The Dangers Of Living “A Facebook Life”

For most of us, we came of age in the era of Facebook. We created our profiles in high school and college. With a single mouse click, we could stay in touch with all of our “friends.” No more having to pick up the phone and call or text someone. It could all be done by leaving a very passive message.

Facebook taps into our human need for CONNECTION. And, it amplifies and quantifies it to a level never seen before. Connection is what gives our lives purpose and makes us want to get up and live another day.

The problem arises when the thing- in this case Facebook- that helps us grow more connected to each other is also robbing us of those same connections. It is contributing to a growing sense of angst, lack of purpose and disconnection.

We live in a world now where our lives are on full display and in critique of our 500+ Facebook friends. Every status update, photo, and video is seen through our friends’ eyes.

While that can create deeper connections, it also can create a need to script our lives, by only showing the best of the best moments. We feel like our ordinary moments- which let’s face it are most things- are too mundane. So, instead we only post the best of the best.

Think about it.

We spend months- if not years- planning our dream Facebook wedding(s). Sometimes even getting started before you even land a man. Come on ladies, we all have that single friend- or friends- who have wedding Pinterest boards.

We spend an hour plus in front of the mirror getting ready in the morning or before a big event.

We disregard 10+ selfies, before finally choosing the one to post on Facebook and Instagram.

All in a way to showcase our most perfect version of our self. In reality, all this ends up doing is creating more and more shame for ourselves and the ones around us. Something I personally know a thing or two about.

According to TED Speaker, Brene Brown, shame is really “the fear of disconnection.” It’s the feeling of not being good enough. Of not being worthy of feeling connected.

She argues the only way we can get past this is by allowing ourselves to be seen in our most vulnerable state.

It’s about living intentionally and letting go of our need for CONTROL in exchange for raw, extreme vulnerability.

Believe me, I know this is much easier to say than do. It’s hard to relinquish the desires to want to control and predict everything we put out there and instead live intentionally by sharing the good, the bad and the very, very emotionally raw.

How are you planning to live more intentionally? Please share below in the comments or by emailing me directly at


An Open Letter To All College Students

A couple of weeks ago I watched my baby brother walk down the aisle at his high school graduation. While I’m not sure how mature I am (seriously are we ever really grown ups?)  watching the speeches at my brother’s graduation gave me a new perspective.

While I know many of the challenges they are going to face in college and beyond (as I’m encountering many of them myself), there’s something awe-inspiring about their can-do attitudes and youthful optimism. And also a bit depressing when some of these kids have already done more than I will ever do. Seriously, one of my brother’s friends already runs a successful nonprofit at 18. At 18, I barely knew how to turn on the oven. Sadly.

Anywhoo. As I get older and more engrained in the real world work culture, I see more and more friends and colleagues giving up on their dreams. Be it for a significant other, their kids, or just because they think they are too old. That’s nothing short of disheartening.

We need to channel and preserve our imagination, scrappiness and can-do attitude that we had in high school and college.

Some may disagree. Others may call it naive. But I feel this is what will separate the dreamers from the doers.

Anyone can dream big. But unless you act on it and take a few risks, dreams mean nothing. You will be just another grown up, who has settled for a comfortable life where you are simply going through the motions on autopilot.

Once you get on autopilot mode, your blinders get larger and your willingness to take risks gets smaller. You get used to being comfortable. Then months turn to years, years to decades. Suddenly you are middle aged with kids who need to go to college, a mortgage, debt and some new health conditions. You realize that all your dreams and ambitions have gone by the wayside. It’s going to be much harder to achieve them -if not nearly impossible- as you get older.

I’m not sure about you but this absolutely terrifies me. I don’t want to settle for just an okay life because it’s safe and comfortable.

It’s seeing kids that in all due respect are only seven and eight years younger than me that have reminded me about that.

The only thing scarier than following your big, scary dreams from high school and college is choosing to abandon them for the safe and comfortable route.  As my favorite high school science teacher and mentor would say, life is meant to be lived outside of your comfort zone. 

