Posts Tagged ‘relaxing’


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?

You might also like:

8 Reasons to Go Out Tonight!

Big love,

The Coffee Test

Monday, August 31st, 2009

If you’re single and seeking love, it’s easy to circle around the same big question: What kind of person are you meant to be with? I mean, we all have different aspects to our personalities, right? Sometimes I crave sushi at a hip spot, sometimes I want ribs from a dive place. Some nights I’m up for a big party, and others I’d prefer laying in bed reading a Harry Potter book (I’m still only halfway through, but determined to finish).

Friendship + something steamy = a great relationship!

Friendship + something steamy = a great relationship!

With such divergent desires in life, how can you know what partner would be right for you? In fact, some days it begs an even bigger question: Who are you, really? Well, my answer to you is this: You’re the person you are when you hang out with your best friend—the person who represents what I like to call, “The Coffee Test.”

I’m talking about your main BFF—the one friend doesn’t mind if you pick up a dropped piece of pizza cheese off the table and eat it. The friend you’re not embarrassed to say, “Ooh, stop!” as they scroll past a cheesy movie with the TV remote. No judgments, no masks, no hard work.

Think about how relaxed you are with your best friend. How you can roll out of bed some grumbling Saturday morning, put on some sweats, and meet up at a coffee shop where you’ll share a few funny recaps—or maybe just a few grunts. That calm, laid-back easygoing version of you in the coffee shop? That’s how you want to feel when you’re sitting across from the love of your life.

Because really, why get yourself into a relationship in which you’ll have to exert extra effort pretending that you’re funnier or more outgoing or less chatty or needier more well-spoken or more cool or fabulous than you are in your everyday life?

Yes, we all have different aspects to us depending on the hour. But the fact is this: You want a relationship in which you are the best, happiest, more chilled out, normal, calm you you can be. And the person you are when you’re chilling in a coffee shop blowing on your latte so you don’t get fuzzy tongue? That’s the version of yourself you should be showing the world most. Give yourself “the coffee test” with your best pal to see what you’re really like in your own, relaxed happy skin. You may get a jolt of understanding with your espresso.

Big love,

Amy Signature 4

How to Live in the Moment

Friday, August 28th, 2009

It’s so easy to talk about “living in the moment,” but not quite as easy to do. The other day, however, I forced myself to try, and it was such a rewarding experiment, I want to pass it on to you.

Me, I left my top on. ("Vacation" by Gusto)

Me, I left my top on. ("Vacation" by Gusto)

I was with my husband, my sister and two of my friends, in a fab house in the hills of L.A. As much as I love my own home, my backyard is covered in crabgrass, so lying on a lounge chair by a pool with a cold drink at my feet and nowhere special I needed to be makes for a good day.

Yet as happy as I was in the moment, I kept losing myself to thoughts that pulled me away from it: I wonder if that email came through? What should we get for dinner? Ooh, and I have to remember to add that to my To Do list. Sure, my body was there, but my thoughts weren’t. And when I snapped to, I wondered: How much of the good stuff do we lose like this because our minds are somewhere else, because they’ve moved on to future plans, to rushing around,to texting, to tweeting? This moment was too good, and I was determined to “live in the moment” the way we all say we should. So, I went sense by sense through what I was feeling from the base of my toes to the top of my head. I ask this of you, too: Put down the camera, turn off the phone and take a picture with your mind.

Trust me, I’m not one to put down my iPhone easily; I’m addicted to the Trivial Pursuit App and I love me a good Twitterific visit. But I promise you: You will feel better sitting with silence for a few minutes and taking your life in. Here’s how:

Ask, “What do I feel?” Work your way up or down your body so you get it all. That day, for instance,  I felt my heels on the soft cushion. My back touching a pillow. My eyes and chest warmed by the sun. I also felt a perfectly soft breeze. And a bit of a scratch on my left thigh, which I attended to.

Ask, “What do I hear?” Close your eyes if it helps to focus. I heard birds that day. A dog barking. The pool filter. My friend laughing from inside the kitchen.

Ask, “What do I smell?” This one’s such an underrated sense, but is so closely tied to emotion and memory. Breathe deeply through your nose and see what you get. Me, I mostly smelled my suntan lotion. (You can make me wear sunscreen, but it still has to smell like coconuts frying on the beach!)

Ask, “What do I taste?” I tasted a mimosa. And some nacho chips stuck in my teeth. This could be improved upon.

Ask, “What do I see?” Take a shot with your mind of what’s ahead of you: the colors, the movement of things. I saw a blue pool, green hedges, my wet towel balled up on the ground that I wished I’d laid out to dry (dang it). Then look around you. What’s behind you that you hadn’t seen? Who’s beside you who you could be appreciating?

I did this exercise a few years ago with my sister’s friends in the South of France, at a dinner on the sand when no one had a camera to capture the moment. Instead, we took turns talking about what we saw, heard, felt. And even now, the moonlight on the water and the lapping of those waves is more ingrained in my mind than the cute dog I snapped on my iPhone yesterday.

Still, it is a cute dog, right?

Still, it IS a cute dog, right?

We need to give ourselves the gifts of capturing these moments. Yes, Facebook updates and Twitpics (and, ahem, blogging) is all fun, and so is planning all the great stuff you’re inspired to do as soon as you finish reading this! But what about being present in this moment of life? Not through a lens, not through a filter, not as a stepping stone to tomorrow. Look at what your life is giving you todaythis hour—to be happy about and grateful for. How can we really know what we want tomorrow if we don’t know how we feel about today? Let’s give ourselves that gift more often than we do. The next time you find the present fleeting and life sort of passing you by, tune into your senses and take in the moment. You just may realize you love your life more than you knew you did.

Big love,

Amy Signature 4