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Tis The Season To Be Single. A Single New Yorker's "To-Do" List This Holiday Season.

4. December 2016

Single and living in NYC, "the singles capital of the world"? You should definitely check out these singles events, date ideas and activities and find a way to fit them in this holiday season. 

Saturday, December 10th: SantaCon "Ho-ing for charity"
It doesn't get much better than 1,000s of inebriated singles decked out in Santa gear merrily trollop-ing from watering hole to watering hole. Not sold? Did I mention admission is just a ten dollar donation, which goes to charity. 
Here’s a tip: If forget to wear your thermals find someone to keep you warm sooner rather than later!

Saturday, December 31st: The City's Largest New Year’s Eve Singles Party: If you’re single on New Year's Eve you need to check out this singles party at Stitch Lounge. 400+ New York singles, hour open bar, appetizers, DJ spinning dance music, photo booth, continental breakfast and more. If you are single and out on New Year’s Eve, you’re definitely looking for love…or at least, at a minimum, a midnight kiss. Tip: Get your tickets now & save $50.00. Don't wait too long to get tickets for New Year’s Eve or you will pay the price, quite literally (tickets are $100 at the door). 

Give The Gift Of Your Time If you’re single during the holidays you should definitely volunteer to help others. New York Cares is a great organization for finding volunteer opporunties. I have heard from many singles that have volunteered during the holidays and ended up meeting their significant other in the process. Whether it be a volunteering to walk homeless dogs at your local animal shelter, a coat drive, or handing out hot meals on Christmas, there are numerous organizations and opportunities to give back during the holidays. Give and you shall receive. It’s cliché but true. 

Some great first date spots you’ll want to check out:

Café LaloThis little famous NYC cafe was seen in the classic movie “You’ve Got Mail.” It’s French inspired and intimate. They frequently offer live music. Usually jazz or classical. It’s an ideal spot to hit before the movies or going to the theater. It is also perfect for a nightcap after dinner. Tip: If you're a guy and treating, make sure to leave a decent tip. Women notice these things and if you don't tip or treat staff well it can be a total turn-off.

Bryant Park Winter Village:  Not only is there ice-skating (bring your own skates or rent a pair for just twenty), Urbanspace in partnership with Mad. Sq. Eats—is bringing in countless retail shops, comprised of unique kiosks and eateries for your shopping and dining pleasure. Tip: If you go ice-skating take a fall and bring your date down with you. It will for sure be a bonding moment with much long as no one breaks a leg. That would definitely not be recommended.

Max Brenner’s (Union Square): It's impossible to go wrong with ‘chocolate by the bald man.” This is a great date spot. Gazing across a table of chocolate fondue into the eyes of your date while sipping on a warm “hug mug” of Mexican Spicy Hot Chocolate is kind of hard not to enjoy. Tip: Skip the meal and go straight to the dessert menu, which includes items like Chocolate Chunk Pizza, Urban S’mores For Two and so much more.

Flute Bar: I’ve never gone to this bar on a first date and not ended up making out with the person I was with. It’s chic, comfortable and most importantly…lounge-y. They have amazing cocktails and small bites to nosh on. Tip: Don’t recommend drinking more than two cocktails (they tend to be potent) and can lead to extreme PDA.

dating, dating tips, Free Dating Advice, Love & Relationships, New Years Eve For Singles ,

The 411 on Speed Dating

24. December 2012

I’ll never forget my first speed dating event. I was 32, single, living in NYC and SO unimpressed with the dating scene. I had tried pretty much every singles event out there and then decided to give speed dating a go. I signed up for an event for singles 25-35. Upon arriving, I found myself surrounded by a sea of short, unattractive, socially awkward men. My first date started with the guy saying, “I know you, you’re on I emailed you 10 times and you never responded to me. I paid my $40 and now you have to talk to me for 8 minutes.”

That brutal experience was the catalyst for me being inspired to create my ow dating service where I could finally meet the type of men I was looking to meet while subsidizing my income at the same time. Instead of offering dating events based solely on age range, OnSpeedDating offers 75+ niche events for singles of all sexual orientations themed around deal breakers and preferences. We offer events like:

“Men With Accents Are Hot" (watch a video of that event here)
“Rescue Me” for women that want to date firemen
"Femme for Femme"
“Cougar/Boytoy” night
“Hung” for women in search of a big package
“Finance-ista” for women that want to date men in finance
“Non-Practicing Jew” night
“Childproof” for singles that don’t want children ever
And because you can’t teach height, “Size Matters” to date men 6'1" and taller

Why Speed Dating:

At a bar, you don’t know who is single and it’s not always easy to strike up a conversation with a stranger. With speed dating, there's WAY less disappointment and false advertising than the online dating scene, as you get to check out the merchandise up close and in-person.

Chemistry is instant-- it’s either there or it's not. Speed dating gives you the chance to assess having a connection with someone without committing to the time and expense of a full-on date. Plus, you can meet anywhere from 10-25 singles in a night. That's more "dates" than the majority of people go on in a year.

What To Expect:
Most speed dating events take place at bars and lounges, coffee shops or restaurants. Upon arriving you will check in with your event host and receive a name tag, dating pamphlet and pencil. Next, you will be seated at a numbered table with your first “date” of the night. Once the official start bell rings, you will have approximately 3-5 minutes to get to know each other. The dating pamphlets and pencils are to takes notes on your dates so you can remember who’s who after the event.

After 3-5 minutes, a bell will sound signaling the end of the date. At this time, the women will usually remain seated and the men will rotate to the next table. The event will end once everyone has met. You’ll either select your matches online at home after the event, or you’ll turn your pamphlets into your host and they’ll do the matching for you, emailing you the contact information of any interested suitors within 2-3 days after the event.

