Posts Tagged ‘optimism’

 

Is Your Date Into You? 6 Signs They Are

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Another post for the singles here.

Right now, I have quite a few friends firing up their Tinder apps and flirting on OK Cupid and meeting up for quickie cocktails, all in the name of love. And one of the main things they always walk away wondering after almost every date is: Does my date feels the same way about me that I feel about them?

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Dance Party. Image by Amy Spencer

Even if your date has been smiling up a storm or raptly listening to your opinion on the next season of True Detective, he or she could just be acting interested and secretly hoping the evening will end soon. But that’s not to say you need to be in the dark about your date’s true feelings. It turns out there are many signals your date may send that give away what’s really going on—and could mean there’s a real connection and raging chemistry between you two.

So…do you want to know if your date is into you? I pulled together a few signs for the dating site Chemistry.com and wanted to share them with you now. Do any of these seem familiar?

SIGN #1: Your date says your name more than usual. Maybe your date says your first and last name, like, “So, Michael Malone, you up for a night cap after dinner?” Or maybe your date says just your first name three times, like “Jenna, Jenna, Jenna.” Either way, it can be a sign that your date feels so much chemistry, he or she can’t help but connect with your closest possession: your name. But only if your name is said in an enthusiastic way—not in a flat tone like the person behind the counter at the DMV. “Saying someone’s name is like a sign that you’re testing the magic you’re feeling, because you almost can’t believe they’re real,” says body language expert Patti Wood. “It also subconsciously elicits immediate focus from the person whose name is said,” says Wood, which is more proof of the chemistry: If someone is into you, he or she wants your full attention.

It’s an unconscious bit of body language that shows the person is searching for more info about you.

SIGN #2: Your date squints at you. If you watch reality dating shows like The Bachelorette, when one party harbors a crush on the other, they’ll give each other a cute little squint, usually followed by a smile. (Hello, Andi, we’re lookin’ at you!) What gives? It’s an unconscious bit of body language that shows the person is searching for more info about you. “Squinting is typically a gesture of searching deeper into something or testing it,” says Wood. “The same way you’d squint at a diamond to see if it’s real, squinting shows you’re focusing harder to be sure it’s not just a mirage.” And that, she says, is a great sign. That coy little spy tactic shows that your date likes you so much, he or she is looking more closely to see if you could possibly be as great as you seem. (Obviously you are.)

SIGN #3: Your date asks the “why” and “how” questions. During dinner conversation, any polite date will ask you factual things about your family like, “So, do you have brothers and sisters?” But that’s not necessarily a sign they feel chemistry with you. It is a sign of chemistry, however, if they delve deeper and ask more probing questions. As in, “So, how did you get interested in accounting, anyway?” And “Why did you decide to move all the way across the country?” That’s one of the ways New York City dater Jennifer first noticed that she and her date were clicking. “He asked questions about my family — not just the same old questions, but things like, ‘What are your parents like?’ People on first dates don’t really ask these kinds of questions unless they have some intention of meeting them some day.” These challenging questions are a strong sign that the person you’re with is seriously interested in you and not just making polite chit-chat. And in Jennifer’s case? They’re married with a little girl now, so those signs sure were pointed in the right direction.

SIGN #4: Your date gets quiet midway through your time together. Rather than taking your date’s silence as a sign your he or she has lost interest, it could actually be the opposite: Your date may be feeling such a pull toward you that he or she is lost in thought about it. “Sometimes, a person feels such a strong attraction that instead of nodding and following the conversation, he or she is just contemplating you,” says Wood. So the next time your date seems to have missed the whole end of your story, don’t cast the person off too quickly. If you really can’t be sure whether the distraction is a bonus or a sign of boredom, go ahead and ask. “Say to your date, ‘Hey, where’d ya go?’” suggests Sharyn Wolf, CSW, a psychotherapist in New York City and author of Guerilla Dating. “If the person says, ‘What are you talking about?’ or acts defensive about paying attention, that’s not a good sign. But if you get a grin back and a, ‘Sorry, I guess I got distracted,’ that can be a great sign. It shows this new companion may have been imagining a future outing — or just a future — with you!”

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Good off. Image by Amy Spencer

SIGN #5: You hear “you’re” a lot. If your date says to you, “You’re awesome” or “You’re so funny” or “You’re a trip!” or “You’re something else…” then you’re very lucky! Personalizing your admiration or approval of a date means a lot; it’s a strong sign of attraction, while statements like, “That’s awesome” or “That’s funny” don’t mean as much. Using the word you means that the person feels chemistry with you, versus just grooving on your story-telling skills.

