You know one thing I'll personally never do? Be that girl who "let herself go" after years of marriage. I am sure a lot of husbands and wives never think that they will neglect their appearance either.
Yet, somewhere between Date #1 and the the high school graduation of Baby #3, there have been less trips to the gym and more lazy Sundays full of Netflix and Cape Cod Potato Chips. By the way, if you can stop after just one of those 100 Calorie bags of Cape Cod Potato Chips, you are barely human, but I digress...
In my opinion, balance is key. People need to live their lives and that doesn't mean kale and quinoa from now until 2018. Though I do eat a lot of kale and quinoa.... Also my opinion: As much as its absolutely incredible to be loved for exactly who you are and regardless of how you look, you need to look your best if you want your partner to be attracted to you forever-ever. And don't you want to be with someone you could still feel passionate chemistry with?!
Perhaps, some long-time couples need to take a lesson on how some singles (successfully!) approach dating. Think about it. When it comes to first dates, the way you package what you are selling is just as important as what you are selling. So one of the most important first date strategies that I could offer my clients is to look and feel their absolute best on Date Night and beyond! It sounds simple, but just showing up and looking great can make a huge difference.
As someone who goes "all out" in terms of prepping for a date night-no matter how long I have been dating him-I can tell you that looking and feeling your best isn't just about the type of jeans, makeup, or cologne you wear. It actually starts with good health and nutrition.
In that spirit, I recently talked to my new friend, Chelsea Kmiec, a Los Angeles based Nutrition & Fitness Coach, to get her best date night tips.
One of the first things she suggested really resonated with me.
"Drinking plenty of water the days before and the day of your date will keep you hydrated and help keep hunger at bay. "
This is SO key, because you need to be present and focused on the person across the table. Not the tuna tartar, you guys! Speaking of which, Chelsea suggests snacking on avocado or raw almonds beforehand to keep your tummy flat and reduce hunger. She reminds me that these snacks also slow the absorption of alcohol. Clearly, this is a good thing in a lot of instances--especially if you aren't trying to be too wasted because you are hoping for some "sexy time" later.
Re: "Sexy time": Even if you've been together for decades and consider your partner intimately acquainted with your morning breath, you should still freshen it up for Date Night! I LOVE Chelsea's suggestion for fresh breath and that is to try chewing on an actual mint leaf or dropping a mint leaf into your water! "This is much better than using breath mints or chewing gum as both contain artificial sweeteners that can aggravate your stomach and cause you to feel bloated." Umm, yeah, no thanks on the bloat...
These nutrition strategies are pretty simple, huh? Come on now, I have done a lot more for love, and I am sure you can too......
Love it or hate it: Dating isn't what it used to be........
If you are single, you probably know that dating apps are a major "thing" in 2017. They are one of the main ways that singles are meeting for hookups, casual dating, serious relationships, and more.
With the limited information these apps provide about potential "matches", what is a single girl or guy to do?
The smart advice I can offer is this: Protect yourself from all of the crazy singles that you may encounter! There are many people on these apps who are not who they say they are. If all they are lying about is their age, height, or weight, consider yourself lucky! Many are lying about their marital status, occupation and telling other mistruths that you wouldn't even imagine. Sure, some of these people may ghost you-it even happened to me-but others will stick around and deceive you. When everything blows up, you may realize you met someone with a serious personality disorder or mental illness. Someone who may drain your energy, harass you, stalk you, or worse. In other words, you may end up with someone who you wish would lose your number. Sure, you could block him or her, but we all know that this type of person would likely call you from another unblocked number.
Trust me, this isn't pretty.....
Because I have heard of this happening time and time again, I wanted to share a dating tip that you should seriously consider. And that is: Get a second phone number that you give out to people you meet from dating apps and online dating sites. If you download Hushed App, you can very easily and affordably get a second number to manage your dating life from. Hushed has offered a HUGE discount to anyone I refer - where $25 can get you a LIFETIME number that automatically renews itself every year! You can qualify for this lifetime offer by using my promo code RACHEL25 and registering here.
While I think getting a second number is the first step to safety and sanity, you also have to limit other personal information that you share with potential dates. These days people can find out all about you online with even just the knowledge of a town you once lived in or college you attended.
Be smart my single friends. Its easy to take precautions, and if you don't you'll wish you did.
Even if you read the title of this blog post and immediately thought of three ways your smart phone is wreaking havoc on your dating and relationships, the actual impact is likely underrated.