My Top 10 Speed Dating Survival Tips:

1. Saved By The Bell
Depending on the service you’re using, “dates” can range anywhere from 3-12 minutes. Our events are 3 minutes -- I'd rather leave you wanting more than wanting to slit your wrists. And trust me, there are always going to be some painful dates in the mix -- the ones that have nothing to say, or equally enjoyable, the ones who won’t shut up. I also recommend going with a company that guarantees a minimum of ten dates.

2. Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number
Think about it: are you more likely to hit it off with someone because they fall within your same 28-35 age range, or because they meet your height requirement, enjoy the same pastimes or hobbies as you, and perhaps even share your same political views? We all have relationship "deal-breakers," and those do not make us shallow. We're just discerning singles that know what we want. By registering to attend a themed event (i.e. tall singles, democratic or fitness singles) you will increase the odds of hitting it off with someone.

3. Be Open
There may be an event where you are NOT attracted to anyone in attendance. You may even come to that realization before the event begins. If that’s the case, don’t get negative or shut yourself off to the possibility of meeting someone. I've even seen people that have paid for an event, show up, give the crowd a once over and discreetly leave before the event starts. So maybe you don’t meet your next boyfriend, but you could meet your next boss, wing woman or workout partner. You may even meet “the guy” that will be responsible for later introducing you to “the one.” Don’t close yourself off to the possibilities.

4. Breathe Friendly
Always have gum or mints on hand. You’re going to be seated within close proximity of 10-25 "dates" and talking a mile a minute. You definitely don’t want to be without gum or mints midway through an event if your breath suddenly starts kickin’ (not to mention, it'll come in handy if the guy you're "dating" is in need).

5. No Monologues
This can totally happen on a normal date, but with speed dating it’s even more problematic and annoying as you are only working with 3-5 minutes. It’s very easy to be long-winded and want to tell the person everything about yourself to impress them. However, keep in mind you have a VERY short amount of time, so even if you manage to miraculously get your whole life story out by the ding of the bell, you could end up not knowing anything about your date. It should really be an exchange of information, give and take.

6. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Do NOT ask for someone else’s digits or business card at the event, nor should you feel obligated to give your digits out if asked. Speed Dating is designed to be a no-pressure environment. If you want someone to know you like them during an event, let them buy you a drink and talk with them more during a break and definitely select them as a "match" post-event.

7. Perfect Strangers
I know it may be more comfortable to sit next to the two girlfriends that you came to the event with, but it can be VERY intimidating for a guy to speed date a group of friends sitting right next to each other. Furthermore, the constant looks, comments and/or assessments from your friends may sway or distort your own views of a guy. I’ve been to speed dating events where I didn’t meet any guys, but instead ended up hitting it off with the women sitting on either side of me. If you’re sitting by women you already know, you’re not going to meet any new "wing women."

8. Cruel Intentions
Don’t write someone as a "match" post-event if you have no intention of seeing them again. Sometimes people feel obligated to check someone off as a "match" because they may have seemed like a nice person, however, that is not what speed dating is about. For guys, it tends to be an "ego" thing, where they want as many women as possible to also check them as a "match," so they select every woman in attendance hoping they’ll reciprocate. Speed dating is not a popularity contest, nor is it intended to be a self-esteem builder. Speed dating is designed to help you find someone you want to date.

9. Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures
If you didn’t follow my advice about not going to an event where the dates are longer than five minutes and you find yourself on a painfully long date where you seriously think you might not make it, I would suggest an urgent, couldn’t be avoided, bathroom break. Do not use this tactic too often, make it sound convincing and time it appropriately so you’re back just in time for your date with the hot guy seated at table four.

10. Know Before You Go
If you get the sense that someone came with friends, it might be a good idea to confirm this notion as you may end up checking two men as a "match" that are friends and dating them both could be problematic.

Now that you know what speed dating is all about and the rules to make it a successful experience, you need to try it out!


dating, dating tips, Free Dating Advice, General, Love & Relationships, Love & Sex, speed dating

Reject-Proof Pick-Up Tactics For The Savvy Single Gal

24. December 2012

As single women, it’s not always easy to go after what you want, to put yourself out there without fearing the possibility of rejection or coming across as desperate. Here are my tried-and-true reject-proof ways to covertly pick up men. Trust me, they won’t know what hit ‘em.

1. "Digital Underground"

This tactic is guaranteed to not only get him to take your number but also get his digits. This requires an over-sized, seemingly disorganized looking purse or bag and can pretty much be used anywhere. I inadvertently stumbled upon this maneuver on a flight home to Texas. I was on a crowded airplane and during the ‘hustle and bustle’ of stowing my luggage and getting settled in my seat came to discover I no longer had my cell phone. In a panic, I turned to the guy in the seat behind me, explained the situation and asked if he could call my phone so I could try to find it. Gave him my digits and had him make the call.

As soon as I heard my phone start ringing I immediately realized what had just transpired and the new “super power” I now possessed of being able to give hot guys my number while simultaneously obtaining theirs. Turned out my cell was in my purse. We shared a laugh, chatted before take-off and ended up going out for a drink later that weekend as he conveniently had my digits and ended up “text” asking me out.

2. "The Bend Sans Snap"

This would end up being my biggest take-away from the movie Legally Blonde years after the fact, but I must say it is one of the most effective ways to initiate a conversation with a guy you’re interested in. It’s especially effective to use at a party. The first time I attempted it was on a dare at a party, my “gay husband” dared me to do the “bend and snap” to get the attention of a hot guy. I said “fine”, strutted by him dropping my clutch, practically on his foot. I seductively bent down, arched my back while picking it up…and before I could even manage a snap, he asked if I had lead in my purse. Thirty minutes later into a conversation with this guy, I realized that there was really something to this whole “bend and snap” thing.

