Archive for November, 2009


Retrieve Your “Lost” Optimism!

Friday, November 27th, 2009

You Lost fans will love this one. I’m only now catching up on the past few seasons in crazy marathon-mode. And the last episode I watched—Season 3, Episode 10, featuring Cheech of “…and Chong”—was about Hurly as a young boy (when he was called Hugo). Hurley had flashed back to a time his father and he were fixing a car—but before they had, Cheech put his son in the car, gave him the keys and told him to try turning it on.

Cheech Marin is big on high hope

Cheech Marin is big on high hope

Little Hugo knew the car couldn’t start. “It’s stupid,” he said. “Without a new carburetor, it’s not gonna work.” This is what Cheech said:

“Having hope is never stupid. You gotta believe good things will happen, and then they will. Understand what I’m saying? In this world, son, you gotta make your own luck. Alright?”

Unfortunately for little Hugo in the show, the father then took off on a motorcycle, not to be seen or heard from again for 17 years. But hey, that’s the worst case scenario. And it’s TV. You on the other hand, have a chance to get so much more out of this Lost lesson.

Take those words in. Really think about them for a minute. They are, in a sense, what my book Meeting Your Half-Orange is based on. It’s based on the essence of hope: how we’ve all been trained by hurt and disappointment to believe that it’s easier to just give up and stop hoping; we think that if we don’t hope, the disappointments will hurt less. But the fact is, if you look at your future as a road full of bad things to be survived, that’s all you’ll see. You must, as Cheech says, “You gotta believe good things will happen and then they will.”

If you look for the negative, you’ll find it. You’ll attract it. But if you look for the positive, you’ll find that and attract that. Hope is never stupid. Embrace your lost optimism and watch the world start bringing you good stuff again.

You might also like:
Like Ugly Betty: Be Your Own Plus One!

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

10 Reasons To Be Thankful For Being Single!

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Sometimes it’s healthy to think about what it is you’re thankful for. This is one of those times. While you wait to begin the official “dating optimism” process I lay out for you in Meeting Your Half-Orange, get yourself on track by giving yourself the gift of gratefulness right now. Because however bummed out you sometimes feel, and however much you may crave a relationship, there’s plenty to be thankful for!

Be thankful for the path you're on... (Image: Ken Spencer)

Be thankful for the path you’re on… (Image: Ken Spencer)

Here, let me just remind you what is so damn awesome about your life right now:

1. Be thankful for . . . your big heart. If you’re looking for love right now, that’s your heart asking for it. And not everyone feels that call. Some people today really couldn’t care less if they spent their days, nights or holidays alone. If you do care, that’s a sign that you’re ready to be a part of something bigger—a healthy, happy relationship. Be thankful you’re there. That’s when love will know to come find you.

2. Be thankful for . . . your kick-ass friends. The friends who are single and happy to be your wingmen (and wingwomen) when you need it. The friends who will listen to you gripe and cuss about the date you thought went great, until you never got a call back. The friends who know when you need a bottle of wine and some good laughs to get your mojo back on track. And, don’t forget, be thankful for the friends who are in healthy, happy relationships that remind you what all your dating efforts are really for.

3. Be thankful for . . . TiVo, Hulu and cable. Back in the days when there were about eight television channels—or nothing but Pa on the prairie playing his fiddle—it was harder to find ways to drown out those sorry-for-me moments. Now? Hell, you have more channels and shows and streamings to keep your mind off of your singleness forever! I’m not encouraging you do this too much. I mean, it will fry your brain. But when you need a break from your heart, dive in and be thankful for all your options.

4. Be thankful for . . . the gorgeous world around you. I promise you: When you need a little boost about your love life, just take a walk outside. Maybe it’s in the brisk air, through fallen, cracking leaves. Maybe it’s in snow or foggy drizzle. Maybe you’ll walk along a beach with trees by the water. But whatever nature you see, it will help you put things in perspective: Love is going to add to your life and enhance what you already have. But for now, isn’t life beautiful? Shouldn’t you breathe this great life in even more? (Yes, by the way. That’s an affirmative.)

5. Be thankful for . . . McDonald’s fries. I mean, how good are McDonald’s fries? Yes, we all know how processed and frozen and shipped and oiled and fried and salted and unhealthy as all hell for us. We know this. But there’s little pain in life that can’t be cured—for just a minute—with a bite of a piping hot Mickey D’s french fry.

