Friday, April 26, 2013

Does Your Online Dating Profile Need a Digital Facelift This Spring?

It’s springtime and love is in the air, as well as on your computers and mobile phones.
On March 20th, along with the arrival of the spring equinox, several singles I’ve been working with in my Online Dating BootCamp changed their relationship status to “In a Relationship” and retired their online dating profiles since the first day of spring.
What’s their secret in just one week? Preparation and careful planning for the change of seasons, because there’s no better place to look than on your existing online dating site.
Each couple I worked with took the steps to create a personality that would shine along with a fresh start.

Get a digital facelift.

Singles already online need a digital facelift of their profiles at least once every season.
Just like you change your wardrobe and rearrange the clothes in your closet to wear lighter and brighter clothing for the new season, your dating profile should reflect a brighter and refreshed version of you.
To do this, I recommend the following:

1. Take new photos. 

Wear outfits with pinks, reds and colors that will pop. Ditch the little black dress, as it’s too common and will get lost on the computer screen.
You don’t have to go to an expensive photographer, but grab some of your friends and a digital camera and start shooting away.
Take 100 photos in five different outfits. Let your friends help you select the best five.

2. Change your screen name.

Drop the winter blues and find a catchy screen name for your new profile.
Love art? Terrific. Use the name “ArtLover” and possibly your first name or the state you reside in, such as “ArtLoverJill” or “ArtLoverNY.”
Ski season over? Change your headline from “Loves to Ski” to another activity, such as “Looking for hiking partner.”

“All singles looking for love online could use a 
digital facelift to attract their dream date.”

3. List upcoming events.

Your dating profile doesn’t have to be stagnant like a magazine ad. Make it more active like your Facebook profile.
If you’ve snagged great concert tickets and are looking for a date, say so in your profile.
Who knows? Your dream date might just share the same passion for music you do.

4. Head over to Facebook.

Online dating has really become social dating. Make sure your Facebook page lists your status as “Single.”
You can do this in your “About” section. Let the world know you’re ready to start dating.
See an old friend? Strike up a private chat on Facebook.
Looking for someone to go to the latest museum exhibit? Post it on your page.
Who knows? A secret admirer might just “like” that page and suggest going together.

5. Cast a wider net.

Don’t limit your search to 10 miles within your home town, unless you have your heart set on being with the boy next door.
If you’d be willing to drive an hour to see a date, then change your range to 60 miles from where you live.
Expand your age range to a few years older and a few years younger to be open to the possibilities.
Going on a business trip or vacation? Write to someone in the city you’ll be visiting. When they hear you’ll be in town for a limited time, they won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to meet you.
At the end of the day, all singles looking for love online could use a little digital facelift to attract their dream date.
How often do you change your online dating profile?
Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and founder of She’s the bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

All You Need Is (Self!) Love!