I’ve since done it with car keys, lipstick, and even towels at the gym. Cell phones work really well, because sometimes your phone will fall apart upon hitting the floor and that buys you more time with the guy as he tries to put it back together and even sympathy if he can’t fix it (Disclaimer: make sure it’s insured or this can quickly become costly). I’ve definitely done the “bend sans snap” without so much as even a glance from my target, but I’d say it works 75% of the time and the times it didn’t work I’m pretty sure the guys were non-breeders or at least that’s what I tell myself to make it okay.

3. "Fly Me To The Moon"

I came to discover this technique riding the subway home from work. I was fixated on a super hot guy standing by the door, think Boris Kodjoe. I was looking him up and down and up and down, about to do a thrice over when I noticed his fly was totally down. I walked over to him and whispered “your fly”. He of course was caught off guard, fumbling as he tried to quickly and discreetly zip it up. He kept thanking me for looking out for him and was so appreciative. We ended up chatting until my stop came upon which he asked for my digits.

If we were all only so lucky to constantly run into hot guys with their fly down. Desperate times call for desperate measures; you’ve got to create these “fly down” situations for yourself. If I see a cute guy in line or sitting at the bar now I’ll sometimes be like, “you’ve got something in your nose”, or “a little something on your mouth.” Totally makes the guy vulnerable and embarrassed as they start wiping their face and trying to get “it” off and it opens the door for them to talk to you. Keep in mind this tactic works best if done ‘one on one’ and discreetly. You’re probably not gonna win him over if you “out” him for the stain on his pants in front of the entire office.

4. "Be Direct, Ask For Directions"

It’s a little known fact; men love being the "experts." They also tend to eat up the whole damsel in distress routine, leading us to our fourth and final method for getting their attention. If I’m ever walking somewhere and see an attractive guy on the street I’ll walk up to him and say, “excuse me, I’m totally lost can you help me find ‘blah’.”

If a guy is interested in me, this will lead to an entire conversation where I will share how I’ve been directionally challenged my entire life, where I’m originally from, hell, I may even get him to drop what he’s doing entirely and escort me to my “destination”. At the end of the day, what’s the worst thing that can happen? If he’s not that "into" you, he’ll tell you where to go, you’ll ignore his directions and be on your merry way.

Amber Soletti


dating, Free Dating Advice, General, Love & Relationships, Love & Sex

Decoding Dating Profiles Part II: 10 More Guys You Want To Avoid

24. December 2012

online dating

My original top 10 dating profile red flags intended to save you the ridiculous amount of time that I have now forever lost by corresponding with and/or going out with some total losers I met online was apparently very popular. So, I’ve gone on to provide you with ten more guys to avoid!

Disclaimer: To any of the men whose online dating profiles inspired and unknowingly lent to the quotes that comprise my post, let’s all hope for your sake that knowing is truly half the battle.

1.  “Bonus Point” Guy
You know this guy, the dude that gives “bonus points” for anything and everything. If you “have cookie baking and/or cookie eating skills,“ check this out, you get bonus points. If you’re as comfortable in Manolos as you are in flip-flops or hiking boots, in his book you are the recipient of MAJOR bonus points. Trust me when I say the bonus to you comes from avoiding this guy who clearly likes to play “games” and keep “score.” He will spend the majority of your relationship playing Wii or X-Box in his undying quest to accumulate “points.”

2. Webster 
Here’s a hint: if a guy’s dating profile requires a dictionary to understand, including him seeing “remuneration as a somewhat limited levy of attainment,” forget the dictionary and allow me to translate: I am an insecure guy who will overcompensate for my shortcomings by constantly talking over your head in an attempt to impress you with my knowledge of really big words. P.S. I also suck in bed and will therefore incorporate my SAT vocabulary into talking dirty to you, so as to hopefully distract you from what will probably be the “nadir [lowest point] of coitus [sex] of your entire being [life].”

3. “Disclaimer” Guy 
Any guy that actually feels the need to share with you in his profile that he’s not a “guido who’s life revolves around the gym,” an “angry person,” “gay, confused,” nor has he “ever experimented in college,” does NOT require any additional reading. If he describes himself as being “straight, like your gay friend that you can also have sex with,” you may want to go as far as to flag his profile as inappropriate.

4. “Novel” Guy
If a guy’s profile requires scrolling down just to get to the half-way point, you should probably click “next” without hesitation. You’ll notice that he has exceeded the generous 1,000 characters that the majority of on-line dating sites allot. His “about me” write-up is probably abruptly cut off, but not before he was able to squeeze in, “If there’s anything else you would like to know about me, feel free to ask."  Trust me, when it comes to dating profiles, stick to the Cliff’s Notes versions.

5. To Catch A Predator 
These are the guys that are over 35-years old and looking to meet someone 18 and over for a “serious relationship.” Seriously? You’re 42-years old, a high school teacher, have a 20-year old daughter and are open to dating 18-years olds?  Feel free to “date” and potentially move in with this dude if you don’t mind him eventually leaving you for one of his students, or even worse, your future adopted teenage daughter, ala Soon-Yi style.

woman on computer

6. Contradiction Guy
This guy “Likes going out, but also enjoys staying in,” and possesses a “strong, but gentle nature.” His life is “complicated, yet simple,” and he is the type of guy that, get this, “likes to make plans, but also be spontaneous.” Ladies, here’s the deal with this guy: you could go out with him, or not go out with him, he’s totally fine with it either way.

