How “Hard” Should You Try to Find Love?

March 25th, 2014

What advice would I give a friend trying to find love?


If you’re going to “try,” try to be the most fulfilled, content, inspired, kind, relaxed person you can be. If you feel your best, you’ll attract the best. (Image: Amy Spencer, Ojai Tea, 2014)

When I was single, I was always on the case to find love. I dated, I socialized, I went online, I scoped out events for cute guys the minute I entered. Which is why the advice that some people gave me was so aggravating. Their suggestion? “Stop trying. The minute you stop looking, for love, you’ll find it.” And while I got the gist of what they were saying—scouring the city with a wild love hunger was affecting my happiness—it also felt a bit defeatist. Like, really? Just sit back and wait for a guy to come knocking? It felt like the equivalent of “Just wait by the phone for a man to call,” which we girls  learned to stop doing long ago. (At least I hope we have?)

But I think there is a line here. The way I see it, “trying” is one thing. And for that I mean: Going online to find love. Asking to be set up. Giving a guy a second chance even when there wasn’t chemistry the first time. If what you want is love, then I say sure, try anything.

But then there’s trying too hard, and that’s another thing entirely. I know, because I’ve been the girl that tried too hard, though I didn’t know it at the time. As I wrote about  in Meeting Your Half-Orange, I cringe when I think about the guys I pushed to like me, the dates I pushed to happen, the parties I waded through in desperation, asking everyone, “Is anyone single here? Have you seen any cute guys?” I remember once hounding my sister once to arrange a set-up with the brother of a friend of hers who was mentioned to me in passing. (Can you follow that?) I’d call my sister every day asking, “Did you talk to R about her brother yet? Have you heard anything? Can you make it happen? Three weeks later, the brother finally told R, who told my sister, who told me: “He said ‘I hear she’s a brunette. I don’t date brunettes…”

God, I felt like a fool. Not only was I trying too hard, but I doing it for some jerk-off (can I say that on here? Trust me, I want to say worse!). The point is, that experience was not good for my self-esteem. I felt like a desperate single woman “on the prowl” just like Aly’s friend, willing to do anything to find a partner. Persistence seems to work with everything else in life, I thought, so why not with love?

Well, because love can’t be earned by hours worked or effort repaid. Finding love is, unfortunately, one of those things we can’t force or control. Try, definitely. But if you feel yourself trying too hard—and by that I mean feeling desperate, turning ugly, feeling down on yourself, hating the search for love—then stop! Please, for your own sake. Stop the cycle that I was in and focus on other things for a minute. You can try again later. The watched pot never boils, and a depressingly-stared-and-glared-at love life won’t heat up either.

Yeah, it sounds unhelpful to suggest sitting back and resting. But sometimes, for your own sanity, you need to! Pick one of the other 135 facets of your life that make you who you are, other than dating—friends, exercise, reading, writing, dancing, cooking, walking, eating—and focus on that for a minute.

And who knows, you may end up being one of those people who (like me) end up saying, “It’s so funny, the minute I stopped trying…” and “It was just when I least expected it…” Remember, clichés become clichés because there’s truth in there.

So if you’re going to try at anything, I’d like to suggest this: Try to be the most authentic person you can be. Try to find things that create a bubbling happiness inside of you whether you’re with someone or not—like cooking for your friends, traveling to far off places, taking some Krav Maga classes, or writing poetry. Try to see the world as wide open as you can, full of all kinds of people you might meet, experiences you might have, and love for family and friends that bursts as big as the romantic one you’re looking for.

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

So, What Will You Do With Your One Life?

March 10th, 2014

I came across this on the web this morning, and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. It’s one of those quotes where we obviously all know to be true, but sometimes it’s like a pebble has to be shot at your head to knock you into remembering the little things like this. Wait, did I say little? I mean as big as it gets.


This is your life. The only one you’ll get. Let this sink in for a minute. Because it might be time to start thinking about what you want to get done. Places you want to visit. Activities you want to try. Things you want to say to someone you love. Leaps you want to make. Risks you want to take. Dreams you want to take a shot at. Sure, you can do it next month or next year or someday. But don’t let the things you want to be, try, say or do to pass you by. Really.

“You have exactly one life in which to do everything you’ll ever do. Act accordingly.” -Colin Wright

Big love,

Amy Signature 4




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Join My Happiness Challenge!

January 27th, 2014

I have started something called The Happiness Challenge with Glamour.comAnd today the challenge hit Week 4.

Here’s how it works: I have created a total of 5 Challenges. Each challenge is built around the idea that if you embrace all the best aspects of yourself and your life in a balanced way. The hope is, by the time you complete all 5 challenges—you will end up feeling stronger, more loving, more confident, more fulfilled and happier all-around.

If you’re just starting today and want to take the challenge on. Do it! Show life you mean business. And nothing makes me happier than hearing you’ve been inspired to live a better life. Here are the challenges so far:

Challenge #1: Bravery

Challenge #2: Self-worth

Challenge #3: Independence

Today’s Challenge #4: Generosity


Next week is the final challenge—and the sweetest and the easiest of all.

It’s not too late to join in, because there’s no such thing as being too late for happiness. Every single day, it’s up to us if we want to embrace a happy, fulfilled life in the small moments we face, minute after minute, hour after hour.

This is your year, remember. So take the steps to show life you mean it.

#happinesschallenge #gethappy



P.S. If you’re enjoying this positive, proactive approach to life, order your copy of The Happy Life Checklist so you can keep the challenge going all year long.

Because the way I see it, life isn’t just about the big goals ahead of you, it’s also about the small, beautiful things you can stop and savor right now. And those happy moments are all around you.

Remember: Happiness comes in the seconds and minutes of life, as well as in the years. So keep on living, loving and celebrating the small things that make life worth it.

The Happiest Video About Happiness Ever

January 27th, 2014

Want to know the real secret to happiness?

This 2-minute video will reveal it to you—and may make you want to jump up and hug someone when you’re done.

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 12.35.57 PM

A happy life checklist can change your life. So watch this and find out how.

And if you’re inspired by the video and want more ideas on how to savor the small moments of happiness every day, grab the brand new book that inspired it today! Buy The Happy Life Checklist: 654 Ways To Find Your Bliss on


My New Book The Happy Life Checklist is Almost Here!

January 23rd, 2014

The way I see it, we all have at least a couple of areas in our life where we feel pretty darn good, right?

Maybe, for instance, you’re feeling confident about work or you’re good at giving yourself little moments of tranquility, but you could really use a boost in the love department or the engaging-with-others-with grace one. But the way I see, the more balance you have, gratefully appreciating all areas of your life—from being busy to kicking back; from time with others to time alone—the more fulfilled you allow yourself to feel.

That’s why I wrote my new book The Happy Life Checklist: 654 Simple Ways to Find Your Bliss, which will (holy cow!) be on shelves in just over a week. (Release date: Feb. 4) It’s a collection of small ideas that will help you savor and celebrate every day in every area of  life that produces happiness.

For this reason, the book covers ten areas you can focus on that contribute to a life of beautiful balance. So you can flip through the book and pluck small ideas from the places where you could a boost, be it delightvitality, wonder or comfort.

Here’s a big happiness secret: If you are always focused on the big goals ahead, always gunning in one or two areas of your life but ignoring the rest, you won’t feel as blissful as you could. So slow down. Savor the little things. Experience it all. Because happiness is in the second and minutes of life, not just in the years. Start filling your list with more fun and fruitful things today.

The Happy Life Checklist is available now for pre-order on So…ready to get your happy on?