Archive for December, 2010


New Year’s Eve: You Never Know

Friday, December 31st, 2010

My friend Amy just posted this on Facebook and I wanted to pass it to you. Because it fits into a mantra I write about in Meeting Your Half-Orange: Why you should give yourself the YNK Speech: You Never Know. Here’s the story Amy told:

Seventeen years ago, I ventured out to the city with friends on New Year’s Eve and waited on line in the freezing cold for an over-sold nightclub, only to meet the love of my life inside. Here is to cold nights and warm hearts.

Cheers to a New Year in Love!


You never know what can happen on New Year’s Eve, when people’s joy is out there and their hearts are open, and we all enjoy meeting new people to celebrate good times. And even if you don’t meet the love of your life inside some warm place tonight, you never know how who you meet tonight will affect your life tomorrow. You never know how one conversation, or one toast, or one smile, or one laugh with friends will change how you see your life, how you feel about love or what will come in your future.

So tonight: Open your eyes. Open your heart. Open the walls that might keep new people and new ideas out on other nights of the year. And ask the universe to get you one step closer to your true love in whatever way it can. Because you never know how one small step tonight will lead you to the biggest joy of your life: meeting your half-orange.

Big love and Happy New Year!

OPTIMISM WORKSHOP: How NOT to Make a New Year’s “Love” Resolution

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Oh boy, right? It’s that time again.

After slurping down those cocktails...what about those resolutions? (Image: Amy Spencer, Samoa)

The time of year we start making super big plans and overly big promises so that come, oh, January 20th when we feel like we’ve been putting in all this effort and nothing’s come to fruition, we may as well eat a whole pizza on a duvet on the couch in front of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and cry our unaccomplished, unloved, hopeless selves to sleep.

Well not this year! Why? Because you’re going to make the right resolutions—at least when it comes to love. Let’s look at some of the possible ways you’ve resolved to find love before and how you’ll change it this year for the good. Follow this OPTIMISM WORKSHOP to alter your romantic resolutions for the better.

Here’s How Not to Make Your New Year’s Love Resolutions:

Don’t RESOLUTION #1: Resolve to “Find love this year.” Love isn’t the extra set of keys you placed behind the food processor and forgot about. It’s not something to be “found.” And setting off on a “search” won’t get you there.

Do: Resolve to be open for love this year. As a dating optimist, I believe that we don’t find love, love finds us. But it can only find us when we’re sending the signal that we’re open and ready for it.

Your Jan. 1st First Step: Instead of thinking inward about who’s done you wrong and what you want that’s right, focus your eyes upward and outward. Look at all the people out there on the street, in the stores, at parties or driving past you. The world is big and anything can happen! This year, keep your gaze set up and out so others can see how open you are to what might.

Don’t RESOLUTION #2: Resolve you will get them to like you, whatever it takes. Hey, I’ve been there, too. So certain that the guy I liked was a great match for me, and if I could just get him to see the same perfect picture in my imagination, we’d live happily ever after. The problem? You can’t make someone like you. And trying to in a grabby, beggy way will only push them further away.

Do: Resolve you will attract the right person for you. And I hate to be the one to tell you this, but if that person you like isn’t calling and texting and trying to get you into his or her life, then they’re not—right now, at least—the right person for you.

Your Jan. 1st First Step: Delete the phone number of that guy or girl who keeps blowing you off. Yes, delete. If you are still using energy thinking about how to make it happen with them, you’re distracting yourself from what’s going on right outside your own front door! Stop obsessing about the right-this-second person and start thinking about how you want to feel long term with the right-lifetime person.

That open boat? That open water? That's how open YOU can be for love. (Image: Amy Spencer, Samoa)

Don’t RESOLUTION #3: Resolve that “Enough is enough. Argh, this is the freaking year for love, dammit.” As I write about in Meeting Your Half-Orange, your intentions aren’t all that matters. What also counts is the tone of your voice and energy when you set your intentions. So if you’re coming at a relationship from a place of fed-up frustration, neediness or hopelessness, you’re not going to attract what you’re really looking for.

Do: Resolve that you’ll accept love when the time is right. Patience isn’t easy. I know this. I’ve watched pots boil and stared at phones waiting for them to ring and screamed at the sky asking why the thing I want so badly hasn’t come. But if trust that love will land on your doorstep when you and your future partner are ready for it—and ready for each other—you will be happier and more attractive for it.

Your Jan. 1st First Step: Write this on a Post-It: “We’ll meet when we’re both ready.” This will remind you that it’s not just you that’s waiting for your other half—your half-orange is also out there wondering what’s taking so long for you to arrive. Get ready by being your happiest, very best self so they’ll recognize you when they see you.

Those are my three biggest resolution fixes to help get you started this year. With this, I wish you the happiest, healthiest, love-iest New Year!

