Sometimes, our current realities do not match our true desires.
For instance, today, I'd like to be working from a beach in Southern Italy-- basking in the sun, while sipping Prosecco-before a delicious lunch and afternoon of shopping at a tiny boutique, like the one pictured above that I visited in Burano. (Island in Venice, Italy that once stole my heart!)
Instead, I write you this post from my couch in Northern, New Jersey---while sipping dandelion tea, waiting for my Amazon delivery, and contemplating how long it will take to dig my car out of the consequences of the latest snowstorm.
Since I can't actually go back to Italy right now-thanks, pandemic-I figured I'd say "yes" to the two recent Italian-American themed podcasts I was invited to be on last week. In the first by Wooden Spoon Media, the host asked more about the matchmaking business and what my dating advice was than being my Italian American. Its still super-cute and Italian. (Wooden spoon, anyone?!) You can check it out here.
If you want to hear me more full fledged in my element-and talking lots about how being Italian American impacts dating and relationships- have a listen to this fun and personal episode with the founder of The Italian American Leadership Network right here.
And, then, you tell me: What's not to love about an Italian American girl!?!
I once dated a guy who asked me if I wanted to "say fake I love yous". I had never heard of this before and requested he clarify what he meant. He explained that even though we weren't in love yet, perhaps we would soon be; that it might feel good to say "I love you" to each other even though we didn't quite mean it yet.
Ummmm, no. I quickly declined. When I say "I love you", I want it to be real. Because I want real love, of course. My ex, however, liked the comfort of "fake love". He wasn't entirely alone with his seemingly strange preference--that immediately felt so wrong, foreign, and unappealing to me.
In retrospect, I realized I have met a lot of people in my years as a matchmaker & dating/relationship coach who actually prefer the artificial variety to no love at all. It keeps them from feeling lonely and isolated--a feeling that is all too familiar to many of us during this pandemic. Some even prefer fake love to the real thing, so they don't have to deal with the the ups and downs or pain of loss it can bring into their life.
Some people can’t love. They can’t love themselves. They can’t love you. They can’t love anyone.
Getting emotionally involved with people incapable of loving is a big mistake. Have you been in fake love? Well, you probably know this.
Maybe you or someone you know can use a heads up or an important reminder about how to avoid those who are lacking that love chip.
If you want to protect your heart, look out for the red flags that will be obvious in a relationship. If people who can only offer fake love had a personal brand, it would be this:
-They have a lack of accountability which leads to blaming you for anything and everything.
-They behave selfishly and do not take your feelings into account.
-They are unhappy. It is not a bout of depression, but they are generally miserable people at their core.
If you see these tell-tale signs, my advice is to remove yourself from the relationship and find a way to attract the love you deserve. There are more signs, indeed, but this is the basic information you need to know to avoid a counterfeit relationship. Cheers to real love for all!
Need help determining if you are in fake love? Could use some guidance in healing from its aftermath? Get some professional advice through email coaching or a strategy session here.
If you are single and looking for some new ways to attract real love:
Feel free to check out this live virtual event--if you are in your 20s or 30s in the NYC metro area.
Outside of the age range and/or interested in complimentary introductions to my clientele or that of my matchmaking colleagues? Join my confidential database today.
Last. Blog. Post. Of. The. Year.
For whoever needs to hear this:
Shortly after trading in my usual “quarantined work from home look”, and getting camera ready for an interview with a casting producer, I thought about all the things that didn’t matter for me this year.
Makeup. Nail Polish. Pants With Zippers.
And the people and activities that were just “fillers”.
Then, there were the things that mattered a lot.
Daily walks. A good Wi- Fi connection. Hand Sanitizer. Curbside Pickup.
Staying connected to true friends and close family members.
Relationships-even when they looked very different-are what really mattered to many of us in 2020.
The desire for human connection was evident to me in speaking to my matchmaking clients who were willing to embrace video dating when dating was “cancelled”. Or dress, mask up, and have dinners in parking lots-with strangers from online dating sites-when the restaurants re-opened for outdoor dining.
In the safe space of coaching and therapy sessions, my clients talked about the pain of isolation. Or the dissatisfaction with being stuck in an unhealthy relationship.