SIGN #6: Your date gives you a token of the evening. If your date gives you something you can hold onto and look at later, chances are he or she is feeling chemistry. Jennifer’s date once picked up a pack of matches from the restaurant they were in and said, “Here, for you.” He didn’t say, “Something to remember me by” or “So we’ll always remember this night,” but that, in fact, was the underlying message. It’s a sign that your date wants you to have something to remember him or her by… because clearly this person will be remembering your date as a great one.

Amy Spencer is the author of Meeting Your Half-Orange: An Utterly Upbeat Guide to Dating Optimism to Find Your Perfect Match, which Harper’s Bazaar magazine called “the ultimate pep talk.” And fitness coach Jillian Michaels of The Biggest Loser said, “If you’re single, drop everything and read this book. It will completely change dating for you as you know it.”

Join My Happiness Challenge!

Monday, January 27th, 2014

I have started something called The Happiness Challenge with Glamour.comAnd today the challenge hit Week 4.

Here’s how it works: I have created a total of 5 Challenges. Each challenge is built around the idea that if you embrace all the best aspects of yourself and your life in a balanced way. The hope is, by the time you complete all 5 challenges—you will end up feeling stronger, more loving, more confident, more fulfilled and happier all-around.

If you’re just starting today and want to take the challenge on. Do it! Show life you mean business. And nothing makes me happier than hearing you’ve been inspired to live a better life. Here are the challenges so far:

Challenge #1: Bravery

Challenge #2: Self-worth

Challenge #3: Independence

Today’s Challenge #4: Generosity

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Next week is the final challenge—and the sweetest and the easiest of all.

It’s not too late to join in, because there’s no such thing as being too late for happiness. Every single day, it’s up to us if we want to embrace a happy, fulfilled life in the small moments we face, minute after minute, hour after hour.

This is your year, remember. So take the steps to show life you mean it.

#happinesschallenge #gethappy

—Amy

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P.S. If you’re enjoying this positive, proactive approach to life, order your copy of The Happy Life Checklist so you can keep the challenge going all year long.

Because the way I see it, life isn’t just about the big goals ahead of you, it’s also about the small, beautiful things you can stop and savor right now. And those happy moments are all around you.

Remember: Happiness comes in the seconds and minutes of life, as well as in the years. So keep on living, loving and celebrating the small things that make life worth it.

Happy Life Trick: Pick a New Year’s Theme Word

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Successful companies know a little something about branding. They decide how they want us to view their company, and they run with it. Looking to “save money” on your car insurance? You think Geico. Looking to “think different” about your technology? You might pick Apple. A company can’t be considered a master in comfort, price and innovation. It’s better to pick one element and aim right for it.

Beauty? Peace? Gratitude? Choose a word or phrase for the year that speaks to how you want to live. (Image: Ken Spencer, Hummingbird)

Beauty? Peace? Gratitude? Choose a word or phrase for the year that speaks to how you want to live. (Image: Ken Spencer, Hummingbird)

And the same goes with branding our own lives. To achieve our dreams, we have to know how we want to live, in order to make the choices that get us there.

That’s why, a few years ago, I started giving my life a theme word. One year it was “Authenticity” and another was all about “Passion.” This past year was about “Freedom and Abundance.” So for me this past year, I ran every opportunity past my theme to see if the choice was right for me. Hmm, some extra paying work that also fed my curiosity about a topic I wanted to research? That was an abundant yes.

For 2014, I’m playing around with the ideas of “Fortify” and “Family,” and I want to give you a chance to think about whatyou want from your next year, too.

Try this: Instead of making New Year’s resolutions about little goals in your health or habits, think bigger: Think about how you want to feel in your body, among your friends, as you walk through the world. The come up with an adjective or phrase that best describes that feeling. To make it easy, picture this: You run into an old friend on the street and talk for a bit. Then, she suddenly stops and says, “It’s funny. But looking at you, I see such ______________.” What do you want her to see? What feeling do you want oozing out of your pores? Strength? Contentment? Joy?

Here are some other ideas to get you thinking:

 Brave/Bravery. Perhaps you want to feel more bold with your work choices, your travels, your heart.

