Friday, December 19, 2008

New Year's

Do you feel pressure to have a date on new year's eve? Or to go a party, even if your heart isn't into it?

When I was single, I always felt compelled to have new year's plans. If I didn't have a date, I needed to have some kind of social agenda that seemed promising. Often what I truly felt like doing was chilling at home, spending time with my folks, or maybe having dinner with a close girl friend.

Or, even practicing self care.

Getting a massage. Doing my nails. Taking a long relaxing shower. Listening to music. You name it.

One year, I learned the hard way, that it's always best to trust your gut and not push yourself needlessly.

I was invited kinda last minute to a party that a friend was going to. It wasn't someone she knew well. It had come to her through the grapevine. I had no particular desire to go. I had resigned myself to a quiet evening at home. But, these pangs of guilt kicked in. So, quickly I jumped into the shower, got myself dressed and met up with my friend. Even my parents encouraged me to go. Their attitude was, you're certainly not going to meet anyone at home.

But, then I'd think to myself, do I really have to try to meet someone on new year's eve? Isn't that one of the hardest socializing days of the year?

You can probably guess how the story goes. The party was a bust.

The crowd wasn't my scene. The people weren't my type. There was loads of booze (which I'm not into), cigarette smoke (which I detest), etc. So, we were quickly in 'n out of the host's house, and I was totally pissed.

At the end of the day, I felt like I had wasted my time. Sure I had made an effort to socialize, but I ultimately felt worse because I didn't have the faith to trust my gut and do what I felt like doing..which was to stay home.

There comes a time when pushing yourself to venture out is important, if you tend to be a homebody type. But, if you're not by nature that way, and have particular days when you just want to chill, then give in to that impulse. You're entitled. Nothing wrong with laying low. If you push yourself to go out too often, you may burn out, and not look like you're having much fun when you're there anyway.

So, do what you're inclined to do this holiday season and new year's eve. And whatever that is, enjoy and be safe.

There's plenty of time to make new year's socializing resolutions in 2009. Until then, cut yourself some slack and do what calls out to you.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Throw a "New Blood" Party

First let me say HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and your loved ones!

Do you have any special plans?

Are you spending it with your family? Close friends? Or, you're just being mellow and prefer not to do anything in particular?

Whatever you choose, there is no one way to celebrate.

When I was growing up, it was always a family time.

Now that I'm married and have a young son, and my mom has passed away, we are starting new traditions. My husband is cooking, and my father and his mom (his father passed away) are coming over. I have a sister who is married with kids, and they will be away, and the same holds true for my husband's brother and his family.

I've never been one who loves to entertain, though I do enjoy being with people.

One day I was having a talk with a close friend who said that perhaps you've reached a point in your life where you need to create traditions that include friends. And, there's something to be said for that.

One of my love coaching clients who lives is New York is from overseas. Her family is still there, so she's living here on her own. She makes a point of celebrating occasions with friends she's made in the U.S.

And, if you think about it, it's potentially a great way to socialize as well.

Let me throw an idea at you. Consider throwing a "new blood" party or dinner. Invite your close friends, and suggest that each of them invites a friend (ideally of the opposite sex), who you don't know. Keep it as an intimate get together. You don't want to overwhelm yourself. And, you never know who you might meet.

Give it a try!

PS -- Looking for a gift for a special single friend or family member? Consider picking up a copy of HOW TO MARRY A MENSCH (decent person). I'm currently selling autographed copies at a special BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE PRICE. Drop me a note through my site

PPS -- If you happen to be in NY, I will be speaking at the Long Beach Public Library on 12/20, 2pm. Come meet me! And, I'll have books available for purchase.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Questions for the Love Coach

I'd like to open this blog up to questions from you.

What would you like to ask? Is there a topic you'd like me to write about?

Please drop a note to or post a comment.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tales from the Ranch

I returned from Canyon Ranch in Tucson earlier this week, and must share with you the experience.

It was such a huge growth opportunity, in ways I never would have anticipated.

I was there as a guest speaker to share my wisdom from How to Marry a Mensch, and stayed on to vacation a couple of days.

I was traveling alone, which felt like a bit of a challenge. But, it took me back to my single days when I signed up alone to go on the singles trip where I met my husband. So, traveling solo does have its advantages! :)

My talks at Canyon Ranch attracted both couples and singles, seeking advice for themselves, to pass on, or to reaffirm that they had found their Mr. or Ms. Right Mensch and were grateful. It was interesting that after I spoke, various individuals approached me to share their story of how important it was that they married, or were dating a mensch. It made me feel good that others recognized the desirability of partnering with a quality person, and being a mensch themselves.

While I am not being paid by Canyon Ranch to endorse them, I have to share with you how whole-heartedly I recommend a stay there, if you can swing it. They have various locations, and it's such a great step toward practicing self care. Whether it be to exercise, develop portion and calorie awareness, be pampered, share your thoughts with others, etc., it's the ideal place to get in touch with you soul.

And, if you think about it, if you are seeking a soul mate, you want to be in a good place in your life. If this means taking some time out for you, you need to do that. Self exploration might feel like a luxury, but we all want to grow in our lives. And, the richer we are as people, the better we are able to connect with others on a deeper level.

Traveling to Canyon Ranch alone reminded me of my single days for another reason. I found myself eager to talk to new people and to want to be liked, so that I had companionship. I recalled all the times I went to socials and so desperately wanted to make conversation.

While I was far from desperate this time 'round, I did feel a bit of initial insecurity until I started to break the ice with some new folks. And, in general, I found the guests (and staff) quite welcoming and open to spending time, even if they came with friends or family members, which many did. It was a blessing to feel warmly received, and I relished getting to know different people, hoping I would stay in touch with a select few.

One workshop I attended addressed the point of wanting to be liked. The expert facilitator said that everyone craves that. I questioned her and said that I felt like it is a shame that we tend to seek out approval. But, she didn't take it that way. Her feeling is that if someone appears to not like you, for whatever reason, they are someone who needs a hug the most. What I learned is that we shouldn't judge or compare ourselves to others.

We are all so different, and you can never know what someone thinks or feels on the inside. Regardless of how they look, a person might not be as self confident as you imagine, yet you might find yourself sizing them up, envying them, aspiring to be like them, etc. And, it's not worth it. If you are comfortable in your own skin, you will put out a positive to the world and people will gravitate toward you. So, whether you want to attract new friends or a love into your life, make sure your self esteem is in a good place.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chemistry...What is it?


How do you define it when it comes to a relationship?

I was way on a weekend at Omega recently to hear the author Joan Anderson who wrote A Weekend to Change Your Life, among other bestselling books, as seen on Oprah.

She was very down-to-earth, with a strong message to share about the possibilities for reinventing your life so you can achieve happiness, reach goals, overcome fear, reinforce relationships, etc.

One gal in the audience asked the question, how do you know if you have chemistry with someone?

Anderson is not a relationship expert, so I almost felt like jumping up and sharing my two cents worth, but I didn't want to overstep my bounds. Plus, I wasn't there wearing my "author/love coach hat". I was a participant like everyone else.

But, it got me thinking. And, I did wind up approaching the woman who asked the question to share some thoughts.

It became evident to me that there is no one way to define chemistry.

You want to know you have it in a partner, but what is it exactly?

It is natural to first be attracted to someone on a physical level. And, for some, that would be how they define chemistry. But, it's really not that simple because you may be attracted to someone for various reasons. And, it could actually go against your physical type. You might think you like blondes, but a brunette might get you going if they have other traits that resonate with you.

