm and friendly person you are!

4. Find something attractive about all of the people you meet. I play this game sometimes when I’m riding the subway, or I’m sitting in a restaurant. I look at everyone around me and I find something attractive about them. It doesn’t matter if they’re male, female, black, white, old, young – there’s something attractive abouteveryone. Once you start viewing people through that filter, everyone becomes more interesting and approachable. And guess what? So do you. Warning: You might become mesmerized by a stranger’s eyelashes or glowing complexion!

5. Act like a tourist. When I used to travel, I would always think “people are so friendly in ________!” I mean, I think Parisians are friendly! It also helps that I’ve traveled to Paris alone, meandered aimlessly and had plenty of people approach me while I was doing it. At some point I realized it wasn’t the residents of a particular place that were so different as it was that “vacation me” was so different. When I’m on vacation, my eyes are open, my head is up, and I go where the wind takes me. You emit a whole other level of energy — the attractive kind — when you’re in that head space.

6. Give the smartphone a break. Believe me, I know the lure of the smartphone and its dozens of bright and shiny applications. But if your default setting when in public is to while away the minutes on your phone, I urge you to take a break from it every now again. If everyone did this, there’d be a lot more love connections happening while people were waiting around in public!

7. Smile. This one is a no-brainer, isn’t it? I don’t have to convince you that you are better looking, better feeling and infinitely more approachable when you smile. Next time someone catches your eye? Give them your best smile. At the very least, you’ll be adding some joy to their day, as well as yours. It’s worth doing for that reason alone.

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