6. Be thankful for . . . the dates who have burned you. You wouldn’t be the person you are now if it hadn’t been for those you’ve loved and lost before. You may be thinking, “Yeah, but if it wasn’t for that jerk, I wouldn’t  have wasted all these months or years feeling so damn lousy!” And that’s probably true. But the person you’ve become—and still are becoming—is a stronger, better, wiser, and much more feeling human being than you were before.Be grateful for what you’ve learned and how much more of a catch you are now because of it.

7. Be thankful for . . . your health. I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that you wouldn’t be seeking love if you weren’t alive and kicking. Be grateful for that. Health is something most of us don’t appreciate until we’ve lost it in some way. Please, thank the universe or God or whoever you believe gave you the body you’re in, for letting you live in it. Just don’t eat too many of those McDonald’s fries and blow the whole thing.

8. Be thankful for . . . your weird tendencies and funny laugh. If you were some dull, dry, boring, average person, you would have settled for some average and boring relationship a long, long time ago. Because if you don’t care about the details of what’s in yourself and others, you can latch on to the first person who asks you out and be perfectly fine with it. The fact that you’re single says you know you deserve more. You know you’re a catch with a cool brain, a big heart, a different sense of humor, great taste, you name it. And you want an equally interesting and unique partner for yourself. That’s why you’re single, because you don’t want to settle. Be thankful for your standards—they’re walking you straight toward someone amazing right now.

9. Be thankful for . . . the family who loves you. We get consumed by work, emails, blogging, Tweeting, shopping, eating, planning, meeting, flying and greeting. But at the end of the day, the people who raised us and love us are are the ones we need to remember. Single, schmingle. The more you think about the love you get from your family, the more you’ll realize that that is the love you deserve from your future partner! Remember this: If you’re not getting the vibe from the person you’re text-flirting with or hooking up with that they can ever give you that love, then leave it on the doorstep and spend time with the people who can.

10. Be thankful for . . . the hours you have alllllllll to yourself. Your time is yours to do with it what you will. Use it to cook, dance, create, compute, work out, make music, or whatever your heart desires. Your single hours are yours and yours alone. Don’t waste them by ruminating about some bad date or being alone. Live up the hours you have so you can say later how grateful you were to be single at this very moment! For it is now that you’ll discover and uncover who you really, truly are.

You might also like:
Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
11 Ways Being Single Beats Being in a Relationship

Big love and happy happy thanks,

Amy Signature 4

Glee Gets it Right Again

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

I’m a little late on the last episode of Glee—thank goodness for DVRs. But as usual, this week’s episode was full of some worthy messages more than good enough for grown-ups.

Mr. Shu had a big lesson this week... (Image:

Mr. Shu had a big lesson this week... (Image:

The part I liked most was how they took it to the next level of liking yourself. Here’s what I mean: We’ve all heard that we should like ourselves and that we want people to love us for our best parts. If you’re hilarious, you want a partner who appreciates your unique humor. If you’re great a playing music, you want a partner who loves what you create. If you’re a great storyteller, you want someone who enjoys listening. If you’re a fab cook, you want a partner who will savor your flavors with groans of appreciation.

But it’s another thing to take it to the next level of self-esteem, the kind that leads to a confidence your half-orange can’t help but be drawn straight toward like a vacation magnet to your home fridge. Take it from our new favorite TV teacher, Will Schuester a.k.a. Mr. Schue (played by Matthew Morrison) in this speech he gave Lea Michele’s “Rachel”:

“I know that there are some things about yourself you think you’d like to change. You should know there’s some boy out there who’s going to like you for everything you are—including those parts of you that even you don’t like. Those are going to be the things he likes the most.”

What a great point Mr. Schue’s got there! All of us have parts about our personalities we don’t entirely love, and habits we’d pull back on if we could. I, for example, think I’m a little too addicted to popcorn—four times a week is a lot. And though I worried that the guys I’d want to be with would be turned off by my pop-session for it, my husband thinks my love for it is one of the cutest things he’s ever seen. (God bless him.)

Oh, and I also loved the advice of Sarah Drew’s character of Suzy Pepper:

“You need to find some self-respect, Rachel. Get that mildy attractive groove back.”

Ha, right? That’s just to keep your humor about yourself in check. Keep focusing on meeting someone who will love the things about you that you love—and who’ll also love the things you don’t. That’s where the magic and the glee really comes in.

