Yesterday, a friend told me a story about a date she almost went on that would surely be one of her worst dates this year. It would have been a blind date with an older man who had invited her to see a movie in Manhattan.
They never made it out because of the things that he wanted to do before and after that movie. Things that immediately and completely turned her off......
The man wanted to stop at a grocery store to pick up popcorn and beverages that they could sneak into the theater. Yes, he wanted to save a few bucks at the concession stand. Afterward, he wanted to go somewhere downtown---by subway.
Knowing my friend- a classy and sophisticated woman who subscribes to the cultural norms of the NYC dating scene-I was not surprised that she declined the date. Seeing no need for her to apologize for who she is-a woman who is not down with smuggling popcorn in her Louie Vuitton bag on a first date-I agreed that they weren't a match.
Put yourself in my friend's shoes. What would you do?
When I think about it, I realize that even though I dislike paying $5 for tap water in a bottle and would indeed be okay with grabbing a few Poland Springs and hiding them in my purse for a night out with a friend or boyfriend, I would not want to date a man who couldn't spring for snacks on Date #1.
He could be an amazing man, but, I like my friend, would conclude that such frugality would be a red flag for me. Not only because I (admittedly) have champagne tastes and would do best with a man who wasn't on a beer budget, but also because I would feel that it said something more important about this man. To me, it said: He doesn't know better and/or doesn't care enough about making a good first impression. This means I would either have to teach him everything from how to make a woman feel special to how to act "normal" in a romantic relationship or accept a life full of coupons and two for twenty dinners at Applebee's.
Based on my learning (and recently re-learning) of the lesson that men are not "teachable" unless they recognize they need to change and are truly open to it, I would suggest any woman in the position of my friend decide if she could accept the man for who he is. If she thinks men over the age of 18 should pay for snacks at the movies, she should not try to convince this man of the reasons why. If he doesn't get that, there is going to be a lot else about her that he doesn't get. She should consider it the tip of he iceberg and move on to the next.
As for the man? I would tell him while I totally agree food at the movies is a rip-off and cabs are expensive, it is generally considered inappropriate first date behavior in NYC to make a woman take the subway and stop at a grocery store to pick up food for the movies. And that goes for liquor stores too while we are at it.....I'd tell him that if he doesn't make a few tweaks to his dating game, his chances of finding a relationship in NYC are slim to none---unless he finds a woman who has embraced her inner cheapskate just as much as he has. I would suggest he change, but if he knew it wouldn't be sustainable, I would tell him to keep showing his true colors from the beginning to weed out the women who'd be incompatible.
Because if he pretends to be a big shot in the beginning of the relationship and exchanges car services and five star restaurants for MetroCards & Costco after she commits, the relationship will soon come to an end. And it ain't gonna be pretty!
As we are about to ring in a new year, I wanted to give you the gift of this story to inspire you to reflect on how you come across on your dates and in your relationships. Is the person you are presenting in the early stages representing the real you? If not, I give you permission to be exactly who you are---cheapskate and all! Unless, of course, exactly who you are will never get you want for your love life. Think about that. Is the latter true for you? What can you do to get what you want, once and for all, this year?
Cheers to a killer 2016!
PS: Ready to make over your love life and finally make this year YOUR year to find or keep the love you desire? Email me with the subject "POPCORN" by January 7, 2016 for a complimentary strategy session on creating your love blueprint for the year ahead!
Surprise, surprise: Even some of the people with the most beautiful-happily-ever-after-love-stories didn't have perfect beginnings.
They didn't know the perfect things to say and sometimes talked with their mouths open on first dates at overcrowded tapas restaurants with subpar ceviche.
They didn't enter the dating scene with knowledge of what they were really looking for in a match or the skills to actually keep the person they stumbled upon who was everything they never knew they always wanted.
And they most definitely didn't snap their fingers to the most magical wedding proposal that occurred between Christmas and New Year's Eve and resulted in decades of relational bliss + non-Colic babies who grow up to be supermodels and Harvard grads.
