Monday, September 20, 2010

Anniversary Determination

For the coupled up who aren’t married, what event marks the beginning of our relationships (and the date of which determines our anniversaries)? Is it the first date? The first sexual encounter? The DTR talk ? The first “I love you” day? If you were friends or knew each other for a period of time before you actually started dating, do you count your anniversary as the day you met, especially if sparks flew and you knew you liked that person, even if circumstances prevented you from making a move? Is it the day you first hooked up? The first official romantic, non-friend date? The day you admit your feelings for each other? 

In my informal conversations with people, it appears that the most common way the anniversary date is determined is to retroactively use the date of the first romantic date, after the DTR has occurred. This makes sense: if you were to use the first date as the anniversary marker prior to any DTRing, the chances of totally freaking out your date by celebrating your “anniversary” of your “relationship” with them are pretty high. After all, I think most would agree that anniversary (in a romantic situation), implies that both parties are fully aware of what’s being celebrated — when it’s one-sided, it’s obsession or stalking.

Another benefit of using the first date (retroactively) as the determination of the anniversary, assuming the DTR happens about three weeks to a month into dating, is that you automatically get to add a month or so to your coupledom. This gives you street cred with other couples and at parties, since the question of “How long have you guys been together” is always one of the first things asked, is one of those questions we use to measure each other up when we’re getting to know one another and the answer to which lets the questioning party assume volumes about you: how solid are you as a couple, how well do you know each other, how serious it is and, how likely it is to last.

In the beginning of a relationship, each month together marks an exciting milestone and an accomplishment, since so many things fizzle after just a short time. Recognizing each month you still like each other and want to be together is a big deal and is cause for celebration, whatever event you choose to mark the beginning. 

Yours in anniversarating, S

Originally published on the blog (a new dating site that matches people based on music, movies and book likes and dislikes), where I am the weekly love/relationships contributor.

Credits: Image by

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dating Dish: You Don't Need a Plus One to Have Fun

This is the next installment of my monthly column, Dating Dish, for Girl Power HourDating Dish is a monthly feature that brings you hot dating tips and sassy how tos to keep your dating life sexy. Enjoy!

You Don't Need a Plus One to Have Fun

It's National Singles' Week...and Being Single Rocks

(As published on Yahoo! Shine on September 20th, 2010.)

This week is National Singles' Week, and when you're recovering from a relationship breakup, no matter if it happened two weeks or two years ago, it's really important to be single for a while and get to know this new you. Each time we have a relationship and open our hearts to someone else (freakish pinky toes and all), we grow as people and hopefully learn a bit more about ourselves. Each relationship is different, so while it's unlikely the lessons we took away from our last relationship will directly apply to the next one, a lifetime of loving, losing and moving on are all integral parts of life and our development as people.

So, when we're in the recovery phase (past the pity parties, but not quite ready to open up again), it's a wonderful opportunity to have an absolutely fabulous time and enjoy the hell out of life. Whether we're flying solo by way of the road of recovery from a break-up, or just haven't met someone special enough to merit coupledom yet, when we find ourselves in the glorious land of singledom, it is a time to be cherished, savored and enjoyed. Here are ten reasons why being unattached rocks.

1) More free time. New relationships are a major time-suck. Hobbies, laundry, working out and the gloriousness of having a whole afternoon ahead of you with no plans beyond lazing around with your dog at the park with a good book can often be overlooked.

2) You get to fall in love again! There is nothing like falling in love -- it's fun, exciting and makes you feel like you've got a sunbeam filled with rainbows, unicorns and butterflies following you around everyday. When you're single, each new person you meet is has potential to be the next person you fall in love with. How exciting is that?

3) Your time is yours. When you're part of a couple, it's considerate and pretty normal to check in with your significant other to see what they're doing and if they want to join you in what you're planning on doing. When you're single, you're free to do what you want, when you want and how you want, without any need to run your plans by anyone else.

4) You can be weird and no one knows about it. We all have little weird behaviors that make us happy that we mostly likely put a lid on when we're around other people. Feel like letting your mild OCD run rampant as you alphabetize your bookshelf? Love spending three hours trying on make-up and experimenting? Want to dance naked around your apartment listening to Lady Gaga? Want to watch 18 episodes in a row of Gossip Girl? Go for it.