You might also like:
Oh, Sherri: Her Lessons in Love!
A Glee-ful Reminder

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

Janet Jackson: Are You Doing YOU?

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I was mesmerized by one particular aspect of the Janet Jackson ABC “In the Spotlight” interview with Robin Roberts last night:

Janet: single and seriously digging it

Janet: single and seriously digging it

Janet’s big gold earrings and how little they actually moved as she spoke. When I talk, I bounce my head around so much, you wouldn’t be able to hear my voice above the clanging of all that metal. So good on ya, Janet.

But the second thing I liked was hearing how good single, 43-year-old Janet finally feels about herself in her 40s. It’s taken her time, apparently. She admitted in the interview that, for example, she didn’t like her own “bootie” until her boyfriend Jermaine Dupri started loving her—as she said:

“…making me feel very comfortable with me, with myself. Allowing me that. Allowing for me to see that within myself. And that I’m fine the way that I am. There’s nothing wrong with me.”

When she first said that, I wanted to shake her—and any of you who say the same things about yourself. I don’t want any of us to be “fine” with who we are, or to concede there’s “nothing wrong” with us! I want us all to feel superbly insanely fabulous about ourselves! I want us to have a list so long about what’s right with us, you have to turn the paper over and staple a new sheet on to keep up!

Luckily, I think Janet’s 40s are doing right by her. So right that she’s learning how to be herself—how “you do you.” This is how she said she’s soaking in the decade:

They’re great. Because you know what? You don’t care what people think. You do you. You do your thing. You have no time for mess, no time for drama.

And that I liked. That I loved. And I want every “single” person out there to stamp it on their mirror to remind themselves the very same thing: When you have those moments when you feel like you have to change to impress someone, that you have to up your game, or be funnier or wittier or smarter or sexier to catch someone’s eye…you’re fooling yourself! You don’t have to do any of those things. You just have to master doing you. Learn that in the best world, like Janet says, you do you.

You might also like:
Have a Whitney Houston Wake-Up

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

Robin’s “Take a Break from Dating” Technique

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Yep, still laughing out loud every week at How I Met Your Mother.

Robin "takes a break" (Image:

Robin "takes a break" (Image:

And this week’s episode hit on something I talk about in my upcoming book Meeting Your Half-Orange (February 2010, Running Press). We’ll call it the “I’m taking a break from dating” technique.

After Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) broke up last week, he took the opportunity to pull out his old playbook and pick up on as many women as possible. Robin, for her part, went the other route, saying she was taking a break from love to focus back on herself. This is how her conversation with the boys went, when she said she wanted to focus on…

Robin: “My career. That’s my number one focus right now. From now on, no more dating, it’s all about work.  . . I’m taking a break from all that.

Ted: Mmm, mmm Marshall…it’s totally gonna happen.

Marshall: So gonna happen.

Robin: What’s gonna happen?

Ted: You’re gonna fall in love.

Marshall: So soon.

Robin: Ha ha, not likely. I’m focusing on my career. I’m done with dating.

Ted: No, okay, we’re playing The Pyramid? Okay… “Things People Say Right Before They Meet The Love of Their Life.”

Why do I love that conversation? Let me count the ways. Because the essence of my book about dating optimism is that you need to become the best, most absolutely authentic and happy you there is. In other words, take the focus off of dating and back onto yourself.

Why do so many people meet the loves of their lives the minute they announce, “I give up” or “I’m over it” or, like Robin, “I’m going to focus on my career”? Because the minute you take the focus off of the endless pursuit of love is the minute you actually settle into a comfortable, happy, content version of yourself: the you that isn’t scouring online dating sites every 2o minutes, the you that isn’t emailing every married friend you have and asking to be set up, the you that isn’t trying to hit three events a night with a panicked look on your face as you scan the room for single people you like.

Try it. Try Robin’s “I’m taking a break from dating” technique. Exhale all that pressure that’s been building up inside you as the clock ticks by and you fear you’ll never find someone. Then inhale yourself again—the most real, happy version of you there is. Focus on work for a while. Focus on your family. Spend quality time with your friends in locations where you can’t meet anyone. Do some things you’ve always meant to try with the intention of feeling good about yourself, nothing more.

Because it’s then—when you are the best, more natural version of yourself—that the person you’re meant to be with will be able to recognize you. The sooner you become the person you want to be in your ideal, happy relationship, the sooner your half-orange will show up!

You might also like:
How I Met Your…Quirks

Big love,

Amy Signature 4