7.  Ambiguously Gay Guy
Avoid any and all guys that say they will “do anything at least once,” and have “been to gay bars,” at their “friend's invitation.” They will probably admit to having had at least one “man crush,” which more often than not ends up being Johnny DeppChristian Bale, or Ryan Reynolds aka “RyRen.” The big tip off is when they say that they have “never gone ‘all the way’ with a guy and have zero interest in it.” But wait, there is however, a certain type of guy that “for whatever reason,” they are attracted to. To clarify, “only “in the 'making out' while drunk sort of way, definitely not in the holding hands and going to the movies sort of way.” Unless you're a girl who really thinks sex is overrated and are therefore down with dating a “bi” now, “gay” later dude you'll want to click "next".   

8. “Average Joe” 
This guy uses the minimum number of required profile characters to share that he “likes to try new things and see new places.” He probably “likes to have fun,” and get this, on his days off, “likes to do various things.”  He of course is “open to meeting different types of people,” and really looking to “meet someone that he can get to know.” “B-to-the-oring! if you could really see yourself dating Forest Gump, and/or eating super bland rice every day for the rest of your life, by all means go ahead and send a wink.

9. Freudian Slip Guy 
This guy might wrap up his profile by stating, “if interested, please massage me.” He is also more likely than not “looking forward to meating you,” and probably implored you to “feel free to wink and say bi”. Ladies, you definitely want to say “bye” to this guy as he’s got a one-track mind and is just looking to “get off” online dating, and not in a “meet the one so he can settle down” sort of way, if you catch my drift.

10.  Low Self Esteem Guy 
This guy might describe himself as having a decent body “if you don’t mind fairly flabby with a bit of a gut.” He’ll probably throw in something mid-way to the effect of “I’m sure I already lost your attention and doubt you’re still reading this.”  You’ll notice this guy for the most part will keep his profile short and sweet, unless of course he’s decided to list all of his short-comings, not because he’s a man of few words, but just in case “you are not interested, at least [he] will not have wasted too much of your time.”

Tell us: what are some other online dating red flags you've noticed?

Amber SolettiOriginally from Austin, TX, Amber Soletti has been living the single life in NYC since 2000. A marketing professional, Amber worked in the beauty industry for Fortune 500 companies including Aveda and Avon. In an effort to subsidize her dating life and income, in 2008 she co–founded what would soon become NYC’s hottest dating services. Amber has written many published articles on dating advice and the NYC singles scene. She, along with her companies OnSpeedDatingSingleAndTheCity & Kissburg have been featured by The New York Times, Howard Stern, Regis & Kelly, The New York Post, What Not To Wear, Dateline NBC, Good Day NY, CNN and more.





dating, dating tips, Free Dating Advice, General, Love & Relationships, Love & Sex , , , ,

Decoding Dating Profiles: The Top 10 Guys You Want To Avoid

24. December 2012

online dating

Having been online dating since moving to NYC in 2000, it goes without saying that I have more experience perusing men’s online datingprofiles than any single gal should. I want to share with you what I've found to be the top ten dating profile “red flags” that could save you the ridiculous amount of time that I have now forever lost by corresponding with and/or going out with some total losers.

Disclaimer: To any of the men whose profiles inspired and unknowingly lent to the quotes that comprise my post, let’s all hope for your sake that knowing is truly half the battle.

1. Hat Trick
If a guy’s profile only features photos of him sporting a baseball cap, don’t just assume that it’s his favorite hat or that all of the photos must have been taken from the same outing. In "physical description" he may have even filled in the question of “hair color” with “ask me later.” Don’t get me wrong, a lot of bald guys are hot. My dating service even offers a “Bald And The Beautiful” Speed Dating event that always sells out for women. What’s NOT hot is a self-loathing, insecure guy that’s hiding under his hat.

2. “Model” Citizen
Avoid a guy that talks about how he does some “acting and modeling on the side,” is a “former model/personal trainer,” or any variation of having once had a “lucrative career as a model.” They either feel that all they have going for them is their looks, are living in the past, or they’re not looking so great these days and are hoping by mentioning they used to model, you will find them hotter.


4. “Killer” Profile
If a guy’s profile pic even remotely resembles Jeffrey Dahmer, to the point where you’re seriously questioning if it is actually him or perhaps a first cousin, you might want to go ahead and click "next."   You know what I'm talking about, the thin guy with the glasses, scraggily hair and a total menacing, pedofile-esque look on his smile-less face. Granted, some people aren’t photogenic and look better in person, but honestly, are you willing to risk your life on it? 



guy computer couch

5. Lost In Translation. 
“Maybe should me first by said that English is no my speaking.” If you think that was hard to decipher, imagine how much time he put “into” perfecting it via his use of the [insert any foreign language] to English on-line dictionary. I’m sorry ladies, I don’t know about you, but I for one don’t have the patience to date a guy that requires subtitles. I’ve done it once, and you just end up smiling and nodding a lot.

6. Actions Speak Louder Than Words
I get really turned off by the guys that describe themselves as “very attractive,” “charming,” “kind,” “honest,” “generous,” “romantic,” “blah,” “blah,” “adjective,” “blah.”  First of all, “attractiveness” is in the eye of the beholder, so post your pic and let us be the judge.  And as for the rest of it, I feel it should come across in what you say and be more of a “show-not-tell.”

7.  Humor Me
Along those same lines are the guys that find the need to describe their humor ala “I have a dry wit, sure to make you laugh,” or “I think that my most marked trait is a somewhat self-deprecating sense of humor.” They may even go as far as to say, “I’m the funniest guy you’ll ever meet. LOL.”  Be warned ladies, these are likely the least funny guys ever. Date the self-proclaimed “funny guy” and you’ll be courtesy laughing for life.

