Category Archives: The Single Life


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

Valentine Countdown: VDay-6

Wednesday’s child may be full of woe, but Wednesday’s cook is full of good food! So the next entry in Greenlight Card’s Valentine Countdown: 21 Ways to Meet a Mate requires a teensy bit of homework on your part. All you have to do is read the class listings in the food section of your paper tomorrow…

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 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 Greenlighting, Offline Dating, The Single Life, Valentine's Day

5 Ways For Singles to Have a Jolly Holiday

If you dread the holidays because you’re not sharing them with a significant other, it’s time to change your mind about the season and seize the opportunities that are unique to this time of year. Who knows, your best gift might be that special someone stepping under your mistletoe. So get out and participate in the fun and rejoice in your freedom and availability to take on new terrain.

  1. Give gifts of time: Lots of charitable organizations ramp up their services during the holidays and it’s a great time to get involved. With the economic slump, help is needed now more than ever. A few years ago I volunteered as a waitress at a Christmas Dinner served to hundreds of my local community’s homeless and met dozens of great people. The spirit of the event added to the quick comradarie between us as a team working for a good cause. What better icebreaker than rolling up your sleeves and digging into a job along side an interesting stranger? The win/win: meet someone or not, you’ll feel great to make a contribution to society.
  2. Party anyone? Cocktail parties abound this time of year and they’re a great excuse to get dressed up and put your best foot forward into festive gatherings. Arriving solo or with other single friends gives you freedom to mix and mingle as you please. The season itself is perfect food for fodder. Striking up a conversation about best Christmas memories or favorite New Year’s past times can tell you a lot about a new acquaintance. Learning about how a person’s family celebrates Hanukkah or Kwanza, shows interest and makes conversation easy… everyone’s got a good story to tell.
  3. Lose the Scrooge and consider travel delays an opportunity. If holiday travel has you stuck in a jammed airport waiting for a blizzard to pass around the holidays, don’t despair. Look around! There are plenty of other single travelers out there who might just enjoy a little company during the wait and have had it with talking on their cell phone to pass the time. Grab a Peppermint Coffee at Starbucks and find out if that fruitcake meets carry-on requirements.
  4. Warm up with a winter escape. Storybook holiday gatherings with the family are a reality for some, but not all of us. If getting together with family is a happy fun experience, go for it and enjoy! But if you’d honestly rather watch a TV marathon of Twilight Zone, you might want to consider a getaway instead. Head to the mountains with other single friends and hit the slopes. Park City, Utah; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Winter Park, Colorado; Mammoth, California; Killington, Vermont; Sugarloaf, Maine and Lake Tahoe, California all have resorts for singles and score high ratings with Apres-ski at the base lodge, sip your Mocha Nog Punch and take notice, you are far from being the only single in town!
  5. Try sippin’ pretty in a warm, sunny spot. If your idea of a White Christmas is digging your toes in white sand, hit the beach to mingle with other singles. And while kicking back with warm sunshine isn’t all Bing Crosby-ish, it’s a great way to celebrate the holidays. Nostalgic dreams of sleigh rides quickly dissipate when you try your skills at surfing or kayaking and commune with nature. Expand your horizons with adventure travel groups specifically for singles. Sharing a soul-enriching active vacation is a great way to ring in the New Year.

Whatever you do, wherever you go, embrace the holidays. Whether you’re going to a tree lighting ceremony, a winter festival or just heading out to buy a turkey to cook for your family, holiday spirit makes people friendlier and more approachable. The festive nature of the season makes it easier to start up conversation. Seize the moment, don’t be shy… “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

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Filed under Holidays, Inspiration, The Single Life, Top Five

Analysis of a Meetup

Joking around as we head to Greenlight Card's meetup. Clearly, only one of us thought the joke was funny.

Once upon a time, I packed up my college life and moved to Washington, D.C. right after graduation. I found myself surrounded by a giant social web that included college friends, co-workers of college friends, old friends of college friends, you get the idea…everyone had a connection.

We were all within about two degrees of separation, at best.

When we decided to have Greenlight Card’s first meetup in Washington, D.C., I instantly fell into my old ways and checked in with a college friend to find out where we should have our DC Single meetup.

