Tag Archives: love

How Technology Changed Dating

I had a great lunch with John Head yesterday in which we somehow got on the subject of dating and389361140_129554721e_m technology.

The topic came up after we discussed John’s experience with interviewing, hiring and firing Gen Y’ers who all seemed to have huge entitlement issues. John had some funny stories about Gen Y’ers. My favorite story was about a young male employee who refused to take down pictures of himself smoking marijuana from his Facebook page. Since the lad refused to take the pictures down, John asked him to disconnect with all company employees and clients as an alternative. The young man didn’t like this request either, and ended up quitting his job instead. Wow!

The point of his story was that in today’s world, your private life is no longer private. At any time, anyone can follow you on Twitter, Google you or check out your Facebook page. How does this new level of transparency affect dating and relationships?

I must admit, a few of my relationships ended due to things I found out via technology. I’ll let your imagination run wild with this one, but I will say, “Thanks a Million Technology!” you just saved me a lot of time and heartbreak.

Technology makes being shady easier AND more difficult at the same time. It’s so easy to strike up conversation with someone new via text or Instant Message and unexpectedly become sucked in. Yet it is also SO easy to get caught. All it takes is your significant other finding a few shady emails, or being confronted by your boyfriend’s mistress through a Facebook message…

2409341265_93268f3b43_m1How has Technology affected your dating and relationship experience? Do these scenarios sound familiar?

• When meeting a new guy, you text for two weeks before you meet in person or talk on the phone because it’s less scary.
• You are constantly distracted by your cell phone/PDA while you are out. Then you wonder why your guy doesn’t call you much the week after your date. Perhaps he thought you were totally uninterested in him AND rude.
• You use technology as an easy out rather than picking up the phone or dealing with an awkward situation in person.
• You find yourself trying to interpret text messages, Wall Posts, and Facebook Pokes to the point that you start to feel a bit crazy.
• You meet a cute guy at the bar one weekend and are now text buddies with him. You just got out of a serious relationship and have no desire to actually make this into anything, yet you enjoy the distraction from reality and keep it going just for fun.

Technology presents a whole new dimension of confusion, drama and complication to our love lives. Technology can be a friend and foe at the same time. On the bright side, we can assume that if something shady is going on technology will most likely bring it to light. On the downside, it’s easy to get mixed up in the implied meaning behind technology. My vote? When in doubt, pick up the phone and avoid technology in your love life as much as possible!

Nicole’s Review of Suze Orman’s “Women and Money”


As featured on justthrive.com!

Only Suze Orman could talk about two topics as sensitive as Women and Money so honestly and accurately. In her eighth book, Women and Money, Suze uncovers the mysterious stumbling blocks that so many women face when it comes to their finances, “It doesn’t matter if I am in a room full of business executives or stay-at-home moms, I find the core problem to be universal: When it comes to making decisions with money, you refuse to own your power, to act in your best interest.”

Women are typically the givers of the world: they are always putting others before themselves, nurturing their families, and sacrificing for others. Suze is NOT suggesting women replace “nurturer with narcissist.” She says, “I simply want you to give TO yourself as much as you give OF yourself. By taking care of yourself financially, you will truly be able to take care of those you love.” She asks why women don’t show their money the same attention they show every other relationship in their lives and claims it is because women have a dysfunctional relationship with money.

It is this dysfunctional relationship that has intrigued me personally to start a business to help educate women about their finances. My belief is that it is not intelligence or information that women lack, it is a mental “block” that is holding women back. Suze points out that so many women feel they must be all things to all people, “mother, wife, dutiful daughter, supportive friend, school volunteer, cheerleader at home and at work.” With the demands of life, it’s easy to keep denying the importance of learning new things that may be uncomfortable or hard to face. It is much easier to deny that money exists, say you are just “too busy” or blame others for your financial shortcomings.

