Archive for September, 2010


Dolphins, Moose and Dating

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

The other night, my husband told a guy he knew that we were heading to Japan soon. (We’re going Sunday and I’m stoked!) The man shook his head, and said, “Have you seen The Cove?”

A photo of a diver with gorgeous dolphins from

“Not yet,” said Gustavo.

“Oh man,” the guy said of the film that won the Best Documentary Oscar this year. “It’s so messed up. Watching those Japanese fishermen slaughtering those dolphins made me lose respect for them. I can’t go to Japan now after seeing that.”

“It’s really sad,” said Gustavo, “I hear ya.” They stood there for a second taking in the weight of it.

“So,” said Gustavo, changing the subject. “What are you up to this weekend?”

“I have the best plans,” said the guy. “My friends and I are going elk and moose hunting!”

Okay. So. I know this topic is sensitive and we could debate the “We eat cows, they eat dolphins” and “Why do we eat any animals at all” topic until we’re blue in the face. But what I want to focus on right now is not the debate, but that this guy did not recognize the mixed message he was sending: After a rant about how bad it is to kill one animal, he was setting out to kill another one!

I was blown away by his blindness until I realized how much we all speak in mixed messages in more subtle ways.

If you’re single, you may have said at some point, “Dating sucks. All guys/girls are jerks. Ugh, I’m so over it.” And yet if I asked you why you were dating, you probably would have said, “To have a happy, fulfilling, wonderful relationship in love.” In its own way, those two ideas are like the dolphin and the moose. You want a happy, uplifting, loving relationship, and yet you’re growling about how sucky everything is with a scowl on your face? Talk about a mixed message.

Don’t think you can complain about being single or sarcastically groan about dating or roll your eyes and mock the whole thing…and then hope that your secret desire for a bright happy relationship will come! Nuh-uh. Life doesn’t work like that. You have to be the part you want to be.

You only get the promotion when you talk positively about how much you want it. You only get picked for the football play when you tell your fellow players you’re confident you can pull it off. You only get the loan when you convince the lender you have every positive intention of paying it back. And in love, you only get a happy, wonderful, loving relationship when you positively express that you actually want one!

Whether you’re talking about dolphins and moose or talking about what you want out of life, look at the message you’re sending. Do your words match your intentions? Because your words need to match your intentions! If you’re talking about how much dating sucks, it will suck. Un-mix your message and start talking about what you want. I’m going to finish watching The Cove on my TiVo and try to do the same.

You might also like:
If You Think You’re Happy…
Can You Be a Cynical Optimist?

Big love,

Shame on You, Bachelor Pad!

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Note: I’ve waited an extra day to post this so TiVo viewers can catch up, but if you haven’t seen it, there’s a SPOILER giving away the first 15 minutes.

Even though Bachelor Pad isn’t as good as The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (shows I love so much I want to be buried with an ABC TV so I can keep watching from beyond) I’ve still thoroughly enjoyed the funny drama and antics of it all. Until this week.

They were cheering before they knew how shafted they'd be. (Image:

This was a show about a house where former singles from the former shows could mingle and goof off and hook up and battle each other with wits like a sexy single Survivor. At the end? A prize of $250,000. The rules of the show had the men and women competing for immunity, then voting each other off each week: The men voted off one woman and the women voted off one man. Fair enough. I was down with that. And throughout the show, some of the singles started coupling up. That happens, too. And I liked the competition that was brewing between the singles and the couples. Would the couples team up? Would the cozy couples be ousted by the singles who had more time to plot and prepare? I couldn’t wait to find out. And then the producers went and smacked the singles straight in the face.

Five minutes into the show, Chris Harrison unsympathetically told the group that to even the 4 guys and 7 girls head count, they’d even the playing field and send three girls home. Tension mounted. And I got excited: How would they decide?

Well, they decided in the lamest, grossest, shame-iest way: In a scene out of a school yard sports pick, the boys simply kissed girls they liked and asked them to stay. And since half the group had already coupled off, the men just asked the girls they’d been kissing all along, sending three cool girls who didn’t happen to have partners in the house off to the limos to head home.

Now, I’m an optimist and I like to look for the best in any situation. But this show twist pissed me the hell off. This wasn’t a contest called “Which girls hook up?” This was a competition for $250,000 big ones that could change some contestant’s bank account in a big way. And they let the decision of the final four girls hinge on the hormones of four typical guys? Come on! I cringed when one of the contestants (I think was Tenley) said something like, “Not only did they not find love here, but now they won’t be winning $250,000.” Exactly. And that’s just plain wrong.

Singles get ousted far too much like this in life. I remember one office job where I was often asked to forgo my plans for the plans of the wives and mothers I worked with. “My husband and I have dinner plans,” one would say. Or “I’ve got to get home to the baby.” So there I’d be, cancelling my dinner plans with my friends or cancelling my plans to go home to rest with the remote control because there was work to be finished in the office, and the choices of me as a single woman weren’t deemed as important as those in the coupled up world. And there are plenty of movie plots that revolve around some woman needing to show how settled they are in life by introducing their new husband or wife to the boss (Aniston’s Picture Perfect and Cameron’s What Happens in Vegas are two), so it must happen to other people, too. I’m sorry, but that just ain’t right. Single people should have just as much clout in this world as couples. If you’re single, you deserve as much of a shot to get a job, have a night to yourself or win $250,000 as the coupled up person next to you!

