Archive for February, 2010


A Random Act of Optimistic Kindness

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

I know I’m usually giving you something on the site. Today, I’m asking for something instead. And if you’ve already read Meeting Your Half-Orange or are well into it, I’m talking to you! Why? Well, because I’d really love your help.

Help a fellow single out! (Image: AS; Shirt:

Please, will you help spread the half-orange word? (Image: AS; Shirt:

I want to express to potential readers what my book is really about so they’ll know if they should read it. Some people have already given the book great reviews on and (thank you!), and nothing would make me happier than to add more reviews to the mix. Nothing will help spread the half-orange word more than a grassroots, tell-a-friend approach, and a book review is a powerful way to do just that.

And so I ask you this big favor: Will you review my book? On, just click here on’s Meeting Your Half-Orange page and scroll down to the “Customer Reviews” part, then click the “Write Your Own Review” button. Equally, if you’re a reader of other bookseller’s sites, a review elsewhere, i.e. on the Meeting your Half-Orange page, would make me equally happy.

Here’s the thing: I want you to be honest. I’m not asking you to put up a five-star review unless you think it deserves one. If you loved the book and it’s changed the way you feel about yourself or dating the way so many of your kind emails to me have said it has, please say so. And if you didn’t like the book for some reason, say that instead. I think it’s just so hard to get a feeling for what’s behind the front cover of a book from reading a short description on a web site. I know that hearing from those of you who’ve actually read my book will give other singles a greater sense of what it’s like.

It does take a few minutes—you have to create an reviewer profile if you haven’t already. But look at it as a way to help spread some love in the world. Think of all the single people out there who want a relationship and don’t know where to turn for advice. Should they buy the book? I think it will help their lives immensely. Do you?

And if you do put up a review, I’d love to know about it. Just click the “Email Amy” link at right, below the yellow Post-It Twitter feed and email me so that I can personally thank you. (And yes, I’ll even thank you if it’s not a glowing review!) Trust me, I know your time is valuable. But I also know that for people who want a relationship, it’s important to come at it with the right attitude about yourself and dating, and that’s why I take time as often as I can to offer these optimistic posts. Your honest review on or elsewhere could really help some other people out there get in the right frame of mind.

Consider this a random act of optimistic kindness for the day. Help your fellow singles. Tell them if you think my book will lead them toward what they want right now: love. The more you know, the closer you’ll get.

Big love and thank you, thank you, thank you,

Amy Signature 4

The Suitcase Feeling: Do You Have It?

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

This past weekend, I headed to New York to appear on the CBS Early Show to talk about Meeting Your Half-Orange. I’ll talk more about our topic soon—the idea of dating optimism and asking for what you want in love versus settling for something “good enough” just so you don’t end up alone. You know where I stand on that one!

Doesn't "your" suitcase seem different from the others?

Doesn't "your" suitcase seem different from the others?

After the appearance, though, I spent the rest of the weekend with some of my best friends and my family, who still live there. And it was then that I realized how good it feels to be among people you can really settle in with, who feel like home. And as I said to one single friend of mine, that’s how you want to feel with your half-orange: like you’re home.

I had a similar experience when I landed back in L.A., which I now call home. I was at the baggage carousel waiting for my luggage (yes, I check my bags! I like letting go of things for a few hours, the feeling of lightness when it’s just me, my wallet and my laptop without all the “baggage”). I was watching the suitcases circling past me on the belt, noticing how many small black rolley-bags looked so similar to mine. And yet, when I saw my bag come around the bend, I had an instant feeling of “Ahhh, there it is.” To every other eye there, my bag looked exactly like the rest, save for the red fabric I’d tied around the handle. But to me, my suitcase stood out. It felt like home.

This, dating optimists, is what the right relationship will feel like. Maybe you’ll feel it in the first five minutes, maybe it’ll take a few dates or a moment of discovery that someone you’ve known for years is actually the person who’s right for you. However you notice it, that’s the feeling you want. Like my suitcase, your other half may “look” like a lot of others out there. He or she may be as tall as, or in the same job as, or as similar as some other people, but to you, they’ll stand out as special, as someone you can relax with and be yourself, the way you do at home.

I wish you the suitcase feeling. It’s what will carry you through a great relationship together in life. Don’t settle unless you get it.

You might also like:
Ride Into a Happy New You
The Coffee Test

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

Have An Optimistic Valentine’s Day!

