Dating in NYC: The Struggle of Second Guessing Yourself

In a day and age where beauty is perceived differently every day and trends go out just as quickly as they come in, it is easy to second guess ourselves, making it almost inevitable that we second guess ourselves when we are trying to find love in New York City, or anywhere for that matter. Sure, there are those confident, poised people out there who don’t have a doubt in the world about the way they approach things, but not everyone can be that self-assured.
When it comes to someone who is frequently second-guessing herself, new relationships can be a huge anxiety trigger. With a budding relationship, we feel the need to say the perfect, clever thing at the right time or wear the outfit that gives the exact vibe that we want to exude on the first date.

Relationships are supposed to make us nervous. We’re supposed to get the butterflies and be eager to find out what’s going to happen next. The unknowns of relationships inevitably trigger overthinking and second guessing that will drive you crazy. Just know that in the grand scheme of things, what you’re obsessing over is likely a much smaller deal than you think, and being comfortable being yourself will save you loads of unnecessary stress and bring you closer to finding love in New York City.

For example, in today’s fast-paced, tech-oriented world, a new relationship is likely to be filled with casual back-and-forth texting. While texting is a good way to keep in touch throughout a busy day, its lack of intonation can lead to miscommunication. Those of us who second guess ourselves may think that responding too quickly may seem desperate, or that we have to concoct the perfect response to avoid being looked at as crazy/weird/rude/etc. In reality, if this relationship has a future, you (and your significant other) aren’t going to worry about how responding immediately is going to come off, and the witty joke you want to make will be something that make your significant other smile throughout his/her mundane day.

We also tend to second guess ourselves when deciding how to present ourselves. Let’s say your best friend decides to play matchmaker and sets you up with a new guy. You panic the night of the date and swear (like you have a thousand other times) that you have NOTHING to wear that will make the right impression. Sure, first dates, especially when you’ve never met the guy, tend to be nerve racking. But just think- if you do hit it off and spark a romance, sooner rather than later it will not make a difference to him whether he sees you in a little black dress with sky high heels or your favorite jeans and go-to top on your night out, he’ll just be looking forward to seeing you. Not to say you shouldn’t want to get dolled up for him, but the sooner you’re comfortable in your own skin around him, the sooner he’ll be comfortable with the real you.

We need to take a step back and realize that it’s okay not be perfect. To not always say the perfect thing at the perfect time and to not always be flawless. Perfect gets boring, but being yourself creates a dynamic aspect in your relationship that is likely to keep the ball rolling and, if all goes well, lead to something great.


BY: Nicole D’Amato

Thinking of Giving an Ultimatum? Think Again.

According to Beyoncé’s Single Ladies hit, “if you like it then you should have put a ring on it”- and she is right.
Waiting for your long-term partner to give an imminent proposal can be unbearable. No matter how many obvious hints that you may drop; if your relationship status remains at a standstill, the idea of speeding up the proposal process with an ultimatum or deadline probably seems like the most efficient option. However, the risk of forcing the love of your life into choosing all-or-nothing – when it comes to your relationship – instigates the dangers of scaring them away or coercing them into propose before they are ready to fully commit.
It is no secret that men are skittish when it comes to “till’ death do us part,” so when it comes to talking about marriage, you may have to take the reins. Instead of shoving marriage down your partner’s throat, clear the air with an open discussion about marriage. Open communication is key to any relationship, so arranging a conversation with your partner about marriage is a healthy, efficient alternative to an ultimatum that will allow you both to better express your individual opinions. Once you have The Talk, it is up to your partner to decide whether they want to propose or not and then, it is up to you to decide whether you are able to wait or move on. When it comes to making these life-changing decisions, it is important to follow your heart, but remember to always remain true to yourself and fulfilling the goals that you strive to achieve.


Age differences in dating and relationships – how many years is too many years?

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It is a tale as old as time, older men and female cougars on the hunt for a much younger partner. Mrs. Robinson did it, Donald trump did it, even Demi Moore did it. But how many years difference is too many years? And what are the pros and cons to a large age difference? One of our Project Soulmate matchmakers, Lori, and our intern, Nick, weigh in on this topic and the effects that age differences may have on a relationship.

