Archive | November, 2012

5 Signs Of a Bad First Date

25 Nov

One thing many women struggle with while on a first date is being able to tell if the date is going well. We obviously can’t read our date’s mind (although that would be awesome) so we are forced to draw our own conclusions based on some subtle hints. It’s especially important to pick up on the not-so-subtle giveaways that the date is heading downhill. These five red flags are indicators that your date is either an a**hole, he doesn’t believe in chivalry or he’s not really into you—regardless, don’t plan for a second date.

1. Shallow Hal

If your date only shows interest in bragging about himself— HIS job, HIS car, HIS hobbies, HIS penis (just kidding) then he’s a jerk. If your date does not show any interest in getting to know you—he’s a jerk. Need I say more? Yes? Okay. So if a guy really digs you, he wants to size you up. Guys love getting to know more about women for the same reason we want to know more about them—they want to make sure you’re fun enough, interesting enough, smart enough, and nice enough to visualize being in a relationship with you. So if your date is totally disinterested in your life and what you do, it’s most likely because he isn’t feeling a connection to you or only wants to sleep with you so he could care less about your favorite Saturday morning yoga class.

2.  The Case of the Ex

Talking about past relationships is inevitable during a first date. Both parties want to know when your last relationship was, how long it lasted, and why it ended. Standard first date material. However, some unusual behavior and definitely a red flag is if a guy continuously brings up his ex-girlfriend… especially if you didn’t ask. Example: “You should get a Grey Goose Cosmopolitan. My ex, Ashley, drank those all the time.” This could be a sign that he’s not over the relationship or he has word vomit—either way, it’s weird.

photo credit: Enterprise Hotel via photopin cc

3. No Future Plans

If your date doesn’t mention any plans to see you again or ask when your second date will be, it’s not a good sign. This isn’t the end-all of the relationship but if a guy likes you, he’ll usually casually mention some fun activity or great new restaurant you guys should try the next time you see each other.

photo credit: pnoeric via photopin cc

4. Cheap Skate

Ladies, I don’t know how many times I’ll have to say this: YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE PAYING ON YOUR FIRST DATE. I do not care what anyone says to defend the opposite, they’re wrong. A guy that lets you pay on a first date is a loser. Whether he can’t afford it or if he’s just socially incompetent, there’s just no excuse. I know I’ll get some heat for saying this but I stand by the fact that men should properly court a woman by paying for her with no hesitation on a FIRST DATE. It’s not for me to say who should pay on a regular basis after that, although girls who always pay for guys on dates are a phenomenon I’ll never understand, but men treating women on their first outing together is a principle of basic chivalry. If a guy does not pay the bill or has you “go dutch” with him and pay your half, he’s not only not into you but he’s a jerk! Now this doesn’t mean a girl should pick BOA Steakhouse and order a $75 Filet Mignon; be reasonable, girls! But if you’re reading this and thinking how shallow, you are in denial. Every girl, and I mean every single girl, wants to be treated to a nice first date. The girls who have paid for you before were settling and probably turned around and told their girlfriends how lame the date ended.

5. Shortcut

If your date is trying to cut the night short by rushing dinner or declining your offer to come in for a drink (which I don’t recommend doing), this COULD BE a sign he’s not feelin’ it. Yes, he could have work at 7am tomorrow but what guy do you know would turn down an opportunity to get a little cozy with you after dinner? My boyfriend wondered why I was rushing off after our first dinner and asked if I wanted to come to his house to “chit-chat” over a drink or two. Are you kidding me?! Everything about that sentence screamed SEX! Guys want sex. They love sex. They don’t care about a 3-date rule… heck, they don’t believe in a 3-hour rule! So, if your date wants nothing to do with a cocktail-filled you, let’s just say it’s not good.

The Disappearing Act

17 Nov

In the past few weeks since I’ve started writing Live & Love in L.A. I’ve gotten so many girlfriends and guy friends reaching out to me about their dating dilemmas… and I love it! That’s the exact reason I started writing this blog! Men and women need somewhere to vent, a place to feel they’re not alone, and more importantly, a blog that can give you a good laugh about the crazy world of dating—and I’m so glad it’s serving that exact purpose. I wanted to create something light-hearted, candid, and easy to read because after all, it’s not that serious! Dating in Los Angeles is, more often than not, just a long funny movie… at least my dating life is.

photo credit: CarbonNYC via photopin cc

One dating topic that has been brought to my attention at least twice in the last couple weeks is guys going M.I.A. (missing in action– for all you newbies). My girlfriends date a guy—for let’s say, 2 to 4 months—and everything is going great! You’re spending a ton of time together, he tells you he’s totally falling for you, you’ve hung out with his friends, and one day… he just stops calling! You low-key freak out and text him but all you get is…. *crickets*….  Maybe you even go so far as to texting him a novel long angry rant about how he should just tell you if he’s over you! WHY?! WHAT THE F#!& HAPPENED?! EVERYTHING WAS FINE AND IT’S BEEN 3 DAYS SINCE HE’S CALLED!!!!

photo credit: zubrow via photopin cc

Ladies, this is what I like to call The Disappearing Act. Totally standard douchebag M.O. (mode of operation, come on people!) You can spend countless nights asking yourself why or bugging your girlfriends to death trying to make sense of it all OR you can get real and realize he’s just over it!