These days we are on our silly phones so much of the time that it can seem like we are addicts. We wake up with them, go to bed with them, and even take them into the bathroom for God's sake! These little devices are causing all kinds of issues that can have even greater negative consequences than the geek driving the Mitsubishi. The geek who fails to realize he's blocking an intersection because he is so mesmerized by the latest app on his iPhone 8, that is.
Don't be fooled, I know nothing about geek cars or the features of the latest iPhone, but I do know that the way we behave with our smart phones is messing up our romantic relationships in a tremendous way!
I admit: I am aware of this not only in a professional context, but in my personal life too. Yes, I have been this girl.
To put it simply, our smart phones are making us insecure! Since most of us are constantly with them, we assume others are too--especially the person we are dating. When we do not get a message back in whatever we define as a reasonable time frame, it makes us crazy. When we are completely ignored, crazy goes to a whole new level!
We start to doubt our partner's interest, assume the worst-like he's out cheating right now, obvs- and go into all kinds of negative patterns. Like overanalyzing, for instance. Guilty as charged again! If this continues to happen, we can get anxious, depressed, or in the habit of engaging in negative communication with our partner. Our responses can range anywhere from feisty, to passive aggressive, to "psycho". This can lead to a communication breakdown and all kinds of unpleasant emotions. It can make us doubt the strength of our connection, and bring us down--way down. Until, of course, we hear from him again. Emotional roller coaster, anyone?
The truth is: A delayed response-or lack thereof- isn't the only thing that makes us question whether or not a relationship is right for us. There's another behavior that I have experienced personally that has made me question my own relationship, and that is: short text responses. Now, keep in mind, I am aware that I, as a woman, tend to speak and write more than men, as most women do-and I am a writer to top it off-but I take it as a bad sign when a guy's responses back are almost always shorter than mine.
As I was recently reading Dr. Nikki Goldstein's book, Single But Dating, I was so happy to see that I am not the only one out there who finds this dynamic to be indicative of a problem. Nikki's advice on this issue in her Technosexually Savvy chapter is brilliant! To be clear, all of her advice is on point but I especially loved this chapter and this tip for the ladies: "Go to your conversation with him in your phone and scroll up through the conversation history. If your text bubbles are always larger than his and there are significantly more of them, then it is time to chill and holster those thumbs." Nikki goes on to write that when this is the case, it may be worth letting a guy go, as inequality of phone banter can signal a lack of interest. I'm in agreement with Nikki and all who believe that a man will call, text, or move mountains when he's really into a woman!
And ladies, let's be honest, if we are dating guys who aren't doing that, well, they are probably just making us insecure. Can I get an #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat?
No matter who we are or where we are from, we all have one thing in common:
We never have complete control of our circumstances in love and life. There are essentially two ways to interpret whatever it is that happens to us.
1) Setback: That moment when your life changes in an instant, you think its for the worst, and you allow yourself to go on a downward spiral that completely derails your life's mission and hurts your soul.
2) Blessing In Disguise: When you catch something that seems like a setback, find the positive in the situation, decide it will not derail you, become stronger, and go on to live your best life.
Which would you choose for your life? Because how you view things is your choice. You can choose wisely or you can choose poorly.
I was intimately re-acquainted with all of this, as I had to make a big choice recently. After that crazy eclipse, life threw me a curveball that compromised my safety at in my apartment in Brooklyn. I'll spare you the details, but I had to move. Like overnight. In fact, the situation was so stressful that I had to hire a security service, Guard Security, so that I could put my mind at ease. FYI: I'd totally recommend this company if you ever need a little extra protection, as they were very accommodating and affordable.
Anyway, in an instant, I knew my life would be changed for ever. After almost losing it-ha-I chose to let everything empower me. Instead of letting my world be turned upside down in a bad way, I turned into a positive for both my business and personal life. I'll be sharing more about that soon, but for now I want to share a secret....The Secret
After a difficult time, I started re-reading this powerful book. I am reminded that we absolutely have the ability to control our choices. I am also reminded of a quote on one of those Celestial Seasonings (I think?) tea bags: "Choose well. Because your choice is brief but endless." That's so true! I attribute it to The Law Of Attraction--something I will also write more about, because I know that we can all use it to tap into our own power in our love lives.
Without going into too much detail, I will say that I firmly believe The Universe will bring you positive things if you think positive thoughts. And even more positive things if you make the reframe I described above. I want to encourage you to make the shift that I just did when life throws, you too, a curveball.
From setback to blessing in disguise.