8.  Don’t “Hang” Yourself
“I'm looking for someone to hang out with and get to know.”  Translation:  I’m not looking for a relationship or to take you out on dates. I just want to come “kick it “ at your crib late night, so I can get familiarized with your liquor cabinet and favorite positions. Don’t worry, I’ll bring the 420. Let’s just say these relationships tend to be as short-lived and easily delete-able as the text messages they’re usually founded on.

9.  Come Correct
If someone mentions that they are “opened to the possibilities,” “have interests which might seem like contractions,” are “emmotionally available” and/or, get this, find “grammatical errors an spelling mitakes a turn off,” you may even want to go as far as to “flag” the profile as inappropriate.

10. “Fit” To Be Tied
Avoid any and all guys that say, “working out and staying in shape are very high on my list of priorities.” They probably then delve into stats on how frequently they go to the gym. They of course like to do a “variety of things including hiking, skiing, triathlons, running, biking, etc.” They keep themselves “in tip-top shape and believe the body is a gift and should be maintained.” What they clearly haven’t realized is that being SO “fit” and “big” actually makes “it” appear even smaller than what they’re already trying to over-compensate for.

Amber SolettiAmber Soletti is the co-founder of two of NYC’s hottest dating services. Amber has written many published articles on dating advice and the NYC singles scene. She, along with her edgy, tongue-in-cheek “themed” speed dating, singles parties, and free online dating service have been featured by The New York Times, Howard Stern, Regis & Kelly, The New York Post, What Not To Wear, Dateline NBC, Good Day NY, CNN and more.


dating, dating tips, Free Dating Advice, General, Love & Relationships, speed dating , , , , , , ,

Best Laid Plans For V-Day

22. January 2011

So you're single. Rather than spending "Singles Awareness Day" aka S.A.D. staying in and watching a Lifetime movie of the week, why not take advantage of what is in fact the BIGGEST “hook-up” day of the year for singles?  Not only is it the best day to meet someone, Valentine’s Day is also the best night to go out in the city because it’s the one night of the year you’re almost 100% guaranteed that the “singles” you’re meeting are actually single.

Here are some of my dating tips on things to do on Valentine's Day so that you’re actually looking forward to V-day as a single instead of joining in on the pity party.

1.  Pay For Play. Research Valentine’s Day Singles Parties and local dating events on-line.  We’re throwing two major Valentine’s Day singles parties the weekend before Valentine’s Day so that singles can ideally find a date at the event that will take them out on a first date on Valentine’s Day.  These dating events don’t have to be super expensive and are a great way to meet singles that are also clearly looking to meet someone.  If you’re more of a shy, introvert, make sure to look for a party that is more structured and offers activities like speed dating, dating games, or ice breakers so all of the pressure isn’t on you to go up to people and start conversations on your own.

2.  Girls Night Out.  If a dating service that offers singles events isn’t your scene and you’re looking for a more “organic” way of meeting someone, call up your favorite wing woman, get dressed up and do dinner together somewhere fabulous. Post-dinner, hit some local singles bars and lounges for drinks.  Several singles lounges and bars will be offering “ladies night” drink specials for Valentine’s Day and knowing this, single, savvy guys (the kind you want to meet) will be showing up in droves.  Keep in mind when deciding whom to recruit as your wing woman that you DO NOT want to have more than 1-2 women come out with you.  A group of women (3+) can be intimidating, 2-3 women is still approachable while at the same time not seeming desperate that you’d be hanging at a bar solo on Valentine’s Day looking to meet someone. 

Also keep in mind who you are recruiting to come out with you.  The last person you want to invite is your "Debbie Downer", next-door neighbor that is going to bitch and moan all night about how you guys are going to be single for the rest of your lives! 

If you’re looking to have a good time and are seeking attention, perhaps you shouldn’t invite your hottest girlfriend to come out with you.  “Rachelle” may be a good friend and all, but think about how you feel when you’re out with her.  If you feel invisible and like you’re always second choice with all the guys when you're out with her, then maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t the night to bring your Brazilian supermodel friend out.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, I’m just saying!

If you’re looking to meet men on Valentine’s Day here’s another hint…don’t hit the bars with your "gay husband".  Everyone is going to think you guys are together which won’t help either of your causes!  Trust me, it took me like eight years of living in NYC to figure that one out.

If you don’t have a single gf to go out with be pro-active and find one.  Post a platonic ad on Craig’s List looking for a single wing woman to go out with on Valentine’s Day.  I’ve done this before and definitely met some super cool women, some of which I’m still friends with.  My dating agency also offers a  "wing woman" speed networking event where you can meet 10-20 women in one night, one of which who could potentially be your new BFF and Valentine’s Day date.

3.  Milk It! Valentine’s Day is one of the most commercialized holidays ever.  Just because you aren’t in a relationship doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take full advantage of all of the promotions and discounts made available to couples.  Simply recruit your favorite wing woman, "gay husband" or platonic guy friend to take advantage of all of the “couples offers”.  Book a “couples” massage, facial or manicure/pedicure together.  Many restaurants will also be offering amazing tasting menus and special promotions on Valentine’s Day.  As a single gal you definitely want to take full advantage of these types of Valentine’s Day offers.  Use the money you would normally be spending on a significant other and splurge on yourself and/or your friends. 



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NYC Men Clamour For Curls At Kinky New NYC Speed Dating Event

10. December 2010

NYC-based dating aservice OnSpeedDating.Com in partnership with NaturallyCurly.Com recently hosted its first-ever “Curls Gone Wild” Speed Dating event on Thursday, December 2nd, 2010.

Dennis Reilly (36), a New York firefighter was one of the first single men to request that OnSpeedDating add a “curly” speed dating theme to their constantly-growing portfolio of themed singles events.  “I sent an email 3 months ago,” says Reilly.  “I love confident, curly haired women and am happy to see it’s finally happening”. 