Here are several possibilities why your guy fell off the face of the earth:

-He’s seeing someone else

-He chose that someone else over you

-He’s freaked out feeling it’s getting “too serious”

-He’s in his young, party mindset and he’s too busy making it rain at the club with his fellow douchebag friends

-You’re not a big priority to him

-He lost interest because you gave it up too quickly

Notice I did NOT say:

-He lost his phone

-He lost your number

-He’s just super busy right now. Come on, he’s a doctor!

-He wants to play hard-to-get

-His dog died

-HE died

-His grandma is sick

-He’s going through a lot right now

Okay, I know this sounds a little harsh but it’s the truth. The truth your girlfriends are too afraid to tell you because they’re afraid of hurting your feelings. When men really want a woman, there’s virtually nothing that can come in between them and their chase. I often hear my girlfriends excusing this kind of behavior for him being “really busy right now” and “he’s going through so much”. All of these excuses could actually be legitimate but that doesn’t mean he has zero time in the day to shoot you a text and touch base with you. Nobody flips the script after weeks of blissful dating because they’re too busy. If a guy “goes ghost”, as my cousin Mariel says, it’s most likely because of you. NOT meaning you did something wrong, but it’s his feelings for you… or lack thereof. It’s part of a man’s primal blueprint to pursue you if he’s really interested in you. I’m not going to quote some weird Harvard study where I read that… I just know that shit is true. And you do, too.

Regardless of why he’s avoiding you, there’s really nothing you can do about it. A very important lesson I’ve learned from my crazy dating life is that when you’re in a relationship you cannot control anyone but yourself. We women waste so much energy trying to make sense of a situation we have no control over. We want an explanation and we want it right now!

So here it is. The explanation you’ve been waiting for. He is too immature and/or cowardly to meet face-to-face and properly break it off with you. He wants to avoid the confrontation of you being angry with him, crying to him or asking a million and one questions. A real man will communicate with you and a real man knows you are worth the explanation—simple as that.

photo credit: gogoloopie via photopin cc

Now you’ve read this… it’s starting to sink in…. and you’re kinda depressed. It’s okay! Totally normal! I know I write this sounding like it’s a cake walk to move on but I don’t mean for it to sound like a no-brainer. Of course it’s hurtful to be dropped by someone you really liked even if it was a short whirlwind romance. But what other choice do you have but to move on? Like I’ve said in my past entry “Cry Me a River, Build Me a Bridge”, break-ups suck no matter how you slice it!

Do keep in mind that all break-ups are hard but the one kind of heartbreak that shouldn’t consume one more second of your life is when a guy pulls The Disappearing Act… If he’s not that creepy David Blane dude, disappearing is SO not cool.

photo credit: tmolini via photopin cc

5 Hidden Date Night Gems in Los Angeles

10 Nov

Do you feel like you’ve done everything there is to do in Los Angeles? Ever find yourself planning a date with someone and wondering what you could do besides the same boring ol’ dinner-and-a-movie?

I was born and raised in this city and I feel like this all the time! I’m constantly trying to find out about cool, unique things my friends are doing for fun; like outdoor concerts, beer fests, food truck festivals, etc. Those things are all fun with a big group of friends but what about new ideas on where to bring a date in L.A.? As much as I enjoy being wined and dined like every other girl, I more so get a kick out of going on borderline cheesy and out-of-the-ordinary “day dates” or date nights. This post will help give you a few ideas for putting together a more memorable outing with your special someone.