Because if you want to live the good life, that's your only option.......
I've never met a reasonable person out there who said:
"No, I do not want to live a happier, healthier, wealthier life and have great relationships with those I care about. I want to stay stuck in my misery forever. "
Yet, the actions of most people-including some of my very own friends, family members, colleagues, clients, and sweet, vulnerable randos who message me on Instagram with their life stories- say something different.
Their behavior screams: "I want to change, but apparently not badly enough; because I am not willing to take massive action to transform my health, relationships, career, finances, life, or whatever."
These folks-Omg, I just said folks. Who am I?- are simply not willing to pay the price it takes to get what they want.
I'd like you to really think about that for a second. Does it apply to you?Are you taking the opportunities that are right in front of you? Are you seeking out others? Are you actually doing what is required to take control of your life? Or are you letting life take control of you?
We are in some very interesting times, indeed. Times that may make some of us think we don't have any control at all....
I don't know about how it has affected you, but this solar eclipse has completely turned my world upside down! Like, literally overnight. Without getting into details, I will tell you that my life has changed dramatically, and you should stay tuned to see how things will play out for me in biz, love, and my overall existence. But let's get back to you for now.....
While, I believe that some things are simply out of your control-and that God, The Universe, or Whatever You Believe-has power, I would encourage you to start focusing on the things that you can actually control in your life. Hint: They matter more than you think!
With Labor Day marking the unofficial end of summer and with a new season upon us, it is an ideal time to start planning for productivity, happiness, love, and everything else that you want to happen before 2017 is a wrap.
In that spirit, I am encouraging all of you to take action. Massive action! Because why do anything if you are going to do it half-assed?
As Robert Allen said: "Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone." Are you willing to go there? Would you like me to guide you along the path?
If you have been following me for a while-or even just a little- you may know that I have the power to help you transform your life--starting with your love life.
Not to brag, but the positive influence that I can offer is tremendous! It is not just that I can introduce you to people you need to know, share my wisdom on dating and relationships, or invite you to take advantage of crazy, life-changing opportunities like this one....
But the way that I can help you take charge of your love life and push you into the direction you want to go is truly above and beyond what you can imagine!
Do yourself a favor: Honor your curiosities and experience it for yourself! Clearly, the people I have worked with are glad they have! If you are ready for some serious change in love and life, I invite you to take advantage of my special offering for Labor Day!
As you'll see on my website, I do an in-depth Matchmaking & Dating/Relationship Coaching Consultation for anyone who is thinking about working with me. My consultations can be done in person (in NYC or NJ) or on the phone, Facetime, or Skype. They include a personalized SWOT analysis delivered to your inbox within twenty-four hours and is followed by a personalized proposal for working together. Note: The SWOT analysis is a deep look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for achieving your goals in your love life--with and without the use of a matchmaker and/or dating & relationship coach.
As my website indicates, this Consultation is normally priced at $250. In honor of Labor Day, I am offering it for for just $175, if you book it under "Special Intro Session" before 9/9/17 here.
If you have been thinking about working with a coach or matchmaker-or just thinking that things really do need to change- don't pass up this chance to potentially change your life, forever!
Act NOW here! And have a Happy Labor Day while you are at it!
Back in the day when I was young, silly, and also doing my whole reality dating blogging stint, I wasn't so selective about the types of guys I went on dates with.
After all I had a quota. You don't do ninety-two dates in one year by being too picky!
I'd often find myself sitting across the table from another somewhat unappealing guy thinking: GET ME OUT OF HERE! Uggh. The torture!
Thank God I lived to write about it! And speak about it. And help others who experienced the hellishness of the modern day dating scene that I had become so intimately acquainted with.
Every single dating fail has taught me valuable lessons, further developed my empathy for the suffering of other singles, and has made me appreciate a good guy when I see him!
So as you probably gather, I like to talk about this stuff. And not just from my professional perspective as an experienced matchmaker and dating & relationship coach-or from a clinical lens as the therapist I was trained to be-but in the voice of a single woman who truly gets it.
In other words: Real talk!
In fact, I'll be keeping it real once again as I talk dating, relationships, sex, and love on The Great Love Debate stage at StandUp NY, this Monday night, August 14th at 8PM. If you are in-or can be in- NYC next week, please come and join me, as I sit on the panel of this "wild, feisty, hilarious, interactive forum on love, sex, & relationships in 2017".
Seriously, though, the people who have attended my past two shows loved it!
