Archive for June, 2010


I met an awesome guy three weeks ago, and I have this feeling he’s my half-orange! I think I should be staying in the present moment, but I can’t help but envision a future with him, and I’m afraid I’m holding on so tightly, I’ll squash what’s great. —C.

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Thanks for the question, C! It’s totally natural to envision a future with a guy, especially one you can really see a true, happy future with. So don’t feel pressure to stop seeing that. But if thinking this way is making you “afraid” you’ll “squash” him? Read your own words there. You don’t want to be coming at any relationship with either fear you’ll ruin it or fear you’ll squash the good stuff. So as much as it’s possible when you see him next, take a few deep breaths, smile, cool down your emotional brain, slow down your pace, and try to enjoy your time together in a light, positive way.

If it helps, focus on some of the in-the-moment elements (sights, sounds, scents) that you enjoy about being with him, to keep your eye on the present as much as possible: The sound of his voice or laugh, the way you feel relaxed in your shoulders and face when you talk with him, the taste of the food you’re eating. My post on How to Live in the Moment might give you some other ideas and keep you focused on the present instead of mentally forcing him into a box of your future.

It’s like something I was telling a friend of mine recently. She worried she was being too eager and pushy with the guy she was seeing, so I told her and I’m telling you: Instead of sitting forward, sit back—literally and figuratively. If you’re at a table, instead of leaning forward on your elbows or in the chair, lean back. Take a deep breath. Take it in. Or, in general, sit back with your approach, and enjoy it as it unfolds each second.

Because, by the way, if he is your half-orange, you don’t want to miss enjoying these fun, early moments of dating, when things are still unknown and fresh and new. Bask in how fun that is, rather than looking too far or even rushing it toward the future. The future is long and you’ll have plenty of time for it!


How to Be Happy: It’s Easy!

Friday, June 11th, 2010

My sister found this on Facebook, and all I could think was: I have to share this with my dating optimists! Here, your short-cut formula on how to be happy:

What works in life works in love, and vice versa. So ask yourself this same question about your dating life, your single status or about the so-so, on-off, kinda-sorta person you’ve been seeing lately. Are you happy? Do you want to be?

You know what to do in your heart. You know that if you’re stuck in destructive patterns that it’s up to you to wise up and change what you’re doing. The key now is to do it. Do what makes you happy and you will create a change in your brain and your being that people will read a mile away. The happier you are, the truer you’ll be to yourself, and the better chance you have of meeting your half-orange and knowing he or she is right for you when you do.

Big love,

Make the Most of Your Middle!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

When we have a goal, it’s easy to get so caught up in reaching it, we forget to live and love the moments we have now.

As Mr. Schuester said: Don't ignore the middle.

It happens while you’re heading to vacation (forgetting to enjoy the excitement of the journey there) it happens when you’re saving up money to buy a car (and forget to enjoy some before you get it). And it happens in dating, when you’re so anxious to see your happy ending, you forget to enjoy your single life on the way there.

This week’s Glee finale pegged this idea. Their teacher, Will Schuester, hated how depressed the kids were about Regionals (which is a singing competition, for you non-Gleeks), which wasn’t looking promising. They felt if they weren’t going to win, why compete? It’s like you may feel in love: If you’re not going to meet the right guy or girl tomorrow, why the hell are you even bothering?

Because of the “Journey,” Mr. Shue wrote on the blackboard. Actually, it was a white board, and I appreciated that his handwriting was almost as bad as mine. But then he gave this little speech:

“One day,” he said, “all of you are going to be gone. And all of this, all of us, will be nothing but a hazy memory. It will take you a second to remember everyone’s name. Someone will have to remind you of the songs we sung, the solos you got, or didn’t get. Life only really has one beginning and one end, and the rest is just a whole lot of middle. And I love you guys too much to let you not make the most of it.”

Think back to your high school days. It’s happened, hasn’t it? Much of it is a hazy memory and you do forget some people’s names. And I’m here to tell you that if you walk through your life today focused on nothing but the person you want to meet in the end, the same will happen in ten years about aspects of your life today!

Do you want to think back on this time and have hazy memories of sitting on the couch pouting? Of being tense about being alone? Of waiting by a phone for someone to call? No! You want to look back and have bursting memories of your single life! Of times you and your friends took the town for a night or whisked away for a weekend. Of times you learned to speak Spanish and make pies and flew to surprise your family for an anniversary party. Of times laughing and living and learning about yourself.

