Sex with Single Dads

Johnny Depp holding baby

A girlfriend of mine from Chicago swore she would never date a man with kids. Well, after years of saying she would never go there, she ended up falling in love with a guy who happened to have a little boy–you can’t help who you love!

There were times, however, when she became frustrated with dating someone who couldn’t make her his entire universe because, understandably, he had other priorities. I remember her calling me a while back complaining that there are absolutely no advantages to dating a man who has kids.

I thought, surely there has to be some advantage, at least one. From my own experience, I’ve found that men with children tend to be more nurturing and caretaking. Plus, it’s hard to juggle multiple women when you are already juggling your children with your girlfriend. A man without children is probably less responsible and could be more interested in drinking and partying. Therefore, I would think a man with children would be much more stable and grounded.

It seems like every man I meet these days either has kids or wants kids. Some of these guys already have kids but still want more kids. Although many of my girlfriends simply refuse to date a man with children, I’ve always kept an open mind. In fact, there was even a time where I thought it was a good idea to date a man who already had kids because it would let my uterus off the hook. Now don’t get me wrong, I love children—I just don’t particularly want to give birth to one. I’m a really fun aunt, but I’ve never had a strong desire to be a mother. For that reason, dating single dads seemed to make sense in theory. However, after dating a man with two young children, I started to re-think my position.

Several years ago, I was dating a man with two boys, 3 and 5-years-old. One of my guy friends tried to warn me saying, “Don’t do it! He will never put you first.” But, of course, I didn’t listen. This man’s divorce was so fresh that the ink on his decree was barely dry. He had dated other women before me, but not seriously, and I, unfortunately, was his first relationship since splitting from his wife.

One of my other girlfriends says she doesn’t date single dads, not because of the children themselves, but because there will always be another woman in the picture. You see, what I hadn’t factored in is the baby’s momma situation. In this case, there was no formal custody arrangement, and since my then boyfriend and his ex lived so close, any time she wanted to go out, she would ask him to take the kids so she didn’t have to call a babysitter. Additionally, she had a rule that I couldn’t meet the children until we were together nine months—we only made it six.

Now, it wasn’t that I was dying to meet the kids. I don’t want to parent or play mom to anyone. If I did find myself in a serious relationship with a single dad, I would simply aspire to be a good friend to his children. The biggest challenge to dating my then boyfriend was that he would often have to cancel or reschedule dates with me at the last minute if his ex called asking him to take the boys. Had I been allowed to meet them, then we could have all stayed in and watched a movie or something. However, since that was against the rules, there were many nights when my boyfriend cancelled on me, sometimes so last minute that I was already putting on my makeup to go out for the night. And if my boyfriend would ever tell his ex that he already had plans, she would make him feel guilty about not putting the children first. Something I’ve witnessed is that single dads tend to carry a great deal of guilt.

Although I never did officially meet the kids, the three-year-old once saw me from his bedroom window. The mere sight of me made him start crying, asking his dad, “Who is the woman in the driveway?” Not knowing how to handle the situation, my then boyfriend told his son that there was no one in the driveway, and the kid kept crying. I always wondered why my boyfriend just didn’t say I was a friend. From that point on, I had to enter the house through the back door if the kids were home.

I swear, there’s a little boy somewhere in Calabasas that still probably has nightmares over me. To be honest, I felt a little bad after that night. I mean, most kids adore me. Was I really that scary in my pink lace dress? I don’t want to be a person who makes kids cry just by looking at me. And I definitely don’t want to be the “woman in the driveway.”

Too much drama, too many rules, and far too many cancelled dates–that experience left me a little turned off to single dads until a few years later when I met a man who actually got it right. He was able to be both a good dad and an attentive boyfriend. He introduced me to his son after only a few dates. I didn’t spend much time with the kid, but this guy wanted to avoid any weirdness or awkwardness if his son saw me coming and going. The three of us watched The Smurfs together and ate banana ice cream. It was no big deal, there was no drama, and not a single tear was shed. The guy and I broke up eventually, but for reasons that had nothing to do with him being single dad.

Naturally, a man’s children have to come first. I wouldn’t want a man who abandons his kids for me. If a man ever convinces me to have a baby with him, I would want to know that he is an excellent father–I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, I think a man should be able to both attend to kids and make the woman in his life feel special. The way you love a child is different from the way you love a woman—there shouldn’t be a competition. I believe there is enough love to go around for everyone. Unfortunately, it seems as though many men have trouble with this balance.

Now, would I date a man with kids again? Yes, I would give it another try. It’s not that I’m specifically seeking out single dads, but I wouldn’t rule them out. Although there are challenges to dating a man with children, I do believe there are men out there who know how to keep everyone happy.

