Archive for October, 2009


Take the Menu Challenge!

Friday, October 16th, 2009

When I was single, I started to worry that I was becoming so set in my ways—what I liked to eat, what time I liked going to bed—I’d have a hard time finding a person to fit into them. After all, the older we get, the more we like things the way we like ’em.

Try something new to show you're open to new

Try something new to show you're open to new

This is natural and healthy, it’s called figuring out who you are. But there is something to the idea that if you keep doing exactly the same thing every single day, you may have a hard time seeing the possibility of a new life with someone else. So here’s an OPTIMISM ASSIGNMENT for you: Order something different off the menu at the place you go to all the time.

I know, I know, you love the chopped salad with the goat cheese. And me, I have the hardest time not ordering the shredded beef Szechuan at my Chinese place. But the thing is, ordering the same thing all the time at the same place is a sign that you may be falling into all sorts of predictable patterns in your life. The same walk home. The same drink out. The same shows on TiVo. But love, as we know, is not predictable. So today, practice doing something unpredictable as a symbol that you are open to new things! To new people, to new dates, to new interests, to a new life with a new partner who’ll make you smile every single morning you wake up—no matter what time you went to bed. Take the menu challenge and see it as a step toward opening up even more for the great relationship you’re meant to have.

You might also like:
The Coffee Test
The Freakin’ Fun Dating List

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

Be Happy That…

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

My single friend Sarah called me last night in one of those bummed out moods because her whole search for love seemed like a pointless, hopeless, exhausting effort. Not to mention, the overtime at work was killing her and her bathroom just flooded. “Can something in my life please go right for a minute?” she asked.

(Clarkson Potter Publishers)

(Clarkson Potter Publishers)

We addressed the real stuff, how she probably needed to take a rest from dating while she found a place of calm and happiness in herself—and sorted out that bathroom. But on a lighter note, if you’re ever feeling like this, sometimes it helps to remember some of the more unlikely or even absurd reasons to be grateful. Enter a book about upbeat, offbeat reasons to smile: Be Happy That…This Book Isn’t Covered in Poison, Plus 100 Other Reasons to CHEER UP. Some of those other 100 reasons:


“I met this guy at a work event and we flirted the whole night. When a few of us went to dinner, he sat next to me and over the course of the night, he said he wanted to come to my side of town, go out, and even have a “Guacamole-off” at my house. I gave him my number, but all I’ve gotten this week is a Facebook “Friend” add. Help! What would you suggest?” —Caroline

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Hey Caroline,

Thanks for the question! But, see, this is where social media confuses things. If all you had was a phone and he didn’t call it, you’d have your answer: He’s not interested enough to follow up. But in the world of “Friending” and cold messaging it can get complicated.

Here’s my thing: I’m a believer that when men want to take you out, they ask you out—the He’s Just Not That Into You theory. If this guy really wants to have that Guacamole-off, he should call or email or text and ask you. He’s the one who brought it up, so he should be the one doing the work!

If, however, you’re more the, “Oh, what the hell, I’m a modern woman and I’d rather find out once and for all” type, here’s what I’d suggest: If you Facebook message him, provide a direct invite—and I mean a direct invite. Don’t just say, “You should come to Los Feliz sometime,” which still leaves things hanging. Instead, say something like, “What are you up to next Tuesday?” and have some idea for something to do—just the two of you—like a specific sushi happy hour or, of course, that guacamole-off. Then he’ll either accept or he’ll decline and you’ll know if he’s either into you or if he’s not. You either stay or you go. You either chop some avocados or you don’t.

What you don’t want is for the two of you to randomly reference maybe hanging out some day for the next four months and it just fizzling into nothing. Why? Because all the little things you do along the way to a date add up to something big. Every text you send, every Facebook posting you reply to, every date you jump at, these are all creating an impression of you as a whole. And letting a guy drag out the social media communication for days or weeks or months is only creating the impression of you that you can be dragged along. Don’t let him do that! So make your decision and make it fast. Either you ask him out or you lose his number and see if he comes to his senses.

The news might not be good after you strike the gavel with your decision, but at least you will know either way if this is going to happen right now. And once you know, you can either give him a shot at your heart, or keep it wide open for someone else who can better appreciate it!

What do you guys think? Should she Facebook message him? Ask him out? Ignore him?


3 Tricks to Flip Your Frustration!

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

A construction project has been going on next to our house for over two years, which is a long time to wake up to hammers and sandblasters. And for much of the time they’ve been renovating the small apartment units next door, I’ve been frustrated by it.

There is always a brighter side, a better view

There is always a brighter side, a better view

You know, just as I get my cup of tea to the front porch with a good book to read, the crane pulls up to—beep beep beep—back in and dig more dirt from the front yard. But since this construction project wasn’t going anywhere, I had a choice to make like we all do every day: I could tense up and hate my days, or I could find a way to love it. My version of, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

It all reminds me of how I felt when I was dating. How, you know, you can either be depressed and frustrated about being single, grumbling over every bad date and cursing every undependable person…or, you can flip your frustration and decide to find the good in it. Here are three ways to do just that:

1. Make a game out of the unknownI started to


Want to Be Where You’re Not? Learn from American Movie

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Picture 3I finally saw American Movie for the first time. I know, I know, I’m ten years behind on the Chris Smith documentary about amateur Wisconsin filmmaker Mark Borchardt, who is determined to make his first feature-length horror film, Northwestern. Yet as passionate about it as he was, and as knowledgeable and well-spoken about the filmmaking process, Mark kept hitting a wall to success: his stars and extras kept backing out, his bills piling up, and his hopes kept getting dashed again and again.

At one point, his girlfriend Joan said this of his quest for fame and fortune:

He wants to be somewhere where he’s not. But then, don’t most people want to be somewhere where they’re not?

I found what she said so simple, yet so important. Sometimes,