You might also like:
Optimism Workshop: Build an Even Better Dreamboard

Big love,

Use Your Bad Dates For Good!

Monday, December 20th, 2010

‘Tis the season of giving instead of taking, of thinking more about others than ourselves, right? And I don’t know about you, but I can use all the reminders about that I can get. Which is why I remembered a great blog someone recommended to me on Twitter. It’s called Single For Good: Each Bad Date Deserves a Good Deed. From the title alone, I think we could all take a lesson from it.

The author of the blog, Bianca, told Single Edition that she began it one Valentine’s Day (which she hilariously calls “Single Awareness Day”) when she realized if she was going to be single, she may as well be single for good.” Here’s what got her started:

“I thought about how much I could do for the community,” said Bianca, “if I simply tore myself away from the temporary discontent of the bad date (though my best friends Ben & Jerry are still on speed-dial) and channeled my dating frustrations into performing acts of service for life and Earth. I whole-heartedly believe singles can change the world for the better, one bad date at a time. Volunteering is the Nyquil to my all-the-time, sniffling, whining, heart-aching, bad date illness.”

What a great idea. She now blogs about her experiences in dating along with the volunteer activity she’s doing in honor of it—or perhaps to try to forget it as quickly as possible! In her most recent post, for example, she served up breakfast and played Bingo while volunteering for the Senior Breakfast Club. “It’s all about your outlook…” she wrote in her post “and a positive mindset is the way to go.”

It’s healthy for us sometimes to put our lives in perspective like this. Yes, bad dates, bad days and generally sucky weeks of life stink. But so does loneliness to a senior in a nursing home or a dog at a shelter. So does illiteracy to a high-schooler or an adult immigrant. So I propose we all take Bianca’s blog to heart, whether we’re dating or not. If we have a bad date or an awful work meeting, instead of turning inward to gripe about our own lives, let’s reach outward and use our energy to make someone else’s life better. Even if we don’t volunteer for big organizations or planned events, doing small acts of kindness can help.

Here are some ideas for today: Instead of being bummed about that guy who didn’t call you back, help a guy with a walker carry his basket in CVS. Instead of getting angry in mind-numbing traffic, let someone cut in front of you with a wave and a smile. Instead of being frustrated that the date with your girl friend didn’t cross over into romance, help a mother and her child cross a busy street. As they sang in Wicked, “Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” For all we know, the people we meet along the way in our lives—especially when you’re single and meeting more new people than ever—will change us for the good, too.

By the way, if you don’t already follow me on Twitter, you can check out my regular Tweets at

You might also like:
Take the Menu Challenge

Big love,

“I just ended a relationship with a bad boy, and started dating a nice guy who has all of the stability and lovely qualities the bad boy was lacking. The problem? I’m not physically attracted to him. I don’t get excited when he calls and even though we did have sex finally, I don’t want to do it again. Is there something wrong with me? Am I looking for the wrong things? Amazon also recommended Lori Gottlieb’s book which gives the exact opposite advice from yours, which is to settle for Mr. Good enough, but the thought of settling depresses me. Should I settle for a nice guy I don’t really like?” —K.

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Hi K.,

Your story about the bad boy and good guy are so familiar — we have all been there, tugging between the two of them, wondering which one’s right for us. Well, I’ll say this: By the sound of it, the bad boy sure isn’t right for you. If he’s not providing the feeling that you’re loved and important and taken care of and special, than forget him. You deserve a good guy like the one you’re talking about. But here’s the shortest answer I’ll give you: Just because one particular guy you’re dating is a good guy does not mean he’s the right good guy.

What I read is that you’ve proven to yourself that you can like a good guy. The fact that you took it five dates far and slept with him and see all the potential for a happy relationship with him? That’s huge! That’s progress! I’ll bet that when you were with the bad boy and saw this guy (or guys like him), you didn’t consider those guys as even options for you. So I say kudos to you for doing those visualizations and imagining how good it would feel to be with someone who actually put you at the top of their list and who considers you special.

That said, you don’t have to settle down with the first good guy who makes you feel that way. There are a lot of good guys out there, and the fact that you’ve started dating one is what I call in Meeting Your Half-Orange “the little green sprout.” The fact that you’ve gotten yourself one big step closer to enjoy the company and picture a future with a guy that treats you well? That’s amazing! Don’t get down because you don’t want to have sex with him again; stay up that you’ve come this far with him in the first place. It’s a sign you’re closer than ever to being ready for the right good guy. Maybe it’s him, but I don’t know.

I mean, just read your own words again: “I am not physically attracted to him. I don’t get excited when he calls and I even though we did have sex finally, after our fifth date, I’m not sure I want to do it again.”

