The Ghosts of Boyfriends Past


It’s official.  I have a boyfriend.  He’s wonderful – smart, ambitious, shows up on time, affectionate, handsome, and talks things out when I’m upset.  He’s the first person I have ever dated who I can say is 100% a MAN.

… But I almost blew it.

At the age of 30 I should be better at dating. (I mean seriously – I have done it for the past 12 years!) I would like to think of myself as a mature woman, and by putting off settling down I have learned a lot about myself, and what I am looking for in a partner. However, these 12 years also include a lot of baggage; painful breakups and selfish exes, observing second hand the challenges of marriage, children, and even divorce.  I am afraid to repeat these mistakes, and even more so to choose the wrong partner. Rather than sit back and enjoy the excitement of a new relationship – I look at everything under a microscope – comparing it to the relationships of my past, and of those around me.  Letting the fear of my future be just as crippling as the fear of my past.

About three weeks into our courtship I found myself picking fights. I was so afraid that I would end up with someone like my ex that I made things into a bigger deal than they were.  I even called him and said, “This isn’t working out for me.”  But you know what – the way he handled me when I was upset was so entirely different from the way my Ex would have, it made me look at him anew. He broke down the problem and talked about it calmly.  He apologized for his actions, and said he could see things from my point of view and understand why I was upset.  It was a moment where I said to myself, “This is great man.”

It finally allowed me to stop comparing him to my ex boyfriends – because he’s NOTHING like them.  I was just too afraid that he would be, that I wouldn’t allow him to show me who he was.  My fears had me thinking there was some “darker side” to him that was waiting to come out.  So I picked a fight and pushed him away – trying to make him into all of the things I feared most – and he showed me that he would never be like them.

Here we are two and a half months later and I am finally able to live in the present, banish my ghosts, and see this wonderful man for who he truly is.

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Sometimes You Have to Leave to Come. Three Ways to Keep Sexual Intimacy Alive.


Photo by Robert

Recently we shared this Ted Talk, with Erotic Intelligence Expert, Esther Perel. In it she confirms something I have always believed in: You have to have a little bit of space in your relationship in order to have continued sexual chemistry.

In her lecture, Perel decribes the difference between need and want. Needing will shut down eroticism, while wanting will turn it on. It is when you give your relationship some space that you have the chance to miss someone, and it is in that space that you can create fantasy + desire and that person can become mysterious again.

I have witnessed this first hand with some of my successfully married friends.

 How do they do this?

  1. Spend date nights apart.

I once went over to my friend’s house to meet her for a night out. Upon arrival I found her and her husband sitting at their kitchen table dividing up all of the cash they had in their pockets. They then kissed each other good-bye and said, ‘Have fun! See you when I get home.”

She and I left and went to a bar, while her husband went out with his friends. Men hit on her and she got to flirt a bit with the handsome bartender. But that’s as far as it went. When I talked with her about it she said she hoped her husband was out doing the same. They both had complete and total trust in one another, and going home after an evening apart only served to ignite more passion. Flirting made her feel sexy, and wanted. Her husband doing the same made him more desirable to her as well, as she knew at the end of the night he would be in bed with her.

  1. Enjoy those Business Trips.

Another friend has a husband who travels a lot for work. She has always said it doesn’t bother her being apart that often – she loves it when he comes back – they have incredible sex. She has attributed this physical distance as something that has made their relationship stronger. It’s that space to miss him, to want him, to think about him and that count down to his return that makes it exciting.

  1. Find Yourself.

Having something that you do, that makes you feel better about yourself and gives you confidence OUTSIDE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP is a must. It could be a class, or it can be your chosen profession – but make sure you get time away so that you can come home refreshed and invigorated to your partner.

While all of this is great – what it really boils down to is being comfortable enough in your relationship to take time away from it. It’s also about maintaining a little bit of secrecy, mystery, allure. And how do you so this? By continuing to remain your own person. In relationships we often loose ourselves in our partner, and their needs. But it’s important that you continue to grow, to change, to surprise, and most importantly to want.

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5 Ways to Tell if It’s a Date

Photo by: Guian Bolisay

photo by: Guian Bolisay 


WE’VE ALL HAD THAT MOMENT when you’re hanging out with someone one-on-one, and you ask yourself, “Is this a date?” In fact, according to a recent USA Today Study, “69% are at least somewhat confused about whether an outing with someone they’re interested in is a date or not.” The combination of texting and today’s “hang out” culture have blurred the lines and made it harder to know weather you should lean in for that kiss or not.


1. See who pays.  

According to that same USA Today study, 69% of Men, and 55% of Women feel that a man should pay for the first date.

