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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 – 12

Finding “the one” happens when you least expect it–but it won’t happen if you spend all your time alone at home. So here’s the next entry in Greenlight Card’s Valentine Countdown-21 Ways to Meet Your Mate. Try it tomorrow!

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, Greenlighting, Offline Dating, Valentine's Day

You Go, Then I’ll Go…Reflecting on The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

If you’re a loyal reader, you know that our Greenlight Card staff headed to Washington, D.C. last weekend to join hundreds of thousands of people at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.

We went for several reasons:

  • Fun
  • Inspiration
  • A sense of community
  • Fun
  • The chance to talk about the attraction of “like-minded” people
  • Fun

We found all the things we went looking for, and the great music and well-orchestrated show turned out to be a bonus.

We started the weekend on Friday night with a meetup at Co Co. Sala.  I’ll write a separate blog post on that, but in order to avoid keeping you in suspense I’ll tell you now that it was a great venue, a fun evening and also rather productive —we watched two couples pair up and head out the door to continue getting to know each other outside the group. Ahh, our inner yentas were satisfied…but more than that, we were thrilled to meet such interesting, sincere, down-to-earth people.

And the next day was the rally. At the end of the rally, Jon Stewart had his “moment of sincerity”—during which he basically asked Washington, D.C. and the news media to play nice, and reminded the crowd that most of us do that every day of our lives. “You go, then I’ll go,” said Stewart. “That’s what we do every damn day!”

He went on to explain, with no political proselytizing whatsoever, that we’re all on a metaphoric highway and even if we don’t like the bumper sticker or the aggressive behavior of the car in front of us, we pause for a minute and then say once again, “you go, then I’ll go.”  To truly appreciate this message, listen to him tell it in his own words.

But why I am writing about this in a dating blog?

Because “you go, then I’ll go” applies to relationships, too. And even to the stage that comes before the relationship–meeting people and choosing to date them. We all need to be open minded and accepting because sticking to preconceived ideas of what our “type” looks like and acts like is way too limiting.

Let people into your life, give them a turn, see if they might be a fit after all.

And once you’re in a relationship, be willing to compromise. Admittedly, this gets a lot harder as you get older and more set in your routines, but love is a great incentive to give a little–and get a lot!

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Filed under DC Single Meetup, Inspiration, meetup, Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

In the Hot Seat

Friday morning, GreenlightCard.com co-founder Lizzie Williams woke up with butterflies in her stomach.  She was antsy all day.  She kept thinking about what she’d say to Chuck that evening.  She thought about what questions he might ask her and how she might answer them.  She wondered if the outfit she was wearing was right, even though she’d decided days ago that it was.  She took extra time with her hair and makeup.

She found herself having imaginary conversations with Chuck when she was supposed to be doing other things, like concentrating on the directions she needed to follow to get where she was going.  She’d promised to be there at 7 pm.  At 6:45, she was circling the block, not wanting to arrive too early.

Finally, they were saying hello, exchanging pleasantries and having a nice conversation.  The butterflies were gone.

It wasn’t a date–it was a live news interview, but the experience was ironically similar to a first date, or a second date that you really, really hope will turn into a third.  Lizzie wanted to present herself in the best possible light, without appearing to be trying to hard.  Mostly, she just wanted to be herself, with no nerves getting in the way.  And, because she remembered to breath, and smile, and listen, she pulled it off.

If you’ve ever gotten nervous about a date, here’s what you can learn from Lizzie’s experience:

  1. Butterflies are good.  They mean you care.  There are two things you can try to make them more bearable.  Diversionary tactics–keep yourself busy with any distractions you can think of.  Reorganize your closet if you  have to.  That’s number one.  Number two is psychological.  You have to remind yourself that eventually, the moment you’re waiting for will be upon you and sometime after that, the butterflies really will disappear.
  2. A little preparation will make you feel more confident and in control.  Lizzie sat down in the chair and knew that if there was an awkward silence, she could think of something to fill it–because she’d thought about it ahead of time.
  3. Listening is important.  Sure, Lizzie had been having imaginary conversations with Chuck all day long, but when it was show time, she let all of that go.  She listened to his questions and answered him easily and honestly.  You’d be surprised, or maybe you’ve experienced it enough not to be, how often people aren’t actively listening.  Their mind is only partially engaged in the conversation as completely unrelated thoughts (I wonder what that waiter puts in his hair) push their way forward.  People can tell when you’re really listening to them, and they like it.
  4. Genuine conversational compliments are another thing that make everyone feel good.  There’s a point in the middle of the interview when Lizzie says to Chuck, “That’s a very good question.”  It was a natural reaction, not a staged compliment, but it was a compliment nonetheless.  When you acknowledge a good question or an interesting point, you show that you’re engaged in the conversation and you keep the person you’re talking to engaged, as well.
  5. Lizzie kept reminding herself that it was just one interview.  There would be more.  If it didn’t go well, the world wouldn’t end.  It might feel like she wanted it to, for a few minutes, but the feeling would pass and life would go on.  Never put so much importance on a date that you feel like it absolutely has to work out.  At the risk of sounding like my mother, let me remind you that there will be other dates.

What about you?  Do you ever get nervous before a date?  How do you handle it?

p.s.  GreenlightCard.com got a makeover.  Hope you like our new and improved, easier-to-use website!

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Filed under Advice, Confidence, First Dates