Monthly Archives: December 2011

You Deserve it ALL in 2012!

Dating is hard work. Just like everything else that ratchets your life up to awesome.

Yes, dating is hard. Sometimes truly gut wrenching. It’s not all high heels and first dates and sexy lingerie. In fact, much of dating is a different kind of loneliness. It’s alone-time, and waiting for him to communicate in any number of unacceptably stingy digital ways.

Why didn’t he call? Who can tell, he’s got a thousand reasons, most of which you are not aware of. And most likely they’re not really about you. Why didn’t he invite you to a party with all of his friends and friends’ girlfriends? Maybe because he’s scared of being overwhelmed by a relationship, or enjoys being the single guy among his crowd, or something else entirely different.

You can’t know, and you can’t let it get you down. Not now. Not in 2012.

I’m not being flip. Truly, I know these events can sting. I know they can hurt. But instead of thinking about him, trying your hardest to get inside his head and his psyche to see why he did the things he did, turn it back to YOU.

How does this behaviour make YOU feel? Do you feel connected to this person? Does this person inspire you artistically? Does this person inspire you sexually? Are you even seeing this person as a full person (as you’d like to be seen) OR are you blinded by your own delusion that this relationship is your very last chance at love? Do you believe that after this, there will be no more boys, no more flirting, no more potential? You’re wrong.

Every day, I speak to women who want more. They deserve more. YOU deserve more. You deserve it ALL in 2012!

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Inside Your Love Life

The Dating Project…Meet Trevor!

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 Trevor!***

1. How old are you? 29

2. Are you currently in a relationship? No. I still like this boy from DC. We met at a party last year and really hit it off. Oddly, I find him so inspiring, he makes me want to get stuff done. I go to DC to see my friends there, and we hang out. And he comes to New York pretty often. It’s always vague. I’m open-minded about it, I really like him, but it’s not a relationship.

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

Why can’t they all be equal? I strive for balance. I want a job that matters, friends that matter, and work that matters. I want my work to be contributing something to the world at large.

4. Can you spot any patterns in past relationships?

I go for the emotionally and geographically unavailable. Because if they were here, I’d have the risk of losing it.

My emotional barometer is so high. Loving challenging people (which I do) means dealing with a lot of shit. So I deal with a lot of shit really well. I gravitate toward situations that are emotionally difficult. I feel that it gives it “weight”. I think loving someone should be hard.

Guys always love to be my friend, I’m always in the “friend zone.” I’m the one they feel comfortable with. What is going on? Sometimes I think I’m too laid back. I don’t hold grudges, I’m easy to get close to. And I’m easy to walk away from.

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

Self Confidence-9. To do what I’m doing, it comes with the territory. (ed. note: Trevor quit her job in publishing, became a certified yoga instructor, and wrote a book, all in the past year. She’s shopping around for publishers.)

Self-love-8-10. Now I’m a 10, but last year I was an 8. With yoga and writing, I’ve reached a point of self acceptance.

Attractiveness-7. I feel as if people in a relationship would have higher scores on this. It’s easier to know you’re confident and sexy when you’re in a relationship.

That’s interesting. I can’t say I’ve found it to be one way or another. 

