Will You Accept This Rot? How Watching ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ Can Literally F*ck Up Your Life (Even Though It’s Fun)

March 2016: Well, another season of The Bachelor has just concluded. Drop-dead gorgeous and truly delightful Bachelor Ben Higgins is engaged to the sweet blonde, Lauren Bushnell. The runner-up, JoJo (although, I prefer her full name – Joelle) is the new Bachelorette – and I have no doubt she’ll be fabulous.

I’ll admit it – I love The Bachelor. And The Bachelorette. As a dating and relationship ‘expert’, it intrigues me almost every season – unless I’m completely bored or disinterested in that particular Bachelor or Bachelorette. (Juan Pablo, anyone? I could barely watch an episode of that season. I thought he was a douche. And his ‘sexy’ accent and general arrogance irritated me.)

Anyway, it’s fun to see how the various relationships develop, and try to figure out who he or she will choose in the end – and why. But while watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette is a kick, it’s absolutely disastrous to live your love life by. And I have no doubt it’s doing more harm than good, especially to impressionable young people (particularly girls/women who are obsessed with the show), as it’s literally a what-not-to-do guide to choosing a life partner.

Read Full Post »

What to Look for in a Partner: You’re Not Going to Get Everything You Want in One Person (and if You Do, You Won the Relationship Lottery)

A Jewish atheist and a Christian theologian walk into a bar… and walk out holding hands after much talking, laughing and smooching. Who’d have thunk it!

Feb 2016: I’m about 6 weeks into an intriguing new relationship. (What was that I said just 7 weeks ago about it always being darkest before the dawn, and why you should never, ever, give up? If you’re feeling a little ‘ho-hum, I can’t be bothered with this dating thing’, you might want to go read that.) I very rarely meet someone who excites me (in a potential husband kind of way) and even more rarely meet someone whom I excite in return (in a potential wife kind of way), so it’s all very exciting.

He couldn’t be more different to my most recent ex-boyfriend. In fact, pretty much the only thing they have in common is that they’re both really nice guys. But that’s where the similarities end. Naturally, as my ex is my ex, my current beau and I have much more going for us as a couple (as far as I’m aware at this early stage), and the future looks bright. But is he the kind of guy I’d always pictured myself with? In some ways, yes. In many ways, hell no! And I’m not quite the girl he pictured himself with. And you know what – that’s okay.

Read Full Post »

Online Dating Experiences (Early-Jan. 2016): The Highs, Lows, and Why You Should Never Give Up

I’ve been back on RSVP – the Match.com of Australia – for two months since I moved home to Sydney from NYC. And in that two months, I’ve already suffered two mini-heartbreaks (plus made one very special new friend, but we’ll get to him a little later). So, here are my latest online dating experiences for your amusement and enlightenment. As I write online dating profiles professionally, I think it’s fair to say I have a lot of empathy to bring to the table.

Happy Heartbreaks – Oh, the Irony

I see these mini-heartbreaks as both a good and bad thing. I haven’t had my heart broken by an Australian man in… gosh… I don’t know how long. Many, many years. I struggle to ‘click’ with Australian men, which is why I made a beeline for the US. My last three boyfriends (2008/9, 2013 and 2014/15) were all American. I love American men! We just seem to be a better fit. I think it’s because they’re more dynamic. Australian men, as lovely as they are (good looking, sporty, friendly, educated etc.) have a tendency to be a little too laid back for someone like me who’s quite deep, passionate and unique. In short, I think I was always meant to be a neurotic New Yorker (heh heh).

After finally obtaining my visa to live in the US (after travelling back and forth on tourist visas for years) and finding a place to live (I’d signed a lease and everything), I had to come home from New York, after only three months, for a number of reasons. Doesn’t mean I won’t go back (I still have my visa), but I have no specific plans to return at this point. I wasn’t going to start dating in Sydney in a big hurry. But after a month of being home, I thought what the hell, updated my RSVP profile and went live with it.

Technically, it was a hit. I made the Top 100 three times in the first month. It’s nice to be popular and all, but I wasn’t being popular with anyone I was interested in, so it meant nothing to me. Then someone special came along – let’s call him The Viking.

