Monday, February 28, 2011

My Famous Appearance on Nic & Neely's Dating Marketplace

On the last day of the month I like to reflect on how well I've been accomplishing what I set out to achieve the month before. My big yearly goal has been to run The Love Project 2011, with the side hope of getting publicity and exposure, both for The Laptop Dancer Diaries and for The Love Project.

Last night I had a fun breakthrough! I was interviewed on Nic and Neely's Dating Marketplace Radio Show about my book!

I'm sure the Academy Awards ratings took a big hit as everyone tuned into hear me... but, I got quite a few emails this morning from friends who told me they missed it and wanted to know if an .mp3 was available and here it is.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Dating Marketplace Internet Radio Show is Tonight!

We all get our 15 minutes of fame, and I'm going to get mine tonight at 6:30pm MT on Nic and Neely's Dating Marketplace Internet Radio Show.

This is going to be even better than that time I was on the news about my laporascopic hysterectomy!

Now, I know many people are planning on tuning into The Academy Awards tonight, but who needs the first hour of that, right? Tune in first for the appetizer: The Dating Marketplace, and then you can head over with plenty of time to find out the big Oscar winners.

So what will I be talking about? The Laptop Dancer Diaries, of course! I'm really very excited about the opportunity! Nicole asked me if anything was off limits, and I told her the only thing that I didn't want to reveal was the ending...

Now if you know anything about the book, you know that it starts with me having 3 goals: To have an adventure a month, to write a book, and to fall in love. I'm irritatingly organized and have a plan to accomplish my goals, including the "love goal." Since I'm still here blogging about being single and dating, some people may conclude that my love goal didn't work out, but in fact it did. Again, I don't want to give away the ending, but I learned a lot about love in that year. Like any good experiment, I had to make some adjustments along the way, but the end result was much more positive than I could have hoped for.

Tune in tonight at 6:30 MT (5:30 PT, 8:30 ET) to hear me on The Dating Market Place.

Missed it? You can listen to the interview here:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Assignment 9: Celebrate Age - #love2011

The theme for this week's Love Project is going to be about Celebrating Age.

Assignment: Write a blog post or comment about your age and why it is the perfect age to be. Variations might be what you think the perfect age is and why. You can also talk about your birthday, why it's special, and how you are going to celebrate. Or if you really just want a very easy Love Project Assignment, then help me celebrate MY age by leaving me a Happy Birthday comment! Today I'm 51!

I only have 5 minutes so this will have to be short and sweet. Yes, today is my birthday, and I'd been kind of moping about it all week. I do not like to be over 50 and single. But I woke up this morning to a virtual Facebook surprise party (at least that's how I like to think of it!) with lots of birthday greetings from Facebook friends. I also had emails and text messages, and realized how very many people I have in my life and I feel so grateful for that.

Then a friend (who didn't realize it was my birthday) called and asked if I wanted to get coffee. Now, perhaps in younger days I would have gone and not said anything about it being my birthday. But not today. I said yes and told him he was buying because today is all about ME! Woo Hoo!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Funnies: Rejection Humor

This week on the Love Project we are celebrating (or reframing) Rejection. One of the best things about the year I was gathering content for and writing The Laptop Dancer Diaries is that it forced me to find the humor in every day situations. Some of the funniest stories are stories of rejection... stories where in the past, I might have been embarrassed or upset about a date-gone-wrong, but instead thought to myself: This will make a great story for my book!

On Assignment Day this week, I pointed to a news story about Jon Friedman's comedy group that is all about rejection. There are a series of videos from (jonnyboots channel) as well as The Rejection Show Website with a bunch of funny videos. Here's an example:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beware of the "I'm sad" Facebook status

Once, when I was perusing Facebook, I saw one of my friends had a status that said something like, "I'm sad. Please "like" me so I'll be happy." And you were supposed to press the thumbs up 'like' button. I remember thinking, "That's kind of an embarrassing, pathetic thing to put on Facebook! I'd never announce, 'I'm sad' and ask people to "like" me! They like me or they don't, but I'm not going to get sympathy 'likes'!"

Of course, I pressed the 'like' button to help cheer up the poor soul and went on with my day.

Later, when I checked the computer, I saw Facebook messages in my inbox from people consoling me, asking me why I was sad. What??? I'M not the one that's sad!

Then I checked Facebook and saw that that damn needy message was on MY wall! Oh No! It was like a contagious 'I'm a loser' status message! I guess pressing the 'like' button puts the same message on your own wall! I immediately deleted it and did my best to restore my confident reputation, letting people know I was very happy! La, la, la!! Not a care in the world and I really don't care if anyone 'likes' me or not...

In general, I recommend to people to never publicly act sad or rejected. It just shows insecurity. If we're confident, there's no reason to feel rejected. We don't need validation from other people to know we're good. And most of the time, the "rejection" is in our own head. Everyone will feel so much better if you can just not take things so personally, and carry on happily, regardless of what disappointments come your way.

But, I have to admit, this has not been a good week for me. Maybe it's a freaky woo-woo thing that in "Rejection" week, I am getting hit with quite a lot of personal rejection. I won't go through all the sorry details, but if I wanted practice in dealing with rejection, I'm getting it. (And I will be more careful about picking negative Love Project themes in the future..)

I have a good friend who (in one of his depressed moods) complained, "No one really cares about me. They act like they do, but when it really comes right down to it, they have other people and priorities. They only superficially like me because they think I like them."

I assured this friend that I really liked him and still would like him, even if I thought he didn't like me. But then I thought about it more. Would I? Would I really like him if I thought he didn't like me? Probably not. I'd be hurt if he didn't like me, but would act like I didn't care, 'cause I never show rejection. And then I'd do my best to stop liking him, because if he didn't like me, well, I wasn't going to like him.

Now, I'm not very tolerant of this "poor me" victim mentality, but when I'm in one of my down moods, I can really relate to what he said. It is easy to feel all alone. Even when I was married, I had those days...wondering if my husband really loved me. (I guess the answer ended up being 'no.') No matter how many "friends" we have, we can wonder how much those friends really care about us. How many are just pressing the "virtual like button" without really thinking about it? Are we special to anyone? Can we tell those friends, "I'm sad. I feel rejected. I know I should be confident, but right now I'm not and I need you to tell me you like me. Really like me. Like me if I get sick. Like me if I'm in a crappy mood. Like me if I'm ugly. Like me if I hurt you. Like me if you find out how embarrassing I can be. Like me no matter what. Love me."

