Posts Tagged ‘Love’

Love & Happiness Advice for Single Parents

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

I’ve been interviewed a number of times lately for a few different kinds of stories, but one I come back to pretty often: dating, love and happiness advice for single moms and dads—some of the hardest working people in life-business. Here is some of my love, happiness and dating advice for parents going it alone.

1: How to Deal with Your Ex’s New Partner

First, some advice for single moms dealing with her ex’s new partner that appeared on Yahoo News. The wonderfully honest story, by writer Chrissi Coppa, was called Tom Brady’s Ex Deserves Praise for her Gracious Co-Parenting Tweet, and I offered my insight on what it meant that Bridget Moynahan tweeted a congratulations to the Patriots following their win, and what that meant for her son and their family.





2. How to Date as a Single Parent

I also offered some of my dating tips for single parents for a piece that appeared in and among others. 

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 10.14.34 AM

I wish I could give a free copy of Meeting Your Half-Orange to every last single mom or single dad in the country, because I truly believe that it could help shift how they feel in a meaningful way.

The way I see it, when you are feeling overwhelmed and down on yourself or your circumstances—which is so often the case with single parents who don’t have even .001 second to think about themselves because they are so focused on their child/children—the best thing you can do for yourself emotionally is find a way to adjust your perspective and feelings so that you can get through each day in a happier place. The more in control, positive, hopeful and happy you feel, the better a person, a parent and a provider you can be.


Talking “My First Time” in Glamour Mag

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Grab yourselves a copy of the March 2014 issue of Glamour magazine!

GLAMOURMarch2014coverFor the latest issue, I helped pull together a feature called “My First Time.” It’s a revealing collection of stories by men and women who share some of their most intimate, scary and life-changing “firsts” in love, relationships and sex.

It was an honor to have these people open up with such honesty, and you’ll learn from their stories.

Here’s a sample of the feature in the March 2014 issue.





Are You Ready for The Next Happiness Challenge?

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Well, The Happiness Challenge I created with is still going strong. And I’m so grateful to all of you who have commented and Tweeted and sent me notes about how it’s going for you. Nothing makes me happier than hearing you’ve been inspired to live a better life.

Today, we just posted Challenge #4! Each challenge is built around the idea that if you embrace all the best aspects of yourself and your life in a balanced way, you will end up feeling stronger, more loving, more confident, more fulfilled and happier all-around. 

If you’re just starting today and want to take the challenge on (do it!), here are the challenges so far.

Challenge #1: Bravery

Challenge #2: Self-worth

Challenge #3: Independence

Today’s Challenge #4: Generosity


Next week is the final challenge—and the sweetest and the easiest of all.

It’s not too late to join in, because there’s no such thing as being too late for happiness. Every single day, it’s up to us if we want to embrace a happy, fulfilled life in the small moments we face, minute after minute, hour after hour.

This is your year, remember. So take the steps to show life you mean it.

#happinesschallenge #gethappy


P.S. If you’re enjoying this positive, proactive approach to life, pre-order your copy of The Happy Life Checklist so you can keep the challenge going all year long.

Zac, Mike & Miles: That Awkward Moment

Friday, January 17th, 2014

I recently had a fun chat with the awesome and hilarious cast of That Awkward Moment (out January 31): Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller for the February 2014 issue of Glamour.

It was a sneak peek into the minds of men when it comes to dating and love. For a small taste of the story, head to to read a few quotes from Zac Efron and the Stars of That Awkward Moment on What They Look For in a Woman. These are some pretty funny guys and they had a few insights that surprised me.


Or just grab the new February 2014 issue and you’ll get the full fly-on-the-wall experience:


Try: The Attitude That Attracts Love!

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

If you haven’t yet snagged your copy of the Women’s Health September 2010 issue, I’ll help guide you to the best story in it. Which, oh look, just happens to be mine! Well, I think it’s pretty good anyway.

My story, “The Attitude That Attracts Love” is an important reminder for singles that nothing is more important than feeling good about yourself and your life and passing along that great energy on your dates.

Read the story here at


Join “The Dating Optimist” on Twitter!

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

I’ll be sharing my full-length homegrown secret of how to use dating optimism to find your perfect match when my book, Meeting Your Half-Orange, hits stores on February 22 (Running Press). But who wants to wait until then to start thinking positive about finding the love of your life?


