September 24, 2012 

Seriousness has an important place in love + life.

Deep and meaningful conversations. Life-changing decisions.
Support at times when emotions are running high.

But playfulness is just as – if not more – important.

Laughter is a language that people use to bond. To mend. To escape.

People who take themselves too seriously (and lack any sense of lightheartedness) exude an emotional heaviness that penetrates their inner orbit + everyone in it.

And quite frankly – they’re a drag to be around.

But laughing till your sides ache and you can’t really breathe?
Or you can’t quite swallow your coffee because you’re chortling so hard?
It’s an instant breather from the stress of your day.
Humor can recharge you + your relationship’s emotional battery.

It soothes awkwardness + tension.
It reduces stress hormones while an influx of warm + fuzzy endorphins are released in your brain.

Laughter is just plain good for you + your relationships.
So why the sour puss? Why must you remain in control? “Right” or unfazed at all times?

Consider the levity laughter + humor brings.
Consider the freedom + perspective it offers.
Consider, for the love of god, having a good laugh at yourself.

Life is short + you have a choice about how to navigate the bumps in the road.
Using your humor will change things.
For the better.

Have you ever said something so ridiculous during an argument that you made yourself + the person with you laugh? And to your delight, the disagreement quickly became moot?

Humor rapidly lifts your mood and gives everyone involved the emotional distance needed to view events with a fresh perspective.

Dropping the serious act (when not necessary) and cultivating your humor
instead will euthanize the stress.
It will shed shiny, shimmery light on an otherwise shadowy landscape.

Humor helps you navigate tumultuous terrain.
Relationship expert John Gottman calls this type of humor a “repair attempt”- a statement or action silly or otherwise that prevents negativity from escalating out of control.

And these repair attempts?
The success or failure of a couple’s repair attempts is one of the primary factors in whether their relationship endures or peters out.

When you and your partner laugh together, you put defenses on hold and open yourself up to a new kind of connection. All that giggling deepens emotional intimacy and allows greater trust to take hold.

So don’t be afraid to cultivate the inside joke.
To have kitchen dance parties and even the occasional food fight.

Life is short. Spend it laughing with the one you love.

Published in Relationships
Monday, 13 August 2012 04:55

Dating | New Ways to Meet Guys

August 13, 2012

You’ve dated your way through your friends’ friends.
Your coworkers are off limits.
And after one too many rom-com-worthy bad blind dates, you’re no longer accepting your family’s setups.

Where are you going to meet someone who’s right for you? Someone who will get your quirky jokes and likes rock climbing and extra extra spicy Thai food?

Here are five new ways to meet guys!

1. Host a Party
Everyone you know has a super-nice-I-don’t-know-why-he’s-single friend.  Now imagine putting all those great guys in one room--a room filled with your equally awesome single girl friends.  The likelihood of finding a match just got a lot higher, didn’t it?

2. Visit a sports bar on the night of an important local game

Tons of guys in one place + a very obvious conversation topic.  “Who’s winning?”  “Why would they put him in to pitch?”  “Do you think they’ll go all the way?”  See?  Easy conversation for hours.  Bonus points if you actually know something about the sport in question or if you research the game ahead of time.

3. The gym
You might not feel your cutest when you’re wearing yoga pants and a sheen of sweat, but it’s a look that lots of guys like.  And it’s incredibly easy to strike up a conversation--you can talk about how much you like the spin instructor, how you totally can’t do crow pose or how that one guy should really stop singing along with his iPod... 

4. Online - but not the way you think

You’ve probably already tried online dating (which can be awesome!) but have looked through your Twitter feed?  Or your friend’s Facebook friends?  Or your Linkedin connections?  The internet is filled to overflowing with platforms that connect people and non-dating websites can present a more realistic version of a person.  Even better, chatting with someone on Twitter or Facebook is less likely to be riddled with sexual tension and romantic expectation, so you can get a better read of their real, day-to-day life and personality before you go on a date with them. Don’t think of it as stalking... think of it as research.

5. Anywhere you’re engaging in a hobby that YOU love
Let’s keep it real.  This point?  It’s the most important one.  While taking a proactive approach to your lovelife is vital, it’s really important that you continue to be you and do things that light your fire.  Everyone--male or female--is attracted to enthusiastic, engaged people.  And if you’re doing something you love--sailing, taking cooking classes, going to poetry readings, hiking--you’re more likely to meet people who like similar things and to attract those people because you’re just so damn excited about what you’re doing.

Ultimately, you need to be the type of person you, yourself, would want to date.  If you’re a happy + active + excited person, you’re going to attract lots of the same. 

So get out there, own your awesome, and wait for the dates to roll in!

Published in Dating
Saturday, 14 July 2012 00:54

Dating | Soul Mates + The One

July 16, 2012

We all want a soul mate. “The One.”

Your perfect partner who can read your mind + finish your sentences.
We want fate + fireworks.