Read Full Post »

Evan Marc Katz Review: Why Love U by Evan Marc Katz Made Me Angry

American dating coach, Evan Marc Katz, has been helping people find love for well over a decade. But the second half of 2015 was the first time he ever ran his 6-month dating and relationship course, Love U – the ‘U’ standing for university, as the course is so comprehensive. And I was one of 250 women in his inaugural intake of students and graduates. We were his willing Love U guinea pigs.

Who is Evan Marc Katz and Why Is He So Handsome*?

* I can only answer the first part of that question – you’ll have to ask his wife about the second part.

Evan is a warm, funny, incredibly open and unapologetically honest Jewish atheist (like me!) from Long Island, New York. He’s been based in Los Angeles since he completed his studies at Duke University, as his dream career as a youngster was to be a screenwriter. Life took him in a different direction – a better direction – as life tends to do, and he ended up as a dating coach for ‘smart, strong, successful women’. He’s married to a nice Catholic girl from Southern California who’s a few years older than him, and has two young kids – a girl and a boy.

Read Full Post »

Online Dating Profile Mistakes: 7 Reasons Why Your Profile Sucks (No Offense)

Hey, I don’t mean to be rude. But if you’re not having as much fun or success with online dating as you could, it’s probably not your BO (body odour) but PO (profile odour) that’s the problem. In other words, your online dating profile stinks. Maybe a little. Maybe a lot. In any case, it’s on the nose. But don’t worry. Think of me as your deodorant.

As an advertising copywriter by trade (that’s a person who writes ads, in case you didn’t know), humorous relationship advice book author and experienced online dater, I’ve seen a lot of lousy online dating profiles. It’s heartbreaking because behind every profile is a human being who just wants a little lovin’ and doesn’t quite know how to go about it – at least, not online, anyway. In an effort to remedy the situation, I combined my writing expertise with my empathy for the online dating process and became a professional online dating profile writer.

Persuasive writing isn’t everyone’s forte, and nor should it be – we all have different skillsets. But if you’ll indulge my brutal honesty for a moment, here are seven reasons why your online dating profile sucks, and what you can do about it…

1. You suck at filling out your profile

Ironically, failing to complete your online dating profile speaks volumes. And here’s the message you’re sending loud and clear: ‘Hi, I’m lazy. I can’t be bothered to put much effort into this online dating thing, so don’t expect me to put much effort into our dates or relationship. Call me.’ Appealing, huh! If this is the approach you plan to take, good luck to you. But if you want half a chance of attracting someone special, start by completing your profile. Online dating is time-consuming. If you don’t have time to fill out your profile, you don’t have time for online dating. Or dating. Or a relationship.

Read Full Post »

The Night I DIDN’T Sleep with a Rock Star

This piece was also published on The Huffington Post. CLICK HERE to check it out.

I’d always wondered what it would be like to hang out with a big, international rock band. I’d grown up around boys who were more into guitars than cars, and I got into music, metal and moshing at a young age. So, when one of my favorite bands booked a gig in my city, there was no question about it – I was going.

The only problem was they’d become so popular that their gig was at a stadium rather than one of the smaller venues I preferred, where you could weasel your way to the front (my high school boyfriend taught me how to do this) and practically feel their sweat spray onto you as they head-banged to the beat. I conceded that if I didn’t make the effort to go to the stadium, I’d never get to see them live. So, I booked my ticket and off I went.

Read Full Post »

NYC Hotspots for Tourists and Locals: 44 Things to See, Do, Eat and Drink in New York City

2016: I’ve been back and forth between Sydney and New York for almost three years. But in summer 2014, I spent three months living in the city, and kept track of everywhere I went. Unfortunately, I’ve had to cut a few things from the list because the places are now closed. I hope this guide helps you take a big, juicy bite out of the Big Apple.

But wait! There’s more…

My other piece, 17 Tips for Improving Your Relationship with New York City, will also help you enjoy the city, whether you’re a tourist or a local.

First thing’s first: Know your neighborhoods. The map to the right will help you understand the lay of the land, so you’ll know what the heck I’m on about when I group places according to neighborhood in my guide below.

