Archive for December, 2009


Take a Pottery Position on Dating!

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

I’ve never created a piece of pottery myself. The most I’ve done is hit up one of those “Paint a Piece!” places. And even then, no matter how hard I try, they still look like something a third-grader would paint…with their fingers…on their left hand…wearing a blindfold.

Feel free to try new things—in clay, in love. (Image: Bill Longshaw,

Feel free to try new things—in clay, in love. (Image: Bill Longshaw,

But I recently emailed with a woman, who told me how she found solace from a hard time in her life by working with clay.

“One thing I’ve learned about clay,” she wrote, “is that you learn not to get too attached and it helps you deal with loss, since pieces can break in the pre and post firing process.” In fact, she says, though some recent pieces broke while transporting them to the kiln, she ended up making even better plates.

That, to me, is how dating should be. An unsuccessful date shouldn’t be taken to heart too seriously. If you can learn to let go of the loss, you can remember that you’ll find love with someone even better.

Look at each date as a new attempt to fire your perfect plate. Some will get mashed in the clay process, some you may lose on the way to the kiln, some may crack while you try to glaze it. But with every plate you make, you’re only getting better at knowing who you are, what you like, what works best. So that when you’re ready, the perfect plate will make it through—and, like Sue’s plates, it will be even better than the last. Not to mention that after all that work, you’ll appreciate your special one more than you ever have before.

Get good at losses. They’re steps along the path to your perfect other half.

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Big love,

Is It Raining on Your Love Life?

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

When you’re single, it’s usually raining. It’s either raining great dates so hard you feel like life is dropping fun from the skies! Or, it’s raining on your dates, making your whole situation feel gloomy and damp. 

Where there's palm trees and rain...

Where there's palm trees and rain...

But after a full day of L.A. rain yesterday, it occurred to me that rain gets a bad rap. After all, where there’s rain, there’s growth. It’s true in falling H2O, and it’s true when you’re looking to fall in love. Rain, remember, can be a good thing! 

No matter how soggy you feel sometimes, how overcast your love life feels, it’s worth remembering that when the rain stops, life doesn’t just get back to normal—it gets better. With real rain, the grass grows, leaves sprout, flowers bloom. And in dating, the rain washes away all the crappy stuff. That “relationship” that consists of texting back and forth after 11 p.m.? You’re better off without it. That blind date you thought went well but they never called you to ask you for an encore? If they’re not into it, then you wouldn’t want to be with them either.

Rain gives you a clean slate. Today, look at it that way. Look at what can be washed from your dating life to make room for the good stuff. Because sometimes, at the end of it all is—like yesterday—a rainbow! I mean…how cute is that?

...comes palm trees and rainbows

...comes palm trees and rainbows!

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Big love,

Amy Signature 4

Get “Blue Crush” Brave

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

I have a crush on Blue Crush. And anyone who follows me on Twitter (The Dating Optimist) may have seen me post about it last night—I was almost frustrated to come across it, because I love the movie so much, I simply can’t turn it off. Part of why I love it is how much I wish I could surf like those girls—and for often I failed trying to learn….

Blue CrushI’ve been renting a beach house in Montauk, Long Island for ten years now. After a few years of watching the surfers there with envy, I decided I’d become one myself. So I grabbed the vintage 60s Bing surfboard from our rusty shed, thinking if I was going to learn to surf, I wanted to look cool as heck doing it. I tried for a full summer, standing up for partials of a second at most, but I spent far more time under the water than on it.

At the end of that summer, I gave it one last shot on a day the surfers would call “gnarly.” I thought the bigger waves would push me to succeed. I thought wrong. Instead, I spent the day tumbling around inside the whitewater, panicking as I tried to find the surface over and over, knocked down by more crashing waves, gasping my way to the top for breath, finally crawling my way back to shore. I no longer wanted to “die trying” to surf.

I know now that looking to learn on a vintage 6-foot board is kind of, like, dumb. But all I knew at the time was that I’d failed. I lost face and I lost confidence in myself—and I put the Bing back in the shed for good.

The point is, I relate to the fear that Anne Marie Chadwick (well, an adorably fresh-faced Kate Bosworth) had in Blue Crush about going back in that water after she’d had a surfing accident. Okay, fine, she was scared about surfing Oahu’s Pipeline, where the waves can get up to 30 feet high. But fear—whatever it’s about—can feel the same, whether the threat is a big wave or the huge fear of opening your heart to love.

In one of the early scenes of the movie, Anne Marie paddles to the Pipeline, wondering if she can get up the nerve to surf it like old times. She chokes while paddling into one wave, and tremendously wipes out on the next. Afterwards, her friends debate what she did wrong.

“If she had just paddled a little harder,” says Lena (Sanoe Lake). But Eden (played by Michelle Rodriguez) has a better take:

“It’s all in your head,” she says. “It’s all up here. I’m telling you, if you just would have committed, you could make that wave.”

It makes me realize how similar surfing is to dating and falling in love. They both seem like physical endeavors at first—girl meets board or girl meets boy—but what truly gets you soaring with happiness in both is due to what’s in your mind and heart. And once Anne Marie got brave in the movie, she succeeded enough to make her dreams come true.

Dating, too, is “all in your head. It’s all up here.” And you know that. I’m just reminding you: To truly find the love that is meant for you, you have to let go of your fear that you’ll be hurt. You have to let go of the panic that you’ll be tossed and tumbled and gasping for air at the end of a bad relationship, and go into it believing—knowing—that you can have a good one. If you just commit to that wave, to that happy romantic ending, you’re giving yourself the chance to get it.

Just as I became a dating optimist and decided to let go of my fears about opening up to love, I also decided to face my fears about getting back on a surfboard during a trip to Maui. This time, I started small (on what felt like a 20-foot board) and determined to succeed. Finally, I did:

Hang ten, yo

Feeling what it's like to finally (finally!) ride a wave.

Oh yeah, and never mind my instructor standing in the, ahem, waist-deep water behind me (I started smaller than you thought, huh?). Because it didn’t matter how baby my steps were, or how little I’d be hurt if I did fall. What mattered is that I got back in the water, and got to see what it feels like to stand up and ride a little wave. I was soaring that day, just the way a great love can make you feel.

Push yourself the same way. Be Blue Crush brave. Take baby steps if you feel better about it, start with a small wave. But the only way you’re going to get there is if you want to let go of your fears and commit. The ride is worth the falls it might take to get there.

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Big love and hang ten,

Amy Signature 4