Help…I’m Eating Like I’ll Never Date Again!

So I have this friend, Jill.

Jill is lovely, and blessed with a naturally tall, thin frame. She doesn’t get fat, she just gets “soft.” But to me, Jill always looks long and lithe.

However, Jill, like many women (myself included, during my dating days) links eating and body image to self-worth and dating. Abridged Version: More food in; Less going out.

This is crazy.  With a heaping dose of self-love and self-confidence, Jill is ready and able to date. If she believes she’s a sexy catch in the body she’s in, her dance card will be filled with men who couldn’t agree more.

That guy across the room doesn’t know that she had extra humentashen last night (Happy Purim!) or that Jill’s extra skinny jeans are no longer buttonable without exactly three deep squats and a flop on to the bed. No, Mr. Man-Across-The-Room isn’t thinking about any of that. Instead, he sees Pretty Jill. She smiles, and he thinks she’s the most radiant being he’s ever seen.

I know what you’re thinking….Great for Jill. But what about me? I don’t feel so hot in this body o’ mine. How do I gain self-love and self-confidence in my body?

1. Feed it. Enjoy every morsel that you put into your mouth. Your body needs it, or loves it, or BOTH.

2. Move it. Yoga, running, walking, stair climbing, horseback riding, whatever. A moving body is a happy body.

3. Adore it. Treat yourself well. Pamper yourself with scented moisturizer, a new hair do, or a manicure. Delight in your soft skin, your curves, and your shiny hair. It’s all yours, and it’s fabulous.

Self confidence. Get it, and start going out!

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Filed under Inside the Yoga Studio, Inside Your Friendships, Inside Your Love Life, Inside Your Lunch Pail, Inside Your Make-up Bag

5 Annoying Things I Would Never Do, Now That I Live With My Nice Boyfriend.

There are certain things I would never do, especially now that I live with my Nice Boyfriend. Nope, NEVER.

1. Fart in bed.

2. Floss in the kitchen.

3. Wake up at the crack of dawn to boil eggs, while my Nice Boyfriend is sleeping. Leave the pot to overflow.

4. Sing. Loud, off-key, and scat style.

5. Complain that my pants are uncomfortably tight. Wear said pants again the next day. And the next. Continue complaining.

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How To NOT Smother Your Boyfriend

My dear friend Ruth, who I’ve had the pleasure interviewing for The Dating Project, has been dating a great guy for a few months now. She asked, I answer.

I want to be open and warm and loving and attentive. But not smother my boyfriend. What should I be doing, or NOT doing?

Ruth, you are open, warm, loving and attentive. You’re one of the nicest people I know. You’re a pleasure to be around. You also have great friends, a loving family, and a creative career path.

So don’t hold back. And don’t worry about smothering your boyfriend. You won’t. You’re too solidly grounded in your own wonderful life to lose yourself in his. You have too many things going on to devote the time and effort it would take to smother your boyfriend. It’s not possible. You’re a busy girl with a big heart. You give him everything you feel comfortable giving him, and that’s a lot. But not too much. He won’t be scared of your kindness, he’ll be thrilled. Who wouldn’t love a sexy, gorgeous thing like yourself making nicey-nicey in their direction?

Go ahead, be as open, warm, loving and attentive as you are. You’re not going to overdo it.

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Top 10 Dating Tips: From Me. To Me.

Hello my loves! I’m still so ridiculously thrilled to present the Top 1o Dating Tips: From Me. To Me.!

Here’s the Deal: I have the honor of interviewing the bestest women on the planet for The Dating Project. And at the very end of these interviews, when the pen is down, the book is closed, the interview is ov-ah, I’ve been slipping in one more teensy-weensy little question:

“What Advice Would You Give Your 10-Year-Younger Self?”

Here’s what our women said:

1. Be more confident in yourself.

2. Have fun! Don’t be so serious about it.

3. Don’t have any regrets, everything you’re doing is perfect.

4. You have the power in the relationship.

5. Keep exercising. Even when you feel like it’s a lost cause. You need it to feel good in your body.

6. Allow yourself to get angry. It’s OK, it doesn’t mean you’re gonna break up.

7. Stop telling my mom about every first date. It’s emotionally exhausting.

8. It’s OK to be emotional.

9. You don’t have to work so hard to be sexy.

10. Focus more on yourself.

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Fast or Slow…Who Decides?

Yesterday I received a very interesting question from Ginger, a sexy red-headed lil’ lady. Ginger asked:

Do you think it’s the man’s job to set the pace of the relationship?  

