Inertia

Inertia. It’s the state of not moving or not changing direction. Sometimes it’s so easy to find yourself there. You’re just going along going along.  Being where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there. Taking the path of least resistance.

But sooner or later, someone or something needs to shake you out of it. Maybe it’s a movie that inspires you to do something new. Maybe it’s a change in the weather. Maybe it’s something you read. (A blog, perhaps?)

So, I ask you…have you done something completely unexpected lately? Or are you coasting through your days, crossing things off your “to do” list without giving a thought to your bucket list. Don’t put yourself last. Choose one thing this week, a simple thing but something you didn’t do last week or the week  before. Do it because you want to do it. Bring someone with you and shake them out of their rut, too.

Put it on your “to do” list if you have to.

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Filed under Advice, Worth the Effort

Story Time (for adults)

Think of it as story time for grownups…a “Kiss and Tell” with no awkward repercussions or slaps in the face!

We have some great interviews coming up and would like to share your GreenlightCard.com moments (anonymously, of course). Please comment back or email us and let us know how it’s going for you out there in the Real Time Dating World.

  • How did you give out your card?
  • What was the reaction?
  • How does it compare to the experiences you’ve had on some of the online dating sites?
  • What’s better about the GLC “offline” experience?

Just send us an email. Message us on Facebook. Your tweet is our command.

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Green

Green can mean a lot of things.

Green can mean new…which we are.

Green can mean go…which is the “signal” our cards give.

And green can mean “environmentally-conscious”…which we try to be each and every day.  Greenlight Cards are printed on recycled paper with vegetable based inks. Our tin-plated steel card cases are recyclable, as new steel is made from recycled steel. Even our shipping paks are 100% recycled.

In the spirit of love for our planet, I thought I’d share this wonderful little video:

 

The video is great because it applauds making a small, but important effort. We’d also like to applaud everyone who gives someone a Greenlight Card. We know it takes a little courage to put yourself out there and go after what you want. So, while we won’t publicly applaud you when you give that card to someone (that might be just a tad embarrassing)–the next time you give someone your card, hear the applause in your head because we’re right here, applauding your go-get-’em attitude and cheering you on, even if you can’t see us doing it.

 

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Dear Nosy Parker…

Nosy Parker has an answer for all your dating questions

Dear Nosy Parker,

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had my eye on this new neighbor that moved in just down the street. I can’t help but notice that he’s good with his hands—he was outside sanding and staining cabinets as soon as the spring-like weather hit. I’ve also seen him playing tag with some kids down the street and having easy conversations with some of my other neighbors. In fact, he’s even had a few nice conversations with me. Warm, friendly, fun-loving—check! Even our politics are aligned, based on the yard signs he put out during the recent city elections.

It’s amazing how much you can learn about a person just by living in close proximity and paying a little attention! Much better than an online dating profile, huh?! Now, whether or not he’s picking up clues as to who I am, I have no idea.

So, here’s the problem. I saw him at the local diner the other morning and hid. Yes, that’s right. I hid. Mornings are not my best time of day and that particular morning was an especially unattractive one for me. I did not look sporty, or fresh-faced or endearingly “mussed.” And so I hid. Behind the menu at first (nice and big) and then behind my phone (annoyingly small).

Ever since this little incident, my friend has been berating me for not giving my neighbor my Greenlight Card that morning. Avoiding conversation was one thing, missing an opportunity altogether was another. I should have done it right as I was leaving…dropped the card at his table with a quick “hey, just wanted to give you this” and been on my merry way (head down, taking an important call, reading the paper—all at the same time if that’s what it took). He might not have even noticed how bad I looked or how ridiculous I was behaving because he’d be looking down at the card.

I say, that would have been a bad, bad idea. Greenlight Cards are to be given when I’m feeling good about myself, not bad. I’m right, aren’t I?

Signed,

Neighborhood Watch

 

Dear Neighborhood Watch,

Wrong, wrong, wrong! Greenlight Cards should make you feel good about yourself because you’re taking control. You’re making a move—positive, forward movement is a very good thing. Your neighbors see you in all states—good, bad and embarrassingly skuzzy. In fact, boyfriends do too. So get over it. People notice—and are attracted by—your attitude more than your outfit or your hair or your makeup (or lack of it). A smile, a friendly hello, a direct look…those are the accoutrements that dress your attitude. They’re the things that really count. You were carrying your Greenlight Cards that morning, even though you felt “especially unattractive.” That fact alone tells me you know I’m right. So next time, don’t make excuses. Make a move. (And maybe wear a hat.)