For example, if someone makes you laugh, that is very appealing. If you enjoy someone's mind, that's a big plus. If you can make easy and on-going conversation with someone, that is desirable. If you embrace similar interests, that's cool. If you are open to each other's differences and applaud them (and are confident you could live with them), that can be empowering.

So, when you think about and yearn for chemistry with a potential mate, be aware that chemistry comes in different packages.

Make sure you give people a chance. Don't judge a book by it's cover only. You'll do yourself and the other person a big disservice.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Be a Mensch to Find a Mensch

I recently had a bit of a falling out with someone I've known casually over the years. I had asked for some information, thinking we were supportive/respectful of each other, and one thing led to the was not something I expected.

Got me thinking about the notion of one hand washing the other.

I've always been someone who takes pride in helping others. I imagine that's part of the reason my work as a love coach is so gratifying to me. And, why I've chosen to write self help books.

I consider myself to be someone who is generous with their time and advice (to the best of my ability), and hope that others will do the same in return. I try to be a team player and have always believed that what comes around, goes around. My philosophy is we can all get much further in life if we support each other.

In my mind, the bottomline is, it's about being a mensch.

If you want to find and potentially marry a mensch (decent person), it takes one to know one.

Do you do good for others (without getting paid for it)?
Do you do any volunteer work?
Do you put others before yourself at times?
Do you always expect things in return?

Part of making a contribution to this world is in the giving.

Look at actor/philanthropist Paul Newman, may he rest in peace. He was able to use his high profile status and earnings to ultimately give back to others in a big way. There's a lot to be said for that. And, he had an enduring marriage to actress Joanne Woodward. Something to aspire to.....

Do you consider yourself a mensch? In what regard?

Why would you deserve to find one, if you don't hold yourself up to the same standards?

Take a hard look at yourself and how you spend your time. Granted everyone is busy these days, but you'd be surprised how little gestures can add up. You don't have to do major volunteer work if your schedule doesn't permit, but there's all kinds of ways to help others.

Give it some serious thought, and you'll be all the better for it, and your love life may benefit in the long run as well.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pack Your Bags

It is so easy to get stuck in a rut.

It happens to all of us, whether single or otherwise.

Last week I had the opportunity to tag along for a couple of days with my husband who attended a conference for work in Nashville.

I had never been there before, and didn't know what to expect. He was basically at the conference 24/7 and otherwise was hanging with guys from his office. So, I was in solo mode.

It's been a long time since I've been doing my own thing. While I work from home, I'm always rushing to get stuff done before my son comes home from Kindergarten. So, being on vacation and feeling somewhat free from immediate responsibility was totally liberating.

It made me think back to my solo days when it felt like the world was my oyster. And, being in Nashville especially brought that back to mind. It is such a town filled with creativity and aspirations and driven talent yearning to be discovered. You could feel the vibe throughout the town. And, many of the songs they sing are ballads are: looking for love, love gone wrong, or celebrating relationships.

I never thought about how much songwriters put their emotions out there, and how universal the subject of love is. We'd like to think our experiences are unique, but clearly, finding and keeping love is something we all want and can find challenging. Whether it's about emptiness, walking away, not picking up the phone, etc., there is plenty of material on the subject. All you have to do is check out an appealing young songwriter/singer named Tammy Fowler (who I saw perform at the famous Bluebird Cafe), to hear some of the sentiment. You can find her at

What struck me also about my Nashville trip is how important it is to expose ourselves to new experiences. While I'm not particularly a country music lover, Nashville is so much more than that. It's a town for rockers as well, and even pop country. I never expected to enjoy being so immersed in music, and when you're trying to socialize and feeling stuck, a dose of change could be just what you need. Consider packing your bags, if you can and get away. Even if it's just an overnight. It can be so rejuvenating and give you a new mindset that you might not have thought possible. And, from that can come inspiration and hope, and you never know who you'll meet.

PS: I will be speaking at Canyon Ranch in Tucson late October, if you're looking for a destination.

PPS: My book HOW TO MARRY A MENSCH is currently on one, get one free. Drop me a note if you're interested in an autographed copy.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mom in the Pool

What kind of parents...and mom do you have?

I had a funny experience this weekend. While in our community pool, working on my crawl stroke (it's my new goal to learn how to swim well), a woman wearing a swimcap approached me in the water. She looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn't place her for the moment with her water-logged appearance.

She asked what my last name was, and how she might reach me.

I wasn't exactly prepared to network, but I told her I actually had a love coaching business card in my pocketbook that was poolside near my husband who was reclining on a lounge chair.

She exited the pool, and when she took off her swimcap and shook out her hair, I realized she was the mother of a 40 something girl I had met the week prior at the pool. The girl happens to live in the same building as my mother-in-law who was at the pool with us that day.

My mother-in-law mentioned that I wrote HOW TO MARRY A MENSCH, and the girl commented that she had the book but had yet to read it. Her mother had bought it for her some time back.

After the girl left, the mother commented to me that she is a "tough" one.

I wondered what that meant. I assumed, at least in part, that the mother thought her daughter was being particular about her choice of date. That may or may not be the case, but clearly, this is a mother who loves her daughter and wants to see her settled.

It got me thinking.

How does she come across to her daughter? No doubt she shows concern, but to what extent? Is she critical of her daughters socializing efforts, or possible lack thereof?

On one hand, your mother can be a huge supporter. But, it can also be challenging if she is feeling a loss over the fact that you are single. No doubt she wants you to be happy, but you don't want to feel pressure due to her hopes for you.

If your parents are your role models in terms of having a happy marriage, that can make a big, positive difference. It's something to aspire to. I've seen cases where parental divorce can lead a son or daughter to have commitment concerns or fears. This is so unfortunate because who's to say you will follow in their footsteps in a bad way?

We all make our own choices in life. Our parents want what is best for us, but we have to follow our own path, whether it comes to finding love, or other matters.

How do your parents figure into your dating life? Are they supportive, or do they feel meddling? I'm curious to hear your experiences, if you'd like share and post a comment on this blog. Look forward to hearing from you.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

A "Quickie": Meeting the Presidential Couple the Clintons - Special Book Offer

I am just back from vacation and swamped, as you can imagine.

Hope you are enjoying what is left of the summer.

It is flying by.

Wanted to write a "quickie" post, to keep in touch, and share with you a totally cool experience I had while away.

I was vacationing with my family at our annual summer spot, Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. I highly recommend it if you enjoy beautiful scenery, the mountains, water, hiking, etc. A real gem of a place!

We've been going for the last 7+ years each August.

Mohonk is known to have a celebrity clientele, since it is such a special resort. This year, was a particularly surreal experience.

I had the opportunity to meet former President Bill Clinton and the Mrs...Hillary. They stayed one night, and I had heard they were in the House.

Being the consummate author/book promoter that I am, I quickly signed a copy of my book and threw it in a tote bag, and went in search of them. I was on mission to give them a copy of HOW TO MARRY A MENSCH.

I was unsuccessful the first day, and went to sleep disappointed. The following morning, my sister mentioned to me at breakfast that she had just seen them in the gift shop.

I went racing down there, and walked right into them and their team of Secret Service, and Mohonk security. What a thrill!

I patiently waited for an opportunity to speak to Hillary, but she was quite busy schmoozing.

Then, I spied Mr. former President standing in a corner looking through a stack of Mohonk t-shirts. I approached a Secret Serviceman and asked if it was ok if I gave a copy of my book to Pres. Clinton, and after looking it over, he said "yes."