What’s your big scary dream? And how are you going to pursue it? Please share in the comments below or email me directly.

Are Our Biggest Online Dating Challenges Self-Imposed?

About a week ago,  I posted a seemingly innocent question on the Okcupid subreddit. I asked other subscribers what their biggest dating challenge was.


I got a lot more answers than I expected to. Being my typical, analytical self, I decided to spend some time grouping all the comments into categories.

It essentially boiled down into four main reasons.

  • Having high – if not impossible – standards
  • Lacking self-confidence
  • Location
  • Time constraints

Through all of these, I realized that almost all of our challenges are self-imposed. We’re deliberately making it harder for ourselves to find Mr. or Mrs. Right by creating all kinds of restrictions on ourselves.

It got me thinking. Why is that?

Sure, we are mostly to blame. I also think it’s how online dating sites are marketed to us. Admittedly, marketers behind online dating sites like Okcupid, Match, eHarmony are really good at marketing to us why we need their services.

Dating isn’t a new phenomenon like say taking selfies on Instagram. It’s a tried and true way to meet your soulmate since the dawn of modern society.

Online dating sites ploy on many of our biggest fears and insecurities.

  • What if there is no one out there for me? 
  • What if I end up all alone? 
  • Should I start hoarding cats? 

The reality is you don’t need an online dating site to meet your soulmate. Our parents didn’t. Nor, our grandparents.

These sites are engineered to make you think there are millions of people on their site – and one of them is waiting for you. This could be the case. It may happen from online dating or it could happen in the grocery store line. No matter where you find your soulmate- online or offline- it requires a certain element of fate and luck. You can’t code a tech platform that completely accounts for the serendipitous elements of fate and luck.

That brings me back to my previous points. In order to maximize all of our chances of finding someone really great, we need to stop being so hard on ourselves and/or let our guard downs. Instead of looking for the perfect person (as perfect is nearly impossible to find), look for someone who is pretty great that complements you.

What’s your biggest dating challenge? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below or you can email me directly at 

Why You Need To Stop Trying To Make Your Relationships Be Like A Disney Movie (Or Where I Talk About My Fear Of Commitment)

I recognize it’s a bit ironic that I am going to tackle a blog post on healthy and happy relationships because I have had more bad dates and relationship failures than I would like to admit. I also know there are very few great, solid articles on building healthy relationships out there.

Most articles and posts either come from the “watch sunsets and cuddle” variety or like they appear straight out of Cosmo with 12 kinky sex positions you have to try to impress your man. If you try the second option, it may or may not land you a featured segment on TLC’s new show, “Sex Sent me to the ER.”

*Unrelated, TLC needs a rebrand badly. With shows like Sex Sent Me To The ER, My Strange Addiction, Sister Wives and Breaking Amish (or whatever sequel they are on now), it’s no longer “The Learning Channel.” 

Rant aside, you then enter a third area of articles and posts that sound like they came straight out of a romantic comedy or a Disney movie. I’m a big fan of You’ve Got Mail, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, but that’s just not how relationships work. For starters, I am not a mermaid and woefully admit to not having a magic carpet. Long, healthy relationships don’t just auto-magically happen and flourish. It takes a lot of work (and quite frankly) a lot of screw-ups before you find “the one.” That’s just the first step. From there, you need to constantly work at it.

Some of the best advice I’ve seen came from this recent post from Mark Manson. If you haven’t read his stuff yet, please sign up for his blog now. It’s f***ing  brilliant.

While I can go on and on for days around this article that Mark posted, I wanted to focus on the one issue that isn’t talked about as much (and one that I personally struggle with from time to time.) It’s commitment and/or trust issues.

Commitment issues can come in all forms. This can manifest in many ways. Like the guy who has cheated on every girl he has ever been with or the girl who goes on a million first dates but is terrified of taking the next step. In my case, I’ve definitely dealt with my fair share of the second option. It can be terrifying to let your guard down and fail head over heels in love with another person. Particularly if you have had your heart broken a time or ten before. Either by guys, and maybe even a close friend or family member.