Is it fair to expect someone to feel that way about me if I don't feel that way about them? Do I have people who I love unconditionally? Yes, I have a few... Maybe it's time for me to let them know it. I'm guessing they have those same pangs of loneliness and insecurity at times.

I'm not going to update my status page with any of this, but just so you know... I'm not so sad anymore. I'm blessed with people who I love and who I know love me...and they don't even need to press a button to tell me.

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Your Loss" and other stupid stuff people say when they feel rejected

This week on The Love Project we're talking about Rejection.

Let's face it, one of the toughest parts about dating is dealing with rejection... both receiving it and giving it.

Today I'm going to talk about how to act if you feel rejected in that very early stage of dating... I'm specifically thinking of online dating, though this could be true of any first date or meeting. Here are some ways people react when they feel rejected.

Block him/her

I just had a very long debate with The Private Man about his advice for men to block women who don't respond within a week to an initial email. I'd never heard about this before and don't think it's common practice. I think this is ridiculous, since a lack of response to an initial email doesn't even necessarily indicate rejection, but you can read about that debate on his blog if you're interested.

I'm better than you response

Worse than blocking (which just doesn't make sense) are the people who will react negatively when they feel rejected. A classic example is responding with "Your loss." I suppose this kind of response is meant to show that "I'm better than you and don't care that you don't want to go out with me" but instead it comes off as "I'm a baby who can't take a blow to my fragile ego." Other signs of insecurity might be a response like: "I didn't want to date you anyway. I'm dating women who are much younger and hotter than you. I just felt sorry for you." Definite sign of a loser who has zero confidence.

Now luckily, most men who I've communicated with online are more mature than that. There have only been a couple who were really rude. If I can tell from their profile or email that they are disrespectful, I don't engage in conversation with them at all. I used to respond to everyone who sent me an email, but now I ignore anyone who's initial email is disrespectful ie. someone suggesting a "quickie" or sex, or someone who puts something in their profile like: Don't bother to email if you're a liar" (obviously a guy with a lot of baggage.)

I'm desperate and insecure response

Another form of inappropriate behavior when you are rejected is to act needy or desperate. One guy insisted on wanting to know exactly what was wrong with him. He promised to change whatever it was. He kept on emailing me, wanting to go out, even if it was just "as friends." If he hadn't acted so desperate, I probably would have at least kept in contact with him as friends, but it became creepy that he was so needy. Eventually I had to tell him I wouldn't be responding to any more of his emails.

No response

This is one of the most common responses to a rejection. If you haven't even met, and we're just talking about an email, I think it's OK to not respond. A response usually is not expected. However, if you've gone on a first date or meeting, it can be kind of rude to just ignore a nicely worded "Dear John" letter.

An email wishing your rejector well

The most mature and classy thing you can do when you are rejected is to thank your rejector for their honesty, wish them well, and move on with confidence that you will find a better match. Of course, all of this depends on how you were rejected in the first place. How to reject someone is, in itself, a skill that many people do very poorly. However, if the person rejecting you has been thoughtful, it would show grace and class for you to show thoughtfulness in return with a short email of thanks and perhaps a suggestion to stay in touch, if appropriate.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

So You Don't Get an Email Response - Big Deal!

The theme of The Love Project this week is Rejection. If you want to find love, you have to start by not taking things so personally!

One common reason people feel rejected is when they don't get an expected response... or maybe a response at all. Unresponsiveness is becoming more and more common in our society, to the point that it IS almost expected! (With this in mind, it should be easier not to feel rejected.) In my opinion, this especially is true with email. We get so bombarded with email (much of it spam) that often it becomes ignored.

People don't RSVP for parties. People don't respond when you ask for a favor. People don't respond when you invite them to lunch. You start thinking your friends don't really care about you. They'd rather play Farmville on Facebook with their 538 friends then respond to a personal invitation from you. Yeah, you see them out there updating their status with [insert random trivial Facebook status update here] so obviously it's not a question of being too busy and obviously they're on their computer. They just care more about chit-chatting about nothing on Facebook than spending time with you!

If the above is the kind of thing that goes through your head when you don't get a response, you're falling into victim mode. You're taking it personally... making their lack of response all about you. It could be they are just really bad at managing their email. Or maybe they figure you have lots of friends, and they're just one of a crowd to you. Pick up the phone. Let them know they are special to you before you get bent out of shape being upset that you are not special to them. Always start by giving the benefit of the doubt to the person you are feeling rejected by.

Now when it comes to online dating, I think it's even MORE important not to take the lack of response personally. First of all, you don't even KNOW this person. Yes, you may be opening yourself up by initiating contact -- maybe spending time with your wittiest email and then you don't get a response. But there are so many reasons why they don't respond that it's NOT about you! And it doesn't mean they are a bad person either!

I'm in a debate with Private Guy -- who gives online dating advice for men -- and he says women who don't respond are rejecting you or flaky, not worth your time, and should be blocked. I couldn't disagree more! Well... I could disagree more. The thing I think would be worse than that would be sending them an angry email for not responding. That's just downright pathetic.

I say send a second email (after waiting a week or so) -- no pressure or anger or anything at all to make them feel guilty for not responding the first time. Be witty and sweet and funny. Don't make it too long. Just let her know she stood out in the crowd for you and that you'd love to hear from her.

I tried this strategy myself just a couple of weeks ago. I'd gotten on match for a 7-day freebie and there was this adorable guy I wanted to meet. He didn't respond to my first email, so I emailed him again the day before my subscription was about to end letting him know, both that my subscription was ending, and telling him why I thought his profile was very special.

He responded immediately and invited me for a drink! It was a wonderful date, and even though he's not interested in pursuing the relationship any more than a friendship, I have his email address and maybe we will become friends.. I feel so great about having had the date with him, even if it doesn't develop. Had I not taken the chance with a second email, I would have missed out on meeting a very cool guy. And, though I'm disappointed that he doesn't want to pursue more than a friendship, I don't feel at all rejected. I feel flattered that he took the time to meet me.

