Category Archives: No More Excuses

Seeking

I read a story in the newspaper today about a woman who has been looking for a job for more than a year.  She held several good jobs before being laid off – a victim of the economy.  Even though she did nothing wrong, even though she was not in any way to blame for losing her job, being unemployed has taken a huge toll on her self-esteem.

In many ways, being laid off and finding yourself newly single are really similar, don’t you think?  There’s the anger (why did this happen to me?), the self-blame (I must have done something wrong), the loss of structure and rituals in your day, and — assuming you want to get back out there — the need to “sell” yourself.  Your self-esteem is definitely at risk.  So how do you handle it?

Well, let’s go back to the woman in the article.  After a year of looking, she was really frustrated, as you can imagine.  But she was still trying.  And then one day out of the blue, as she was sitting at a restaurant dutifully scanning through job listings, she struck up a conversation with a man at the next table.

No, he didn’t turn out to be her soul mate or even a potential employer.  But he did have an idea.  He suggested they throw a “pink slip party” — a party that brings employers, recruiters and job seekers together.  The pink slip party gave the woman a purpose.  She was excited to focus on a project that could help herself and other people, too.

Throughout her job hunt, she’d been uncomfortable selling herself, and she still felt that way at the party.  When recruiters asked her about herself, she gave them only a glimpse.  But then, as the party got underway, as she introduced speakers and kept the party going, she was noticed.  The character traits listed on her resume came to life.  The party didn’t end with a fairy-tale match, but she did wake up the next day with new contacts to call.

And I think the story is a good lesson for all of us.  Her job search was jumpstarted by a combination of happenstance and effort.  Her confidence returned when she threw herself into doing something different.  And her best traits showed through when she was busy being herself.

There’s one big difference between looking for a job and looking for a relationship, though.  Most of us need a job to pay our bills — not finding one is usually not an option.

On the other hand, you can give up on the search for a relationship.

You can, but I hope you don’t.

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Filed under Confidence, Inspiration, No More Excuses, No More Regrets

Awkward Encounters

Just the other day, Village Voice blogger Leslie Minora called dating calling cards an example of the way “the Internet dating world keeps one-upping itself with newfangled ways to have awkward encounters with strangers.”

Ouch!  That hurts, especially since the whole idea behind Greenlight Cards is to avoid awkward encounters.  I mean, what’s more awkward than trying to find the words to let someone know you’re interested in getting to know them better?  The words always sound smooth and natural in your head but often don’t come out that way, if they come out at all.  And asking outright means at least one of you will feel awkward if the interest is one-sided.

Thanks to a well-placed exclamation point, the sarcasm practically oozes off the screen when Leslie later says that the receiver of a dating calling card can “start conversation that can, ideally, lead to a perfect match!”

Here’s the thing–online dating sites are drawing millions of people in with the idea of finding their perfect match online.  We don’t think anyone’s perfect, but we absolutely understand the desire to meet “the one.”  The one who doesn’t try to be perfect but is just right for you.  The one you want to make happy and vice versa.  And why couldn’t “the one” be sitting in your favorite coffee shop or coaching your kid’s soccer team?

Greenlight Cards aren’t about honing in on a perfect match.  They’re about boosting your confidence, providing you with a way to make an impression, and  enabling you to make a promise to yourself to stop letting opportunities pass by without at least seeing what might happen if you put yourself out there a little.  In our “ideal” world, the conversation happens first, then the Greenlight Card, then a date and the chance to see whether the initial attraction you felt might lead to more dates.

Toward the end of Leslie’s blog, you’ll see our videos were deemed “cheesy,” which stung a little.  But then she also posted her favorite*, which is the kind of mixed message that can drive you crazy in a new relationship, right?  (It’s like the person who says “I’m not ready to commit” and then invites you to a family wedding.)

So what do you think about our videos?  I happen to think our touch of “cheese” is quite endearing.  And we’d love to see your own cheesy-or-not video about the challenges of being single.  Send it to us and, as long as it isn’t “inappropriate” in some way (a caveat that’s necessary when it comes to dating), we’ll post it right here and share it with the world.

*By the way, this was Leslie’s favorite video.  What’s yours?

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Filed under No More Excuses, No More Regrets, Offline Dating, Online Dating, The Single Life, video

You’re Not the Only One

When yet another wedding invitation shows up in the mail, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one who is single.

When you’re the only one at poker night who doesn’t have to check in with his wife to let her know you’re headed home, it’s easy to feel like everyone else is married.

And when you tell friends that you’d love to be introduced to their single friends, only to be faced with blank stares and sympathetic smiles, it’s no wonder you’re ready to believe there are truly no other single people to meet in your town.

But despite how it sometimes feels, CNN reports that you are definitely not the only “singleton” (does anyone else hate that word?) around. In fact, more than 40% of Americans over the age of 18 are single.  That adds up to 96 million people.

And if you’re a single parent who thinks that puts you in a different category, you should know that there are some 11 million single parents living with their children, just like you.

Of course, not being married doesn’t necessarily equate to availability.  The statistics reported by CNN showed that there were more than 6 million households where single people were unmarried but living together–so I guess that means at least 12 million single people aren’t up for grabs.

Still, that leaves a whole lot of people just like you…single.  And many of them are sure to be thinking the same thing.  Where are all the single people?

Now that you know they’re out there, make some plans for the weekend–plans that don’t include your married friends.

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Filed under Advice, Inspiration, No More Excuses, The Single Life

Former PC Meets Forever Mac: Could This Be You?

You are a recent convert, having made the switch from PC to Mac right after leaving the corporate world for a small, boutique business of your own. Unfortunately, leaving the corner cubicle also means losing your IT support.

