Category: dating

June 5th, 2014 — 9:31pm

I often say that I miss dating in the nineties. Recent experiences reminded me of why — and how murky the dating landscape has become.

After connecting with a guy online, S, we met up for drinks. As the evening progressed, our solicitous waiter repeatedly asked if we wanted to order food. S cut him off each time without even asking if I might want to share something.

When it came time to plan date number two, S asked me to suggest a venue. Applauding his excellent first date choice, I insisted he choose. He did. Drinks or dinner? I wondered.

“Up to you,” he texted back.

“Your call,” I replied.

I could feel my frustration mounting as I texted that. Whatever happened to a healthy dose of manly initiative in romance? Why does it feel like you have to strongarm a guy into courting you these days? The answer, of course, is that the old fashioned rules which once defined dating seem to have gone by the wayside – making it more difficult than ever to truly connect.

In this era where your next flirtation is only a click away, it’s no surprise that today’s dating culture is a decidedly lazy one. Popular wisdom encourages this, repeatedly telling us women that our expectations are too high, that we are naïve and unreasonable to want the wooing of pre-texting days.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been told to lower my expectations. But at what point does accommodating post-modern dating rules (or lack thereof) begin to cross over into compromising what you believe in?

S did eventually take the lead with my encouragement. Which made me see an upside to these role reversals in dating – being free to speak your mind about what you want.

If only it didn’t feel like a time machine was required to find it.

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May 17th, 2014 — 9:51pm

One of the many wonderful things about my job at The Westin New York Grand Central is it connects me with amazing people I wouldn’t get to know otherwise. That serendipitous occurrence happened once again – during a delightful lunch with wildly popular blogger/cookbook author Tess Masters a.k.a .

Tess and me

Tess and I met while she was staying at the Westin as part of a multi-city tour promoting her fabulous new cookbook. Named for her blog, features 100 gluten-free, vegan recipes that excite even an unabashed carnivore like me. The cookbook is generating plenty of media buzz and with good reason.

Tess and I were introduced via email via a mutual acquaintance a few months ago, and we clicked immediately. Like everyone else I know from Australia, Tess is charming, fun and down to earth. During lunch, we bonded effortlessly over our shared background in TV, love of Westin’s wellness programs and appreciation for the differing attributes of L.A. (where Tess lives now) and NYC.

My first experience of L.A. was 20 years ago with then-boyfriend and CA native . I saw so much of it during the year that we dated that its charms were somewhat lost on me. Over time, though, I’ve come to enjoy it as a very welcome respite from the relentless hustle and bustle of my hometown. Coastal, beachside living and a more laidback attitude are very alluring when you reside in the concrete jungle of Manhattan.

Thankfully, NYC is finally enjoying one of LA’s best attributes – beautiful weather. After our long winter, I’m slowly emerging from a seasonal dating hibernation. It feels good to get back out there. To realize that each time I take a crack at meeting someone special, I am growing and evolving in the process.

A new season indeed.

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November 3rd, 2013 — 3:48pm

Fall is in full swing and this is the perfect time of year – before winter sets in and 2014 sneaks up on us – to give your love life a reboot. Here are some top tips for shaking up your dating routine.

Break The Ice: If you encounter someone who strikes your fancy, take the initiative to say something that gets his attention. Not the bold type? Just making eye contact and starting with a simple hello and how are you will usually get the job done.

Get Out Of Your Zip Code: Have you spent so much time at your neighborhood bar that everyone knows your name? Mix things up by venturing out of the hood to some singles-friendly venues with a favorable guy-girl ratio. A few worth visiting: upscale sports bar The Royal in Union Square, lively BBQ joint  Brother Jimmy’s (various locations) and Midtown West happy hour hotspot Faces & Names.

Go Mobile: Tired of time consuming online dating websites? Speed up your love life by downloading a mobile app. Check out Tinder and Anomo or the app functions of HowAboutWe and OkCupid.

Get Involved: From New York Cares to, there’s no shortage of groups that will connect you with a new passion and maybe even a new romance. This year, I’ve volunteered at NY Cares projects covering computer literacy, soup kitchens and elderly assistance, and joined a Meetup book club. Make some space in your calendar to broaden your horizons and have fun along the way.

Boost Your Dating IQ: As singles, we can all use some expert advice from time to time. You’ll find some of the best from Matchmaker and Single In Stilettos Founder Suzanne Oshima. Sign up for Suzanne’s weekly emails, providing a healthy dose of common sense and refreshing take on the ups and downs of dating. I recently shared my takes on the unique challenges of thirtysomething dating and how to navigate them. to watch the full interview.

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June 9th, 2013 — 9:56pm

Wednesday, I enjoyed a long overdue girls night in with my good friend Faith.

Spending time with Faith is always a wonderful reminder that serendipity really is a force you can count on. Faith and I met three years ago, at a happy hour hosted by a guy I went out with once. Though sparks didn’t ignite on the date, the chemistry between me and Faith was immediate.

Faith and me celebrating the holidays (December 2011)

Smart, fun and full of heart, Faith exudes an energy you can’t help wanting to be around. She also happens to be a fabulous wing woman, as I’ve discovered on several occasions when she has played matchmaker while we’re out on the town.