Okay, here are your NYC hotspots: 44 things to see, do, eat and drink in New York City…

Greenwich Village

Otto: Go for the dessert (especially the olive oil gelato – nom!) and proximity to the iconic Washington Square Park

Analogue: Go for the speakeasy-style bar, tasty cocktails, yummy food and proximity to Washington Square Park

Greenwich Village Comedy Club: Go to support local comics and have an authentic NYC experience

West Village

Grounded: Go to work – with free wifi and hippy-style food, it’s laptop city

Little Branch: Go for the underground, speakeasy vibe – and don’t order off the menu. Instead, tell the bartender to mix you up something special based on your favorite spirit (eg. vodka, rum etc.). This place can be hard to get into, so go early, or midweek, or both.

Read Full Post »

Dating with Dignity Part 2: How I Dated with Dignity and Found a Wonderful Boyfriend

2014: When I wrote Dating with Dignity Part 1: The Case of the Disappearing Man Solved last year (2013), I had no idea it’d end up being one of my most popular and impactful blog posts. Women continue to find and comment on it (in fact, the comments section has turned into a free dating advice forum – go check it out!), and the general feedback has been that my words have helped them in some way. Talk about turning a negative experience into a positive one! It’s been about 18 months since I wrote Part 1 and I’m excited to share Part 2 with you, so let’s get started.

Now, I know 18 months might seem like a long time, but please bear in mind that after I wrote Part 1, I didn’t really date at all for about 12 months. I was in Sydney working on getting myself back to New York and, as I saw my future in the USA, I didn’t see much point in dating in Australia. But once I was back in New York – this time for three months instead of one – I hit the ground running and pretty much made up for all the dating I didn’t do over the past year. Let me take you through step-by-step how I dated with dignity and found a wonderful boyfriend.

Read Full Post »

Can Love Grow? Or Does True Love Begin with an Instant Spark?

This piece was also published on The Huffington Post. CLICK HERE to check it out.

I’m a few months into a relationship that began in a most unusual way – at least for me. We met online (that’s not the unusual part) during my recent three-month stint in New York. (I’m planning to move from Sydney to NYC, and this trip was a reconnaissance mission – or ‘reccie’, as us Aussies say.) Although better late than never, the timing was a little unfortunate, as it was three weeks before I was due to leave. Weary from the notoriously arduous NYC dating scene, and running out of time to meet and get to know someone new, I responded to a Jersey boy who emailed me. He looked cute, seemed nice, and appreciated the Goonies quote (‘Goonies never say die!’) in my profile. ‘First you gotta do the Truffle Shuffle’, he opened with. This was a good start to things.

Within a few days, we were face to face having a drink at a speakeasy-style bar near Washington Square Park. Thankfully, he lived up to his profile – he looked cute, seemed nice, and we talked and laughed easily. Our first date led to a second date led to a third date led to no longer keeping count. He kept asking me out – and I kept saying yes. While we were enjoying each other’s company, we had a talk about not feeling as though this was necessarily going to go anywhere. But we liked each other enough to hang out until I left, and keep in touch thereafter. By the time I left, though, we’d become closer than I think either of us expected. Not ‘crazy in love’ Beyoncé-style close. But close.

Read Full Post »

Dating With Dignity Part 1: The Case of the Disappearing Man Solved

When you’re finished with Part 1, you can read Part 2 here.

2013: I recently had a boyfriend of two months totally, utterly and completely disappear on me. Despite my extensive dating history, this had never happened to me before. I later found out it’s extremely common. So common, in fact, there’s a whole chapter dedicated to it in He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. I remember reading it years ago and thinking, ‘Ha! That’ll never happen to me.’ Ha! I’m such a idiot sometimes.

Anyway, MDM (Mr Disappearing Man) and I had something really good going – or so I thought. First and foremost, we just clicked. We were the same age and from a similar background, had loads in common, got along famously, had great chemistry and seemed to want the same things in life. He called me every day, took me out a few times a week and always had a lot of energy and affection for me. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, and we had a long way to go to get to know each other, build a little history and make some memories. But, on the whole, it looked very promising. I hadn’t had ‘promising’ with someone in years…

Read Full Post »