Monthly Archives: January 2012

Dear Facebook Friends, Thank You.

Dear Facebook Friends,

A funny thing happened on the way to Williamsburg. I asked for help. I put out a call to action. I empowered you to support me, in a quick and actionable way. Simply, I asked you to click “like” to wish me luck.

And guess what? You did!!

I’m touched. Believe me, I understand that people move all the time. It’s not unusual, especially not in New York. People change apartments, swap roommates, move to new neighborhoods. People go through periods of adjustment. People watch as their furniture gets wrapped up by three surprisingly mindful moving men, and loaded onto a truck. Yes, it’s been done before. Nothing to see here.

And yet, you wished me luck. You gave me a little nudge. How did you know that underneath the excitement of moving, and the steadiness of moving toward an “our future” with Alan, I felt like a deer caught in headlights on Graham Ave. at night. At around 6:30pm I was so overwhelmed, over-tired, and exhausted that I couldn’t move, clean, or organize one more thing. I sat down. Eventually the spinning slowed, and the dusty, cleaning-fluidy tension headache dulled a little.

I checked the Facebooks. And there you were, cheering me on. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now, on to more unpacking.

Love,

Daniella

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“Hot Lips”: Cute or Yucky?

Hot Lips. My Avocado. Mush Monkey. Sweetheart. Babe.

Endeared? Grossed out?

These are real live pet names, used by people I know, to refer to people I know. Respectable, mature, highly functioning people use pet names. But really, is it ever OK to use pet names in public??

I’m thinking, no. It’s too weird, too intimate, too revealing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not squeamish. I’m not a prude (well, not too much of a prude). I don’t have a fear of intimacy, I swear. And I’m not feeling sorry for myself. I’ve had the same reaction as when I was without-a-doubt single, to when I was blissfully-in-lust with a new gentlemanfriend: wishing I could unhear what I’d just heard.

What do you think? Pet Names: Cute or Yucky?

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10 Commandments of Dating

Inspired by the brilliant Jonathan Fields’ 10 Commandments of Biz, I’ve compiled the 10 Commandments of Dating.

WARNING: Following these Commandments will transform you into a more twinkly, passionate, pulsing, overflowing-with-love version of yourself. The relationships that follow are, well, cake.

The 10 Commandments of Dating

  1. For every date with a potential partner, set a date with yourself. Surprise yourself with flowers.
  2. Savor each and every molecule of dinner, dessert, and wine that you didn’t pay for. Chivalry is not dead. Show some appreciation!
  3. Find something lovable about the person sitting across from you.
  4. Know that when on a date, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Even if you’ve suggested otherwise during every moment up to that point.
  5. Learn from past experiences. If you don’t like dating men who want to be taken care of, don’t keep on dating ’em.
  6. If you’re drawn towards someone, move closer. You’ll find out everything you need to know soon enough.
  7. Trust yourself. Date as if you’ll never get hurt. Because getting hurt isn’t the worst thing in the world, regret is.
  8. Trust the guy. The worst that can happen is you’ll be disappointed.
  9. Periodically take a look back at the boyfriends that have come into your life. Mentally thank them for sharing that time with you. It was perfect for what it was. You most likely learned something. Or just had a lot of fun.
  10. Politely ask your siblings to get on the baby-making track already. Your mother isn’t becoming a grandmother overnight, you know. If you’re an only child like me, I’m sorry. Jewish Mothers have the subtlety of a cinderblock. Oy Vey.

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Happily Married Yoga Teachers Are People Too.

When Blondie, a totally gorgeous, charming, happily married, intelligent, self-made, yoga teacher guru-type-person gives me dating advice, I listen. Or more specifically, when she gives her 10-year-younger self dating advice, I listen. And take detailed notes. Here’s how it went down:

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

Blondie: Stop Testing.

Me: Whatever do you mean, Blondie?

Blondie: You know, being bitchy. Throwing tantrums. Not wearing make-up. Going out in sweatpants. Refusing to cook. Making him come to my neighborhood for dates. Throwing more tantrums. Also, farting. Testing to see who would stay. Every guy left. Except Mr. Blondie.

Me: Speechless.

Shocked! How could this flower of a person be so irrational, so grotesque, so……normal?!

My world will never be the same.

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Men and Gossip: When To Shut Up?

Dating is a series of stories I tell my friends. We giggle, commiserate, and bond over our dating stories. We’re story tellers. And these men are the stars.

But at some point I stop portraying my dates like cartoon characters, brought up in conversation only as entertainment over brunch. I think of them differently, and honor them as real live three-dimentional people whose inner life and emotions aren’t going to be broadcasted over mimosas. I stop gossiping, and just, well, shut up.

