sychologist and bestselling author Diana Kirschner, Ph.D has helped thousands of singles and couples find their dream relationships. With over twenty-five years of professional and practical experience doing therapy and workshops for singles and writing relationship articles for women, she is thego-to psychologist for TV talk and reality shows.Her new book, LOVE IN 90 DAYS: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Love, provides a revolutionary approach to finding true love.
Dr. Diana is a frequent guest on The Today Show and has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, Nightline, and Access Hollywood. She has been interviewed on 1000+ radio shows, including NPR and is widely quoted in The New York Times, USA Today,Time Magazine, Cosmopolitan , and People magazines.
We are thrilled that Dr. Diana could answer a few questions for WOW! readers about creating a successful love life.
(Photo: PBS Special – “Finding Your Own True Love with Dr. Diana Kirschner” – on the set.)
WOW: Congratulations on your new book, LOVE IN 90 DAYS: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Love. What led you to develop the techniques outlined in your program?
Diana: When I was growing up, a peck on the cheek was the closest thing to love I ever saw happen between my parents, or for that matter any of my friends’ parents. My father and mother shared a lot of quiet and not-so-quiet resentment with sporadic raging fights that spilled over and terrified me. And my dad, a Sicilian immigrant who only valued boys, was not very interested in me, his fifth daughter. When I started dating it wasn’t pretty; I found myself caught in a web of Deadly Dating Patterns. I wanted the guys that didn’t want me, partied and tried too hard, settled for crumbs, got dumped in humiliating ways and hid out with pints and pints of Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream.
And yet I just knew in my gut that somewhere, somehow, someone had figured out how to take the right risks, how to be brave for the right reasons, how to create tender, real, lasting love. And I wanted to know that kind of intimacy. So starting in graduate school and beyond, I studied happy couples (hard to find, but I did) and apprenticed with Eastern and Western mentors, other psychologists, self-help gurus and sages, so I could find the lessons that would allow me to live in a state of love.
And finally I “got it!” I discovered the definite rules, strategies, and personal growth lessons that put people on the path to healing, that transform low self esteem, intimacy or abandonment issues into empowerment and in so doing, create the freedom to love and be loved. These principles were the beginnings of the Love in 90 Days Program. Thankfully I used them to get out of my deadly dating patterns and marry Sam, my rock, my love. I call him my partner-in-sublime.
I taught these powerful dating strategies to professionals at my clinic, the Institute for Comprehensive Family Therapy, and all over the world. After 25 years of helping thousands directly and through teaching other therapists, I learned how to help women find real, loving relationships in faster and faster ways. I even created a reality TV pilot, Love in 90 Days Boot Camp, which was an Official Selection of the 2006 New York TV Festival. Word of the work spread like wildfire and it was featured in The New York Post and WNBC Today in New York and many other media outlets. Emails poured in—messages from single women wanting the secrets of dating success, calling for me to write up the Love in 90 Days course book. And the result is LOVE IN 90 DAYS: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Love.
“The idea that love will ‘just happen’ is the biggest myth! In what other area of your life would you think that way?”
WOW: Many people would say that love will just happen, or that it comes when you’re not looking. But you believe that single women should make finding love a top priority. Could you talk about that?
Diana: The idea that love will “just happen” is the biggest myth! In what other area of your life would you think that way? Would you say, If I was meant to be fit it would just happen? If I was meant to learn French it would just happen? Dating and relationships are not any different. To be great at finding and creating a great and lasting love relationship you have to decide on your love intention or goal, learn the right dating skills and devote time and energy to creating the love you want.
WOW: Although I can guess your answer, is it really possible to find love in just 90 days? That doesn’t sound like much time!
Diana: You can break out of your dead-end dating patterns, make huge gains in self-love, date higher quality men and depending on where you start, find the One—in just three months, using the methods in Love in 90 Days! I’ve seen it time and time again.
In January 2009, Fox's Morning Show with Mike and Juliet issued an official challenge: Could I really help someone to find love in just 90 days? True, lasting love? Over 13 consecutive weeks Fox viewers watched and ratings hit an all-time high, as I helped 37 year old Amelia go from zero dates to having 12 great prospects to a dramatic finale where a beaming Amelia found the One.
Another example is one of my students, Dawn, a woman in her forties, who had a long history of dating alcoholic heartbreakers. Dawn worked the Love in 90 Days program and in the third month met the One she eventually married. He is a devoted guy who is a healing force of nature in her life.
And the August Woman’s World magazine just did a feature story about a fifty-something woman who simply sat through a taping of my PBS show, which is based on Love in 90 Days—she got happily married to the love of her life, within three months of the taping.
“The Dating Program of Three protects you from becoming infatuated and falling too fast and too hard for the wrong guy.”
WOW: Those are some inspiring stories! One of the key parts of your system is the Dating Program of Three, where you date three guys at a time. Why does the Dating Program of Three work?
Diana: This is a revolutionary dating program that works wonders! You date three guys at the same time, and no sex with any of them (kissing and canoodling are OK!). The Dating Program of Three protects you from becoming infatuated and falling too fast and too hard for the wrong guy. It forces you to consider the ones who are not your usual type (love almost always comes in a surprise package). Last, but not least, it empowers you, as you learn to come from abundance and find lots of great guys who are very interested in you. Your self-esteem goes through the roof!