Lori: Age gaps can absolutely work as long as two people look age appropriate. Members of my own family are in relationships with age gaps of over a decade long and they are very happy. With that said, if people are questioning whether or not the man on your arm is your father or grandfather, then you have a problem. The main problem with an age gap though is the generation gap that it can create. In this case interests and knowledge are different and many commonalities that bring people close together are lost.

Nick: When beginning a relationship, one of the most frequently asked questions by peers and family is, “How old are they?” From personal experience, I have realized that if you are young and want to date older, you must be realistic AND honest with yourself. Youth in age may not be youth in experience. If you are an old soul, it isn’t a bad idea to date older. And if you are a young soul then you may be inclined to date younger which can keep you on your toes…

Personally, I have always been more interested in older men. The one serious relationship I had with someone my age was a disaster because my partner was incredibly immature and showed a lack of good judgment. This relationship taught me a lot about what I wanted in my next relationship; I needed someone older and way more mature. Say you are 22 years old and meet someone who is 28 but get along extremely well and have amazing chemistry. Even if you continue to hangout and develop well, there might be some insecurities that come along with dating someone older which could get in the way. A six-year difference can mean you are both in different spots in your life. At 22 you can still be figuring yourself out and it can be a serious step to jump into a relationship with someone who has 6 years of experience on you. But, there are many positives as well with someone older. Usually if you are doing this, you know what you are looking for and are attracted to maturity and someone who is successful. Chemistry comes in many different waves and if you have it with someone age really doesn’t matter in my opinion, as long as you are older than 21.


by Jenni Jacobs





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The Texting Game: Changing the Way We go about Relationships?


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Everyone who regularly uses their phone knows what I’m talking about. The simple medium that used to be used for basic things like meeting up or notifying someone of your whereabouts has turned into a whole new system we’re left trying to decode: The Texting Game.

Just like all the other mediums that have come along and developed into communication powerhouses, I don’t think many people envisioned what texting would turn into. Mediums of communication are unpredictable. If something like Facebook chat/messenger had come along sooner, texting could have remained  basic and simple. Instead, it has become another thing we have to decode and analyze, especially when it comes to dating. The younger generations are seeing the effects the strongest, because they have grown up texting in an increasingly mobile phone-dependent world.

The thing that complicates texting so much is that everyone has their own personal style.  I’d like to think the majority of people text the way they would speak to you in person, but if not, that makes it even trickier to tell how they’re coming off. The major issue I’ve witnessed that leads to miscommunication is the lack of tone and expression in a line of a text. Based on punctuation, one can get a sense of what someone means by what they’re typing. But then you have to take into consideration that some people text a lot more informally than they would speak and use major abbrevs (abbrevations) and less punctuation.

There’s no one formula that will guarantee successful communication and deliverance of the message you want to send in the texting world. And then there are emoticons- whole new playing field. Too much can be overwhelming, but those cold , grammar-police, scholastic style texters (you know who I’m talking about…every word that should be capitalized, is. All the punctuation is precise. Commas set off the appropriate clauses. And you’re left feeling like you’re talking to a 60 year old English professor) can come off cold as well. Use emoticons sparingly, in a playful and timely manner. A smiley, or worse, winky, face in every text to someone you’re interested in can come off a little overwhelming and overeager.

Throwing it back to the “old days” with actual letters when one of you is away, or notes on special occasions like anniversaries and birthdays is another form of communication and allows for more expression. Even a note for no reason at all telling your significant other you hope they have a good day or a drawing of an inside joke can brighten their day and let them know you’re thinking of them. While it’s similar to texting in that you can’t tell the exact tone, it’s a more expression-based, romantic form that has lasted through the ages. It doesn’t give you the minute-to-minute satisfaction and response time that texting does, and I think there’s value in that. We’ve become so accustomed to instant gratification, it’s refreshing to slow the pace down a bit and create some anticipation in a relationship setting.