And so, you find yourself in a line at the “genius bar,” wondering if these Mac fanatics are just a little too full of themselves. Finally, it’s your turn and you realize why it took awhile. This guy treats you like you’re his only customer. He makes eye contact, something the IT guy in the old office could never manage to do (creepy!), asks you what your problem is, and then proceeds to show you everything you need to know.

And then, he invites you to come back. Not in that “have a nice day, come again” robotic sort of way, but specifically asks you to make another appointment so that he can give you a personal tour of your own computer and its many cool features. Having definitely warmed up to Mr. Mac, you make a lame “your place or mine?” joke but he appears not to have heard it as he types in the appointment on your calendar so you won’t forget.

After a week of thinking about this Mac guru, you’re ready for the next appointment. You arrive. He’s there, and he gives you the full tour. And then what? You can’t exactly prolong the conversation since there are people waiting for their appointments. No way do you have the guts to write out your phone number and suggest he call.

So you go home. And you think about Macho Mac more than once. You find excuses to go to the mall in hopes he’ll take a coffee break. You even go into the store and browse, but he doesn’t even notice you. In fact, he’s busy giving another very attractive new Mac owner a tour of her computer.

Eventually, you hear about this new dating trend—Greenlight Cards. The idea is to give a card to someone to let him know you’ve sensed some chemistry and would like to go out.

Hmm, you think, now when exactly would I use those?

And then you think of the Mac guy. (Again.)

And you open up that cool new laptop of yours and go online to order some Greenlight Cards and some very complicated new software.

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Filed under Dating Unplugged, Greenlighting, Inspiration, No More Excuses, No More Regrets, Offline Dating, The Single Life, Worth the Effort

Time Flies

Yikes. An entire week has gone by since my last post.

I can’t blame it on vacation, or sickness or some giant project. But suddenly, it’s Wednesday, when it should be Monday, at the very latest.

Does this ever happen to you? You wake up and wonder how the week, or month or season is over when you feel like it just began.

“They” say time flies when you’re having fun. But I often find just the opposite—that focusing on fun extends time.

For example, on a normal weekend, I do a bunch of things, some fun, some chores, some work, some sleep…and suddenly, it’s over. But when friends come to visit from out of town, we plan and do, all weekend long. I pick the best of the things I never make time for, and we embark, exploring my fine city and making the most of our limited time together.

And sure, with lots of things we want to do, it sometimes feels like we can’t cram them all in. In that sense, the fun makes time fly. But at the end of the weekend, I feel tired but satisfied. By spending my time well, I get full value out of my weekend. Instead of time flying, I feel the satisfaction of time fulfilled.

I know I need to have more weekends, or weeks, or months like this. And I can. Fortunately, I don’t have to schedule every minute of the day and every day of the week, which would surely stress me out.  I just need to plan some things. Make an effort even (and maybe especially) when it’s just for myself. Take a class. Start a project. Go new places.

In the context of dating, it’s so easy to find yourself on auto-pilot, working, doing, living, only to wake up and wonder, where did the time go? I thought I’d be married by now…or in a new relationship by now…or leading an enviable social life…or whatever.

And the answer is the same. No, you don’t have to try every single activity you hear about. Hate the idea of speed dating? Don’t speed date. Need some hang-out-at-home-and-relax time? Take it. But you do need to make a point to work in some fulfilling time, and if you want it to affect your dating life, choose things that at least offer you the potential to meet new, single people.

We’re midway through the summer—don’t let it pass so quickly that you wonder what happened to the sunny days and long nights. Make the most of them. Get out and enjoy!

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Filed under No More Excuses, The Single Life

What GreenlightCard.com is NOT (part three)

Today, I bring you a new installment in our series on what GreenlightCard.com is NOT…in hopes that you will have a better understanding of what it is. If you missed the first two installments, find them here and here.

GreenlightCard.com is NOT…a single-and-available detector.

Sorry. We wish we could offer that service. That, I think is what draws people to online dating services—the idea that everyone using the site is single and available.

Unfortunately, some people on those sites don’t think marriage or other relationships make them unavailable.

So, in fact, there really is no trustworthy single-and-available detector, and until there is, here’s what we suggest. Rely on your instincts instead of a database. Pay attention to the way people act around you. If someone returns your eye contact or has a flirty conversation with you, chances are pretty good that person is available. At least it’s worth checking out.

And if you give a Greenlight Card to someone who turns out not to be available, what’s the harm, really? It’ll be taken as a compliment and you’ll be less nervous the next time you give someone your Greenlight Card.

As for those sleazy folks who like to have their spouses and dates on the side, too—once you’ve started dating someone, do what you can to make sure that person really is single. Don’t obsess, but don’t ignore signs of entanglement either (you know, not giving you a home phone number, not introducing you to friends, busy on the weekends…). Again, your instincts are your most valuable asset.

Pretty soon, I will write some posts about what GreenlightCard.com IS, but for now, I can’t resist adding a new post to this particular series. So watch for the next oneGreenlightCard.com is NOT a quicker-picker-upper.

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Filed under Greenlighting, No More Excuses, The Single Life

Independence and Fireworks

This is the weekend to declare your independence.

So right now, declare your independence from work. And if you have to work this weekend, plan equal time for play to make up for all the work you’re doing.

Declare your independence from chores, and obligations and stress. You can go back to all those things next week, which will be nice and short.

Declare your independence from anything that isn’t fun or relaxing or exciting, or all three.

And while you’re at it, here are a few other things you can free yourself of:

  • toxic “friends”
  • bad relationship choices (that you know, deep down, are bad)
  • the same old, same old
  • trying too hard
  • not trying at all

What else?  What would you or someone you know be better off without? Let me know in the comments section. In the meantime, here’s hoping you stumble into an interesting chance encounter–and some fireworks, of course. Happy Fourth!

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Filed under No More Excuses, No More Regrets, The Single Life