While the first option gets discussed (and dare I say stigmatized? Think, the Maury Show paternity test episodes?) time and time again on just about every psychology and/or dating blog, the second rarely gets discussed. It’s largely the invisible, unseen problem that no one brings up.

Personally, I think it’s because it is more subtle. It’s something that most people try and hide from others. It makes sense why would anyone willing put themselves in a very vulnerable state. Especially since most commitment phobias stem from a personal trauma. Either from a really bad break-up or a traumatic falling out with a friend or family member. Most of us eventually find ways to cope (hopefully healthy ways!). So why unlock that emotional baggage once again if you don’t absolutely have to. The result is an astoundingly small amount of credible stuff on this area around the Interwebz.

When you do find stuff around commitment issues, you see vague posts that can be summed up in 1-2 short paragraphs and instead are stretched out to a myriad of bullet points. Or, something that vaguely resembles a Buzzfeed quiz.

While it’s not like bipolar disorder or depression (although I’m sure commitment issues can lead to it), it’s a mental health issue nonetheless. As humans, we thrive on companionship and the need to feel wanted. Ignoring and/or leaving that need unfulfilled is going to damage your spirit and psyche.

 A staggering number of people in the US, upwards of 20% have been diagnosed with a mental illness and even larger number are living undiagnosed.

As Amber Naslund, one of my all-time favorite bloggers puts it best, “Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dozens of other mental illnesses. They’re terribly stigmatized. Which means that people don’t talk about it, don’t ask for help, don’t get treatment. Because they’re afraid. Afraid of being judged.” This came from Amber’s TedX talk, which is definitely worth watching, as it’s nothing short of inspiring and empowering.

Commitment phobia – while definitely not as serious as mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder, and a whole hosts of others- shouldn’t be ignored or written off. It is still something that can eat up and affect your mental health.  It is something that you need to acknowledge and work through. And, let’s face it. It’s stigmatized (in all the ways that I previously discussed). Most of us can’t go to a friend and say, “I think I have a problem. I’m terrified of commitment,” for fear of being ostracized or judged. I mean it’s terrifying to put this out there, as I’m having second thoughts on even writing this post.

The only way to overcome and learn to work through it (because I do think you can learn how to do this) is get help. Find one friend to talk to, a family member, seek out a therapist (it’s not as expensive as you would think and most insurances cover it), reach out to a blogger, who has blogged about this before, or start your own blog. Just do something. Whatever you end up doing, just don’t keep internalizing it. That’s the real danger.

If you find yourself relating in any way to this post or just feeling stuck (not sure where to turn to), please don’t hesitate to leave a comment on this post or email me directly here. I will respond. 🙂


The Definitive Guide For How To Make And Keep Friends In Your 20s (Free Ebook)

Download link to the free ebook

I am sitting here with Evernote open and a blank page starring back. All I keep thinking about is what makes me qualified to write an ebook all around making and keeping friendships.

Let’s be honest. I am after all probably the least qualified person to write a book about making new friends and keeping the old ones alive and in tact. I am perpetually shy and can be socially awkward when I am around strangers. I hate the feeling of going to large meetups where I know nobody.  And, I think the word, “networking” sounds dirty.

Let’s face it. I’m the classic Type A, semi-socially awkward, over-analyzing introvert (Yes, I admit it). I run away or chicken out from most meetups. In turn, my desire for the safe and familiar land of my couch and a seemingly never-ending Netflix queue has probably kept me from meeting a lot of really awesome, badass people. So, why on this planet should anyone read a book from someone like me?

As one of my favorite songs came on my Spotify Playlist: One Life by Boyce Avenue, the main chorus came blaring on. . .

“Open your eyes.

And know you’re free to come alive.

You’ve got to live it while you can.

We only get one life”

That’s when I had an epiphany. We only have one life. We all given a set number of days on this Earth. We just don’t know how many we have left. And, we all crave connections and the feelings of being wanted. We want the best moments of our lives to be ones that we shared with our closest friends and/or family. It’s after all human nature to want to feel loved, wanted and unconditionally accepted.

