Category Archives: Inside Your City

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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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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Filed under Inside the Yoga Studio, Inside Your Career, Inside Your City, Inside Your Family, Inside Your Love Life

Nice View!

So there I was, looking through some old posts, when I came across this romantic piece of crazytown.
Way back in September, I thought I’d never, ever in a million years experience a change of scenery.  I looked out my window, accepting that view as the only one I’d ever know. Sigh.

Well, that’s just silly. Cause baby, I moved! And I couldn’t be happier. But you have to admit, the views in my old apartment were pretty cool, right?

BEFORE

AFTER

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The Dating Project…Meet Rita!

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 Rita!***

1. Age and Occupation? 23. Yoga Studio Manager, Continuous Student.

2. Are you currently in a relationship? Yes.

Ooooh, tell me more!

We started dating last June, and it was casual until September. Then I ended it because it got too serious. He continued to pursue me and I gave in. I wasn’t ready for a relationship until I was, I guess. We got back together in early November. It’s been good ever since.

Interesting! We’ll go deeper into your current relationship in a little bit. But for now…

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

Other, Friends, Love, Work.

What’s “Other” for you? Everyday happiness. Yoga. Good food. Self-Work–that’s definitely my number 1.

4. Can you spot any patterns in past relationships?

My friends call me a “Manizer.” I don’t make the men a priority. I tend to not take the dating relationship seriously. And I’m finding that that behavior can hurt people. I need to be up front about my expectations, right from the start. I usually don’t want to be in a serious relationship, and men often expect that I do.

Also, I have communication issues. I’m such a girl’s girl, I’m used to just talking and relating to women. Men have the capacity to listen and be there for you, but it’s not automatic for them. Men often interject, try to help, or solve a problem. They don’t know when I just want to vent. And I never think to ask for that, specifically.

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

Self Confidence-It depends on the arena. Person to person, I’m a 9. In front of the camera, I’m a 1. It’s easy for me to just talk to people, one on one. But, my boyfriend is a photographer. And I realize how NOT confident I am when I get my picture taken. I used to be a model when I came to New York. I developed some unhealthy habits and ideas. I went through this period of not letting myself enjoy food. Yoga totally changed things for me, and I’m in a good place now with my body. I can enjoy the experience of being me, without all the restrictions. But still, that residual stuff with the camera is there. The camera makes me feel like I’m under examination.

Self-Love-10

Attractiveness-8. I’m not necessarily at my peak. I’m waiting for my 30’s.

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

If their lifestyle doesn’t compliment mine, I don’t give them a chance.

7. What does your dating life look like now?

Now I’m in a relationship. I have to stop questioning it, and accept that I’m here in this relationship. We do lots of activities. We have movie night, cooking night, going-out-with-friends night. We both love theater, plays and dance. And he’ll just go out and get a couple of tickets to music concerts. It’s nice. I’d been developing resistance to New York City lately, and this relationship makes me enjoy New York much more.

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

Sense of humor. Open mind. Genuinely nice–It’s a deal breaker if a guy is rude to waiters, or anyone else for that matter. Creative. Cute.

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

Pretty domestic. I’m such a homebody. We have an intertwined spiritual practice. We may not go to all the same yoga classes, but it’s part of our daily lives. We have quiet meditative time around the house. We’ll both create. Maybe he’ll paint, and I’ll sit and sew something, and we’ll come over and look at each other’s work every now and then.

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

Like one of those internal smiles that can’t go away. It feels like something I’d never want to leave.

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

No. But I believe you can create The One. You choose The One. If you make him your One, he’s The One. But if it doesn’t work out with that One, you can make another One.

Thanks Rita!

Inside Voice Wrap Up: Rita knows herself well. (She knows herself far better than I knew myself at 23. Just sayin’.)  Rita is interested in self exploration. She’s a perfect example what it looks like to use dating as a medium for self growth. She’s finding her place in the world. Without defining herself by her career–because really, at this point she hasn’t truly committed to one–Rita is free to define herself any way she chooses. She is soulful, artistic, and enjoys flirting with men in every which way. She also keeps things light. She has a knee-jerk flight response when relationships get too serious. With her current boyfriend, Rita can enjoy the freedom of being single, yet enjoy the companionship of a partner when she wants it. This is perfect for Rita. Because Rita is, at heart, a single woman. She’s figuring out to make herself as happy as possible. And when she does, a partner will only add to that joy. But until then, Rita is rocking out on her dating path of self-love and self discovery.

***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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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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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 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!

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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

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