My favorite chapter of Women and Money is called “The 8 Qualities of a Wealthy Woman.” I like it because it sheds light on what many women are not doing and clarifies how changing our thoughts and behaviors will improve our relationship with money.

For example, numbers 1 and 2 are harmony and balance. When you are in harmony, what you think, say and do are aligned. How many women do you know who say, “Oh I’m fine!” or “Ok daughter, you can have that new ___” even when they don’t feel that way or can’t afford it. That leads us to quality 3: courage. Courage gives you the ability to make sure your thoughts, feelings, and actions are aligned. So many women fear that if they say no, they may hurt someone else or not be loved as much. Suze points out, “It’s so much easier to hurt yourself than to hurt someone else, isn’t it?” When you think logically about that statement it is so true, yet women do it several times a day.

I believe that courage is important because it allows women to set boundaries with quality number 4: generosity. Women are known for being too generous with their time, support, love and money. Suze points out that the act of generosity must benefit the giver as much as the receiver, or it is not true generosity.

Quality 5 and 6 are happiness and wisdom. Quality 7 is cleanliness, which is really just another word for organization. And lastly, number 8 is beauty, which is a combination of the other 7 qualities.

Notice I haven’t gone into any detail about the technical side of money in my review. Suze Orman and I could sit here all day and tell you about the importance of saving, investing, and organizing your finances but if you don’t have a relationship with money first, you will never stick to making good decisions with your money. Just like losing weight, we have to get to the bottom of what is really causing that “stumbling block” in order to conquer it.

Money and Love

As featured on womenco.com!

For those who follow my writing, you know that I love drawing parallels between things that seem unrelated at first glance. Let’s investigate the ways in which women handle money affects their romantic relationships.

The way women think about money can be very emotional and typically transcends into every aspect of their lives. An underlying theme for many women is dishonesty. Women are often dishonest with themselves about money, saying they don’t need to worry about it or face it. Many women tell themselves “it will work itself out later”, or assume that eventually a guy will take care of it for them.

Women’s relationships with money tend to reflect their relationships with themselves and their romantic partners. We’ve all heard that the #1 cause of divorce in the United States is MONEY. It makes sense. For example, in a time of crisis, some women blame their husbands for not taking better care of things and not planning properly. Managing and planning finances is a lot of pressure for one person! Once something urgent happens, the downward spiral of arguing and personal attacks begins.

What about women who were taught that “money is the root of all evil”?  Last time I checked, if you want to provide opportunities to your family, you need money. If you want to care for your sick relatives, that healthcare costs money. If you want to send your kids to a better school or live in a safer neighborhood, you will need money. There is nothing greedy about wanting to take care of your family. Why are so many women conditioned to think that discussing money is inappropriate?

Are women afraid of being “too powerful?”  If women were brought up to believe in Cinderella stories, and taught that “money is a man’s job” or that “money is evil,” perhaps women are afraid that if they take control of their finances, they will be seen as too greedy or self-centered.

Women love getting others’ approval and making people happy. Are we afraid that if we get smart about money, we won’t be loved as much?

I am here to say that you can have a relationship with money and with your partner at the same time. In fact, psychologists say that “when a woman becomes financially independent, she gains self-assurance and peace of mind, and her relationships become healthier and more mature.” (Stanny, 50). Psychotherapist Annette Lieberman says, “those who take charge of their money develop the same qualities people need to enjoy sex: higher self-esteem, a sense of mastery, confidence and permission to enjoy pleasure.”

If your relationship with money is struggling, and you also hope to improve your love life, I hope you will relinquish the Cinderella myth and get real about your relationship with money. Stop waiting for someone with an extra piece of anatomy to take care of YOUR money and YOUR future. Stop blaming others for your relationship with money and start believing that YOU can do it!

How To Attract Your Soulmate According to Dr. Oikle

Are you a defensive dater? Do you know any “jaded” singles who are not even willing to put themselves “out there” due to their intense fear of being hurt?

