The Cranberry Bread Lesson


I was coaching Emma through her stalled dating situation. 39 and single, she wanted a husband and a family, but she was stuck as to what to do. She had filled out an online profile on JDate, but wasn’t into meeting anyone that way, and she was feeling negative about herself. She even wondered if she should move back to Italy where she once lived after college and felt great. I talked her off the ledge of any big leaps and let her off the hook. I explained, "If you don’t feel like online dating right now DON’T DO IT. Your negative energy is going to work against you." Dating is wonderful, but only if you're in a positive frame of mind about it, because the most important part of being the best single you can be is not about logging the dating numbers, but about feeling like your best self.


So, I walked Emma through the process of imagining how great she'd feel in the right relationship, and encouraged Emma to do something that made her happy, to feed her true, authentic self. So she went to the grocery store, bought ingredients for cranberry bread she’d wanted to make and had a great night baking it. Well, a few days later, Emma got an email from a man on JDate saying, “Hello from the neighborhood.” It turns out, he was behind her in line at the grocery store that day and recognized her picture! They went on a date, flew to Japan for their 40th birthdays six months later, and just got married a few months ago. That’s how to be a dating optimist: Feed your truest, happiest self, focus on how you want to FEEL in the right relationship, and let the glow you give out attract the right person to you. 

Article contributed by

Amy Spencer


Amy Spencer is the author of the new book BRIGHT SIDE UP: 100 Ways to Be Happier Right Now (Perigee, February 2012) and MEETING YOUR HALF-ORANGE: An Utterly Upbeat Guide to Using Dating Optimism to Find Your Perfect Match. She writes regularly on the, and weekly, sends out a dose of "Vitamin Optimism," the happiest email you'll get all week. Read more about Amy at

Location: Venice, CA
Credentials: Other
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