Self-Love is not the same thing as vanity. But, we often get it twisted! Vanity and narcissism are actually the opposite of self-love, as they are based in fear and lack. It is when the ego mind wants to make you feel special or better than others and thus creates illusions to support the idea. It's when motivation comes from hopes of gaining attention or acceptance rather than coming from the heart and done with pure intentions. Confident people who love themselves unconditionally do not think they are better than anybody else. Contrarily, they tend to see the beauty and oneness in all. Having true love and acceptance of self allows you to love and accept others more deeply, as well as receive love more fully.
If you want to give yourself all the love you deserve, here are some tips to put into practice:
  • Believe this: You are meant to shine! Many walk through life blending in, afraid to tap into their full potential, and living watered-down versions of who they are meant to be. It is true that our biggest fear is not being inadequate but rather of being powerful beyond measure. We all have our own unique gifts to offer the world -- let 'em out!
  • Practice mindfulness to develop true sense of self. Practicing being still and in-the-moment helps us to become more aware of our inner voice, what we stand for, and who we really are deep inside. Many identify with material things like titles, awards, degrees, and the actual physical body as definition of self, but the essence of who we really are actually is what we find in our heart and at our soul level. Get to know the real you and you'll be thinking, "What's not to love?!"
  • Learn the difference between self-love and being full of oneself. Don't let limiting beliefs you've picked up over the years or the insecurities of others trip you up and make you believe you are sporting an inflated ego just because you have inner confidence and self-acceptance. Here's your reality check: If your intentions are pure and come from a place of love, you're in the self-love zone -- keep going! On the other hand, if your motivation is to try to feel special or better than someone else, than your ego is in the driver's seat -- turn around and go back toward love!
  • Practice good self-care. This can take place in many forms: Eat clean, exercise regularly, treat yourself to massages, and carve out time to partake in soul-nurturing activities. Just like when you're dating someone -- they have to show you love, right? Likewise, by taking good care of yourself, you are showing yourself that you do care and that you are worthy of love. You will, in turn, reflect the same message to others and attract the right people in your life who are going to love you back.
  • Forgive yourself and others. Resentment is sure to suck the love right out of your heart. Forgiveness is one of the most powerful tools in your spiritual toolbox, so practice the "f" word often. This means cutting yourself some slack as well as letting others off the hook. In both cases, you are just hurting yourself more. Forgive and move on.
  • Honor and protect yourself. Eliminate toxic relationships and activities that lower your vibration. Positive and supportive energy helps love to flourish.
  • Live your truth and don't mind the critics. Depending where others are at in their own journey, they might not be comfortable with or supportive of your self-love and confidence. This is because they are lacking self-love and confidence! Somebody will always have an opinion to share. But, when it comes to matters of following your heart, yours is the one that matters most. Never let anybody else dull your sparkle!
  • The mirror trick: Say, "I love you." Okay, this one is totally weird at first and it will probably trip you out to look at yourself and say these three words! But, it drives home the point of how hung up and uncomfortable we can get about loving ourselves. Try it a few more times. You should be able to look into your own eyes, say "I love you," and mean it!

Having self-love makes you more resilient and able to bounce back from a stumble. It really is the cornerstone to allowing your dreams to come alive, to attracting healthy relationships, and to living a full life. As the Buddha said, "You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." And you do. Until next time... wishing you much love of self!

Once you can love yourself, share that love with someone else!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Is Online Dating Killing Romance?