During my interview with Dating Coach and Psychologist Dr. Jennifer Oikle, PhD I learned more than I ever expected to learn about today’s dating game.

I must admit that for some reason this post has been the most difficult one to write out of all my posts so3004258431_6449720f5f_m far. And, it’s the first post I’ve put off writing for days. Maybe I have a little fear when it comes to dating too.

Dr. Oikle started off by comparing defensive skiing or horse riding to dating: “When you are defensive, you are actually more apt to hurt yourself because you are paralyzed with fear and then crash.” In terms of dating, this means:

1. Expecting our needs not to be met.
2. Going into the relationship or situation with fear.
→In turn, we create the outcome we fear.

Most people battle between wanting a relationship and being so afraid of what will happen in a relationship. Therefore, when they date they end up getting a little bit of both: not all their needs are met and they are afraid.

Part 1: Where’s your Love Faucet?

She clarified this idea by comparing it to a water faucet. “When the faucet is 100% on, we allow desire and love to come in. When the faucet is off, we have closed ourselves out from letting an ideal partner in. Many times, people will leave their ‘faucet’ only 50% on, which means they will attract a partner who is also only 50% on and part of their fears of being cheated on, left or not being liked are probable in that state.”

According to Dr. Oikle, the good news is that we can see where our “love faucet” is and take control of it rather than be the victim of someone else.

Part 2: Get Good at Knowing Where your Faucet Is.

In order to monitor where we are when it comes to letting love in, we must be aware of our thoughts and energy. Dr. Oikle says to pay attention to your throat, chest and stomach to guide you. They should feel light, not tight or stressed.

Next, she suggested to stop concerning yourself with what others are doing, “focus on what you are giving out, not what you are getting in the relationship.” Apparently when we focus on giving love and kindness (even to a stranger, co-worker, friend, etc) we are changing the vibe we send out from “lack to love” and will receive love back.

How many times have you come home to your partner to ask “What’s wrong? Something feels off.” What you are probably feeling is their “love faucet” being closed, which in turn makes YOU act closed and defensive. The night is probably not going to be very fun. When someone comes home sending out a positive vibe with their attitude and smile, your partner can definitely feel that and will be more apt to hug you, compliment you, share stories about their day, and show you they love you.

Part 3: Transparent Dating

In order to attract someone like you, you must put it all out there: your authentic self and what you want. Change your perspective from “danger to curiosity.” In other words, step back and trust. Understand that everything is happening for a reason.

Think back to an x of yours who totally broke your heart or breached your trust. Ok, ouch. Now think about where you are today. At the time the saga unfolds, you feel like the world is ending and you will never be able to trust or love anyone again. Now looking back, you thank God every day that you did not continue dating that person. It all happened for a reason, and you wouldn’t be where you are today without it.

If you choose to stay stuck in fear or anger though, it will be almost impossible for you to step back into love. “Learn something from what happened, and then turn back to gratitude,” says Dr. Oikle.

As I’m writing this I realize my love faucet has been off lately. I’m glad that I have the power to turn it back on and let good things flow back into my life and relationship.

Thanks a million to Dr. Jennifer Oikle for all of this awesome dating information! For more dating tips, check out her blog or follow her journey of coaching a single to find their soulmate. Dr. Oikle is also launching a membership site in January where you can get individual coaching at www.mysoulmatesolution.com. For quick advice, follow her on Twitter at TheDatingDr.


Thinking Like an Entrepreneur in Relationships

What are the traits of successful entrepreneurs? What are the keys to successful long-term relationships? Surprisingly, they are more similar than you may have imagined.

As you probably know, I love reading about and networking with successful entrepreneurs. Their magnetism and energy have always intrigued me since I was little. I have also always looked up to those2956439195_69d9636350_m who are in successful long-term relationships or marriages. Thinking about my grandparents (who have been married for over 50 years) and my parents (over 25 years), I am always tempted to ask, “How the heck did you do it?!”