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

I don’t want to be in New York City for the long-term. I don’t feel like I have a lot in common with the men here. I’m avoiding the whole dilemma of falling in love here but then not wanting to live here. I’m open to it….but the energy of the city wears me out. It seems that all the men here are excited by the same stuff, going to restaurants, bars, and shopping. I have different interests. I can make lists of the kind of guy I want, but at the end of the day I accept whatever comes. I’m open to the fact that it can all change.
7. What does your dating life look like now?
It looks like my book and my yoga career. It looks like business. I’m refusing to make dating like a job. I want it to be organic.
8. What attributes are most attractive to you in a partner?
Strength, conviction in yourself. I will support someone, but I don’t want to build someone up. Awareness of people and the environment. Knowing you’re a person among many, many things. Also, likes extreme sports and animals.
9. a) What does your perfect love life look like?
A best friend that I can have sex with. So many people just want a boyfriend. I don’t understand a boyfriend that doesn’t fit into the rest of your life. I want to be friends with the person first. Getting to know someone is SO important.
b) In a word (or words), what does that scenario feel like?
Happy, simple. I tend to be intense and overcompensate. But people who really know me know that I’m not that. I don’t play games. I wouldn’t do that with the right person. I want to be a good person in every person’s life. I want to be what other people need from me.
10. Last question, do you believe in “The One”?
Maybe a few? I don’t know, I hadn’t really thought about it. There are so many people, how could there be just 1?
Thanks Trevor!
Inside Voice Wrap Up: Trevor’s got a lot going on in her life. As she said, she earned that “9” in Self-Confidence! In the past year, she listened to her heart and changed her life. She completed her book, and feels a sense of completion upon telling her story. She’s doing exactly what she wants to do. How awesome and ballsy is that?!
Trevor loves the boys. She wants intimacy, partnership, and deep love. And there’s no reason it won’t happen for her. However, she’s not interested in those things right now. Sure, she’s having a good time with the guy in DC, and she’s “open” to whatever pops up. But in my opinion, like everything else in her life, she has to actively choose it. She has to want it. And right now she’s not clear about what she wants in a relationship. She’s not clear where she wants it, nor how it would look and feel. A world of dating is opening up for her right now. It will be full of surprises, and thrills, and all the requisite heartache and personal growth that goes along with that.  Trevor is well on her way, and I’m excited to follow her on her dating journey.
***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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside Your Career, Inside Your City, Inside Your Love Life

Men Are Strange. What’s A Woman To Do?

My dear friend Susan*** came to me with a perplexing scenario: She and her newish gentleman friend  of 3 months had a breakthrough conversation. He opened up to her about his dreams and fears. And for the first time, he spoke clearly about his particular brand of family dramas. He’d previously brushed it off in past conversations, but now it’s all out in the open. Phew, what a relief! Susan feels closer and more connected to her gentleman friend.

Just one problem, he’s not returning her calls. Well, to be fair, he’s taking a little longer to return her calls, texts, and emails. She feels the emotional distance. She’s not happy about it, and she doesn’t understand it. What happened?

Here’s what I told her: The good news is that it’s not about you. It rarely is. Think about it for a moment. Strange behavior that you don’t understand, logically, is strange because you’re missing some important information to make sense of it. And if it’s his strange behavior, it’s probably his thoughts and patterns that are making him act as he does. But what are they?  Honestly, I have no idea. It could be anything, from the cockamaymi far-off to the completely mundane. But be clear about this–You want Mr. Gentleman Friend to handle himself in an honest and clear way, right? You don’t want to be confused. Am I right on this?

You’re a smart and curious woman. You know you don’t know everything, but you’re willing to learn. DO this. And SAY this.

1) Remind yourself that you’re not the problem here.

2) Recognize that you’re working with just a sliver of all the information necessary to make sense of this.

3) Ask for help. Ask nicely, openly, and in a sincerely curious way. Say,”I loved our conversation last week. Thank you for being so honest and clear with me. However, it’s harder to connect this week. I don’t understand. Can you help me understand better, by sharing some information that I don’t have yet?”

What do YOU think? How do you think Mr. Gentleman Friend will respond?

***You know the drill. Names are changed (or not) to protect the innocent. Or they’re just shy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside Your Family, Inside Your Friendships, Inside Your Love Life

Simple Pleasures

I admit it, it’s not directly Dating or Yoga related. But my simple pleasure is getting my hair done. And today’s the day! I’m going for the full “Cut and Color.”  Sure, I need to cover the grays. But the added pouffy, flouncy, product-smelly result is priceless. The holiday season is instantly sweeter, yet still deliciously fat-free.

What is YOUR simple pleasure? Enjoy it fully, you deserve it!

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside Your Make-up Bag

The Dating Project…Meet Lainey!

