Great NY restaurant- Romantic With An Old-World Feel

If you are looking for an excellent and unique place in what is usually staid- midtown, try Bill's Food & Drink.

I do not know what I was expecting, but I certainly wasn't expecting this gem. The restaurant is housed in an elegant town-home. The bar. with just the right amount of lighting, is on the main floor, right as you first walk in. You head upstairs for the main dining- a modern room but with a cozy feel.  And then there is a parlour room on the floor above for private dinner or to have an intimate drink on a comfy couch in front of another bar. We had the Halibut which was superb as as a yummy heirloom tomato salad and a tasty Kale salad. This place is a great date place. I highly recommend it.

Great Restaurant... Laurel Hardware in West Hollywood, LA

 One of my favorite dining spots in West Hollywood is   

One of my favorite dining spots in West Hollywood is

 

Laurel Hardware

 If you haven't been yet, I recommend that you check it out... stat!

The menu is inventive, seasonal and eclectic. I'm a big fan of the kale salad with nigella, hazelnuts, and crispy carrots and the green barley salad with cara cara orange, French feta and shiso vinaigrette. Be sure to say hi to their lovely hostesses, Tash and Reesh.

Spring Colors

Have you heard that because of our (ridiculously) long winter, the spring colors are

expected to be especially intense this year

?

This month, I'm definitely going to be checking out the Cherry Tree Blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. (The first bloom is supposed to be this week! I'm keeping track on the

BBG Status Map

).

Wherever you are located, make sure to head over to your local park or garden to see what is sure to be a spectacular exhibit of spring flowers.

Loving Love Songs

I don't know about you, but I am a big lover of love songs.

This article from Nerve.com really got me thinking about my favorite love songs from the past 100 years. From the Beach Boys “All You Need is Love” to Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”, there are more amazing love songs than we could ever count.

One of my ultimate favorite love songs is Barry Manilow’s “Can’t Smile Without You”:

10 New Year's Resolutions to Help You Find Love in 2014

(Originally appeared on The Huffington Post on December 27, 2013.)

Every year at about this time, people start to think back on the year that is coming to a close, and reflect upon all the things they didn't accomplish that they had hoped they would. For single people, often high up on that list is the fact that they didn't get married or get into that significant relationship for which they had been looking. Instead of harping on things you can't change from the past, here are some New Year's resolutions that might actually help you find and fall in love in 2014:

Did your year not end with
a New Year's kiss?
1. Remove negative influences from your life. Whether or not you want to admit it, there is negativity all around you. Acknowledge this and do your darndest to remove it from your life. This means negative friends, relatives and colleagues.

2. Date people you wouldn't usually date. All single people get into dating ruts from time to time. If you know that your dating life has hit a familiar pattern that always ends up poorly, make a resolution to date differently in 2014. Date people you wouldn't usually date and see if this changes your relationship luck.

3. Join an online dating site, even if you think you are not that kind of person. Face the facts: in this day and age, almost every single person is either online dating or working with a professional matchmaker like myself. If you rationalize that online dating is just not for you, you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to meet someone who could be your mate. Just take a deep breath and do it.

4. Move to a new home, if you have been procrastinating doing so. One of the things I constantly hear from single people is that they refrain from moving because they might meet their significant other, and then what? This is a bad excuse. You will be more apt to meet your honey if you are living your life and moving forward. It would be a high class problem if you need to figure out what to do with your new home because you met the One.

5. Reach out to old friends with whom you have been meaning to catch up. With sites like Facebook and LinkedIn being all the rage, you have no excuse for not reconnecting with old friends. Just friend them somewhere, make a plan to get together and then see if they know someone great for you. Friends love introducing their friends to each other.

6. Participate in an activity that is outside your comfort zone. Doing new things is a great way to expand your social circles and meet new people. Go ahead and choose something you have always wanted to do, but have never done. Join a baseball league, join a tennis club, take a cooking class, just do something and keep your eyes open for other single people while you are doing it.