Gentleman: If you want this to feel like a date, insist on paying. If you have been friends for a while this may be that simple gesture to help say, “Hey – I am interested.”

Ladies: See if he insists on paying. A man who wants to make a good impression and take you out, will do so.

2. Give ‘em a little push.

Remember in 2nd grade when pushing/getting pushed meant, “I like you.” That still holds true weather your 2 or 32. If you’re interested in someone reach out and put an arm around them, give them a little nudge when joking… get touchy. See how they respond. If they tighten up, or move away then they’re probably not interested. If they jump at the opportunity to put their arm around you, or play back then let the flirting begin.

3. Planning.

If you’re texting someone back & forth and they ask you to come hang out at the last minute – Congrats! You’ve just become their back-up/last resort.   No plan = no date. If they text you on a Tuesday asking you out on Friday, and give you a time & place – then it’s a date. They are asking you out, and taking time to make a plan.

4. What are they wearing?

Do they look & smell nice? If you like someone you put in a little bit more time, take a shower, and wear that outfit that makes you feel good. If you show up looking great, and your date looks like they just rolled out of bed… It’s probably not a date.

5. Have you asked?

If you are meeting someone off the internet, or going out with someone you met at a party it shouldn’t be too hard to simply ask, “Is this a date?” The worst that can happen is that they say No, and then you can say, “Great. I just wanted to clarify that,” then quickly change the topic.  

NOTE: If YOU don’t want it to be a date:

For those of you who are meeting up with someone and don’t want it to be a date it’s best to set up the standard from the get-go. You can say something like, “I know it can sometimes be hard for guys and girls to be friends, but I wanted to be clear that I’m not looking for a relationship right now. However, I think you’re pretty awesome and would like to be your friend if that’s alright with you?” It’s a really great way to start a friendship on clear terms. I personally made one of my closest guy friends that way, and it allowed us the opportunity to talk just about everything. Including, later on when the lines got blurred a little we were able to talk about it as friends and remain close to this very day. 

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5 Tips for Throwing The Best Bachelorette Party. EVER.


I LOVE a great Bachelorette party!  What I enjoy most is getting to know all of the other girls that have been an important part of a friend’s life, as well as it makes partying at the wedding WAY more fun as you now know each other too. I’ve been a bridesmaid 6 times and of that I’ve hosted 5 bachelorette parties. All in different cities: New Orleans, NYC, LA, Santa Barbara, and the Outer Banks.

So I’ve thrown a lot of parties, with lots of girls, and LOTS of different personalities.

If you’re doing a destination – everyone will be spending lots of cash, and traveling… which puts lots of pressure on you as the host to make the weekend spectacular! So here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Give Everyone a Chance to Weigh In. Do this first thing once the venue has been selected.  Has anyone been there? Do they have suggestions? Things they would like to do? Things they would like to contribute? Everyone is going to have an opinion/concern – so just get it out of the way first thing.
NOTE: A word to the wise: One or two girls will offer to help plan the party – but unless you know them – it’s probably best to politely say you have it from here, but would love their help at the actual event. It’s just easier. Trust me.

2. Ask for Money Upfront. Set the itinerary and come up with a budget for any group events. If you can do a pre-fix menu at a nice restaurant do it! It’s so much easier to handle this up front then to ask for money once the party has passed. Add up the party supplies, car, food, booze, group day outings, etc. It will make your life easier when having to pay for things and let’s everyone know what the weekend is going to cost them.

3. Stand Out! I know it seems stupid – but wearing those silly things out as a group that celebrate your friend getting married – is actually fun! I have customized it to each person I have thrown a bachelorette party for based upon their personality and our friendship. Hats, Sweatshirts, Tank Tops, Headbands, Polos. Get creative! It doesn’t need to be a tacky t-shirt. It can be as simple as everyone wearing the same color – but do something to stand out! It helps set the mood and get everyone ready to have fun!

4. Games & Lingerie & Getting Naughty. One segment of your night or weekend should involve some games and a Lingerie party (optional). One of my favorite games to play is a drinking game where you’ve asked the groom a range of questions from romantic to naughty – and the bride tries to guess his answers. If the bride is right the girls drink, and if the bride is wrong, she drinks. Another fun thing to do is have everyone buy her a little piece of Lingerie. Again – these trips get expensive so encourage the girls to go in on items together. It helps the Bride build up her wardrobe for the Honeymoon. Now – if you want another activity one of the best things I ever did was hire a woman to come and teach us a lap dance. Everyone LOVED it and it was the highlight of the evening. Pole dancing is a huge trend – you can look to instructors at local classes.