The hard part to accept is this isn’t a God-given right. It takes a lot of work to build lasting, true friendships that will last a lifetime. Or, even just good friendships that will last a few months or years.

In this ebook, I have compiled tips from 30+ truly inspiring, badass 20 and early 30-somethings. It’s separated into two sections. One for making new friends. And, another for keeping existing friendships through all of the changes that life throws at us.

I honestly don’t know how many people will read it. I don’t know how many will even care. While I secretly hope this spreads like wildfire, if this book can just deeply touch and resonate with just one person, I am confident all the self-doubt and confidence issues that I dealt with while working on this will be worth it.

Download the Free Ebook below!

33 Things Every 20-Something Should Check Before Signing that Apartment Lease

Finding an apartment can be stressful. It can be downright near impossible to find an affordable place in a big city, like New York City. While budget and location are argurably the two biggest factors, there’s a whole host of other items to consider before signing a new apartment lease.

If you need help figuring out how much you can afford to pay in rent, download my free budget template here. 

Here’s a checklist of 33 items that you should look into before moving in to your new place.

1. Water pressure levels.

2. The AC/heat situation (Central?  Window-unit: do I need to purchase it or does it comes standard? Is it controlled centrally in the building)

3. Quantity and placement of electric outlets.

4. Where the cable and/or phone outlets are located.

5. Room measurements

6. How many neighbors will you have.

7. How many registered sex offenders live within a mile radius?

8. Have there ever been any major crimes committed in or near this unit?

9. Has anyone ever died in this apartment unit before?  Ghosts, anyone?

10. Check the windows, and make sure they open and close properly.

11. Make sure all the appliances work.

12. Assess the parking situation.

13. Check the lighting both in and outside the unit.

14. Double and triple check the kitchen cabinets. (i.e. rat/mice droppings, insects and other little critters)

15. Check and flush the toilet(s) a few times. The last thing you want to deal with is weekly bathroom floods.

16. Try to negotiate an out-clause or at least favorable sub-lease terms, should you need it.

17. Ask about the pet policy,

18. What’s the maintenance policy? Ideally, it should be 24/7 hotline.

19. Invest in renters’ insurance. It’s very affordable and will offer you peace of mind, not to mention many apartment buildings now require it.

20. Make sure to ask if the landlord intends to show your apartment near the end of your lease. Not uncommon in NYC. Negotiate accordingly.

21. Inspect the apartment thoroughly for broken fixtures, stains and/or dents in any walls.

22. Check for mold and mildew especially in the bathroom(s) and near the kitchen sink.

23. If it’s an older building, ask if they use lead paint.

24. Find out about the electric situation before you move in. This also includes searching for the fuse box.

Trust me as someone who has personally blown a fuse on like day 2 of her new apartment, it’s worth asking.

25. Check for working smoke alarms and fire sprinklers.

26. Ask if you can hammer/nail into the walls. What’s the process of “cleaning it up” at move out time?

27. Early cancellation fees

28. If it’s a smaller building or duplex owned by the landlord, check to make sure he/she is paying the bills regularly. The last thing that you want is to get a notice from the electric company saying so and so has X days to pay the bill or they are shutting off the lights in all the common areas (been there?) or worse, getting a foreclosure notice in the mail.

29. Previous tenant histories

30. Swing by the apartment at several different times of the day (i.e. at least morning and/at night) before signing a lease. An apartment that could look amazingly safe and secure during the day can turn super sketchy at night.

31. Make sure the walkways to get from your car to inside your apartment are well-light and reasonably safe.

32. Noise complaints/violations

33. Visitor policies (guest limits, limitations on how many nights overnight guests can stay, etc.)

Lastly, not sure how much money you can afford to pay each month in rent? Download my free monthly budget template here.  


