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do you believe in love“Joe” (not his real name) came rushing towards me after synagogue services. We’re acquaintances, both divorced singles who live in the same community. We’d never really said more than a cordial hello before. He told me that he’d found my profile on LinkedIn and was fascinated by what I do for a living. He wanted to talk about this “dating coaching” thing I do. So, he cornered me after services and started bombarding me with questions.

Am I a matchmaker? Many people assume that I am. I’m not. I coach women over 40 who want to learn the skills necessary for healthy relationships and lasting love. He asked, “What are the statistics on actually finding love after 50?” and “What are the main problems with online dating?” I asked him to be more specific and personal. What were his dating issues? It’s hard to answer general questions. I am not a statistician or scientist. I’m a dating coach. I’m more interested in the experiences of the people I coach and the psychology of healthy relationships.

This dog don’t hunt!

He told me his story; divorced over twenty years, his life was very full. Because of his negative experiences in dating, he would rather not seek out a woman anymore. He was happy with his single life. “This dog don’t hunt”, he repeated several times. “But, if you find a nice woman for me, send her my way.”

I replied, “If this dog don’t hunt, he won’t find a woman to date.” She will not drop from the sky, show up at his door in a little black dress, drink in hand, and fall in love with him. He was kind of hoping for that magical woman to appear, no effort exerted on his part. And I was certainly not fixing him up with anyone I knew if he wasn’t willing to make any effort. I told him so.

Why is he still single?

He had basically stopped believing in love because of the pain he experienced in the past. I can almost guarantee he’ll get what he hopes for. If he doesn’t believe in the possibility of love, love will probably not come his way.

The opposite is also true. I believe that if you want love, you need to believe in it with your whole heart. And then you need to take action to attract the right partner into your life.

Same is true for most things in life. I know a chiropractor. The first question he asks a potential patient is, “Do you believe you’ll see an improvement in your condition through our work together?” If they say “No”, he thanks them and shows them the door. What? Why won’t he accept their money if they’re willing to pay him? Because he has integrity, and he knows if the patient doesn’t believe in their ability to heal, he/she probably won’t heal well.

Back to Joe. If he doesn’t believe in love, he will probably stay single. Do you believe that the right partner is out there? Do you believe in love?

I’m a hopeful romantic. I want to find love again. I actively date, and I learn from each man I meet. I won’t settle again, and I fully understand the keys to compatibility. I didn’t know any of this before I got married in my twenties. Finding love is so important to me that I’ve made a career of it! And I am passionate about helping others find meaningful loving relationships, too.

“Why do you want to find love?” Joe asked.

“Because I believe that my life will be enriched by a relationship with the right partner. I want to share our life experiences, big and small. I want to be seen and understood by the right partner, as I would be totally present for him and support his dreams and goals. Finding the right relationship is a top priority for me. I believe in the possibility of finding that special man. I know he’s out there. We just have to find each other.”

If you want to find love, long lasting true love, it’s important that you don’t form negative assumptions based on your past experiences. It’s crucial that you stop guarding your heart from fear of being hurt again. Because when you do that, you also guard your heart from love.

I’m a dating optimist. I believe there’s always something more you can do to increase your chances of finding him or her. I’ve shared many dating skills in this column and on my blog. And I offer many ways to support women on their journey to find love.

Do you believe you will find love or have you shut down your heart? Please share your thoughts.

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For a copy of Sandy’s FREE report, “The Top Three Mistakes Midlife Daters Make (and how to turn them around to find love now)” please click here.

‘Like’ Sandy’s  Facebook page for inspiring posts on dating and relationships & links to her weekly radio show.

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