Um, what? Dating is about YOU! Do you think the man has some secret pacing code that you have to decipher? No way, Jose. Your man is going with the flow and wondering (just like you!) how things will unfold.

My advice is to set the pace that makes YOU feel comfortable. You can change your mind as often as you like. Just remember that you MUST communicate with your man about said pace. Cause when you’re communicating, you’re in it together. And that’s the whole point, right?

Fast or slow, you decide.  Enjoy and have fun!!

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New York is a (Girl)Friendly Place

It’s no secret that New York gets a lot of shit for being a terrible place to meet men. It’s too harsh, too intense, too driven, too darned impersonal. They say it’s hard to find love in this city.

But while men can be unpredictable, flakey, or just downright absent, my GirlFriends are stable. My GirlFriends stick around through first dates and break-ups and everything in between. Because we have each other in our lives, we know we can love. We know we can be loved. My GirlFriends remind me that love lives everywhere, not just in romantic relationships.

My love letter to this city is really a love letter to my GirlFriends. They are love. And they’re living right here in NYC.

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6 Non-Romantic Advantages to Dating

There are tons of Romantic Advantages to Dating. That butterfly-in-the-belly feeling you get when he gazes into your eyes, a surreptitious hand on your leg, or the big lean in for the kiss. This post is not about those things.

Let’s consider the Non-Romantic Advantages of Dating. You get to:

1. Explore a new neighborhood. Life exists outside your 4 block radius.

2. Try a new cocktail. Your date is dying to show off his liquor knowledge.

3. Eat at a restaurant you’ve heard about but always thought was too pricey. A girl gets hungry.

4. Break in those new shoes you got at the Barney’s Warehouse Sale. Size, Schmize. They were 80% off.

5. Enjoy a luxurious taxi ride home. Admit it, you love watching the backseat 3-inch TV screen on repeat. I know I do.

6. Get interior decorating ideas. Hey, it’s just a nightcap. Who said anything about staying over?

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A Case for NOT Kissing…

…on the First Date, that is.

Dear Mr. First Date,

You know I just met you, right? Our conversation has been really great so far, and the scallops appetizer was delicious. You were right, it seemed a little premature to end our date right after dessert. Since it was only 9:15pm. You were right in the middle of telling me about your sister in Colorado who completed a triathlon last fall. So we went for a drink nearby. Well played, Mr. First Date. That was a nice dark loungy bar where we could both relax in our booth, with cocktails in hand.

But still, I didn’t know you five hours ago. After one date, we’re still strangers. I’m interested in you, as a person, and I definitely think you’re handsome. But I always kinda thought a kiss should mean something. A kiss is not “just a kiss,” but a testament to attraction, passion, and connection.

You and me, we’re not there yet. An air-kiss on the cheek will do just fine. I’ll see you on our second date, and we’ll take it from there.

Sincerely,

Daniella

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The Dating Project…Meet Megan!

Welcome Back to…

The Dating Project, the newest segment here at The Inside Voice! We’re talking to sexy, successful and smarty-pants women to find out what they really think and feel about dating. Because being single doesn’t mean you’re ALONE.

Let’s meet Megan!***

1. Age and Occupation? 29. Showroom Manager.

2. Are you currently in a relationship? No.

3. Place in Order of Importance: Work, Friends, Love, Other.

Humanity, Love, Friends, Work, Stuff.

What do you mean by “Humanity”? The world, everything that happens on Page 6, the Planet.

And “Stuff”? The good life, music, wine, Brooklyn, books.

And when I think of “love”, I also think of “friends”.

4. Can you spot any patterns in past relationships?

Oh yeah. I’ve been single for 2 years. Two years ago I wouldn’t be so clear on my patterns, but now I can see them.

Before a relationship forms, I get this idea that the guy doesn’t want to be in a relationship with me. So then the rest of the relationship comes from a place of insecurity and a lack of self-worth. Crazy, right?

Now I get it. And I don’t feel like it’s all my fault. I don’t feel out of control.

5. Rate yourself, on a scale 1-10:

Self Confidence-8.5

Self-Love-9

Attractiveness-8

6. What barriers keep you from meeting a guy you like?

I keep myself from meeting a guy I like. I’m the barrier. For a long time I had a hard time being vulnerable. And I wasn’t interested in what I was doing professionally. I was down on myself. I didn’t feel fulfilled, or like I could bring anything to the table.