Here are a few of L.A.’s best kept secrets (well, not so secret but definitely underrated):

Hollywood, CA
Price: $10/person

I just had to place this as #1 because it is arguably my favorite thing to do in Los Angeles. Cinespia is a non-profit organization that puts on summer night screenings of old classic movies that are projected on the side of a building right in the middle of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery! Creeeeepy! Well, not really. Sure, famous celebrities’ tombstones surround you in the dark night but you’re there with thousands of fellow movie buffs drinking wine and feasting on your packed picnics. It’s the ultimate spot to get a little cozy with your hot date as you are encouraged to bring pillows and blankets to picnic on and cuddle in. My advice? Bring a few small candles (mood lighting AND helps you see in pitch black), pack light finger foods (sandwiches, chips, fruit), BYOB (they allow alcohol), and bring lots of blankets. My boyfriend and I came here on our second date which was perfect since our first was very let’s ask 100 questions and get to know each other, whereas our Cinespia date was let’s just drink, cuddle and kiss. Yeah, we were that couple. The one you wanted to yell “get a room!” to but you were kiiiiiinda enjoying it in a sick way, too. Anyway, I knew I liked him after our first date but after he held me at the screening, that’s when I felt the real chemistry…. Something about watching The Big Lebowski with a cute guy amongst the ghosts of The Ramones really got my blood flowin’!

San Marino, CA
Price: $20 weekdays/$23 weekends per person

Get a little culture in ya! The Huntington Estate is perfect to explore on a beautiful afternoon after a nice brunch with your hottie-with-a-body. I mean, don’t you want to make sure your date has a little more substance to them than being a good drinking buddy the night before? Take a free guided tour around the grounds and witness the most jaw-dropping gorgeous Chinese & Japanese gardens and learn all there is to know about Henry Huntington’s life. He was like, the creator of all things Pasadena– kind of a big deal. His impressive collection of fine art and the featured exhibits are educational and surprisingly really fun to see! I’m a member at The Huntington since I visit so darn much (it’s like a Disney annual pass, you gotta buy one if you’re a frequent customer or else you’ll go broke) and everyone I bring, date or not, loves it! Check out their website for their one FREE DAY a month if you’re a recessionista!

photo credit: EJP Photo via photopin cc

6429 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
Call Tamara at (323) 937-5294 & tell her Joyce’s blog sent you!
Price: $25-$50 *Varies with reading type; cards, palms, etc.*

I just got off the phone with Tamara asking her permission to post this since she performs her readings out of her cozy West LA home, and she was more than happy to be part of this week’s post! My girlfriends and I do “girls night” here every six months or so just to be slightly creeped out and laugh together. Tamara is a sweet woman who has a true gift and can give you a light-hearted enjoyable card reading or really help you do some serious soul searching if needed. But in this case, taking your date for a palm reading would be the ultimate wow factor after a nice dinner! I mean, how’s that for memorable?! When’s the last time a guy asked you to get your future told with him? Kind of dark and twisted but sexy! Tamara performs couples readings and asks first if you only want the good news… which is probably a good idea because if her psychic joo-joo is telling her he’s a total douchebag, this might not be the best way to find out—in front of him! Tell her Joyce sent you and you’ll be taken great care of! Happy reading!

100 N. Toluca St.
Los Angeles, CA
Price: Free 99

Vista Hermosa Park is truly a hidden gem. When my ex-boyfriend got me a beautiful Downtown apartment for Valentine’s Day, I had a perfect view of this quaint park. The first time I ran here with my dog I had no idea I’d get to the top, turn around, and see a breathtaking view of the Downtown LA skyline. This view isn’t the typical overly photographed, everyone-drives-by-it sight of the buildings. It feels so untouched since there are hardly ever people around and it’s so quiet you can hear your thoughts. My ex and I never made it out for a picnic like I always wanted (refer to my 1st intro post—he was the workaholic that provided an opulent lifestyle to distract me from noticing his absence), so I did the next best thing with this insane view…

I threw my puppy his first birthday here! Hopefully you’ll have better luck and have a gorgeous hunk share a glass of vino and a charcuterie & cheese platter with you while watching the sunset. Cheers!




1750 N. Altadena Dr.
Pasadena, CA
Price: Blood, Sweat & Tears (kidding, free and easy hike!)

Everyone wants to date someone fit and athletic—so, what better way to put them to the test than a hike in beautiful Pasadena! Don’t worry, ladies, it’s a pretty mild trail so you won’t be constantly anxious about him seeing you sweat up a storm! Going on a hike after waking up next to him just feels so right. Exercising together is a great way to bond for new and not-so-new couples because it gives you a chance to designate time to do nothing but talk and give each other your undivided attention. This trail leads to an awesome famous waterfall that many take photographs in front of to say, “I conquered!” Be sure to bring lots of water and your dogs if they’re physically fit! Avoid the weekends if you can—Eaton Canyon pops off on Sunday mornings!



Tick Tock

3 Nov

That’s the sound of my biological clock ticking…

photo credit: Βethan via photopin cc

Just kidding! Well, kinda. I know everyone is ready to tell me to shut up! I know, I know… I’m barely turning 24 this month but I oddly feel a little pressure to start putting my big girl pants on and begin to take some serious steps towards my future; my career, marriage and KIDS…. kids?! Yiiiiikes.

