Archives for posts with tag: love

My cousin Rachel was a beautiful bride. No one was surprised: she’s beautiful while reef fishing in old shorts and a tank top. Rachel and her husband Bryan are solid, kind, hardworking people. In both speeches and passing comments I heard the buzz phrase “beautiful bride” many times throughout the day. Once Rachel and Bryan return from their honeymoon in Antigua, how will her beauty and his handsome features (I have your back Bry) help them build a life together? This is not an antiquated business transaction in which her beauty enhances the contract.

Why am I droning on about the commonly used phrase “beautiful bride?” Sometimes the “normal” things couples discuss when planning a wedding (buying a dress, picking a reception venue, tasting cakes) are not useful past the wedding date. No matter how delicious the cake, it’s not an accurate representation of the relationship.

A friend of a friend has an 18-month-old infant. This brand new mother initiated a divorce from her husband because in the past eighteen months, he was only willing to change his child’s diaper twice. For those of you who enjoy math, that’s 0.001% of total diapers changed.

I imagine that the new mother was a beautiful bride on her wedding day. Did she ever ask her fiancé if he had it in him to be a hands-on parent? I’m not sure. Did her soon-to-be ex-husband assume she would handle all diapers, potty training, homework help, etc. as he said his vows to her in his handsome suit? Conversations worth having pre-wedding.

Bryan is the kind of man who will change diapers. Rachel is a smart woman. In my opinion, she has chosen well (that’s what guests do at a wedding-they give their opinion on everything). It is likely that while raising children they will both have careers. Will they split “second-shift” responsibilities close to fifty/fifty? That’s their decision to make.

Just keep in mind when planning a wedding or even dating someone for longer than a month:

1. This is the first day of the rest of your life. For most of you there are more days ahead of you than behind you.
2. “Now we know that women can do what men can do, but we don’t know that men can do what women can do.” Gloria Steinem

Eff the diaper funk!

I recently met someone who spends 80% of her time staring at a glass half empty. There are days I see it too, but let’s say I see it that way 20% of the time just to make it an even 100%. Part of my day job is calculating promotional retail pricing and I would prefer if this metaphor made sense mathematically. A well-known 80/20 split is Pareto’s Principle: you should focus 80% of your time on the 20% that matters. If you spend 80% of your time dwelling on the 20% that doesn’t matter-you’re not living. Eff the pain and let the joy define you.

One of my close friends discovered her boyfriend was trying to focus 80% of his time on her and the remaining 20% on a long distance relationship with another woman. He tried it both ways actually, when he told her they should “take a break” in January (so he could visit and focus 80% on the other woman in his life). He had trouble figuring out his 80/20s. By failing to identify which woman was more important to him, he demonstrated that neither deserved his respect. Or maybe combined, he spent 80% of his time on the two women who deserved 20% of his respect? Eff that.

Her trust has been shattered. She is a beautiful, kind, smart, and sarcastic son-of-a-gun who always gives any task in front of her 100% (like the time she ran around the city looking for a Carvel cake for me on my birthday). Did I mention she does it with a smile? She sees the glass as half full 90% of the time because she breaks the mold.

Right now she is standing strong. There is a lot of pain. I can only hope that this is her last heartbreak and she remains positive. I felt like crap when I was feeding my emotional pain back in January. One week after this post I met a man that makes me happy. Our situations are not the same, but heartbreak is heartbreak so I bought her chocolate whoopie pies the other day. Heartbreak hotel. Sing it Whitney.

MIlton Glaser's classic logo

Milton Glaser’s classic logo

My commute to and from work is seventy-five minutes of swimming upstream. I’ve been doing the opposite commute for a little over three years. Most days I don’t pay attention to the small annoyances as I power walk through the NYC crowds (initially, it was sensory overload and I couldn’t handle the aggression). Other days, I’m exhausted before I reach my desk. My best commuting days are when I’m in cruise-control. My eyes are glazed over, stride powerful, ipod loud, and I’m watching the body language of the next five people headed my way in anticipation of pedestrians stopping short, swerving into my path, or my favorite, the person who gets so nervous that they half-stop to let you pass, but they don’t surrender the space to do so (mostly tourists).