What I’m trying to get at, and don’t get me wrong I text just as much as the next person, is that nothing beats verbal, interpersonal contact. In a mobile dependent society, we often times use our phone as a crutch for communication. But with texting someone can just stop responding out of the blue. It’s a good way to bridge the gap between actually seeing someone you’re dating, and it can be really fun if you find one of the non- boring, dynamic texters, but nothing is the same as speaking on the phone or talking to someone in person. With texting, no matter how many tips you get on etiquette or how much decoding you do of the way things should be taken, it really is just a personal judgment call you’ll have to make based off of how the conversation flows. There’s nothing wrong with running it by others too to see how they would read the way something was said. Obviously avoid an overload of information or coming off too cold, and adjust the conversation with the way the back and forth carries on.

All in all, stick to what you’re comfortable with. If you like texting, find someone who you enjoy texting and combine that with valuable verbal communication. If you’re not the biggest texter, tell that to the people you’re dating. If they’re worth it they’ll have no problem with that. It all comes down to the way you most like to communicate, but don’t leave it just to the screens to do all the work. The good ol’ flat out talking to and seeing each other is invaluable.

by Kayleigh Hentges







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Moblie Dating Apps

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Mobile dating services apps: (tindr, SCRUFF, grindr, etc..) Do they work or is it a recipe for disaster? How honest and trusting are these apps? Will they find you a committed relationship?

Nick: The apps in the gay community are used way more for hooking up and not for dates. I don’t know many people who have actually formed relationships through these apps. A lot of the time it is late at night, they send pictures and only want sex. Tinder is especially weird because it links with facebook so you can find out their interests and get to see more than one person. Grindr has a GPS where you can actually see how far away somebody is. I have had both, I prefer Tinder because I feel it is more legit. Grindr is a bunch of creepy people and fake profiles. People on Grindr will send you pictures without you even asking. On Tinder you can either like someone or dislike someone and they will not know unless they like you back, then it is a match. So it is a fair system and if anything just boosts your confidence.

Kayleigh: Just based on how much of a joke people already treat these kind of apps, they aren’t the primary medium you should use to find a true, committed relationship. They’re based off of materialistic, narcissistic judgment calls, which is no way to establish a relationship. You never really know and there are no standards that users are held to, so there’s no guarantee that the information you’re receiving about the other person is at all accurate. Maybe if you’re not looking for a serious relationship at all, but even then they can be dangerous if you know nothing about the person going into meeting them and have no verification of the person that they are.

Jenni: Mobile dating apps like a Grindr and Tinder are very different than online dating. Online dating is a much more thorough process, which filters people through their interests, religions, and many other categories. Grindr and Tinder are quick and easy ways of meeting people and it is fairly shallow. You choose a person you are interested in based off of a picture and location and not much else. Because it is so easy to use and so easily accessible, the majority of people on these apps are not seriously looking for a match. And that is the problem in a nutshell; these applications do not introduce you to quality, long-term matches. It is for people looking to hook up and have fun. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you are seriously looking for love, this might not be the best avenue to take.





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Lori Zaslow and Jennifer Zucher

By Lori Zaslow and Jennifer Zucher

If you’re looking for ways to spice up yourlove life, why not use what’s already available to you? Take advantage of your five senses – taste, sight, hearing, touch and smell – and get the most out of yourrelationship.

Taste: Make dinner together. If one of you is more Chef Boyardee than Julia Child, you can still keep your spouse company – and perhaps even get a good laugh out of your culinary mishaps.


Related Link: Date Idea: Expand Your Tastes

Sight: Plan a regular date night. A romantic outing is something you can both look forward to. Plus, it’s a way to transport yourselves back to when you first met. Be spontaneous too. Every once in a while, do something together in the spur of the moment. Breaking away from your routine adds excitement to your relationship, and the experience, whether it’s a surprise day trip or just an impromptu picnic in the backyard, it will bring the two of you closer together.

Hearing: Always talk or text at some point during the day. Whenever you can, take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to say hello to your significant other. Even a text that says something like “hope you’re having a good day” shows that you’re thinking of him. Most people spend more time at work than at home, so it’s important to stay connected to your loved ones.

Touch: Go for a walk, either a hike on a nearby trail or a stroll down a city street. The dynamic scenery may inspire a philosophical conversation about your plans for the future, or you may feel content to just enjoy the view as you walk hand-in-hand. Getting in touch with both your surroundings and each other will reignite any spark that’s been missing.