Not every person will like you or have time to foster a relationship with you. That is not rejection. That is not a reflection of you. Remember that you are the same wonderful person, regardless of whether or not someone responds to you. Don't waste time wondering why they didn't "like" you. There are plenty of other people who do "like" you or will "like" you. Spend your energy giving your attention to those who do have time for you rather than worrying about the lack of attention you're getting back from those who don't.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Assignment 8: Rejoice in Rejection - #love2011

A new week, brings a new theme to the Love Project: Reframing Rejection.

Assignment: Write about a time you were rejected and realized that it turned out to be a good thing. Maybe it opened a new door for you. Maybe it gave you material for a book or comedy routine (see video!) Maybe it motivated you to keep trying. Maybe it helped you finally get out of a relationship that wasn't good for you. If you leave a comment or write a blog post, I will feature your blog on Website Wednesday.

Extra Credit: Use humor! Find a funny story or video (or make your own!) and let me know about it and I'll include it on the Friday Funny post.

Background: The Love Project is about giving and receiving love. In order for this to really work, you have to start by loving yourself (hence, the early assignments related to self-love.) Now, if you've done your homework and love yourself, then it is much easier to handle rejection. You don't let rejection derail you. You realize that with rejection and disappointment comes new growth. Or maybe you just learn to laugh at yourself. Everyone has insecurities. Everyone does stupid, embarrassing things once in awhile. Everyone gets rejected sometimes. It's in talking about it and laughing about it that we can feel bonded with others. Who do you relate more to? The perfect person who never admits to a failure? Or the person who has experienced rejection and failure, but keeps getting back on that horse? Which kind of person do you want to be?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Funnies: Kindness Humor

OK, people, it's getting tougher and tougher to find a theme-related "Friday Funny." I have managed to stick with this Love Project resolution this long, but I have to think of my reputation! If I post a stupid joke here, whoever the Anonymous person who commented that I was "hot" yesterday may change his mind!

After spending way too much time searching for "Kindness Humor," the best I could come up with is this joke found at a Travel Agent Humor Site.

Pure Kindness - Travel Agent Joke

Act of kindness? A travel agent looked up from his desk to see an older lady and an older gentleman peering in the shop window at the posters showing the glamorous destinations around the world. The agent had had a good week and the dejected couple looking in the window gave him a rare feeling of generosity.

He called them into his shop and said, 'I know that on your pension you could never hope to have a holiday, so I am sending you off to a fabulous resort at my expense, and I won't take no for an answer.'

He took them inside and asked his secretary to write two flight tickets and book a room in a five star hotel. They, as can be expected, gladly accepted, and were on their way.

About a month later the little lady came in to his shop. 'And how did you like your holiday?' he asked eagerly.

'The flight was exciting and the room was lovely,' she answered. 'I've come to thank you. But, one thing puzzled me. Who was that old guy I had to share the room with?'

Are you LYAO? I'm guessing that one didn't even warrant an LOL, so, here's another challenge for all you Love Project participants (uh.. Shirley... I think that would be you.) Each week when I announce the theme, put on your humor hat and come up with a funny video or blog post about the theme. We'll make it go viral. Or.. use your cyber-surf skills and recommend something that's already out here. Right now there seems to be a shortage of Kindness Humor, so if anyone wants to fill that gap, go at it!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Do Kind Guys Finish Last?

Now that I'm back on the dating scene, I figured it might be fun to do a blog post about dating and the Love Project theme of the week: Kindness.

"Nice guys finish last" is a common theme in dating circles. Here are two variations that basically say the same thing:

Free Online Dating Tips: Why Nice Guys Finish Last
Heartless Bitches International's: "Nice guys" = Bleah!

Basically, after reading these, I'd say they are equating "Nice guys" to "Insecure guys." It appears that in the context of dating, the term "nice guys" has come to mean the socially awkward, spineless, passive guys who put the women they want to date up on pedestals and don't know how to think for themselves.

(For the record, I don't think we should abuse the adjective "nice" this way. Nice is nice. It's not insecure. A guy CAN be both confident and nice... but I digress.)

What about "kind guys?" Since "kind" and "nice" are pretty darn similar adjectives, are "kind guys" also considered undesirable low-lifes that don't have a back-bone?

I checked one of my favorite blog sites about dating, Hooking Up Smart. (Susan Walsh, the author at this site, practically does a dissertation with every well-researched blog post.)

In The Nice Guy Dilemma, Susan covers not only "nice" but "kind." From the post:

Research also demonstrates that women prize kindness in men. Last month the British Journal of Psychology published a Canadian study (link here) that showed online dating profiles to 300 volunteers. Some of the profiles were altered to demonstrate kindness and altruistic interests. The women showed a strong preference for those profiles, even where the clues were fairly subtle. Dr. Pat Barclay, author of the study says:

This suggests that women are attuned to generosity, and that altruism serves a purpose in mate selection. If a man is kind and generous towards others – even strangers – then there’s a good chance that he’d make a good and generous parent.

Dr Viren Swami, a specialist in interpersonal attraction from the Department of Psychology at the University of Westminster had a similar take:

Our research has found ‘agreeableness’ to be particularly important to whether people are attracted to each other. Altruism could be regarded as one component of agreeableness.

It’s been suggested that men deliberately play up their altruistic tendencies as a way of demonstrating that they’re not just after sex. I think that sounds like a good strategy as long as it’s not completely fabricated. A man’s being eager to reassure women about this is probably a tip-off that he is a man of good character, and wants that to come across in his profile.

Interestingly, while men valued signals of kindness when looking for a LTR, they found it off-putting when looking for something short-term. One researcher hypothesized that men don’t want their hookups distracted by other interests, but I’d venture a different idea. I think it’s much harder to f*ck over a woman when you know from the start that she is kind. It feels just a bit crappier if you can’t pretend she’s a cold-hearted wench.

Susan also makes reference to the Sexademic blog post: Kindness and Hot Sex are Not Mutually Exclusive. In this post, once again, kindness seems to come out OK. You can still be kind and good in bed. (Phew!)

I guess bottom line here is that "kindness" seems to be a desirable trait, particularly if you're seeking a long-term-relationship. Being "kind" doesn't seem to get the same negative connotation that being "nice" does. (This is a relief since I instructed those participating in The Love Project to Be Kind this week. I'm thinking I should stay away from a "Nice" theme...)