But here’s another piece of advice. Don’t wait until next time. Just wait until he leaves for work. Then stick your Greenlight Card in his mailbox. When he goes online and types in your number, he’ll see your picture and know it’s from you. Do it! You know you want to…

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I Vote For…

About.com Reader's Choice Best Dating-Related Blog Finalist

The AAbout.com Reader's Choice Best New Dating Site of 2011 Finalistcademy Awards, the About.com Readers’ Choice Awards, municipal elections, a new season of American Idol.  Everywhere I turn, there’s voting, voting and more voting.  (An aside about About.com–“Readers’ choice” all comes down to devoted voting.  A big THANK YOU to those of you who are voting everyday for Greenlight Card.  It makes us feel great.  Voting ends on March 8– if you’re so inclined, by all means, click on the images and vote.) But all this voting got me to thinking.

These things aren’t up for election or in a contest, but if they were, I’d be voting for them:

  • Honesty: You can elect not to tell your height or weight or income, just don’t lie about it!

  • Disclosure, when it matters: Not admitting to the fact that you’re over 40 and living with your parents–NOT okay!  Admitting that you feel compelled to use a Q-tip to clean between your toes every night–not necessary.

  • Kindness: We could all use a little more in our lives.  Be kind to others.  And be kind to yourself, too.

  • Getting serious: If you spend too much time worrying about making a commitment, you’ll never do it.  Dive in with your whole heart.
  • Lightening up: Some things just aren’t as important as we make them out to be.  Save your energy for the things that really do matter.

  • Caring: That “oh-so-cool” demeanor–it’s not really all that cool.
  • Being present: With all of our gadgets and the ever-present existence of the Internet, are you truly focusing on what’s happening around you?  Turn off those devices and give your kid, your friend or your date your full attention.  Aaahhhh.  It feels good, doesn’t it?
  • Going for it: Shoulda, woulda, coulda?  Been there and not doing it anymore!

What about you–what do you think is worth your vote?

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Filed under Advice, Dating Unplugged

Ouch! Sometimes It Hurts To Think So Hard…

It’s a beautiful day in Tampa, Florida (my apologies to all of you who are dealing with snow and gray skies!), so instead of sitting down at my computer to think about what to write today, I decided to take a little run/walk and think along the way.  I came up with a million things to write about (ok, maybe seven) but finally, what dominated my thoughts was…how much time I spend thinking about everything.

And I wonder if you’re the same way.

In my mind (or to be more honest, in my dreams) I’m impulsive and spontaneous.  I see something I want and without a second thought I go for it.

In reality, I analyze.  I analyze why I want what I want and consider alternatives to the object of my desire.  I weigh how much I want it and what it will cost me (literally and figuratively).  I think about whether I should just wait–if it’s still there and I still want it later, then maybe it’s truly meant to be mine.

With any luck, you’re reading this and thinking “she’s crazy.”  But if you’re thinking “yeah, I do the same thing,” then keep reading.  Because I think this thoughtfulness, this penchant for analysis, this obsession with making sure we make the best possible choices is a serious detriment when it comes to dating.

Dating is easier when you don’t think so much.

Stop worrying about what it means that she was a little weird when you said good night–call her again, anyway.

Stop wondering if he’s interested in you as a girl-friend or a friend-friend and let him know what you’re interested in.

Stop obsessing over whether the flirtatious comment was really meant to be flirtatious and just assume it was.

There’s an easy way to end the “should I or shouldn’t I?” cycle and the painful second-guessing about what to say or how to act– just give someone a Greenlight Card.  It’s not a proposal of marriage, it’s a simple statement of interest.  It’s a compliment that could lead to a date that could lead to more dates that could lead to a relationship.

Oops, there I go again!

What I want you to do is stop right there at “it’s a compliment.”  Don’t think so far ahead.  In fact, stop thinking at all and just act on impulse and see what happens.

Greenlighting works best if  you just do it.

That’s really one of the main reasons to carry Greenlight Cards–they increase the likelihood that you’ll act instead of just thinking about it.  And thinking about it.  And thinking about it.

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Filed under Greenlighting, No More Regrets

Connectivity

I woke up this morning with a headache. And then, to make matters worse, I tried to connect to the Internet and my network “wasn’t available.”

Yesterday, I ended my blog with “connection is why we are here,” and today—no connection.

So I did what I always do when this happens. I tried again.

“None of your preferred networks are available.”

Now, I am a one-network woman.  And when I can’t connect with my network, it makes me very grumpy.  Not to mention, this headache means I am in no mood to deal with a needy network.

I tried again. I restarted the computer. I completely shut it down and then started the computer.  Stubbornly, I tried and I tried and finally considered what the computer was telling me.

“Connection timeout.”

