Love it or hate it: Valentine's Day is here to stay!
There is no doubt that many of us feel depressed on February 14th. A lot of times the lonely hearts are women. However, I know plenty of men who get sad because they aren't quite where they want to be in their love life either.
While I have wished so many of the singles (and couples!) that I know a day filled with love, light, and laughter in person at my recent events, on social media, via text, etc., there is something more that I wanted to share during this "Love Week". I touched on this topic (and much more) in my interview with dating coach, Michelle Baxo this past Monday. You can check out our episode on "How to be your own Matchmaker" for insight on how I do my matchmaking and how you can use my secrets from my-thirteen-year-and-still-going-strong-matchmaking career to empower yourself. The goal is to either go out there and find the love you deserve on your own or, you know, hire me to get the job done for you. Either way, if you don't want to spend the next Valentine's Day alone-or lonely in a relationship- you have to be proactive about doing the matchmaking and/or getting the coaching now.
In the meantime, the message that I want to be sure you received today is this: Regardless of what things look like on the surface, you are right where you need to be! If you were dating someone who has ignored Valentine's Day completely, did not receive a gift from your partner, or are involved with someone who started a huge argument right before the holiday, look on the bright side: You now know where you stand. It is better to understand the truth than to fool yourself by holding on to the idea of potential for a lasting relationship.
If you are standing alone, there is a reason for that too. It is not the time for you to be in a relationship. Perhaps, you are alone because there is more that you need to achieve in your career. Because of a literal or metaphorical place that you or the love of your life must travel to before it is time for you to meet. When it comes to love, the stars must align for it to truly be in the air. You have to trust the timing of your life.
We can all be thankful that Valentine's Day gives us an opportunity to learn the truth--to see who is aligned with our vision for love and who isn't. And for that reason, I hope you can recognize that-no matter what your relationship status-it is a happy day!
Over the holidays, I met up with an old friend who was getting back into the dating scene after breaking up with her boyfriend.
Soon after some talk of modern day dating mishaps and why so many of us tend to attract the same (unsatisfying!) relationship dynamics again and again, she asked me to blog about my thoughts on what singles should look for in a match. Considering the fact that I've spent the last thirteen years working as a professional matchmaker, this was a perfectly reasonable request. Challenge accepted! After some time procrastinating-because sharing my philosophies on what constitutes a good match is, in fact, everything to me- I decided to break it down into parts. After all, love is complicated.
Welcome to Part 1! Before I dive into one of the most important things that I think you should be looking for, allow me to caution you against putting an overemphasis on chemistry--if it is at the expense of overlooking other factors of compatibility. I see this happen a lot. All. The Time. In fact, I was just talking about this yesterday in a fun Facebook Live chat with my friend Sal Mariano. If I can save just one more person from wasting years of their life blinded by the chemistry, well, mission accomplished.
In the meantime, when you are wondering if you have long term match potential with someone that you are dating, you must look at the vision he or she has for the future and see if it works with your own. Does she want to quit her job to be a stay-at-home mom raising four babies? Then you better decide if you have the desire and abilities to bring home the bacon.... Does he want to quit his job and become a digital nomad for the better part of a decade? Hope your passport is ready!
Speaking of travel, I can't overestimate the importance on being on the same page here. If you only like warm weather vacations two weeks out of the year and he envisions living in European cities for long stretches, it is going to be a f***ing problem. And not just because you haven't learned how to properly pack your carry on bag. People who value travel tend to share other things--like an appreciation for other cultures, a curiosity about the world, and a sense of openness and adventure. If you yourself don't have a similar mindset, you will clash. You better have other things in common. By the way, if you are looking to meet someone who has the travel bug, you should totally check out a geo-location based app, called Jetzy. It will connect you with others who are passionate about travel and increase your chances of making a love connection. I am actually attending their Pre-Valentine's Party tonight in NYC-which should be a totally awesome crowd-but I digress....
Mostly, just wanted to say this: Relationships are hard enough. If you don't find someone who shares some core values and a similar vision for the future, you're in trouble. Falling in love makes us flexible and able to appreciate our partner's interest. True Story: Even I have come to like football-shmootball when I have seen the game through my partner's eyes. And, yes, I really made that cool painting above!
However, things are just easier when you actually share some common interests with the person you love. If the relationship works out for the long term, you will be spending a lot of time together. If you've got common interests to start, you may just be well matched!
OMG! How is it February 6th already?
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day-actually one late night in which I was trying to make myself tired enough to go to sleep-and I saw a lot of NONSENSE. Now, I didn't go off on a de-friending spree or point a finger at the friends who are posting such silly and insignificant things, but I did wonder:
Doesn't anyone have anything important to say?!