5. Hotel vs. House. There are pro’s and cons to both. Houses can be fun and allow you to cook meals at home, pre-game, have a large communal space for everyone to gather in. However, you do have to clean up after yourself, typically you have to bring your own toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags, and bath towels – which causes you to have to waste some time at the grocery store & cleaning. Hotels are great as you have everything you need, people clean up after you and you don’t have to worry about anything. However, there is no communal space to hang out in if you don’t have a suite, and it can cause you to have to break up your group a little more. So I suggest looking at the group and think about what you, as the host, want to take care of: Are they Rowdy? Do you not want to do extra housework? If you don’t – get a hotel. Are you looking for a more relaxed weekend with friends to chill and make meals? If yes – get a house.

Suggested Itinerary:
Day 1:
Everyone Arrives
– Set a Bar for everyone to meet at as they arrive near your hotel/house.
– Dinner: Chose a good but casual restaurant for the first evening.

Day 2:
– Have something fun & relaxing planned for the afternoon
o Beach trip
o Local tour
o Pool Party

– Lingerie Party/ Games/Bachelorette paraphernalia
– Dinner at Nice Restaurant (get a private room if possible!)
– Have a starting off point to go out to in mind. (Bar/Club/Show)

Day 3:
– Group Breakfast

…. People Head Home

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Wally & Mary Jane: A story of Rebellion and Love.


Today is Memorial Day. I would like to take a moment to post a very special Clycked Project in remembrance of my Grandfather & Grandmother – inspired by the above picture – taken in their early years of marriage. My facts here may not be perfectly accurate – but I will do the best I can with their love story as it has been handed down to me.

My Grandparents met when they were young at the local grocery store in Youngstown, Ohio. My grandfather, Wally, an artist, painting signage for the “produce” section, fell in love with my grandmother, Mary Jane, a cashier. Their marriage was one of true love, and a story of rebellion.

Back in the 1940’s America was segregated – not just black and white – but amongst every race.  We were the country of “The American Dream” and many families were fleeing Europe during the World Wars and emigrating to the US. In fact, just this year we discovered that my Great Great Grandfather was Jewish, and immigrated to Canada from the Ukraine during the first World War, and then later to the US.  Both of my Grandparent’s were first generation US citizens. My Grandfather was 100% Ukrainian, my Grandmother 100% Italian.  It was so important to my Grandmother’s parents that she be an “American” that they never taught her to speak Italian, however, it was also extremely important to them that she continue on the Italian bloodline and marry a good Catholic Italian boy.

My Grandfather being a Ukrainian artist and newly made member of the Army Air Core was not an acceptable match. So at the age of 20 and 23 (respectively) – they eloped. In time her family came to accept it, but never quite forgave her.  In fact, on the day of her sister’s big church wedding (she was marrying a good Catholic Italian boy), as they got out of the limo her father turned and frostily said to her, “See what you could have had.”  She sat in the car and cried.

This story has stuck with me over the years.  It made me understand my Grandmother in a way I never had – I saw her for the incredibly strong woman she was. A woman who followed her heart and fought for the things she believed in.  I am so thrilled today to see love no longer defined as simply a “Man and a Woman” – but take on both many shades and shapes.  Gay. Straight. Interracial. No matter what – in today’s society we are all Mixed.

To Wally & Mary Jane.  Some of the early rebels. Who fought for love.  Plain and simple.

And….To our troops who have fought for our freedoms, for our rights, and the Melting Pot of America. Thank you.

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An Open Letter to My Future Self on Love + Change.

All or Nothing

I feel as though I have sent this poem around lately to a lot of people. I have found it inspirational and very true – and it has served as the basis for today’s post.


To my Future Self,

Selecting a partner in life is one of the greatest decisions you will make.

Don’t let chemistry and attraction take over – yes this is important – but don’t get lost in it. Listen to what your partner has to say & offer. Ask yourself: Do they believe in family the same way you do? Do they challenge you to look at things differently? When you disagree do they listen and respect your point of view? Or do they put you down and tell you that you’re wrong? Are they kind? Do they treat other people with respect? Do you have to ask them to do things, or do they just do it? Do they feed you emotionally? How do you support one another and make each other better? How do you both react when there is conflict?

Don’t let yourself fall for someone that isn’t right and convince yourself that, “If they just change this one thing…. then we’ll be happy.” You should be able to take them as they are today and say, “I’d be happy!”  (And your partner should be able to say the same.)

You can’t build your happiness on the expectation that one of you will change.

