By Julie Taylor
When you see a couple canoodling at a Chinese restaurant (on the same side of the booth, natch), do you ever think to yourself how freaking lucky they are? Even without seeing what message lies inside their fortune cookies, it’s clear that Lady Luck has smiled upon them and brought them together-which can be a little painful if you’ve recently been overlooked in the romance department. Well, we’ve got some good news. No matter how your love life has (or hasn’t) played out in the past, you can easily turn your love luck around when you employ our proven principles. We’ve consulted top experts in the field to find out how you can inject a little more fortune into your love life and once and for all win the Lotto of love. Jackpot!
Open your eyes to what’s around you
"Unlucky people are generally more tense than lucky people, and this anxiety disrupts their ability to notice the unexpected," says Richard Wiseman, Ph.D., author of The Luck Factor: Changing Your Luck, Changing Your Life and head of a psychology research department at the University of Hertfordshire in England. "As a result, they miss opportunities because they’re too focused on looking for something else." For instance, they might go to parties so intent on finding their "perfect partner" that they then miss their chance to meet anyone who doesn’t meet that ideal. Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and they therefore see what is there waiting for them rather than focusing solely on what they’re looking for in a mate. So the next time you go to a nightclub or party, throw your pursuit of Mr. or Ms. Perfect out the window and instead focus on talking to people who make you laugh and relax. That’s someone worth getting to know.
Tune into "gut feelings"
In his research, Dr. Wiseman has found that lucky people listen to their instincts because those instincts are normally right. So for the next week, try not only listening to your gut feelings but acting upon them: Email someone whose online profile seems to silently call out to you, or speak to that stranger in the produce section who’s giving you a strange sense of déjà vu. Elizabeth Bradford, 32, of Plano, TX, used this very strategy to find her now-boyfriend. "I was in line at a farmer’s market tamale stand, and a voice inside me told me to talk to the guy in front of me. I almost never make the first move, so I was nervous-but my gut told me if I didn’t say hi, I might regret it for the rest of my life. I went ahead and spoke up, and we ended up having tamales together on a park bench. We’ve been together for six months now, and the most important lesson this relationship has taught me is to always follow your inner compass. It will never steer you wrong!"
Shake up your daily routine
Transforming your luck can be as simple as changing where you buy your morning coffee, says Theresa Hoiles, co-author of Love, Luck, And Lore: A Guide To Superstitions, Prayers, Spells, And Taking Chances In Pursuit Of Love. "When you change your routine, you’ll be more likely to take note of what’s going on around you rather than walking around on automatic pilot, oblivious to potential partners in the vicinity," she explains. So take a different route to work. Hit the Laundromat on a Saturday afternoon instead of a Wednesday night. Mix things up to discover what (or whom) you’ll find off your beaten path.
Expect good fortune
"Luck is very often a self-fulfilling prophecy," Dr. Wiseman attests. "And visualization helps lucky people persist in the face of failure and positively shapes their interactions with other people." So before your next date, take a few moments to imagine yourself having the best date of your life. Close your eyes. Envision yourself smiling, connecting, and clicking with the other person. Then make it happen!
Keep a luck diary
In Dr. Wiseman’s Luck Lab, where he’s performed much of his groundbreaking research on luck, he asks people to keep a luck diary. At the end of each day, they spend a couple of moments writing down the positive and lucky things that happened to them in the past 24 hours. "After doing that for a month," he says, "it’s difficult for the participants not to be thinking about all the good things that are happening!" To give his technique a twist, try keeping a Lucky in Love Diary for 30 days. Write down all the lucky romantic things that happened to you throughout each day-noting the cute cashier who smiled at you in Starbucks or the way your date stroked your hand during dinner. By month’s end, you’ll feel like a luck (and love) magnet!
Transform bad luck into good luck
It turns out that lucky people have their share of rotten luck, too. But Dr. Wiseman says they are pros at looking at the bright side. "They automatically imagine how things could have been worse, and don’t dwell on their bad luck," Dr. Wiseman explains. "They have a strong conviction that everything will work out for the best." And it usually does. So the next time you have a bad date, remind yourself of the bright side: Dating is a numbers game, which means that every dud you meet only brings you closer to The One. And with the above advice, that may happen sooner than you think!
Julie Taylor is the co-author of How To Be A Dominant Diva. She also writes for Redbook and other publications.
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