Searching Too Hard for a Soul Mate?

She’s been dating for three years and still hasn’t found the perfect man. Is she destined for a life alone?

By Sherry Amatenstein, LMSW

Q. I’ve been divorced for four years, furiously dating for the last three, and I still haven’t found my soul mate. I’m 44, have no children, and am terrified of spending the rest of my life alone. I recognize that I’m in a powerless, scarred, and scared place but don’t know how to break out of it. Advice, please? — Jean A. Your question brings to mind the fable of the perfect jade earrings and the woman who craved them. Desperately. Okay, the woman was me and the craving only lasted 15 minutes, but it was intense. I spied these earrings while at a crafts fair with my friend David. A visceral longing set in (for the earrings, not David). Why were these gems the price of a Manhattan studio? Why had I been put on this earth if my destiny was to spy perfection but not be able to own it? Fingering my credit card, I whined, "I need those earrings. I need them." David snapped me out of it. He said, "You need water. You need food. Do you need the earrings or do you just want them?"Reluctantly I put the credit card back in my wallet. The fit of longing for something that could have provided just momentary pleasure quickly waned. Sure, they’d have looked good. Damn good. But they couldn’t have filled the void I’d wanted them to fill. Just as a man, no matter how wonderful, can’t fill the void you’re experiencing on a subterranean level, Jean. That’s an inside job. So long as you need someone to love (aka complete) you, dating will be a joyless task. When your desire for a lover is finding someone to share the richness of the life you’ve created, that person will materialize.Lisa Hepner, author of All I Ever Really Needed to Know About Life, I Learned from a Rubber Band, met her husband after she stopped frenziedly searching for him. She recalls, "It took me a long time to realize that my happiness didn’t depend on finding ‘the one.’ From a spiritual perspective we are whole whether or not we have a partner."According to Yehuda Berg, author of The Spiritual Rules of Engagement: How Kabbalah Can Help Your Soul Mate Find You, many women feel rudderless in their dating life because they are imprisoned by a victim consciousness. Berg, the spiritual adviser to Madonna and Demi Moore says, "They think, ‘Why is this all happening to me?’ instead of understanding they are not the effect but the cause, meaning they cause everything that happens in their lives."How can you stop feeling fate is throwing you a raw deal and morph to a place where you can be a spiritual, rather than a desperate, dater? Debra Gano, an empowerment coach for women and teenage girls, says, "Rather than focus on finding a mate, focus on making yourself the best you can be. Ours is a vibrational universe. Like attracts like. Raise your energetic level to a healthy level and that is what you will attract."True, developing this spiritual practice will take time and patience. But think of all the energy and time-consuming effort you are pouring into maintaining your current state of inner chaos. The forty-something Gano says, "When I’m dateless on a Saturday night (which is most of them!), I put on my most comfy clothes and go sit by a lake near my house, reflecting on the lake and listening to inspirational music on my iPod." If a Saturday-night-and-I-ain’t-got-no-honey thought threatens to break her calm, Gano asks herself, "How can anything be more beautiful than this moment?" and the pang subsides.So stop trying to find a great catch and know that you are one. Oh, if you happen to spy a perfect pair of jade earrings, shoot me an e-mail!Lisa Hepner’s All I Ever Really Needed to Know About Life Yehuda Berg’s The Spiritual Rules of Engagement Empowerment coach Debra Gano Do you have a tough question about dating or relationships?E-mail Sherry at and your question might be featured in an upcoming column.E-mail Sherry About Sherry AmatensteinSherry Amatenstein, LMSW, is the author of Love Lessons from Bad Breakups and Q&A Dating Book. She runs dating seminars around the country and does private coaching — not to help singles marry in 60 days, but to uncover their blocks. She has given relationship advice on the Early Show, Regis, Inside Edition, CBS News, VH1, BBC, and many other programs.

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