And what about "bad boys?" Is it true that in order to get the girl, you have to be a jerk? While it's true that there are jerks that get women, I don't think it's the jerk behavior that gets her, I think it's the confidence. Jerk, nice, or kind, if you don't have confidence, you're gonna strike out... or more likely, you'll never even get up to bat because you'll be sitting on the sidelines.

Of course, we all look for certain traits in a romantic partner. Positive traits, in my opinion would include kindness, confidence, and yes...even niceness. Negative traits would be jerks (or disrespectful behavior) and insecurity.

So, in answer to the question, no, it doesn't look like kind guys finish last. In fact, if they're confident, they'll finish first -- at least in my book.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Website Wednesday: Top Sites about Kindness

It is the Love Project tradition to share Websites and blogs about the theme of the week, and this week that theme is Kindness.

Love Project MVP
girl nutkin in the BA - #love2011: thoughts for week 7

Websites and Pay it Forward Communities
Random Acts of Kindness
One Act of Kindness

Blogs about Kindness
One Million Moments of Kindness
Random Blogs of Kindness
Kindness and Kisses
Embrace Your Spirit of Wonder - Pental Blog

Related Posts on My Blog (This hyper link will bring up the posts below and more.)
World Kindness Week - Spread Kindness!
Spreading Kindness and Love with a Recorded Call
Are Kindness and Love Synonomous?
Kindness Tips from Pick The Brain

Know of other blogs or resources related to love or any related themes? Let me know and I'll add them on Wednesdays and to my Love Link List!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Find Your Soulmate and Make Money On the Affiliate Program

OK, remember this morning when I told you about the Soulmate Summit? Well, since then I found out from kindnessandkisses (who is also participating) that they have an affiliate program.

If you register on my link and then upgrade, I get to share in the commission! (Of course, you can be like me, and just stick with the free stuff, too.)

And, if you have lots of single friends or you blog (especially if you blog about relationships), you can join the affiliate program and make some moola, too.

So let's do it! Let's go find our soulmates and make some money, too!

Today on the agenda is:

Soulmate Seminar #1 with Dr John Gray
Mars & Venus on a Date: How to Navigate the 5 Stages of Dating to Create a Loving, Lasting Relationship with Your Soulmate

Dr. John Gray is a certified family therapist whose seventeen books in the Mars/Venus series have sold over fifty million copies and have been published in forty-five languages worldwide.

In this session, you'll learn:

  • Why understanding the differences between men and women is absolutely essential for lasting love

  • What you need to know about men to truly win your soulmate's heart

  • Why growing in love and improving your life are inseparable and how to do both

  • What men truly need, and how to provide it to them

  • What it means when he "disappears" and what to do about it

Soulmate Seminar # 2 with Carol Allen
Love is in the Stars: Unlocking the "Astrological" Keys to Attract Your Soulmate
Carol Allen is a renowned Vedic astrologer and relationship coach and author of Love Is in the Stars - The Wise Woman's Astrological Guide To Men.In this session, you'll discover:
  • Why expecting it to "magically happen" may be ruining your chances to experience the real magic of love

  • Why your own resistance to happiness itself can get in the way of having sustained love

  • The difference between compatibility and chemistry and why it's important to identify this in your relationship

  • How to be a woman, and more importantly, how to let your man be a man, and what you've probably been doing that's been getting in the way

Soulmate Summit Underway

Last night the Soulmate Summit, an 11-day series of teleclasses, opened up with Arielle Ford and Claire Zammit. Now, I hadn't really planned on attending, particularly last night, since I was celebrating Valentine's Day with a pig-out feast and movie with my son, but the calls are recorded. So this morning at 4am when I prematurely awakened I signed in to check it out.

First, let me tell you some of my reservations about the program.
1) I think each teleclass is at least an hour long and it's hard for me to find an extra hour each night. However, I think the recordings can be downloaded and listened to later, so... if I can get them loaded on my iPod and listen while I'm running, that would be great.

2) I'm not really a big "soulmate" kind of person. All the talk about "setting intentions" and putting things out into the "UNIverse" is all a bit "Woo Woo" for my taste. What do you expect from an engineer? (Note: "Woo Woo" = term I got from Love Project MVP girlnutkin).

3) Taking classes to "Find Love" seems kind of desperate. Sure, I hope to find a partner, but I'm pretty happy being single, too. I'm a firm believer in finding love is as simple as giving love, so not really sure I want to focus so much energy in listening to hours of classes.

4) With all the newsletters, books, and blogging about love I do, I'm a bit OD'ed on it all. I don't want to spend so much time studying love that I'm not experiencing it.

Now, most of the above probably doesn't apply to you, so I do want to recommend checking it out for yourself. I've covered my reservations, but here's why I think it's worth attending, that is if you're single and hoping to find a partner:

1) It's FREE! (Always a plus in my book.)

2) There are a lot of very prominent authors and love experts giving these seminars. I know that many of these speakers have programs that people pay hundreds of dollars for, so definitely seems like it would be worth the time to listen to what they have to say.

3) Though 4am teleseminars tend to be the perfect cure to my insomnia, I was able to stay awake enough this morning to feel like the content was informative and that despite the woo-woo factor, I might learn something.

4) Since I hope to write a Love Project book myself, it definitely is worth my time to research and network with these experts and find out more about their books. Who knows? Maybe next year, I'll be on the roster!

So... I will hope to attend and take notes, passing along some great wisdom through my blog where I can. For those of you who attend, I suggest you do the same and we can share a few blog links to get the word out.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day and The Daily Love

Today's the day! Valentine's Day is one of my favorite days of the year because we are celebrating the emotion that is the secret of life and happiness: Love! It would be a great day to join "The Love Project" and to do Assignment 7: Be Kind. The Random Act of Kindness challenge is to Send a Letter of Appreciation to someone. That's a great one! It would be like killing 4 birds with one stone: 1) Love Project (Write a Love Note), 2) Love Project (Be Kind), 3) RAK Challenge, 4) Valentine's Day, but of course the most important thing is you'd be showing your love to someone who's important to you. (If you're at a loss for how to write a good love note, my article in Pick The Brain was published this weekend: Make it Personal - The Best Kind of Valentine.)