Hmm…maybe I should just accept it.  Time for a new relationship…uh, I mean connection.

But hey, maybe I should try someone else’s network.  That might satisfy me for a while.  I had a few other choices, they were right there in front of me.  But they were someone else’s connections and I’ve heard that using someone else’s connection can lead to viruses.

Annoyed, frustrated, and rejected, I decided I would leave this relationship, I mean connection, completely.  I would head to Starbucks and find a new connection, one that wasn’t anyone else’s.  One that would be there for me when I need him, I mean it. One that was available and ready to connect.

But before heading out to find that new connection, I sat down to write this—realizing that it was okay to spend some time unconnected—comfortable in the knowledge that I would be able to connect later.

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Filed under The Single Life, Worth the Effort

The Power of Vulnerability

Lizzie Williams, one of the founders of GreenlightCard.com, sent me a link to a video on TED.com recently, saying “watch this–it’s worth 20 minutes!”  And I thought, 20 minutes? Maybe I’ll give it five.

TED describes itself as a “small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.”  I had a brief love affair with TED sometime back, and then left TED, heartlessly, because dear old TED was a time-sapper.  I would find myself spending hours with TED, at the expense of my work and other people in my life.  TED is wonderful, don’t get me wrong.  TED is smart and funny.  TED gives me fresh perspectives and ideas that absorb my thoughts. But TED can be sort of addicting.

To be honest, TED also makes me feel a teensy bit bad about myself–I wish I were as profound and entertaining as TED.

So it’s sort of ironic that the video that brought me back to TED is about vulnerability and shame–and more specifically, about embracing your vulnerability. In this video, “researcher storyteller” Brene Brown talks about her quest to figure out what “wholehearted” people have in common–people who have a sense of love and belonging because they feels worthy of love and belonging.  She found that it comes down to embracing vulnerability, a discovery that wasn’t easy for her to accept.

Like Lizzie, I watched this and immediately wanted to share it.  Worth your 20 minutes?  Absolutely!  Brown is engaging and honest and real and I really believe her message.  Instead of giving it just five minutes, I found myself wishing I could spend more than 20 minutes listening to her…and I think I’ll find myself spending a little more time with TED again.  I just can’t help myself.

Brene Brown says “connection is why we’re here”–and we at GreenlightCard.com happen to agree!

About.com Reader's Choice Best Dating-Related Blog FinalistAbout.com Reader's Choice Best New Dating Site of 2011 Finalist

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine's Day from GreenlightCard.com

Happy Valentine's Day from GreenlightCard.com

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Valentine Countdown: VDay – 1

Drumroll, please…tomorrow is the day for lovebirds to sing and if you don’t have someone to be all lovey-dovey with, it might be really annoying or even depressing. Or it can be just another day, with the promise of half-price candy the day after. For the last installment of Greenlight Card‘s Valentine Countdown: 21 Ways to Meet a Mate, I’m not going to suggest another class to join or place to go…your mission for tomorrow is to embrace the idea that keeps on giving…

Feb. 14: It’s all about you today. Make yourself feel good. Do what brings you joy. Talk to people who lift you up. All the books and movies and plays and your wise Aunt Mabel are exactly right when they say that if you can’t make yourself happy, no one else can. So invest your time and energy into your personal happiness first. Give yourself what you need and what you want. And realize that there’s that crazy phenomenon where we seem to find what we’re looking for when we stop trying so hard to find it. I hope you use my “ways to meet a mate” ideas as ways to go out and have fun and enjoy life. Because meeting a mate, or a date for that matter, shouldn’t be what it takes to make you happy–it should just make you happier.

But wait–I promised 21 ways to meet a mate, and today’s idea makes only 20. Well, today is a two-fer day. Here’s one final way to meet someone and it goes along with all the other ideas. USE YOUR GREENLIGHT CARDS!! Because if you don’t let someone know you’re interested, you just may be letting the perfect opportunity pass right by.

Feb. 13: Be an art tart…go see what’s hangin’ at a local gallery. Just don’t get so absorbed in what’s on the walls that you forget to look at who’s roaming the halls! Whether the piece you’re looking at moves you or confuses you, talk about it with another art gallery go-er and you’re sure to strike up an interesting conversation.

Feb. 12: Use your weekend wisely–volunteer for a cause you care about. While you’re making a difference (the primary goal!), you just may meet someone you have something in common with. Having at least this one thing you both care about is a great start. Is there a more natural, comfortable way to meet someone than while working on a project together? I don’t think so. Plus, I feel certain there are good-deed endorphins that kick in and make you extra attractive!

