Tag Archives: relationships


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

Ages and Stages

Two big milestones are coming up in my family. My mother is turning 70 and my father is retiring. Both are fun loving, healthy people who embrace life to its fullest, although both are a little wary of these milestones.

My mother isn’t one to be defined by her age, but she also doesn’t particularly like to be confronted by it. It’s not surprising, since 70 sounds much older than she appears or acts or feels.  So no, she doesn’t like the sound of this birthday, but we will celebrate it, nevertheless. Because life is worth celebrating, a lesson I happened to learn from my parents.

Which brings me to my father. To a large extent, his profession, psychology, has defined who he is. Closing his practice, even if he has no plans to sit still, seems entirely foreign to him. He’s excited to have the chance to do new and different things, yet he’s just not sure what his life will be like or how his days or weeks or months will be structured. That’s a scary feeling. As a psychologist, he could give you great advice on how to handle and enjoy this transitional moment in your life. Whether he can advise himself is another question.

So will we celebrate the retirement? I hope so, because my parents also taught me that achievement is worth celebrating.

No one is going to feel bad for a healthy, happy couple celebrating birthdays and retirement, nor should they. Nevertheless, it’s an emotional time for my parents and I’m glad they have each other to lean on as they figure out how the next chapter in their lives should play out. They’re lucky. And they know it.

The chance to have one person who understands you and is there for you, in good times and bad but most important, during all the in-between times, makes going on that next blind date worth it, don’t you think?

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Filed under Love, Worth the Effort

Advice from Annie

Are you highly motivated to experience change in your love life? Then you’re just like dating coach Annie Gleason’s clients. In today’s blog, I bring you a new interview from the dating trenches.

In her own words:  Annie coaches clients in a holistic manner, helping them to build confidence by building awareness of body language, teaching them techniques to overcome anxiety, as well as understanding and integrating the dynamics of successful courtship. Her focus includes working with the most up-to-date knowledge of the science of romance with common dating practices, and translating the opposite sex to each other. She also works with personal image, is an expert on online dating, takes clients on Flirting Field Trips, and helps her clients create a welcoming and sexy home environment.

You can check out Annie’s website for all kinds of interesting information, and also find her advice on 50+ Fabulous and Best After 60.

Olive Juice: How did you become a dating expert?

Annie Gleason:  I became a dating coach after spending 20+ years in a business where 98% of my customers, who I saw frequently, were men. Many of them repeatedly sought my advice about their love lives. I realized that men see dating/relationship dilemmas in a very different way than women do. I coached part time for several years, then did a year long dating coach training program with Susan Bradley as I jumped into coaching full time in 2007.

Olive Juice: What’s the most common thing people who want to meet other single people do wrong?

Annie Gleason:  They are often embarrassed that they are looking, and wait to be found. Or they focus on who they want, instead of being open to those who are interested in them.

Olive Juice: How would you describe what it’s like to be single today?

Annie Gleason:  Single people have incredible freedom to follow their dreams and create fulfilling lives. However, many single successful, social people yearn for a mate. Being single today is challenging partly because there is a perception that there are so many choices. Even if you live in a small town, the internet opens up the dating world. It gives many people unrealistic expectations about what kind of mate might be available to them.  You can only meet one person at a time, and it’s human nature to want someone/something just a little better–whether it’s realistic or not. Social changes hamper dating, as there is not a culturally accepted courtship structure. The ideal of “soul mate” dominates our idea of love.

Olive Juice: What’s the greatest challenge for single people who are serious about wanting to meet their soul mate?

Annie Gleason:  The biggest challenge for those who want to meet their soul mate is to be open to getting to know those who don’t match your picture of perfection. It’s important to objectively analyze your criteria for soul mate. No one is going to be a better husband because he’s over 6 feet tall, loves to dance or has a sailboat. Life will change, and his kindness, flexibility and ability to compromise will be what makes it or breaks it.

Olive Juice: What’s the best advice you can give to someone who says they just can’t meet anyone?

Annie Gleason:  Basics: look your best every time you leave the house, smile at strangers, go out at least two nights a week, meet people online. Yes, it’s work, but you invest time in developing every other area of your life. Don’t rely on first impressions. And don’t write someone off until after the third date.