No one has the perfect love story because their relationship is the epitome of perfection. Instead, perfect love stories are created because people realize they are imperfect but worthy of love anyway. They upgrade their love lives by focusing on achieving what they desire--despite all the blemishes and bruises they encounter along the way.
Want to apply this concept to your love life? Well, I'm happy to be your not-so-secret Santa (or at least the sexy elf) and give you the tools you'll need to make it all shine brighter than those Christmas lights in Dyker Heights Brooklyn!
My suggestions for upgrading your love life-no matter what your status-this holiday season are as follows:
Single & Thinking You Should Mingle: Think out of the box to attract an extraordinary love or just do something different so your next relationship isn't same s**t, different day! Wear a crazy red Christmas suit like this random guy I met on the train, attend a holiday party solo, or God forbid, date in your hometown--but not before you read these tips.
Kinda Dating: Whatever you do, don't let the holidays define your relationship. With all the expectations and pressures of gift giving and introductions to the family that come this time of year, it's no wonder it is breakup season. The way to prevent your non-relationship-relationship from becoming another Christmas casualty: Stop thinking about what you *should* be doing and let things unfold naturally. Just because Susie's boyfriend bought her the 5K Channel bag from Saks doesn't mean you won't get it ..next year. You just aren't there yet. Enjoy where you are at. But, umm, don't hold your breath for Channel.
A Heartbroken Hot Mess: It's hard to be in the spirit when you are devastated by a recent breakup. Just remember this too shall pass and you might as well enjoy the holidays because even if you don't, you are still not getting your relationship back. Unless of course your ex comes back, in which you should most likely turn off the Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You, spike that eggnog, and sit down by the fire with my Italian American themed breakup advice book so you could decide if you should get over your ex or brace yourself to get back on the roller coaster.
Committed/Married: This isn't your first time at the rodeo so you know the holidays can take a toll on your relationship. Just understand your triggers and avoid them like that annoying relative who is always asking to be your house guest right about now. For instance, if you are already irritated with your hubby, you should know that a trip to the mall could be all you need to put your relationship over the edge. The lines are long, your bags are heavy, and if that b***h with the backpack hits you one more time, you are going to take your shopping cart and ......
Look just don't take it out on your spouse. Keep calm and carry on and be grateful for the fact that you don't have to experience the crazy season alone.
And that my friend is how you upgrade your love life. So take what you will from this Christmas love story and pass it on to a friend who needs to get the message. Always remember that love, life, nor the holidays are perfect, but enjoy them anyway.
And a very merry Christmas to all!
Its the most wonderful time of the year again, but in a world where the lights on your Christmas tree can mess with your Wifi connection, things can get pretty stressful.
Despite all of the crazy busy-ness, if we have someone special in our life, we should make making them feel loved a priority.
As 2015 comes to a close, people want to be merry, love the one they are with, and, well, find a new love for the new year if they are still single. If you fall into the latter category, please get in touch, as I am currently working some matchmaking magic and may be able to introduce you to the love of your life!
Already newly dating someone or in a committed relationship or marriage?
Well, there are tons of ways you can show your partner love during the holiday season. If you've never read the best selling book, The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman, I'm about go give you The Cliff Notes with a holiday twist. :)
This book, written by a marriage counselor with thirty plus years of experience, stresses that people need to be loved in different ways. If you were sitting in my shoes as a matchmaker & dating/relationship coach, it would be super-obvious that there are as many ways to express and receive love as there are people in the world!
Okay, kind of. I mean, love is abundant, right? It does make the world go round. Also, it would be obvious that I have really good taste in shoes.....
Anyways, some people don't get that people speak unique "love languages". They think their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife doesn't love them because they are not expressing love in the way that they would express it.
As Chapman so beautifully illustrates, relationships work best when people are loved in the ways that makes them feel loved. So, the goal is to figure out what your partner wants and give it to them as freely as you can.