They contacted their exes, wasted time swiping, repeatedly fought with their partner, or just numbed out with sweets, alcohol, porn, Netflix, or their preferred drug of choice. When they weren’t feeling connected, it felt harder to cope with all the adversity. They needed an escape.
In the midst of the holiday season-with the pandemic still raging on- I am again reminded of how important maintaining healthy relationships is to staying sane while navigating the pandemic life.
Has cultivating both platonic and romantic relationships been one of your priorities too? Or have you taken a hiatus? How has this all worked out for you? Somewhere between the struggle being real and a walk in the park, perhaps?
The truth is: There were a lot of priorities that got twisted for people in this first year of the new decade. Many of us have never been more alone. We were scrolling for the latest election news, freaking out about the spread of the virus, crushing cardboard boxes from Amazon, managing remote learning, and dealing with the overwhelm of Zoom meetings. Some of us have lost sight of what is important, because we just didn’t have the experiences that allowed us to regroup.
Often the “game changers” are those interactions that let us experience ourselves in relation to others. With the general consensus being that everyday seemed the same and that there wasn’t much to look forward to socially, we’ve needed each other more than ever. But we were “together, apart”, as they’ve said.
As we continue on throughout the holiday season and close out this year, I invite you to take stock of your priorities and celebrate all the important relationships in your life. Do you know who matters, who never did, and who always will?
Wouldn’t it be great if we can take some time now to figure out who and what really matters? To make a plan to manifest our vision for love and life in the new year? To just learn to be happy-together or alone-in this moment?
If you need help on that quest, just book a Strategy Session here for 2021. I’d love to “see” you then and guide you along the way.
Meantime, be well. Enjoy the holidays. And know that you are probably doing the best you can.....
When it comes to casual dating, a lot of people are half in and half out. They are just looking to "grab a drink and see what happens".
They run away at the first sign of potential incompatibility and swipe on to the next. No one seems to mind too much-if both parties agree there are no expectations-because they were never really trying to make things work out for the long-term anyway. These type of "relationships" have a shelf life, so people enjoy them while they still can. The bar is set low; so they let little things slide. It is not that serious...
And then there are "real" relationships--those partnerships in which people seem to want more. Ideally more communication, more trust, more honesty, more respect, more commitment. When it comes to navigating these relationships, I believe there are only two options: All or nothing.
Granted, I’m an extremist. I’m either cleaning my place for hours, or I am not cleaning it at all. Because if I am going to take the time to do something, I might as well give it my hundred and ten percent. Why would I operate any differently when it comes to something as important as matters of the heart? I realize in some cases, the black or white approach to life does not serve me. Sometimes there is grey area, and I'll consider that. But with relationships, when it comes down to it: You either want to be with someone or you don't.
I don't think my all or nothing philosophy about romantic relationships applies only to people like me. I believe it is for everyone! I know singles who think having somebody is better than having nobody-and a lot of people in relationships would rather be lonely together than lonely alone-but some of these people are fooling themselves! Whether they are single or coupled, fear is holding them back and keeping them stuck and unhappy.
As a dating & relationship coach for both singles and couples, I firmly believe that it is better to be alone than with a partner who is all wrong for you. People suffer too much--chasing after potential and seeking validation from those who will never give them what they want. Life is hard enough even when you love and are compatible with your partner and add a bunch of stressors into the mix. If you don't have compatibility; if you don't have love; what do you even have?
People need to really want to make a relationship work in order for it to work. And if you are going to work: You might as well give it to your all!
Need help deciding if it should be ALL or NOTHING in your love life? I love helping singles and couples get to the truth of their relationship in sixty minutes or less! Book a Strategy Session here to get started.
As a quick Google search reveals: There is so much information out there about Dating and Relationship "Dos"--the things that we should be doing to find and keep a successful relationship. But, sometimes, we have to know what NOT to do before we know what to do. So, let's jump right in, shall we?
#1 Do not stay stuck in a relationship with someone who continuously disturbs your peace. Evolve or repeat! The type of person who is most likely to hurt your body, mind, and soul is the one who is incapable of loving. If you think someone is incapable of loving, you are probably right. Remember, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck!
If you are a woman who isn't sure about the true nature of the man you are dealing with-if you question his seriousness about wanting a relationship or wanting you-I invite you to check out my on-demand online master class: How To Vet Men Like A Matchmaker & Find Your Gem Online. I have given up all the secrets that I have used in my fifteen-year matchmaking career-as well as my own love life-to help you separate the men from the boys.