So, I approached Mr. President...tapped him on the arm to get his attention.....and handed him HOW TO MARRY A MENSCH. He was wearing reading glasses, and stood quite tall, as he lowered them and took the book. He looked at me and then the cover and smiled and said something to the effect, "I like should tell Hillary." I replied, "I will and perhaps it might interest some of his single friends."

I was awestruck! It didn't really sink in until afterwards.

I wrote in the book to them: "to a mensch of a political couple" (I wasn't sure quite what to write. What do you say to a former Pres. and his powerful political wife?)

It was a fleeting exchange, but it meant a lot, and I then walked over to Hillary who shook my hand, and said it was nice to meet me.

Quite a once in a lifetime experience!

I didn't have the nerve to ask for a photo with them, though the author/publicist in me knew it would have been a totally amazing photo opp. I did take a quick shot of them amongst a crowd, with my cell phone, which came out grainy because I was in a hurry and shook my hand.

Mohonk was nice enough to give me a shot of Pres. Clinton, which I appreciated.

As an author, when my book first came out, one of the greatest thrills for me was knowing that people would buy it and read it. Now, I can add to that, knowing that a former President and his wife held my words in their hands.

I was thinking afterwards that I could have suggested they pass it on to Chelsea. Certainly marrying a mensch (decent person) would be something her parents would no doubt hope she'd do.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Facing Ourselves

It is sometimes hard to face ourselves.

I was speaking with a single female love coaching client recently who told me she consulted with a psychic about her love life. The psychic clearly told her some things that were very hard to hear. She said that they were holding her back from moving forward. My client didn’t want to admit it at first because it was somewhat painful facing the truth, but then she realized that the psychic was in fact right on.

The bottomline, the psychic said, is that she had unresolved issues in her life. And, that working on them would be an important step in her personal growth that was essential before she could romantically partner with someone successfully for the long run.

While my client felt sure that she is ready to meet Mr. Right Mensch now, she admitted that she is still holding on a bit to unresolved feelings for a past boyfriend, and that there are other aspects of her life she'd like to improve.

I am sharing this story with you because we all go through challenges in life. And, before you can realistically expect to meet your life partner, you want to be in the best possible place/space for yourself.

So, while it might not be easy, take a close look at yourself. What expectations do you have for your life? What are you in pursuit of for the long run? Do you feel optimistic about where you're headed? Do you want to move? Do you still find yourself thinking about past loves?

These are all valid questions to ask. And, don't judge yourself if you don't like your response. Be honest. Even talk it through with a close friend, if it helps.

The key is to admit where you're at this very moment, so you can then work toward inviting love into your life.

PS -- If you are single and a fan of my book HOW TO MARRY A MENSCH (decent person), join the new Facebook group

Friday, July 25, 2008


I was at the gym the other night, and I got to talking with one of the girls working out.

She had been speaking with her trainer about her engaged brother who is planning a wedding. The parents of the bride had planned to pay for the affair, but the groom's parents opted to split the cost because they wanted to be able to offer opinions, be included on the invitation, etc.

And, then she proceeded to share how her brother's fiance can be a bit of a "challenge." That already she has seen rifts between her and her brother. And, the fiance is in fact meeting with the mother of the groom in the next week or so in an effort to clear the air.

Being a proponent, as you know, if you've been reading this blog, of mensches making the best marriage material, I wondered what kind of woman we are speaking of here. While I have never met her, we got into a discussion at the gym about change and relationships.

My feeling is that people don't typically change.

If you are marrying someone with the hope that they have the potential to become a different person, I don't think that's particularly realistic.

Sure, we all influence each other. It is possible for people to cultivate new interests. Try out new skills. Change their wardrobe. Get a updated haircut....etc....etc.

However, people don't alter their basic character.

What you see is what you get in that sense.

So, when you are dating someone, trust your gut. If there is something about their behavior that you question, don't sweep it under the rug. There's only so many dustballs you want under that rug.

You can't make someone more fun than they are. You can't give them a sense of humor. You can't change their sense of responsibility. You can't make them close to their friends, if friendship isn't important to them.

And, as life packs on more responsibility, things can get more challenging, especially if you add children to that equation.

So, don't fool yourself into thinking that little fights don't matter. Sure, no relationship is perfect, and you want to be open and express you opinion even if it leads to a disagreement. But, if you fight regularly or don't see eye to eye about things that matter most to you in life, then that won't get better.

And, it shouldn't be your goal to get someone to follow your belief system. They are entitled to their own. Sharing passions is one thing. But your life's work isn't to shape them into what you hope they would be.

I have heard couples say that their mate makes them a better person. And, that is great. But, you can't lay in wait for that to happen. You need to choose wisely.

Once a mensch (decent person), always a mensch. That's what you should strive for.

PS -- Check out the site The cousin of a friend of mine made this really cool independent film regarding single life, and it is very empowering and insightful.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Third Right: Right Place

You've probably been waiting with baited breath for Right #3 (LOL) -- well here goes.

It's The Right Place.

I am referring to your choice of socializing avenues.

You ideally want to put yourself where you're going to find the opposite sex in numbers. The odds of making a love connection may then be all the more in your favor.

As obvious as this may sound, you may not necessarily doing it.

Do you tend to pursue activities that are convenient and familiar to you? Have you been going to the same functions, bars, mixers, etc. for the last 10 years, with little success?

If the answer is yes, it's time to shake things up and perhaps step out of your comfort zone, even if just a bit.

Of late, I've been working with a number of single women love coaching clients who want to take advantage of the summer weather. Though the heat can be rough, it's also an opportunity to get outdoors. And, if you want to meet a guy, engaging in something physical is a great way to go.

For example, consider going on a hike, taking up biking, or going on white water rafting trip. How about participating in a sports league, etc. There are so many options, and you don't have to necessarily be a jock.

Other ideas for meeting men .....attend a networking function, a business breakfast, join a speech making group, take a class, i.e. architecture.

Be creative. Think out of the box. Ask your male friends or relatives or co-workers for ideas. Check out a magazine like Men's Journal for ideas.

If you're a guy looking to meet a women, why not consider cultural pursuits? Take a film class. Go to an art exhibit or a fundraiser supporting an arts cause. Take a Pilates or yoga class. Sign up for a walking tour for shoppers (yes, they exist).

No doubt most of these activities would be female-dominated, and that is what you want. The more you surround yourself with women, especially if you're all engaged in an activity, the easier it is to break the ice and start a conversation.

Take a hard look at your socializing efforts, and throw in some of the above. You'll have fun, while you put yourself out there in a way that can work to your socializing advantage.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Second Right: Right Attitude

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, there are Three Rights that are considered important in my book, when you are seeking a mate.

The first, Right Time, was discussed.

Now I'm going to shed light on the second, Right Attitude.

Right attitude refers to staying positive, keeping an open mind, and being approachable.

You give off vibes you might not even be aware of.

If your tendency is to walk into a room, anxiously size up the crowd, and decide in no time that it's not for you, your attitude could use some adjustment. How can you really tell that quickly if there is no one you would connect with?

If you are sincerely open-minded, you will give someone the opportunity to show his or her true self through in-depth conversation. Only then can you attempt to reach some level of conclusion. You certainly can't judge someone just based on looks.

You might also find that Mr. or Ms. Right Mensch does not present him or herself at the onset. If you are at a social function, the person could be the quiet, shy one standing in a corner, not entirely confortable with the scene. You might have had times when you felt like that.

You can potentially boost his or her confidence by coming across with a positive attitude and initiating a conversation.