As for my girlfriend, after she and I hung up the phone that day, I opened up my computer. On my Facebook newsfeed, someone had posted an article on why sex with single dads is the best kind of sex. I immediately forwarded the article to my girlfriend, telling her I found an advantage to dating single dads.

She responded, “Yes, that is true! Single dads are better in bed.”

At this point, you’re probably wondering how I feel about sex with single dads…I think I’ll be a lady and say, “No comment.”

But there must be a reason we keep dating them♥


Wild Nights in the City of Light


I’ll admit I haven’t been very fun in L.A. lately. I barely go out anymore—most nights you can find me at home writing or curled up with a book. I always seem to have early clients or a pending deadline, and I’m perpetually on a diet. Plus, although I love this city, I’ve lived here a long time, so I feel I’ve pretty much seen and done everything this town has to offer.

However, there’s something about being in a new city that brings out my adventurous nature and makes me come alive. I want to discover and explore the city and see as much as possible. I once heard the term “traveler’s bravado” used to describe how people tend to behave more boldly on vacation; well, I think I definitely had some “traveler’s bravado” going on while I was visiting Paris Valentine’s weekend.

I went to Paris with a girlfriend, and it seemed as though she and I switched roles for the weekend. When we’re in L.A., my girlfriend is the one who always wants to hit up all the clubs and parties. However, in Paris, she was far more interested in shopping on the Champs Elysees and taking selfies with the Mona Lisa and Venus di Milo, while I was the one who wanted to stay out until the sun came up. After our first night of the trip, my girlfriend remarked that I’m much wilder in Paris than in L.A.

I had been to Paris ten years earlier and was lucky enough to have stayed at the ultra-posh Hotel Costes. I’ve always loved the ambience and the décor of the hotel, which is adorned with beautiful fresh roses, and I remembered the bar scene was really fun, so I suggested we start the night out there. It was at the Hotel Costes that my girlfriend and I met many interesting characters—a French man who asked us for a threesome, a man from Saudi Arabia who invited us to a strip club (we politely declined), but it was the swinger couple from Switzerland we had the most fun with—of course, not THAT kind of fun.

When we went to order drinks at the bar, the husband, in the most gentlemanly manner, stood up to offer my friend his seat. At this point we didn’t know they were swingers yet, but we did notice the wife was very friendly and smiling ear to ear. My girlfriend even commented that the wife looked so happy—could it be possible swinging is the key to a happy marriage? I excused myself to go to the bathroom, and when I opened the door to leave the stall, the wife was standing there waiting for me. She told me she thought I was beautiful and went in to kiss me. Not wanting her to feel rejected, I politely gave her a peck on the lips and told her I wanted to go check on my friend.

The couple invited us to go to another spot along with their group. When we got to the venue, my new friends started dancing on the bar. I danced with them for a few songs before going to join my girlfriend who was sitting in a booth on her phone. My girlfriend still wasn’t aware the couple was on the prowl, so as the husband made his way over to us, I quietly clued her in. Right away, she loudly asked him, “Are you and your wife swingers?” He stood up taller and proudly exclaimed, “Why, yes, we are!”

At this point, a guy who looked like a French Bradley Cooper approached me. When I told him he looked like the American actor, he said, “I am much prettier than Bradley Cooper.” My girlfriend said, “Eeeew. Let’s go home.”

The next night as the two of us were walking into a nightclub, a very handsome 6’7 rugby player from Dublin approached us. There had been a big Ireland Vs. France match that night in Paris, and this guy’s ear was all scratched up as a result. Although I thought he was cute, my girlfriend and I headed straight to the bathroom. My girlfriend wasn’t in the mood to party, and she left almost immediately. I ended up dancing and sipping champagne with a couple of French guys at their table. I wasn’t interested in either guy, but they were showing me a good time.

At some point, I became hungry and asked one of the guys to take me for a cheeseburger. While we were getting my coat from the coat check, the rugby player swooped in and whispered in my ear, asking me if I wanted him to save me, I nodded. He said, “Sorry, she’s with me,” took my hand and walked me out of the club directly in a cab. Very smooth—I did feel a little bad for the French guy, but you gotta love the rugby player’s take-charge kind of a attitude.

When the cab driver asked us where we wanted to go, we said, “Take us for cheeseburgers.” As the cab driver pulled up to McDonald’s, I said, “Not McDonald’s! I don’t eat fast food.” The cab driver said, “Well, you’re American, I thought you would want an American burger.” I said, “I want a FRENCH burger,” and that’s exactly what I got. The cab driver took us to a little hole in the wall where I got my burger, which consisted of four mini beef patties on a baguette, and that French burger was delicious!

The rugby player and I tried to decide what to do next. He thought the Arc de Triomphe would still be open for hot chocolate. However, it was already around 5am when we arrived at the monument, and the security guards told us it was closed. Since we couldn’t go inside, the rugby player gave me a piggyback ride around Arc de Triomphe instead. He dropped me off at my hotel at 6am and headed back to his hotel to catch a 10am flight back to Dublin.