Being kind doesn't have to cost money. Just a smile or opening the door for someone is kind. Every email or comment on a blog or Facebook can be kind. Just get in the habit of being kind every day. (Feel free to leave a comment on this blog if you want to check that "Be Kind" baby off your todo list. Or, if you'd rather send me flowers, I'd be up for that, too. I'm always here willing to accept your kindness...)

One of the newsletters I subscribe to is called "The Daily Love," and I really like what the letter said today. Here's an excerpt from the founder of TDL, Mastin Kipp:

Today is a day to celebrate Love. Love of yourself, love for life, for struggles, for everyone in your life, for who is IN your life as well as love for who is OUT of your life. If you're single, today is a great day to celebrate your freedom and embrace even more courage to be more open, more loving and more curious about love.

There are such rich moments that come from being single. Being single gives you the opportunity to get out there and date and discover who you are, what you like, don't' like and what works best for you. Don't let today be another reminder about how you "can't find love" - that's victim speak. Let today be a celebration that you are on your path of discovery. Tonight - take yourself out on a date.

Hope you have a beautiful Valentine's Day full of love. (And remember, I'm here for you, ready to receive any and all love notes or other tokens of affection...)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Showing off my RAK: Attention grabbing profile photos

This week the Love Project theme is Kindness in support of the Random Acts of Kindness promotion. There's this "Twibbons" Facebook App that helps spread the word by adding RAK WEEK to your profile photo. So, being a RAK supporter, I promptly did this without noticing that RAK WEEK ran right across my... uh... "rack" until I got a "Trying so hard not to make an inappropriate comment" comment from one of my Facebook flirt buddies.

Now, I don't normally advertise my "rack" but, hey, I love a double-entendre. I don't think the Twibbons people had that in mind when they designed the caption, but it works for me.

This reminded me of an online dating topic I've been meaning to blog about: Attention grabbing profile photos.

I've heard over and over that the biggest way to get any kind of attention with online dating is with the primary profile picture. Most people do a search and then scan through the photos looking for someone appealing. But what exactly is appealing?

As I wrote about in this blog post about what I find sexy in a photo, for me it's much more about the smile and the eyes than the body. And if I see a photo where someone is trying to show off their body, it's a downright turn-off. I tend to stay away from the profiles with photos of shirtless guys flexing their muscles -- not that I don't appreciate a good body. It just seems self-centered to post a photo that says: 'Look at how sexy I am!'

Of course, we all want people to notice how sexy we are while somehow remaining innocently unaware and humble. I was once helping a very muscular friend of mine get pictures for his profile. I told him to wear a form fitting shirt and I would snap a bunch of candid photos and hopefully, they would hint at his great physique without blatantly showing it off.

What kind of message does it send when women have revealing cleavage or suggestive clothing in their profile photos? Do men think "sexy" or "sleazy"? Do they ever get the same turn-off factor that I get, thinking she must be really into herself? I'll have to ask my male friends about this...

By the way.. This week starts Haley's 12-week-dating-challenge and I am SO on this! I had a really great "first meeting" date last night, having lunch with witty OKCupid Bad/Good Boy today (maybe I'll get him to comment here), and two lunches planned for the week. I'm really looking forward to all of them! I'm back in the saddle!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Love Project Assignment 7: Be Kind

Today starts Week 7 of The Love Project and since I know Random Acts of Kindness is getting ready to kick off Extreme Kindness Week starting February 14, I thought it would be a good week to revisit Kindness.

Assignment 7: Do something kind for someone.

Pretty simple! If you blog either about your act of kindness or an act of kindness that was done for you, I'll added it to this week's Website Wedneday.

Extra Credit: Want a bigger challenge? Take the Extreme Kindness Challenge. From the press release:

“The ‘extreme’ in our challenge is that we’re urging people to take their kind acts to extremes by committing to do a random act of kindness every day for a week,” explained Marilyn Decalo, director of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. “We’ll provide plenty of help with daily action prompts and daily updates on how many acts of kindness the group completes. We believe that encouraging extreme kindness in this way is Our Ticket to a Kinder World.”

who's in?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Funnies: Funny Love Notes

This week on The Love Project we're talking about Love Notes.

The video is a kind of cute little video of a man struggling for the right words for his love note.

Do you like to use humor in your writing? I know for me, a sense of humor is very important, so I love a little humor mixed in with a "love note." The best way I've found to do this is to remember a time the two of you laughed together and then refer to it in your note... sometimes writing a little poem where only the two of you will "get" the joke is the best kind of humor in a "love note."

For example, I once had a boyfriend who was very proper and told me he never farted in front of his wife (back in the days when he was married.) He actually went into the bathroom to do his farts. Except one day, he had bad gas so he went to a back bedroom. He told me how his wife came sniffing in like a dog and her nose led her to the bed where he'd been sitting. She actually put her nose right on the mattress where he'd been sitting and wanted to know why it stunk!

When my boyfriend told me this story, we were both laughing uncontrollably. In fact, I'm laughing right now as I'm writing about it. It was just so funny. I teased him that I'd know he really loved me when he felt comfortable farting in front of me.

That Valentine's Day I wrote him a poem. I remember one of the stanzas was something like:

I'll know I've really captured your heart
On that special day when I hear your fart

Of course, there was a lot more -- all very funny. At least we were laughing.

Warning: Wine or other alcohol may be a key in finding humor in something that may sound stupid when sober.

Want more ideas? Check out Funny Love Letters for samples and more hints about how to write funny love letters. And if you look over to the menu on the left, you'll find ideas for all kinds of love letters!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Unique or Geek: Love Notes of all Kinds

This week on The Love Project we're talking about Love Notes.

We know about eCards and there are the traditional cards from Hallmark, but what are some creative ways to express your love?

Photojojo came out with some cool ideas today. Check out 5 Fun Ways to Share Your Love with Photos.

In my guest post for Pick The Brain (yet to be published so I can't hyperlink to it yet...) I give some ideas about how to write a unique love note. For example, you can use Scrabble letters to spell out a message and then maybe leave a 'U' out and say something like "All I need is U."

Another idea is cutting out words from newspaper or magazines like a ransom note. Then make the recipient meet you at a certain place where you'll meet them with some kind of surprise.