I once spoke at a Jewish singles function held at a popular synagogue in Manhattan. I had brought along three single girlfriends at the time who were hoping to meet someone. While they listened to my speech, as soon as I was done, they bolted out the door. They were so eager to get home that they didn't make an attempt to speak with anyone. And, I was approached by a bunch of attractive guys afterwards who had questions to ask. I scanned the room in an attempt to find my friends and connect them with the guys, but they were already out the front door.

I later told them that I thought they had lost out and that they didn't have the right attitude.

It's not enough to put yourself in a social environment. An optimistic attitude has to come with you. Then, at least you'll know you made a concerted socializing effort and didn't just show up, regardless of the outcome of the event.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Three Rights: Right #1 -- The Right Time

In my book, How to Marry a Mensch, and in the workshops I teach, one of the key points I make is the importance of the Three Rights.

I'm going to discuss one of them right now, and will shed light on the next two in blog posts to follow.

The first Right is the Right Time.

When you are out there in the socializing arena, you cannot discount the importance of timing.

In part it is fate when you meet your Mr. or Ms. Right Mensch. Sure you have to put yourself out there, but as you know, it's out of your hands when it will actually happen.

That said, when you do connect with someone, the bigger challenge is to be certain that you are on the same page. Meaning -- what is your relationship goal, and when do you expect/hope to achieve it?

Are you yearning to get married? Do you want to have children tomorrow? Are you the type to live with someone first, or potentially never get married?

You have to want the same thing as the other person at the same time. Otherwise, it will not work out.

And, in my book/humble opinion, I don't believe that someone will rise to the occasion. I have worked with singles....women in particular....who are of the opinion that if a guy likes them enough, even if marriage isn't top on his To Do list, he will change his priorities if he falls in love. Certainly this is a possibility, but how likely is it?

You have to take a look at where the person is at in their life. For example, if they're not settled in their career, they're not going to be buying the wedding ring any time soon if they want to have a particular income.

If they have a ton of single friends who they like to hang out with, they may not want to walk down the aisle all too soon.

If they aspire to go back to school, they may not want to get married in the immediate future.

If their parents didn't have a great marriage, they may be altar shy altogether.

So...the bottomline is, make sure to consider the Right Time when you are dating someone, so you don't waste valuable time. People don't just rise to the occasion. They have to be commitment-minded first. Even if you are madly in love, you have to want the same thing at the same time.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Playing the Field

What is it about playing the field that seems so very prevalent these days?

I want to share with you a situation that arose this week.

While I am not a matchmaker by trade, I'm always keeping my eyes open for friends and love coaching clients. I recently met a guy in my gym who said he is single. He is boyishly cute and very out like an animal...and I thought, at least physically, the perfect match for a good friend of mine. I showed him a picture of her, and he was interested, and she, trusting my judgment, said go for it.

He called her, and they made a date. Coincidentally, the same day, I walked into my gym....a small, neighborhood hard core weighlifting gym that is male-dominated. To my surprise, there was a dog cage near the entrance, with a really cute, white Maltese puppy in it. I asked what the dog was doing there, and was told that it belonged to this guy who left to get it a bone. He bought it for his girlfriend, and he'd be returning shortly to retrieve it.

Needless to say, I was stunned.

He bought it for his girlfriend? And, it cost close to $2, this was not a mere token. What was it then? A guilt present? Or, he just has money to burn, so it wasn't a big deal for him.

When he returned to the gym, I beckoned him over, and nicely asked about the dog, mentioning the fact that I thought he was available. He said "he's not married," when I mentioned his girlfriend. I asked if she knew he was looking to date other women, and he said "no." I asked if she was dating other guys, and he said, "no." And, he had a complete look of surprise on his face, as if to suggest that I was overreacting to the situation.

I told him I didn't want to get in the middle....but of course, out of loyalty/concern for my girlfriend, I phoned her as soon as he left the gym with the dog.

She, surprisingly, wasn't shocked to hear what I had found out. She said that it's all too common these days for people to look for the "next best thing." In her opinion, they're hardly ever satisfied and want to keep their options open.

I mentioned the situation to a friend at the gym, and she referred to this guy as a skunk. Even my husband thought his behavior was horrendous and a bad reflection on mankind. He could have at least said that he's dating someone, but doesn't know if she's the one. In his mind, he didn't lie...he just didn't fess up.

So, where does that leave singles today? Certainly this type of situation doesn't occur all the time. But, it was very disappointing. And, makes me, on a personal level, appreciate my mensch husband all the more. I know he would never cheat, nor would I. And, when we were dating each other, we were exclusive, and I never questioned or doubted it.

It's not too much to expect loyalty in a relationship. And, unless you are both on the same "playing the field" page, you need to be clear where you stand, and let your expectations be known. I realize you can't question someone's every move, but just because you don't sport a wedding band, doesn't mean the relationship doesn't deserve respect. If you're that unsure of it, just move on, and do both of you a favor. There are other fish in the sea, and best to approach it with a clear slate.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


A gal I know told me of a new book recently that she contributed to. It's called "Have I Got a Guy for You:" what really happens when Mom fixes you up (edited by Alix Strauss). It's a collection of true stories of well-meaning matches contributed by various writers. Not only is it a hoot, and a very fun read, but it leads me to my subject of the week. Fix-Ups.

Have you ever had one? Have you ever initiated one? And how did it go?

Unlike the stories in this book, my mom (may she rest in peace) was never one to attempt to fix me up, though she did offer her opinions re: ths guys I dated, outfits I wore on dates, etc. And, while I was living at home, she was the late night clockwatcher, commenting the following morning on my arrival, even when I thought I made it into my bed unnoticed.

In general, for whatever reason, I was never one to get fixed up much. This is probably true because most, if not all, of my friends were actively single as well. We were all in pursuit at the same time, so we could rarely help each other in that department. And, I wasn't one to reach out to extended family or others to broach the subject. It felt embarassing to be asking for love.

I do recall in college, that a friend set me up. And, looking back, it was an experience I'd prefer to forget, though it does get me laughing now that it is long past. It was a double date, which is never easy when one couple is hot 'n heavy, and you are first meeting your date. I was living in a dorm at the time, and he came to meet me in the lobby of my building. The student on duty called up to my room upon his arrival, so that I would know to come down. In anticipation of my date, a number of my floormates were already perched anxiously in the lobby to get a look at my "intended," and the news wasn't good. They were buzzing me from their cell phones quietly warning me that his looks would not knock my socks off.

I was always one to give someone the benefit of the doubt, but in this case, they happened to be right. He was very studious looking. Kinda greasy-haired -- and not in the stylish sense. And, his blindingly plaid pants were what we referred to as in the "year of the flood"....meaning they were set above his ankles. In general, he looked like a poindexter, and this was a hard thing to get past.

I was polite, hoping at least he could be a mensch (decent person), and that would be a good thing. We walked to the car where my friend and her date were waiting, and they were all ready all over each other. I could see the windows steamed up as we approached. Thankfully they were fully clothed, but this was not a comfortable scenario, particularly given that I couldn't even envision kissing my date goodnight, never mind anything more.

I learned from this experience. A blind date can be challenging enough, but when done on a double date, other challenges may arise.

That said....I'm still a fan of the fix-up. And, you never know where it may come from. Granted, your mom, as well meaning as she may be, isn't always the best source. But, your local dry cleaner could be, or even someone at the gym. I've heard all kinds of unexpected love encounters due to the kindness of someone who thought to make a connection.