There's a lot going on in the world that we should be talking about today. As always, in February, I privately and publicly talk a lot about love and relationships with clients, friends, family, fans, and, umm, anyone who will listen.
This year, I have also started a conversation about dating violence. Specifically, teen dating violence. Did you know that February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month? It is the time for a month-long national attempt to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships. Those who spread awareness hope that people will support the programs that can help end the physical, psychological, and emotional abuse that at least one in ten teens experience in dating relationships, in 2018. I am one of those people.
Do, you too, feel drawn to this important cause? If so, check out this article I wrote, "What Dating Violence Is & Why You Need To Know About It" published last week, at The Teen Mentor. Please pass this on to anyone who you think could benefit from learning about the signs of dating violence and what can be done to create healthy relationships.
Today marks two months since one of my dear friends walked down the aisle with the love of her life! As I say my congratulations and think about love and marriage, I think of a question one of my single clients recently asked me:
How does anyone even get married-let alone stay married-these days?
Umm, yeah. It seems so challenging to create and maintain a lasting love, but it doesn't have to be that way. If you want some simple advice, here's my take: Although everyone's journey to marriage is different-and many are imperfect- it seems sooooo much better if things start off on the right foot. If you do it "right" in the early stages of dating, you can get to where you want to go in a much more efficient and less painful fashion. If you do it "wrong", its okay. I am not saying you can't fix it..... If you want to do it "right", the key is to start a relationship by being the right YOU!
If you are reading this and thinking that you messed that one up: No worries. There's always room to improve yourself. As long as you are living, you still have time to learn, grow, and change everything for the better. You can apply the following advice no matter what relationship stage you are in. Here's what I think everyone should consider.
Focus on the positives
There is enough negativity in life, and there's no need to have it in your relationship. In fact, your relationship should be a safe haven for the two of you to experience joy and unconditional love. Ideally, you create that from the very beginning. From Date #1, go in feeling positive about who you are and what you bring to the table. If you are later in the game, just ignore all the things you don't like about you/ your partner/you and your partner, and focus on what you do like. Just try it on your next date night and see the difference it can make.
Most people tend to focus on the negatives which, unfortunately, leaves us feeling down and doubtful about ourselves. This can come across on your date, so make sure you hype yourself up beforehand. Look into the mirror and tell yourself you are so sexy, make a list of the attributes you like about yourself, or do whatever you need to keep the self-love flowing. When you focus on your wonderful qualities, you not only boost your confidence and become more attractive to your partner, but you are also more likely to appreciate your partner's greatness.
Address concerns that bring down your confidence
Luckily, we live in an age where we have so much technology available to help us continuously improve and become the best version of ourselves. If you have personal concerns that are bringing you down, there are plenty of resources for you to choose from so you can learn more and work to improve them. Some things that I have seen people do that make them more confident in dating and relationships are as simple as teeth whitening. (Crest Whitestrips can work wonders, you guys!) Losing a few pounds and renewing energy with a gentle exercise and a detox program can also really give you a boost. Clean Program is my personal favorite. After doing their twenty-one day program last January, I have had their shake daily for the past year.
And then there's your hair. Hair gets an entire paragraph, because it is so important in influencing how confident people feel and how attractive (or unattractive) they are perceived as. For the ladies, blow outs go a long way in instantly making a girl look more polished. (Dry Bar for me!) Men, please, you have to make a decision about your hair. If your hair line is receding and you don't want to shave it all off, companies like hims have products to fight hair loss that you can now get online. Confidence is all about feeling your best, and if you have the ability to improve features that don’t make you confident, why not try it?
By the way, while its so important to be comfortable in your own skin, don't fail to realize that its also important to be comfortable in your clothes!. Besides constantly being on your phone, nothing is more distracting on a date night than wearing clothing that you have to keep re-adjusting. If you’re confident that your ensemble will fit well throughout your date, you’ll be able to focus more on your date and feel more sure of yourself. This matters whether you are on your third date or married for three decades, because if you are uncomfortable in any way, you are not giving your partner the attention he or she deserves. You aren't in the moment. Love grows in the moment.
Just commit. Be 100 percent, fully committed to being the best version of yourself, and be "all in" with your partner. Life is too short for half-assed relationships, and I have seen too many of them fail in my work as a matchmaker/coach and in the lives of people I know. Everyone is different, but for me-at this point-all-or-nothing-love-me-or-leave-me is the only way to go! I will spread that message to everyone I know, as I believe making the decision to try your hardest and be together through the ups and downs makes all the difference will give most people the greatest chance to find and keep their happily ever after.