7. Get a date makeover, so you look and feel your best. It's always good to change your look a little to shake things up in your dating life. Go ahead and get a new haircut, add highlights to your hair, go buy a new sexy date outfit that will wow the opposite sex or buy a new color lipgloss. Make a change and you will be surprised how many people will notice you in a different way and compliment you too.

8. Get fit and healthy. This needs to be a top priority in 2014. Stop making excuses that this doesn't matter, because it absolutely does. Being fit and healthy is the number one characteristic that both men and women tell me is of importance to them in a mate. Take a step to becoming more fit and you will see a huge difference in your dating life.

9. Do some self analysis about why are not in love. You are the only constant in every one of your dating situations and in every relationship which you have been in. You need to take a very long, hard look at how you are being perceived in the dating world and then make some important changes to improve that perception. Are you too negative? Do you play too hard to get? Are you not feminine enough? Are you too picky? Do you never have a plan for the date? Are you commitment-phobic? Figure out what you can improve or change and do it, immediately.

10. Stop the booty calls with people who are not real contenders. It's time to be smart if you are looking for a real relationship. My mother always told me that if you have someone in your life, no matter how inconsequential, you are not trying as hard to meet someone else because you are distracted. This is fact. Get rid of Late Night Larry or Late Night Linda if you want to meet your true love in 2014.

10 Tips For Finding Romance On Halloween


Halloween is a great time of year if you're single and looking for a new romantic interest. Everyone is out and about, in a good mood and ready to have a fun evening. In fact, Halloween might be the best night of the entire year to meet someone and find some lovin', so grab a costume or a mask and get out there. Here are some tips on how to make the most of the evening and meet someone great:
Choose a costume that will
elicit compliments.

1. If you're going to a costume party, you must wear a costume, no matter what; no excuses. If you can't get into the Halloween spirit, chances are that you will not be meeting anyone. (Nobody wants a party pooper!) If you're having a really hard time, think of your costume as a way to get out of your shell and a way to become the person you always wanted to be. Think Clark Kent and Superman. Use your disguise to be daring, bold and flirty.

2. Choose a costume that makes you look and feel great so that you can confidently make the rounds at that party. Choose something that flatters your figure, makes you feel sexy and is fun to wear. Nothing is better than people telling you how great you look, so choose something that will elicit those compliments. Some ideas are a Sexy Fairy, a Foxy Lady or the Queen of the Nile.

3. Don't choose a costume that is over-the-top scary or grotesque. It's one thing to be a vampire or a zombie from The Walking Dead, but it is another thing to have bugs crawling all over you or to be carrying a severed, bloody leg. This is the night to be sexy and interesting, not creepy and awful.

4. Don't choose a costume that is so odd that it will scare people away. If you can't explain your costume in one sentence or less, choose something else. You don't want someone to be curious about what you are, only to be frightened away by your oddness. Examples of some no-no's are Pregnant Tinkerbell or a Wet Shirt Lady.

5. If you are stumped on an original costume, go with a play on words. A play on words costume is a great conversation starter, as people have to walk up to you and ask you what you are, and you can flirt with them while they try to guess. Some examples of good one are a Cat Burglar, Chick Magnet, White on Rice, Cereal Killer or Spice Rack.

6. Don't choose a costume that requires you to be with a pack of people all night to pull it off. You do not want to be the whole bag of M&Ms or the cast of Glee because you will spend the whole night parading around with the group instead of meeting someone new.

7. If you're looking for an excuse to approach someone who you want to meet, just compliment their costume. Everyone loves to be told that their costume is awesome. Use this to your advantage and march on up to that cutie and say you love his disguise. You will have him eating out the palm of your hand.

8. Choose a party that is not too large and crowded. It's tempting to go to the party that is boasting a 1,500-person turnout with an all-night open bar and a celebrity DJ, but that will only be a see and be seen party. Choose something a little more intimate so you can meet someone and actually get to know them.

9. Pace yourself with your drinking. It's okay to lose your inhibitions a little bit, but it is not okay to lose your mind completely. People sometimes stir up a little mischief on Halloween, so be aware and be alert. Never leave your drink alone when you head to the dance floor.