I just ran into my buddy Andy at a restaurant-—the kind of hip place you’d take a first date to impress her. Knowing he’d gone through a difficult divorce—one he didn’t really want—I was pleased when he immediately introduced me to his new girlfriend, Carol. In my zeal to find out as much about Andy’s good fortune as possible I innocently asked: “So, how’d you two meet?” No big deal right? Wrong. Andy and Carol turned to one another and began mumbling something indecipherable for what seemed to be an eternity. Realizing I stepped into something awkward I thought to myself: OMG they met in prison; or on a street corner. After a few seconds passed and all of our skin tones returned to a normal light pinkish color Carol responded: “Well, uh, we met online…that’s right…online…yeah…on the computer.” Okay, so it was a pretty good impression of Annie Hall, but why all the fuss? Isn’t online dating the rave? Why are people embarrassed to admit they use this remarkable invention?
Most people I’ve interviewed prefer online dating to the bar scene because it offers a better chance of getting a first date. Post a reasonably attractive picture, sell your life’s resume, and wait for the solicitations to pour in. A few e-mails and a telephone call or two will allow your personality to work for you—a real plus. In the bar scene it’s all about your looks; you don’t have the luxury of putting your best picture out there because—you’re out there—in the flesh. And if you don’t physically appeal to your target objective, forget about it; it won’t matter if you’ve got Anderson Cooper’s personality.Many claim that online dating also reduces the odds of being humiliated. Makes sense; it’s easier to endure rejection from afar rather than have someone laugh directly in your face. FYI: my female clients claim that it‘s a must for a woman to have a terrific picture to get online attention but it’s not as important for a man to have one. This makes sense in part, because men tend to be more visual. But I do have a friend who refuses to post a picture for professional reasons and he rarely gets any responses. In fact, one woman admonished him for not posting a picture: “If I have to put one up there you should to,” she said. Online dating is also convenient, or I should say as convenient as you’d like it to be. A female friend of mine would only date men who lived a minimum of one hour away—she liked the anonymity. Call me a wimp, but I get exhausted just visualizing a two-hour drive home in the wee hours of the morning following a date. Nevertheless, most people tend to date someone within a few miles of their home. One woman told me that she loves dating a guy who lives close by because she can see him almost any time she wants without a “big production.”Another convenience of online dating is that you don’t have to leave your house to get a date; kinda like Netflix® don’t ya think? No need to drop a pound or two and drag yourself to a Happy Hour or a meet-up group. Nope; just a couple of taps on your keyboard and presto: Janine appears on your screen to tell you that she loves to laugh, isn’t needy, loves her children more than life itself, and can find time to fit you into her mind-boggling schedule.
Online dating is also faster than waiting for your best friend to fix you up with her cousin, or someone from her yoga class. Heck, you don’t even have to grieve a death or divorce; just jump right back in the mix and sort them out as you go along; sounds like take-out doesn’t it?
And therein lies the problem from my perspective. Like anything else in life online dating has its pros and cons, but it’s too damn fast, and when something comes too fast and comparably easy, we don’t trust it—it can’t be a good thing—it can’t be authentic. Relationships should be less predictable and worth waiting for. We have too much control over a romantic process and in turn, we’re killing the romance.
There was a time when you had to send couriers from your castle to your mate’s castle and wait a month or so for a response. In the not too distant past there was a time when you had to mail a letter and wait two or three days to hear something; there was a time when you had to get off your ass and drive somewhere. Now you can order your partner over a machine.
I know online dating is necessary in our crazy fast-paced world; I, too, think it beats the bar scene; and I know your friend the tax attorney may not be able to fix you up until tax season is over; just saying: I knew there was something disturbing about the Jetsons.

Article from

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

You Still Get to Have Sex After Divorce!

I broke down in tears within two weeks of my split, but not because I was getting divorced. No, it was sex, or more specifically, the prospect of having sex with a new person (people!) that send me over the edge. I was having drinks with two friends, both of whom had been divorced for several years, and we stumbled upon the subject of dating. I remember my friend saying, "Don't worry, you'll even start having sex again before you know it."
Right there, in the middle of happy hour, I lost it. Seriously, I was a mom. I was a former breast-feeder, and those breasts were in a race for my knees! I had stretch marks, for God's sake, and there was no way I was going to allow anyone to see all of that. On top of it, I was over 30 and we all know that once you're over 30, that's it.
Well, no, that wasn't it. While my physical body was no longer in an unmarred, pre-baby state, I still looked pretty good. I just had all of those disempowering thoughts running around in my head, and it was up to me to change them. I had to get clear that it isn't just a physical body that a man is attracted to; I had other qualities that would be interesting to men.
If you're like most of the women I know, we don't think of sex as just an act -- it's something we do that means something. Sometimes it literally means everything. We engage in it with someone we love, someone we're committed to. After a divorce, it's not that we don't have needs, it's just that those needs take a back-seat to going through the emotions that come with divorce.
In order to open up to sex, love and dating after divorce, the first step is to heal. Healing, unfortunately, can be a pretty hard and daunting process because it means you must be willing to take a hard look at yourself and identify patterns, personality challenges, and opportunities for growth. Once you've gone through that process -- and it takes much longer than it took for me to just type that sentence -- you will eventually find someone you will want to be intimate with (I promise).
You'll also want to get your needs met, just perhaps in a different way than before. I'm a pretty touchy-feely person, so my coach suggested I get my inherent need for touch in another way -- I found that was a great excuse to get a weekly massage. You'll want to identify those needs and then find creative ways to get them met, without compromising your values.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Top 10 Ways I Was a Perfect Mom Until I Had Kids