Related Link: The Most Health-Conscious Celebrity Couples

Smell: Make putting on your favorite scentpart of your morning routine, like brushing your teeth and washing your face. You want to be remembered and thought of throughout the day, so always make sure you smell your best. Remember that oils last longer than perfumes and can even be worn with perfume to enhance your own scent and allure. The power of smell is seductive.

To ignite your sense of smell, check out the new love oil created by Project Soulmate matchmakers Lori Zaslow and Jennifer Zucher. grav.i.tate is the perfect aphrodisiac to spice up your love life, whether first thing in the morning or for a sexier vibe in the evening.

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Money Talk in Relationships: How to Avoid Conflict

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It is no secret that money is an awkward subject to discuss with a partner. In fact it is the number one thing that couples argue about. So how does a couple avoid this uncomfortable conversation? They key is communication. It is vital for both partners to have a complete understanding of the duo’s financial situation. This is especially key when it comes to marriage which usually means shared accounts. You must know your partners spending habits as well as financial history. Knowing the truth about your partner’s finances will help to avoid many major financial conflicts. And like your partner, you must also disclose your own financial history. Secondly it is important to discuss budgets with your partner. Spending on something big that is not agreed upon feels like stealing. Money is the biggest source of conflict in relationships; so avoid this argument by being financially responsible and knowledgeable about you and your partner’s financial capabilities.

However, dating and marriage are two completely different situations. When it comes to dating, I am all about chivalry. The man should go into a date expecting to pay for the woman. If the guy is in a tight financial situation, then be creative and pick an inexpensive date. With that being said, the woman should occasionally offer and insist to pay. This is especially important when you are consistently dating a person because let’s be honest, dating does get expensive. The girl does not want to appear cheap or as if she is using the guy. This will help show her own financial responsibility and interest in this guy.

Money is a touchy subject, but it doesn’t need to be. Communicate with your partner and be honest about your financial capabilities. Avoiding financial arguments will guarantee a more successful relationship.

by Jenni Jacobs





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Online Dating Profiles: First Impression Is Key

Online Dating

A good dating profile is just as important as a good resume. It is obvious to employers when an aspiring employee has put time and effort into their resume and it is just as obvious when this person throws their resume together in twenty minutes. This is this case with most things in life. When something is truly important, effort is key. And online dating profiles are no exception to this.

A detailed online profile is key in attracting the right type of match. Like a resume, it is your first impression. A person needs to be able to convey who they are through these profiles. Therefore time and care must be put into creating a personal profile. Don’t waste your time or money with a lousy first impression.

Good profiles lead to good responses. In a world where 8 in 10 people have tried online dating, the pool of potential matches is ever increasing. There is no longer a stigma to online dating. People are proud to admit that they met their match online. And this positivity encourages even more involvement. But it has become clear that the most successful online daters are those who care about their profiles and treat this medium as a real way to meet a match.

by Jenni Jacobs



Today Show Segment: Love and Relationships

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


On Friday, the Today Show featured our own Lori Zaslow in a segment on relationship advice. Watch the clip here:

Then check out Lori’s extended answers to a couple different questions. Intern Kayleigh Hentges weighs in on the same questions following Lori. Hope everyone had a great Fourth of July and weekend!

Q:I am a single (never married/no kids) forty year old lady! Is it possible to be in the wrong city for love?

Kayleigh: I do think in New York it’s a lot more hectic and a different scene for finding other people looking for relationships, but it’s all about putting yourself out there and exploring new posibilities. There are a ridiculous amount of spots in New York, and it’s easy to stick with areas you’re comfortable with, but you can find new types of people in completely random spots. Keeping an open mind is essential too- if your qualifications for a potential partner are too rigid and specific, you could miss out on the love of your life.

Q: Why stay in touch with an ex wasting energy there when a new love relationship is possible?

Lori: By hanging on to an ex you aren’t giving your ALL to a new potential relationship. You are only giving a part of yourself.   Be authentic – and move on.  Yes it can feel lonely at times but there is a reason an ex is an ex.  Usually it isn’t about your ex it is just the fear of being alone!  As they say close one door and a new one will open, hence if you don’t close the door, new love won’t enter.  You must first get your ex out from between your legs in order to get him out heart and off your mind!!