You can figure out how to write stuff in all kinds of ways... Write a message on a cake or in the clouds or (as pictured) on a park bench.

Another fun idea might be to use all kinds of different methods of communication and send a different message every hour... maybe with a new clue to a riddle.

Being a geek who loves puzzles, one of my favorite love notes was written in code. I finally figured out it was in ASCII (computer machine code) and was able to translate it.

More geeky love notes can be found here.

What was the most unique love note you've ever gotten or given?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Website Wednesday: Must See Sites About Love Notes

This week's Love Project Theme is Love Notes and as always, Wednesday is the day to share resources and blogs related to the theme.

At a loss for how to be creative with your love notes? Check out these Websites for inspiration:

Love Project MVP
GirlNutkin in the BA posts about Week 6: Love Notes
(who also turned me on to

Websites and Blogs

AcidCow Love Notes -- Photos with some creative love notes
Txtmania Love Notes -- Share your love, 140 characters at a time!
Romance Love Notes -- A site with poems, love letters, love quotes, and even a love calculator!


LovingYou.Com -- Tips, creative ideas, and samples of love notes of all kinds
1 Million Love Messages -- A blog where readers can share their love with love notes -- A blog filled with a lot of love "stuff."
300 Love Letters - Click on the colored squares to see the love letters one person wrote


Smilebox - I love making these free eCards with music and you can include photos & movies.
JibJab - This let's you put your face in animated characters. Though most are for a price, you can find a few free ones.
CardKarma - Check out all you need is love . a card by bryan
someecards - These are rather untraditional...

And, then, of course, the more traditional eCards:

Have other blogs or sites you'd like to recommend? Let me know and I'll add them to this post and/or to the Love Links page.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

I Love Words and Haley's Challenge

This week on The Love Project we're talking about Love Notes. I could probably make the whole month of February related to "Words of Love"... Love letters, poetry, flirtation, word play. I absolutely love words. And obviously, communication is a key component of any relationship.

Anyway.. I am back in the "game" again... the "dating game" that is. And it IS a game.

I've been frequenting the dating blogs again and came across this 12/12 Dating Challenge on Haley's Halo. Now Haley appears to be a young, Christian single looking for love. If you know me at all, you know I like challenges and games, and this dating game she proposes is very similar to what I did during the year I wrote The Laptop Dancer Diaries. Only rather than 1 date a month, her challenge is 1 date a week for 12 weeks starting the week of February 12!

Being a 50-year-old grandma with a high-schooler still at home, I'd say I deserve some kind of handicap, so I don't feel overly-confident that I'll make it through the 12 weeks, but, hey... at least I'm gonna give it a try.

I actually already have a few dates lined up, so I know I won't totally fail.

The first is with a guy from OKCupid. According to our questions and answers (which there are a ton of on OKCupid), we are not a match at all! But this guy can write! He is funny and mischievous and witty. I am completely smitten with his emails.

I teased him when we first started emailing that he appeared to be the classic "bad boy" and I am the classic "good girl." But the more we emailed the more I began to think he really doesn't seem all that "bad" and I'm not really all that "good." Or could it be the "good" part of me that seeks out someone who will bring out some of my inner-Devil? Could that be why opposites attract?

It may be a big mistake to go out with someone who is clearly not a match based on the "personality tests." But isn't one of the biggest indicators of personality how a person communicates? And in that respect, this guy gets a big thumbs up.

Side note: My February Love Project Goal is to get more participation on my blog. I am going to have to figure out Haley's secret because I ask for simple little assignments and hardly get ANY comments and Haley gives this 12-week dating challenge and gets 48 comments (and counting...) I may have to go hit up some of her fan base to come comment on my blog. I noticed there's someone with screen name "Old Guy." Maybe I could have a virtual date with him and count it as one of my 12... I'll have to find out if there's a rule against that...

Monday, February 07, 2011

Love Drop 2 - Helping kids with Autism

As part of the Love Drop Blogger Network, one of my roles is to help spread the word about what's going on with the Love Drop. Check out the video and read on to find out more about February's Love Drop! From the Love Drop Team:

Last month the Love Drop Team raised over $2,500 and boxes after boxes of goods and items to help Jill and her family get through a hard time in their lives (homelessness & financial worries). We did this in 1 month. All 400+ people came together and gave a few bucks each to impact one family's life. If you participated in this, THANK YOU. The final presentation can be seen here. (It's pretty cool!)

This month we start all over again and circle around 2 beautiful kids with severe autism -- Ethan & Alex.Our goal is to raise $13,000 so we can get them a highly trained service dog. And if possible, two iPads so they can speak again (they can't even say "I love you" to their mom -- these iPads allow them to get their voice back).

Here are 3 ways you can help:
Join the team - This is the best way to help out, and all it takes is $1.00.
Join our blogger network - Blog about our Love Drops each month like I am :) It's easy, it's rewarding, and it REALLY helps spread the word (which in turn helps our families). Love Drop will give you all the content you need.
Give a gift or provide a service - Gift cards (iTunes would be great!), two iPads (so we can help the boys speak again!), and anything else you think could help out.
Thank you guys so much -- You rock.

Our links that may help:
YouTube video link:

Our logos/images:

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Give:Love - Valentine's Cards for a Special Cause

This week on The Love Project we are talking about Love Notes. Even though the weekly assignment was to send a card for no reason, I know many of us are preparing for Valentine's Day so I wanted to tell you about a very special Valentine's effort: Project Give:Love.

Brainchild of Megan from, she had her readers create downloadable Valentine's designs that can be used as Valentine's cards in support of, an organization that helps children who are entrapped in trafficking and slavery. She asks that if you use the downloadable cards that you consider sending a donation to, maybe from the savings of not buying cards. There's also an option to buy some Valentine postcards with the money going towards

I'd been looking for "adult" Valentines that would be appropriate for me to send to friends and family and these were perfect! I can send a Valentine and make a donation to a good cause at the same time!

For those of us who are single, Valentine's Day can often be a time when we feel a little sad that we don't have someone special in our lives. It's easy to think, "I don't have anyone to send a card to..." Those are the times we should stop and remember Valentine's cards are not only for romance. (In fact those who are in romantic relationships often have the pressure of having to live up to some kind of unrealistic expectations on Valentine's Day.)