But believing in predetermined destiny is limiting.
It leaves little room for adventure + what life may want to give you.
What if The One isn’t who you thought they would be?

Love isn’t always syrupy sweet kisses + walking off into the sunset.
Sometimes the purpose of a soul mate is to tear down your walls, shake you awake, reveal new parts of yourself.

They become a mirror that exposes new dimensions of you,
parts that you may relish in or shrink from.
Soul mates give you the opportunity to notice personal obstacles.
And then actually do something about them.

They can force you to your own leading edge.
To grow.

But all that emotional fever does not guarantee that they are your life partner.
Often riveting romances grip us in their clutch just to introduce the prospect of ruthless awareness.
They make us so loony + out of control that we have to evolve + transform.

Sometimes it’s their job to break your heart open.
And then leave.

I’m convinced that our cultural understanding of soul mates and
“The One” are small, limiting + incomplete.
Lacking breath + depth.

We don’t give “soul mates” enough credit for their potential emotional upheaval + transformative waves. Soul mates are not necessarily forever. Sometimes they come into our lives just to introduce us to a demon we need to beat.  And then they leave.

And we must muster up the courage to let them go.
Because they were never supposed to stay.

Realize that they were the messenger + now we are left with the task of growing and evolving.

And “The One?”  Doesn’t that sound a bit fairy tale-ish?
I’m not intimating that you’re not allowed strong ideas around what you want in a relationship but the rigidity of a romance complete with zero confrontation or compromise and a partner who is an ideal height, weight, eye color and  “always” gets you the perfect anniversary present?

Well, it is, perhaps, a bit unrealistic.  And leaves little room for variety.

Maybe your otherwise perfect partner will always leave the wet laundry in the washer until you find it.

Maybe they like Italian food when you want Sushi.

Maybe they’re THE worst gift giver and you always have to return what they buy you.

Maybe they’re not who your mother/father/co-workers/friends think you would have chosen.

Does this make them not The One?

The One is “The One” because you say so.

It’s the partner you declare THE one and only.
The partner who, in your own way, you love like they are “The One.”

So don’t discount that amazing person because of their height.
Or because you can’t complete each other’s sentences.
Or because you occasionally argue.
And don’t cling to a soul mate who’s served their purpose of opening you up and breaking you free.

You get to choose your own One.
Who you love is up to you.

Published in Dating
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 21:09

Dating | #TrueStory I Date Older Men

July 2, 2012 

Ever since I was old enough to want a boyfriend, I didn’t really want a boy. I wanted a man. Not that I was 18 wanting to date 40-year-old men; I just admired guys who were at least a few years older.

Why, you ask? Well, guys who were older than me always seemed to have a lot more to offer.  For instance, when I was in high school I went out with an older guy and he was able to take us to the movies in his truck.  That sure beat us having to load into my mom’s bright blue mini-van and get dropped off. Perk? I think so. 

When I was 19, I dated someone who was 23. Although the age difference isn’t that large, he had already graduated college and wasn’t nearly as wild and immature as the 19-year-old frat boys screaming “SHOTS!” while running around without their shirts on. The lack of embarrassment was yet another perk.

Now at age 23, I’m engaged to an older man.  He is confident, has a good head on his shoulders, and is secure with who he is, what he wants out of life, and how I fit into the equation.  In his younger days he may not have been ready for this kind of relationship, but at this point in his life he is. 

Throughout my adult life, I’ve always seen value in dating someone who is one step ahead of the game. In my opinion, guys who have lived a few more years than guys my age have gone through more life lessons and have more insights to share with a younger woman. These years usually add up to men with more maturity, experience, and wisdom. An older boyfriend can not only be a loving partner; he can also serve as a mentor, role model and protector. And while not all women seek this type of relationship, many women do.

An older guy is usually more in-tune with what he wants, both professionally and personally. If a long-term relationship is what you’re looking for, older men are much more inclined to be on the same page. Guys usually need at least a few years of freedom before they are ready to “settle down,” and guys who are a little older tend to have gotten most of this out of their system. With time, men reach a point where they start to really value the idea of a relationship and having someone special to spend time with.  It’s much more healthy to date someone who is ready to date!  

It’s also nice to date someone who has worked out a lot of kinks already! In my experience, an older guy knows how to better treat and please a lady.  They have more experience dealing with women and hopefully have learned from mistakes they’ve made in the past. Of course, there’s exceptions to this rule:  there are plenty of young/mature and older/immature guys out there.  But in general, wisdom and maturity do come with age.  

I’m by no means saying that dating an older guy is the key to happiness in relationships for everyone.  We all look for different qualities in a partner, and each individual is their own person.  But for me, dating a few steps above my age range has worked out really well.  

Have you had any experience dating outside your age group?  Share with us in the comments; we’d love to know your thoughts!

Published in Dating