Tackle your unhealthy dating habits and increase your chances of finding romance

The food of LOVE

Tackle your unhealthy dating habits and increase your chances of finding romance

How’s your diet? Your love diet that is. With online dating and smart apps making it ever easier to find a date, ex editor-in-chief of Cosmo and author of new book Love Rules (Harper£18.99), Joanna Coles believes just as there’s junk food, there’s junk love.Fast, convenient, easily available and tantalisingly-packaged, junk love may be superficially tasty, but always leaves you hungering for more and ultimately, you know it’s not really good for you. Thesolution? ‘You must wade through the rows of cupcakes and potato chips to find the produce aisle, where those relationships grounded in intimacy and trust live – the ones worth your investment,’ says Coles.But it’s not enough to know what a healthy relationship should look like – you need to look inwards, too, she says. ‘It’s about finding yourself and cultivating yourself-worth. You need to apply to your lovelife the same focus you devote to losing weight or getting fit.’ Here’s a taste of Cole’s love rules to help you detox your dating habits and retrain your relationship appetite.

Tackle your unhealthy dating habits and increase your chances of finding romance Photo Gallery

RULE #1 Sort your metabolism

A good nutritionist will want to know your daily food habits. If you want a fulfilling relationship, you need to recognise your emotional patterns, too. ‘Write down every person you’ve hooked up with, spent hours obsessing over or cheated on,’ says Coles Then look for the patterns. Is there a narrative thread?’ Do you always fall for unattainable men? Do you stay in unfulfilling relationships? If so, why? Lookin depth at your past romantic connections.Once you understand your love cravings,you can begin to break free of them.RULE #2 Change your diet When you haven’t done it for a while,dating can be like exercise – the sofa seems much more appealing. ‘That’s partly because we make such a big deal out of it,’says Coles. Instead, make dating a regular feature in your week – schedule it in and stick to it. First, analyse when you’re at your best. If you like small talk and making others feel at ease, try blind dating. If that fills you with dread, plan an activity for your date to take the pressure off you having to‘perform’ socially. Mix things up ’till you find what works best for you – try two times a week, use different dating apps, write a profile based on a less shy version of you…

RULE #3 Eat natural sugars

A healthy relationship is nourishing and energizing, but we spend more time researching what type of car we should buy than we do on the people we’ll be intimate with. We’re used to reading food labels,but when it comes to potential partners,there’s one label you should avoid – narcissistic personality, believes Coles.While they may seem attractive initially,be wary of people with a grandiose sense of self-importance, those who are overly romantic or insistent on being physical before you’re ready – all are connected to narcissistic personalities and could leave a bitter aftertaste. Always trust your instinct.

RULE #4 Enjoy the feast

‘The “Mr Right” terminology makes me wince,’ says Coles. ‘It assumes there’s only one solution, but there isn’t.’ Don’t ignore opportunities that could develop into something worthwhile because you think there’s only one true love of your life, shesays. Like the slow-food movement, slowlove is an organic, healthy process. It Involves sexual attraction, romance and attachment, and the latter takes time. ‘Life Is a feast. So take your place at the table– and love someone who knows you’re special and loves you back,’ says Coles.


Each issue, we bring you the best advice from the latest self-help books

Breaking Mad, by Anna Williamson And Dr Reetta Newell(Bloomsbury, £8.99).

In a nutshell: TV presenter and counsellor Williamson joins forces with clinical psychologist Newell to bring you a friendly guide to overcoming anxiety, stress and anything else preventing you living your fullest life. It includes straightforward guidance for before an important meeting, to help you beat insomnia, social anxiety, panic attacks and more.

A nugget: Think about someone you admire and ‘borrow’ the trait you most respect. ‘Fake it, feel it,be it. It really works.’

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