10. If you are interested in someone, get their email or cell number early on so they don't disappear in the sea of costumes. It's hard to keep track of people at a Halloween party because people get camouflaged by all the costumes. So, if you are interested, exchange digits quickly, so you can be in touch come November.

6 Unintentional Things Your Body Language Says in a Relationship

I recently contributed to a really fun piece at Galtime.com by Lauren Bolf, "6 Unintentional Things Your Body Language Says in a Relationship".

Send the right message with
your body language
Here's an excerpt:

Celebrity Matchmaker Samantha Daniels reveals eye contact is very important because it shows that you are interested in what he is saying and that you are paying attention.

“This is universally applicable, whether you’re having a deep conversation with your boyfriend or are trying to connect with someone new on a first date.” 


To read the full article and the rest of my tips on body language, click here.

Samantha's Dating Thought: Can Vacation Romances Last?

If you're single and heading out of town for vacation this summer, you might be crossing your fingers for a passionate vacation romance. Vacation romances occupy a special place in our hearts. They thrill us because they have a set expiration date. When we're in the midst of one, we can already feel it metamorphosing into a precious memory. And once one is over, we feel teased by what was an impossible love, however, knowing that it was the impossibility that gave it its heightened sense of meaning.

If you decide that you don't want your summer romance to turn into a memory, and instead want to bring it home with you to real life, there are a few questions you should first ask yourself:

  • Are you sure that your new love is single and available? People will often use vacations as excuses to cheat on their partners. Make sure this isn't your love.
  • Would your lives fit together? Do you have common interests, values, and ways of life? While you're away from home, you may allow yourself to overlook these important commonalities, and not see the potential flaws in your new lover. 
  • If your love doesn't live in your area, are you willing to put in all of the labor that a working long-distance relationship requires? 

If your answer to these three questions is"yes", it is definitely worth exploring this relationship at home in real life. If not, it may be best to relinquish this romance, knowing that it will always live as a treasured memory.

Samantha's Dating Thought: Don't Plan Dinner On A First Date


Time is precious, especially when you are single. And the last thing you want is to get stuck at a long dinner with someone for whom you just don't like.

 For this reason, I always advise that first dates be planned for drinks only. This keeps the pressure off because you always have the opportunity to dash off after one drink if you aren't feeling it and if you are feeling it, you can go for a second drink. And then if you are really really feeling it, then you can get dinner. (Or, you can plan dinner for their next date.)

 Have you ever gotten caught in an awful dinner date?

Samantha's Dating Thought: Are You Spending Too Much Time With Married Friends?

Are you spending too
much time with your
married friends?

If you're single and looking for love, it's important to put yourself out there in as many situations as possible where you can meet other singles. This means not hanging out with your married friends all of the time.

This does not mean that you have to kick all of your married friends out of your life. However, it does mean that you should not be spending your Friday nights dining in with them.

If all of your close friends have already gotten hitched, you can always ask them to introduce you to any other single friends they may who that are also looking to go out and meet other singles. When you're on the hunt for Mr. Right, it's always a good idea to expand your social circle!

10 Types of Men Who Won't Marry You


Have you ever wondered if there are guys out there that simply will not marry you? Are there certain men from whom you should just stay away because chances are, the relationship is going to be an exercise in frustration for you? You are not alone -- many women think about this all the time. And yes, there are certain types of men that you should just plain avoid because if you were playing the odds, the odds say these guys are just not going to seal the deal with you.

Here are 10 types of men that I, as a professional matchmaker, would recommend you steer clear of:

Mr. "Still Hung Up On His Ex": We have all been out with this guy. He says he is over his ex, yet at every turn, he talks about her and compares you to her. Please. He is not over her and until he is over her, he is not marrying you.

Mr. "I Am Not Ready For A Serious Relationship Right Now": This is the guy who dates a lot and then when he gets too close or decides he isn't interested in you, he uses the excuse that he's not ready. The question about this guy is this: Is he really not ready, or is that just a convenient excuse to dump you and avoid the commitment?

