Archive for July, 2010



Friday, July 30th, 2010

Green PillYour dose for today…

“Your future depends on many things, but mostly on you.” —Frank Tyger

Cheer yourself on! (Image Filepile)

How often we look outside of ourselves for solutions that we’re the answer to, right? When we want to lose weight, we can look to super diets and cleanses instead of eating less and working out more. When we’re not getting where we want to be at work, we can blame the boss, chide the system. And when we want love, it seems easier sometimes to point to the lack of partners, the flaws of dating. But the truth is, our futures depend not just on what’s coming at us, but also on how we approach our future. In fact, mostly on how we approach our future.

Use this to your advantage in every way: You have the power to change how you feel about your life and your love prospects. You have the power to see yourself and your life in a brighter light. You can be the happy, strong, wise, driven, hilarious wonderful person you want to be in love now—and you should be. Your love future depends on it.

A big thanks to writer Bobbi Plum Palmer who forwarded this quote on.

You might also like:
Retrieve Your “Lost” Optimism

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

Real Love Is Not a Catalog Shoot

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

My friend Todd told me about this brilliant site Catalog Living. It’s a hilarious send-up of home decor catalogs, in which writer and comedian Molly Erdman has created a fictitious family who lives inside the images and comments on the absurd styling.

An aside, when I went to check out Molly’s site, I couldn’t figure out why I recognized her until I watched her reel to place the face. Turns out…she’s the Sonic burger wife! If you have laughed out loud at a Sonic commercial in the last six months, you know Molly Erdman. Annnnway, the site is equally laugh out loud.

Wishing for a picture-perfect life?

A recent favorite, for example, is this clip, “You’re Getting Colder,” in which “Elaine finally found a place where Gary wouldn’t find her prized albino apples.”

Wait…what does this have to do with dating optimism? It’s an important reminder that the perfect life you see on television, in catalogs and in the brief glimpses of other people’s lives is not the whole story. When I was single, I was highly influenced and a little hurt inside when I saw someone else living the perfect life I wanted, when mine felt so much less than. Catalog Living’s funny site is a great reminder that people’s lives and relationships are not always what they seem.

We are all different types of people. We have different tastes in furniture, in work, in cities, in the people we enjoy spending time with—and whether or not we put bowls of green, red, albino or no apples on our credenzas. No one’s life is perfect and real love is not a photo shoot! The relationship you want is more likely about a comfortably messy bed and a water stain on the sisal carpet, an argument over paying the bills and a few differences in what you like to eat for dinner. Life is messier than the catalogs will have you believe, and kudos to, ahem, Gary and Elaine for pointing out that this is good news for all of us.

You might also like:
The Edamame Lesson

Big love and happy cataloging,

Just One Thing: See the Good in Others

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

I’m a big fan of a neuropsychologist named Rick Hanson, Ph.D. He’s the founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, a contributor to Huffington Post and, and one of those all-around smart-as-hell kind of guys.

What's good in others? If you look at what they're giving, you will find it. (Image: Amy Spencer

A few months ago I went to a seminar he held about the neuroscience of positive thought and happiness and learned more in those eight hours than I would have watching eight hours of one of the The Real Houseswives Of… marathons. Go figure. But I mention Rick today because of something in his weekly newsletter called “Just One Thing” that caught my eye today.

I know that as a dater, it’s typical to walk away from a date thinking either, “What a waste, I could have spent the night watching reality TV” or “That guy or girl was totally playing me.” Either way, you come home from meeting them feeling worse about yourself and dating than you did before you went out! But Rick Hanson reminds us the importance of recognizing good qualities and intentions in others. As he writes in his most recent Just One Thing newsletter:

Unfortunately, if you feel surrounded by lots of bad or at best neutral qualities in others, and only a sprinkling of dimly-sensed good ones, then you naturally feel less supported, less safe, and less inclined to be generous or pursue your dreams. Plus, in a circular way, when another person gets the feeling that you don’t really see much that’s good in him or her, that person is less likely to take the time to see much that’s good in you.

Seeing the good in others is thus a simple but very powerful way to feel happier and more confident, and become more loving and more productive in the world.

I love this. It’s a reminder that no relationship should be taken for granted. Everyone we meet is someone worth paying attention to, giving credence to, learning from. As Rick says, “See the good in others.” We’re all trying to get by in this crazy world, right? And when it comes to dating, we’re all looking for that wonderfully well-suited other half. By paying attention to the good in others—their positive qualities, the parts that make us smile—it puts our attention where it should be, and keeps our focus on the happy angles that count. The more you appreciate others, the more  you’ll tune into the good in yourself and the good in life. And that’s where your half-orange will be.

You might also like:
30 Rock: Are You a Cranky Cow?

Big love,


Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Green PillYour dose for today…

“Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow.”—Albert Einstein

A profile in Peru: Look to the blue sky breaking through in your future. (Image: Amy Spencer)

Man, as if Albert Einstein weren’t smart enough already, he tosses us this gem? This is true in all areas of life: In dating, in work, in friendship and family. It’s everything that the practice of dating optimism is about in a nutshell:

What has happened in your past love life—the breakups you’ve had, the hits you’ve taken, the hearts you’ve broken—is over, but learn from what you can so you can make better, wiser choices in your life going forward. Your present, your life now, is the only one you’ve got; so date, live, laugh, love and make the absolute most of it so you don’t look back with regret that you let it slip through your fingers without appreciating it. And as for that future of yours? Hope for the best. Hope you will meet the absolute love of your life and don’t settle for anything less than a vision for a happy, healthy relationship ahead of you. It’s harder than it looks, but if you can focus on it, even for five minutes right now, Albert was right: Learn, live, hope.

You might also like:
The Acorn Message

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

Smart Girls (and Guys) at the Party

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

I only recently came across the web series created by Amy Poehler, Meredith Walker and Amy Miles called “Smart Girls at the Party.” It’s now in its second season online.

It was created for teens and young women to show that being smart is cool and not to back down from being your smart, unique awesome self. Why do I love it as dating advice? Because of the tagline that Amy uses when she introduces the show:

Smart Girls at the Party: The show that celebrates extraordinary individuals who are changing the world by being themselves.

Amy Miles, Amy Poehler and Meredith Walker

The way I see it, the best way to meet your half-orange is to celebrate exactly the same thing: being an extraordinary individual, being yourself. And by being this amazing, unique version of yourself, you can change the world by sharing your happiness with the rest of us. Whether you do it by being a smart girl or guy, or a warm one, a funny one, a sporty one, a talented one, a goofy one, or some other extraordinary version of you, you’ll get the most out of life by being your best.

And of course you know what happens when you’re sending all that happy, full, extraordinary energy out there…you’ll be batting the guys and girls away who want to have a piece of that in their life. Go ahead and bat most of them away, as long as you let your half-orange come through.

Check out the link to an episode of Smart Girls at the Party.

Big love,