The other night, we had plenty to catch up on. Our effortless, soul soothing conversation covered career transitions, the ebb and flow of attraction when a relationship fizzles out, and how unpredictable dating can be.

In just the last week alone, I’ve experienced major post-date miscommunication with one guy and a derailed reunion with an old flame from my Great Dating Blitz. It’s too soon to say what the outcome of either will be — but I am oddly okay with that. Because I am finally embracing that the direction my love life takes isn’t something I can foresee. Better to just embrace the adventure of it all — and remain hopeful about a happy ending.

And of course being thankful for girlfriends like Faith to share it all with.

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May 5th, 2013 — 8:38pm

This has been a particularly action-packed week — with four work-related events, two of which I had a large part in planning. It culminated in yesterday’s Bridal Bash, an occasion that represented the intersection of business and pleasure which is very much a part of my job.

Westin ladies decked out for the bash: (from left) Jhana, Donna, Jenn and me

To celebrate the opening of our new ballroom, my Westin New York Grand Central colleagues and I came up with a fun idea – inviting women to wear their wedding or bridesmaid dresses again while joining us for an afternoon of cocktails and giveaways. Among those in attendance were a handful of my girlfriends who came to support me and reminded me how lucky I am to have them in my life.

Among my favorite moments: the overcome-with-joy reaction of a prizewinning woman who made me feel a little like Oprah must when she’s giving away something big…Working with a nice WPIX/Channel 11 camera guy to get a sound bite from one of our guests. It was a fun throwback to my TV reporter days, and another example of how I’ve finally landed in a gig where I feel like everything I did before was in preparation for it.

After Bridal Bash ended, my good friend Bobbi and I decided to take advantage of the Kentucky Derby-Cinco de Mayo celebrations going on. Our first stop was Stone Rose Lounge for drinks and light bites. Then, we walked over to the trendy Hudson Hotel.

The hotel’s outdoor fiesta was for ticketed guests only, so we parked ourselves in a corner of the bar for some lively conversation about work and dating. We talked about discovering ex-boyfriends are married, the increasing appeal of non-New York men and viewing past relationships with hindsight.

“Do have you any regrets?” Bobbi asked, about the guys I’ve walked away from over the years.

I actually don’t. Though there are romantic situations I could have handled better, sparing myself and another person a lot of needless heartache, I know I did the best I could at the time. And that I am stronger and, I like to think, wiser for having gone through all of those ill-fated loves. I learned from every single one of them. I’m a better woman for it all, knowing that when I meet the right person, I’ll be truly ready for him.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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March 24th, 2013 — 8:05pm

About seven months ago, I decided it was time to upgrade my kitchen and bathroom. Though I was forewarned by family and friends to prepare for delays and detours, I still couldn’t have imagined how all consuming this little home improvement project would become.

Work In Progress: What will eventually be my new kitchen and bathroom fixtures

As I near the end of my renovation odyssey, I can’t help thinking that some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way also apply to the search for love.

Never Assume (i.e. Ask The Right Questions) – My contractor assured me his company would take care of the paperwork needed for my co-op, so I assumed I didn’t have to do anything on my end. Until a month later when my superintendent happened to inform me I needed to fill out an alteration agreement. I could’ve avoided the four week delay if I had just asked the right questions, something that’s just as important to do when you’re in the early stages of dating someone new.

Expect The Unexpected – This seems like an obvious one, but I was still thrown for a loop when faced with crookedly hung cabinets, the delivery of backsplash tiles I didn’t order and minor construction mistakes shared with me after installation. No matter how much you plan, renovating is full of surprises and the same is true of dating.

The Timeline In Your Head Doesn’t Always Correspond To Reality – When I signed with my contractor back in November, I figured I would be cooking in my new kitchen by Valentine’s Day. That deadline came and went, a reminder that it doesn’t matter what time frame you have in your head for completing a major milestone. Life happens and this is especially true when it comes to the circuitous path of dating and mating. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, only that it’s going to take a little longer.

With my newly made over kitchen and bathroom about a week or so away from being finished — fingers, toes and all other parts crossed, of course – I’m feeling hopeful about what lies ahead for my love life too.

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February 13th, 2013 — 8:31pm

There’s hope for the institution of marriage…and bad dental hygiene is a dealbreaker. Those are among the key findings in’s third annual study.

The dating website recently polled nearly 5,500 singles (50-50 men/women) from the ages of 21-71+. Singles were asked about everything from sex and marriage to, of course, technology and how it has affected dating.’s Chief Scientific Advisor Dr. Helen Fisher presented the study’s findings at a livestream event on Saturday.

When it comes to first impressions, the top two things both men and women judge by are teeth and grammar.

This playful video riffs on the three things men notice first about women, according to's survey

“Your teeth say a great deal about your health, your youth and your fertility,” Fisher explained. “The brain is programmed to look for signs about [these things] at any age…And we’re in the age where communication is power. It’s how you can present yourself that makes a real difference.”