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 Lainey!***

1. How old are you? 27

2. Are you currently in a relationship? No.

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

Love, Friends, Work. That’s the order of importance, according to how I feel. But that’s not how I’m spending my time with any dedication or follow-through.

I’m comfortable with protocol in work, but not following protocol with love. Love and family are so important to me. But I don’t get how do it.

I do business meetings really well, and the energy of a business meeting is really different from a date. When I’m “on” in a business meeting, I’m in a specific role. But that role, that “on-ness” makes me a not-so-good date. Being “on” feels good but it’s not connected to an emotionally real place. And that’s the place interactions on a date should come from, a place of real connection. The role is just safer. I totally get off on the work stuff, and being good at what I do. It’s satisfying on a base level but it’s just not that deep.

4. Can you spot any patterns in past relationships?

Yeah. This actually seems pretty shocking to my friends who know me and my past, but I don’t feel like I’ve ever been in a real relationship. I tend to get in to complicated hot/cold passionate and difficult relationships. It just doesn’t feel stable enough to be real. And they’ve never been fully monogamous. No one would say at a party,”this is my girlfriend, Lainey”.

Also, I’m SO giving and loyal. I don’t give up on people. I do this with my friends, and with my boyfriends. I’m not an “out of sight, out of mind person”, I stick with people. But when someone doesn’t reciprocate with that level of generosity, it makes me feel rejected.

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

Self Confidence-7

self-love-7

Attractiveness-5

It’s a bad deduction. I’m always thinking “where’s the booger hanging out of my nose” because I feel like it must be something as ridiculous as that. I don’t understand what else it could be.

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

It’s a perfect storm of:

1) Circumstance–there are logistical realities to meeting people, of course.

2) Mounting Fear of Rejection–continuous rejection makes it harder to do it again an again. The momentum builds in the wrong way.

3) Larger Psychological Reasons–like, Why am I picking the people I’m picking? I don’t understand my own functioning. This is the overarching reason, or barrier for me meeting a guy. My love life doesn’t makes sense to me.

7. What does your dating life look like now?

I’m online dating. I’m meeting a lot of first dates. And I have at least two “grey area” friendships.

Explain, please…

They’re people I truly love, they’re some of my favorite people in the world. Deep friends. We’ve hooked up before, but I know for sure that I don’t want to be in a relationship with them. But when we’re both single we do “grey area” things, like sleep in the same bed, hang out like a couple, hold hands, maybe sleep together. It’s an intimacy place holder.

Also, there are a couple of people in California that I hook up with.

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

1) Intelligence/Wit [ed. note: she actually said “intelligence slash wit”]

2) They’d have a relationship with their own emotions

3) Artistic inclination. It’s more of a world view thing, a sense-based curiosity.

4) Someone that I trust. I trust who they are as a person, and also their advice and opinions.

I don’t want to be dominant in a relationship. I don’t like to feel dominant. I know that might seem weird because I’m successful and powerful in my life and work. But I want the man to be dominant.

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

I don’t know how to answer this question. My mind keeps going to scheduling. Like when my guy friends tell me about how their girlfriends are upset that they need a night to themselves, I totally understand that need. I want a night to myself too. We’d be together and have space. We’d have a family. We’d have a shared world view. We’d be in sync with life’s beauties, and simple pleasures. There’d be a certain amount of love too.

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

Synthesis. I don’t know if this is too meta, but it’s like we’d share and create the perfect moments. It would be the inspiration for creating another person, for having kids. And of course, it would fee safe and comfortable.

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

No. But I think it’s REALLY hard to find the right person, your soul mate. We can have a number of great loves.

Thanks Lainey!

Inside Voice Wrap Up: Lainey is extraordinary. She is far more articulate than I was able to convey here, from my scribbled notes. She is thoughtful, clear, and honest. What came out most, is not her beauty (she is gorgeous and sexy), but her sincere confusion of what’s going on in her love life. She understands that she doesn’t understand. She’s happy, confident, and self-aware. Yet she has dark feelings surrounding her love life that don’t correlate with the rest of her existence. And so, she doesn’t talk about them. She doesn’t have the language, and she doesn’t have the context.