Several recent requests for this particular event by curl aficionado NY singles, like Dennis, clearly counter the singular voice of Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger’s constant “curl bashing”. “It’s not even about straight versus curly anymore,” says NaturallyCurly.Com Co-Founder, Michelle Breyer.  “It’s about women embracing their natural beauty.  Patti Stanger is a giant step backwards in terms of female empowerment.”  Contrary to Stanger’s obvious misconception, NYC men respond positively to women with curls. “We actually had a wait list for men wanting to get into this event,” explains OnSpeedDating.Com Co-Founder Carmine Di Re. 

“I’m going to admit that I typically do blow-out my hair straight on a first date,” said single girl, Michele Jones. “As women, we’ve been pre-conditioned by the media to believe that men want women with straight hair.  I was so excited to see a singles event where I can actually be myself and know the guys are gonna like me - curls and all!”

Thursday night’s event quickly reached its goal registration of 15 men and 15 women ranging in age from 24 to 46. The Watering Hole, a Gramercy mainstay, featured three-tiers of cascading two-top tables and romantic lighting.  Each table was adorned with a number, dating pamphlets, pencils and plenty of sponsor-provided Sweetbreath breath freshener, ensuring daters would breath-friendly throughout the night.

First-time speed dater and recent California transplant Thomas Holmes, (24), heard about OnSpeedDating's multitude of theme-specific events through their guest appearance on Howard Stern.  “I find curly women to be fun and sexy and like to think of their wild, curly hair as an extension of their extremely outgoing personality. There are so many gorgeous women here tonight I am really psyched.”

The evening started off with singles checking in around thirty minutes prior to the event start.  Informal mingling over drink specials gave the men the initial opportunity to marvel at the abundance of cascading curls, while a few of the women swapped hair styling tips with each other.

The speed dating began at 7:30pm once all of the single men and women had been seated in pairs. The chime of the bell signaled each couple to begin their three-minute "date".  Many were relaxed, a few were nervous, but conversation, curls and drinks flowed all night and smiles were contagious.  With every chime, the men moved to the next table until they had the chance to meet all 15 women in attendance.

In support of the confident curl girls who ventured out on such a cold December evening, DevaChan Salon and Deva Spa Co-owner Lorraine Massey made a surprise appearance with a $250 DevaCurl gift basket in tow to award to the woman with the best curls.  With 15 curl-vaceous women to choose from, after careful evaluation, Lorraine’s expert eye singled out the curly blonde tresses of single New Yorker Gail Glidewell (33).

“I definitely connected with some women tonight,” says Financier Rob Alder, (33).  “I’d say there were at least 4 women that I would be interested in seeing again.”

For $35, the curly haired women in attendance not only got to meet attractive, professional men, they also were guaranteed that they wouldn’t go home alone.  Every woman left with three bags worth of curly swag from major hair care sponsors like Devachan Salon, Deva Spa, Miss Jessie’s, Christo 5th Avenue, Hercut, BeautyVT and Avon.  Performer, Tauren Hagens (36), a brunette with above the shoulder curls enthused, “I am blown away by tonight! Hot men and free hair care products?  What more could a girl ask for?”

Di Re summarized the success of the evening by stating, “Based on the turn-out, energy and connections I saw tonight, I foresee this becoming one of our more popular events.”

To guarantee a spot at OnSpeedDating.Com’s next event, register for the waitlist at OnSpeedDating.Com. Check out the pics from "Curls Gone Wild" Speed Dating by adding Amber Guesa as a facebook friend.


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Sorry Patti But Playing It "Straight" On A First Date Is Totally "Dated"

26. November 2010

As  matchmaker and resident NYC single gal who runs speed dating events, observing male and female interaction on a daily basis, curly women are constantly asking me if on a first date they should follow Patti Stanger’s advice of getting their hair professionally blown out.

Here’s my take on the Millionaire Matchmaker’s, (who can obviously afford unlimited salon blow-outs), insistence that looking your best on a first date requires having straight/sleek hair. I give the same advice for job interviews and first dates, which can often feel like a job interview. Be yourself. If you’re not the type to wear a suit to work everyday, yet alone at all, than don’t wear one on the interview and give the impression of being something you’re not. If you’re a curly girl that doesn’t plan on blowing her hair out every single day, than why go through all the effort of ultimately misleading your date? You want a guy to be “into” and attracted to you for you, curls and all.

Here’s what I know. Men find versatile women HOT. Versatility in the bedroom, in your sexuality, the way you dress. Think about it. As a woman of curl, you have the option of going straight one night, wavy the next and full-on kinky the third. For men, it can almost be like being with a different girl every night.

Men tend to be attracted to the exotic and unique. Think about it—there are fewer blondes than brunettes, and they consequently garner more attention from men. It’s a basic economic principal, which easily translates to the dating world. Things that are scarce and less available are consequently more in demand. Blue eyes, full lips, a Kim-Kardashian-esque derriere and yes, curly hair exist among a smaller sect of the population. Not everyone has it nor can everyone can pull it off, but when you’ve got it, you should flaunt it, stand out from the crowd and definitely cause men and women alike to take notice. Getting noticed is half the battle.

It’s funny, because Patti Stanger is SO adamant that her male clientele are requesting women with straight, flat-ironed hair. I think her approach and opinions on this topic, are as dated as her own stick-straight style.

We have an “ask and you shall receive” policy at OnSpeedDating. If enough people request a speed dating “theme” then we’ll make it happen. I have yet to have a man request an event themed around women with straight hair, but I did receive MANY requests for what we are now calling are “Curls Gone Wild” event for curly girls and the men who LOVE them.