Note: All tickets must be be purchased in advance here. Full Disclosure: I am not sure if I am going to doing another show. Sometimes in life-and in dating- It is now or never, my friends!
And sometimes, after that #WorstDateEver or after the relationship that hurts your soul, you just have to remind yourself not to let it break you.
'Cause even when you feel broken, life goes on.
Think about what you want. Like, really, really want.
I am willing to bet that what you really want isn't a "thing" or even a person.
What you are really after is the feeling that said thing or person brings out in you.
For instance, let's pretend you are a single lady who wants to date a tall, dark, and handsome, highly-educated, successful, professional man living in Manhattan. Join the club! You want him to wine you, dine you, and propose within one year. You want him to want children as much as you do and also to have adventures in which he'll whisk you away to places that are far sexier than NYC.
Underneath all of your "criteria", could be the desire to feel anything from: attractive, special, protected, secure, settled, or happy.Whether male or female-gay or straight-we all share these basic desires and the need to feel love. So, great! Let's assume you know what you want. Put a check mark next to completing Step 1! Now you can put your desire out there to God/The Universe/Life and wait for it to manifest.
The good news is, in the above scenario, the description of what is wanted is very specific and it is stated positively. When it comes to manifesting, it is always better to word things in a positive way.I.e. You wouldn't say: I don't want a partner who cheats. You'd say: I want a partner who is faithful.
By the way, in case you think a guy being faithful is just one who doesn't sleep with your best friend-or the nanny-and then make ridiculous statements like this-you might want to check out this good read. Note: Everything in this article applies to men and women. Should go without saying, but just saying....
Also, of all the definitions that this article provides, this is my favorite: "Being faithful means knowing what your person is not okay with, what they would consider being disloyal, and never crossing that line. "
Anyways, back to getting what you want......
Step 2: Let go of what you don't want. This means getting rid of the people and things that no longer serve you. In other words, if all someone does is bring negative energy into your life, make sure they get the **** out of your way! I've learned that so much suffering in life comes from holding on to people that we should let go of. As you may know, I even wrote a book about it! Look, you don't have to write a book or even read my book. You just have to figure out a way to let it go!
And when you really let it go, don't look back! Maybe this means blocking your ex (for real this time) or getting a divorce, taking a divorce selfie, and then learning all the lessons you were meant to so you don't repeat your mistakes in your next relationship.
Oh, before you take that selfie, you may want to check out what matchmaker Lisa Clampitt and I have to say about this growing social media trend in a recent episode of ThursDATE.
But mostly, just know what you want and know what you don't want. Live accordingly, Every. Single. Day.
When it comes to dating and relationships, I tell my clients and friends to leave no stone left unturned!
The truth is that you really never know how or where you will find your match. The only thing that really matters is that you find him, right? After all, I don't really know anyone who talks about how horrible it was that she met her husband on a, gasp, dating app--instead of locking eyes across the room at a Sadie Hawkins dance like grandma and grandpa did. I mean...its 2017!
As a matchmaker and dating coach, one of my greatest wishes is that more people would be more open to the notion that love could happen anywhere. Like, literally anywhere! Online. Offline. In an elevator. While waiting to get your teeth cleaned at your dentist's office. I especially wish women would embrace this notion that maybe all of those fairy tales and romantic comedies have led us down the wrong path. In real life, there isn't always a happy ending. He doesn't always come chasing after you at the airport just before you are about to board the plane. In the end, you are likely to learn that the guy who treated you like a jerk five years ago still treats you like a jerk today. No, he didn't transform into your prince. He didn't become your bestie. And he never selflessly introduced you to one of his friends who he knew in his heart of hearts would be an even better match for you.
Ah. Friends. It seems like every girl is comfortable meeting her significant other through a friend. Sure, that seems ideal--you already have common ground. But what do you do when none of your friends have friends to introduce you to? When they are all married and in relationships and don't throw anymore house parties--let alone leave the house to meet you for a drink? What do you do when your guy friends say that they don't know any guys who aren't a**holes and your girl friends say that if they knew a great guy they'd be dating him! The struggle is real,, people, as evidenced by the texts my friend sent in the screenshot above.
Well, you can make new friends, of course. I know this is easier said than done for some people. Location plays a role. Sometimes, it is challenging to meet like-minded people in the suburbs. However, it can be just as hard to meet friends in a city where everyone is always travelling. Age can make it difficult too--with the general consensus being that it is hard to make friends-particularly girl friends-post-college. Or when you aren't working for a big company where everyone goes to weekly happy hours.