When my lips are sealed my friends know we’re serious. They know we’re for keeps.  When they ask “How are things with Alan?,” I can say “really good.” Because they are. Because the intricacies of how we’re improving, evolving, and learning are completely our own. And well, personal.

This didn’t happen overnight. But it did happen.

How long do YOU have to be in a relationship to stop the gossip and just shut up already?

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Top 10 Dating Tips: From Me. To Me.

I’m so off-the-wall excited to bring you the Top 10 Dating Tips: From Me. To Me!!!

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. Don’t get married.

2. Don’t lose your sense of self in the relationship you’re in.

3. Make yourself happy first.

4. Don’t do what you think you should be doing. Do what makes you feel good.

5. Remind yourself how beautiful you are every day.

6. Being strong doesn’t mean denying what you want.

7. Don’t be afraid to be alone. It’s not that bad!

8. Be patient with yourself. Don’t rush to the endpoint.

9. You don’t have to compromise on everything. A good man shouldn’t ask you to.

10. It’s OK to be weak every now and then.

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The Dating Project…Meet Suzy

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 Suzy!***

1. Age and Occupation? Almost 39. Yoga teacher, poet, artist, and photographer.

2. Are you currently in a relationship? No.

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

LOVE, definitely first. I’m gonna say love, creative expression, friends, family. And work is last.

What do you mean exactly, by “creative expression”?

The stuff you love to do. Writing a great poem, taking a photograph that captures something special. Teaching a really great yoga class.

4. Can you spot any patterns in past relationships?

Oh yeah. I definitely get obsessive. I get wrapped up in my mind. My mind goes on its own tangent and it’s almost impossible to reel it back in. I just keep on thinking of someone, and when I can be with them again. It’s kind of like affirmation that I’m lovable and someone else out there loves me and wants to be with me. Affirmation that I’m worthy of love, that someone else out there loves the “real me”.

I also have a tendency to go for men that aren’t “good for me”. I know I deserve better than I think I do.

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

Self Confidence-6 or 7

Self-Love-8

Attractiveness-I don’t know!! Oh my god….wow. 7? I don’t know, that’s ridiculous….no….

I’m gonna stop your right there. Seems like your freak-out could go on for a while.

I want to be confident about my appearance, but humble at the same time. That’s a hard question!

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

I don’t think I’m worthy.

7. What does your dating life look like now?

Potential…..This year is full of it!

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

Kind, generous, funny, beautiful, intelligent, charismatic, caring, sees the beauty in every day, open, non-judging, spiritual. My god, spiritual should be at the top! Spiritual. Also, trust-worthy.

That’s a great list!

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

Dream of dreams? I’m with someone who makes me really happy. We bring out the best in each other. He supports the work I do. Nice if we’re were both doing artistic stuff, and we’re successful at it. We travel. We’re just in synch.

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

GOOD! Kind and loving. Gifted. Cause all great relationships are a gift.

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

Oh god, I believe there are a few “One’s” depending on the choices you make. I believe in reincarnation, that we are all the culmination of many different lifetimes. I believe you can share your life with many people in different ways.

Thanks Suzy!

Inside Voice Wrap Up: Suzy is on the verge of something fabulous. She is soulful, spiritual, and hopeful. She had been out of the dating scene for waaaaay too long. But now she’s back. She’s reawakened her ability to feel love. She told me that being open to love and partnership is scary and vulnerable. But she’s ready. She wouldn’t want it any other way. Suzy’s year is full of potential. There’s something urgent about her awakening. She want’s it now. And now’s the time for her.

***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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I’ll Never Move In To My Boyfriend’s Apartment…

And 3 Other Lies I’ve Told Myself:

As you know by now, my boyfriend and I are moving in together. Actually, this is untrue. My boyfriend is staying put. I’m moving in to his place.

Before I met Alan, I vowed to never, ever, move into an apartment that a boyfriend already occupied. It would be full of his stuff, his energy, his books, and his memories. Naturally, the apartment would be a dark and dingy place, and have no appeal to me whatsoever. It wouldn’t be right. There wouldn’t be any closet space, and definitely no shoe rack. And besides, Mr. Boyfriend would have chosen it without me. It would never truly be mine.

No, I would not move into someone else’s apartment.

Well, I’m moving in. The space is spectacular. It’s bigger than I first realized. It has good light. My office will be on the warmer side of the apartment. Also, Alan actually wants me to choose the curtains, pillow cases, and a bed spread. He knows I’m drawn to large, grandma-y flowers. And he’s ok with that.