Be open to change yourself: communicate better, do not be afraid to show how wonderful & kind you are, and when your partner comes to you with a problem, again, listen.  This is going to be hard. It’s not going to be easy. But if the good outweighs the bad – then it will all be worth it. To have a friend by your side through thick and thin. To have someone to share the laughter and tears. To allow someone see you for who you truly are. No walls. No makeup. To have the space and encouragement to be yourself, and to be able to give that to someone else as well. That is the goal.

Don’t let yourself get lost in the hope of pleasing someone else. In the dream of what could be.  Get lost in the security & beauty of who you are, and who you are when you are with them.

Wait until you find someone that accepts all of you.  Wait until you find someone who’s flaws you love.

Have patience, and you will find love. 

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15 Questions for a First Date.

There’s always that moment when you go on a first date – you smile, say, “Hi!”……

… and then what?

Not quite sure what to ask?  We asked our friends and got some great first date questions that will help to break the ice.

  1. How was your day? (Simple easy lead in.)
  2. First tape cassette you ever bought?
  3. First concert you ever went to?
  4. Favorite song to dance to?
  5. What’s your favorite book?
  6. Can you drive a stick shift?
  7.  Have you ever been in a fight?
  8. Have you ever been arrested?
  9.  What superhero did you pretend to be as a child?
  10. What super power would you choose as an adult?
  11. What’s your favorite animal?
  12. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
  13. What made you want to get into your line of work?
  14. What’s your favorite thing about yourself?
  15. What’s one new thing that you learned this week?


What was the best question you were ever asked on a first date?

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Time to Get HAPPY!

Go Out


5 Ways to Kick The Winter Blues – Today!

If you live on the east coast you know that this winter has been miserable. It’s now late March and the cold weather continues with today’s high is 32 F in NYC – when it would typically be in the mid 50’s. It’s taking its toll on all of us.  A lot of my friends appear to be depressed, myself included.  The one phrase I keep hearing people repeat is, “I feel really alone.”


1.  Change your thinking.  Sometimes when we feel one way it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I know that on occasion I have actually isolated myself. When someone reached out to hang out I said I was too busy, and then later in the day I moped about the fact that, “All of my friends are busy in their own lives.”

2. Get off social media.  Studies have show that social media can actually make us feel lonely. We look at these fantastic things others are doing, and it makes us feel less than stoked about our own lives.  So next time you are bored – skip Facebook – and maybe check out the real news instead.

3. Go to the gym.  We all know this one.  Get those endorphins running – you’ll feel better about yourself and you can start to shed those winter lbs.  Hate the gym?  Check out that class you’ve been wanting to try. Just do it.

4.  Make a Plan. I once found a poster that said, “Nothing amazing is going to happen… unless you get up, get dressed, and go out.” So while it’s cold out and it sucks… stop making excuses and get out there. You’ll be happy you did.

5. Volunteer.  When we do something good for others – it makes us feel good too.  If all of your friends are truly busy – or you’re new to a city – volunteering is a great way to feel good about yourself as well as make new friend.

7 Things Every Wingman Should Know

Picture by glennharper via Flickr

Picture by glennharper via Flickr

When being a Wingman there are a few rules you should follow:

1.    Know your Role.  When you’re the Wingman – you may already be in a relationship, or maybe you’ve got more game than your friend.  You are there to help – not compete.
2.    Don’t steal the show.  If you are too enthusiastic as the Wingman – the guy/girl you are chatting up is bound to get confused as to who is hitting on them.  Start by introducing yourself & your friend, ask only a couple of generic questions and flip it back to your friend.
3.    Don’t Oversell. If you start to sound like a used car salesman – saying how amazing your friend is and what great features they have – your target is going to leave.  Relax.  Ask some questions to make them feel comfortable, and if there are some commonalities, you can say, “Oh – My pal (lives there/ shops there/hangs out there/loves that band) too.”
4.    Don’t get wasted. You’re both there to have a good time – and a couple of drinks always help to lighten the mood – but no body likes it when someone is obviously tanked and slurring their words.  It’s your job to make sure that you and your friend stay on a nice steady level.
5.    Run Interference.  When someone else starts to approach the guy/girl your friend is chatting to – it’s you job to run interference by either physically blocking them or chatting them up.
6.    Stay as a Group. If there are multiple people involved – it’s best that you stay as a group.  It makes it so that no one feels awkward or unwanted, and everyone stays engaged in the conversation.
7.    Move to a new location.  Moving away from the bar together – as a group – helps to solidify, “We’re hanging out.”  The bar is a transient place where people can slip away easily.

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