Well, career is a given! If you’re approaching mid-twenties and not motivated to work on achieving your career goals, then you’ve got bigger problems than I know how to answer. Refer to my 2nd blog post. I’m a strong believer in women staying educated and independent (yeah, you heard me, Mitt Romney). I definitely don’t mind the career pressure, in fact, it excites me! I got the most awesome news this weekend when I received an acceptance letter to nursing school! Ahhhhhh! I had one school in mind as my top choice, the one I “knew” I would never get accepted into… and sure enough, they were “pleased to inform me of my acceptance”. I know health science is my passion and nursing is my calling. I couldn’t be happier that a prestigous institution believes that I’m the right fit for the job! Never give up, girls. It took me what seems to be forever to find what I love, but it will come to you. And as the saying goes, if you work hard for it you shall achieve it.

photo credit: Millzero Photography via photopin cc

Now, let’s talk wedding bells. Everywhere on Facebook I’m bombarded with my friends getting engaged and photo albums from their beautiful weddings; which I love seeing, don’t get me wrong! I’m such an emotional woman and I always tear up out of complete happiness for my girlfriends. Deciding you want to spend the rest of your life with a completely amazing person is absolutely beautiful. I trip out on the fact that some people aren’t fortunate enough to experience that in their entire lives. Simply beautiful. But I wonder if it’s weird that I’m not thinking about marriage just yet…

photo credit: Caucas’ via photopin cc

I’m such a worry wart. I constantly worry about what’s coming next and I panic that I’m not close to getting married because that means I’m not close to being a mom…. fast forward to me being the oldest un-sexy mom at PTA meetings. My boyfriend, Nathan, and I discuss the marriage topic quite often. It’s kinda crazy how we discuss our future wedding’s details (string quartet for the cermony, an a capella group for cocktail hour, and a big band for the reception…. no big deal! haha!) as if it’s just another average conversation. Well, I really just throw out my ideas and he just says, “whatever you want, baby”. His mom taught him well, clearly. Happy wife= happy life. I will say though, that I love it. We both talk about it as if we’re both 100% sure that we’re with the person we’re going to marry. Sure, I am confident that I’m with Mr. Right and I have every wedding detail decided, down to the napkin holders and centerpieces BUT I’m really not in a rush to walk down the aisle right now. 

photo credit: via photopin cc

This isn’t because I’m afraid of the commitment or being “tied down”, which by the way, I hate when people in relationships use that excuse to stall marriage– your girlfriend/fiance should already tie your ass down! Anyways, I’m more worried about finishing school first and starting my career. I’m going to say this but I really want to preface with saying: I’m so not judging stay-at-home wives or moms; you all are severely underappreciated and I know how much you do even if you’re not on payroll. Although, a PERSONAL big fear of mine is not having a great career or having my own money. I want to make my own money, which I do now but I’m talking BIG money… registered nursing money! This isn’t to sayI couldn’t do all this while being married but I know myself and once I’m a wife I’ll want to just bake cupcakes for my husband and start working on babies; not study for a midterm! Maybe I need to just have more balance in my life. Not be at one extreme or the other. There’s gotta be a happy medium between excellent student and dedicated wife. I know a lot of my girlfriends are so great at doing both! Luckily, Nathan is not pressuring me for anything more than I’m ready for. Although at the rate that I fall more in love with him every day, I’ll probably want it sooner than later!

Here’s a photo my boyfriend took of me joking around with a Baby Bjorn at our yard sale. I freaked out when he showed me because it was like a look into my future; no make-up, sweatpants, and disheveled with baby in tow.

Kids are what scare me the most. My best friend, Jenny, is the most incredible mom to handsome little Jayden but she was rather young having him at 20 years old. I remember when she came over my house to tell me the big news and we both cried; tears of happiness and worry! I know her love for her son and I know for a fact she would never do anything differently if it meant Jayden would be anything but the special guy he is today. However, she often tells me to wait to have children. And I agree! I commend her for jumping into action unlike many young mothers and she really is a better woman than I am because I’m just way too selfish right now to be a mom. I think I’m a kickass mom to my dog but let’s be real, I can leave the little guy for hours at a time… totally different!

This is my bestie’s son. The little man who stole our hearts 4 years ago, Jayden Kalvin!

But I often worry that I’m too selfish. Like I’m putting all of life’s special gifts on pause while I get my shit together… Well, it is what it is. I figure I’m 24 and if there’s a “good” time to put me first I think it’s now. I’ve fantasized about my future husband and children my whole life. I know when the time comes, I’m going to be so committed to my family. But until then, I’m enjoying a little “me time”.