She connected me to a great place, Co Co. Sala, which happens to be run by a Duke grad.  (Yes, that’s where I went to school and apparently Duke grads still flock to D.C. after graduation.)  The Duke connection came through once again…Co Co. Sala was trendy but also warm and comfortable, a perfect spot.


Part of our Greenlight Card posse


As our  Greenlight Card posse ordered drinks and wondered how many people would show up, our first meetup member arrived. She was bubbly and sweet.  She kept making allusions to  “middle age, “ but she certainly didn’t seem “older” (as she characterized herself) and she planned to go salsa dancing after our meetup.  Add fun and energetic to her stand-out qualities.

Next, more people started arriving—many solo, some with a friend (wingman?)  in tow. What struck me was how diverse the group was and yet how well the group mingled and mixed. Different ages, ethnicities, and job categories.  Some living in D.C., some passing through. Some meetup veterans and some meetup virgins (as we were). Some online daters and some online dating haters.

In short—this was a different D.C. experience for me and finding myself in the midst of a nice mix of strangers was refreshing and fun.

At the meetup, we gave everyone their own set of Greenlight Cards. We talked about what a challenge it can be to meet someone. And we told them about our hope that more people will take a break from their digital devices and experience real-life (offline!) chemisry–and our hope that having Greenlight Cards will empower them to let someone know when they’re interested.

We found the meetup to be a low-key way to meet new people you wouldn’t otherwise meet while following your normal, everyday patterns. Less stressful than a typical singles bar scene. More potential than a night out with friends.

There was one bit of excitement–a dating coach who came for the meetup criticized one young man’s body language. We thought that was sort of rude. The advice wasn’t requested—nor, as it turned out, was it required.

Later, we saw the dating coach leaving after someone accidentally spilled a drink down the front of his shirt. (Karma, perhaps?). So he wasn’t around to see the young man with supposedly deficient body language skills leaving with a sweet girl, also there for the meetup. I guess his interesting story—he was in town for the Marine Corps Marathon—and his down-to-earth manner trumped his “closed stance.”

Have you been to a meetup? What’s your favorite way to meet new people?

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Filed under DC Single Meetup, Greenlighting, meetup, The Single Life, Wingman

Football? Fantasy?

‘Tis the “season.”  You know the one I’m talking about.  Football season. And I’m wondering whether football season is a good thing or a bad thing when it comes to dating.

On the one hand, football encourages lots of casual gatherings.  Rooting for the same team might make for an instant connection.  And all that adrenaline…ooh, baby!  That’s gotta be a good thing (as long as your favorite team is winning).

On the other hand, football can be a huge distraction. Your best intentions–to be a good date or to find one–could easily be thwarted.

Clearly, a little scientific research is in order.

So we’re starting with a survey, for men only.  Take it right now and you might even get lucky.  (We’ve got AMC gift cards up for grabs.)  The survey is fun and super-quick, because we know you’ve got lots of important things to do right now–like checking on your Fantasy Football team.

Here again is the link to the survey.  What are you waiting for? Click it and give us the juicy details about how football affects your love life.

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Filed under Sports, Surveys, The Single Life

Positively Brilliant…

Maybe, like me, you have no interest in seeing Lady Gaga’s meat dress again.

Maybe, like me, you are a starting to detect the faintest whisper of fall approaching (or more than a whisper if you live further north).

Maybe, like me, you think that the best way to meet someone new is to stop trying quite so hard.  Do fun things and be ready when it happens.

Well, here’s a fun thing to do.  Something that gives you a reprieve from meat dress mentions and other annoying things floating around in cyberspace.  Something that allows you to feel the fall breezes.  And something that, alas,  will not help you meet someone, since the whole idea is to act anonymously.

But surely there’s good karma in this.  (As there is in many of the ideas Amy Krouse Rosenthal comes up with.)

And when you walk around with a satisfied smile on your face, and a sense of laughter and fun and goodwill at the ready, your attractiveness quotient goes up exponentially!

Watch the video and then let us know if you give positive pranking a go.