Life is too short to be a “closeted” curly girl, forever married to the notion of the mandatory “first-date”, flat-ironed blow-out. Super-straight hair is contrived, conservative and Stepford wife-esque. It’s very “The Rules.” Stop conforming. A good, strong man doesn’t want to date a woman who follows the rules. He wants a woman who breaks the rules and/or makes her own. Women who embrace their curls are seen as care-free, confident and comfortable with who they are, which is the ultimate sexy to men.

Here’s my advice. Spend that hour you would normally take to blow out your hair to get in a work-out at the gym. Guarantee it will be time better spent in your pursuit of being your best, most confident you, which goes hand in hand with finally meeting “the one”.

Amber SolettiAmber SolettiOriginally from Austin, TX, Amber Soletti has been living the single life in NYC since 2000. A marketing professional, Amber worked in the beauty industry for Fortune 500 companies including Aveda, Avon & Conair. In an effort to subsidize her dating life and income, in 2008 she co-founded what would soon become two of NYC's hottest dating services. Amber has written many published articles on dating advice and the NYC singles scene. She, along with her companies OnSpeedDatingSingleAndTheCity & Kissburg have been featured by The New York Times, Howard Stern, Regis & Kelly, The New York Post, What Not To Wear, Dateline NBC, Good Day NY, CNN and more.


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A Guide To Decoding Dating Labels

26. November 2010

As single women, when it comes to relationships, we like to have closure and more importantly, to know where we stand at ALL times. Unfortunately in today’s convoluted dating world where the internet, free dating sites and cell phones have provided already non-committal men with even MORE options and honesty and transparency pretty much don’t exist, where do we stand?


If I’m seeing someone that has “boyfriend potential” I like to say that I’m dating.  “Boyfriend potential” meaning he has the majority of things on my “LIST”.  Is he the one?  Too soon to tell, but he could potentially be “the one” and we will continue to “date” until I figure it out.  To be clear, I can’t say that I’ve done too much "dating" in the city.  I very RARELY click with and am attracted to someone and in the rare event that I am, they typically end up being unavailable and/or raising red flags which quickly down-grades their status.  Is it okay to “date” more than one person at a time?  I think it is critical to “date” multiple men. “Things”, especially in NYC have a tendency to NOT work out.  By having a couple of guys in the rotation, you’re keeping your options open which helps lessen the disappointment when it doesn’t work, there’s always the other guy.


“Seeing Someone” If you’re going out with someone you know is NOT “the one” but you are sleeping with them and spending time with them, than by my definition, you are “seeing” them.  Guess it’s a kind of a more respectable way to describe an unspoken “friends with benefits” or “hook-up” situation. I tend to “recycle” guys that I’ve “seen” in the past.  They come, they go, but they ALWAYS come back in some form or fashion even years later.


“Boyfriend” Actions speak louder than words with exception to “the talk” which HAS to happen for your “relationship” to be legit.  He can be acting like your boyfriend, seeing you a few times a week, calling you every night, holding your hand in public, BUT, if you do not have “the talk”, he in his own mind can still think he is single and actually, based on the unspoken rules of dating, technically has the right to still be seeing other people.  Most men try to put off having “the talk” for as long as possible.  Here’s a hint: Stay away from men who are initiating “the talk”, especially if it’s within a couple of weeks of meeting you.


Harsh but true...You may have had "the talk", and even be saying the "L" word, but here's a MAJOR indicator that he's still NOT really your boyfriend.  If you're "boyfriend" won't change his Facebook status to say "in a relationship" with you, than despite having had "the talk", he is still not willing to fully commit and is probably seeing people behind your back or at least wanting to have the option to do so in the event he's contacted by an "ex" or as SO many men endearingly refer to me, "unfinished business".  If you're in this situation I would quickly in your mind downgrade this man to someone you're "seeing" while immediately hitting singles events and girlfriend supported outings to begin the search for an upgrade.

FYI ladies…”Text message” relationships are “textbook” he’s just not “into” you.  But that’s okay…maybe we’re not all that “into” them either.  As soon as a relationship starts to look like or full-on become of the “text message” variety, I quickly demote that guy from someone I’m “dating” to someone I’m “seeing”.  Don’t get me wrong, “text message” relationships can be a nice distraction and keep us going during dreaded  dating droughts.  I for one survived ten years in "Corporate America" largely due to some great text message exchanges that got me through PLENTY a boring meeting, conference call and 3-day seminar. Again, they’re fine, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s more than it is and just know that like a “text”, these types of relationships tend to be short-lived and EASILY deleted…except for the private, naughty pics that these guys will probably save on their phones FOREVER so they can continue to show them to their friends and anyone else that will look. 


Here's my dating advice.  With all of the 'smoke and mirrors' that men put out, it’s hard to say if we’re ever seeing things clearly.  Our relationship labels may at times be off or greatly vary, but at the end of the day I truly believe that knowing is half the battle.  The quicker you can see things for what they are, the less likely you are to be disappointed, hurt or wasting valuable time.  I tell all of my gfs and female matchmaking clients, be aware of your male surroundings and always try to know where you stand. If you’re too emotionally involved to assess, have an honest girlfriend put a label on it for you.


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Avoid Holiday Hell. A Single Gals Survival Guide To Meeting The Parents.

26. November 2010

“You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression,” has been forever ingrained in our minds thanks to the Head and Shoulders ad campaigns of the 1980’s.  Meeting the parents for the first time can definitely be a ‘make or break’ relationship milestone that you want to get right the first time.  Below are my tips and dating service for successfully navigating the “parental waters” during the already stressful holidays.


