SheKnows:What was the inspiration behind your new book, Love in 90 Days? What made you create this program?
Well, the original inspiration was finding love for myself. I was the fifth of five girls in a Sicilian-American family that valued boys - My father didn't even come to the hospital when I was born — so I didn't have any role models for close, loving relationships. But I would see love in movies and felt in my heart that it had to exist for real. I started reading everything I could about healthy relationships and later received my Masters and PhD in clinical psychology. After receiving my PhD, I founded an institute that studied healthy couples and teased out what it was that made love last. In a way, having a difficult family life was good because it set me on a mission.
SK:How did the book itself come about?
Over the years, women would ask me, "Where's the book?" They wanted the strategies and guidance written down. I based Love in 90 Days on the questions they've asked me, so the book is really a reference guide for love. Women can do the whole program in 90 days or take pieces of it and work on it in their own times frames.
SK:You mention in the first chapter that women should treat looking for love the same way they would look for a job. Why do you think it's important for women to be proactive in their dating lives?
Women don't put enough emphasis on creating a great love relationship; they don't make it a priority or devote enough time to it when it is one of the most important decisions they will ever make. Who you choose as your partner will greatly influence you economically and whether you will have children or not. However, most women spend more time planning a vacation or shopping than they do planning their dating life. It's important to prioritize what's ultimately going to give you the most happiness. On their deathbeds, people always talk about the love they've had in their lives more than anything else.
SK:In these turbulent economic times, do you think it's now easier or harder to find someone to love?
It's definitely easier; there's so many people joining online dating sites. It's similar to what happened after 9/11. When there's stress, people look for comfort and realize that their priorities are screwed up. So the chances of finding love right now are better than ever.
SK:You talk a lot about "Deadly Dating Patterns" that women fall into. Out of all of them, is there one that seems more prevalent in the women you've treated and talked to over the years?
Definitely the Flame-Out. That's when you think that the guy you're currently seeing is different than all the others. You're thinking he's the most amazing person and saying the most romantic things you've ever heard. And, in your head, you've already jumped ahead and married him. And then he just disappears and you're alone, making excuses for why you never heard from him again.
SK:What can women do to counter-act this?
I recommend the Dating Program of Three, which I talk about in-depth in the book. Essentially, you date three men at a time (kissing and canoodling are okay but no sex) until you break out of your Deadly Dating Patterns. The good ones will hang in there.
SK:What does a woman hope to achieve after reading Love in 90 Days?
Any goal she wants. If you want to work on self-love, or meeting and attracting men, or finding a mate and having kids, they all start with making internal shifts in yourself. To find love you have to create self-love first. How can you give yourself the gift of a fantastic partner unless you feel like you deserve it?
SK:What's next for you after Love in 90 Days?
My PBS show, "Finding Your Own True Love" will air this March, so I will be going all over the country to do pledge drives. There will also be another book in the future.
SK:Any last thoughts?
When it comes to dating and finding love, I just want people to go for it. It's a numbers game - don't give up!For more info, visit lovein90days.com
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