Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

My Michael Phelps Wedding Interview

Friday, February 24th, 2017

I don’t often interview men about their weddings, but I got a fun chance to when I spoke with Michael Phelps—the most decorated Olympian in history—and his new wife Nicole Johnson about their wedding. Well, weddings.

They first married in a small five-person ceremony in their backyard in Arizona in June 2016. Then they had an October wedding for their closest friends and family in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. And when we spoke, they will still preparing for their grand finale: A roaring 20s-themed wedding reception party on New Year’s Eve.

Here is our chat for Brides magazine discussing their first and second celebrations: Inside Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson’s Romantic Destination Wedding in Mexico. They were such a fun, sweet couple—and they also shared a short take of their wedding video with the story.

Just know that if you start checking out the Instagram page of their son, Boomer, like I did (@boomerphelps)…it’s hard to stop.


Calling all Single + Married Women: It’s Been Advice Month!

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

I’ve been asked to share my positive thoughts on love for a few publications lately, so in case any of these stories might appeal to you, here they are…

1) First, I loved contributing to this piece called “That Single Life” in the brand new January/February 2016 issue of Women’s Health magazine.

WomensHealthSINGLE The Women’s Health features real women who have bucked the coupledom standards by doing things like buying a house single, having a baby single, and traveling single.

I spoke with writer Faye Brennan about why single women can rock whatever it is they damn want, which is the entire mindset behind my book Meeting Your Half-Orange: An Utterly Upbeat Guide to Using Dating Optimism to Find Your Perfect Match (Running Press).

Pick up the Jan/Feb issue of Women’s Health to read the full piece about “That Single Life,” but here’s my advice in part #3 about why it’s healthy to be “The Jet Setter” who is traveling solo:

Half-Orange Advice


2) For the story Dating as a Single Parent…If You Dare, I offered some advice for single mothers who are having a difficult time in their dating lives with writer Christine Coppa, who is a single mom herself. You can read the full story here on that one here on the USA Today Network’s Asbury Park Press site, but here’s a small snapshot of some my advice when it comes to where to meet your potential partners:

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 11.02.09 AM


3) I also offered some advice for Woman’s Day magazine, about the 9 Important Signs Your Marriage Can Be Saved. I talked to the magazine about the positive signs of recognizing that your behavior might be affecting your partner’s behavior or when you both recognize how much you appreciate your family time. You can read the full piece here on Woman’s Day, but here, again, is a small snapshot of some of my advice:



Dr. Oz: Please Excuse My Spouse!

Friday, February 28th, 2014

For the debut issue of Dr. Oz’s new magazine, The Good Life, I wrote a fun feature about what happens when you find yourself blushing at something your other half is doing—whether it’s your spouse,  your partner or someone you’re dating.


So, how do you handle the embarrassing stuff with each other? Grab the debut March/April 2014 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life, turn to page 112, and find out!


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.





Rebecca Romijn’s Recipes for a Happy Life

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Summer 2012

Grab a copy of the July/August Summer 2012 issue of Health magazine, and you’ll see two of my latest features. First off, my cover chat with actress Rebecca Romijn, who shares her super fun collection of happy life tips.

This is the third time I’ve interviewed Rebecca, and she continues to be one of my favorite people to chat with—she’s so down to earth and funny and laid back, it doesn’t even feel like work (shhh, don’t tell my editors that!). She gave tips on everything from how to make the perfect soft-boiled egg (I tried it, it works), why riding a tandem bicycle is great for her relationship with husband Jerry O’Connell, how to make a cranberry fat flush, and how to make their couple signature summer drink, the “Coco Oco.” Mmmm.

You can read all of her great life tips here in the full story on


Coming in 2010: “Meeting Your Half-Orange”

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Attention all singles! Start your countdown clocks now. My first dating book, Meeting Your Half-Orange: An Utterly Upbeat Guide to Using Dating Optimism to Find Your Perfect Match, will be published by Running Press in February 2010. Yes, it’ll be a long countdown, but it will be worth it.

If you’re getting tired of watching your friends pair up and marry off while you whittle away yet another Saturday night trying to wrangle someone to scour the guy scene with you…it’s time to try Dating Optimism.

Because if you’re focused on simply finding the right guy, I’m sorry to tell you…you’re doing it all wrong! You shouldn’t be looking for a guy at all!

Why? Because it’s not about the guy. It’s about you.

Meeting Your Half-Orange (Running Press, 2010)

From what to do while you’re sipping your Starbucks, to what to think about while you scour Us Weekly, I will walk you through the secret of Dating Optimism to get you the relationship you’ve always wanted.

Use my tricks to stop your frustrating pursuit for good men, delete the online suitors you don’t want to date anyway, and fight off the secret panic that you’ll end up alone. Instead, Meeting Your Half-Orange will show you how to live your life and adjust your attitude in a profound—but simple—way to bring you the great relationship you want and deserve.

It’s about time you learned to live up your amazing, kick-ass life while love finds you!

Email media and publicity inquiries to:

Literary agent:
Laurie Abkemeier
DeFiore & Company, New York, NY

15 Moments that Define a Relationship

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Have you hit all the big moments in your relationship? Here’s what I see as the milestones, from pebbles to boulders, no love stone unturned. Have I hit them all, or are there more? This was originally published in Women’s Health magazine, November 2008. Click on the piece for a slightly larger—and hopefully readable!—image.

Women's Health November 2008

Women's Health November 2008

And here’s the cover of that issue, which, for the life of me, I can’t get to show up in one whole shiny happy piece. But you get the gist!

May you meet all the relationship milestones and more…


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.