When I told my girlfriend I had hung out with the handsome rugby player we had met, she asked if he was “the giant with the bloody ear.” I laughed, “Yes, that’s him,” adding, ”He’s fun!”

As if piggyback rides and cheeseburgers weren’t exciting enough, on my last night, I was hit by a lightening bolt. The way the French describe love at first sight, un coup de foudre, literally means a stroke of lightening. I can’t think of anything more romantic than Valentine’s Day in Paris. I ended up having had the most magical dinner with a man who told me he felt a lightening bolt when he saw me, and we both felt if circumstances were different, that maybe we could fall in love.

Now I’m not a person who believes that love has any bounds, but realistically, we lived on separate continents with a great big ocean dividing us. So, this was a very bittersweet ending to my weekend in Paris.

The next morning, as I packed my bags to head back home to Los Angeles, my girlfriend said, “You met a lot of nice guys here this weekend.” And it’s true, I really had. I love the French joie de vivre!

L.A. is often referred to as La La Land, but it was Paris that felt like a dream♥

An Angel in Paris

Carrie Bradshaw Paris

In my upcoming book, Love, Miracles & Mayhem in the City of Angels, I write about all the Earth angels I’ve encountered living here in Los Angeles–which of course, literally means “The Angels” in Spanish. Moving to this city where there is so much trouble to get into when I was just seventeen years old, so young and naïve, I found myself in some unexpected, sometimes even downright dangerous situations. Throughout it all, I’ve always felt very blessed. I believe I have a strong angel presence around me, some of these angels are unseen, but many of them definitely can be seen, in human form. When I first moved to town, much like Blanche DuBois said at the conclusion of A Streetcar Named Desire, I felt like I had often depended on the kindness of strangers.

I was reminded of this on a recent trip to Paris, Valentine’s weekend. A girlfriend of mine was planning to visit the City of Light with her boyfriend to celebrate the occasion. Sadly, my friend and her boyfriend got into an argument, and he decided not to join her. When my girlfriend asked if I could meet her in Paris, it seemed like a long shot, but I told her I would see what I could do. I looked online—plane tickets were $2,000, totally not in my budget. A friend of mine, whom I most definitely consider an angel, knew I really wanted to go, so he very kindly and generously offered to let me use his airline miles in order to meet my friend in Paris, making not only one but two girls very happy.

I actually love long flights because they provide me with a solid block of time where I can work on my book uninterrupted. I literally wrote fifteen hours straight on the plane—I didn’t even take a nap. When I arrived at Charles de Gaulle, I decided to take the train instead of a cab to the hotel since I was on a budget. As I was walking to the train, a young man, who happened to be an off-duty airport employee on his way home escorted me to the metro. He helped me buy a train ticket from the machine and showed me on the map which exit to take to get to my hotel. I found him to be very sweet and helpful. Although his English was much better than my French, which at the time was basically limited to “Bonjour,” “Merci,” and “Au revoir,” we had a hard time communicating. I eventually downloaded an app to help translate our conversation. He seemed really eager to assist me and was supposed to exit several stops before I did. However, when we reached his destination, my new friend decided to remain on the train with me all the way to my exit.

I had been warned about the pickpockets in Paris, especially on the train. The over-sized purse I use for traveling was stuffed to the max with my makeup, my hairbrush, whatever spiritual book I was reading at the time, and my laptop (or so I thought). I couldn’t understand much of what my new friend had to say, but I did understand when he told me I had pretty eyes and when he instructed me to close my bag, which he did countless times, but the bag, unfortunately, wouldn’t close.

When I arrived to my destination, the man from the train asked me to have a coffee with him. My girlfriend had been waiting for me in the hotel room, so I ran up to ask her to join us. I used this opportunity to empty out the all the things I didn’t need from my purse, so I could finally close my bag. My girlfriend and I had a quick cup of hot chocolate with my new friend before saying goodbye and going to the market to buy some things for the room. When my girlfriend and I returned to the hotel, the room had been cleaned but my laptop was gone. I was sure I had taken my laptop out and placed it on the bed when I got to the hotel. My girlfriend said she didn’t remember seeing the computer, which was hard to miss since it was encased by a bright hot pink cover.

My girlfriend was positive I must have left the laptop on the plane, but I was still convinced the laptop hade made it back to the hotel room with me. There was no way I would have been so careless with such an important item; my laptop is basically like another limb to me. However, I did call Delta, in the off-chance my friend was right. And although I didn’t think a hotel maid would steal my laptop–I’m sure people come to Paris with far more valuable items than my little pink MacBook Air—I thought perhaps it may have gotten lost in the sheets and mistakenly taken out of the room.