Teeth and grammar are the first two things both men and women notice about each other. The third thing, though, differs by gender — as depicted in a clever video illustrating what men look at first. Hair is the third thing men judge women by, while clothes rounds out the top three for women about men.

Bottom line – appearance matters when you’re trying to attract the opposite sex.

According to the study, more than two thirds of men and women in their twenties and thirties say they want to get married, and 90% those open to marriage believe they can stay married to the same person forever. Having similar ethnic or religious backgrounds to a partner isn’t a must — only 30% of men and 40% of women consider that very important.

“We’re shedding 10,000 years of our basic traditions and turning to something which in my opinion is even healthier,” Fisher says. “– A real personal connection to somebody else.”

When it comes to researching a date on Facebook, I’m actually with the 49% of men who consider it unacceptable. While many would argue that it’s a necessity in this age of online dating where you never really know who you’re connecting with, I think common sense is just as powerful as the Internet’s search function. Dating existed long before the days of FB, Google and the like, and singles were required to trust their intuition and actually get to know someone.

My exception to this would be if your instincts are already telling you something is amiss. But if you’re just snooping around online to pry into your date’s life, I say skip it and save your questions for when you’re face to face.

You can find out more about the Singles in America study .

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May 17th, 2012 — 1:52pm

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting founder Shelli Trung. Though Shelli and I connected awhile back, this was our first time catching up in person since Shelli is born and bred in Melbourne, Australia.'s Shelli Trung and me

Over a cozy lunch at Cinema Café in Midtown, Shelli shared her inspiration for creating the website – Sex And The City. Once the beloved series ended, Shelli felt there was a void when it came to programming that talked honestly about women’s dating lives. is a fascinating, fun website that chronicles a year in the dating life of women based in some of the world’s greatest cities – New York, London, Shanghai and Sydney. The site is one of Shelli’s many ventures. A petite powerhouse of energy, she also dabbles in real estate and marketing so I’m not surprised she was named one of Australia’s top 10 ten female startup entrepreneurs.

The conversation flowed freely as we talked about following your bliss and how dating far outside your zip code opens you up to unexpected experiences. Shelli says Aussie men tend to be laidback about dating but quick to commit – a far cry from what she’s discovering about American guys.  We also got onto the subject of Australia’s knack for work-life balance and I filled Shelli in on how much I loved living in Sydney briefly ten years ago.  What’s not to love about a city situated alongside a gorgeous harbor with beautiful weather and friendly people who know how to live a good life?

Talking to Shelli reminded me why I have such affection for Australia and its people. And why, when you’re a single gal in any city, you’re part of a great, global sisterhood. Shelli and I are already planning a girls night out for her next visit, so stay tuned!

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April 27th, 2011 — 2:31pm

When you’re single, the subject of your love life invariably comes up in conversation — even if you don’t want it to.

Now that I’m in the second half of my thirties, I can’t help noticing how my dating status is considered fair game, the default topic of choice among partnered up folks especially. It’s as though every other pursuit or relationship in a single person’s life is considered less important than who she is (or is not) dating.

I was reminded of this during a phone conversation about how I would be listed in my alma mater’s alumna directory.

“It’s been nearly eleven years since you graduated,” the representative needlessly reminded me. “Do you have any family information you would like to share — Spouse? Children?”

“No I don’t,” I said curtly, refraining from adding what I am tempted to almost every time someone asks me about my love life. Which is that if there’s something worth telling, I will tell it.

All too often, people assume that singles are so wrapped up in finding happily ever after that we want to blather on about it. Or, in the case of the directory rep, that being of a certain age means you must be of a certain relationship status. Neither assumption is true.

So the next time you find yourself curious about a single person’s dating life, consider asking something else instead. Because there’s much more to being unattached than looking for a mate — and that’s a subject I’m more than happy to talk about.

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January 12th, 2010 — 1:39am

A friend of mine recently told me she was advised not to see her new beau on Sunday because that’s a ’relationship day.’

Along with the absurdity of this so-called dating rule, I couldn’t help thinking about how romance unfolds — and how tricky it is to know whether you’re going at the right pace.

When it comes to relationships, I’m a veteran of the warp speed variety. There was the long-distance love who mentioned marriage on our first date. And the Yonkers native who said those three big words only four days after we met. Did I mention the dog lover who declared, after one month, that he’d stopped seeing other women immediately following our first date?

Having spent so much time in the dating fast lane, I find myself wondering what (if anything) it means when a relationship develops more slowly. Does getting together on a weekly basis mean there’s a lack of urgency, of passion?

Not according to my wise best friend Lisa. Lisa says taking things slowly is a sign of maturity, of getting to know a potential significant other before investing too much emotionally.

She may have a point. I don’t have to look any further than my late and adored parents for a great example of the slow burn.

For years, Mom and Dad were colleagues at odds. When, much to her surprise, he asked her out, she based her answer on his reputation as a ladies man.

“When I want to belong to a stable,” she said without missing a beat, “I’ll invest in some horses.”

Needless to say, she eventually changed her mind.

Maybe there’s something to be said for keeping your foot off the relationship accelerator. After all, you never know what’s right around the corner.

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