Broken, shattered and a hot mess, I was 23 years old, living in a studio apartment on the other side of I-5, when I found myself at rock bottom. He was supposed to be the man of my dreams, Prince Charming, “The One.” Instead, he was a mirror that projected back to me my hidden fears, the not-so-pretty insecurities, and the deep-rooted daddy-issues. He was the reality check that I needed to discover that there was much work to be done—that I will never be in a healthy and happy relationship until I figure it out. Tired of living in a vicious cycle of self-sabotage, I left the blueprint to a “perfect life” with my ex and took with me an internal compass as I began a journey into the unknown toward the path of self-discovery.

Fast forward ten years later, I am sitting at a bar with my ex, as friends, as I talk to him about my new boyfriend—the man that I had been patiently waiting for since fairytales existed. Like all human beings, I wanted to be loved, adored and intimately connected—and more than that, I wanted a man who was also aware and willing to be just as vulnerable. I knew that I wanted a man with integrity, a curious human who is always down to try on different ways of being and a guy’s guy who is a little woo-woo.
Let’s be real, I was single for nearly ten years for good reason. However, I wasn’t sleeping nor was I stuck in a tower. I wasn’t hanging out with mice nor kickin’ it with dwarfs. I am no princess nor am I a mermaid. Nah, yo’ girl may have been waiting, but I didn’t just sit there with my nails done and hair did waiting for him to show up on a white horse or in a sports car. Hell no. I went to work on expanding my Self (with a capital S), creating a life that I love and transforming the world around me so that it works for everyone in it. I knew that he would show up, and when he did, it would be clear, as a Seattle summer sky, that he is The One. Why? Not because the stars aligned, but that we are aligned in all areas that are important.
When it comes to love and all relationships, there is no one size fits all. We are all unique people with our own baggage, insecurities, wants and desires, which is what makes dating and being in relationships messy and complicated. At the same time, this is what makes being in love fun and exciting. There are no rules that apply to everyone and every situation. There is no guide that can teach you how to make someone love you, nor is there a magic pill to heal a broken heart. I’m sorry…not sorry. If you haven’t learned by now, it ain’t easy. And content is decisive. As human beings, we get to choose our perspective. We get to make the rules. We get to be however we want to be in every moment. After hundreds of dates, many seminars and workshops and my fair share of heartbreaks, I can tell you that love, intimacy, and a connection is possible for everyone—if and when it’s something we choose.
Back in the day, you’d be able to spot me in pictures at all of the parties posted on SeaSpot (shout-out Jay). Now, I have an opportunity to contribute and make a difference in an area of life that I know is important to all of us regardless of our Facebook statuses, which is the area of love and relationships. I might not have had any success in swiping right. However, I met the love of my life where I knew I’d meet him—on the dance floor. While I am learning and will continue to learn, every single day about being in an intimate relationship, I have a whole lot to teach about being single. That, I can say, is my expertise.
 Ranny Kang