When I talked to my friends back home, they asked, “Are you sure that guy from the train didn’t steal it?” Adding, “You should never talk to strangers in Paris!” Honestly, in my heart, I didn’t feel he took it. He seemed so kind and helpful and so completely sincere. However, for a second, I thought to myself maybe it was naïve of me to think this man was so gentlemanly and chivalrous that he simply wanted to make sure I made it to my destination safely. But, then I thought, even the best pickpocket could not have taken my laptop out and put it in his backpack while carrying my suitcase. Plus, he had given me his first and last name and his phone number and had hoped to take me out while I was in Paris. For all these reasons and my own intuition, I knew the guy didn’t take it, but I texted him to see if he had any clues. He said he really hoped I didn’t think he stole my laptop. I told him that I didn’t think he took it, but I wish he did because that way I know would get it back.

Now, the worst part of losing my laptop wasn’t the losing the device itself—a laptop is replaceable. It was the fact that I hadn’t backed up the book I was writing for longer than I care to admit. I was devastated to think of losing all that work, all that time and all that energy I had spent writing. For me, a writer, losing the laptop with the contents of the book I’ve literally spent years working on, was almost like another woman misplacing her child. Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but this was a major loss. I was heartbroken. Even though there was a little a black cloud was hanging over my head, I did manage to shake off my sadness in order have fun with my girlfriend. We were in Paris, one of the most magnificent cities in the world, after all.

Shortly after I contacted Delta, I received an email from the airline that they couldn’t locate my laptop, and the hotel maid didn’t have any information either. Although I wasn’t feeling too hopeful, I prayed all weekend that I would miraculously get my laptop back. On the day before I left, the guy from the train texted me; he had gone to the airport on his day off to find my laptop. He told me he had been so upset I had lost my computer that he couldn’t even sleep; he was so sad for me. But that wasn’t all, he had very good news—the Delta counter at the Paris airport had my computer in their lost and found!

I honestly still can’t believe I left my laptop on that airplane–I must have been either deliriously tired or just that excited to be in Paris! Even though I would be going to the airport the next day for my flight to Los Angeles, I didn’t want to wait another second, let alone another day. I wanted the laptop back in my possession immediately. My new friend told me to wait for him. He would take the train to pick me up, and we would go to the airport together. The train ride, by the way, was about forty minutes from my hotel to the airport. So, he rode the train to come get me, and then rode the train all the way back to with me to the airport where my prayers were answered, and I was reunited with my beloved hot pink laptop. Voilà!

I was so happy and felt beyond grateful to my friend from the train and how he went out of his way to help me. Of course, I was going to inquire at the Delta counter before I went on my flight. But as an American girl, who doesn’t speak French, I wonder if I would I have gotten it back without this man’s help. Since he was a native French speaker who worked at the airport, I’m sure he had an advantage. Everyone I spoke to reminded me how lucky I was to get my computer back, and I have to agree. I was very lucky!

After I picked up my laptop, my friend and I rode the train together once more. Outside my hotel, he gave me a kiss on each cheek, and I once again thanked him for helping me. According to A Course in Miracles, there are no chance encounters—every single person is put on your path for a reason. I believe this man was an angel, sent to protect me on the train and make sure my laptop was returned safely in my arms.

When we said goodbye, I could tell he would have liked to spend more time with me, and I felt kind of bad he gave up his entire day to ride the train back and forth on my behalf. But my girlfriend was waiting for me–she and I had plans to visit the Louvre. Oh, and I forgot to mention, this all happened on Valentine’s Day, and I had a date that night that I couldn’t have been more excited about. (And just a little side note, not only did my date turn out to be wonderful, but my Valentine made sure I didn’t take the train back to the airport the next day.)

Right after I boarded the plane, I received a text from the man who helped me get my computer back. He was working at the airport and wanted to know if he could say goodbye to me. I told him that I was sorry, but I was already on the plane. As the plane was about to take off, I looked outside the window and saw him drive up in his airport vehicle and stand up, waving his arms goodbye. It was such a sweet and grand gesture, reminiscent of John Cusak holding the boombox over his head outside the girl’s window in Say Anything. As the plane took off, tears welled up in my eyes.

Although I will probably never see him again, one thing is for certain, I will never forget the kindness of this Parisian stranger♥

More Is More

Dolly Big Hair

You’re always going to be too much for someone–too fat, too thin, too glam, too plain, too old, too young, too quiet, too loud. Recently, the guy I dated in Texas repeatedly told me I was “too blonde.” He also wished that I was more of a jeans, t-shirt, and baseball cap kind of a girl. I hardly consider myself underweight, but the Middle Eastern boyfriend I had a couple years back thought I should gain 5-10 pounds. He also suggested I cut my hair (as if!) and stop wearing makeup. Although I did wear less makeup when I would see him, I still wore as much makeup as I wanted to on my own time and definitely wasn’t about to mess with my hair or pack on the pounds.