Life is, like Mr. Schue says, a whole lot of middle. And I care about you too much to let you not make the most of it. Start today: Make the most of your middle.

Then tell me: What do you notice? What do you feel? What’s great about your life right now that you were forgetting to appreciate?

You might also like:
How to Live in the Moment
Are You Indentured to the Future?

Big love,

I’ve been working on optimism for nearly 5 months now. I’ve actually surprised myself with how well I’ve done, because it’s been so easy for me to be a pessimist. In working for so long on it and thinking all the good thoughts…when is it going to pay off? I get that you need to have faith and keep going, but once in awhile, it gets hard when you are just picturing and thinking things without living them and enjoying the result. How do you keep your hopes up some days, when you don’t know when your half-orange is going to come along after such a long wait already?

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

This is a question I got on a post the other day, and I answered in the comments box. But since I’ve gotten a question like this before and others may be thinking it, I thought I’d give it a proper answer here. Because, M, it’s a great one!

Really, it sounds to me like it’s already paying off—especially if you’re someone who tended to go pessimistic with your thoughts. You may not have met your half-orange yet, but dating optimism isn’t just about the end result, it’s also about how good you feel along the way. I totally get that you’re tired of feeling positive. I was there, too. And if you’d prefer to sometimes crawl under a pillow and be bummed, it’s healthy to let yourself. But let go of the pressure, too. If you’ve put your big intention out there—to end up in a happy, healthy relationship—now’s the part of the process when you can sit back, enjoy life, and let the world bring it to you.

I guess what I’m saying is that even if you’re not “doing” optimism one day, it doesn’t mean what you’ve put out there isn’t already working for you. It is! Give yourself a break. Keep putting a small intention out there every day of what you want, and understand that it sometimes takes the world a minute to get you two guys in the right place at the right time for each other. It will happen. In the meantime, the result of your optimism doesn’t just come in the form of a guy. It comes in the form of a happier life, fuller friendships, appreciating this moment in your life, reaching goals, learning new things, meeting new people, and feeling more in love with yourself and your life than ever! And that version of you, your best self, is the one your other half will meet and fall in love with.


The Big Wedding Test: Acceptance, Love & Kindness

Monday, June 7th, 2010

A friend of mine is getting married soon, and it reminds me how much I learned about relationships in the days between dating and “I Do.” And I think it can help you to think about one particular element of this as you seek your half-orange.

I consider myself a really laid back girl. The only time that my laidbackness stood up and screamed was when I was planning my wedding.

It started off so chill, it really did. We booked our barefoot-on-the-beach-in-Mexico locations over the internet, signed up a mariachi band and hoped the tequila would blur any parts of the event that went wrong. (And, oh, did it.) But part way through the wedding planning process, “it” hit. The “it” that makes Bridezillas a ratings baby hit me, too. And I’ll tell you what that “it” is: pressure. A whole big pile of pressure sitting on one person’s shoulders.

As embarrassed as I am to say so, I found myself more than a few times curled up and sobbing in the fetal position. Not because I cared what color flowers we had or what brand of tequila (duh, the best!), but because I was overwhelmed by having to plan an event for the strangest audience ever: I mean, what food, music and drinks do a 7o-year-old from Florida, a 32-year-old fashionista from NYC and an 8-year-old kid from Connecticut really have in common?

Here's me and the hubby on the Playa del Carmen beach. Will he hold your hand through tough choices?

What saved me was my now-husband. He was a gift through it all. He affirmed that we were making the right choices. He said he was grateful for the hard work I was putting into planning. And he pitched in and gently made decisions I couldn’t make myself. That’s when I figured out the secret point of a wedding: If you can survive the wedding planning with acceptance, love and kindness toward each other, you have a great chance of surviving the marriage itself.

Now, I know not everyone necessarily wants to get married, but I think a future event or big life decision like this is worth thinking about as you meet and date: When you look at the person sitting across from you, ask yourself: “How would he or she be through those big decisions? In planning a commitment with each other, creating a home together, building a family, getting the flat tire fixed on a road trip through Italy?” Can you picture this partner at your side, offering acceptance, love and kindness?

Tune into your orange seed on your dates, and see if you feel that acceptance, that love, that kindness. That’s what really counts. Oh, and so does good tequila:

We double-fist beers for the one we love!

You might also like:
The House Hunt: The Gunk and the Good

Big love,