• Persistence. One of my friends has said she’s through being told “Maybe” by potential clients, and she’s determined to make her company a success by trying again and again and again until she makes it. And when she’s walked out of another maybe meeting, she’ll think, ‘Persistence, baby,” and throw her shoulders back and schedule another one.

• Love & Tenderness. Maybe you’ve been a bulldog go-getter all year, and you could use a reminder to soften up and make more loving choices in the months ahead.

 Light/Lightness. If this year has been particularly grave and serious, maybe your new year could be about lifting the weights, breathing, letting loose, and letting go.

Take your time. Think about how you want to feel strolling down the sidewalk of life this next year. Go deep. Brand your heart’s choices. And aim for a truly new year.

Big love,

Amy

If you want to receive inspiring posts like this, sign up for my happy email Vitamin Optimism at amyspencer.com.

Dating Decisions: Should You Settle in Love?

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

I don’t know if you watched the new show Nashville last night, but being a Connie Britton fan, I had the show’s debut date saved on my iCal. Luckily, I loved it! And one part of the show made me think of the struggle we sometimes have in love. But before I tell you which one, I must say…

Connie Britton as Rayna James in "Nashville" (Image: ABC.com)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t yet seen the Nashville premiere and want to, watch it before reading this post!

The big question on the show was how veteran country star Rayna (Connie Britton) would handle her poor concert sales. She could either A) agree to “co-headline” and open for the former teen mean sensation Juliette (Hayden Panetierre), or B) she’d be on her own, as her record company would no longer promote her album. In other words, should she settle for sharing the stage with someone she didn’t believe in or try to make it on her own?

As Rayna told the record company executive: “You can kiss my decision as it’s walking out the door.” And that’s how I think we should handle those same cheap decisions in love.

When I think back to my dating days, I come across all kinds of dating “deals” I nearly or actually did settle for:

• I either A) only got to see the guy I liked if I met him at some bar after midnight or B) I’d be on my own to find someone who wanted to see me for breakfast, lunch and dinner, too.

• I either A) hung around with a guy I liked who only saw me as a friend or B) I’d be on my own to find someone who wanted a romantic relationship like I did.

• I either A) stayed in a relationship with someone I wasn’t my best self with or B) I’d be on my own to find someone I could shine with.

On paper (or, hey, on computer) these seem like easy choices! But we all know that in love, it’s hard to choose the tougher path. It can be lonely and sometimes scary to be on your own, unsure of what’s to come.

But like Rayna showed last night, it’s really the only way. If you believe in yourself and want the happy, fulfilling life you deserve, then you must choose the path that takes you there. It may be the tougher path. It may be the scarier one. But it’s the only choice you can make if you want your happy ending.

The foundation of dating optimism is that you believe you can have a great love on this earth. So the next time your date or hookup or friends-with-benefits or partner is making you feel “less than” the greatest catch on earth? Tell them they can kiss your decision as it’s walking out the door, too.

Big love,

Amy

You might also like:

 

A Positive Rant: You Are a Catch, You Know

 

 

 

“Q&A: Should I settle for a nice guy I don’t really like?”

9 Ways to Like Yourself More

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

People say you have to love yourself, right? But sometimes, life with ourselves is a little like dating: Not only are we not feelin’ the love, we don’t even like ourselves. Well, here are ten ideas that can help set off that spark and get you crushing on the best person in the room: you.

Get out there and celebrate what you love about you! (Image: Amy Spencer)

To help you start liking yourself a little more…

1. Show off your best feature. Yep, we’re good at groaning about the worst ones, but what’s the best? Your calves? Your eyebrows? Your hips? Your hair? Whatever you know you’ve got going on, show it the heck off.

2. Decide what battle you would win. I wouldn’t win Jeopardy. Or a marathon. But put me head to head in a who-can-eat-the-most-popcorn battle, and I’ll win. Me and popcorn, we’re a sure thing! Now, I don’t think anyone’s hosting this competition, but I like to picture my trophy in it anyway. Do the same thing. What battle would you win? Smoothest moonwalk? Loudest laugh? Best scrambled eggs? Who-can-lip-sync-to-every-song-on-Men-at-Work’s-Business-as-Usual album? Put your imaginary trophy on your imaginary mantle and shine it up every now and then.

