Online dating doesn’t have to stress you out.

Get in touch already!Are you sick of going on lame dates, or never getting replies to your OkCupid messages? I’m here to help!

Curious to learn more? Check out my FAQ or pricing page. Prefer to talk to a human first? Me too! Call my office at (206) 783-0275 or drop me a line to schedule a free intro chat. You’ll get some starter advice, and we’ll know right away if we should work together. :)

You can also subscribe to my blog and free advice newsletter. I aim to assist!

Latest Blog Posts

Your love life and the holidays

My business picks up dramatically in January and February. I don’t do any extra marketing, but people feel this immense pressure and drive to get paired up based on New Year’s Resolutions and Valentine’s Day. I think some of it also comes from riding the Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve gauntlet that usually comes with increased family time and romantic scrutiny from relatives, plus increased parties where you’re expected/allowed to bring a +1 and kiss people when a terrifying lighted ball falls and whatnot. Winter holidays can feel bleak for some of us anyway, but if you’re upset about singlehood they can make you feel even worse. Which is such utter crap! But hard to shake! Argh!

I love the blog A Cup of Jo, where intern Caroline recently wrote up a little guide to being single over the holidays. I think she makes great points; her piece is totally worth a read! But I’d like to add a few other points so we can all hopefully have a happier December and beyond.

Talk to your family about your love life.

I think we’ve largely exited the world in which our parents sort of played matchmaker and forced us into meeting people we weren’t interested in meeting. (I mean, sometimes that happens still, but it’s no longer the primary means of finding romantic connection in our society!) While it makes sense that we feel squicky about discussing romance with our parents or even extended family, I’ve actually found it can be awesome.

I remember having a really transformative conversation with my uncle one year when I spent Christmas in England. We both lamented our recent romantic troubles—he’d gotten divorced and his first girlfriend after that had just broken up with him, and I had just cut off a friendship because I was super in love with a dude who sort of strung me a long but didn’t love me back. We actually cried about it together, which was admittedly weird, but we also both encouraged each other to find someone that appreciated our unique spark instead of taking it for granted. I never meant to talk love shop with my MOM’S BROTHER of all people, but it wound up being surprisingly healing for us both, and I think it allowed us to shed some glumness and actually enjoy the spirit of holiday gatherings without feeling so burdened by our sad stories, you know?

I’ve also found that when I get over my child-like resistance to talking about romance with my mom and even grandmother, it’s fascinating for us both. My folks seem to open up more and share details about the past—their relationship and how I fit into it, their prior marriages, their lives and hopes and dreams and how they differed over time—all this helps me see them as more complete and complex people. I think it’s part of growing up, this curiosity about your parents’ whole arc instead of just the ways they affect you more directly. I highly recommend giving this a shot if you have even a halfway comfortable relationship with your relatives. And hey, it takes the spotlight off of you, if you really do want to deflect!

I also find that being candid about what I’m after romantically helps family actually be useful if they’re stuck in Matchmaker Mode. If they understand why your relationships haven’t worked out and what it is you’re seeking, they have way better potential to actually prove themselves useful. Or at least “get” you instead of just wringing their hands about the fact that you’re still not married or whatever. Ah, family.

Remember that Thanksgiving is based on a lie anyway! Image source: Wikipedia

Remember that many holidays are based on lies and distorted history anyway! source

The more, the merrier

I’m a big fan of Friendsgiving, Friendsmas, Friendukah, Friends’ Year’s Eve, The Winter Friendstice, you name it. Fralentine’s Day. (I’ll stop!) Some of my favorite Christmas memories as a 20-something are ones I spent with a close friend’s family. And some of the happiest memories hosting holidays in my later 20s and early 30s are when we had a mix of relatives and pals. Most holiday celebrations are just as happy if you throw one or two more people into the mix. So I urge everyone coupled up and/or with a cozy hosting space to proactively check through your mental list of pals who are unattached, or who have family in really far away places, and see if anyone wants a holiday invitation.

When the entire world is pressuring you to roast chestnuts by an open fire with family and friends, it can suck when you’re solo on December 25th. Heck, even the default Chinese food alternative can feel like you’re being left out of a communal non-Christmas non-celebration of the many families and groups in attendance. It sucks to feel like a straggler. I urge everyone to be open-hearted this holiday season, but follow up that intention with actual pragmatic invitations. Don’t just assume the lonely will come to you; that’s a crappy burden to put on anyone who may already not feel so great.