5) If you're back to living by yourself, you can decorate according to your tastes alone - there's no need to cooperate, coordinate, consult or compromise with anyone else, which means that paisley print couch you've been keeping in storage for the last five years can make a grand appearance once again.

6) You can vacation wherever you want. Vacationing is one of those things that people have strong preferences on, especially when we only get two weeks off a year. When those preferences don't match up, things can get complicated. When you're single, there's no complication. This is a great time to be selfish and take the vacation you've always wanted. Costa Rica for a week with the college peeps coming right up!

7) You're free to flirt. Let those random conversations with hot strangers turn into a date and see where it goes. Relationships (usually) mean you've made a conscious choice to be with that person and that person alone. That cute someone you see every Saturday morning at yoga is now no longer off limits. Enjoy.

8) You can hang out with your friends more. Truth: being part of a couple means less time for friends. So make up for lost time and start making more awesome memories.

9) Your friends will invite you out more. Single friends are usually more available socially than coupled up ones, so bask in the glory of being everyone's first choice to come hang out and prepare for some amazingly random nights.

10) First dates! First dates have so much potential -- both to go badly and to go well. If they totally bomb and your date is a freak, you've got a great story to tell your friends (who are probably living vicariously through your raging social life), and if the date goes well? Bring on the happy, this-has-potential-butterflies.

There are aspects about both sides -- coupled up or not -- that have pluses and minuses. That said, instead of focusing on what we might not have at the moment or the negatives we may feel about no longer being one half of a couple, focus on all the good things about being single. Enjoy each day as fully as possible, spend a ton of time with great friends, laugh, and rock this period of time when we're completely unattached and free to do what we want. Bouncing back is all about finding happiness in our new lives, and being single, focusing on whatever whim strikes us and enjoying our friends is a major part of that healing process.

Originally published by BounceBack, LLC on, where I'm the dating expert.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Friends First

When trying to figure out if those you meet online, in person and at Jimmy’s rager of a party last weekend are long-term relationship compatible, one question that I think gets overlooked in the “Definitely” vs. “Not sure” debate is whether or not you would be friends with this person if you took away the sexual component of your relationship.

Do they make you laugh? Do they get you? Do you have a good time with them? Are you comfortable around them?Can you talk to them?Do they have your back?

Don’t get me wrong: sexual chemistry is extremely important in a relationship and is something deserving of major consideration when determining compatibility and, if things go well, exclusivity. But having someone to hang with that you dig as a person as well as wanting to rip their clothes off? That’s awesome.

When in the dating game, we’re often faced with so many different packages of personality, looks, likes/dislikes, sense of humor, dreams/goals and hobbies, that it becomes overwhelming. It’s such a challenge to sort through and figure out who, if any, of the people we’re currently dating, hoping to date or looking for are right for us. As a result, we look to sexual chemistry to guide us because it’s easy. You KNOW when you think someone is attractive. It doesn’t require deep, introspective thought. However, great chemistry can be overwhelming, hard to see through and blind us to anything but sex. Plus, finding the perfect person(s) for each one of us is a challenge, and it’s incredibly enriching and a helpful to date people who are not entirely right for us so that we can better figure out what is right for us. We learn a tremendous amount about ourselves and how to navigate a relationship each time we have one.

However, letting our decisions about relationships be guided solely by great chemistry can make it difficult to see the whole picture and, more often than not, if we chase only the sex and don’t think about whether or not the person in question is fun to hang with when we’re not having sex with them, making it long-term can be challenging. My point is that when we’re over being involved in things that don’t work out and we’re serious about searching for our next big relationship, it’s worth it to take a minute and figure out whether or not this person has potential as both a friend and as someone who frequently pushes our sexual chemistry buttons.

Yours in BFFs (with benefits), S

Credits: Image by pedrosimoes7

Originally published on the blog (a new dating site that matches people based on music, movies and book likes and dislikes) on September 6, 2010, where I am the weekly love/relationships contributor.