18 Thoughts Every 20-Something Ponders While Watching House Hunters


I have a confession. I am majorly addicted to HGTV’s House Hunters. It’s one of my guilty pleasures. Maybe, it has something to do with being 26 and living in apartments for years now, that has me fantasizing what it may be like to own property one day. Add in a large amount of scripting and some crazy characters. You have one of the most entertaining (and borderline educational) reality shows.

1. Who exactly are these mid-20 something couples that are buying half a million dollar vacation homes on the beach?

Who are these couples? What are their jobs? And, how the hell do they have so much disposable income. I can barely pay a ~$1000 in rent each month. These folks have two mortgages. How?

2. I wonder how many of the couples on House Hunters are still married in a year. Every couple on this show bickers so much. Literally.  These cannot be happy marriages.

3. Why is everyone so obsessed with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances?

4. And hardwood floors.

5. And a fully-updated man cave in the basement.  Also, what exactly constitutes a man-cave anyway?

6. And a GINORMOUS walk-in closet.

7.  And lots of privacy in the fully fenced in backyard.

8. Who are these single 20-somethings buying luxury apartments in midtown Manhattan?

9. Who at TLC thought it would be a good idea to create a House Hunters Spin-off called, “Buying Naked.” It follows couples looking to buy homes in a nudist colony in Pasco County, Florida.

10. I wonder how much time a poor Production Assistant (PA) had to spend hunting down ridiculous props to cover all the man and lady parts on Buying Naked.

11. Why are so many women on the show obsessed with child safety features? They don’t have any kids and she isn’t even flipping pregnant yet.

12. Whenever a realtor shows them a house just “outside their budget.” It’s really more than $50,000 over.

13. Will people judge me if I livetweet the shenanigans that this couple are saying right now?

14. Oh, you hate the burnt orange and bright yellow paint colors? It’s just paint. You can pick up some of your favorite colors from Home Depot and re-do the room. It’s really not hard, people.

15. Oh no, there’s carpet in the master bedroom. Instant deal breaker.

16. In the off-chance I’m ever financially stable and emotionally ready to buy a house, how do I get on this show? Here’s how you can apply.

17. Has anyone ever tried this House Hunters drinking game? And survived?

18. Seriously, how many people will judge me if I live-tweet the shenanigans on this show? For realsies.

What thoughts have you had while watching House Hunters? Please share them below in the comment section. 

Gen Y Budgeting Tips: 11 Things You Shouldn’t Try To Buy Cheap

If you are in your twenties, like me, there’s a good chance that you aren’t exactly rolling in large amounts of money. Budgeting builds character and responsibility. When you find something below your budget, it can feel super empowering. However, not all cheap deals are worth taking. Here’s a few things that you really shouldn’t try to get a “deal on.” It may hurt the wallet a bit, but trust me, these things are worth it.

1. Laser Hair Removal/Botox/Plastic Surgery

Now, I’ve lost count of the number of daily deal emails I’ve seen for Botox and other body-enhancing medical procedures. Let’s just say qualifications, experience and referrals should triumph a potentially life-threatening cheap find.

2. Gun Safety and Instruction Classes

This should be a no brainer. If I’m going to learn to operate something that can potentially harm me and the people around me, I want to make sure I’m in good experienced hands.

3. Sushi

It’s raw fish. Seeing a deal should raise your spidey senses. Food poisoning, anyone?

4. Physicians

I’ve kind of touched upon this already, but the best doctors are the ones with raving referrals and an extensive track record of excellence. That’s usually not the cheap ones on deal sites.

5. Lawyers

Again, this is just like physicians. Experience and an excellent track record should triumph getting a good deal.

6. Mechanics and auto repairs

Now, I confess I always feel like a fish out of water in auto repair shops. I always have that vague sense I’m going to be ripped off, but I don’t really know enough to ask. That being said if you don’t want to find yourself stranded on the highway, it’s best to make sure that you find reputable mechanics.

7. Skydiving

Now, if you are crazy enough to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, I’d hope you would research the skydiving company and their safety history. But then again, you could just be crazy enough to buy a deal anyway, and then I wish you the best of luck.

