Last month we ran the first in a series meant to introduce Austinites to some of our favorite bloggers in different categories. This month, in honor of Valentine's Day, we thought we would highlight some of the best blogs about dating, love and relationships.
Scarborough should be familiar to CultureMap readers as our very own "Pink Kisses Answers
" columnist. Her site, PinkKisses.com
, was started in 2009 after her own rough breakup and subsequent heartbreak (he ended it over the phone!). When Scarborough found herself unable to move on, she took matters into her own hands and sent herself flowers with a note that read, "Don’t even shed another tear over a guy who’s not sending you these.” It made such a difference that she created ways to help other girls forget their exes and find their inner bombshells: Pink Kisses was born.
Seems like Scarborough has come a long way since then, embracing the belief that you can't depend on a relationship with any one person to fulfill you. "You have to know yourself well enough to know what you want out of life, out of your career and out of your relationships," she says. "Focus on fulfilling yourself and let the relationship be the icing on top."
Scarborough has come a long way since then, embracing the belief that you can't depend on a relationship with any one person to fulfill you.
When she's focused on herself, Scarborough loves movies and is addicted to the Alamo Drafthouse, which she says takes the movie-going experience to a whole new level of awesome.
"I'm a firm believer in not trying to go anywhere or do anything just to meet a date. Live your life, follow your passions and be open to finding something valuable in every single person who crosses your path. If you're chasing your dreams with your eyes wide open, you're bound to meet incredible people."
But she also cautions singletons not to shut themselves off from opportunities when they arise.
"Always be open to going on a date. If a friend wants to set you up with someone, say yes. If a guy asks you out who's not your 'type,' say yes. Look at dates as experiences, as practice in finding what you want and don't want... and if you know after the first date that you aren't feeling it with someone, be straightforward about it."
Krause has spent the past nine years navigating the singles scene, starting her first blog (Single Blonde in the City
) as a way to chronicle her adventures in dating. In late 2011 she met a guy she calls "Hunk" on eHarmony.com, barely a week after another break-up. As it turned out, she and Hunk were in the same running group, but Krause still recommends online dating.
"I think online dating can be a fun (and often interesting) way to meet people. You have more control over who and where you meet, and it often exposes you to a broader spectrum of people you would not usually run into in your day-to-day life."
After starting her latest relationship, Krause felt it was time to focus her writing more on being happy and healthy, letting her relationship be more private. So Amy in Austin
was born, where Krause writes about all aspects of her life, including her new dating life that is "hopefully on its way to happily ever after."
"Don't waste too much time wondering why someone hasn't called you back. Move on!"
"I'm a native Austinite who loves exercising, traveling and finding new and fun things to do around town," Krause says. One of her favorites is walking or running the Lady Bird Lake trail. "It's free, and the people watching is spectacular."
Getting out and doing the things you love is a great way to meet someone new, she advises. "It's also a way to set yourself up for meeting people with similar interests. In Austin it's easy to find groups for just about any kind of hobby."
Krause admits in her blog that at times she can be be snobby, pretentious and judgmental when it comes to dating. "Especially when my boyfriend takes a 4-pack of Bartles and James wine coolers to my friend's birthday party," she wrote of a previous date. "Yes, they DO still make those. I was equally as shocked." She is glad that her snobby habits seem to have been cured by Hunk.
Her best piece of advice for dealing with the dating merry-go-round is to not take rejection too personally. "Don't waste too much time wondering why someone hasn't called you back. Move on!"
University of Texas student Mehta is the lifestyle blogger at UT, where the Multimedia Journalism major writes about local events, music, arts and of course, dating. Her blog provides a space where she can vent about her pet peeves (such as girls who demand to be treated like a princess) and things she blames for her single-ness (namely, romantic comedies, a bad sense of direction and Kathie Lee Gifford). She describes herself as not the kind of girl you'd bring home to mom, which immediately set the Sheryl Crow song looping in my brain.
Mehta's blog is geared toward the dating life of college students, and she writes a lot about what it's like to try to juggle classes, extra-curricular activities and any sort of social life. She's refreshingly non-editorial, readily admitting that if a reader thinks a post is awful, it's probably because Mehta herself couldn't think of anything to actually write about.