When researching for this post, I read several articles about both successful entrepreneurs and successful relationships and found some interesting stuff.

Here is my conclusion on traits that make a successful entrepreneur:

• The ability to adapt to change and experiment with new ideas.
• The ability to collaborate with others and accept that you can’t be the master at every skill required to run your business successfully.
• Successful entrepreneurs think BIG and think ahead by planning and goal setting.
• Entrepreneurs have a high tolerance for uncertainty.
• They also have a lot of confidence.
• They possess a strong willingness to work at it no matter how bad things get, how tired they are, or how many hours they worked that day.

Do you see the parallel? Apply these points to your relationship.

For example, collaborating with others. Each person in the relationship has strengths and weaknesses. For example one person might be a fabulous cook but not so good at remembering to pick up around the house. Rather than fight it, the successful entrepreneur would accept their strengths/weaknesses and bring it to light with their partner so that the roles are put in place, therefore avoiding conflict and moving on to more important things.

Adapting to change and being an innovator. A lot has changed since my grandparents got married in 1955. They were smart enough to adapt to the times, their situations and their struggles and find new ways to overcome obstacles. Any successful relationship is always evolving, even in simple ways such as going on fun new dates, traveling to new places together, or finding a new recipe for dinner you both enjoy. Your ability to innovate will help you overcome adversity and stick together.

The most obvious connection here is the last bullet point: Successful relationships consist of two people who are willing to work at it every day no matter what. The relationship is of top importance and they see beyond the day to day and have a bigger picture for the future. “Relationship entrepreneurs” see a huge return on their investment of time, energy and love. They have confidence that they can overcome adversity together and share a common vision for their relationship/future. Sounds oddly similar to a business, doesn’t it?

In an age of economic turmoil, at least we know can keep our relationships out of emotional bankruptcy by thinking more like an entrepreneur. We can also stop personalizing the little things by being confident, thinking constructively about how to innovate new solutions and work towards our long term goals together.

Rest in Peace Mr. G

Happy Friday!

I’m glad the week is coming to a close.  Today is an unusual Friday for me as I’m attending the wake of a local business owner who passed away.  At the age of only 63, he just never woke up from a night’s sleep.

Mr. Graziano is the 4th generation owner of J.P. Graziano Grocery Company which has THE best (and most reasonably priced) prosciutto sandwiches in the city of Chicago.  Like me, he comes from a very Italian family and worships great food and his family.  He has worked with his dear wife for most of his life and their relationship is one everyone looked up to.  Seeing his face light up while describing a certain olive oil or hot pepper was always entertaining to everyone in our neighborhood.

So last night when I was tempted to get frustrated about the disagreement I was having at home, I thought twice about it.  I thought about all the things in my life I have to be thankful for, and it made any negative thoughts I was having evaporate into thin air.  Life is too short and too delicate to waste time on the small stuff.  With that, make it a great Friday!

Are Your Expectations Realistic?

I’m currently taking a three-week workshop with an amazing psychologist who has really opened my eyes. I enrolled myself in the course initially because of my hot temper and figured I could use to learn a few things. It turns out that this class has pointed out so many things I never thought about before.

My favorite lesson so far has been to let go of unrealistic expectations. This applies to almost any situation you are in whether it is in regards to a friend, co-worker, significant other or even standards you place upon yourself. If you wake up each morning with a pre-defined “blue print” in your mind of how the day or even a situation is going to go, I promise that you will end up being disappointed.

Saying things like “my boss should realize how hard I’m working” or “my boyfriend should know that I want/need this if he loves me” is probably going to lead you to disappointment. Another example that pertains especially to women is thinking we need to please everyone at all times. Give it up before you go insane sister.

So, if you are feeling disappointed, down or angry about a situation today, I challenge you to stop for a minute and write down the triggering event which made you mad, and then write down what your expectations were before going into the situation. I bet you will find that you may have been holding on to your expectations way too rigidly!