I’m proud of my ability to swerve through a crowd of commuters/locusts swarming in opposite directions. It’s a small win for the day if I can maintain my speed without bumping into anyone: I’m invincible. The days when I’m tired/hungry/both, miss my connecting train by one minute, wish I could get back into the city in time for yoga/happy hour, have trouble navigating pedestrians, wear shoes that slow me down, and sweat through my clothes en route to work in 90 degree heat-those are rough days. Commuting is an effing sport.

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I’m addicted to a bad relationship. I wanted to avoid writing about it so badly that I decided to write about beets. I researched some recipes, discovered that it’s a Jewish tradition to eat beets at Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), and warned my roommates that I would be baking the chocolate beet cake for a second time. I wasn’t jazzed about the post. I had a feeling it wouldn’t top my kale post. It sounded really insincere so I decided to eff it.

Hi, my name is eff the funk and I have been addicted to a bad relationship for three years. I was sure I loved him the first year… then I’m not sure what I told myself the remainder of our on-again, off-again time together. He never promised me the moon, but I wanted to hold on anyways. We have strong chemistry and I was addicted to his attention when he chased me and my suffering when he didn’t. It’s romantic in a twisted way.  Read the rest of this entry »

Occasionally I have a massive guilt hangover: I realize I haven’t called my younger brother in two weeks, asked my roommate for job search updates, or kept in touch with the friend I ran into on the streets of New York. These are things I think are important, but I let them slide. I feel bad.

STOP. Eff the funk.

“Each time you judge yourself, you break your own heart.” -Swami Kripalu

It’s okay to spend time taking care of your own needs. You’re of no use to others if you can’t stand on your own two feet. Eff the guilt funk and treat yo self. Thank you Parks & Recreation.

The first hour into an eight-hour international flight I started to feel anxious. My mind was reeling and it wasn’t a fear of flying. I had been seeing a guy for a month and I was happy but something felt off. My trip was planned for ten days so I would have to wait until I returned home to address my uneasiness. In the spirit of full disclosure, I knew he was seeing someone when we met but alas, many relationships in my city/generation start that way. When you start seeing someone they might be seeing other people and if things go well, you could end up dating exclusively a few months in after the “conversation.” How long can you hold onto the monkey bars? Longer than Suzie? Congrats! You win? If you’re reading this Mom, yes, I know it’s upsetting and far from ideal.

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One of my close friends recently purchased an apartment in the West Village. I won’t give you her address, but let’s just say it’s likely she’ll run into SJP and kids-in-tow on her way out the door. After seeing her block the first thing I said was, “You’re really in the sweet spot.” If you like downtown Manhattan, it’s hard to find a better area. She worked hard and waited a long time to find and secure the right place. This is one situation where she was not willing to make many concessions. It makes sense, right? If you’re going to make a large purchase then it should be exactly what you want.

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“… loneliness allows us to look honestly and without aggression at our own minds. We can gradually drop our ideals of who we think we ought to be, or who we think we want to be, or who we think other people think we want to be or ought to be. We give it up and just look directly with compassion and humor at who we are. Then loneliness is no threat and heartache, no punishment.” -Pema Chodron

A man asked me to go on a second date with him and I politely declined. His response via text message was comical but it came from a place of loneliness. Our first date involved a few casual drinks and the need-to-know details. “Guy from Queens” was kind and straight-forward, things I admire, but I saw a few warning signs in the details he chose to share about his life. He mentioned that he recently broke up with his live-in girlfriend of five years. Then quickly added that it had been ten months… He was now living with his uncle, an intense divorcé and wanted to move out but he didn’t mention an action plan. I don’t fault him for it, but I sensed during our first date that he was already hoping I might be the person he would be moving in with. It’s nice to want to fall in love and you should go into any relationship with an open mind but you also need to be aware that things can get messy FAST. Trust your instincts because loneliness will not lead you to the best decisions. Eff the funk and make peace with being lonely.

