“You, who for the first time are taking up arms beneath the standard of Venus, find out, in the first place, the woman you are to love.”
Ovid, in his two-thousand-year-old dating guide ‘The Art of Love,’ lays out his plan in three stages: (1) find your woman, (2) “bend her to your will,” (3) do what you need to do to make your love endure.
We shall talk about all these stages in due course, but in passing I’d like to say that we often neglect the third. Once you’ve made a conquest, don’t slack off. You need to keep the flame alive. Don’t start being a typical bloke and fart and belch in her company (sorry, but it needed to be said). Don’t neglect oral hygiene if you still want deep kisses and more. Don’t stop the behaviours that she found attractive and exciting in the beginning. Especially when married, tend the fire.
Back to the matter in hand.
Ovid goes on, “Now that you are still fancy-free, now is the time for you to choose a woman and say to her: ‘You are the only woman that I care for.’ She’s not going to be wafted down to you from heaven on the wings of the wind. You must use your own eyes to discover the girl that suits you.”
I definitely don’t agree that you should go up to a woman and straightaway say, ‘You are the only woman that I care for.’ She’ll run a mile unless already desperately in love with you, and that you cannot count on. You have to work on attraction – a process explained in my own book. One important principle of attraction is, let her come to you. Paradoxical. For now let’s just say, never appear desperate. But Ovid is right that your soulmate is not going simply to turn up and ring your doorbell.
Ovid goes on, “The hunter knows where to spread his nets… .” This should be part of your strategy. You need to think about where the woman of your dreams is likely to hang out. If you’re a wild party animal, don’t look for her in the library. And if you hate parties and prefer intelligent conversation, don’t torment yourself by going somewhere where the music is so loud you end up deaf. Your soulmate won’t be there anyway. However you do have to go out looking. And wherever you go, you need to keep practicing the arts of attraction until your babe magnetism is fully charged and under your control.