Before I had kids, I possessed many ideas about what kind of parent I would be. Below are ten of those assumptions -- and the reality that followed, post-kids.
1. I will not bribe my kids. They will behave because they have such great internal moral compasses, and complying will be what they want to do.
Reality: I will let you eat Hershey's Kisses for breakfast if you stay in your bed tonight. I will take you anywhere you want to go if you will just stay in your bed tonight.
2. I will maintain appropriate boundaries in the bathroom.
Reality: Most days, I use the bathroom with three little faces watching my every move. The upside? There is always someone nearby to run and get a new roll of toilet paper when I'm stranded.
3. My kids will leave the house with their hair combed neatly and wearing clothes that match.
Reality: We hit a low last summer when Annie Rose insisted on wearing one snow boot and one flip-flop to Target, happily limping her way through the aisles. An astonishing number of old ladies asked if I was aware that her shoes didn't match. "Yes, thank you for your concern," I replied.
4. I will control my potty mouth in front of the kids.
Reality: Oh shit, the fire alarm is going off again! Damnit, the dinner is burning. Shit! Shit! Shit! My girls reply, "At least it's better than Christmas Eve, when Daddy caught on fire." (True story.)
5. I will spend time taking care of myself even after I have kids.
Reality: I take a shower every three or four days, if I'm lucky. A brown Crayola marker is a lot faster and cheaper than getting my roots colored (but try to explain to a 4-year-old why Mommy is allowed to scribble with markers in her hair). And my health club might as well apply for 501c3 status, since I give them a monthly donation.
6. I will model healthy conflict resolution skills, and I will be gracious when I am right.
Reality: I have been known to chant "I was right! You were wrong!" to my husband as I sing and march around the kitchen, doing a victory dance.
7. I will share, and thus my kids will be good sharers, too.
Reality: Get out of my makeup, girls! It's mine! Get out of my toiletries!
8. My kids will only eat wholesome, balanced meals with one reasonable dessert after dinner.
Reality: Fine, you may have a bowl of ice cream for "breakfast dessert." It's got calcium, right? And all the good milk fat that your growing brain needs! Here, have a second helping.
9. We will be on time for school, appointments, classes and playdates.
Reality: How is it that everyone is up three hours before school starts and we are the last ones to arrive?
10. My kids will see me as an empowered woman and a role model of how women can achieve success outside of the house.
Reality: If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, my tombstone would say, "Here lies Carrie. Now who will do the laundry?"
Follow the craziness at Portrait of an Adoption

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Russian Client Offers British Nanny An Annual Salary Of $200,000!

By Robert Frank of the Wall Street Journal
If you think Linda Evangelista is over-paying for child care in New York, imagine what she would be paying in London.
According to an article in The Times of London by Fiona Neill, the mega-rich Russians, Sheikhs and Chinese pouring into London in recent years have jacked up the cost of a British nanny. A British staffing agency called Imperial Nannies cited a Russian client who wanted to poach a nanny from another family. Their salary offer: $200,000 a year.
Then there was the Imperial Nanny client with three kids who employed a nanny for each child — at around $130,000 a year.
These aren’t the norm, of course. More typical in Britain are salaries of $75,000 a year – with free room and board. Usually that means a “a flat that is self-contained or on a separate floor, or at least a room with en-suite bathroom — in a desirable Central London borough, and almost always includes a car,” according to the article.
Some British nannies specify that they only fly business class — though many have use of the family planes. One nanny was given a new wardrobe by her Italian employer, while another was given a house by her Saudi patrons.
According to Imperial, the financial crisis hasn’t hurt demand for top nannies, because they super-rich haven’t been effected by the crisis. (Which is what staffing agencies always say, true or not). The big demand is for teachers-turned-nannies, who can help the kids with increasingly demanding school work.
Yet according to a British “manny” named “Nick,”all that costly coddling can be better for the nannies than the rich kids. The wealthy parents, he said, give too little time and attention to their kids.