Olive Juice:  What do you think about the idea behind Greenlight Card–that single people should get out there and flirt–and do what they can to avoid missing out on an opportunity to meet someone they’re attracted to?

Annie Gleason:  I think it’s great that there are tools like Greenlight Cards out there–the more tools we have for people to meet others, the better.

Olive Juice:  Great answers, but what if readers have more questions?

Annie Gleason:  If you want answers to other dating questions, you can “ask Annie” here.

If you know someone who would make a great addition to this occasional, ongoing series of interviews, email me or make a suggestion in the comments section!

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Filed under Advice, bloggers to watch, Interviews, The Single Life

Whatcha Gonna Get Your (Single) Daddy?

Don’t you do it! Don’t you walk into the men’s department and pick up another tie or shirt or beer-making kit. Not this year.

June 20th is just days away. Do you know what you’re getting your dad for Father’s Day?

Don’t tell me you’re all out of new ideas for the dad who has it all and asks for nothing.  That’s no excuse. If your dad is single, he’s missing something pretty important in his life and you can take care of that and a Father’s Day gift all in one little click.

All you have to do [soon!] is buy him a gift membership to GreenlightCard.com. We’ll send the membership info to you (with a beautiful card so you can add your own personal expression of love on the inside). And we’ll include clear instructions on how he’ll go online to sign up at no cost to him.

Within a few days of activating his membership, your dad will get a small, stylish tin filled with his customized Greenlight Cards. Each card will be imprinted with your dad’s personal member number. He’ll never leave home without them!

Let him know that you love him and want to help him find companionship. Give him a little nudge, encouraging him to get back in the game. (Click here to see video testimonials from other members.)

And for now? Relax and look no further. Your shopping is done.

But only if you click here right now, so we can make sure your Gift Card arrives on time for Father’s Day.

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Filed under First Dates, Gift Giving, Greenlighting, Inspiration

Tips from Tinamarie

Here’s the latest of my occasional interview blogs–your chance to hear from someone, other than me, who’s in the “dating trenches” in one way or another. Without further ado, I give you Tinamarie Bernard, who writes about modern love (cue David Bowie) for examiner.com.

In her own words: Tinamarie is a top-rated writer of sex, love and relationships. From celebrity relationships, sacred and eco-sexuality, erotica and feminism, to dating and mating advice for couples who want to deepen intimacy, Tinamarie covers what today’s Modern Lovers want to know about. You can send her emails, good vibes and inquiries about relationship book reviews to tmbsdre@yahoo.com.

Olive Juice: How did you become a dating expert?

Tinamarie: Does one ever become a dating expert?! I think my strengths lie in understanding how important INTIMACY is to the human experience. We date for one main purpose – to find a partner. Humans are wired for companionship, and yet for many of us, we aren’t really sure how to find someone suitable for long term relationships. Some people jump on board the first sailworthy ship that crosses into their harbors (like I did in my first marriage) and some keep waiting and waiting for the perfect dreamboat. Others seem to know early on how to choose, and sail away towards the blue yonder.

Excuse my corny puns! My point is that learning about authentic and conscious love requires work and inner reflection. What kind of lover do you want is the companion question to the more important piece: what kind of lover will you be?

This is what I try to explore in my writings at Examiner.com and other places. How can we approach love and relationships from a higher self, one that merges the sensual and the soulful with the sexual beings that we are.

Olive Juice:  What do you think about the idea behind Greenlight Card–that single people should get out there and flirt–and do what they can to avoid missing out on an opportunity to meet someone they’re attracted to?

Tinamarie:  As a fan of old-fashion courtship behaviors, I think this is lovely! Yeah, I know, ‘courtship’ has gotten a bad rap in some circles. Don’t think I’m not a feminist. I identify myself as such, understanding that there is no consensus of what feminism really means. I happen to love flirting! I think it is great fun, and any way to increase the flirtage in our relationships is a good thing. I also respect that others aren’t as comfortable with flirting, so this card seems like a good way to get the message across without stepping on someone’s feelings or sense of propriety.

Olive Juice: How would you describe what it’s like to be single today?