If you liked these tips, be sure to follow me on social media for plenty more. This week, I was honored to have been chosen and featured in "100 Amazing Females To Follow For A Perfect Love Life In 2018". I would mean a lot if you follow me too--on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Happy New Year, Everyone! With the first week down and in the spirit of having an exceptional 2018, I wanted to share three things that I think you should start doing for your love life--starting right now. It's the commitment to doing simple things daily that will really make all the difference. If you commit to the following, you can begin to transform your love life in just a few short months.
1. Pay attention: There are so many distractions these days, and it is easy to lose sight of what is important. If you want to learn your lessons in love and life, you have to understand what is really going on. When you are single, you have to notice if you keep attracting the same type of people. If you are in a relationship, you have to realize if you are getting stuck in the same unsatisfying dynamic. You also have to, like, pay attention to your partner--what he or she is and isn't saying. Are there patterns that aren't serving you? If you aren't getting the deeper meaning of it all, what in the **** are you actually doing? Remember the lesson repeats until you learn it. Its your love life. Take control of it this year!
2. Stop responding to every work-related (and/or unimportant) text message as soon as you get it. Cause really: It can wait. Love (and lots of other great things) blossom by being present in the moment. No one likes to sit across from you at the dinner table and be ignored. Don't be that person. Also, if you are doing this all the time when you are alone, then you are distracted and not living as the best version of you. (Reread #1). If you are a slave to your phone, your position in life is reactive instead of proactive. No bueno.
3. Put your own oxygen mask on first. In other words: Self-care. It was a buzz word in 2017. And as I shared, its about a lot more than just working out and getting pedicures. You have nothing left to give if your cup is empty, because you can't give what you don't have. So look at what you need in your life and give it to yourself-- before you try to give anything to anyone else. I mean...don't be a selfish jerk. If you can help someone by opening a door, donating a couple dollars, making a referral, do it. Hey, if you are in the giving spirit, you can even try to help me give my most challenging matchmaking client what he is asking for---and make (more than!) a couple dollars yourself, while you are it! But mostly, focus on making yourself happy so that you will be good for you--and the rest will follow in your love life.
Let's get started, shall we?
Have you ever been so frustrated at your significant other that you could barely speak to him or her? Stonewalling is not cool, you guys....
Or looked at your phone and thought: Damn. I don't even have any guy or girl in here that I'm actually excited to text?! Not to mention call to tell a funny story to in the middle of the day or fall asleep talking to on the phone at night! For those of us who actually call and still like that old-fashioned love, of course.
Yeah, I've been there too. And I know a lot of you are feeling frustrated with your relationship-or lack thereof- like this right about now, because you are reaching out to me more than ever during this holiday season with dating and relationship questions, sharing your desire to be either matched up already or figure things out with the one you are with, for real this time.
The holidays has a way of doing this to us, because of all the stress and drama it brings up. The best general advice I can offer you is this: You have to find out what you are doing wrong and discover what you could be doing right so that you aren't in the same situation next year. Its probably not going to magically change. (Didn't you say last year was finally going to be *your* year?!) This is why I am a huge advocate of any type of life or dating/relationship coaching.
I know everyone may not be able to afford to hire me as a matchmaker or dating/relationship coach right now, so I'm trying something new to be able to help more people at a lower price point. Do you want to receive my personalized advice via text, phone chat, or video? Well it just got easier than ever, because I just joined up as a Love Advisor on Instantgo. It is a free app that you can download in the ITunes App Store and pay to have me answer your questions in real time! If you need answers now and/or are on a budget, this is perfect for you. You can totally control how much you spend and no longer have to wait for me to confirm an appointment for a coaching session.
I filmed a quick, impromptu video for you today explaining how it works. So check that out here. It's truly my passion and pleasure to help people in the fight for love, so don't hesitate to reach out. Just download the app and find my username, rachel,russo. You can read my bio that covers my expertise, background, and prices here.
I promise to give you my most honest, sound, and professional advice during the holidays and always. So get on this today, tomorrow, or whenever your heart desires.
And in the meantime: Happy Holidays!
Well, hello, Handsome/Gorgeous!
I am currently on a plane ride home from an amazing "Happiness Retreat" at the awe-inspiring and luxurious Sanctuary at Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa in Paradise Valley, Arizona. It was my first time there, and I must say I loved the resort as well as exploring Scottsdale and Sedona! I felt compelled to share a few posts about my magical experience on my Instagram page here.