Even my amazing long-term ex boyfriend had something he tried to change about me—he thought I dressed “too sexy.” Out of all the criticisms, his was actually valid. We had a bit of an age gap and would often have dinners with his TV writer friends. I already stood out since I was younger than everyone else—I didn’t need to draw any more attention to myself. Although I love my flirty dresses, I believe there is a time and place to cover up, and this was probably one of them.

My ex told me he was going to buy me the hottest jeans he had ever seen and scoured the city looking for a particular style of Levi’s. He eventually found them—at Mervyn’s in Glendale.

I humored him and tried on the jeans that he went to so much trouble to get me. While my ex remarked that my butt had never looked better, I felt he had bought me “mom jeans” and refused to wear them. I mean, it’s hard to believe that Mervyn’s would exclusively carry the hottest jeans in town.

My ex had more of a simple sense of style, and I’m admittedly a bit flashy. He would often tell me that I didn’t need to wear makeup and would always say, “Less is more, Amy.” I would joke, “Less is not more. MORE is MORE!”

One day, he looked at me and said, “You’re right. More is more.” And he never tried to change me again.

That being said, I do feel that if your boyfriend likes your makeup a certain way or a particular outfit, of course, it’s nice to make the man happy. However, the person whose opinion is most important is the person looking back in at you in the mirror. And once you feel good about what you see, you will attract someone who won’t want to change a single thing about you, someone who recognizes you’re perfect the way you are♥

Barbie Is a Feminist


Growing up, Barbie made me feel like I could do anything. Barbie was an astronaut, a teacher, a firefighter, a police officer, a pilot, a paleontologist, a business executive, a veterinarian, a pediatrician, a Nascar driver, a movie star, and a rock star. She was even President!

Being extremely accomplished and versatile in all her chosen careers, Barbie was completely independent and did not need to rely on a man to take care of her. In fact, Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken, doesn’t even have boy parts. I can’t think of anything more feminist than having a boyfriend who has been castrated. We definitely know who wears the pants in that relationship! It was Barbie, not Ken, who owned the Malibu Dream House and the Pink Corvette (which, according to all the pictures I’ve seen, I don’t think he was ever even allowed to drive). Barbie was gorgeous, successful, and also looked like she was having the time of her life.

My own mother grew up poor and had always wanted but never owned a Barbie of her own, so she made sure my sister and I were part of the popular Barbie culture. I’ll never forget the Christmas that Santa brought me my Barbie Dream House. I have pictures of me hugging the home with a huge smile on my face. I also had a Malibu Surf Shop where Barbie and Midge could rent rollerblades to skate along the beach. I owned an ice cream shop where Barbie could hang with her friends and also a stage where she could perform with her band, the Rockers. Decades later, little girls are still loving their Barbie dolls. My niece squealed with delight when she opened up the mermaid Barbie I bought her for Christmas last year. I would never give my niece a toy that I felt would affect her self-esteem in any way.

The main criticism of Barbie is that her unrealistic body proportions are blamed for causing self-esteem issues in young girls. The original Barbie doll was a fashion model, which explains the long legs, large bust and tiny waist. Clothes tend to look best on this body type, and part of the fun of playing with Barbie was dressing her in fabulous outfits. At the time Barbie was created in 1959 by Ruth Handler, most dolls were babydolls and little girls would play with them acting out the role of a mother. Barbie broke traditional roles, representing a woman who had more choices than being a wife and mother. She was the first doll that wasn’t a baby, a child or a cartoon character. She was a full grown glamorous, cosmopolitan career woman, which girls like me found very exciting, imagining what we would be like when we grew up. However, I never once compared my body to Barbie–I knew she was just a doll.  Rather than fixating on her figure, I was more focused on how I would someday get the Malibu Dream House.

Interestingly enough, according to the American Association of University Women, girls begin to lose their self-esteem during puberty, which coincidentally is also the time they give up their Barbies. I think all girls naturally become more self-conscious of their bodies during puberty, which has more to do with our bodies developing and changing, and less to do with Barbie. Although I didn’t compare my body to my Barbie dolls, I do remember being about ten years old and noticing that most of the girls in my class were thinner than I was. I also admired the very glamorous Supermodels of the ‘90s, and hoped one day I would be as beautiful as Cindy Crawford. It was lucky for me, and girls everywhere who also loved Cindy, that she came out with her very own workout video, helping women everywhere to shape their bodies. Although I never grew to be 5’9 like Cindy, I exercised to the video religiously every day in my living room and learned to eat healthy, taking control and being proactive about my body issues. Today I am a professional Pilates instructor, helping other people achieve their fitness goals and work through similar issues.