Tinamarie: I’m married and plan to stay that way! However, I’ve been there and know it can be a devastating experience, or not, depending on the perspective of the singleton. The single friends that I know who are the ‘happiest’ (not that I think happiness should be the goal of all our relating, mind you) are those who accept what is, and embrace their lives regardless of relationship states. They are the women who KNOW there are great men out there; they are the MEN who date women for more than just superficial reasons. On the other hand, men and women who come to the arena with specific criteria, higher expectations if you will, without taking a good look at their imperfections, tend to be the least satisfied, in my observations, about the directions of their romantic lives.

Olive Juice: What’s the greatest challenge for single people who are serious about wanting to meet their soul mate?

Tinamarie: Letting go of expectations. The ones society tells us we should have, and the ones our ego insists upon.

Olive Juice: What’s the most common thing people who want to meet other single people do wrong?

Tinamarie: They let fear determine the course of their relationship, instead of letting it unfold naturally. Hold your hands tightly around a handful of water, and what happens? It’s gone, poof, in an instant. Cup your hands, and the water stays.

Olive Juice: What’s the best advice you can give to someone who says they just can’t meet anyone?

Tinamarie: Read Love in 90 days by Diana Kirschner. She’s my inspiration when it comes to dating. I didn’t know about the book when I was single, however, when I read it last year, I was mesmerized by her insights. Sage, practical advice blended with a spiritual understanding that anyone can relate to.

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Filed under Advice, Inspiration, Interviews

I’ll Keep You Afloat

Dating. You know it should be fun. But it isn’t always fun, is it?

It’s frustrating, time sucking, mind numbing, inferiority complex causing, anxiety producing and all-consuming (in a bad way).

That is, until you meet someone you really like, and then it’s enjoyable, fulfilling, exciting, self confidence boosting and all-consuming (in a good way).

That is, until you break up and then it’s…well, I guess I don’t need to go through THAT again, do I?

I understand, really I do, and so most of the time I try to be unwaveringly upbeat. Well, unwavering might be setting myself up as a liar, and might also get a little annoying, so let’s just say really, really positive. Someone has to do that, right? Remind you that it’s not so bad out there–not all the time, anyway.

Remind you that when you least expect it, you’ll experience that moment when you click with someone and feel absolutely great about life and everyone in it.

Remind you that even before that “click” moment, you should still feel absolutely great about life because you are you, and you can have plenty of fun while unattached, thank you very much.

If it feels good to read other people’s rants, by all means indulge. But be careful not to over-indulge, because the rants are a lot more therapeutic for those who write them than for those who read them.

You have every right to wallow now and then, but just know that I’m here to keep you afloat.

Won’t you join the conversation? Sharing feels good–do it in the comments section. Hey, maybe we should make a t-shirt? Greenlighters do it in the comment section.

Okay, I’ll stop now.

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Filed under Greenlighting, Inspiration, Rejection, The Single Life

Meet Nosy Parker, Intermeddler

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Nosy Parker.

Nosy Parker has an answer for all your dating questions

Greenlight Card introduces Nosy Parker, intermeddler

If her name rings a bell you get five points for your antiquated references knowledge. Her name means “a person of an overly inquisitive or prying nature,” as in this quote from Victorian novelist Mary Elizabeth Bradon: “You’re a askin’ too many questions for me, there’s too much of a Nosy Parker about you, an’ I’d ‘ave you to know as I’m a laidee.”

Since Greenlight Cards are a modern update of the Victorian calling card, it was really only a matter of time before we brought Nosy Parker on board as Greenlight Card’s new resident intermeddler. (She can be very persistent, er, I mean, persuasive.)

Did you know intermeddler means “one who interferes in the affairs of others?”

Anyway, back to Nosy.

Nosy offers members, fans and followers answers. She’s got answers to everything you ever wanted to know or never had the nerve to ask about dating and anything even slightly related to dating. Email Nosy your questions and she’ll give you honest (too honest?) answers to whatever your quandry may be. She’s even been known to check up on our members to see if they’re really making an effort to meet new people.

You ARE making an effort, aren’t you?

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Filed under Advice, Greenlighting, No More Excuses, Nosy Parker


And the new-book-release-with-my-LEAST-favorite-title award goes to…..Lori Gottlieb’s Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough.