3. Talk back to yourself like a crazy person. By which I mean, have an out loud conversation with yourself about what you don’t like about yourself and why those reasons are ridiculous. If you get down on yourself thinking, “I hate myself for my extra twenty pounds,” that reason might rear itself every time you get dressed. But hearing yourself say that out loud, you can hear why it’s a stupid reason not to like yourself. So tell yourself that out loud. “Self, you are awesome and people like you.” Talk yourself out of your own nonsense. It’s the most non-crazy thing you can do.

4. Give yourself a fair mirror glance. Mirrors are funny things. Yes, they reflect an image of you in that moment, in that light, from that angle. But they’re not a true reflection of what everyone else in life sees when they see you. So give yourself the benefit of seeing yourself the way others do—usually just a quick glance on the sidewalk or sitting a couple of feet away over coffee. I mean, think about it: Those moments you lean into the mirror to analyze your wrinkles or pluck gray hairs from an inch away…who do you see during the day who looks at you that closely? No one. Not even a spouse or partner looks at you as closely as you look at yourself! (Well, my cat Guinness does, but she’s just hoping a piece of tuna drops on my forehead, so that doesn’t count.) So give yourself a realistic reflection in the next mirror you pass: Walk up to it, smile your truest smile for two or three seconds, then turn and go. There. Didn’t you look nice? Admit it: You’d like you. You’re just the kind of person you’d want to run into a sunny afternoon.

5. Have one good hair day. One day, wake up early and really do your hair. If your hair is hopeless in your own hands, pay to get a blow-out for a day for fun. Or, get your hair cut into a style that will give you more good hair days more often. For whatever reason, we are undeniably happier with ourselves when our hair looks good. Give yourself a great hair day and get back in touch with those “Hey, I like me!” feelings.

6. Do something that will make you proud of yourself. My husband and I spend most nights before we go to sleep reading side-by-side in bed. Recently, he’s been picking up the classics like Old Man and the SeaThe Great Gatsby, and Huckleberry Finn, so I’ve been reading them again, too. And you know what? I feel like a million bucks every time I finish one. There’s something about closing the back cover of a book that’s stood the test of time for five decades (and still holds up!) that makes me swell up inside with pride. Mostly because it balances out the time I spend scrolling through Facebook and watching episodes of Bait Car or The Dog Whisperer as if life didn’t have more to offer than this. In between the silly stuff, do something that will make you feel proud of yourself and accomplished. Sew on a button. Paint your bedroom. Plant some rosemary. Learn two chords on the guitar. Give yourself an easy reason to like yourself today.

7. See how your “flaws” can be your strengths. Often, we don’t like some aspect of our personality because we think it’s holding us back. But maybe, in reality, this aspect can also move us forward. If you don’t like that you’re quiet or shy, remember that you’re probably listening and taking in more than the talkers are, and that can be an even more valuable position than someone yapping away. Like your “flaws” for the awesome stuff they can actually give you.

8. Make a list of what you’re good at. And that list can include anything. I’m not talking about skills you get paid for, I’m talking about kitchen accomplishments and party tricks. You know what’s on my list? I’m a superfast reader. I make a delicious gumbo. I can eat a small Dominoes pizza all by myself. I can do a lot of sit-ups. (Mind you, I can’t do a single “boy” push-up, but sit-ups? I’m your girl.) And let’s not forget this one: I can find the positive in absolutely anything. Make this list for yourself. Number a page from one to twenty—heck, from one to fifty, and then start filling it in. Then, look at that list! It’s a reminder that your life isn’t for nothing. You’ve been learning something every single day and you’ve become good at a lot of things—both physically and emotionally—that you should be darn proud of. Just remind yourself.

9. See yourself through your loved ones eyes. Think about the person who loves you more than anyone. Maybe that’s your mom or dad or sibling. Maybe it’s your dog or cat. Maybe it’s your best friend you text with two dozen times daily. Well, for one minute, see yourself the way they do. What do they love about you most? You should be liking yourself for that very same reason.

Those are just nine ways I thought of to start with. Have any of them worked for you? And what else works? Do you have any tricks or mantras or moments when you fall “in like” with yourself all over again? What makes you like you?

Before anyone else can like you—in work, in friendships, in love—you must like you. You have to think you’re the bomb-diggity, good, kind, awesome, proud owner of yourself. Hopefully, some of these ideas will nudge you back there when you need it.

You might also like:
10 Ways to Get to the Heart of People

 

Big love,