Feb. 11: WAKA. WAKA. This is your chance to embrace your inner child or come to terms with playground angst of yesteryear. In the World Adult Kickball Association, you will not be the last to be picked–just register, show up, and get ready to WAKA the ball! Their motto is “Best Parties. Best Games. Best Friends.” What a fun way to meet new people, so go online and see if there’s a spring league near you that’s registering right now.

Feb. 10: Let’s get physical, physical…I wanna get physical… Enough with the treadmill! Unplug your earbuds and head over to the free weights–a better singles scene than you’ll find at happy hour at your favorite dive. Really.

Feb. 9: Attending a tasting or cooking demonstration is a great way to meet new people–and trying a hands-on cooking class is even better. Cooking is chemistry, after all. Maybe you’ll find a little extra chemistry with a classmate.

Feb. 8: This one’s for all of you who’ve had it up to here with all the snow and ice. Look for a group trip and sign up before all the spots are taken. There are, of course, plenty of singles’ cruises and singles groups who offer great trips, but if that feels a little too weird to you, check out your college alumni office-they often plan great excursions. Or surf on over to voluntourism.org for a feel-good, do-good getaway.

Feb. 7: Being a single parent is tough, but since you want the best for your child, make a point to go to the next PTA meeting. Then look around for parents without partners…

Feb. 6: It’s Super Bowl Sunday! Watch with a crowd and make sure to look up now and then to see who else is around. Cheering for the same team–or engaging in a little friendly competition–can spark an extra dose of attraction.  Or if you absolutely hate football, go wherever the game isn’t, and see who else shares your disinterest.

Feb. 5: Put your local wine shop at the top of your to-do list today. But give yourself time to go in and browse. Get into a conversation about what’s good. Finding great wine (especially at a great price) is like a treasure hunt. What someone’s looking for–a bargain, a hostess gift, the perfect complement to a new recipe–gives you a clue about the person buying, and whether they’re worth a longer conversation.

Feb. 4: Friday night I crashed her party…channel your inner Billy Joel and get yourself invited to your friend’s friend’s party. Going to a friend’s party doesn’t count, you probably already know most everyone there. Instead, go to your friend’s friend’s party and see some new faces. It’s fun to mix things up now and again, isn’t it?

Feb. 3: This one takes a little Chutzpah–enroll in an adult acting class. Some of the best performers are shy in “real life” so even if you’re the wallflower type, that’s really no excuse. Acting lets you pretend to be someone else and in the end puts you more in touch with who you are. Plus you’ll meet a lot of fun people in class and get to know them pretty intimately. Keep your Greenlight Cards handy and maybe an onstage scene will lead to an offstage romance.

Feb. 2: In honor of hump day, join a networking group or, if that’s too big a commitment, schedule in time to attend at least one networking event–this one simple move could get you over the hump and onto something bigger in both your career and your love life. You’ll probably be surprised how much help and motivation you can find among a group of strangers.

Feb. 1: Lace up your running shoes and head over to your local Irish pub’s weekly fun run. What? That’s not an option in your town? Well it is in mine and it’s hugely popular, so if it’s missing where you live, pick your favorite fun establishment and suggest it.

Jan. 31: Here’s one I’ve suggested before. Go get in line at the Genius Bar at the Apple store. Trendy, friendly, intelligent, connected–they’re job requirements there, you know!

Jan. 30: Browse your neighborhood bookstore for the next title by your favorite author. If you see someone interesting in the same aisle, hey, maybe you two have something in common. At least it’s easy to break the ice and say hello.

Jan. 29: Hang out in the stands and talk about your weekend plans during your kids’ sports games or practices. It’s a stealthy way to figure out who’s single and to signal your own availability. (I once heard a clever woman at a Little League game tell the guy next to her that she was going bathing suit shopping  because it was her ex’s weekend with the kids…um, if he didn’t get that hint he wasn’t worth the trouble!)

Jan. 28: Happy hour not all that fruitful? Instead of heading home, stop in at Home Depot (or your favorite home improvement store) and see who’s there on a Friday night. Good chance you’ll find some single people in the store.

Jan. 27: Attend your friend’s friend’s party. You’ll be sure to meet someone new if you break away from your usual crowd.

Jan. 26: Don’t complain about the snow, get up and go! (Thankfully, I’m not about to suggest a poetry reading. The rhymes stop here, I promise.) Ski a few runs, then head for the lodge with those cute flushed cheeks and check out the scenery. And don’t forget to say “hi,” it works much better than a cheesy pick up line.

Jan. 25: Head over to the car dealership and get your car tuned up while you wait. (Just scooch on over and make room for someone else to sit next to you on one of those cushy leather sofas. Long, boring wait? Gone!)

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Filed under Dating Unplugged, Inspiration, Valentine's Day