But, don't assume it will just happen. Even if someone knows you're single and are looking for a partner, doesn't mean they'll think of you. Everyone is busy living their own life, so why not plant the seed? It's not being desperate, if that is how it feels to you. It's being proactive.

So, take at look at those in your life. Is there anyone you might mention a fix-up to? Go for it! never hurts to have someone else looking out on your behalf....and mom would be pleased to know that she's not the only one hoping to get you hitched.

Monday, May 19, 2008

What If You Had a Crystal Ball?

I was speaking with a love coaching client who recently decided to consult with a psychic. She is living in a town where she has built a life for herself, but unhappily. She has a thriving career, house that she loves, is near her mom and dad, but knows it's not a place for her future. She is proud of what she has accomplished, but for a long time, has been counting the days that she would move on. She is in her 30s and dates little and has been yearning to relocate for years. The psychic assured her that her life will fall into place in a particular town, which she named, and that good things are awaiting her.

Just hearing this piece of information has given her a tremendous dose of confidence and is helping ease the stress and uncertainty in her mind. She is feeling more poised to make a move, though it's not happening tomorrow. For her, connecting with the psychic has helped her create a plan for herself and to trust she will find her soul mate.

I realize that professional psychics are not for everyone. And some, no doubt, are better than others. But, there is an interesting force at work here, if you think about it. It's the notion of getting a pat on the back about where you're headed and giving yourself permission to chill because the future holds promise.

Think about all the things you want for your life, including potentially finding a mate, if that is a goal. How would you live day-to-day if you knew when/where you would find that special someone....your Mr. or Ms. Right Mensch? This is one of the points I make in my book HOW TO MARRY A MENSCH (decent person).

Would it take the pressure off you? Would you go out and socialize and feel less uptight about it? Could you live more fully and happily in the present because the future seems spoken for?

There's a lot to be said for that. I realize no one has a crystal ball, and the average person is not capable of being their own psychic. And, I'm not suggesting you consult a psychic (though I have done so myself). But...what if you gave thought to living your life without the worry of what the future might bring? Might you walk around smiling more?

What if I told you with assurance that you will walk down the aisle one day? Would you believe it?

A big part of socializing success is truly knowing in your heart that it will happen for you. And, while it is very important to get out there and put yourself in venues/situations where you might make a love connection, you don't want to obsess about it either.

Allow yourself to think positively, and live in the present. Worrying about the future is so common. I certainly do it myself. But, it doesn't get us anywhere. So, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to stay connected to this moment and put our most upbeat thoughts out there. We can manifest our future with our minds, to a certain extent. And, when you're socializing, you want to project a positive vibe. That will make you that much more appealing to the opposite sex.

So....dust off your crystal ball....and live knowing that you will not be single forever. Go forth and enjoy life, and take the dating pressure off. Do get out there, but do it was a greater sense of inner calm. It will ultimately serve you well.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Summer Lovin'

Before you know it, summer will be upon us. If you're like me, you can't wait for consistently warm and sunny days....preferably without humidity. Blue skies bring the promise of summer lovin', and the opportunity to get outdoors and seize the socializing moment.

So, with the sun gaining on us, have you thought about how you're going to spend your days?

Countless new socializing option present themselves this time of year. Some organized....some not.

One place that I enjoyed a lot when I was single is Club Getaway in Kent, CT. They offer loads of activities, or you can just chill by the lake. There are a variety of theme weekends that might appeal to you. Phone 877-7GO-PLAY, and tell them Love Coach Robin Gorman Newman sent you, to receive a $25 discount.

A number of my love coaching clients have expressed interest in joining a share house in the Hampton's (NY). That is an option. Look for one that feels comfortable to you. Fire Island is another cool place to spend summer weekends, if you love the water and a more low key environment.

Consider an afternoon in Central Park, if you're in NY....or hang out in a park near you. Tip....have a prop. Props can help get a conversation going. Wear a t-shirt with an interesting saying or logo. It might catch someone's eye and give them something to talk about. Walk a dog. Visit a Dog Run. Dogs can be people magnet. Throw around a frisbee. Put a smile on your face and make direct eye contact with people.

Get moving. Partake in sports. Consider joining a league. Activities that offer continuity...the opportunity to see the same faces more than once...can help break the ice.

You don't have to be a jock. Sometimes a willingness and load of enthusiasm is all you need. Effort is appreciated. Check out some of the sites below. If the concept appeals to you, look for a chapter in your town, or a similar group that is local.

If you incorporate outdoor activities into your social regime, not only will you get some great exercise, but you'll meet people in a whole new way. And, because you're engaged in an activity, it takes the pressure off.

So get out....get movin'.....and shake up your body & love life!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Body Imperfect Deserves Love Too

There is no such thing as the body perfect.

Many strive for physical perfection. We see these images in the media, and aspire for the ideal look. Plastic surgery is on the rise. There are always new diets and exercise regimes being promoted. People want to look and feel their best, understandably so. To a certain extent, we live in a highly superficial world. And, the bottom line is nothing is more important than your health. But, even if someone looks amazing on the outside, there could be things going on on the inside that we are not overtly aware of.

For example, what if you have a chronic health condition or have had some major health challenges in the past that require monitoring? Or, what if your looks aren't your strength, but you have a heart of gold? Does this mean that you're not marriage material? The resounding answer is NO!

I broach this subject because a number of singles I know, love coaching clients and others, have recently led me to ponder this arena because of their personal situations.

They have expressed that they feel their bodies may be holding them back. Or, even if they didn't verbalize it in those exact words, it's a vibe I picked up on during our discussions. And, if I felt it, others might as well. This concerned me, and my heart goes out to them and all who lack some level of physical self confidence.

Coincidentally, these are three single women in their 30s, each with a different scenario, but one that has been disabling to them in the past. While, each has forged ahead, thoughts linger about what the future might bring and how a potential partner could react early on in a relationship.

What became clear to me is that it's so easy to have self doubt. And, even those without physical challenges may feel it's hard to make a love connection. So, is it really harder if you lack the body perfect? Does anyone have a perfect body? And, what is one anyway? It's really quite subjective, if you think about it. And, as we age, our bodies change in ways that we can't begin to anticipate.

The goal is to find a mensch to grow old with. And, if you choose wisely and seek out someone with depth, they will be grateful for you, flaws and all. They will love you for what you are, not what you lack. And what you might perceive as a drawback, they will just see as part of you. And, over time, perhaps they won't even see it at all.

So...I urge you not to presume the worst when you endeavor to date. Yes, there really are mensches (decent, responsible person) out there. And, your Mr. or Ms. Right Mensch will want to be with you...the person....and not just the body. So, exercise, eat right, take your vitamins, put yourself together as best you can, and forge ahead.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Finding Love Where You Live

Have you ever heard the expression.....everywhere you go, there you are?!

Meaning....however you think...whatever attitude or vibe you give off, it is always with you, whether you realize it or not.

In the past week, I received emails from three single gals, interestingly, all inquiring about where they now live.

One from Europe moved to NY a year ago. And, while she enjoys Manhattan, she is surprised that her love life isn't quite what she was anticipating. She has friends here who built it up, and now she finds herself somewhat letdown.

Another lives in a resort town in the South (U.S.), and feels very isolated, but she is near her folks. She consulted with a psychic recently who said she would be moving in the next year to a town where she will ultimately find happiness romantically and otherwise. She has mixed thoughts about the change. While she hates where she lives, she also has a sense of security due to the familiarity, not to mention an established career. The unknown is both exciting and daunting to her. She is convinced she will never meet a prospective mate if she stays put.