Know Before You Go

First and foremost, only agree to meet the parents if you consider your relationship to be serious and on that level.  I can’t tell you how many of my girlfriends and/or matchmaking clients have agreed to meet the parents of someone they’re not even that “into”.  Talk about sending mixed messages!  Here this person thinks you guys are totally serious because you’re spending the holidays with them and their family, and in reality, you were just in it for the free home cooked meal or maybe just had nothing better going on.  I’m telling you, it happens, so consider what meeting your significant others parents means to them and their family. Make sure this is the path you want to go down because at the end of the day if it doesn’t work out now you don’t only have to break up with them but also their family.


The 411

Open and honest communication is key to the success of any relationship.  Hopefully you and your significant other are already close and you are aware of their home life growing up and any on-going family dramas or hot buttons. In the event you aren’t, now’s the time to get up to speed quickly. How did the parents meet?  Are they religious? What do they do for work?  What are their interests, and/or favorite T.V. shows? What if anything did they not like about any previous girlfriends? If you guys are staying the night, are the parents the type to let you stay in the same room?  You definitely need the low-down on anything and everything "familial" prior to going into what could very well be the lion’s den.


Get On The Same Page

Anticipating the tough questions and having a game plan as to how to answer them is a must. Do you want the parents to know you guys met at an S&M bar, on a free online dating site, at a singles party for swingers or at a “Bi-onic” speed dating event for bi-sexual women and the men that love them? If not, you better get your stories straight.  Are the parents aware that you are living together?  If not, you need to make sure you don’t accidently “out” your living situation while passing the mashed potatoes. Topics to be prepared for might include if you’re having safe sex, when you’re getting married and/or having kids.  In the event you’re dealing with manipulative parents, or more likely, a possessive mom who may bring up stories about ex-girlfriends, it’s always good to have a full-disclosure session with your mate beforehand so there are no major surprises.  In trying times like these it’s good to refer to the Boy Scouts tried and true motto, “be prepared”.


Come Bearing Gifts

When meeting the parents for the first time you definitely don’t want to go in empty-handed.  A nice bottle of wine, their favorite dessert, fresh-cut flowers, a new release or classic DVD or board game of the Milton Bradley variety are some good gift ideas.  If they’re not drinkers, maybe some gourmet coffee, sparkling cider or chocolates. Something personalized is always the best way to go, but at the end of the day it’s the thought that counts. It’s sort of like  Kindergarten where if you bring something to class you have to have enough for everyone.  It wouldn’t be cool for you to bring something very specific and un-sharable, say a picture frame or book for one person leaving out the rest of the family.  


Keep It Real

Be genuine, be sincere, be yourself.  Many friends would recommend you avoid certain topics of discussion all together…politics, sex, religion.  I have a different view on this. I believe if these topic come up you should discuss your views honestly and respectfully. At the end of the day if the parents are going to hate you, might as well establish that early on and know what you’re potentially getting yourself into. There’s also a fine line between being complimentary and being fake.  Don’t be the fake, kiss-ass girlfriend that is throwing out compliments left and right, desperate to earn the families approval.  No one likes that. 


Actions Speak Louder Than Word

Don’t just offer to help around the kitchen,…jump right in. Is mom setting the table? Grab some silverware and get in there.  This is the perfect opportunity for one on one bonding and to demonstrate your stellar domestic skills. Has everyone finished eating? Start clearing the table. Nothing is more annoying than the faux, almost inaudible offer to help.  The insincere, “Can I help with anything?”, knowing they’re not going to take you up on your offer. You want to make a good impression on the family, don’t talk about it, in the words of Nike, “Just Do It.”  In the event the family is insistent that they don’t want any help, then at that point you can back down knowing you made a solid effort to pitch in.  


Go With The Flow

If the family wants to play Scrabble after dinner, even if you’re Scrabble skills are limited to 3-point word plays like [r-a-t], be a good sport and participate.  If dad wants to watch the big game after dinner and you are totally not a football fan, I say suck it up and be one for a couple of hours.  Be the laid-back, easy-going kind of gal that everyone loves.  The last thing anyone wants is a high-strung, diva-esque potential daughter-in-law. If everyone at the table is drinking red wine, don’t be that girl that insists on opening up the bottle of white that they don’t even have until they run out and get it just for you.  If you sit out on the sidelines, and/or come across as demanding and difficult, you become fodder for family gossip and judgment. Variety is the spice of life.  Embrace the family traditions, and at the same time gain more insight and understanding of your partner.


Make A Connection

As a woman, ensure you make a special effort to hit It off with the mother and any sisters as they will definitely be critical to win over.  I find asking to see baby-pictures a great way to bond with the mom.  If you go this route just be ready for the long haul.  We’re talking like a minimum of five albums worth.  If it’s a big family gathering make a genuine effort to meet not just the parents, but also the extended family and any family friends. Don’t devote 100% of your efforts to impressing the potential in-laws. This would be a rookie mistake on your part. Winning over the siblings and rest of the fam is equally important. Make sure to pay a lot of attention to the little kids, the neighbors, the geriatrics, and even the family pets. Spend time getting to know each person, connecting with them on some level. If you keep to yourself or just with your partner, others will definitely take notice and you’ll be perceived as an anti-social “ice-princess” ala Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in The Family Stone. I don‘t care if you’re shy or introverted, “fake it till you make it”. 


Seal The Deal

The good-bye is key.  Here’s a tip.  If you want to cement it with mom, tell her again how much you enjoyed the food and ask for some recipes of the dishes you really liked.  Trust me, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach by way of his mother’s cooking.  Why do you think Jennifer Aniston is still so close to Brad Pitt’s mom?  You definitely want to go in for the hug and not the handshake as hopefully you’re first meeting went well and you’re now considered family.  Thank them for their hospitality and definitely share that you had an amazing time, and that it was nice to finally meet them and how much you look forward to seeing them again. Seal the “welcome to the family” deal by sending a hand-written thank you note in the mail the next day. 


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