What should Bachelor Pad have done instead? Let the girls battle it out as individuals! Let the strongest or smartest or quickest decide. Have them race. Make them win a trivia contest about how much they learned about the others in the house. Hell, have the girls do some olive oil wrestling like the guys did on the last round of The Bachelorette. As long as the playing field was even. But to have the fate of these women’s $250,000 resting on what felt like a line-up at a grade school dance? Shame on you, Bachelor Pad. Next time, learn a little something from Survivor, which proves that it doesn’t matter what age, race, job or relationship status you are, because you can win the money at the end of the show if you can outwit and outplay the others. Here’s hoping life will be more like that, too.

I mean…am I wrong on this? Was this just supposed to be fluffy fun? What do you guys think?

You might also like:
11 Ways Being Single Beats Being in a Relationship

You’re So Hot

10 Reasons to Be Thankful for Being Single

Big love to all my cool singles!

It’s Just Lunch…and Some Dating Optimism!

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback about an interview that I did with the dating service “It’s Just Lunch” that went up on their site yesterday. It’s sort of a dip-a-toe-in-the-water approach to dating, setting up people for casual lunch dates.

So…I thought I’d post it up here for you all to see, too. In it, I answer five short questions, including “What’s your dating philosophy?” “What advice would you give someone about to go on a first date?” and “What’s the best dating advice you ever received?” Find out my answers by going to my It’s Just Lunch Q&A or click on the image below. I had so much fun working with Simone for the piece, so I hope you find the message as date-inspiring as I intended it to be.

Big love,

How to Be An Optimist If You’ve Never Been Kissed

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Gosh, I love embarrassing questions. Mostly because the questions that people think are embarrassing really…aren’t. When I hosted the Sirius radio show Sex Files on the Maxim channel, I used to get calls all the time from people saying, “You’ve probably never heard this one before, but…” And the thing is, I usually had. Because we’re all human, and our experiences—good, bad and embarrassing—are so often similar.

A new book from Health magazine

That’s why I’m such a fan of the new book that one of my favorite editors—Lisa Lombardi at Health magazine—co-authored. What the Yuck? is full of those questions people are afraid to ask but secretly all want to know.

Now, in honor of those “You’ve probably never heard this one before” questions, I’m going to answer one of them right now. (I also regularly post answers to other questions that have been emailed to me in the “Let’s Talk” Q&A section of this site, so check some out!)

The Question:

“You said never to say never…but this one “never” is hard to argue with: I’ve never been on a date, never been asked out, and, as the movie goes, never been kissed. I just finished reading your book. You might wonder why I read your book if I haven’t had any dating experience yet. I’m almost 24 years old and am truly at the point in my life where I want my half-orange to find me. I am becoming the person I want to be: I recently took up competitive running, lost a good amount of weight, and am now starting to enjoy my life as a graduate student. I want to be a dating optimist but I find it extremely hard when, as far as I know, no one has found me date-able. I find it very hard to believe that any man will be able to love me. I know that I need to banish those thoughts but after this long, it’s extremely difficult to do.” —R.

My Answer:

We’ve all had our “never” times, R. There’s no such thing as a rulebook for how fast or slow people are supposed to go. And by the sound of it, you’re going at just the right pace or you.

I’m so happy for you that you say you’re becoming the person you want to be. And that, I must say, is the best thing you can do for your dating self. Because the more you know who you are and what you want in life, the better you’ll approach future dates and potential partners. Now, as for no one finding you date-able…psshaw! (You get that sound effect, right? I’m waving away that idea as nutbaggy!) You are date-able. You are loveable. You will have a wonderful partner in your life who won’t be able to fathom that you deem him worthy to be with you.

And the first step I think you should take to meet that person is to go on a date. Yep, pull off the Band Aid and get on out there. The easiest and best idea I can suggest is online dating, because unlike a bar or a party or a restaurant, all the people you find on that dating site are there for the same thing—to date! Don’t disguise who you are, don’t put up a photo that doesn’t look like you, don’t say you like things you don’t like because guys might like it. Check the box for “want a relationship,” wink at a few people, and have fun. When someone asks you out, go for it. He doesn’t need to be perfect, he doesn’t need to be your future husband, he just needs to be someone who wants to have a coffee or a cocktail or a meal on a cool fall night over good conversation. That’s it. If you know a friend who wants to set you up, or another place to meet someone to date, go for it.

My point is, dive into a date. First dates are notoriously awkward anyway—whether you’ve had 30 first dates (oh, look at that, another Drew Barrymore movie) or none, so you’re not going to stand out for being inexperienced, trust me. Just go with the idea in mind that it’s nothing serious and that this first date or your first kiss doesn’t need to be the be-all, end-all—you’re just breaking that ice and taking the first step into the rest of your dating life. And you can always keep in mind my favorite mantra: The worse it is, the better the story.

I hope that helps, and I hope you can get your optimism up there. Life, remember, is all about first steps. You’ll be taking first steps when you’re fifty, too, so enjoy these first steps into dating and be confident that because you will have a happy ending, you can enjoy the whole ride along the way.

You might also like:

Big love,

An Everlasting Love

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Wow, this is something special.

This is a video that reader of my book named Doni Conner found and posted on the Meeting Your Half-Orange Facebook Group page (which, by the way, is a great way to get in touch, say hi and share your story!) My eyes are still wet from viewing it, and I knew I needed to share it with you. If you’re in a Starbucks or a busy office where everyone can see you, be warned: it’s moving. Click on this image of the video:

Click this image to be directed to the video on Vimeo.

Or on this link here: Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo. Their story is so moving, so simple and so real. And I hope it inspires you the way it has inspired me today.

The next time you kick yourself wondering why you’re even bothering with all this dating, and if there are guys and girls out there who are full of love and want what you want, let Danny & Annie be your answer. You’re bothering because of this. Because this is what love is. Someone to walk into life with together, who’ll offer you ice cream at night and stir your heart.

You might also like:
The Ageless Path You’re On

The Duet You’re Dating For

Big love,