A third lives in a large city but is considering moving to an even larger city, like NY, if the socializing opportunities are greater. She doesn't know if she should relocate. Would the odds, in fact, be in her favor if she moved, or does she just think they would be? She is doing research on the matter.

Each was asking my opinion.

While there is no guarantee that you'll find love in a particular city, it is helpful to examine the likelihood. For example, the single woman living in the resort community feels the odds are against her. While that may be so, it only takes one, so you do never know.

There are a few important points to make here.

*You want to trust your gut. If your instincts are telling you this isn't the town for you, there is something to be said for that. Hear your inner voice. But, also be sure you're not throwing the towel in prematurely. Have you really made an effort where you are?
*Change can be good. It is normal to be fearful of the unknown, though some are great at embracing it. But, don't let it hold you back. It's amazing how time helps us adjust to new circumstances, and even delight in them!
*You need to believe you can meet someone. If you are questioning the potential to connect with a potential mate, that could wind up being your fate. You want to think positive and put out that vibe. It has been said that what we think, we manifest. We are the master of our thoughts.

So, while where you live certainly can impact your social life, it's not as simple as pointing the finger at your town of choice.

Do consider the above, and remember that your single years can be a time for self exploration and experimentation. Don't let your place of residence hold you back. If you honestly feel that you can do better elsewhere, then go for it! But, remember to pack a positive mindset and not just your luggage.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Notorious Checklist

Do you have one?

If so, are you willing to admit it?

And, what about your friends?

Do they?

How long is it?

You know what I'm talking about. The "checklist."

It is not uncommon to have one.

Some would view it as a "wishlist." What you wish you could find in a mate, in a perfect world.

But...since we surely don't live in a perfect world (what is perfect anyway?).... how effective is a checklist really?

I'm all for identifying what is important to us. And, as a writer, by nature, I often turn to pen and paper to record my thoughts, or the computer.

What is key about writing things down is that you have it to review over 'n over again. And, this can be a very helpful task during the dating process.

What exactly is it that you desire in a person?

Can you prioritize your list?

Are you willing to accept that it's quite the challenge....if not next to "have it all"?

Ultimately, it comes down to what you can live with, and being realistic, if you truly want to find a life partner.

When I host one of my workshops for singles, I've been known to advise that you should throw half your checklist out the window.

I'm not suggesting you settle, though it may sound that way. But, if your standards are unrealistic, you will be unhappy with most people you meet. No one will measure up fully. Examine what matters most to you at the end of the day and over the long run.

And, conversely, take a look at what you have to offer in return. Make a checklist of your own strengths and weaknesses. What kind of romantic partner would you make? Are there areas in your own life that could use improving? If so, is it fair to expect so much from someone else when you have personal work to do? (And who doesn't have work to do, on some level? It's part of wanting to grow as an individual.)

We are each works-in-progress, evolving every day, and what we want/need can change over time. With age and experience often comes greater clarity.

For this reason too, having a written checklist can be telling if you tuck it away in a place (like a journal) where you can find it a year later, for example. Pull it out, and see how much of it still holds true.

I urge you to be open-minded as you go about socializing. Sometimes a prospective love interest might not look "perfect" on paper, but there's something about them that clicks/resonates with you if you give them a chance. You may be surprised...and pleasantly so.

So...don't do yourself a disservice by sticking so firmly by your trusty checklist....and don't write it in indellible ink. A little flexibility and realism can go a long way in the quest for love.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Taking the Lead

Who calls? Who pays? Who does the asking out?

Do you ask yourself any or all of these questions?

Do you find yourself getting into a debate with your friends about it?

Do your single friends feel one way, and your married friends another?

I broach this subject because it recently came up over lunch with a single woman I befriended through a networking group I belong to. I didn't expect to discuss personal matters. We were schmoozing about our various business endeavors, who we know, etc..and as the lunch neared toward the close, she asked if she could seize the moment while I put on my "love coaching cap." I'm always happy to offer advice, if I can be helpful, and I was curious to hear what she wanted to share.

We engaged in a discussion about male vs. female roles in the dating/socializing process.

We recalled years ago the book The Rules, which cleared stated dos and don'ts in the social arena....taking a strong stand that men should be the pursuer...and that you shouldn't be readily available.

I agree with the book on some levels, but not all. I'm not a fan of game-playing. But, the bottom line is that you want to be respected. I do agree that less is more. And, you want to leave him wanting more.

You also want to know that he is as interested in you as you are in him. And, to a certain extent, like it or not, I personally believe that it's more beneficial in the long run for the guy to take the lead. Meaning...that he should ask you out.

I don't have a problem with a woman initiating a conversation with a guy. Some men are shy and would welcome this. But, I'm not a big fan of the woman being the one to suggest that phone numbers or business cards be exchanged. Even if he agrees it's a good idea, why didn't he propose it? Is he just going along with it to avoid an awkward moment? You want to know...don't you?

And...yes...he should be the one to make the first call, or email exchange. Let's see if he would take the initiative. How interested in you is he?

In a perfect world, you want to be pursued.

And, what happens on the date? If you are working and earning a nice income and consider yourself an independent sort, you may want to pay for the date or even split the check. You might think this is the way to go, to show that you don't need his money or expect to be treated.

I do not support this approach. The last thing you want to do on a date is haggle over the check. If you feel the need to reciprocate, then pay on a future date. Cook dinner for him. Take him out for dessert afterwards, etc. There are other ways to show that you don't take for granted that he is treating.

A great way to kill a romantic mood is to do battle over the well meaning as your gesture is intended.

It may seem old-fashioned, but when it comes to dating, at least at the onset of a potential relationship, let the guy show his colors. You'll appreciate it down the road.

I welcome your thoughts on this. You may or may not agree, so do tell.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Mensch and His Mom

In the past week, I engaged in two discussions relative to the character of a mensch....a decent, responsible person. The question arose, why does it matter if someone is a mensch, and how can you tell if they truly fit the bill? This was in regard to dating. The subject came up because I was explaining to a potential love coaching client how I work, and I mentioned the fact that we would discuss past relationships in an effort to examine dating choices, to see if there are any self-defeating patterns/red flags that emerge.

One of the things I feel strongly about is the notion of a mensch.

If you want to attract someone good into your life, then you first need to begin with yourself. Are you a mensch to yourself? Do you practice self care? Do you take time for your own needs? I realize this is easier said than done in today's hectic world, but you have to feel good about yourself (or at least as good as possible), so you can put positive vibes out there.

Are you a mensch to others? Do you do good in the world? Do you support any non-profit causes, either monetarily or through volunteer work? Do you help others when possible? Are you kind? Do you ever pay a compliment to someone?

And, a really telling point, when it comes to dating, is.....if you're a woman seeking a man, how does he treat his mother?

This is something very important to look at.

I'm not in any way suggesting he should be tied to his mom's apron strings. But, how would you, or he, define their relationship? Do they have one? Are they close? How often do they speak on the phone or see each other? Who initiates? Is the relationship based on money? Is one always looking for it from the other?

Does he go out of his way for her? Does he truly value having her in his life?

A friend of mine was discussing a single male friend of hers and how he always complains about his parents. He actually made the comment to her that his life would be simpler if they weren't around. She quickly responded that he would regret it if they were no longer in this world. Despite him having a "challenging" relationship with his folk, life does feel different if you have suffered a parental loss.