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Next March, my cousin Rachel will walk down the aisle and say “I do” to her fiancé Bryan. She’s one of three women I know who met her husband through a dating website. Pretty darn cool.

In reality, dating websites can be a lot of work (trial and error) and the experience can be discouraging. The whole goal is to get you out of your love funk, not push you further in so Rachel has agreed to share the 411 on what worked for her.

 The lovebirds: Bryan & Rachel

NUMÉRO UNO: INVEST TIME & ENERGY

Q: How would you describe your experience with online dating before you met Bryan?
A: Honestly, I went out with a lot of really nice guys with only a few losers and weirdos thrown in to make for some good stories but it was hard finding a nice guy I was excited about. As someone once told me, “you’re not buying a horse.” Just because someone was nice, had a good job, a car, loved his family, etc., it didn’t automatically mean we had chemistry.

Q: How many dates do you estimate you went on total?
A: I would say around 50 over the course of a couple of years.

Q: Which dating site did you use? Positive/negative things about the site?
A: I was on Match.com and a free site called plentyoffish.com. I found that I preferred match.com. My theory was that if the guy had to pay for this, he was taking it more seriously. Also, plentyoffish.com has a “looking for an intimate encounter” box that a lot of guys checked and was an immediate turnoff.

Q: What is your best piece of advice for someone who is new to online dating?
A: Go on lots of dates. It’s a numbers game. Like I said before, I met a lot of really nice guys but had to keep looking until I found a really nice guy I clicked with. Also, always talk on the phone at least once before you go out. It’s amazing how much you know about a person after a phone conversation. If they seem awkward on the phone, a date will be torture!

Q: What was the biggest learning curve you had to adjust to?
A: I had to remember that I don’t really know these people or what’s going on in their lives and I had to stop taking things personally when they didn’t work out. My exact words after my first date with Bryan were “he was nice but I’m not going to hear from him.” I was on a date with someone else when he called two days later.

Q: Which activities are ideal for a first date with someone you meet online?
A: I always liked going to dinner. If we hit it off, we went for drinks after, if not, “thanks for dinner!” After all of those dates, only one guy ever made me pay for my own meal so I was always up for a free dinner. If you’re not sure about the guy, keep it shorter and go for coffee.

NUMÉRO DOS: SELL YOUR UNIQUE BRAND

Lots of people like the beach and Italian food. Who cares? Unless you surf regularly or make a mean meatball, someone reading those facts in your profile will breeze on by without a second look. Figure out what sets you apart from the crowd and then promote it. You are a brand and you’re searching for your target market.

Do:

-Be honest with yourself and your potential matches

-Present yourself in a positive light

-Post at least three photos

-Make an effort to separate yourself from the crowd by showing your “best side”

-Edit your profile if you aren’t catching any fish

“Do” for profile photos: geek out/ham it up a bit to show your personality, appear to be approachable, leave a bit to the imagination when it comes to clothing

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Don’t:

-Be rude. If someone sends you a message and you aren’t interested the standard is to not respond or respond with a kind “Thank you, but I don’t see us as a match.”

-Post unflattering photos (think about lighting, wardrobe, etc)

-Be offended if you initiate contact and the other person isn’t interested. Do you want to force yourself on someone or find someone who wants to pursue you?

“Don’t” for profile photos: wear sunglasses indoors, wear work clothes/seem too into yourself, make it look like you aren’t interested in monogamy

NUMÉRO TRES: WATCH YOUR STOCK GROW

Try to keep in mind that stock at a start-up company doesn’t appreciate overnight. We can’t all be Google. You need to make it clear to the public that you’re ready to engage and then prepare to grow from the resulting experiences. Now get out there!

Additional references: Remember Priya from the MBA post? She heard I was writing about dating and recommended I read the book “Attached” by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. I haven’t read it yet but that shouldn’t stop you!