“Advanced courses are great for meeting men. Just Google an activity you would enjoy that will interest men plus the name of your town.”
WOW: So how does a single woman go about finding three prospects? What are the best ways to meet guys?
Diana: Most women say they can’t even find one good guy to date. But I have helped thousands of women find many great guys. To maximize your numbers, become a paid subscriber on two online dating sites: one of the larger well-publicized sites, and a boutique or specialized site that caters to your interests, or religious or ethnic background. In the book I talk about ways to optimize your profile so that men see you first when they search—which means you will have a lot more men connecting with you. Using these techniques, my Love in 90 Days students have had as many as 200 guys to choose from. They have met music stars, writers, and millionaires online.
You also attend classes and activities with lots of men in them—co-ed sports events, dancing and hiking are excellent—also wine-tasting, sports, business or leadership courses or happenings. Advanced courses are great for meeting men. Just Google an activity you would enjoy that will interest men plus the name of your town. Mastering how to attract and date the great guys is like learning how to swim—you have to learn the secrets of success and I go over that in detail in Love in 90 Days.
WOW: What would you say to someone who is wary of trying online dating sites?
Diana: Here are two myths and realities about online dating:
Myth #1: Dating online is always an unpleasant experience and is only for losers.
The latest independent research (2006) from the Pew Foundation’s Internet & American Life Project shows that most online daters reported mostly positive experiences, while only 29% said they were mostly negative.
My students have met and dated doctors, successful artists, and guys worth millions of dollars online! Recent studies estimate that 23 million people have used online dating, including more than five million people over 55. Fifteen percent of American adults, about 30 million, say they know someone who has been in a committed relationship or married the person he/she met online.
Myth #2: Everyone Online Lies
Yes, some people misrepresent themselves online. They may turn out to be married or look nothing like their photo. A study done by researchers at University of Chicago and MIT showed that about 20% of men lie about at least one of the following: income, profession, age, marital state or weight. But although some exaggerations are typical—that’s still means that 80% of the guys are not lying!
WOW: You’ve got some secrets for online dating success. Can you share a few?
Diana: You’ll need to generate a lot of matches and expect to go through a large number of guys. This is a numbers game so sort through the men quickly, with minimal emotional reactivity in order to meet the good prospects. The key is to lower your expectations because many of the men will simply disappear, as they are also sorting quickly. One critical piece of advice that will set your mindset to prevent burn-out is: EXPECT NOTHING. Then when the good ones come along and stick around you will be pleasantly surprised. And the good ones will come to you! There are a lot more secrets in Love in 90 Days, which will help you rapidly find success in online dating—too many to go into here.
“The latest independent research (2006) from the Pew Foundation’s Internet & American Life Project shows that most online daters reported mostly positive experiences, while only 29% said they were mostly negative.”
WOW: What are some of the better dating sites in your opinion? Any favorites?
Diana: I like eHarmony, Match and JDate.
WOW: Let's move on to the actual dating process. Are there certain mistakes that women tend to make?
Diana: They don’t identify and break their Deadly Dating Patterns, the self-sabotaging habits that ruin your love life: longing for the hotties that are just not into you; being too picky; acting like a hermit—are three very common ones. If you ever feel like you are stuck in dating, chances are you are playing out one or more of the 13 Deadly Dating Patterns in Chapter Two. Women have told me that this one chapter is mandatory reading for a single woman!
“Focus on your Diamond Self name before a date or party and you will be far less shy and more charismatic and attractive to the great guys.”
WOW: I like your concept of the “diamond self.” Could you explain what that is for our readers?
Diana: Think Queen Latifah, aka Dana Owens. She found a whole new empowered and lovable identity and has been living her life full out based on that chosen identity. I call this process developing your “Diamond Self.” Remember a time you felt connected, lovable, fantastic…hold onto that memory in your mind. Give that self a name—like “Saucy Vixen” or “Amazing Grace”—this is your Diamond Self! Focus on your Diamond Self name before a date or party and you will be far less shy and more charismatic and attractive to the great guys.
WOW: Thank you, Diana, for taking time to chat with us today, it’s been fun. Do you have any parting words of advice to share with our readers?
Diana: No matter what dating “issues” have been challenging you—whether you think you are too fat, too old, too burnt-out, have too many children, or need to get preggers a.s.a.p.—you can still find true lasting love. You just have to learn the step-by-step process that takes you out of your negative thinking, into dating success and the love you really want. I have laid out the whole process for you in Love in 90 Days. You can make great progress in three short months or just work the principles at your own pace. As you move along, please email me at www.lovein90days.com I am excited to hear about your new dating adventures!
For more from Diana Kirschner, PhD, visit her website and sign up for Diana’s free dating etips. Below is a video compilation of Dr. Diana’s appearances on various TV shows: The Today Show, Fox Morning Show, PBS, Montel, and The Simple Life.
MARCIA PETERSON is a columnist for WOW! Women on Writing and Premium-Green (The Women's Guide to Freelance Writing and Markets). She is the editor of WOW’s blog, The Muffin. Marcia lives in Northern California with her husband and two children.