Why does it matter how a guy feels about his mom? Because, typically, if he is good to her, he will be good to you. He would have grown up with a respect for women and for the role women play in this world. He will want to be a supportive husband and be there for you to the best of his ability. He will have been raised with that ethic. He may even put you before himself, and who wouldn't appreciate that?! take the time to examine a man's relationship with his mom. Look closely. Think about it. And, keep in mind, that if you want a romance or marriage with this person, that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Internet Dating Tips

I received a call today from a prospective love coaching client. She was looking to pursue internet dating for the first time, and she had a lot of trepidation. She was concerned about getting started and how to do it smartly and effectively.

We had a long discussion, and I offered her a number of tips. And, they hold true, even if you've been using the web for some time as a dating tool. I have also worked with singles who have been on and other sites for a good period, and sometimes they say it's not working for them, and they don't know why. I have known others who have had success.

Consider the following.

*Post a great photo of yourself. Invest in hiring a photographer, if need be. It's worth it. And, you can find services on the web that specialize in internet dating photos. Your photo is your first impression, and the web is a numbers game since so many are pursuing it. You want yours to stand out as much as possible, and capture the essence of you. I have seen many post photos they've had laying in their nightstand drawer because it was easy. One of my clients posted a photo of herself wearing sunglasses, and you couldn't see her face. Another wore a tuxedo, which made him look dapper, but very stiff, yet he had a good sense of humor and was fun-loving. That did not come across. Another posted a shot with part of the arm of someone else he had been standing next to and cropped from the photo. These don't work. You can do better.

*When writing about yourself, don't just post the facts. So many I work with want to get it over with, so they write as if they are extracting info. from their resume. This is a bore. You want to attract someone. You want them to want more. And you want them to want to meet you. So, what can you do? Write with personality and colour. Ask your friends how they would describe you? What do they think would attract someone to you? It can be hard to write about yourself. You're too close to the subject. Be specific. What are some of your interests? Do you like movies? Name your favorite movie. Do you enjoy travel? What is your favorite vacation spot? The last thing you want is to sound generic. Give someone a "hook" to write to you about. You want what you describe to resonate with them, and make a connection. Back in my single days, I placed a personal ad, and I began it by writing "pretty pizza lover....." I thought it was cute, and original, and might get a chuckle. It did lead to some fun responses, and broke the ice conversation-wise, because we began by discussing our favorite pizza places. So, don't be afraid to be playful and clever.

*Don't exchange in an overly lengthy email exchange. Two of my clients had the experience of doing that, and it didn't turn out well in either case. In both instances, they conversed a lot on the computer. Long, detailed notes were exchanged, particularly after hours, when they were feeling somewhat vulnerable and alone. Things were shared. It became personal. All before they met. Way too premature. When they finally did connect in person, the dates proved disappointing. They had set themselves up for potential failure because there was so much expectation. They had built up their hopes too soon. This is understandable, but it might have been avoided. Don't be tempted to put a lot of stock in email. Best to keep your notes brief and to the point, and make a date. There is something to be said for a little intrigue, and email can easily be misinterpreted. It's also common to share a lot in email because the words sometimes pour out, especially if you're a fast typist. But, this isn't the best way to get to know someone. It's a start....but you need to come face-to-face.

*When you do make the date, meet in a public place. Get yourself there and back. Have ample money on hand to pay your own expenses. don't know this person, no matter how many emails you've written to each other.

In general, I am a fan of internet dating. It think it's an option worth exploring when you are seeking a mensch, but you want to do it safely and smartly.

I'd love to hear your internet dating stories, especially if you've met a love that way. Do tell.....

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day....or is it?

Valentine's Day is almost upon us.

How does it feel for you?

I can recall, when I was single, that I often found it a challenging occasion. I was working in Manhattan at the time, surrounded by florist, candy and card shops. When I ventured out during lunch time, I remember strategically crossing certain streets so as to avoid passing the windows chock full of beaming red love-related gifts on display.

Even when I was dating someone, Valentine's Day sometimes felt complex, depending on the nature of our relationship. Do you buy a card for someone if it's a new relationship? If so, what should the card say? Is a card enough? If you want to give a gift, how would it be interpreted? What if I give him a card, but I don't get one in return? And, should we have a date on Valentine's Day, and if so what is the significance of it? Does it need to be by candelight? Who picks the place? etc.....I could go on 'n on.

As you can see, I drove myself crazy, and probably overanalyzed the holiday. But, really, it was all in an effort to do the right thing, and send the right message to my hopeful Mr. Right Mensch.

But, why put all that pressure on yourself?!

Let me make a suggestion.

Make Valentine's Day a day of self love. Let it be an empowering holiday for you where you do something sweet for yourself that you wouldn't normally do. Have you been wanting to book a massage? How about a girls get together watching a classic chick flick? How about a guys night out at the local sports bar? Celebrate the people you love in your life. Maybe even start a new tradition. Plan a lunch with your favorite gal pals and make it a meal you'll always remember. It's a nice break in the day, and you can do it year after year, even after you meet your mensch.

How often do you give yourself permission to chill? I can personally confess that whether single or married, I've never been great at it. My To Do list is ever growing and never ending. If that sounds like you, take advantage of Valentine's Day and don't think about looking for a mate, if you're not already dating someone. Focus on being the best you can be. Tell cupid to take a hike for today. You can resume your social networking tomorrow.

It's just another day. And, if in the mood, you can always buy yourself a box of chocolates at 1/2 price the day after.

REMINDER -- Check out my new How to Marry a Mensch YouTube video, and be sure to post a comment on youtube if you like it, and pass it on --
You can also visit and click on the video from there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

International Flirting Week

You might not have heard of it, but International Flirting Week is approaching. The dates are February 11-17, and here's the description of the occasion: Celebrating the ancient art of flirting and recognizing the role it plays in the lives of singles seeking a mate, couples looking to sustain their love and those simply exchanging a playful glance with a stranger, acquaintance, colleague, etc.

Now that you've marked your calendar accordingly :), what kind of flirter, if any, are you?

Do you like to flirt? Do you do it with ease? Or, do you shy away from attempting it? Do you aspire to flirt, but don't know where to start?

I used to co-host an event in NYC a number of years ago called the School of Flirting. We would meet at a comedy club once/month, and offer tips to singles in the audience, play flirting games, comics performed, etc. It was a fun time, but also designed to be helpful to those seeking to brush up on their flirting skills.

What I often found is that flirting, for some, is a skill they have yet to acquire. If you have a job, making the transition from work to play, isn't the easiest, as you know. But, once you let your hair down and decide to turn your attention to socializing, are you able to make eye contact with someone? Do you exhibit open body language? Is making small talk something you attempt?

The idea behind flirting is that you catch the eye of someone you'd like to meet. On the most basic level, this is done by catching someone's glance, smiling, then looking away, and repeating. The key is to make sure they are totally aware that you are smiling at them, otherwise you won't get anywhere. Also important is open body language. If you're in a social setting, do you stand with your arms crossed? Are you looking down at the ground?

If it helps, hold a glass in your hand, so you can't cross your arms so easily. And, make sure you don't look like you want to keep to yourself.

If you go out with friends, don't surround yourself by the "troops," so to speak. It is hard to break through that, if someone would want to approach you.