Mr. "Bigger Better Deal": You know this guy. He is the one who likes you a lot but is always wondering if there is a better version of you out there, somewhere in the universe. Honestly, do you need to be with the guy who is never going to think that you are good enough to marry?

Mr. "I Hang Out With Guys 15 Years My Junior": This is the guy who is 47 and a CEO of a company or a big-time executive and all of his contemporaries are married, so his BFFs are 25-year-olds and clubbing it. He is out until 3:00 a.m. several nights a week, looking to pick up and then he kids himself into thinking that when a 25-year-old girl says yes to a date with him, it's because he is such a good guy, not because she is dreaming of flying private.

Mr. "Still Trying To Figure Out His Career": If he is 40-plus and having a midlife work crisis, believe me, he is not going to marry you. Men need to be settled in their careers or at least know which direction they are headed on the career front before they can settle down.

Mr. "50-Something And Never Been Married": This guy is lurking everywhere. He is 50-plus and
never married, yet he will swear to you that he is ready. When you ask him why he is still single, he will tell you it's because he hasn't met the right one. Then the question becomes that if he hasn't found her in the hundreds of women he has dated before you, what is going to make you so special that you are going to be his one? Probably nothing.

Mr. "Doesn't Believe In Monogamy": This guy thinks he is very avant-garde progressive, but most people will say he is just looking for an excuse to cheat. Do you really want to be with a guy who tells you upfront that he won't be faithful?

Mr. "All About Me": This guy is all about himself, 24/7, 365 days a year. Sharing your life with someone is hard enough, so do you really want to sign up to be with someone who is so into himself that they will never even notice you, your wants and your desires?

Mr. "My Kids Are The Only Thing I Care About": This guy is a tricky one. When you first meet him, he is endearing because you admire how dedicated he is to his children. You think to yourself that you would like to be with a man who is that responsible. However, then you start to see that he doesn't have any room for you at all because he is only about the kids. If you are going to be with a man with kids, he needs to want to find a place for you, front and center, in his life at least some of the time.

Mr. "Dates Other Women Who Mean Nothing To Him": This guy is really a commitment-phobe in disguise. Why does he need to date women who mean nothing to him if he is dating you and you supposedly mean something to him? You do the math.

What other types of men would you add to this list?

10 Romantic Valentine’s Day Date Ideas You Never Thought Of

By Jene Luciani. I was thrilled to be able to contribute to this article! (Originally appeared on Shape.com, February 10, 2013.)

Valentine’s Day can be a great time to reconnect with your spouse or show your new special someone how much you care, but that ubiquitous candlelight dinner can get old real fast. This year, truly make it a night to remember with one of these unexpected activities.

Target His Sweet Spot
Skip dinner and go straight for dessert. “Pinpoint a few of your neighborhood chocolate shops or bakeries, and pick a special item at each spot,” says Samantha Daniels, dating expert and president of Samantha's Table Matchmaking. You can even create a scavenger hunt of out it and have him have to guess which place is next.

Head for the (Snow) Hills
With snow expected to blanket the Northeast just days before Valentine’s, it’s a great time to hit a local ice-skating rink or simply relive your youth by making snow angels in the backyard or going sledding. Come inside after and warm up together with a romantic fire and a mug of hot cocoa, suggests relationship coach, speaker, and author Ana Loiselle. Those in warmer climates can simply grab a soft blanket, a bottle of wine, and a picnic dinner, and lie in the grass and check out the stars—the prettiest and cheapest show in town.


Be His Latin Lover
No dance is sexier than the salsa, so find a salsa club or take a private lesson. “Whether you know how to dance or not, the ultimate benefit is you’ll be really close and touching your partner 95 percent of the time, making it easy to build the sexual tension,” says Thomas Edwards, a.k.a. The Professional Wingman. A heart-pumping activity that allows you to tease your man? We’re in!