Friday, February 12th, 2010

If you think about it, Valentine’s Day is one of the few exclusionary holidays out there. We all get to celebrate Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Halloween. But February 14th? That’s all about couples celebrating their love. So what’s a single to do?

Fill you heart with some happy this year

Fill you heart with some happy this year

Despite the fact that you might be tempted to make retching gestures toward every red heart-shaped doily you see, I have four much more productive suggestions. This Valentine’s Day…

1. …don’t spend it alone. You may be tempted to curl up on the couch in front of some bad TV and try to ignore it altogether. But spending the night by yourself may only remind you that you are, well, by yourself. My suggestion: Find a friend or a few to share it with. Stay in, go out, grab a cocktail, watch a movie, drink some wine, play pool, play board games, hang just for an hour or all night long—just do something that reminds you how nice it feels to have relationships with other people. Maybe you don’t have a love relationship this year, but it’s healthy to remind yourself how good it feels to be loved by those close to you.

2. …there are no anti-Valentine’s Day parties allowed! It’s natural that if you’re feeling down about your love life, you’d want to take down the Hallmark holiday. Phooey on those gooey kissy couples paying too much for their meals, right? Well, this year, I want you to look at it differently. Instead of sending a message that you hate Valentine’s Day—which is putting out a negative message about love—look at it as a visual reminder of what you want in your life: If other couples can have happy relationships, so can you!

3. …throw a Dream Board party! My friend’s friend, who I’ll call Mara, just read Meeting Your Half-Orange, and instead of blowing off the holiday, she’s decided to spend it celebrating the love she wants to bring into her life. Here’s how she put it in an email to me last night:

“It’s the first refreshing yet realistic book that I have read about being single in a very long time and it has made me more hopeful, without being cheesy. Somewhere along the way, I think many of us lose our optimism—and this book definitely helps you regain it. I’m making a Valentine’s Day dinner for my very best friend, who is single, and I’ve decided that we are going to create our own “dream boards” together over dinner and lots of wine. I am so excited about it!”

The explanation for what a Dream Relationship Board is and how to make one is thoroughly explained in my book, and I assure you, it is not a cheesy exercise! I’ve made many a believer out of one, trust me. And once you read the success stories of the singles who did it (including me) you’ll also be so convinced, you’ll want to try the same thing. It’s a healthy, hopeful way to provide yourself with a visual reminder of the big love you want in your life.

4. …buy yourself flowers and candy. Screw waiting for someone else to buy you flowers or candy. Treat yourself to some blooms and a box of chocolates or a bag of candy hearts. And take the little messages on those confections as words your future half-orange will tell you: “Kiss me,” “You’re sexy,”  and before you know it—and if you want it—”Marry me.”

You might also like:
10 Reasons to Be Thankful for Being Single
8 Reasons to Go Out Tonight!

Big love and Happy Optimistic Valentine’s Day,

Amy Signature 4

How to Use the Phases of Dating Optimism!

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

I’m having a little Regina Spektor moment right now. You know what I’m talking about: “On the radio, oh-oh-oh-oh-ohhh, on the radio…”

Why? I’ve been spreading the half-orange word via a lot of radio stations these days. But I know not everyone has access to every show, so I thought, if it might help to hear me talking about the power of optimism in love, I’d give you a way to listen!

You *can* have a love that makes you blossom (Image: Ken Spencer)

You *can* have a love that makes you blossom (Image: Ken Spencer)

Here is a link to a radio show I did on February 9th with Boston station on 93.7 FM, with “Big Daddy” Mike. We not only talked about how positivity can help your love life, but also about what to do when you date a person and then find out he or she is, um, a hoarder. (Hey, it happens!) Here’s the link to the 93.7 site and our 9-minute interview:

My radio chat with Big Daddy

And if you could go for a longer bit of inspiration, check out the one-hour talk I had last night with Lisa Bonnice—she herself a success story of positive dating who appears in my book, Meeting Your Half-Orange! She hosted me on her super fun radio show, “Shapeshifting with Lisa Bonnice,” and we got to have a nice long chat about how you can bring what you want straight to you in life and in love.