Flirting doesn't necessarily come naturally to everyone, and that's ok. But, the more you do it, the more automatic it will become. And, if you've taken the time to venture out, you want to at least look like you're having a reasonably good time. That will make you all the more appealing to the opposite sex, and that's what leads to optimum socializing success.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Under the Carpet

A friend with a 20 something daughter married about a year confessed to me this week that her daughter is on the brink of divorce and how sad it is. She went on to talk about the beautiful wedding she had on a lakefront, surrounded by loving friends and family, and how much time and effort had gone into to planning it. Not to mention the considerable expense. A gorgeous wedding gown. Glorious food. You name it. Followed up by a 10 day European honeymoon. It was a day and time in their young lives full of hope and promise. Yet, for those who really knew the couple, their relationship and courtship had been one with an undercurrent of volatility.

There was a lot of love between them, but these were two strong-willed, somewhat freewheeling people coming together, yet not curbing their damaging ways. They enjoyed eachother and shared impressive spending habits (and debt), but that wasn't the major problem. One of their challenges was that both were, in fact, somewhat immature in terms of what a marriage requires. And, more importantly, there was abuse on the part of each. One relied on many meds for depression and sleeplessness, and the other was a gambler and perennial drinker.

After attempting marriage counseling, they have reached the conclusion it's best to split up before too much time passes. Hopefully, each will now focus on their respective personal challenges, and be stronger and more knowing for future relationships. It is unfortunate that it took this breakup for them to acknowledge their out of control behavior.

This led me to think about the notion of burying something under the carpet. Have you ever found yourself in the situation where you are dating someone and really care for them, yet there is something that you continually overlook? Do they drink more than you think they should? Do they have other habits that are not healthful? Are they a happy person? Do they realize it, or resent it if you try to help or discuss it? Or, do you not discuss it because you feel it's not an issue? Might YOU be in denial? Or perhaps honestly unaware of how the problem might escalate overtime? Maybe it doesn't seem big now, but what happens if it continues? Do others close to you try to talk to you about it, but you feel they're overreacting?

Trust me. The situation will not go away on its own. If you have a concern now (or others do), it will only get worse as time goes on, if the person doesn't want to change. You can't be someone's savior if they are unwilling or unknowing. You can try, but what about you? How long can you keep it up? It's not your job, and shouldn't become your life's mission.

This makes me think of actor Heath Ledger who we just lost at such a young age. A beloved father of a two year old, and ex-fiance of someone who adored him. Toxicology reports have yet to come in, but the press has reported challenges with drugs in the past. What a shame! I have to believe that those around him tried to help. He was actually referred to as a "mensch" by a friend, as quoted in a NY newspaper. But, sadly, a troubled mensch, at that.

So....I urge you not to slide something under the rug. If you are in a relationship or contemplating entering one, or taking an exsiting love to a more serious level, be sure to proceed with your eyes wide open. Don't be fooled if the person makes light of what you see as a potential problem. And, don't not take note if someone who cares about you tries to open your eyes. Take heart, and listen, even if it hurts. Sometimes they know better because we are so close to a situation and person. Your relationship will suffer in the end if concerns are swept away without being tackled, and you deserve better.

Note: Check out my new Youtube video.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's an Inner Job

I spoke with a single friend today who made the comment "It's an Inner Job," and I couldn't agree more. And, I like the way she phrased it.

What did she mean?

We were talking about the challenges of dating. She is single and has had a steady string of failed relationships. She is now 50, and looks back on her choices and realizes she wasted a lot of time with men who weren't truly suitable for her.

Her most recent relationship lasted about 8 years, and it was never totally smooth-sailing. I'm not saying that any relationship is without flaws or bumps along the way. But, it should enhance your life and not feel like constant work.

Since that break-up, she has done a lot of thinking....reading....and self-introspection. And, she has emerged with greater clarity.

As she thinks back, she is able to admit that she, herself, wasn't in the best place. If she had truly felt good about herself inside, she would have more readily seen how this relationship was not an empowering one for her. But, she was wounded and coming from a place of need...not one of strength.

We need to take a care of our bodies and souls. Going to the gym or maintaining some level of fitness and good health is essential for self care. And, it shows. But, what doesn't immediately show is how your feel inside. It's so easy to walk around with demons, insecurities, etc., and no one would know it. We all have them, but to different degrees. But, it can lead you to seek out others like yourself, and that isn't necessarily the best match.

So, step back. Get quiet. Slow down. Get a good night's sleep. Try meditation or yoga. And, see what comes up for you. Talk to others. Share what you feel. And, work on your inner being. Time can be very healing. And, for the sake of your future relationships, you want to come from as positive a place as possible.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ready or Not?

Are you truly ready for a relationship, or do you just think you are? You may not know the difference.

Recently I coached a single guy in his 40s who is divorced and has two children. He was looking for a fix-up, ideally, and I was able to introduce him to a friend of a friend (though I am not a matchmaker). I had not met the woman, but it sounded like it was worth pursuing.

They had one date, and it didn't go all that smoothly. Conversation flowed, according to him, but it got awkward when he made a comment about her wedding band. The woman is widowed, and though it's been some time, she wears her wedding band. Albeit on her right hand, but it's there.

He didn't know what to make of it, so it became a part of their discussion. She felt defensive, and he reached the conclusion that she isn't truly open to a new relationship as yet. While this may or may not be true, it is how he felt. The wedding band spoke volumes to him, and not in a positive way. He respected the love she had for her husband, but was seeking assurance that her heart was truly open for someone new, and he wasn't convinced.

Whether you know it or not, we all give off vibes. If you are on a date with someone, or trying to mingle at a social event, your actions, even if unspoken, speak volumes. Put yourself in the other person's shoes, and consider how it might come across to them. This is especially true if someone is socially insecure and you don't know it. If they're not a confident dater, it's easy for them to question your intentions, putting a damper on your get together. And, if it's a blind date, this is all the truer, because they tend to be somewhat awkard initially to begin with.

So, think about what it is that you really want and how that can be best communicated. And, don't discount things that might signal disinterest to a potential suitor.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Once a Mensch....Always a Mensch?

Once a Mensch....always a mensch? BIG question.

I received an email from a single gal who was recently given a copy of HOW TO MARRY A MENSCH. She raised a really interesting point, and one that I'd like to discuss with you. She thanked me for inspiring singles to seek out a quality person, and shared her story.

She had dated a guy she met in college for a couple of years who she considered a mensch. They broke up, and have since gotten back together. During the time they were apart, she was aware that his behavior had been less than mensch-like, in her opinion. She didn't relate specifics, but wanted to know if someone can be a reformed mensch? Could he return to his original menschlike ways, or was he not really a mensch to begin with?

What is your feeling on that? I welcome your feedback.

My take on it is that a person can change for the better, if they really want to. But, you need to examine what led to their stray from menschhood begin with. Was there something from their background that has yet to be resolved? Are they willing to work on it? Is he or she acting like a mensch with you but not with others? How do they speak of and treat their parents? All this can be telling. I'm not suggesting you psychoanalyze them, but these are critical points to consider. Can you speak with them openly about it?

You don't want to wind up with someone who you have to make major allowances for. No one is perfect, but you should feel good about the type of person they are. Trust your gut. If you are questioning their basic character, there must be a reason that a red flag is being raised. Don't ignore it. Sweeping your concerns under the carpet can lead to future heartache.

Even a true mensch can have good and bad days, but that's very different than someone with behavior you consider immoral. It's not your job to change someone. In this case, since he knew what it was like to be a mensch, he clearly had the capability of rising to the occasion. It remains to be seen what happens with their relationship this time around.

Thought you might like to note this upcoming occasion....
LOVE A MENSCH WEEK - February 11 -17, 2008
Mensches are decent, responsible men or women. During this week, singles look to meet a mensch as well as take time to appreciate how mensches enhance our lives.