I hate the title. Hate it. I don’t have a problem with the “Mr. Good Enough” part. It’s the word “settling.” Ouch.

I’ve done my time in the public relations world, so I understand the PR value of the title. And the title did everything it was meant to do—attract attention and generate buzz. While it backfired in my case, since I refused to read the book, on a macro scale, it definitely hit the mark. I can’t help thinking about that book that came out years ago, The Rules. I didn’t read that one either, but everyone was all riled up about it and those women sold a lot of books.

But back to Mr. Good Enough. You see, I’m having second thoughts and may read the book after all. It’s not that I’m lowering my standards, it’s just that I watched Lori talk about her book.

So take a few minutes to watch my friend (and Greenlight Card member) Lisa’s interview, and then I’ll get back to what I was saying.

Having done my time in the video production world, too, I’m not a huge fan of Skype interviews. Bad lighting. Weird, looking down at you, angles. Tinny, echo-y sound. Yet, despite all that, I thought Lori came across as a pretty warm, down-to-earth person who has done her research.

She explains that Mr. Good Enough is Mr. Right. (And the same goes in reverse-Ms. Good Enough is Ms. Right, but Lori seems to have found that it’s women, not men, who hold pie-in-the-sky standards over potential partners.)

I really think it comes down to recognizing what you’ve got instead of obsessing over little things that may be missing. Everything you want doesn’t have to come from one person. Your life partner may hate adventure movies. If you love them, then you either agree to take turns picking the movie or better yet, see every adventure movie you want to see. You’ve got friends, right? And don’t underestimate time spent alone. You should never let go of friends, or yourself for that matter, just because you’re in a relationship. (And yes, I know the movie example is a pretty easy-to-solve dilemma, but I bet you can apply it to your other relationship qualifications, too.)

My favorite part of Lori’s interview is when she talks about chemistry. We talk about chemistry a lot at Greenlight Card. We tell our members to be on the lookout for chemistry and to act on it. Physical attraction is a huge part of chemistry, but as Lori points out, feeling all hot and bothered is not the only part of real, lifetime-interest-sustaining chemistry. Chemistry is about “getting each other.” When you luck into the right chemistry, you are free to be completely yourself with that person and vice versa. The two of you may not agree all the time (how boring would that be?) and you may not always live up to each other’s expectations (that’s where the importance of communication comes in!) but overall, on average, you bring out the best in each other and you bring happiness to each other’s lives. What more can you ask for than that?

Oh, and for the record, I still hate the word “settling.” May you never feel like you are settling!!

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Filed under Advice, books, Inspiration, Interviews, The Single Life, video

Learning from Liz

I spend a lot of time checking out what other people have to say about dating and love and relationships. From time to time, I’ll be featuring short interviews with some of the people I follow. So today, I invite you to meet Elizabeth Ann Persimmons–you can call her Liz. She writes for examiner.com.

In her own words: Liz knows a little about relationships and sex. She’s been married, divorced, and contracted countless stories of failure and success while pursuing almost every avenue of dating. These experiences incited her to start a blog relaying her trials and tribulations to the reading public. And all before she was 27. For the real truth on love, life, and the pursuit of better sex (or hey, worse sex, we’re not judging), please e-mail Liz.

So here’s what I learned from Liz:

Olive Juice:  How did you become a dating expert?

Liz: I believe that the secret to being a dating expert is to learn from each experience, and not make the same mistake twice. As a result, even though I have been in a lot of relationships, they have all been different. Five years ago I was breaking up with a guy because I found out he was starring in amatuer porn online; just this week I broke up with my boyfriend because I was mature enough to realize we were in different places and it just wasn’t going to work out long term. Now that’s what I call progress.

Olive Juice: How would you describe what it’s like to be single today?

Liz: Honestly, it’s great. There are few taboos on sex outside of marriage (unlike the 1950’s), there are more ways to meet people online (unlike the 1980’s) and we live longer so you have the chance to meet more people (unlike the life expectancy of those in the 1400’s).

Olive Juice: What’s the greatest challenge for single people who are serious about wanting to meet their soul mate?