If you are wondering what a girl is to do, this is where the leaving no stone unturned comes in. You can do something bold. Like download an app that will help you meet your new best friends! I am talking about Bumble BFF, of course! Have you heard of the app? I think its incredibly exciting that there is an app that can help women find friends! Not only because having girl friends is such a great way to add joy to your life, but because if you expand your network of single girls, you'll increase your chances of finding the one. Trust me, its the women out there who are generally playing matchmaker for other women--its not the men. Making new friends is an interesting way to accomplish your goal of finding love, and you;ll never know the possibilities that each new friend can open up for you. The end destination-finding the love of your life-is, of course, incredible, but it is the journey that counts!
First and foremost.......
Let it be known that I am not looking for an opportunity to "bash" the male species.
As I wrote in a Facebook post today, I am not a man-hater; I actually like, respect. and work successfully with many men as a matchmaker and dating/relationship coach. Yes, I do feel drawn to the cause of empowering women in love and life-as we are still at a disadvantage in many ways- but that doesn't mean I want to take the power away from men. The power can be shared, people! And its probably best when shared too....
That being said, when it is time to point a finger at men, it is time to point a finger at men
So,guys, listen up. I am going to speak for (almost!) all women in this public service announcement.
We are sick and tried of putting up with your shit.
In other words, when you do the same thing for the 997th time, it is really annoying. Not only because the behavior itself is annoying, but because chances are we've told you at least 498 times that it bothers us, and you have told us at least 498 times that you were sorry and would do better.
We've probably told you this in at least 249 different ways. Because, we probably gave you the benefit of the doubt the first 124 times. Like maybe you simply didn't know that our text response of "K" meant we thought you should jump off a bridge and die. .Cause after all, men aren't mind readers, right? So then we started telling you in the form of eloquently stated emails, texts, or good old fashioned conversations. But you didn't get that either. And, so, we resorted to sending photos like this. Since men are so visual and all......
Speaking of photos, it is absolutely not, never was, and never will be okay for you to engage in "revenge porn" against an ex--especially when a child is involved. In case you are living under a rock or have more important things to do than follow the drama between people like Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna, this term refers to posting explicit photos of an ex on social media. Disgraceful, disrespectful, and downright abusive--no matter what your ex did to you.
And this is exactly why we don't want to send you "sexy" pics.....
Come on guys, cut the crap! Stop objectifying women. Stop treating us like disposable commodities. Stop thinking you can do whatever you want and that we will forgive you because you are hot, rich, good in bed--or whatever else you think you are.
Treat women like you want to be treated. Show some respect. Have some manners and class. Love. Okay? Just, love.
Happy 4th of July, my Luvahs!
In honor of Independence Day, I have been spending some quality time having summer fun with friends and family, as well as working from home in the sunshine. Today, I did something thinking about how I could help ya'll experience freedom in your love life.
So, listen, here's what I came up with....If you want to be free in love, please do as follows:
1. Stop living in a self-imposed prison. Your negative thoughts. Your limiting beliefs. The patterns that you keep repeating. All the things that keep you stuck in that relationship you need to move on from. Or the things that prevent you from even getting into a relationship in the first place. Yeah, get rid of all that garbage. Clean house and let go of the people and all the "stuff" that no longer serve you. Its the only way to make space for what does.
2. Listen to your heart. Are you at risk of getting distracted by all the noise? And, no, I am not talking about fireworks! Everyone has an opinion on your love life, right? Can you get quiet enough to hear yours? What does your heart want? Does your heart really want you to date or stay with the person who looks good on paper but doesn't make it skip a beat? Accept what you want in love, and go for it already! You can't have freedom in love unless you are authentic. And you can't be authentic when you are listening to everyone else but yourself. That being said, if you are so confused that you can't trust your own voice, do not listen to your voice. Call me; listen to mine!
3. Don't be afraid to get hurt.
As suggested in this really helpful article that I came across in Elephant Journal, vulnerability is some scary s**t! But it is absolutely a pre-requisite for real love! You have to be your true self in a relationship and share how you really feel, even and especially when you are afraid of rejection. This is easier said than done, but do it if want to let freedom ring in dating and relationships. You just have to.
In the meantime, have a great holiday!
PS: I'm offering a holiday special for the week of July4th-11th. All coaching packages advertised on my website here-normally priced at $250-300-will be offered for just $125 when booked as a "Special Session" before July 1, 2017. Book your session here now or email me at Rachel@RachelRusso.com with any questions.