So, I hope on top of the Week6 assignment to send a "love note" to someone for no reason, you also all are preparing for Valentine's Day with anticipation of lovely cards to give and that you will consider spreading that love to, too!

Spread the Love

I'll be adding sortacrunchy and love146 to the Love Link List.

Are you a blogger? Leave me a comment or send me an email and I'll add your blog to the Love Link List, too. Check it out to find not just blogs, but sites and other projects designed to spread love.

Help me spread the word by cutting and pasting the following into your status:
Join The Love Project: #love2011

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Assignment 6: Send a Surprise Love Note

This week the theme for the Love Project is Love Notes.

Assignment 6: Send a note of love to someone you care about. You can use email or an eCard or a traditional greeting card or make your own.

Note: This does not have to be a romantic card. It can be to a friend, a parent, a child or even someone you don't know... someone who is sick or in a nursing home. Feel free to write a love note to yourself, reminding yourself of all your beautiful qualities. Be creative and tell me about it in the comments or on a blog post.

Background: Valentine's Day is coming up, so of course, if you want to make this into a Valentine's activity, do this again on the 14th. However, I put this as an assignment for this week because I think it's even more fun to receive an unexpected greeting for no occasion. I remember getting an eCard from a friend once that said "Just because you're wonderful." This was not from a close friend. In fact, other than that eCard (which he sent a couple of years ago) I have barely heard from him. He has a girlfriend and there was absolutely no romantic intent in his words. I don't know what motivated him to send the eCard as I hadn't done anything particularly wonderful that I knew of. He may have heard I was going through a rough time... or maybe not. All I know is that it brought tears to my eyes. It felt so good to have someone think of me out of the blue and tell me I was wonderful. So, whether you use the "L" word or not, this week tell someone they're loved with a surprise greeting.

Spread the Love

Are you a blogger? Leave me a comment or send me an email and I'll add your blog to our Love Link List. Check it out to find not just blogs, but sites and other projects designed to spread love.

Help me spread the word by cutting and pasting the following into your status:
Join The Love Project: #love2011

Friday, February 04, 2011

Friday (sort of) Funny and Personal Update

First things first. The Friday Funny on the Love Project for Knowing Yourself can be found here for a look at how the different Myers Briggs personality types view a glass of water.

(Note: You will only "get" this if you know are a Myers Briggs fan and even then you'll probably only be mildly amused, but it's the best I can do... If you have a better Friday Funny about "Knowing Yourself," let me know...)

----END LOVE PROJECT POST-----------------------

Now, this next part is an update on me, something I haven't done for awhile on this blog in an effort to be focused on The Love Project. Rest assured, these personal posts will be infrequent.

One of my New Year's resolutions was to "never complain." And the truth is, I've been very happy since 2011 began. Amazingly so. I realized that I had so many wonderful things in my life... so much love (even if not the romantic type)... and I consciously decided that I would never take it for granted, feel sorry for myself, or waste a minute being angry, sad, hurt, rejected, or any of that other negative stuff. I especially decided to never whine about a "broken heart" or have one of those pitiful "no one loves me" attitudes again.

I've wondered if it's appropriate to talk about what's going on in my love life on a blog. It's personal and you wonder why strangers would care... But surprisingly, sometimes they do.. And even when they don't, it's therapeutic for me, just to get out the thoughts going through my head... So here goes...

In December, 2009, I met someone who I will call "B." He was (is) so sweet, so cute, so romantic. I thought God had sent me B to help me through all the hard stuff....I was unemployed, my Dad had just been diagnosed with cancer, and I was turning 50 -- my "deadline" for falling in love. I figured God, as he has done in the past, was answering my prayers. I got a job, I felt like I'd finally fallen in love, and my Dad was responding remarkably well to the chemo.

Not only was B a sweet, romantic "boyfriend", he had a personality very much like my father's. They were very similar in politics, taste in movies and TV shows, and so many things. I'm guessing they both have the same Myers Briggs scores (INTJ) and would describe the glass as "made from silicon dioxide, heated to a temperature of ..." (They both are engineers.) My Dad (as I knew he would be) was thrilled that I was finally dating a Republican.

After a few months of dating B, I knew it wasn't right. I could tell he wasn't that into me. (A big clue was when he told me he didn't want to be in a committed relationship anymore...) Our communication styles were different. I'd say something meant to be a joke and he didn't laugh. I had almost the exact same "debates" with him that I'd had with my Dad. (In some cases, his words were so similar to my Dad's it was like some kind of Twilight Zone episode!) I knew in my heart of hearts that we were not a good match, but I could not let go. Despite our agreement to not be in a committed relationship, we still saw quite a lot of each other and transitioned into what's called on Facebook, a "complicated relationship."

Then my Dad got really sick. On his death bed, as my brother, sister, Mom and I were gathered around, we talked about politics! I kid you not! When the medics wanted to test his lucidity and asked if he knew who was President, he jokingly said, "I wish I didn't." My Dad, in his final hours, was actually worried about whether or not I would vote Republican or Democrat. (Did I mention, he never quite forgave me for voting for Obama?) My Mom reassured him, "Yvette's dating a Republican now, Honey." (In my Mom's mind, it goes without saying that I'd vote the same way as whoever I'm dating...)

Now, to be honest, I hate politics. But after Dad died I suddenly had this intense desire to make him proud and "be a good Republican" which is pretty crazy. I mean it's a little late now...
I also had this almost desperate need to be around B... even if just to listen to him talk about politics... it was like listening to my Dad. But I could see that the relationship with B was getting more and more one-sided and I knew.... just like I knew my Dad would die, I knew B didn't love me and I needed to move on.

That was 5 months ago. Since then I've half-heartedly dated other guys. B and I have seen each a few times. He is still sweet, cute, and always full of compliments, but has never even attempted to kiss me goodnight.

Today I learned B is in love with someone else. Not just "dating" someone, but really serious.

Maybe that's what I needed to hear to really move on. I'm trying to be happy for him. I know, know, know it never would have worked out between us.

I think about Craig, who couldn't move or talk, let alone have a date with anyone. Did he ever complain? Never! I think about all the friends and family who love me... I think about how lucky I am that I still get attention from guys. I think about people who are risking their lives for our country, people who are dying from all kinds of diseases, people who are poor, hungry, homeless in this frigid cold. I am so incredibly lucky.

