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.

How we met

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.

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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.

Ever been ‘ghosted’? That’s what it’s called when someone you’re dating or in a relationship with disappears on you. It’s very hurtful.

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…

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Sleeping with Rock Stars: The night I said NO to sex with one of my idols

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

Music, metal and moshing – my well-spent youth

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.

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Punching Above Your Weight: If I can do it, so can you

This piece was also published on Mamamia. View it, and over 100 comments, HERE.

To be bold or not to be bold? That is the question.

2012: Girl walks into a bar and sees drop-dead gorgeous boy who looks about 10 years younger than her. Girl immediately assumes he is ‘out of her league’, but she can’t help trying her luck anyway, despite the odds.

After a brief interaction, girl goes into the bathroom and scrawls cute note + her phone number on a piece of paper, comes out, hands it to boy and scurries away with her friend before the inevitable beetroot face ensues. Friend gives girl a pat on the back for being so bold, but girl thinks that’s as far as it’ll go. What are the odds of hearing from boy? Not good.

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You Heart NY? Here are 17 tips for improving your relationship with New York City

Don’t miss my other handy New York piece: 44 NYC hotspots for tourists and locals.

Great loves usually come with an element of dysfunction

Ah, New York City. Like the one that got away, it’s charismatic, seductive, full of promises… and totally dysfunctional.

Yes, despite our salacious on-again-off-again affair for a number of years now, New York and I have reached the point in our relationship where we’re starting to see each other’s flaws. That doesn’t mean I don’t still love it, but I’m beginning to question if things are going to work out between us for the long-term.

Of course, because of my deep affection for this magical place, I won’t be letting go without a fight. New York and I just need to get to know each other a little better. We need to learn how to communicate and work as a team. We need to give it some time.

I realize my relationship with New York is a polyamorous one – I’m not the only person who’s enamoured with this town. And New York, being the big slut… err, apple… that it is, opens its arms to everyone within its orbit (including the poor, tired and huddled masses, as it says on the Statue of Liberty). If you’re one of those people, even if you’re just visiting, here are 17 tips to help make your relationship with New York a little more harmonious. Hey, I’m not a jealous person. If New York and I are meant to be, we’ll be.

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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 neighbourhoods. 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 neighbourhood 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.

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Integrity: The world’s most underrated quality and why you should care about it

I’ve enlisted the help of some BIG NAMES to create the largest user-generated integrity resource online. Please read all the way through – then contribute!

‘He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness’ sake’

Kids say the darndest things. My sister occasionally posts on Facebook some of the funny things my 4-year-old nephew says. Most recently, after being out of his mother’s sight for a moment, he emerged from his room and sheepishly uttered, ‘I hope Santa didn’t see that.’ Ha ha! My sister’s not exactly sure what he did, but she’s guessing he hit his 18-month-old brother.

I lightheartedly encouraged my sister to keep up the pretense that Santa knows if he’s been ‘naughty or nice’ for as long as possible, as she could use all the help she can get in wrangling her eldest son’s feisty (yet adorable) nature. I know for a fact that people behave better when they think someone’s watching – even if that ‘someone’ is a supernatural presence…

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How to Make People Like You More: The No. 1 secret to endearing people to you

Glinda the not-so-good witch

If you’re anything like me, the 1939 Academy Award-winning classic, The Wizard of Oz, is not just a film – it’s part of your childhood. And, if you’re anything like me, you’ve seen it more times than you can say, ‘There’s no place like home’, ‘I’m melting, I’m melting’ or ‘If I only had a brain’.

Intriguingly, when you watch it as an adult, there’s a little something you might notice that you never would have noticed when you were a child, because you were too busy begging your mother for a pair of red ruby slippers or being scared to death of the winged monkeys, as I was (but that’s a story for another time). And that little something is the disengaged look on Glinda’s face when Dorothy starts to explain how she landed in Oz, inadvertently killing the Wicked Witch of the East:

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How to Come Up with an Idea for Absolutely Anything

It’s my last day in Portland, Oregon, where I’ve just attended my first World Domination Summit. (Finally! I’ve been wanting to attend since it started in 2011.) If the name of the conference sounds kinda lame, creepy or arrogant to you (a little Dr Evil, perhaps), let me explain. World Domination Summit is a warm, welcoming and inclusive gathering of around 3000 entrepreneurs, humanitarians and creative people who are inspired to live a life of non-conformity (usually away from traditional employment), and want to impact the world in a positive way with a special project – or ten. The three pillars of World Domination Summit are service, community and adventure.

A couple of months ago, Chris Guillebeau, the humble genius who started it all, sent out an email asking for attendee stories. There were so many great submissions that, unfortunately, mine wasn’t selected. But I’ve written it up as a blog post for y’all to enjoy. Whether it’s a business idea or birthday party idea, I hope the following helps you come up with a great idea for absolutely anything…

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Dating and Relationship Expert: Elly Klein (that’s me!)

Being the author of a humorous relationship advice book is fun! In 2012, Australia’s Grazia magazine decided I was a dating and relationship expert, and asked me to respond to three dating dilemmas with a lighthearted yet insightful answer of around 350 words. They were debate-style questions, so I chose the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ side of the argument and they gave the opposing view to another writer. I thoroughly enjoyed it – plus, it didn’t hurt to be remunerated for my efforts. Read on for pearls…

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