On a side note, models and fashion magazines are also often criticized for contributing to the issues we women have with our bodies, and I believe they definitely do have an influence on us. Some women feel threatened or pressured to look a certain way when they see images in magazines, but I appreciate and feel inspired by beauty, knowing that I will never be as thin as Kate Moss, but maybe that color lipstick or dress she’s wearing will look good on me. I would argue that the very business savvy Cindy Crawford, who also happened to be the valedictorian of her high school class, was a feminist like Barbie, smart and beautiful with a message of empowerment for girls everywhere.

Before I get back to Barbie, I do want to mention that I believe beauty comes in all shapes and ethnicities. Barbie, tall and blonde, is just one example of beauty.  Being half-Latina, I’m happy to see Barbie is now offered in several different ethnicities. Growing up, my sister had a Mexican Barbie she loved and identified with more than the blonde dolls. Since I don’t have Barbie’s proportions, I am thankful to curvy girls like J. Lo, Kim Kardashian, and Beyonce who have made being “bootylicious,” something I was once ashamed of, quite fashionable now.

The definition of a feminist is a person who advocates equal rights for women. Nowhere does the term specify what a feminist should look or dress like. So please don’t hate Barbie because she’s beautiful. If Barbie was judged solely on her resume, I think everyone would agree with me that she is indeed a feminist. She has done so much more to inspire and empower me than any of my other childhood toys, and she happened to beautiful. Personally, I was never threatened by Barbie’s beauty or body and don’t think she is to blame for self-esteem issues. If anything, I have Barbie to thank for my fascination with all things Malibu, which may have subconsciously led me to my Pepperdine education. Thank you, Barbie, for all the memories and making me feel like the possibilities for my future were endless♥

**Originally published on 2014**

Fireworks & Butterflies

Fireworks & Butterflies

I’ve attended Christine Hassler’s monthly group coaching sessions four times now. Christine is always very insightful, and Tuesday night was no exception. This month, she was discussing my favorite topic, love and relationships. Christine shared a quote from Antione de Saint-Exupery, which was coincidentally something my long-term ex-boyfriend often said to me, “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward in the same direction.” In other words, in a perfect relationship, both people should constantly be evolving and moving forward together, which I totally agree with. However, as I told my ex, of course I’m all for evolving and moving forward, but I didn’t want him to ever stop gazing in my eyes.

Since fireworks and butterflies are what I’m about, I was a little perplexed by Christine’s theory that when we meet someone and feel “sparks,” it is usually because, according to her, our “insecurities are attracted to each other.” I’d like to think some of us are more intuitive than that, and no disrespect, maybe some of us aren’t that insecure. I don’t doubt this theory is true in some instances, but it’s horrible to think that we can’t actually see sparks by seeing the love and light in another person. What happened to Namaste? The Divine in me recognizes the Divine in you. Those are the sparks I’m talking about!

When I expressed at the coaching session how I believe sparks could turn into something deeper, the girls seemed to think I lived in some fantasy world (maybe I do, but it’s totally working for me!). I’m realistic in the sense that I understand that no one is perfect, people make mistakes, there may be conflict, and we all have wounds. Also, that after the dopamine we release when we first fall in love wears off, we may have to work a little harder to keep the fire burning. However, what I learned from A Course in Miracles is that moment when you lock eyes with someone and are blinded by their light, that moment is what is real. The illusion actually comes later in the relationship when the ego creeps in and brings out our wounds to the surface. The universe brings us together in relationships to heal ourselves and each other in order for us to grow into our highest potential. It doesn’t hurt if your partner makes your head spin in the process.

Relationships are like a mirror in that the love you feel for another person is really a reflection of all the love you have inside of you. I’m always feeling fireworks with the men I fall for, so it’s quite possible that I’m the one bringing the fireworks to the table. Wayne Dyer says, “What you want to do is work hard at creating the exact thoughts in your mind towards others that will match up with the kind of relationship you wish to have.” Since I want magic, I seek to make every relationship I’m in as magical as possible. Marianne Williamson has an amazing book on this subject called Enchanted Love, which I highly recommend. She says, “If there isn’t fire, it isn’t love.”  You see, every fire begins with a spark!

Realizing that I’m not the most practical person, especially in matters of the heart, I decided to get a few other opinions on this topic. First I asked professional matchmaker Chelsea Autumn, who said she did not agree at all with Christine’s theory about sparks. Chelsea not only runs Queen of Hearts, Inc., where she has matched hundreds of happy couples, she also has a degree in psychology and was one of the stars of Millionaire Matchmaker, so when it comes to dating and relationships, I really value her opinion. Next I asked one of my most happily married clients who told me that there were definitely some serious sparks happening when she met her hubby. She’s been married for 28 years now, and she and her husband have two lovely children. My very wise ex-boyfriend, who I’m still great friends with, called me as I was writing this, so I thought I would see what his opinion was. He said, “That’s absurd–sparks are essential. People live for sparks!” The best response by far was from my very quotable dad when I asked him if he saw fireworks when he met my mom. He said he saw “cannons blasting through the air.” I guess we girls see fireworks, but the men who love us see cannons.