My radio chat with Lisa Bonnice

One idea that Lisa and I talked about: the power of gratitude. Whether you’re writing it down in a “gratitude journal,” which some people do, or just reviewing all the good stuff in your life on the drive to work, do it. How will this help your dating self? Well, it will remind you what you do have instead of what you don’t. When you’re single and want to be in a relationship, you may be focusing a lot on what you don’t have: that you don’t have a partner who loves you, that you don’t have someone to go splitsies on Chinese food with, that you don’t have someone to lift the couch so you can vacuum under it. And if you focus on the empty glass, you’ll feel down about it and get more of it!

Instead, look at how full your life is. Look at what you do have: Your two legs, your health, family members who love you, kind friends, a roof over your head, a job that pays the important bills, a love for a certain type of music that makes you smile every time you hear it. If you look at all the ways you have it going on, at how full your life is, you’ll feel better about yourself and more confident and ready to offer that wonderful version of you to a relationship!

So listen to either show today, or save one for a quiet moment when you want a good jolt of positivity and a reminder to keep believing that your half-orange is out there. Because I, for one, know that he or she most certainly is.

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

The Tightrope Fall of Negative Thinking

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Have you heard of Derren Brown?
He’s a British mentalist whose UK show, Mind Control, aired on the Sci-Fi channel last year, which is how I came to be a fan. (Though how I came to find him on the Sci-Fi channel, I have no idea. Ooh, maybe Derren subliminally suggested to me that I do…)

Derren Brown can tap into the unconscious

Derren Brown, tapping into the unconscious

In any case, he’s a total trip. And his latest series, Trick or Treat is available through some online sources, including some Japanese site which has posted an episode in which Derren does an experiment in negative thinking. It’s meant to show how people respond to negative suggestion. My positive suggestion? If you have 23 minutes, watch it here:

Derren Brown’s Negative Thinking Experiment

Here’s the gist: In one element of the show, just around the 10:30 mark, Derren visits a high-wire artist who, he points out, knows the value of thinking positively. Henry is a tightrope walker who holds the Guinness world record for skipping rope on a high wire 12 to 27 feet in the air. As Derren says, “he’s never fallen off doing that trick.” Well, Derren wants to see what happens if he changes Henry’s positive thoughts into negative ones.

As Derren puts it, “The thought, ‘I must try not to fall’ is the worst thing to think up 30 feet on a high wire, even if you’re the world’s best at it.”

The tightrope walker

The tightrope walker

This is what he told Henry before the brave man climbed onto that high wire:

“Focus on not wobbling and not falling off. Just make sure you don’t wobble and fall off.”

As Derren put it, “The instruction ‘Try not to fall off,’ residently delivered, is amplified by the inflation of an air bag. Henry’s unconscious is, for the first time, focused on ‘I must not fall off,’ which can only take him one way.”

It does. Henry falls from the high wire into the air bag and seems visibly shaken by the whole thing. (I can only hope it didn’t derail him from future rope skipping!)

Derren also does a similarly eery experiment on a young woman named Lauren, whom he puts in a room with a kitten in a box, telling her that if she presses a big red button near the box, the kitten will be electrocuted. What he says to her is, “Your job is trying not to kill the kitten he says. “Whatever you do, don’t press the button.”

Well, you what happens of course. He explains her button-pressing (and no, of course it didn’t kill the kitten) this way:

“What this was about was a trap called negative suggestion that we all fall prey to . . . whereby we focus so much on trying to avoid being or doing a certain thing, that we just end up being or doing that thing, because we’re focusing so much on it.”

Well, if you’re single and dating, what are you focusing on being or doing about your single life?

Are you thinking, “I don’t want to be single” or “I’m tired of being single” or “I’m sick of dating losers” or “I’m over this whole awful dating thing?” Well if you are, like the trap Derren set in his experiments, you may unconsciously be setting the same trap for yourself! If you focus on how tired you are of being single and the whole awful experience of dating losers, then here’s what you’ll get: Tired, single, awful moments dating losers.

As I talk about and explain more thoroughly in Meeting Your Half-Orange, you’ll get in love what you focus on. It’s how our minds and bodies work. So stop giving your focus to what you don’t want in dating and start looking at what you do want in love: A great dating experience that will bring you an uplifting, happy, healthy relationship.

As Derren says to Lauren, her “treat” is that when she wants to think negatively in the future, her brain will take her back to that button-pressing moment and zap her into “a more positive and constructive state.” I urge you to do the same.

Big love,

Amy Signature 4