It is written

Cheering each other on


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,

Hopes That Reach the Sky

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Today, I’m inspired by a friend of mine, Nicole, who started a gorgeous blog called Truth + Fairytales. Kind of what we all need to know the difference between in dating, too, huh.

Nicole, a former coworker of mine, is one of those girls who’s always wearing the cutest thing while her hair falls in just the most naturally enviable way, with a creative talent you wish you could bottle. So I wasn’t surprised to love her latest post called Hopes that Reach the Sky. The post is about another cool blog she stumbled upon called The Beginning, which is full of sharp, inspiring or spot-on quotes presented in delectably artful ways.

Nicole posted her favorites on Truth + Fairytales, and I adore her choices. So my suggestion today is to check both blogs out and skim them for a few minutes to see if you find something that speaks personally to you. Sometimes when you’re feeling lost or buried under or mildly hopeless in life or love, just seeing that someone else has felt something you’re feeling can make all the difference.

One of my favorite quotes, for instance, is presented on the image of a little girl hiding behind a balloon. It says:  “I’ve finally discovered that my greatest fear is not being alone; it’s being vulnerable.” Amazing, right? Because when you figure out something big like that, it can change how open you feel with others every step of the day.

Find yourself an insight that resonates with you like that, and here’s to your hopes reaching the sky.

You might also like:
How Do You Feel? No, Really…

Big love,

“Half a Life”: How To Get Past Your Painful, Terrible Love Scars

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Most often, I write about peppy things. I encourage you to focus on the bloom not the thorn, the sun not the clouds, the healing not the injury. But last night, I was reminded it’s also important to address those injuries sometimes, because we all have scars in varying shapes and sizes. Especially in love.

The new novel by Darin Strauss (McSweeney's Books). It's up to us to find hope through the pain.

This all came to mind last night during an event at Skylight Books in L.A. where my friend Darin Strauss read from his new book Half a Life.

I’ve known Darin for over twenty years (we lived just a few miles from each other growing up) and if you don’t know his work yet, you’d be wise to check it out. He’s published some very successful novels (Chang & Eng,The Real McCoy, More Than It Hurts You) and this, his first memoir, is getting rave reviews. (He read from the book on This American Life, GQ magazine excerpted it, and here’s the review from The New York Times.) In a word, it’s incredible.

Half a Life is the true story of a painful incident in Darin’s teenage life when his car hit a girl on her bike and killed her. It wasn’t his fault, but he spent the next half of his life dealing with the guilt and judging his life through the glasses of the tragedy. In the book, Darin writes:

“The accident taught me this. Things don’t go away. They become you. There is no end, as T.S. Eliot somewhere says, but addition: the trailing consequence of further days and hours. No freedom from the past, or from the future. But we keep making our way, as we have to.”

It makes me think of all the hurts that happen to us in love and relationships that we also have to keep making our way with—for weeks, months or decades. Maybe it’s a partner who cheated or lied and you wonder what you did wrong to deserve it. Maybe it’s a love that unraveled over time and you keep replaying what you could have done differently to stop it. Maybe it’s emotional or physical abuse that scars your heart like a gash can scar a face for good. Or maybe it’s a death or a loss that makes you question if it’s worth loving at all if things hurt this much when it ends.

As Darin’s book reminds us, the painful, terrible scars on our bodies and in our hearts will always be there. But it’s up to us to learn how to live without blaming the people or things that have hurt us, and without blaming ourselves for how long it’s taken to get over it. Life is not about denying the scars from our past, but about weaving them into our present lives and making what good we can of it.

Bad things happen to good people all the time. It’s not fair. But if you can learn to see it from the right angle, those injuries, over time, can become vehicles for something greater for you. Let your scars make you stronger, wiser and more empathetic. Let them deepen who you are as a human, not shield you from wanting to feel things in your future. And let them build you a better life not confine you to a ruined one. We’re stronger than we think, and as our scars heal, so should we.

If you like Half a LifeDarin is blogging about his book tour on—and today he gives a shout-out to Meeting Your Half-Orange and how optimism can help.

You might also like:

Wise Words from an Undone She

Big love,

An Optimist Tosses Her Dating Books!

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

I wanted to share this story I just came across from writer Abigail Pickus, who writes a column for The Jewish Week about her dating life called “Abigail in Love (maybe).” In this column called “Am I Still a Dating Optimist if I Throw Away All of My Dating Books?” as she talks about reading my book as well as others, I think you’ll appreciate her frustration with not just dating, but dating books that tell you how to do dating right.

In the end, Abigail says she’s decided that because even Meeting Your Half-Orange, which she liked, doesn’t have the formula for love, she’s going to live her single life without dating books from now on. As she writes:

“In other words, people, I am done with all the dating books. Even the nice ones. From now on I am only reading books that are going to engage my mind and imagination – not give me another formula for finding love. That I will just have to leave to fate.”

What do I love so much about a cool woman who isn’t saying, “Run and buy this book”? That, inadverently, she’s come to the conclusion to live her life in the way I want all of you to. She’s not going to obsess over her dates and her single status. She’s not going to scan online for advice on how to flirt her way to marriage. And she’s not going to buy a book a week on how to change herself for the right guy. Instead, she’s going to read and do things that engage her mind—in other words, she’s going to engage in what Meeting Your Half-Orange readers know are “gratifications,” those activities that make you feel smart and strong and fulfilled. Follow Abigail’s lead and make those same day to day choices for yourself that lead to eudaimonia, the gratifying happiness of being satisfied as your true self.

If you’re feeling like this writer and want to just toss your books into the trash, go ahead and do it! (Be gentle with mine, though, would you?) Then start fresh by living your day to day the way you want to. Read the books you want. Watch the movies on your Netflix list. Make the vacation plan you’ve been putting off until you met “the right person.” The more you live life as your true self and the more truly, eudaimonically happy you are, the better the energy you’re putting out there, and the easier it will be for your half-orange to recognize you as the happy, kick-ass person you are.

Big love,

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,