Are you wondering where all the good men and women are, and why you can't seem to meet one? Do you complain to your friends that you always tend to date a certain type of person who doesn't treat you well, but seem unable to break the pattern?
Well, then you're probably also astute enough to know that the answers to these questions lie buried inside you, but you might not recognise the solution. So IBTimes UK thought we'd ask Kailen Rosenberg, a relationship expert and elite matchmaker who has brought together 400 marriages in 22 years, only one if which has ended in a separation.
"After I started matching people for love and relationships, I started to realise that there was a trend in people continually being attracted to or attracting the wrong partner. [They would pick] people who weren't good to them, weren't healthy or who were non-committal," says Rosenberg, who is also the author of the book Real Love, Right Now.
"If I asked people about the first three things they were attracted to, it was almost always about looks and the superficial. That's understandable as we're human beings, but many of my clients had their values mixed up."
Going "love shopping"
Rosenberg's approach involves figuring out what hidden psychological issues her clients have that might be blocking them from meeting their true love, and helping them to work through those barriers before they enter a new relationship.
To do this, she takes her clients out to a bar and asks them to look around the venue and pick out several strangers whom they find attractive. Usually, at first clients pick out the people they find to be the most attractive, and this is when Rosenberg asks them to reconsider and change their thought process.
"My clients would say that wanted that person because of their looks, their style. But when I asked them to strip away those attributes, and tell me what they'd be attracted to next, they couldn't find anything," she says.
"I would see their faces slowly change from being doe-eyed and full of smiles, to frowning. I asked them what they were seeing, and my clients said that they were noticing that the person they had initially picked actually had a cold or arrogant way of talking to the person they were with, and I found that inspiring that they were doing this without realising it."
Rosenberg says while that you could chalk these realisations down to the client being good at reading body language, she feels that the change comes about because they are learning to "read people's energy".
"Yeah it sounds woo-wooey, but we all give off a vibe, an energy, which people will understand if they've heard of The Secret and the Law of Attraction," she explains.
"I teach my clients how to read energy, how to look out for kindness and gentleness through how people interact with others."
Reading energy and picking unlikely partners
Once her clients cotton on to the vibes given off by people whom they previously would have chosen as romantic partners in a heartbeat and realise that they don't like those vibes, Rosenberg then takes her clients to another location on a different day.
Sitting in a restaurant or a shopping mall, she asks them to pick out three people who are not their physical type, but all the same, there is something innately attractive about them that the client feels drawn to.
This time round, the client often picks very different people whom they would not have previously have found attractive, and their demeanour is much less judgemental than before.
"We are unknowingly attracted to people who carry an energy that mimics a painful energy that we have felt somewhere in our lives. So when women say they only attract men who can't commit, it's not true to generalise – it's because perhaps they had a parent who wasn't present, who wasn't able to commit to them, or a sibling who they couldn't get close to," stresses Rosenberg.
"We attract into our energy the people who we're meant to be learning something from, on a soulful level, but they don't realise it. But these are not meant to be seen as bad relationships, they're meant to be love teachers to us. However, many people say to me, 'how many of these do we have to go through? Why do we keep having to repeat the pattern?'
"The answer is, we don't. We need to wake people up, and say, what have you learnt? We need to look at the good attributes that we picked up from our parents or grandparents, and start trying to bring that through."
Advice on presenting yourself when looking to meet someone new
Rosenberg shuns most conventional relationship advice given, but she does admit that people need to take a look at how they appear to members of the opposite sex.
With one successful female client who blamed her love woes on her weight, Rosenberg discovered that the woman was pleasant when around women, but in a bar, her demeanour instantly changed to become arrogant and judgemental. In short, her vibe and fears about meeting men was putting them off, not her weight at all.
But it's not just women – men can just as easily put out vibes and present body language that is a turn-off too.
Tips for meeting someone new:
- No rings: It might seem obvious, but don't wear a ring on your ring finger if you're hoping to meet someone, otherwise you will look like you're married.
- Watch your body language: Notice your face and body language when you go to a bar, or get your friend to observe – are your fears making you look unapproachable, such as scowling, putting your nose in the air or being visibly uncomfortable and nervous? You will need to sit quietly and ask yourself why, and try to deal with these issues first.
- If you only focus on physical attributes, women can tell: Don't scope out members of the opposite sex based on the body parts you find most attractive. If you're not connecting with the person themselves, it's not surprising they turn out to be wrong.
- Be present and comfortable with yourself: It is possible to meet your soul mate almost anywhere, even out doing groceries. So make sure that you are a true visual representation of who you really are. So this means, if you usually hang out in sweatpants and no make-up, then be that person. Smile, make eye contact – don't look at the ground or look away just because you're not dressed to the nines.
- Make sure your clothes fit you properly: Honour your body and don't be too concerned about putting everything on show or giving all your secrets away. Show that you care about yourself and that you have integrity.