Archive for December, 2009


A Miyagi “Love” Moment

Monday, December 21st, 2009

So clearly we love Ralph Macchio for being the wax on, wax off Karate Kid who learned the art of karate and life from Mr. Miyagi: “First learn stand, then learn fly. Nature rule, Daniel-san, not mine.” Now, Ralph Macchio (who is 48, by the way—forty-freaking-eight, even though he looks and makes me feel twenty-four) is the one teaching us the lessons.

Who's sharing the wise words now, Daniel-san?

Who's sharing the wise words now, Daniel-san?

This time, it’s coming from Ralph’s latest stint as city councilman Archie Rodriguez on Ugly Betty, who has been dating Betty’s sister Hilda (played so touchingly by Ana Ortiz).

Last week, Hilda finally came to terms with the fact that she’ll never see Archie as more than a really great guy. In fact, at one point in the episode, a salesperson at a department store mistakes Hilda for Archie’s wife, and she leaps to correct the woman with a big, “No! I’m not his wife.”

Soon after that, Archie bowed out of the relationship on his own because he knew he deserved more. This is what he said:

“I love you, Hilda. And, I know you care for me. But there’s someone out there who’s going to be thrilled to be mistaken for my wife. And I deserve to find that person and you deserve to find that person, too. I hoped it could be me, but since it isn’t, it’s time for me to say goodbye.”

How beautifully said. And how worth remembering. If a relationship isn’t working—or a crush isn’t turning into a relationship—remind yourself that it’s not getting you anywhere trying to force love to work. You deserve someone who is going to be thrilled to be at your side! Someone who will brag about you to his or her friends, ramble on about you to their co-workers, and love you like they can’t believe they’re lucky enough to get you. Don’t let yourself settle for anything less.

You might also like:
Babe Ruth: A Dating Strategy?

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

If You Do What You’ve Always Done…

Friday, December 18th, 2009

My family and I went to wine country this week in the Santa Barbara area, including the Danish outpost Solvang and Buellton where much of Sideways was filmed. We had a gander at the Ostrich Farm, steaks at The Hitching Post—and, yes, some Pinot Noir.

The Lincourt vineyard: How fine are you letting *your* wine be? (Image: AS)

How fine are you letting *your* wine be? (Image: The Lincourt Vineyard by AS)

We also got to talking about how different wines have come to be so good—how it’s taken decades of new vineyards, new grapes, and new fermentation processes, from oak barrels to stainless steel ones, to create new and better wines each year. My new favorite? The “cold climate” syrah, which is more peppery and spicy than its sweet “warm climate” syrah sister. Who knew?

In discussing all that change and discovery, my sister Liz  mentioned a quote she loves, which comes from a master of positive living, Anthony Robbins:

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

I can’t help but see the tie to dating and love and want to pass that on to you. I mean, think about how many times you’ve found yourself dating the same “type” of person over and over again. Maybe it’s someone who keeps you at arm’s length but never lets you feel safe and appreciated. Or maybe it’s someone you’re trying to make yourself like, but you can’t seem to create a spark. Either way, the fact is this: If you keep dating who you’ve always dated, you’ll keep feeling what you’ve always felt. In Sideways, the main character Miles was used to feeling like a failure at relationships and a failure at his novel, but he found out that if you can change how you see yourself, you can change what you get.

Which is why the same goes for who you allow yourself to be as well: If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be who you’ve always been.

Love who you are, of course. And be proud of what you’ve done and tried and felt to get you where you are. But if you feel stuck—and that’s the imporant part—your stuckness may not be about what the world is giving you. It may be about what you’re putting out or asking for. It’s true of wine and it’s true of hearts: If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. Here’s to doing and getting something wonderfully new.

You might also like:
Gorge Yourself on Good Things!
Julianna Marguiles: All Moments Pass Quickly

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

“I just recently moved back to my hometown to start the next chapter of my life. I strongly believe in approaching dating the traditional way, as I have tried online dating before, and I find it to be uncomfortable. What I am wanting to know, is how do I approach guys and dating in a new place?” —Samantha

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Hi Samantha,

I’ve heard people talk about this a lot lately: wanting to go back to traditional dating. I think it’s something we all long for in life overall, because so much of what we do is getting lost. We don’t call each other, we text. We don’t send beautiful hand-written thank you notes, we send emails. We don’t create adorned invitations, we eVite. And instead of being wooed by gentlemen callers, we sign up to meet for coffee through computer match-ups, or just hook up after a few too many cocktails.

If you’re really not feeling online dating right now, no problem. Don’t do it. Because when you’re looking for love, you only want to engage in things that make you feel happy and fulfilled—so if online dating makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s not going to help your love life! As I talk about in Meeting Your Half-Orange, you want to meet the love of your life when you’re feeling like your very best and most authentic self, so do the things that make you feel that way.