If you want a dose of happy thinking now,join me on Twitter, where I’m sharing my daily thoughts on life’s little moments—from the mundane to the more serious—and the ways I aim to look at dating and love in a brighter, better way.

Join me at

Get a daily dose of positivity from The Dating Optimist

Now, techhies, please have mercy! I’ve just begun exploring this whole Twit-terrain, so bear with me as we begin the journey together… I hope to see you there!

Why I Moved For Love

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

This article was originally published on’s Dating and Relationship/Lifestyle page. You can see the original content here:

Why I  Moved for Love” at

Why I Moved for Love by Amy Spencer

A few years ago, my friend Leslie moved to Milan to be with a man she loved. I remember envying both her romance and her guts to make such a big change. But I also remember thinking, “Please let me meet someone in New York…I just love it here too much to move for love.” Wow, how things change.

Nine months ago, I became reacquainted with Gustavo, an artist I had known all my life who was visiting New York from Los Angeles. The sparks were so intense, we racked a few free flights’ worth of airline miles deciding where the relationship was going. The answer: If it was going anywhere, it was going to Los Angeles. So three weeks ago, I hired a moving company, packed up my apartment, and boarded a plane with my kitty in tow to start a brand new life in Venice, California.

In a way, the decision was easy, because I love this guy more than any man I’ve known. But I also believe that love alone is sometimes not enough to pick up and move a life you’ve spent years building. (In fact, in one previous long-distance relationship I had, it wasn’t.) Here’s why I knew, without a doubt, that this time around, a relocation (or, should I say a re-love-cation) was right for me.

Because I literally couldn’t spend another minute apart from him
Much like the emperor’s new clothes, file this one under the “so obvious it needs to be said” category: Before all else, the biggest contributing factor to my decision to move for love was, simply, that I wanted to be with Gustavo as much as possible. We got along like gangbusters and enjoyed each other’s company so much, it was becoming unbearable to be 2779.46 miles apart (thanks for reminding me, Mapquest). After eight months of goodbyes at the airport, I couldn’t imagine one of us not moving.

Yes, moving meant leaving it all (my friends, my family, my apartment) and starting fresh (new phone, new email, new gas, new bank). But when I pictured Gustavo’s smiling face looking at mine, I just thought, “Yep, he’s worth it.”

My friend Nicole Gregg felt a similar moment of clarity before her move from Manhattan to New Hampshire to be with her then-boyfriend Zack. “I just knew,” says Nicole. “I felt like this was the right thing to do. It was this, or…actually, there was no ‘or.’ I think if you’re going back and forth and back and forth trying to decide what to do, it’s probably not right. It’s like when you’re really unsure about the outfit you’re wearing. If you’re questioning it so much, you probably shouldn’t wear it.” Nicole was sure. She moved to Portsmouth and married Zack a year and a half later.

Because we’re starting fresh together in a new place
When I first started dating Gustavo, he was living in an oversized raw-space loft in downtown L.A. just a few blocks from Skid Row. While perfect for a painter who needed space for large canvases, I wasn’t feeling the whole drug-infested neighborhood thing; I wanted a walking neighborhood like the one I was leaving. So, to make me happy, we found a little house in Venice, just a short walk to town and a bike ride to the beach. And to keep him happy, we factored in the cost of keeping half of the loft as a workspace and renting the rest.

To me, both of us starting fresh in a new place was vital to making my move work. Now, instead of feeling like I’m encroaching on his pre-me life, I feel like we’re on an “us” adventure. Sure, some things around town are old hat to him (“Trust me, these are the only fish tacos worth eating”), but the house we’re living in is new to both of us (“Hey, check out this bizarro closet!”). I’m not just making his life mine; we’re making our own life together.

Because I knew that — regardless of the relationship — I would be able to make a life for myself in my new location
A few years ago, I had a long-distance relationship with a guy in South Beach, Miami. One weekend, over some eggs Benedict on Ocean Drive, I considered what it might be like to move there. That is, until I picked up a local paper to check out the real estate and noticed something else: Instead of seeing ads for the very things that I loved about New York — the theater, literary readings, art openings, small films — I found ads for dance clubs and beach parties. Ultimately, though I loved Miami, I had to admit I wouldn’t be happy living there.

