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Advice to the lovelorn

Some young people have been asking me for dating advice lately. Good heavens! My first advice would be “Don’t do what I did,” because until my 2007 marriage, which has turned out to be a peaceable, loving, and productive union, I would have been a very unlikely advisor.
Now that I have THAT out of the way – I did learn a few things, and am gratified to be able to share them. A while ago I posted Ten Things I Learned Along the Way to my web page, and I stand by what I wrote in those, especially number one: First Learn To Live Alone. But deeper thought was necessary, and I’ve been thinking.
Years ago, I went to a social media workshop – how to sell your book through social media, you know the drill. Something the speaker said stuck with me, “People don’t buy from people who are selling things; they buy from people they like.”
Another catchphrase comes from Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
When applying to love the spirit, as I understand it, of these two observations, here’s what I found: “You will find not what you want, but what you are.”
I don’t mean to be trite with such a broad-based observation – you will make of it what you want. It’s not easy to change one’s focus from the outside to the inside, but it will pay off. You can use some of the other “things I learned along the way” to feed this attitude – find your deal breakers, do your triage early, monitor your dating investment of time and money, take care of yourself, and learn to meditate. But this is the overarching principle – you’ll get not what you want, but what you are.