I recently suggested some specific advice about this on “Where the Nice Guys Are Hiding.” What I basically explain is that you’re most likely going to find guys you want to date in the places that make you comfortable and bring out your best. So if going to a singles bar alone makes you quiver with awkwardness, don’t do it! Instead, go to a free night of local music. Or, even better, as I say on Lemondrop, head to the everyday places guys tend to linger: the coffee shop, the bookstore, the Mac store waiting for their turn at the Genius bar. These places don’t have to cost you a dime, and they may be spots you swing through all the time. The key is not in the places you go, but in the energy you’re giving out where you are.

The good news is that you’re in your hometown again, which is a wonderful place to re-connect with the feelings of new love, and to remember who you really are deep down, at heart.

What I do want to stress, though, is that it’s not important how you actually “meet” someone—because however oddly-modern a meeting might be, I assure you that if you find someone you like, the bursts of romance and love will feel as gorgeously traditional as ever. You know, you’ll want to make popcorn and curl up on the couch together. You’ll want to talk on the phone until dawn, when your ear gets too hot and you’re daring each other to hang up. You’ll want to write love poems and carve your initials in the sand. Modern technology has nuthin‘ on the old-fashioned butterflies of new love.

So keep being you, and living and loving your life. The happier you are, the more you’re going to naturally attract the right person straight to you. Other optimists, do you have any other advice for Samantha?


Boost Your Single Self-Confidence!

Monday, December 14th, 2009

I went to a rad event the other night in Hollywood at Raleigh Studios, based on a book and film called The Good Men Project.

TheGoodMenProjectBookCoverThe “project,” created by James Hougton and Tom Matlack, was created to build a conversation about what it means to be a man, a husband, a father, a brother, a son. And that night, the panel discussion involved artist Shepard Fairey and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner talking on the topic. I found them so insanely interesting, I could have listened to them talk for days.

Still, what stuck with me the most that evening was a line delivered by one of the men featured in the film. Stuart Horwitz is a father who’s spent the last few years taking his daughter Fifer out “busking”—playing guitar and singing songs for cash on street corners. While some people, Stuart said, looked at their activity as possibly unhealthy for his daughter, Stuart knew the experience was actually helping build her self-esteem. How? Well, playing music in front of a crowd who hasn’t asked you to be there is scary—but he taught his daughter to not just face those fears, but to dive through them. As Stuart said in the film,

“On the other side of fear is a blissful self-confidence you have to earn, you can’t buy.”

Now, I may have messed up a word or two there, as I jotted that quote down in the dark of the theater. But the message is there, and I think all of us—old or young, single or married, settled or searching—can remind ourselves the same thing. On the other side of fear is blissful self-confidence you have to earn. And the more confident you become in who you really are, the closer you get to attracting your half-orange straight to you.

If you’re single, think of what that means for you. Consider this your Good Dating Project! Whatever fears you have, face them: Call the person who makes your fingers sweat every time you think about dialing. Ask out your crush and find out once and for all if they feel the same way. Dive into that romance with someone you love with your heart but worry about hurting, because you may be surprised to find yourself deeper in it than you ever imagined.

Whatever happens after you face that fear, one thing is true: You’ll be a better, stronger, smarter, bigger person for it. And, as Stuart says, you’ll earn a blissful self-confidence you can’t get any other way.

You might also like:
An Incurable Optimist Has Dating Advice, Too
Wise Words from an Undone She
Man Advice from a 1943 Classic? You Bet.

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

Tiger Woods: Watch out for “See?! Syndrome”

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

There’s still a lot going down with the Tiger Woods story—he’s slept with two women, no…six women…hang on, make it twelve! Yet with each breaking news story, there’s one word I’m consistently  hearing from single women. That word is: See?!

Tiger Woods in his winning-er days. (Image:

Tiger Woods in his winning-er days. (Image:

For all those single women who were worried there were no good guys out there, they see this former “good guy” golf pro fall and say, “See?! There’s no such thing as a good guy.” For those who’ve been burned and believe that all men cheat, they look at the women who think true trust and monogamy exist and say, “See?! All men cheat!” I call this “See?! Syndrome” and, if left untreated, it can harm your future prospects for love.

If you’ve been thinking the same things this week, please, think again. One man does not the world make. There are some wonderful, trustworthy, loving, generous, kind and faithful men out there who are capable of a monogamous relationship. And, yes, those men can also be hot, handsome and sexy, too.

 But if all you’re doing is focusing on the men who cheat like Tiger, then what are you going to attract? A man who cheats like Tiger. Or, as the joke going around these days says, a cheetah. (Get it? A cheata’?)

So get thinking about the great men you know out there, and get focusing on what it will feel like to have one of them in your life. If you can imagine and focus on what it feels like to have a loving man who’ll vow to be—and will be—with you and you alone forever…well, then that’s exactly what you’ll attract.

You might also like:
Retrieve Your “Lost” Optimism! 

Big love,

Amy Signature 4