Archive for January, 2011


VITAMIN OPTIMISM: Let Down Your “Dating Caution Tape”

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Green PillYour dose for today…

Let down the caution tape and get close to the good stuff (Image: Amy Spencer, the Taga Blowholes, Samoa)

“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.” —Bertrand Russell

I know, I know. You’ve been hurt. You’ve had loves and lost them. You’ve put yourself out there and not gotten anything in return. Never mind hurt, you don’t want to get that poor heart even pinged with a paperclip. And so you’re cautious. You don’t let anyone in unless you’re 100% certain they’re not going to hurt you. Well, guess what? There is no guarantee like that. In fact, even the people we trust most in our lives—our families, best friends—can hurt us, and sometimes, even without meaning to, do just that.

So sure, take caution in the practical matters of dating and love: Meet in a public place, don’t give out your address, don’t invite people over you don’t know well like a Craigs List Killer Part Deux. But in the emotional matters, remove the big yellow dating caution tape in your mind, loosen up, smile and warmly reach out to make a connection. Walk on the edge of the good stuff, and don’t be afraid to get close. Real love requires open arms and an open mind, not a blocked path. Give yourself the chance to find it.

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Big love,

Amy Signature 4

HEALTH Magazine names The Dating Optimist a “Blog We Adore”

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

It’s a great month for The Dating Optimist. Why? Pick up the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Health magazine, and you’ll see that my blog was named a “Blog We Adore” for the issue, and featured a quote from this site’s archives!

Hilariously, the quote was pulled from a posting called “Dexter and You: Take Your Leap of Faith.” Nothing like finding comfort in life from the character of a serial killer!

But you know what? That’s precisely the point of The Dating Optimist: Positive messages can be found in the craziest places, sometimes. And if you focus on seeking them out, you’ll find them all around you. Joy and optimism can be ours in life and love if we each make the choice to use it.

So thanks Health magazine, I adore you right back. And to all of you who’ve written to me, commented on the blog, or just enjoyed a post or more every now and then, thank you for inspiring me to keep finding messages of hope—since I have you to pass them along to!

And if you find a positive message in a surprising place, or you’ve gotten better at looking for the good in even the biggest, bummer-est situations, tell me about it!

Big love and healthy living,

The Weird Benefit of The “Never Date Again” Strategy

Friday, January 7th, 2011

The what?!? I mean, let’s be honest, this isn’t a strategy for people who want to be in a relationship, is it? Well, not for the most part, no. But when the idea came up on the most recent episode of Parenthood, I couldn’t help but see some dating optimism in one character’s funny anti-dating message. (Check out my other Parenthood post, too, Why You Must Put Yourself Out There.)

Julia and Sarah Braverman, who hang out for girl's night. (Image:

The scene: Sarah (Lauren Graham) walked into her lawyer sister Julia (Erika Christensen)’s office and announced she had a new plan. This is what Sarah said:

“I made a New Year’s resolution, one I can really keep. I have decided, I am never going to date anyone. ever. again. Right? Because I want to have fun this year, and my relationships are not fun. Ergo, to wit, don’t have any. (I’m using a little legal jargon there for your comfort.) I’m gonna do fun things. I’m gonna go to museums and, uh, you know, read more. I’m gonna have a girl’s night out with my sister.”

The girl’s night out ended up being a funny wine-fest in (followed by a morning in the kitchen that made me laugh out loud when Sarah said “We’re flavored-coffee-drinking losers!”). And Sarah didn’t change her feelings about dating during the episode. So what did I like about it?

I liked the wise idea to take the focus off of dating for a minute. The way I see it, your path toward love isn’t about the guy or girl you want in it; it’s about you. Don’t just find three people who will go out with you and schedule some quick dates for next week; instead, make sure you’re in a place where you are mad happy with who you are and excited about the prospect of sharing your awesome life with someone before you go on those three dates!

Sarah was just burned by love and may not be able to come at dating with an open mind just yet. But she has a great idea here. If you’re not wildly in love with your life yet—if you’re not giddy about the person you are and certain that the right guy or girl will be lucky as hell to be with you—then find a way to fall in love with your life. Do fun things. Go to a museum. Read more. Knit. Box. Mountain climb. Dance. Learn Italian. Volunteer. Go out with your friends to places you’re not likely to meet someone (uh, senior citizens Bingo night, anyone?) so you don’t feel the pressure to work it.

Find a way to feel damn great about who you are and what’s coming down the pike in love and you’ll attract your half-orange faster, and be ready as ever for them when you meet.

Right? Is there anything you can think of that you could do this week that would make you feel happier with your life? What would make you feel so proud of you, you couldn’t wait to date a great person to tell them all about it?

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Big love,

Follow Her Half-Orange Journey

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

God, I love blogs. Especially personal ones where I can follow someone’s journey through life or love or dating. And this new one tops my list for obvious reasons: “The Search for My Half-Orange” was created by a Meeting Your Half-Orange reader who has taken one of the most important tenets of dating optimism seriously: You have to make your message clear and shout it wide. She’s doing just that. Kudos!

As I wrote about in the very recent post “How Not To Make a New Year’s Love Resolution,” the most important part of your search for love is being open to it. Love isn’t about sniffing along the ground to pick up the scent of a person you want to date, right? It’s about standing tall and proud in your own life, looking up and outward and sending the message that you’re open and ready for love. Only then can it come a-knocking.

So check out Tanita’s site, as she makes some great points about being exposed to way too much negative relationship stuff, and she’s really working on embracing happiness in life and love in 2011. I wish the same for you. Happy New Year!

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Big love,