Make Him Sweat
Couples that workout together typically have better sex lives, says Andrea Metcalf, bestselling author of Naked Fitness. That may be just the info he needs to be convinced to join you for Bikram yoga. “Studies have shown that sweating it out through exercise has a positive effect on a man’s libido,” Metcalf says. Bonus that a lot of people will be out to dinner, so you’re likely to have a less-crowded class. And once you’re done sweating, it’s time to clean up together in the shower or bath.

Drink and Draw
Wine and painting classes are popping up all over the place and let you get creative with your cutie, says Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and relationship expert. “It's a fun time for both men and women, and you don't have to be Picasso to come out with a quality piece of art.” Try Google for a class near you, or check out one of the 70-plus locations of Painting with a Twist. Hang your finished product above your couch, and you’ll always be reminded of Valentine’s Day 2013.

Give a Little Bit of Your Love
Choose a cause you both care about, roll up your sleeves, and donate two or three hours to a non-profit organization, suggests Mike Domitrz, founder and executive director of the Date Safe Project, a Wisconsin-based organization that deals with helping teens make smart choices when it comes to dating and intimacy. “Nothing feels better than giving back, and it’s even better when you can share this moment,” he says. Then, when you get home, discuss how you'd like to give to each other.

Get Close-Up and Personal
Pick a scenic location near you and surprise him with a couple’s photo shoot, says Brian Borgia, founder of Romantic Room Designs. “Hire a photographer who can meet you there and take a special portrait so you’ll always remember this day.” If you prefer DIY, buy a Polaroid and snap pictures together and of each other, says Ben Patton, star of the upcoming NBC series Ready for Love. “Collect everything in a photo book so you can look back on of all the amazing experiences from that day together,” he adds.

See the Future
Always wanted to go to Paris or buy a bigger home? Create a “vision board” together and plan your future goals, hopes, and dreams. “Spend two hours making a collage of pictures or magazine tear-outs that reflect precious memories and wishes you have as a couple for the future,” says New Jersey-based psychologist Sam Von Reiche, Psy.D. “Post pictures of your future dream house, your honeymoon—anything that reminds you how truly grateful you are for each other or inspires you about your futures together.”

Turn Up the Heat
It doesn’t take a genius to think of cooking a homemade meal, but you can turn this into a unique experience. “Sign up for a class at a local culinary institute, hire a private chef for a few hours in your home, or create a menu, play hooky from work, and spend the day shopping for gourmet goodies,” suggests Brenda Della Casa, author of Cinderella Was a Liar. At home, uncork a bottle of wine, turn on a playlist of your favorite songs, and leave the dishes for tomorrow!

Suite Retreat
If you want to let someone make dinner for you but can’t stand the noisy, unintimate atmosphere of restaurants, book a room at a nearby hotel and order a romantic room service dinner for two. Some places will even arrange special requests, such as your guy’s favorite meal or your favorite wine, says Grace Pamer, founder of Romance Never Dies. (Never hurts to ask!) Bring some candles and flowers for ambiance, but pack light—chances are you won’t be dressed for long.

A Matchmaker's Guide to Unique and Inexpensive Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

(Originally appeared in the Huffington Post, February 12, 2013.)

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, everyone is scrambling to come up with the right gift for their sweetheart. In my expert opinion, the right gift is all about being thoughtful with sentiment, understanding your audience and picking something unique. Plus, with today's topsy-turvy financial markets, focusing on "it's the thought that counts" is certainly acceptable in lieu of breaking your piggy bank.

Here are ten of my favorite gifts this year:

The tabCoosh
  • If your beau is an iPad junkie, why not get him or her a unique iPad cover? If you can't get him off that thing, at least you can make sure he is comfortable while using it. Check out the tabCoosh, the pillow for the iPad or Kindle.
  • If your sweetie runs around in flip-flops all the time, why not grab her some jeweled Sassy Clips? They are pretty and will work with a pair of flip-flops she already owns.
  • If your significant other loves music, why not get a great iPhone speaker? This way, instead of each of you listening to music on your own, you can more romantically listen together. Check out the Heartbeatz if you want to be all cutesy, or check out the Sonic if you want to get something unusual.
    Mitchmallows
  • If you are always stumped on which Hallmark card to choose, why not go anti-card this year and make your gift be your card? If you get him the Boogie Board, you can write him a sweet card right on it and then he gets to keep the erasable tablet as a gift.
  • If your honey is all into sweets, instead of going that same old chocolate route, why not send her some gourmet marshmallows? Check out Mitchmallows and pick one of the many delectable flavors.
  • If your love is a bit of a klutz and finds him or herself constantly dropping their iPhone,go ahead and grab her a FlyGrip with a cool design on it. This gets attached to the back of your iPhone and allows you to grip it like a ring. And if he is on his phone so much that it constantly dies before you can reach him, go ahead and get him the Big Piggy Bank Power Bank case.
  • If you are planning to have your amour over for a romantic dinner a deux, why not buy some disposable placemats from Plat du Jour to serve on? You can write her sweet nothings right on the mat each and every time you serve a course.
  • If your guy or gal loves to go on picnics or sip wine on the beach, why not get a funky chilled wine or beer cooler from Bella Vita with their favorite bubbly in it. And then, the two of you can make a night of it.
Native Union Bluetooth Headset
  • If you want to go with jewelry, the always classic and lovely Valentine's Day gift, it's always smart to go with a unique piece that gels with your gals taste. Check out these interesting and one of a kind pieces from Pauletta Brooks.

Samantha's Dating Tips: 4 Ideas For Valentine's Day


A "Boogie Board"
How to spend Valentine’s Day alone: If you find yourself spending Valentine’s Day alone this year, there is no need to be down about it. Instead, spend the day celebrating your relationship with yourself. Find ways to pamper yourself and to celebrate how awesome you are. Make a spa appointment, order your favorite take-out food, or watch your favorite flick. Most importantly, don’t pity yourself. There will inevitably be times when you aren’t seeing anyone, and this year it just happens to fall on February 14th. This does not mean that you are going to be alone forever. 

How to spend Valentine’s Day with friends: If you’re single, why not spend Valentine’s Day out on the town with your friends? Valentine’s Day can actually be a great time to meet people. Check to see if any of your local bars or nightspots are having an Anti-Valentine’s Day themed night. They are sure to be crawling with singles and who knows you might just meet a fellow Anti-Valentiner who is right for you.

How to pick a Valentine’s Day card for someone new: If you’re picking out a card for someone that you just started seeing, I would go for something that is lighthearted, cute, or funny. Anything too serious could potentially confuse the early stages of the relationship. If you strike out looking for a card, you could buy something like the "Boogie Board" as a gift and write your own funny note on it to serve as the card. 

How to pick a gift for someone new: Finding the right Valentine’s Day gift for a new person in your life can be a challenge. Try to think of something that will classify as "it's the thought that counts." For him, maybe get an extended battery life iPhone case or a massage at a place near his house. I like this battery pack from the MOMA store. And for her, it’s hard to go wrong with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, but choose something other than the traditional red. This will show her you put some thought into it.

Samantha’s Dating Thought: Avoid The Winter Blues


Has the chilly January weather gotten you and your beau down and feeling unromantic? Here are some ideas to help keep you toasty, spirited, and in love until spring arrives: 
Escape to somewhere warm this winter

Samantha's Web Pick: Fab.com

If you're a design enthusiast like me, you absolutely need to check out Fab.com. From their office in the West Village in New York, their team curates a fantastic array of objects at all price points that will appeal to anyone who enjoys good design. You can find anything from a $5 necklace to a $5,000 chair. Also, everything is sold at a discount, at up to 70% off retail prices. It's a great place to find unique gifts and fun accents to add to your home. And, if you're looking for a Valentine's Day gift, there are some great finds in their Naughty and Nice shops.

Celebrity Couplings And Breakups: 2012 In Review

Katie and Suri in New York
(Originally appeared In The Huffington Post, January 16, 2013.)

Now that 2012 is over, it's always interesting to look back and see what our favorite Hollywood couples have been doing in the romance department and make some predictions of what will happen in the year to come.