Christine went on to say that relationship expert Allison Armstrong (who I’m not familiar with) advises us that on a scale of 1-10, we should run when we feel sparks 8 or above, and we should pay more attention to those who are more of a 5 or 6. It kind of sounded ridiculous to me that I should blow off the men I have great chemistry with and go out with the men I’m less excited about. I guess it boils down to what type of girl you are.  Do you want to settle down as soon as possible, pop out some babies, and make muffins? Or are you craving excitement, adventure, and open to the infinite possibilities the universe may bring? I think you know where I stand.

I’m sure we’ve all experienced major sparks with someone and it didn’t work out, but I’m proud to say that actually I’ve had some 10’s show up for me like no other, and unfortunately, I’ve given some less exciting guys a chance who have turned out to be flakes. Regardless, I think the number on your spark-a-meter is not the best gauge of whether or not someone is a good match for you.

Here are my three most important criteria–you know I won’t steer you wrong:

  1.  How is he showing up for you?

Is he doing nice things for you, taking you on nice dates, giving you lots of attention? In my blog “The Truth about Men Will Set You Free,” I discussed how men prove their love by doing sweet things for their women. Dr. Pat Allen says that a man has a desire to produce into the appetite of a woman he loves. I am beyond grateful to be a woman who has inspired men to produce for me time and time again.

  1.  Does he make you want to be a better person?

Does he just want to get drunk and party with you or does he inspire you to grow? For instance, my long term ex loved to discuss books, take me to lectures, and museums. He encouraged me to go back to school and also to be a writer (even though it took me several years to listen to him).

  1.  Do you love who you are when you’re around him?

Do you feel happy and free and more like your authentic self around him? If so, that is a great sign!  If he makes you feel insecure or anxious more than you feel happy–he’s not the one. Blow him a kiss, and wish him well knowing that the universe will send you someone better suited for you.

Lastly, always remember that our thoughts create our reality. Therefore, we will manifest whatever we believe to be true. Since I had a traumatic experience when I got married very young, I’m not 100% sure I want to walk down that road again, but I am open to the possibility. I’ve always intended to create a fun, exciting, magical love life, and that is exactly what I’ve gotten. We can have whatever type of relationship we want whether it’s passion and fireworks or babies and cupcakes. So ladies, if you believe in magic, you will experience magic–why settle for a 5, when you can manifest a 10?


**Originally Published on February 2013**


What If You’re Just Not That into Him?


While I think the content and message were great, I have a little bit of an issue with the title He’s Just Not That Into You. Words are very powerful, and if I were to have written the book, I would have phrased the message in a way that is much more empowering to women. Perhaps, Why Would You Be Into Him? Why would any girl want a man who doesn’t call, doesn’t take her on nice dates, doesn’t make time for her, etc. While He’s Not Into You is a much more shocking catch phrase and was wildly successful (and even adapted into a movie), my concern is that the terminology leaves women across America feeling rejected instead of showing them what they should be looking for in a man. Since there’s been so much talk about him not being into you, let’s discuss what to do when you’re not that into him.

We girls always want to be kind when telling a guy we aren’t interested, so often we make up an excuse instead of directly saying I’m not interested, which could be hurtful. The most common excuse, and the one I use most, is to say I have a boyfriend. If I genuinely like someone and wouldn’t mind spending time with him but don’t think we are compatible romantically, I might suggest being friends. However, girls, never tell a guy you have no intention of seeing again, “Let’s just be friends,” because he will probably keep texting you trying to hang “as friends.” I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so for all the men whom I’ve been telling I’m too busy to date, please know it’s not an excuse, it’s actually true! But, girls, you can always say you are busy. Keep in mind, if he really likes you, he will still keep texting to see when you are free.

An ex-boyfriend once told me that I should tell men that I was “in love” because guys don’t really care if you have a boyfriend. Although he was correct that some men don’t respect when you are in a relationship, I thought that response was too dramatic to say to someone if he simply had asked for my phone number. For years, I’ve been saying “I have a boyfriend” instead of saying, “I’m just not interested,” but guys will usually come back with lines like “I’m not jealous” or “We could still have lunch.” I’ll respond “I’m sorry, I can’t” and that is usually enough. However, every once in a while there’s a guy who comes along that you have to be more direct with and let him know that you’re just not that into him.