The fact is, there is nothing wrong with you. And while I can’t say whether or not you’ve been looking for the wrong things—or have over the years—it sounds like you know now what is important, and that’s all that matters. As for Lori’s book, she makes some good points about finding the important stuff in a guy, about looking for the yes’es, and I couldn’t agree more. But she also pushes the idea that even if you don’t feel a spark or special about the the person you’re with, maybe it’s worth settling anyway and with that, I couldn’t disagree more.

I know that you’re scared because you’re 38 and you want to be in a relationship, but don’t let fear make this choice for you. Do you really want to marry and have children with a man you don’t want to have sex with more than once? With someone who doesn’t make you want to take his call? If you don’t get excited about going out to dinner with him or kissing him now, then what’s going to get you through the ups and downs of a relationship as time goes on? Determination, I suppose. But that doesn’t sound like a very joyous existence to me. And haven’t you waited this long because you want a relationship that enhances your life, rather than bringing it down?

The point of a relationship is supposed to be to add to your life, to make you even happier than you are when you’re single, to perhaps start a family with someone and have fun along the ride of life together as a team. Otherwise, why get into one? But it sounds to me like this guy—so early in your courtship—already isn’t making you happier. He’s making you have doubts. He’s making you question yourself. He’s making you wonder if there’s something wrong with you because you don’t like him.

The truth is, sometimes even the hot sexy guys who look good on paper don’t cause a spark in us. And I hate seeing awesome, strong, gorgeous women beat themselves up because they can’t “make” the chemistry experiment sizzle, they can’t make the volcano work. And the way I see it, without a spark of something, it’ll be hard to make a relationship work. I’m not saying that your other half needs to look like that bad boy and needs to be physically perfect from the outside, but *something* about him does need to elicit a spark of *something* inside you that makes you feel lucky to be with him.

For those who’ve read Meeting Your Half-Orange, you may remember the story of the girl who was best friends with a guy who was balding and wore concert T-shirts, while she’d always pictured someone with higher-end style. Yet when he kissed her one night, the sparks between them flew, and she now considers him the hottest guy ever. The way she put it was, “I’d look at him and say, ‘I’m so glad it’s you.'” Her friends didn’t necessarily consider this nice guy hot and the general public might not, but for her, he’s the cat’s pajamas, and it’s because of how big his heart is, how he makes her feel, and because their physical chemistry—once they tried it—turned out to be electric.

This guy you’re dating, maybe you will fall in love with who he is on the inside. And maybe he will turn out to be a great match for you. But I don’t want you to torture yourself with trying to find it inside him if it’s just not there. My good guy friend just finally gave himself the gift of ending a relationship with someone he kept “trying” to make it work with. He said “I was so exhausted because I didn’t want to *try* anymore, I wanted to just *be.*” And that’s how the right relationship will make you feel. You’ll enjoy being, instead of working so hard trying.

I can’t tell you what to do, of course. This is your life, your heart, your future. But it sounds to me that you’ve finally figured out how you want to feel in a relationship with a good guy, and it’s just now about summoning the right good guy. If “settling” depresses you, don’t do it. You don’t have to! You know what you want now. You can follow your gut from this place forward.

You don’t have to dive into my book if you don’t want, but the truth is, I wrote it for people precisely like you, because you are now where I was when I was dating. I was tired of beating myself up for not liking the “right” people, I was tired of trying to summon chemistry with good guys, and I was tired of dragging myself around to places where I might meet the right someone. What I did, and what you can do if you’re up for it, is simply begin by realizing you’re not asking for too much. A good guy who you’re also attracted to in some way? That’s simply a combo of two men you’ve dated before, and these men do exist. The guy for you may not be a Versace model hot, but it is possible to be madly attracted to a guy with a kind heart who treats you like gold! You just have to believe that guy does exist. I believe he does for you. Now you just have to believe it. That’s all that optimism is—believing it. Maybe it will grow with this guy, but whatever happens, give yourself permission to feel a true connection. Because that’s what’s going to make you happy in a relationship in the long haul.


When Your Date’s Gone Bad, Listen to THIS

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

We’ve all had bad dates. Many of them so bad they’re yawn-numblingly boring, some so bad they’re bad, and a lucky few so bad they’re good.

Ever gotten a message like this?

This audio file is an example of the latter. Sort of. It’s not a date, it’s a guy trying to get a date. He apparently met some woman, got her number, and then called her. A few times. The result? One of the best phone messages you’ve ever heard.

So the next time your date’s gone bad, or the next time you think you’ve left an embarrassing message on someone’s voicemail, remember that you’re not alone—and, in fact, it’s been worse. Your proof is that this hilarious string of voicemails from Dimitri is out there: The Reason Some Girls Stay Single.


You might also like:
Just One Thing: See the Good in Others

Big love,