She mentioned that if there were a roadmap for dating she’d follow it. She likes protocol, and the feeling of progress. She understands hard work. Lainey needs a strategy. She needs to know she’s working toward something. I think the “do-ing” will be internal affirmations so Lainey believes how awesome she is. When someone gives her a compliment, she needs to have a place to put it. There must be a context, or a “container” as Lainey puts it. Let’s get moving on that infrastructure, so the outside world can give her the love and appreciation she wants and needs!

***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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside Your Career, Inside Your Friendships, Inside Your Love Life

Ruth Asks, I Answer!

Recently, I received an interesting question from Ruth, The Dating Project’s very first interview! She writes:

RUTH (via text): Hey D-How long does it typically take you (you personally) to figure out if you want to keep dating someone?

ME (Also via text, mind you. My thumbs were sore): Nice question. For me, there are two distinct levels to pass.

First level is just deciding to continue seeing them again, and not immediately turning down another date. That could take up to 2 dates. Maybe 3. If I’m not thrilled by the third date, it’s time to go. But usually, I know a lot sooner, sometimes before date #1 is even over!

The second level for me is “going steady.” It’s the stage where we’re seeing each other maybe twice a week, we’re exclusive, and open about planning dates in the future. I know all about his hometown, family, schooling and career path. By then, I also understand the subtleties of his personality. He gets along really well with my friends, and I can see that his friends love him dearly. He’s nice to my local barista. We’ve laughed together, a lot. And maybe we’ve even had our first “conversation” where something needed to be clarified about what I wanted/liked/disliked. We survived that conversation and made up.

This phase usually takes about 10-15 dates. Depending on how often we see each other, that could be 2-3 months.

And after that, I’ve got myself a proper Gentlemanfriend!

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside Your Friendships, Inside Your Love Life

The Dating Project…Meet Kimberly!

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 Kimberly!***

1. How old are you? 36

2. Are you currently in a relationship? No.

3. Place in order of importance: Work, Friends, Relationship, Other.

Well, if all things were a 10 (on a 1-10 scale) I’d say Friends, Relationship, and then Work. I’m not in a relationship now but it’s important to me, theoretically, I guess.

4. Can you spot any patterns in past relationships?

Yes. I keep meeting guys in transition. It’s just getting to be ridiculous at this point. The last three guys were the same sort of thing. They were getting out of serious relationships themselves, and didn’t really have a settled place to call home. My apartment became a crash-pad for men.  To be totally honest, the reason I left my apartment on Greene Street is because I wanted to leave all those bad memories behind. It was sort of like a youth hostel for men who were re-living their youth, or something. I needed to get out.

Wow, that’s a bold move!

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

Self-Love-7

Self Confidence-At 10am I’m a 7. At dusk, I can get as low as a 3. But to be fair, I can peak as high as an 8 on weekends!

Um, work getting you down, much?!

Attractiveness-I can get down to a 2.5 or 3 depending on acne, and how much sleep I get. But when I do it up, I can get up to a 7 or 8. I know how to get cute every now and then.

That’s the funniest, and yet most honest answer to that question I’ve heard yet! 

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

Effort. I’m not putting any effort into it right now. I’ve always felt like I need a medium to meet a guy, like music or a mutual friend, but really it could be anything. I’m not going to just walk up to a guy and say “Hey, let’s go out on a date.” I need something to be collaborative, something where we relate to the world, and get to know each other and talk about things. I do want to be more forward with guys though, and not always depend on the situation.

You mean like flirting?

Yes, except I don’t want to look dumb, like giggling a lot and answering  (nasally voice) “oh that’s so cool, awesome.”

Oh god, that sounds terrible. I assure you, it’s possible to flirt and never act like that.

And also, I’m in transition myself. I’m thinking about changing careers, maybe going to grad school, I don’t know. So I’m just putting it on the shelf right now. But, if I “won the lottery” and the perfect guy showed up, I’d work my transition around him.