About two years ago, I started receiving random flowers and notes on my car, which was parked outside the club where I work. Although my admirer left his name and phone number, I wasn’t sure exactly who he was and wasn’t interested in dating anyone from the club, so I never called. A few months later, one of my clients tried to set me up with my admirer. I told her I was not interested, but my client told me she thought he was a really cool guy and that we should be totally be friends. I had a boyfriend at the time, so I told her I wasn’t opposed to a friendship at work, but that I spent all my free time with my guy, so I couldn’t see her friend outside of the club.

The day after my then boyfriend and I broke up, my admirer must have gotten wind of the news because he left another letter along with chocolates (which had melted from the sun) on my car. The letter he left said that my client had very nice things to say about me and asked if we could please be friends. With my client in the middle, I felt I should be polite and send the guy a thank you text. He responded asking if I would meet him for a drink. Although I was a little hesitant to say yes, in the end, I decided to go feeling it would at least distract me from thinking about my very fresh breakup.

At the bar, after just a few short minutes, this guy I had never spoken to in my life started to tell me he loved me. I should mention he is from India where arranged marriages are not uncommon even today, so I wasn’t sure if this was a cultural thing or if the guy was loco. He explained that he had been trying to meet me for a long time but no one at the club would give him an introduction. (Maybe they all sensed he was a little bit off?) It was now already April, but my admirer handed me a purse that he had bought for me when he went to visit family in India over Christmas, never knowing when he would have the opportunity to give it to me. (He could have just left it on my car!)

This all may sound sweet and romantic to you, but because I wasn’t into him (plus the fact I don’t like commitment talk on the first date), I started to feel really anxious. He expressed that he wanted a future with me and told me he wanted to take me on camping trips all over the world. (The guy obviously didn’t know me. The last time I went camping was with the Brownies, and I quit the group after that experience, telling my mom we would just stick to room service.) I didn’t want to lead this love-stricken guy on, so I told him that we could be friends, but I was still not over my breakup, and aside from that, he was far too young for me (about four years younger). He continued to express his love for me and texted later that night saying he spoke to his dad in India and that his dad approves of our age difference. Later I received another text saying that his cousin married a woman ten years older, and they are very happy together. (Wow, that makes me feel a lot better about things!)

What started out as cute and flattering quickly turned annoying, with him texting me at work asking if he could bring me coffee or have lunch with me at the club. Obviously, his days were much more leisurely than mine. He was starting to stress me out when I needed to be focusing on work. I’m not sure what my exact words were since it was so long ago, but I eventually did succeed at getting him to leave me alone for the most part.

However, every once in awhile I would continue to receive random texts like, “You should love the man who loves you, not the one you love,” or “Just so you know, someone out there loves you and is thinking of you.” I chose to ignore the majority of these messages up until a couple weeks ago–I suppose I forgot how pushy and persistent he had been in the past. When he texted asking if he could take me out, I used my usual “I have a boyfriend” excuse. He then told me he loved me more than my boyfriend and said that even though I have a boyfriend, we could still hang as friends. I told him that I’m sorry, but I really don’t have the time. At that point, he started to bribe me to hang with him and later expressed that he wanted to hold me in his arms. I figured I needed to be more direct and told him, “Sorry, I’m not interested.” He responded to let him know if I ever changed my mind. I wanted to text him that I never will, but I thought that would be mean, so I simply didn’t answer.

A couple days later, I received a text from him asking if I gave any thought to what he said, and I told him, once again, that I wasn’t interested. He then said that he loved me and no one would have to know. Here is where I’ll be honest and admit that I could have done better and responded in a way that was more spiritually aligned. However, after two years of this guy not taking no for an answer, I was starting to become frustrated. I replied, “Yuck! Lose my number,” to which he responded, “Why can’t we be friends with benefits?” Totally offended, but remembering to be kind, I said, “Please don’t text me ever again.” (Well, maybe it wasn’t that kind, but I did say “please.”) He said, “Ok,” and thankfully, I haven’t heard from him since.

Looking back, I probably should have just ignored the guy, but I do feel it is cruel to leave someone who thinks he loves you hanging, and also I wanted to resolve the situation for my own peace of mind. He’d been pestering me for two whole years! I hope he meets a nice girl who appreciates his grand gestures, likes camping and doesn’t mind eating melted chocolates off her windshield. If he does call me again, I think it’s best not to respond, or if I do, maybe I should muster up the courage to say, “I’m just not into you.”

All this made me wonder if there is a way to let a guy down nicely, but honestly, not giving him an excuse or any false hope. My girlfriend Kate, who has her Masters in Psychology, had a brilliant suggestion–she said to simply say “No, thank you!”  If he asks for your number, “No, thank you.” If he asks to take you to dinner, “No, thank you.” If he asks you if you can be friends with benefits, “NO, THANK YOU!”

ididgyouherfuturelogo**Originally published on November  2013**