Because when your man wants apples, you don't give him oranges, girlfriend!
In fact, right now, you should probably be giving him eggnog by the fireplace, but I digress....
So, to cut to the chase, you can show love with:
1. Words of affirmation: Because we all love compliments, and it is so easy to give them when everyone is looking all glitzy and glam in their holiday best!
2. Quality time: By the fireplace. With eggnog. End of story.
3. Receiving gifts: You can shop online or in the stores, but remember sometimes the best gifts are experiences. More praise for the importance of the second love language.....
4. Acts of Service: Sure, its nice to go to the soup kitchen and feed the homeless on Christmas Day, but there are acts of service you can do for your partner right within your own home. Whether its breakfast in bed, hanging up those picture frames she's been begging you to hang since last year, or simply taking out the garbage, doing a little favor for someone you care about
5. Physical Touch: Massages. Sexy Time, Or, you know, just holding their hand at the moment they need it most.
Are you feeling the love?
Have you shaken your head at your screen while trying to figure out what the heck your password is, simultaneously cursing yourself for being completely incapable of storing all your login info in WorkFlowy or at least on a good, old-fashioned piece of paper?
Checked your phone compulsively wondering why *He* or *She* is taking so long to text you back?
Exhaustedly tucked yourself in bed after a hard day's work only to realize that you have to use the bathroom? Like. Right. Now.
Yeah. So that happened.
The three aforementioned scenarios are simply annoying things that we've all encountered.That's life, right? We expect such frustrations, accept such frustrations, get frustrated, and move on.
But what about those things that are even more distressing? The things that everyone goes through eventually that are harder to accept and be done with. The agonizing things that people don't always talk about but totally go through.
Well here's a few that have to do with, you guessed it, love lives. (And what you could do about them if they
Being anxious about interacting with someone desirable in-person
People fear being rejected. Even when they are comfortable approaching strangers, there will always be someone at some point that makes them anxious in some way. Of course it is even harder for introverts!
I recently met with Justin, The Dating & Lifestyle Consultant behind Natural Attraction NYC. He works with a lot of introverted men on successfully approaching women and shared his top tips.
To begin with, he says it is all about relaxation--being comfortable in your environment and approaching different ladies consistently. As for how to get the courage to approach strangers, he says: Start small! Just say hello to five women a day--if even for thirty seconds. He cautions guys who go overboard in approaching women and is in favor of doing something more sustainable, as well as being genuine. In other words, he says you can't act like an extrovert when you are an introvert. But you can take a deep breath and push yourself to approach a pretty lady and just be...you.
Struggling to make a difficult decision about a relationship
The head-heart debate is one of the most challenging things people face. It is ultimately a question of: Do you listen to the part of your brain that is full of reasons to end a relationship or the part that triggers your pleasure center and gives you the warm and fuzzy feelings of romantic love?
People wonder: Should they stay or should they go? How long should they stay? How long is too long of a chance to give someone to make you happy? Should people even get second and third chances to begin with?
As for the fix? There is no easy solution. I personally struggle with this one, so I truly know how hard it is. I advise people to make decisions on a case-by-case basis, because relationships are not always black and white. But one thing that is: In order for a relationship to really work, you need to be all in or all out! I say that a decision must be made, sooner rather than later. So give yourself a timeline for it and stick to it!
Being judged by others
Friends, family, strangers, and everyone in between judge others on not only who they are in relationship with but how they act in a relationship with them.
Did I mention people are also judged on how they act when a relationship ends?
Hint: People think you should just be able to get over it already. That the post-breakup script goes something like this: Cry. Eat ice-cream and fail to shower for weeks. Move on. Oh, and maybe try online dating. Naturally, this leaves the broken-hearted feeling both traumatized from the breakup but like there is something wrong with them for not being able to mend their broken heart like badda bing, badda boom.
My advice? Adopt a new mantra. Like....
ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME.