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Been burned by a relationship? Try these holistic strategies to attract new love into your life.

In any conversation with a friend who’s just met The One, you’ll hear the word ‘soulmate’. Is there any such thing? According to Andrew Trees, author of Decoding Love, Revelations from the Science of Attraction (Hay House, www.hayhouse.com.au), the answer is no. However, the good news is that you can find a realistic perfect match – not a fairytale figure, but an honest-to-goodness life partner.

First things first

You! Until you love yourself, nobody else will love you. “Make a list of all your qualities, good and bad,” advises clinical psychologist Dori Wisniewski. “Until you know what you have to offer another person – and until you acknowledge and own both your positives and negatives – then you won’t be open to accepting an equal into your life.

“You say you want a partner who’s successful, rich, owns his or her own property, and has a great social life? Ask yourself whether that what you really want for yourself first. Becoming who we want to attract means that we are less needy for someone else to ‘fix’ us,” says Wisniewski. And be clear that finding a life partner won’t solve any other existing problems in your life. “Even ecstatic lottery winners, over time, are no happier than other people in general,” adds Trees.

“Before you embark on the dating game, speak to a close friend or counsellor for advice on who and what you want in your life, and why,” Wisniewski suggests. “Then list the qualities you want in a partner – hobbies, interests, and social and cultural background. Be specific – if you’re not, you’re never going to know what you’re looking for. That said, keep an open mind: just because you want someone who shares your passion for yoga, doesn’t mean that a keen surfer wouldn’t be a good match. What’s important is that you both have a passion for sports, and that’s a good thing.

The secret of success

“If you want a successful relationship, you need to be a ‘satisficer’, not a ‘maximizer’,” says Trees. “Maximisers are the tireless shoppers – they search every option, try every product, and are always looking for the very best. Satisficers, on the other hand, search until they find something that’s good enough, and then stop looking. That doesn’t mean settling for second-best, but it does mean giving up on an unrealistic, exhausting, and time-consuming search. When you find someone who makes you happy, stop looking at the next horizon - and get on with the relationship.”

Wisniewski agrees: “For some people, landing a partner is all they’ve thought about. They’ve given little thought to the continual effort marriage or a long-term relationship takes.” A Psychological Science study found that dating couples whose long-term dreams included marriage or similar commitment were more likely to stay together if they had the same goals. It also showed that believing a partner is there to help you grow into the person you aspire to be predicted higher relationship satisfaction for both dating and married couples.

Send out vibes

Rose quartz is known as ‘the love stone’ It works on the emotions, balancing and harmonising, and is the perfect stone for those who feel unloved, as its gentle calming influences help to heal emotional wounds and let go of jealousy and frustration. If you want to generate more love in your life, wear a heart-shaped rose quartz pendant over the middle of your chest to stimulate your heart chakra and send out your awakening and changing emotions. Plus, pleasure, reproductive cycles, sex drive, memory and emotions are all seated in the limbic system, which is directly associated with your olfactory system, so wear or burn rose ylang ylang, vanilla and patchouli.

Crazy in love?

* Research has shown that the areas of the brain affected by cocaine are the same ones that are activated when lovers were shown photographs of each other.

* Indian research has found that, for women, security and commitment in a mate is more important than looks. For men, however, beauty is the key attraction.

* What you, or somebody else, finds attractive is out of your control. According to a Nature study, humans have a “molecular switch” that flicks on when you see a potential mate, so your body is sending come-hither signals without you even knowing.

* Gentlemen really do prefer blondes. “They are likely to be unconsciously choosing them because their hair signals health and fecundity,” says Trees. And celebrate those curves! “The hourglass figure is an indicator of fertility,” says Trees. “This body shape has an enormous influence on whether or not men find a woman attractive.”

* Being (happily) married will help you sleep better, according to research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

* Feel like you’re dying from a broken heart? You’re actually not overreacting. A study found that being dumped stimulates brain regions associated with physical pain, like being burnt.