Kayleigh:  It’s going to be hard to let go of an ex if you didn’t have a miserable relationship, especially if you’ve dated for a significant amount of time. You don’t really know how to go about the daily routine and feel like you don’t have that one person you used to share everything with. It really isn’t fair or possible to truly commit yourself to someone new and move on though if you don’t cut off constant contact with your ex at least for a while right after you break up. It’s scary re-entering the dating world, but you’re only going to find success in dating again if you allow yourself a clean slate.

Q: We constantly seem to argue over this same thing.He says he is tired all the time, and I want quality family time-what should we do?

Lori: Comprise; don’t argue!  Respect his needs and in turn he will respect yours.  Make family plans in advance giving him time to have down town.  Come up with “family time” that doesn’t involve too much energy.  Going old school always works- playing board games, renting a movie and eating popcorn, or cooking dinner and dessert are relaxing and fun!!  “Quality time” to you and him maybe 2 different things.  Learn to accept what he likes and he hopefully  will explore things you like!  Get  out of your comfort zone!!

Kayleigh: To this day I remember a high school teacher gave me advice long before I was even in love, telling us that her 40 year marriage had worked because of a simple practice that seems obvious but we often forget can work wonders. She said “We’re simply always placing the other before ourselves. If we’re both doing that, you’ll always be happy.” It’s a lot like compromise. It’s easy to get caught up arguing about the same things over and over but if you get hung up on issues rather than finding a way to balance out the situation it will only cause frustration and fatigue in your relationship.



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How To Be The Best Wingman/Woman For Your Friends


Different personalities react certain ways in certain situations. As a friend, if  you are trying to help a good girlfriend or your best “bro” get a foot in the door with someone they see out that becomes of interest, then there are certain steps that you have to take. It seems that many people don’t know how to be a good wingman, they either scare the person of interest away, or they end up with them, which is why we are here to help you and your friends out!

The first step that everyone has to go by is being one hundred percent committed. Agreeing to be the wingman is sacrificing attention towards you. The focus must be on the friend you are trying to set up. Now this does not mean you can’t talk to anyone, the easiest way to help a friend out is to go for people in pairs of two. Simply walking up to someone at a bar or a table where it is obvious that a pair of girls or guys are looking around for company. Judgment is a key factor in the success of being a good wingman. For girls it is usually easier than for guys and here is why. If you are trying to set up a fellow girlfriend, there are three musts.

1.) Dress to impress. This means flattering but not slutty, a cute black skirt and comfortable top that must match a sexy pair of pumps or heels.

2.) Location. You have to make yourself visible. Request a table near the front and near the bar.

3.) Be approachable. You have to show that you are interested. Flirting without being suggestive. Eye contact and a simple smile can go a long way. For men it is harder but definitely can be successful if you follow the basic rules.

1.) Don’t be too cocky. Confidence is definitely key, but there is a line that can be crossed super easily. When approaching always introduce your friend before yourself. Ask questions that matter including where they are from, why they are where they are, and how they like what they’re doing. Eye contact is a must while talking and asking questions you have to be engaged.

2.) Never do all of the talking. Ask questions that they have to answer in full, not yes/no questions

3.) Be chivalrous but not pushy. Offer a drink but in a polite manner. Women can be turned off if you assume that you are the only outlet to them getting a cocktail. Ask what their favorite kind of beverage is, offer politely, and if they say no respond with something flirty and that might be enough for them to let their guard down .With these steps in mind always try to keep the conversation flowing, and if it doesn’t work move on to the next. There is no reason to force anything the first time meeting people. When introducing your friend make sure you get good vibes from them. If you can tell that they aren’t comfortable take that as a sign that they aren’t interested. It is obvious with people that you are close to if they are feeling it or if there is just nothing there. An absolute must when trying to be a good wingman is making your friend look good. Do not be super obvious that you are trying to do so, just pull in compliments and add in accomplishments. It not only helps you make them look good but it can be a really good conversation continuer or even a topic starter. If the night carries on, conversation flows, and you can tell that there is even the slightest bit of interest or connection then you need to push your friend to get a number.

-Nick Wright


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