If you are a man wondering if you should continue to pursue a relationship or keep it moving, I'd like to personally coach you-as I haven't finished your master class yet. You are welcome to book a Strategy Session here.
If you are male or female-and sure that the person you are with is no good for you and has to go-congratulations! If you have a weak moment and need help getting over your ex, keep in mind: If someone is no longer in your life, it is because you don't need them.
So don't stay stuck on chasing them......
2. Do no harm, but take no shit. It is easier than you may think to hurt someone--whether you are newly dating or have been in a relationship for many years. You could be having a pleasant text exchange-or an in-person conversation- and all of a sudden, you call him/her a playful name or make a reference that is totally interpreted differently from how you meant it. It could be taken out of context. It could have triggered past trauma. Before you know it, your partner is reacting negatively, and you are fighting! If only you could be more mindful of your words and actions.
Of course, mindfulness works both ways. You can't be the only one working on a relationship for a relationship to work. So make sure you stand up for yourself too! Do not allow yourself to be manipulated. Demand an apology if that's what you think is best. But, mostly, just don't keep your feelings to yourself and allow that resentment to build. Toughen up. Tough love is real love too.
And, mostly: If you found a good one to love---never let them go!
Word on the Internet: Women are posting black & white selfies for...no reason!
Although it may not seem like this simple act may make much of a difference, I accepted "the challenge" when my favorite blonde in Brooklyn-one of my true besties-asked me to post. I am all about female empowerment-which is good for men too-so, why, not?! As women, we must support other women and not get caught up in male-centric-ness. We must stay strong and embrace our feminine energies to succeed in love and life.
No matter who you are-whether you are male of female-the latter takes getting out of your comfort zone. If you are single, it may mean being open to meeting someone in a way that you never expected. If you are dating/in a relationship and you realize that the way you see things and the way your partner sees things are completely different--well join the club! In order to have a happy and sustainable relationship: Sometimes you are going to have to do things that you don't really want to do for your partner's sake. I am not saying you have to compromise your values, but you'll likely have to do and accept that which you aren't enthused about in the name of love!
What would you do for love? Would you accept someone's flaws completely? Would you be with someone who had challenging issues--like trauma, addiction, maybe a personality disorder--or two?! Heads up: If you are in recovery-or are dating someone who is-be sure to check the very first Instagram Live "Dating & Recovery" that I cohosted with a recovery specialist this week. That was a challenge for me, but, guess what? It was awesome, and I want to do it again! In fact, shoot me an email if you want to co-host an Instagram live with me on a dating or relationship related topic!
Meantime, I have a real challenge for you........
Know what you want in your love life. Like really, really want. Determine the price you are willing to pay for it. There is always a price. And don't stop, tell you get it...get it!
Well, hey there! It has been quite the action-packed week for me. Luckily I can reach many singles with my message(s)-thanks to the power of technology-from the comfort of my (purple!) couch.
You asked for it: The How To Date During The Pandemic Replay of the July 21, 2020 Webinar I co-hosted with Filter Off CEO, Zach Schlelien is here!
I answered a ton of very relevant questions for the singles in attendance, and I am offering it to you on video now. Unfortunately, there was a little tech snafu with the recording, so what I just put up on YouTube is really more of audio. But, trust me: The advice in the audio is ON POINT and totally worth your time! I hope you'll check it out here.
And, for those of you who'd like to know exactly what was covered-you control freaks, you- I present to you: The 14 Questions. Not to be confused with The 36 Questions--which you should totally ask if you want to fall into madly- deeply-truly- forever-ever-love!
Without further ado, Zach asked, and I answered, the following:
What are your top tips for making a good impression on video?
Are there any topics that are off-limits on a first video chat?
How do you decide whether or not to meet "in real life" after your first video chat?
How long should you talk to someone on phone/video/text before meeting in person?
What should you do if someone invites you to their home for a first or 2nd date?
What happens after 2-3 dates of social distancing? Is it safe to hook up?
How can you create a romantic spark while social distancing?
What are the best ways to keep relationship momentum going during periods of quarantine?
Should you sext? Have virtual sex?