Liz: People have a very strong idea of what they want in a person. Their greatest challenge is getting that checklist out of their head, and being the type of person they want to meet. Also, I dislike that you used the term “soul mate” in your question. There are 6 billion people in the world. People who think one person is their be-all, end-all aren’t seeing the bigger picture, and thus scare potential daters off because they are so set on one goal, instead of focusing on how they can be whatever quality it is they want (ambitious, physically active, etc).

Olive Juice: What’s the most common thing people who want to meet other single people do wrong?

Liz: Make quick judgements before meeting someone (from an online profile), and after meeting someone, not listening to their gut. Meet anyone who isn’t absolutely repulsive, online profiles or quick chats in bars don’t give you an idea of who the person is. But after a few dates, if you don’t like the person or you like them but you can see they aren’t ready for a relationship–let it go. Don’t waste time. As I mentioned, there are six billion people.

Olive Juice: What’s the best advice you can give to someone who says they just can’t meet anyone?

Liz: You aren’t trying, your standards are too high, or you are just an awful person. Seriously. Think of it like exercise–if you have a goal of losing weight, you can’t complain if you don’t achieve that goal when you only go to the gym half-heartedly once a week. Try different things–going to different events, or even just saying hi to people. Life isn’t a romantic comedy, so if you want it bad enough, keep dating until you find someone you like. Don’t go on one date per month or less and then complain about being single. Keep in mind there are a lot of idiots out there, so you’re going to need to be prepared to weed through a lot.

Olive Juice: What do you think about the idea behind Greenlight Card–that single people should get out there and flirt–and do what they can to avoid missing out on an opportunity to meet someone they’re attracted to?

Liz: I think that it’s a good theory to live by–don’t miss a chance if you are interested. I’m not sure how the cards will play out though, in this age of technology there are also people just exchanging names in their iPhones and then saying “Facebook me.” On the other hand, now that I am thinking of that, this very well may heighten the intrigue when you first meet someone.

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Filed under Advice, Inspiration, Interviews

Lesson Learned: Enjoy the Journey & Find the Fun

I’ve been reading back over Melissa Braverman’s chronicles of her eight week dating blitz. If this is the first you’re reading about Melissa’s dating blitz, check out my earlier posts or go to Melissa’s blog. If you can believe it, the blitz is over, and Melissa has headed back to her favorite city. Tomorrow, she reveals where that is and why she added this little twist to her dating blitz. My bet is she’s back in Cleveland, and it’s not because she didn’t get enough of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

During her trip, she shared a lot of dating wisdom and will be sharing more, but one of the prevailing lessons, expressed by women, men, singles and couples, was the fact that if you’re single and you’d like to be, as Melissa put it, “less single,” you need to put yourself out there. Throughout her posts, you’ll see these words of advice:  Be proactive. Shake up your routine. Be resourceful.

To me, this quote from Melissa sums it up best:

“Though online dating works for some people, this journey has confirmed for me that there’s no better way to make a genuine connection than by being out and about. Almost every major relationship I’ve had has happened because I’ve tried something or someplace new. After all, when it comes to being single, isn’t that part of the adventure?”

That quote says a lot about Melissa’s attitude. She is clearly ready to move on from single life to couple-dom, and when she talks about her journey, it’s more than just a physical trek through eight pretty exciting cities. It’s a journey that she hopes will take her from one stage of her life to another, and she embraces that journey. She sees it as an adventure.

Melissa is open and honest and maybe a bit more upbeat than you think you can handle on the days when you really, really are not into dating. But then again, if she were your friend, she’d be the one to convince you to go out when you didn’t really feel like it, and before you knew it you’d both be talking to new people and having a great time.

I think that’s the real key. Having a great time.

A Facebook friend recently posted this in her status: “I thought dating was supposed to be fun.” Well, it is supposed to be fun. There is no question that there are times when it isn’t. So, you’ve just got to decide you’re going to look for the fun.

Instead of looking for the guy or the girl who will rock your world, start looking for the fun. Look for it in different places. And look for it more often. Find a friend like Melissa, who will pull you out the door. Do all that and it’s very likely that along the way, you’ll find something else you’re looking for–that rock-your-world, other-half, best friend-and-lover, perfect-for-you person.

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Filed under Dating Blitz, Inspiration, No More Regrets