8. Lifevests and life rafts

If you ever found yourself in the unfortunate situation of being in a boat wreck, the last thing you probably want to think about is if your life raft will keep you afloat until you get back on dry land.

9. Condoms

If you aren’t ready to be a mommy or daddy yet? Or, don’t want any STDs? You should probably spend the extra dollar(s) on the legit condoms. Nuff said.

10. Travel/Vacations

Vacations are a chance for you to de-stress, relax, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Sacrificing fun and relaxation for the cheapest deals is not recommended. If you have the resources (or wait a few extra months to save), so you can splurge on that nice hotel room or the flight that doesn’t live at 4 a.m. from the airport that is 1.5 hour from your house.

11. Mattresses

Bed bugs, anyone? Not only will you most likely be sacrificing comfort, but who wants to buy and sleep on that “gently used” mattress full of dust mites, hair, and God knows what else.

What items do you never buy cheap? Please leave them below in the comment section.

How Not To Write An OkCupid Self-Summary

Whether you are writing one for a corporate bio or your online dating profile, there’s no question self-summaries can be a pain in the ass. You have to describe yourself in a honest, compelling and classy way without over-sharing. There’s a lot of ways that you can screw up the OkCupid self-summary.

However, I’m pretty sure this winner takes the cake for one of the worst self-summaries ever. So classy.


What’s the worst self-summary that you have seen on Okcupid? Share below in the comment section.


Need help crafting the perfect self-summary that gets noticed for all the right reasons, please subscribe to my online dating bootcamp here. 

The Date From Hell

I have been on a lot of bad first dates. Maybe, it’s because I’m impatient and don’t like to waste tons of time exchanging “Small talk messages” on online dating sites when you are just going to rehash the same awkward topics on the first date.

Or, maybe that I am terrified of being the victim of a “catfish” level scheme.

Little did I know, I think I would have preferred being catfished over the date I went on a couple of weeks ago.

You know when you have that vague inkling that you have nothing in common, but you really aren’t sure quite yet. My spidey senses were thinking this was going to be a long, dreadful date from the first “awkward text message,” after we exchanged numbers. Well, in my case a vague Google voice number.

Anyway, our “date” started innocently enough at a popular upscale burger bar. The guy walked in and to my pleasant surprise, the guy actually looked like his profile photo. That’s a rarity. Trust me.

But, that was the sole positive of the night.

Little did I realize, this bar would be absolutely packed on a Monday night. Seeing how Mr. Winner and I were already struggling to hold a conversation, two minutes into exchanging pleasantries. We quickly decided to go to the Greek food place next door with no wait.

That’s always the sign of an excellent date. Finding any way I could to speed this date up. So, I can say goodbye, get the fuck out of there, drive home and enter into the land of comfy sweatpants.

Anyways, we order our food. Then, we are met with an incredibly awkward silence. From the initial silence, we get to talking about our work and our family life.  The guy brings up that he works in a warehouse. And, is kind of sort of going to community college. Nothing terribly exciting, but I can respect that not every 20-something knows what they want to do.

Enter more awkward silence. By this point, By time, I was seriously thinking about ways to exit the date gracefully or semi-gracefully.

Would Mr. Winner notice if I excused myself to go to the bathroom and never came back?
Should I pretend to stab myself with this butter knife so I could get out of here soon?
Do I use one of those fake a phone call apps? 

Then as the conversation continued to struggle along, the real dealbreaker comes out. The guy still lives at home with “mommy.” And, mommy does everything for him, while he sits on his ass reading comics and playing Halo.  See where this is going?

He’s the kind of mama’s boy, that is stuck at age 12 or 13. Permanently. All he cares about is beating his video games and his mommy’s cooking. Nuff’ said.

The date ends rather uneventfully about 45 minutes after it got started.

And, it’s time to go back to the drawing board – screen dozens upon dozens of guys on OkCupid – hoping to find a grown ass man. Or, at least a man, who knows how to cook a basic meal and doesn’t live at home with mommy.

What’s the worst date you have been on? Please share below in the comment section.

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