This time around, I knew I’d not only feel at home with Gustavo, but I would also feel at home in Venice. I’d get to spend time with other writers. I’d be able to walk to town for a morning latte if I wanted. I’d get to see some of the art, theater and films I liked. And after ten years squeezing into “charming”-sized apartments in downtown Manhattan, I was also ready for some breathing room. I was amped about the idea of sitting in Adirondack chairs in the back yard, and watering plants that didn’t wither at the first sign of frost.

My friend Jessie had the same revelation about moving out of New York recently. Like me, she used to be a full-fledged city girl: afternoons full of brunches and bargain shopping, and nights full of parties and cocktails. Then she met a country boy who worked with horses on a ranch. Being with him, she says, “was non-negotiable.” And because Jessie was ready for a change, she happily offered to flee the city for a small town in Virginia—a town they started fresh in together. “I didn’t think he would be very happy in the city, but I was ready to move out of New York,” she explains. “I didn’t want to go out for drinks anymore. I was at the point where I wanted a garden, I wanted some dogs, I wanted to mow a lawn.” She now has all of it—and come June, she’ll also have a husband.

Because geography aside, our dream lives match up
The way I see it, if a couple’s plans for the future aren’t in sync, a big move won’t suddenly change all that. Sure, an exciting move might distract from your differences for a while, but eventually the music stops, the disco lights shut off and you’re left with a big, square, bare room you don’t know what to do with.

This is just the dilemma facing a fashion-forward woman (I’ll call her Bianca) whom I met recently. Bianca told me her dream plan is to have a loft in New York, an apartment in Paris, and a job that takes her all over the world. Her new boyfriend, however, just high-tailed it out of the city for a job in Utah with a ski company—and wants Bianca to join him. His dream plan? To buy a cabin an hour from town for a quiet life in the mountains. “I didn’t realize how different we were until now,” she said. “I like the city, he likes the snow. I like fine wine, he likes cans of Pabst on the back porch. If either one of us moves, we’d only be living the other’s life instead of our own.”

In Bianca’s case, their dream plan is to move in different directions. In my case, Gustavo and I are moving toward what we both want: a similar future. And that’s why I knew it could work. Perhaps a couple doesn’t need to want the same things right now. But eventually, those basic plans should merge. Otherwise, someone is probably shifting who they are as a person—and that’s a move backwards by any standards.

Because I was willing to get creative with my career
Now, I’m lucky. Because as a writer, I can work from anywhere with an Internet connection. I know that plenty of people have to quit their jobs entirely in the move for love. But the important thing is this: Can you or can you not make your work “work” in your new town? For instance, I’ll lose a few clients—like local magazines I used to write for—by moving to the West Coast. But I can also use the move as an opportunity to expand my experience with new clients and different types of jobs.

Nicole, however, had to be even more creative with her work. “I was a casting director for a film company in New York. So when I moved to Portsmouth, I was like, Hmm, now what? And then it hit me: This town is perfect for a film festival.” It has taken Nicole five years to really make it work, but the last New Hampshire Film Festival attracted over 3,000 attendees and drew film submissions from 31 states and 15 countries. “Instead of focusing on the fact that there weren’t any opportunities for work here, I saw the opportunities as endless,” she explains.

Because I knew we were in it for the long haul
I like to gamble on the little things in life. I’ll head to a new movie without reading the reviews. I’ll wait on line at a trendy restaurant without knowing if I can get in. I’ll even get on a plane without a hotel reservation already booked at my destination. But when it comes to the really big stuff, I like a sure bet.

It was only after Gustavo and I had started talking about a forever-future that I brought up the idea of moving. I liked knowing while I was packing that a wedding and family was in our cards (well, not as much as my Mom liked knowing…). It turns out it was all coming sooner than I thought: Gustavo proposed three days before we flew out of New York. It was even more assurance I was doing the right thing.

Because, if it came to it, he was willing to move for me as well
Though I was up for the adventure and the challenge of moving to a new place, and Gustavo couldn’t wait to show me around his sunny city, the clincher for my decision came one evening over Roquefort cheeseburgers in the West Village. “You know,” said Gustavo, “that if you really hate it in L.A., I’ll move back here with you in a heartbeat, okay?” In that moment, he gave the same reason I’d started with: The relationship, above all else, was worth it. Following through on my decision turned out to be pretty easy.

Amy Spencer has written for Real Simple, New York, and other magazines.

This article was originally published in February 2007.