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise: They landed in Splitsville in June. It seems to be for the best for Katie as she has really taken to her new life in New York. I predict that her next guy is going to be a cool business guy and not a celebrity, but time will tell.

Taylor Swift and Conor Kennedy: They were going strong and everyone was wondering if Taylor was going to be socialite royalty as well as music royalty. Then they parted ways in October. Judging from the fact that she quickly canoodled with One Direction's Harry Styles and how beautiful and happy she looked at both the New Year's Eve ball drop and the Golden Globes, she doesn't seem worse for the wear. I think going into 2013, Taylor would be better served choosing a guy her own age or older if she is looking for a real and more appropriate relationship.

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth: Miley got engaged to Liam in June who is three years her senior. She seems happy, but I wish she could have waited a little longer to get engaged even though they have been together for awhile. She is very young and her taste in men could change dramatically as she continues to mature. My advice would be to let some more time pass before they walk down the aisle.

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds: These two Hollywood heartthrobs tied the knot quietly in October. I love these two together and I am sorry to say it, but I think it's quite a step-up for Blake from Lonely Boy.


Heidi Klum and Seal: They seemed like the Golden Couple until they announced their split in January. I personally thought their pairing was genus given they are both at the top of their game and famous yet in different industries (similar to Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban). I wonder who's next for each of them.

Rihanna and Chris Brown: To the dismay of most of the country, this couple seemed to reconcile at least from her actions and what she said to Oprah in August. I worry for Rihanna and I hope that Chris Brown has been and continues to be in therapy for his anger management issues.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West: Not long after Kim ended one of the shortest Hollywood marriages ever with Kris Humphries, Kim found comfort and attention in the arms of uber-musician, Kanye West. Now they are preggers and it sounds like on the way to the aisle. I think this one has more of a chance for success for Kim as long as she is careful to keep her relationship with him off of reality television.

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis: This couple went from friends to lovers in 2012. They knew each other back in the day from That '70s Show. After Ashton waited the requisite amount of time to put distance from his split with Demi, he looked towards his old co-star Mila for some romance. This couple is still going strong and given that they are age-appropriate and started out as friends, I believe that this couple has a good chance for success.

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson: This couple bounced back and forth to and from each other like a ping pong ball. First she cheated, then he left, then he returned and now they are together. It's hard to work together and play together. Hopefully since they are in love, they learned their lesson and will try harder to keep it together this go-around.

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel: This on -again, off-again couple finally tied the knot in October. I commend Justin for finally making an honest woman out of Jessica. These two seem to work as a couple, however they need to really focus on making time for each other in light of their busy Hollywood schedules or their relationship might not be able to withstand the test of time.

Is Courtship Dead?


The cover story for this weekend’s New York Times Style Section asked readers if traditional dating rituals have all but died  amongst today’s younger generations. Is dinner and a movie, where the man picks up the bill, a relic of the past? 
Has texting made dating more casual?

Amongst today’s twenty-somethings, casual hookups and group hangouts have replaced the old traditions of dating. This change is the product of several cultural transformations, including the advent of the email and text (which are less formal and require less courage than a phone call), the rise of online dating services (which mean singles have more dating options than ever before), and changing economic dynamics between guys and gals (many women are earning more than their male counterparts). 

If this phenomenon concerns you, here's three tips:

1. Make it clear to your suitor that you won’t accept anything less than a proper date.

2. If you must  go out on a group date, try to steal your guy away from the crowd for some personal one-on-one time.

3. Suggest a less expensive date, like a movie and an ice cream instead of a full-blown dinner.  

New Year's Resolutions To Help Your Relationship

It's a New Year! Now, it's time to think about if your relationship progressed as you wanted it to in 2012. Are you where you want to be with your partner? Or, did 2012 fall short of your relationship expectations? It is all too easy to fall into a relationship rut. Work, family, and life in general can wear you down and leave you with little energy to devote to your partner. No matter where you are, I have three suggestions for resolutions that will help you ensure that your relationship stays on track in 2013.