"You have to find love in yourself and in being alone before you can find it with someone else, because if you lose that person you depended on for love, you'll feel like you've lost yourself as well."
But she also blames the reader, who continued to read against his/her better judgement. She loves the Austin bar scene, and some of her favorite night-crawling spots are the Crown and Anchor Pub and Lustre Pearl.
"Love doesn't have to be so serious and dramatic," Mehta says. "If you're not laughing with someone, you're probably not in love with them." She endorses the often-vilified friend set-up. "Blind dates can be a little awkward but it's comforting to know that you share a friend (even if they're more of an acquaintance) when you're not sure yet that you share anything else in common."
And she's not above waxing a bit wiser than her years, sharing what this 40-something author took far longer to learn. "You have to find love in yourself and in being alone before you can find it with someone else, because if you lose that person you depended on for love, you'll feel like you've lost yourself as well."
This one's for the analytical, left-brained among us. While the Internet is clogged with advice, LoveScience dishes from a research-based perspective. Using over 60 years of social science findings as its basis, Welch dispenses advice that reads like Malcolm Gladwell conjoined with Carrie Bradshaw or Dear Abby wedded with fact; she's like having the right friend in your corner. You come away feeling somehow supported and hopeful about the whole thing.
Welch, who holds a doctorate in scientific psychology, was inspired by her own relationship failures. “Love is a huge gamble, and a winnable one," she says. "Research shows the way to bet because it shows what works for most people, most of the time. It finally occurred to me that answers probably existed for the struggles I was having; that things didn’t have to be so hard and I could win at this.”
“Choose kindness and respectfulness above all else. If you can find and be a kind, respectful partner, you’ll have long, happy relationships.”
Following her own personal success, Welch launched her blog, which is celebrating its third birthday this month and is read in 30 nations.
When not blogging about LoveScience, Welch can be found hiking in Great Hills Park, haunting various Austin libraries as she works towards her first book and teaching at Austin Community College. Asked to distill all the research
into one kernel of truth, she says, “Choose kindness and respectfulness above all else. If you can find and be a kind, respectful partner, you’ll have long, happy relationships. But settling for someone who is fantastic except for a lack of either of these two qualities is the single-biggest source of misery and breakup I see.”
Welch says there’s no one magic place to meet partners. “There are many, and they’re all personal to you. Similar couples are happy couples, so choose places where people like you would go. Then work, worship or walk there over and over." Like Mehta, Welch suggests not discounting blind dates. "Even with technology’s changes, about 90 percent of people still meet their mate through friends, family, and daily contact.”
And she says, don't sit at home waiting for something to magically happen. "There’s a word for people who wait for love to happen effortlessly, and that word is Single.”
Love them or hate them, you've heard of The Rules. What started as a book
to advise women on how to snag a man by playing the game has evolved into an entire industry, with Rules Dating Coaches and everything. Evazians is the Austin-based Rules doctor, coaching women on the time-tested secrets to capture the heart of Mr. Right.
According to Evazian's website, The Rules is "a simple set of dos and don’ts for dating and behaving around men that lead to a healthy, committed relationship. They are common-sense guidelines that teach women how to treat themselves with dignity, grace and self-respect."
"If both people only concern themselves with taking care of the other, then both are being taken care of and fulfilled."
The entire premise is based on the old-fashioned idea that men and women are fundamentally different, so if you don't buy into that mysterious, hard-to-get stuff — or marriage is not your goal — then it's probably not for you.
But Evazian has her own personal proof to back up the claims; she used them to get her husband, Raman, to whom she's been happily married for seven years, claiming it still feels like a honeymoon. Presumably, because she is still practicing The Rules. She enjoys cooking and traveling, but one of her favorite Austin things to do is to go salsa dancing at Dallas Night Club on Thursday nights.
Evazian's number one piece of love advice is, "A happy, healthy and ideal relationship is where each person concerns themselves only with taking care of the other person's needs instead of expecting them to take care of their own needs. If both people only concern themselves with taking care of the other, then both are being taken care of and fulfilled."