What kind of creative video or in-person dates can you have if you want to be safe during the pandemic?
How can you screen potential dating candidates to find the best one you should commit to?
How do you have difficult conversations (about the state of the world, mental health challenges, and more!) with someone you are newly dating?
Is there anything positive about this pandemic for people looking to find and keep love?
What should all singles look out for as they date during the pandemic and beyond?
Hope this helps! And, if you'd like to ask me your own questions, please feel free to book a discounted strategy session here.
Needless to say, things have been very confusing in 2020. And, its not just: Do we wear a mask outside, or do we not?
(I just learned that in NJ we now have to— if outside in groups where it is hard to socially distance.) Confusion around what is or isn’t appropriate in the dating world is at an all-time-high.
Also, there are singles-who wanted love, marriage, and a family yesterday-who now think they have to wait. And, there are others taking matters into their own hands in totally unconventional ways.
The truth is: You don’t have to wait for the pandemic to end, to have “your person” show up at your door, or even for the perfect partner to get started on the baby-making. You can start dating now—wherever you are.
Just like an entrepreneur doesn’t need the most innovative, creative, one of a kind website to get started selling products or services in today’s marketplace, you don’t need to have the perfect online dating profile, be at your target weight, or have an extra 20K in the bank before you start your search for love.
Do not let the perception that you need to have it all together-or that the timing be perfect- for you to enter the dating scene, to stop you from entering it.You have the power to get what you want in your love life. You always did.
If you need some help figuring it all out during these challenging times, you are not alone. For you, I am I'm co-hosting another webinar on how to date during the pandemic and beyond. This time I am offering it for free, because.... People need help, yo.
Sign up here, and be well.
Its Fridaaaay! I'm about to have another "TGIF" break of a moment with some sunshine and a view from my rooftop, but before I do....
Just wanted to share some exciting news--that you may have already caught wind of! As many of you know, I've been teaching entrepreneurs how to start and run a matchmaking business for several years now through Matchmaking Institute. Of course, I've also been vetting singles as a matchmaker for a whooping fifteen, and now I am going to give up all my secrets to the single ladies with my all- new on-demand Master Class, "How To Vet Like A Matchmaker & Find Your Gem Online".
On Sunday, June 28th, I will launch an hour long class (with a recording that will be sent via email) so that single women everywhere could learn how to to screen online dating prospects for authenticity, honesty, trustworthiness, and compatibility. My mission is to help women never (or never again!) waste their time and emotional energy on a counterfeit relationship.
This is a cause I feel very passionate about, and I know the value of this product is priceless! What can be more important than not breaking your heart and wasting your life with Mr. Wrong? But for kickoff, I am actually offering it at half price so that I can help more women find their gem in the trenches of the online dating world. I hope you'll check it out here to gift to yourself or any single woman you know!
Are you one of the luck men or women who has already found your potential gem/gem that you are currently dating or in a relationship with? I have got your covered too---just in time for your next Date Night! Hopefully, that is sooner rather than later with the pandemic and all. Truthfully, I am seeing some people who have lost the art of dating! So in that spirit, here are my Top Ten Dating Dos' & Don'ts.
Stop being so THIRSTY! Craving the attention from other people that you should be giving yourself. Do NOT text him back again when he hasn't responded for the third time.
Refuse to do ALL the work in the relationship while she does nothing in return.
Whatever your disappointing situation might be, just take a moment to remind yourself-as often as necessary- YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN THIS! True happiness comes from within. You do not need someone else to validate your existence.
As I told the reporter from Montclair Local who featured me in this story, "Love and dating during the pandemic": Singles are realizing that, they, are for the most part, all they’ve got!
Couples are understanding that having a partner is no guarantee of happiness.
And these days, if your partner is an essential worker or first responder, things can be even more challenging. Check out my quick tips in my new home video "Navigating a relationship with first responders" here.
Ultimately, whether you are single or coupled, it is your responsibility to make yourself happy.
I think happiness is a choice—especially for those of us who are not struggling with severe depression or other mental illness. Choose Happy. Today!
If you are single and need some help being happy in your love life-and have not already signed up for my live webinar- Check out: "Dating, Relationships, & Sex: How Singles Can Thrive During The Pandemic & Beyond", happening Sunday, June 7th, at 8PM EST, here.