Happy New Year!
1. Try something new every week. Introducing a new activity into your weekly routine will ensure that you continue learning more about your partner. It will also be fun to find new ways to enjoy each other's company. And here's a hint: it doesn't have to be anything fancy. Prepare a new recipe for dinner together, or see a concert at a venue or in a genre you typically wouldn't attend. If you're short on ideas, local newspapers are filled with the goings-on about town. Websites like LivingSocial.com and also very helpful.

2. Choose a new skill to learn together. Having something to work toward together will bring you closer than ever before, and will help keep the passion alive. Is there a language you have always wanted to learn? Motivate each other to stay on track, and perhaps even plan a trip to a country that speaks it to reward yourselves for your hard work. If you are daredevils, try something adventurous like hang gliding or flying a plane. If you are athletic (or want to be), train together to run a race. It can be anything from a 5K to a marathon. If you have a competitive streak, enter in a tango competition a few months away and start working on your moves.

3. Create a fulfilling life outside of your relationship. Trust me, this is very important to having a happy and healthy relationship. You must ensure that your personal growth continues outside of what is going on with your partner. The happier you are with your life, the more you can bring to the table with your relationship. This means pursuing your hobbies, following up on your work goals, and having a strong and supportive network of friends.

Dating During The Holidays

(Originally appeared in the Huffington Post on December 24, 2012.)


The holiday season is a busy time for everyone whether you are single, married or in a relationship. Sometimes it's difficult to know the right and wrong things to do when it comes to dating during the holidays. If you are concerned that you might make a faux pas or two, have no fear, here are some rules to help you make it through the season.
Are you exchanging gifts with your beau?
1. Establish if you are giving gifts or not. If you have been together for awhile, chances are, you should be giving your beau a gift. However, if it's a new relationship, the two of you need to decide if you are doing gifts.
2. Make sure you have an appropriate party dress to wear to his work Holiday party and/or to his family's home. The right outfit is something festive yet conservative. Do not go with your new uber trendy outfit. And, if you are concerned that it might be too sexy, it is.
3. Don't misinterpret what an invitation to his holiday party means. Sometimes work holiday parties are dated functions and if his has one, chances are he will invite you because he needs to come with a date. Other company's do not allow guests. Don't make assumptions; before you get upset that he hasn't invited you, hint around about whether guests were allowed.
4. Only invite a new love interest to a holiday party with you if you can pay her appropriate attention. You don't want to invite someone to go to an event with you and then leave her alone in the corner. And you don't want to be so busy that your date will feel ignored such that he or she will look for attention elsewhere.
5. If he invites you to his home for the holidays, make sure you bring his mother flowers or a bottle of wine. And then the next day, either call to say what a lovely time you had or send a short note. His mother will notice this and comment positively or negatively accordingly.
6. Make sure to save time for your honey during the holiday party madness. We all get invited to tons of holiday gatherings but
do not book yourself so thin that you don't save time for the two of you to see each other. If you see him on December 1 and then don't come up for air again to see him until December 28th, chances are, he won't be around anymore by that point to see you ever again.
7. Figure out if going away together makes sense for the two of you. If you are going away together, that's great but if you aren't at that point yet, make sure you discuss what going away separately means so there are no misinterpretations. And make sure you make a solid effort to be in touch regularly to keep the momentum going.
8. If you are dating a few people casually during the holidays, make sure you remember who you took to what event, when. The holiday season can be such a whirlwind, you need to make sure you don't get so caught-up that you cause an issue for yourself.
9. If you are single during the holidays, keep in mind that this is an excellent time to meet someone. During this time of year, everyone is out and being social, so there are lots of opportunities to meet someone new. Plus, as the holidays approach people tend to take stock of their lives and become more interested in sharing with someone and coupling off.
10. Rule of thumb for a New Year's Eve date, if he hasn't asked you by Christmas, or broached the subject at all, chances are, he is not going to ask you. New Years Eve is a big night and takes some planning, maybe buying tickets to an event, making reservations etc so people tend to lock down those plans as early as possible. If he hasn't said word one by Christmas, make your own plans and then if he does ask you, try to incorporate him into what you are doing. In this way, you personally will be covered either way.