It’s true, Alan did choose this apartment without me. There are memories in these walls that I’ll never know. He’s lived mini-lifetimes here. But now it will be ours. Not his. Not mine, all ours.

And as promised, 3 Other Lies I’ve Told Myself:
1. I’ll never write for a living.
2. I’d like to go grey someday. (No day soon.)
3. I hate Williamsburg. (Fine. I don’t hate Williamsburg. It’s my new home.)

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We’re Moving In Together!

It’s official! Alan and I have been dating for a year. And now we’re moving in together! Weeeee!!!! And Whoa Nelly.

As many of you dear readers know, I have a very nice boyfriend named Alan. He lives in Williamsburg. And I live in Carroll Gardens West.

I’ve been in the same apartment for 5 years. It was (is?) my safe place, my little home sweet home. This apartment bridged the gap between my 20’s and my 30’s. It’s full with my dating life. And now I’m leaving.

I guess that’s the thing of it. This apartment was the container for my dating life. It’s perfectly imperfect, the landlord is a criminal, the basement floods at the slightest drizzle, and the walls are just a little too thin. Still, my fire escape has been the scene for many deep thoughts, life plans, and confused tears. I feel my freedom in this apartment.

On February 1st, I’m moving toward a different kind of freedom. In this version I can be expansive and wildly independent, and loved and supported in a respectful romantic relationship with my very nice boyfriend. Yes, there is tremendous freedom where I’m going. And love. It will be wonderful. But I’ll still miss my apartment.

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The Dating Project…Meet Jane!

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 Jane!***

1. Age and Occupation? 34, but close to 35. I work in Public Health.

2. Are you currently in a relationship? Yes. We’ve been dating for a month. It’s brand new, there were no promises made.

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

I’d like to put friends first. But instead, I’d order Love, then Friends, then Family as Other, then Work.

Why would you like to put friends first?

I value friends so much, I always have. My friends make me feel like I’m real. My friendships are reliable, supportive and nourishing. Friends remind me that even if I’m single, I’m not alone.

That’s my tagline! (see above)

Also, one of the benefits of being single is not having to negotiate my schedule, and having the time to build relationships with other people in my life, like my friends. Being single means not needing a man to comfort me in a certain way. I don’t feel like I need a man to hide behind, emotionally.

4. Can you spot any patterns in past relationships?

It’s important for me to feel adored. And sometimes I’ve stayed with men that adored me even when there were reasons why they weren’t right for me. I think that comes from insecurity. I constantly crave that male attention. These days, I still want to be adored, but I don’t make excuses for staying in a relationship when it just isn’t right. For the last couple of years, it’s harder to identify patterns. During that time, I was in a relationship for 5 months, but that ended a year ago. Other than that I’ve been single.

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

Self Confidence-8

Self-love-9

Attractiveness-8

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

I work in a field that’s full of women. My world is all women. Meeting men isn’t organic to my life routine. When I have to try to meet men, there’s an artificialness to it. It starts to feel like “shopping for the perfect model,” especially with online dating. It makes me dismissive of someone who doesn’t seem perfect right from the start. I try not get into that mode, but sometimes it creeps in.

7. What does your dating life look like now?

Now I’m experimenting with being open to dating. I’m mostly online dating. I want a partner.

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

Intelligence. Organization. Well, by that I really want to say “someone who has their shit together, by my standard of having their shit together.” They have a career that pays the bills. They’re happy enough. They’ve figured out what they want and already started making it happen. They have something to offer as a lover, and to potentially build a family. Also, they’re really cool, and really fun.

I have this saying. “I want the roof and the stars.” The roof is the security, the reliability, the trust, the financial stability. The stars are the inspiration, excitement, lust, the romance.

That’s a beautiful description!

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

I’m with a committed partner who’s really fun. Creative sex. And building a future. And traveling.

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

Spectrum. I want a variety. Someone who can do cozy and exciting, intellectual and animal.

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

No. I believe in a set of potential partners, who come in to your life at the time you need them. I don’t also necessarily believe in forever. I do believe however, that when you make a commitment, you do owe your partner some degree of selflessness.

Thanks Jane!

Inside Voice Wrap Up: When I first met Jane about 2 billion years ago, she wasn’t single. And she had never been single. Indeed, she was adored by many. But when I sat down with her for this interview, she had embraced her single status. She seemed more settled, more clear, and more confident. She was glowing. She, like most of our Dating Project women, thinks deeply and speaks articulately. She’s curious, and she goes to therapy. She’s worked her shit out. And to be completely honest, I think she’s on the cusp of something great. Jane wants a partner. Jane is prepared to be a partner. And so she will have a partner. I heart Jane.

***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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