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Filed under Inspiration, The Single Life

Sharing “Intelligence” Gleaned From the Internet

Here are some random things I’ve noticed while cruising the Internet this week—you’ll have to decide what to believe and what not to believe:

  • OKCupid is brilliant when it comes to getting noticed.  Their compilation of findings posted in a blog they titled “The REAL ‘Stuff White People Like,’” has been shared by tens of thousands of people and generated close to 500 comments in two days.  The blog breaks down by ethnicity all kinds of info submitted online.  Personally, I was impressed with their cool graphic rendition of the results:  a box showing a cloud of terms, with bigger font representing the most common terms citied—and male/female icons at the top that allow you to toggle between male and female responses.  The article is fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but some of the people commenting do (as usual).

What White Women Like

To see the cool toggle feature, click here to go to the OKCupid blog.

  • Cher was having a hard time meeting men in Las Vegas and, at the suggestion of a friend, joined Facebook.  Now she’s romantically involved with a Facebook friend.  Cher has trouble meeting men?  Really?
  • In an article suggesting you conduct a background check on potential dates (because they might have just been released from prison) comes this gem: “You ought to be aware that you can even run an individuals search on your self.  Imagine if someone has the same name and posted false information online about you.  A possible date discover out about it. Thus, that person can give you a bad reputation. This could prevent your self from getting good dates.”  Ah hah!  I knew there was a reason I didn’t have a date last weekend!!  (And it’s too bad you don’t have to take a writing test before being allowed to post things on the Internet.) If you want to know how to run a background check on someone, don’t bother reading this article, because it doesn’t tell you!
  • Maybe you’ve already heard about, an online dating service started by a restaurant called Just Salad.  I knew about it and wrote it off as a marketing stunt, but I’m a little dismayed to be confronted by evidence that even salad lovers can have a sleazy side when it comes to online dating.  Allow me to quote Nick Kenner, the concept’s managing partner: “Our cashiers have told us how customers will come up to them and talk about how they think Salad Match is a great idea,” Kenner says. “Then in the end they’ll say something like, ‘I’m going to join, but don’t tell my husband—he comes to this store, too.’”

So, now that you’ve got a few tidbits to get a conversation going, get off the Internet and go have fun.  It’s Friday and the weekend is officially headed your way!

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Filed under Love, Offline Dating, Online Dating, The Single Life

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

Top 5 Ways To Shake It Up

If you’re complaining about not meeting people and you’re going about life as usual, you’re in trouble.  And deep down, you know it.  You can’t expect something different to happen if you’re living a same-old, same-old life.

And that’s why you’re reading this post…I’m going to give you five ways to shake things up. And they are painless, fun and worth your time.  I promise.

Here’s the most important part to understand—the goal of this exercise isn’t to meet your soul mate.  It’s to change things up and have fun.  The more often you seek out new experiences, the more likely you are to run across someone interesting, and then, well, if you let that person know you think he or she is interesting, you can see where that leads.

When you’re a positive, fun person, you’re a more attractive person.  Attractive people get asked out more often—because they attract other people.  But you knew that, didn’t you?

So here are my top five ways to shake it up:

  1. Throw a party.  You can invite your closest friends if you want, but make it a requirement that they bring someone you don’t know.  That way, the party is half full of new people for you to meet.
  2. Go on vacation.  I know that times are tight and you might not feel like you have money to spend on a vacation.  But whether it’s a day or a weekend or two weeks, get out of your house and spend at least one night someplace different than where you usually lay your head.  Different doesn’t have to be expensive.
  3. Get a new job, find a new way to volunteer or take a new class.  All of these involve group activities, so you’ll get to know new people in the most natural way possible, by working together.
  4. Break a sweat.  Ideally, join a team, but any physical activity works.  Pick a sport, go dancing, or just hit the gym—the post-workout endorphin thing you’ve been hearing about is real.  It will make you feel better.
  5. Join the crowd.  If you read the newspaper, watch the news or go online, you can easily find out where people are going.  So pick something and go.  A protest.  A sports event.  An art opening.  A health fair.  A concert.  Go where other people are going.  You’re there.  They’re there.  At the same place for the same experience.  What an easy way to start a conversation.

If you’ve tried these ideas or have some of your own, spill it in the comments!  In return, I promise some great party ideas in an upcoming post.

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Filed under Advice, Inspiration, The Single Life, Top Five