7. What does your dating life look like now?

It looks like a 28-year-old kid hitting on me in my drawing class. What do I do? I just want to zip up his coat for him!

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

Patient and Funny. If he’s got those two things, we’re good.

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

Best Friend. Someone I can create with, work on a project with. Even if it’s just work around the house, or making a funny film. I want someone to share a creative outlet with.

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

Warm and Grounding.

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

Yeeeeeaaahhhh………I believe in The One. There’s a lid to every pot, it’s very specific. Sounds like something your grandmother would say, doesn’t it?

Kinda, yeah. Thanks Kimberly!

Inside Voice Wrap Up: Kimberly is indeed in transition. She’s interested in love and a relationship and everything that goes with it. But not quite for right now. As she says, she’s “putting that on the shelf” for the moment. I think that’s great. Sometimes you need a little time and space to not be dating, to not focus on your interactions with potential partners. Right now, she’s focused on her work transition. She mentioned many times during our interview how her day-to-day work life is depleting her. She likes the actual work, but doesn’t really connect with the people that she works with. She feels like she doesn’t fit in there, and isolated and disconnected. Obviously, from her decision to change apartments to change her mindset, we know she’s capable of change. I think that when Kimberly makes a decision to either go to grad school, or change jobs, or both, she’ll feel renewed. Ideally, it would be great for her to have a work environment where she can be herself as completely as possible. If this is the case, I think it’s likely she’ll meet someone great through work. Not necessarily a coworker, but maybe a friend of a friend connected with work, that kind of thing. As she said, Kimberly needs a medium for meeting people, and a happy work life is a rich resource. Until then, however, we’ll work on her flirting skills!

***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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside Your Career, Inside Your Love Life

Do You Identify Yourself as “Single”?

Do you identify yourself as “single”?

We all know how to fill out forms. We received the census. We took standardized tests. We applied for jobs. We filled in the dots, checked the boxes and printed legibly. Forms are a fact of life.

When you’re prompted for a name, it’s a no brainer. When you need to fill out your mailing address, you might consider home vs. office. And then that’s done. But when you’re prompted for something a little more sensitive, like say, marital status, how do you respond?

Would you happily check the box for “single”?

I’m realizing that many women would not.

I’ve been interviewing women for The Dating Project, here at The Inside Voice. I get to speak with amazing women about topics that I adore–love, dating and relationships. These women are successful, articulate, gorgeous, and for the most part, single.

For many of these women, being single is not their preference. But it’s also not their detriment. They have negative feelings, some painful, lonely, frustrated and sad. But they also have a sincere desire to design their own happiness. Hope lives in these women. Love lives here.

So I was surprised when a potential interviewee said she was too angry and frustrated to share. She didn’t want to be part of a community of women that are “single and awesome.” She didn’t want to make such declarations. She just wanted to get through this and on to better circumstances. She wanted an end to the heartache. And partnership, and love.

I totally understand. Sometimes you’re just not ready. And I imagine many of you feel the same way. Who wants to talk about their “singlehood”?  If you DON’T, I get it. But please, DO keep reading. You may be single, but you’re not alone.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside Your Friendships, Inside Your Love Life

Work vs. Love: What’s More Important?

Work vs. Love. What’s more important to you?

I just picked up the latest copy of Time Out New York. And what do I see on the cover? NYC Dating NOW! Well, well, well, this looks interesting.

And what is the very first question on the very first page of the cover story? Which is more important to you right now? Being successful in my chosen career OR Finding a long-term relationship? Of the 100 people who took this poll, 61% chose career. Only 39% chose relationship.

I’ve asked this question in my interviews for The Dating Project. And oftentimes my ladies agree that YES, right now work trumps love.

So now I’m asking YOU. What do you think? Is “right now” the most important qualifier? How about 5 years from now? 10 years from now? Is this a New York thing?

Please comment here, we’re dying to know what you think. Work vs. Love: What’s More Important?

Front and Center!

Cover Story

1 Comment

Filed under Inside Your Career, Inside Your City, Inside Your Love Life