At the start of the decade, I was a corporate lawyer, feeling stuck in a legal career that wasn’t right for me. I was so desperate to find my next career move that I went so far as to take a written survey of all my co-workers to see what they thought I should do with my life.  

Romantically speaking, all I wanted was to find my forever partner. I was in a new relationship, and I was crazy about him, but we weren’t at the stage of planning a future together. I hoped we’d get there, but then he dumped me. I was completely blindsided and heartbroken. 

Around this same time, I very unexpectedly was cast on the reality TV show Survivor – where I was promptly dumped by my tribe mates! I was the first person voted off of Survivor: Redemption Island, in very dramatic fashion. 

After Survivor, I went back home to the same legal job, where I spent the next two years licking my wounds and nursing a broken heart.

Then, in 2012, another very unexpected thing happened. I was asked back for a second season of Survivor. I told myself, It can’t be any worse than the first time! Well, it wasn’t, but the outcome was the same – I was the first person voted out of my tribe.

I returned home a second time, single, and to the same job. But this time, I wasn’t willing to spend another two years licking my wounds. I became determined to figure out my love life and my career. 

I got into a new relationship, and this time we were planning for a future – but there were some hiccups, namely his decision to relocate to Haiti for work for the foreseeable future. I had no desire to move to Haiti, but I did have a desire to finally have a committed partnership!

I was so absorbed in trying to make my relationship work that I didn’t make much forward progress on the career front. But a shift was starting to happen, because I became aware of a matchmaker and love coach named Paul C. Brunson. I didn’t know it at the time, but following Paul online was planting the seeds of my future career. 

A series of events unfolded that led me to the decision to start my own matchmaking business. As I embarked on my new career, invigorated by the prospect of building a career doing something so meaningful, my boyfriend dumped me.

So now I was not only starting a new career in the love industry, but I was also single. Again. 

Part of me truly felt like I had done everything “right,” and that this whole love thing wasn’t going to happen. Maybe it was that feeling that motivated me to work so hard to find love for others.

Being a professional matchmaker taught me so much about the ways we unconsciously self-sabotage true intimacy and connection. The focus in matchmaking is on finding the “perfect” person. But it became obvious to me that meeting a million “perfect” matches won’t help if you don’t have the love mindset to support a healthy, committed relationship. 

Inspired, I started taking a deep dive into my own love mindset. I uncovered all sorts of limiting and self-sabotaging beliefs about love and about myself. Suddenly, the dating pattern that had caused me so much pain made sense. It wasn’t about me being not desirable enough, “too much to handle,” or being unlucky, or being too old, or all the many self-loathing stories I’d told myself. 

Soon after I began having these insights, I pivoted my business from matchmaking to coaching. As a love coach, I now help people become their own matchmakers! The skills that turn you into your own matchmaker are the same skills that you need to have a healthy, lasting relationship, so for me, coaching is by far the most powerful “love finding” tool there is.

I can’t say that my entire love mindset changed overnight, but the kinds of men I was attracted to began to change. Attracting men to me became easier than ever, even as I was approaching 40 and the supposed decline of my desirability.

I still dated some men and hung on to a few “situationships” longer than I should have. However, the more clients I helped find their own truths, the more I was able to uncover my own. 

I also hired my own coaches – five in total – who helped me both personally and professionally. More and more of my clients were finding love with great partners. I developed the perspective to understand that my own love challenges were actually an important part of my journey. I wouldn’t be able to help my clients and have the impact I now have without knowing firsthand what it was like to struggle romantically. 

Finally, about two years ago, it all clicked, and I knew immediately that I was soon to meet my forever partner. Within a few weeks, I did just that. We met while walking down Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles – yes, really! He and I have been together since our first date. And yes, we are 100 percent planning our forever together. 

I marvel at how much my life has changed in the last ten years. I’ve experienced heartbreak and public humiliation, become an entrepreneur, and met the love of my life.

I couldn’t be more excited for 2020 and the possibilities awaiting all of us!

Francesca Hogi is a love and life coach for extraordinary people and the host of the podcast Dear Franny. She’s based in Los Angeles and works with clients across the country and abroad.

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