But, as always, my sharing of all this isn't so much about ME, but about me inspiring YOU! And sometimes, I need to do things that make my heart happy-for me-and also for me to keep the inspiration flowing toward your love life.
Happiness, like love, can be a bit elusive. Many believe that the more you look for it, the less likely you are to find it. Well, I am not one of those people!
When people say that someone found love when they least expected it, I doubt that they know what was going on internally for that person. Do they really know how they may have been shaping their life behind the scenes to invite love in? Can they really understand the psychological, spiritual, and emotional preparation that isn't often easily visible or shared?
I mean....Helllooooo! Just because you aren't on an online dating site or working with a matchmaker doesn't mean you aren't actually looking for love! Also, just because you said you weren't looking for love doesn't mean that it wasn't what you wanted deep down. Loving Newsflash: We all want to be loved--even those who are most scared of it or no longer believe its possible. Beneath the surface of a claim of being "done" with love, is usually a person who hasn't fully healed from past heartbreak and is trying everything to protect himself/herself from being hurt again.
This holiday season, I am taking some more strides in the fight for love for my clients, fans, and friends, by sharing something very special that I have created just for all of you--at no cost to you. Yup, this is the first of my holiday gifts to you--stay tuned for more next week!
This gift is exciting! I have created a roll! A new kind of "roll", which I describe as a visually pleasing and highly inspiration collection of my favorite resources-to jumpstart your relational bliss for 2018.
In How to Love Again: Creating A Healthy Relationship After Heartbreak: A Relationship Expert's Arsenal to Win In The Battlefield of Love: I am sharing my favorite resources on the best ways to find love, how to rebuild after a breakup, and how to manage a romantic relationship.
Want a summary of what is included before you dive in to the content? By viewing my complimentary roll, you will learn:
- 5 super important things to look for in a partner
- advice on how to be your own matchmaker
- how the dating industry really works
- unique ways to handle a breakup
- how to truly get over your ex
- compelling quotes to restore your faith in love
-qualities of a person who is capable of unconditional love
-signs that your partner doesn't care enough
-the first date strategy that will always work
-questions you can ask to make your partner fall deeply in love with you
-what to do when your partner ignores you via text
Oh.....and 25 relationship problems that are pretty much universal! Because just like we all want love, we all have our sharing of problems when it comes to matters of the heart!
So, in between the holiday shopping and festivities, I hope you will take a moment to focus on the gift I am giving you that can help you give the greatest gift of all to yourself: Love.
Have a look at How to Love Again: Creating A Healthy Relationship After Heartbreak: A Relationship Expert's Arsenal to Win In The Battlefield of Love and please feel free to email me your feedback here.
It's that moment you weren't expecting.
You are in bed, getting ready to fall asleep with your new boyfriend or girlfriend for the first time. There was a little tossing and turning. Maybe some rustling of the covers. You are thinking about the events of the day. Hearing the clock tick. Feeling overtired.
And then it happens. You realize you are in a living nightmare....because there is no way you are going to get any sleep with your partner!
Whether your partner hogs all the covers, is the loudest snorer ever, talks in his/her sleep, or is totally restless, it can be very upsetting to lose even a night's worth of your precious sleep. You really care about this person, but you worry about the future of your relationship. What will you do if you can't learn to be compatible in your sleep?
At some point you are going to have to come up with a strategy. As someone who has been in this situation before and has heard horror stories from others, I believe it is better to get this straightened out sooner rather than later. Speaking of which, my father, after thirty-six years of marriage, still complains that my mother kicks and scratches him in her sleep to stop his snoring!
Umm, yeah. There are definitely more effective alternatives.
I admit that I am a a bit weirdly obsessed with getting a good night's sleep! In fact, I once read The Sleep Revolution by Ariana Huffington and started implementing everything to prevent jet lag on a trip to Italy. I am no stranger to putting lavender oil on the soles of my feet, using a Fitbit to monitor REM sleep, or trying to sleep according to my circadian rhythms. I like a good pillow, a cup of Chamomile tea before bed, and I often keep a notepad on my nightstand so I can write out the anxieties that keep me up at night. Also, when I am on my phone late at night posting dating advice to my Instagram, I like my night shift on! No one is depleting my melatonin, thank you....
Okay, so I kind of sound like a high-maintenance sleeper, huh? Maybe you are reading this and thinking: That is too much work! If you just want some simple tips on how to cope with your partner's unique sleep style, check out this advice from my friends as Casper--the makers of The Pillow!
And if all else fails.......separate bedrooms!
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.