Plus, when there are non-family members at your holiday gathering, I think it can sort of dampen any dysfunctional family dynamic you otherwise have going on, thereby making your own relatives less stressful. :) Not that your friends should have to absorb the tension—it’s more like they don’t even notice it because everyone is on better behavior with an “outsider” present. Of course, there are families where this isn’t the case, but if you need convincing I often find that the whole gang appreciates having some new blood in the mix.

Remember, you can RSVP “no”

The extra holiday parties really stress some of us out. For me, the pressure of spending extra money on obligatory sparkly outfits and more drinks and therefore taxis/Ubers/Lyfts than usual on top of buying gifts and turkeys and far more bourbon than usual is already a lot. Add to that the fact that I’m trying to drink less and eat better, so parties kinda suck for that. And my inner introvert/extrovert battle always rages strong and makes parties socially terrifying on some level, but I feel like I’m *supposed* to go to all of them anyway. All this can pile up and you just get a general exhaustion and stress level that gets you the flu.

Remember that you’re totally allowed to opt out of holiday parties that aren’t actually going to be fun for you. People will understand, especially if you stay home and write them a really nice note thanking them for the invitation!

Go easy on yourselves

Anyway, as we head into Christmas and New Year’s Even and eventually Valentine’s Day, I hope you’ll all remember to give yourselves a bit of a break about the pressures and expectations around the holidays. I guarantee it feels better to be solo and feel slightly left out of a bunch of New Year’s Even smooches than it does to be kissing the wrong person out of rote tradition, you know? Spend time doing stuff YOU enjoy, buy presents YOU want, and give me a call if you need some pep talking along the way!

Want to work with me for free‽

Image source = Anchorman, obviously :)

I’m starting a new project in early 2015, and you can totally take advantage—and get my coaching FOR FREE! If you’re the right fit, that is. :) I’m launching a short podcast project in which I talk a few clients through their online dating and relationship struggles. In order to do this, I’m working with a […]

Twitter Tips for Tinder™

This particular picture is mainly just to amuse me.

Hey all! A Twitter pal recently shared an insight on how he used Tinder to great success. If you ever need to help someone whose preferred type of partner is “silly with a hint of bitterness” – putting “idiot” as the only word in the Tinder bio works wonders. It’s a scarily good filter. I agree! […]

Next Mug Shots event in Seattle on 10/26!

Richard and me. Me and Richard. Richard looks great. I look insane.

Hey everyone! I hope your transition into fall has been splendid. Mine has been great, but BUSY! And a little crazy… you know how they say things happen in threes? Well, our family car broke down, our washing machine flooded our basement, and the shelving in our closet came crashing down in the night narrowly […]

Ye Olde Tyme Usernames

Source: Flickr CC

Over the weekend, Grant was Googling something random and came across this PDF of Old English trade names and descriptions. I’m a linguistics BA who loves geeky creative portmanteaux and playfully pretentious references, so I immediately proclaimed that these would be a fantastic source of online dating username inspiration for a certain geeky set. I think […]

Latest newsletter is out!

Are y’all on my newsletter? Just a reminder that you might want to be! August’s issue came out today, about dating in and out of your league, and how to optimize for dating certain physical traits you find desirable without sounding shallow and obsessed with appearances. Sounds useful, right? I hope it was. Check out that […]

Flaking out on plans


This video from Alex Cornell totally cracked me up. (Via SwissMiss) It’s a little NSFW I guess, but all the curse words are bleeped. Here’s the thing; Alex is describing a totally real phenomenon, that’s in part technology and in part shifting social norms. The two really do go hand in hand. But rather than […]

OkCupid removed unpopular questions

Tons of my clients use OkCupid, and sometimes I have access to their profile backends for when we’re working on new writing, or when I need to see detailed info on their messaging or browsing history. The other day, I was working with one such client and I noticed something weird. Two specific questions seemed to […]

Getting engaged is no picnic

Four colors.

Just a friendly reminder that once you finally meet the person you want to settle down with, and you both bang like bunnies and take down your respective OkCupid profiles, all is not necessarily simple and awesome. Wedding planning can be a chore, haha. (NSFW language, but totally worth a watch.) (via A Cup of Jo)

How and when to ask for free advice

Source: Saint Murse on Flickr

I get a *lot* of requests to help people for free. I usually offer a few tips, because at the end of the day, I care perhaps to a weird degree about helping people exit bad relationships and find good ones. But I can’t and don’t always jump into Freebie Mode. I’d like to take a […]

Get my blog posts via email!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join my free mailing list!

Sign up for The Heartographer newsletter—online dating advice
* = required field