But that changed in the past 6 months. Now I do feel like I have something to contribute. I’ve been doing yoga, and work that I care about, and I’ve gone through a tremendously fulfilling personal transition. I feel closer to my family than I ever have. I feel welcomed, loved, received with open arms. I’ve changed the way I believe in the world. I’ve changed the way I look at people. Now I believe in love.

7. What does your dating life look like now?

I took a major break from dating. I was on pause, there hadn’t been much. But recently, it feels like there are prospects.

Where are you meeting people? Or where do you imagine you’ll meet people?

Through friends. Now I’m finally talking about wanting to meet someone. I’m telling friends, and they’re keeping it on their radar. Also, I made it my New Years Resolution to begin a relationship by the end of 2012.

Wow, that’s fantastic! If you made that New Year’s Resolution, it’s as good as done. I can’t wait to meet him!

8. What attributes are most attractive to you in a partner?

Humor, intelligence, open-mindedness, loving, kind, creative, compassionate, inspiring, cute, not too serious. Someone who can cook, well-read, hardworking, guys with sisters.

9. a) What does your perfect love life look like?

In a city, moving around, being social, equal parts out-and-about at home-time. It’s hard, not easy. Like in yoga, there’s strength and grace. It’s natural, and it’s also hard work. Keeping your own identity, open communication. Oh, and it will be FUN.

b) In a word (or words), what does that scenario feel like?

Like “in the body”, what does it feel like? It feels like nervous butterflies in the tummy and racing heart. But also secure, deep and warm. It feels like a big smile.

10. Last question, do you believe in “The One”?

No, but I believe you create The One. You show up, and then The One shows up in that context. You choose The One and then make it work.

Thanks Megan!

Inside Voice Wrap Up: Megan is a very special case. She’s starting over, fresh and renewed. She took a break from dating to get other big aspects of her life in order. She succeeded–she’s created a meaningful career path for herself, and a deeper connection to her family. She has more love in her life, coming from the outside in, and more importantly, from the inside out. When Megan starts dating seriously, I think she’ll enjoy it a LOT more than she did a few years ago. This time around, she’ll find the “strength and grace” to stay curious and playful while retaining her freedom and self-identity.

Megan sets goals. Megan sticks to her goals. If she set her mind to starting a relationship by the end of 2012, she will indeed make that happen. I’m looking forward to meeting the lucky guy!

***Some names have been changed, some haven’t. Each woman has the option to use her own name or choose her fantasy pseudonym. I’m not telling which ones are which. Hear these women’s voices. Listen to their stories. They’re just like you!

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6 Ways to Describe Single Women

Single Women can be described in over 600 ways. Or Six.

I spend much of my time with Single Women. They inspire me, and they challenge me. Hell, some of my best friends are Single Women. And as you probably know, I used to be a Single Woman myself. Over the years, I’ve found that Single Women are…

1. Happy. Single women serve their own needs first. And a girl needs to be happy. If happiness lives in a box of Jacques Torres chocolate truffles and a restorative yoga class on Friday night, so be it. Who’s going to argue otherwise?

2. Connected. Single women have strong, solid relationships. They communicate clearly and often, with dear friends and chosen family. Single women have friendships that only deepen with time and trials and tribulations. Friendships can outlive boyfriend after boyfriend.

3. Feminine. Single Women tend to know other Single Women. And when you put a few Single Women in one space, you get a full-blown Goddess Gathering. That is, you get a group of women who are not afraid to be as “feminine” as they naturally are. Women communicate and share. Women tackle sticky topics like work, sex, babies, mothers, fathers, pain, fears, and true happiness. Women emote. Single Women emote a lot.

4. Hot. Single women are hot. Single Women are in your yoga class, rocking out in spinning class, and treating themselves to sushi dinners. Single women dine out on small plates and a glass (or 3) of wine. Most Single Women eat out a lot. And eating out, contrary to popular belief, is not fattening. However, it is expensive. Hence, the small plates, and the skinny jeans.

5. Stylish. Single Women have great wardrobes. They know where to shop, and how to shop. They know how to show off their best features. Single Women are peacocks, after all.

6. Rockstars. Single Women are Rockstars, at least according to Great Aunt Roz in Fort Lauderdale. If you’re a Single Woman, the relatives think you’re fabulous, or famous, or both. So what if they don’t quite understand what you do for a living, or how you spend your time and money? They can see that Single Women do things a little differently from most of the nice girls in your high school graduating class. Single Women have parties to attend, and people to see. Single Women are the family Rockstars!

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Filed under Inside the Yoga Studio, Inside Your Career, Inside Your Closet, Inside Your Family, Inside Your Friendships, Inside Your Love Life, Inside Your Lunch Pail