So... I am not going to have a pity party. I am going to keep that New Year's resolution and squelch that urge to complain about my lack of boyfriend in this romantic month of February. I'm going to resist the temptations to agonize over why B didn't love me. I'm going to look forward to the new relationship that I know I will find now that I have a more open heart.

And... in an attempt to clear my heart of all complaints and bitterness, the most important thing I must remember is:

I'm SO much hotter than his new girlfriend! (Let's hope I never meet her so I can keep believing that...)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Why Personality Typing Helps Relationships

This week on the Love Project the theme is Know Yourself. Yesterday's Website Wednesday included a bunch of links to personality typing systems, both serious and silly. And those are just the tip of the iceberg.

But are these tests just fun or can they be useful? Today, in my Pick The Brain guest post: What's My Type and Why Should I Care? I explain that by learning about personalities, you discover how different people are and begin to understand not only yourself, but others. From the article:

I used to be confused or take it personally when someone wouldn’t be pleased by the same thing that pleased me. We’re so used to hearing the golden rule: Do unto others as we would have them do unto us. But really, it should be: Do unto others as they would want… which may not necessarily be what we would want ourselves.

Another Pick The Brain article, How to Unleash Your Hidden Power, describes the power of knowing your value and strengths. The author writes:

Defining yourself comes from a combination of articulating your values and acknowledging your strengths. Knowing these things will give you a clear picture of where you want to go and the tools you have to get there.

Knowing yourself and feeling good about who you are is, in my opinion, a pre-requisite to love. You need to start with yourself. That's why, in this love project of mine, I have started with assignments and themes about self-love.

If you haven't done so yet, I hope you'll pop on over to the Know Yourself Assignment and add a one-word comment describing yourself. (Or feel free to leave a longer one or a whole blog post!)

Stay tuned as we have more assignments and fun to love ourselves and others.
Please subscribe to The Love Project and spread the word!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Website Wednesday: Know Yourself - Personality Tests

This week on the Love Project the theme is Know Yourself with an easy assignment of only picking one word to describe yourself.


Once again, Love Project MVP Shirley Rivera wins with not only commenting with her one word, but doing the extra credit and blogging about the experience.

Girl Nutkin in the BA

Other Participants:

Altared Spaces
Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities

Note: It's not too late to add your comment or participate in any assignment on The Love Project. All bloggers who participate will also be added to the Love Link List.

Websites about Personality Typing Systems

A History of Personality Typing
Myers & Briggs

Personality Games and Quizzes

okCupid Tests
Planet Wally

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Happy New Month - How to Examine Your Goals - Inspect and Adapt

I love beginnings. Several years ago I started celebrating each new month. I figured if celebrating the New Year would motivate me to start new great goals, why not celebrate each month? In fact, I even wrote about this in Goodbye New Year's Resolutions, Hello Monthly Habits.

This week on the Love Project, the theme is Self-Awareness, and the Week 5 Assignment is to pick one word to describe yourself. For me, that word is goal-driven. (I hope that's considered one word, even though it's hyphenated!) I'm very analytical, too, as you'll see! (Hey, I just realized, this is probably where the word "anal" comes from. At least I'm hoping when someone describes me that way they are just shortening the word 'analytical' rather than using it as a short-cut for a$$-hole... Hmmm.. But I digress.) If you're an analytical, goal-driven, type-A kind of person, too, read on!

My "Big Goal" for 2011, is to host The Love Project, and so far, so good! But with goals, it's important to break them down into manageable pieces, measure, reflect, adapt -- make sure you are accomplishing what you set out to accomplish. In agile software development (my line of work) this is called doing a "retrospective" and then we "inspect" and "adapt." I'll demonstrate using my goal as an example, but you might want to substitute your own resolutions or goals and go through these steps.

First, figure out why you want to accomplish the goal.

Why I want to host The Love Project:

1) To help me heal from the recent grief of losing my Dad and my friend, Craig.
2) To help make the world a better place by spreading resources and ideas about love.
3) To help get content and visibility for a new book about love.
4) To learn more about blogging and growing traffic.
5) To expand my own knowledge and capacity to love and be loved.
6) Get more visibility for The Laptop Dancer Diaries.

Next, reflect on what did you do in January to accomplish your goal.

1) Blogged almost every day, including an assignment each Saturday, Website Wednesday, and Friday Funnies related to theme of the week.
2) Learned more about SEO and other blogging techniques as time allowed.
3) Became a Guest Blogger on Pick The Brain.
4) Bought loveproject2011 domain, but have yet to create the Website.

Reflect (with measurements if possible) on how well your objectives are being met.

1) Green: If grief recovery could be measured, I would give high marks here. Doing something productive and meaningful, reminding me of my Dad and Craig has helped move me away from feeling sorry for myself and into a much happier place.

2) Yellow: I have found lots of great sites and resources, but I'm not satisfied that I'm getting the word out as much as I would like. Traffic and subscriptions have increased by about 20%, but I hope this will get a lot higher.

3) Red: Though I put together a rough outline, I have done hardly anything about my new Love Project book. I also haven't created my new Love Project Website yet.

4) Yellow: I learned more about blogging tools and techniques, but the more I learn, the more I know I don't know.

5) Green: In doing the exercises, writing, and searching for sites I felt inspired, happier, and like love was always in the forefront of my mind.

6) Red: I did sell a few books and got some good reviews, but I don't think those sales originated because of the blog.

Reflect on what you'll keep doing and what you'll change

1) Blogging every day takes too much time and potentially is too many posts for subscribers. Blog less frequently, but at least 3 times a week.

2) Comment more on others' blogs. I found a great post today (and a new Love Project Participant), Aidan Donnelly Rowley of Ivy League Insecurities.

3) Highlight great Love Resources, perhaps with an eBook or a special page, so this won't get lost amongst the posts.

4) Create the Love Project 2011 Website if I have time.

5) Look into other marketing ideas for The Laptop Dancer Diaries.

6) Promote more often and ask for help with promoting by posting:

Join The Love Project, Spread the Love:

If you made it to the end of this post, you are probably a goal-driven type yourself, so do me a favor... Participate in the easy Assignment 5 of The Love Project and leave me the one word to describe yourself!