I so enjoyed talking with Dr. Peter McGraw, a behavioral economist at the University of Colorado who is investigating solitude and how to create a remarkable single life, now or forever.
It’s kinda crazy. I have done many fantastic podcasts about being quirkyalone with women, and this was the first time I talked with a man who is investigating these topics!
Peter and I chatted about:
the problem of “internalized inferiority,” of seeing our single periods as lesser than our coupled periods and the tragedy of waiting to be coupled up to do the things you most want to do in life (I share about how I’ve struggled with this too)
my personal story behind quirkyalone, and why I chose that combination over, say, “freakyalone”!
quirkyalones in pop culture in the 90s and oughts, from Love Jones to Ally McBeal
how single people have been ignored–at least in the US–in policy discussions during the pandemic
why quirkyalone, even though it seems to be a celebration of singlehood, is also, in its deepest core, an argument for depth in relationship
the many ways people meet needs for connection in 2021, with everything from Tinder to solo poly
why I prefer to talk about self-acceptance and wholeness rather than being a “happy single.” Being happy all the time is just way too much pressure! And going for what we want in life may involve some pain, discomfort and struggle.
Here’s a little teaser before you click to listen in…
“The choice of the word quirky, why? Can you tease us with some of the alternatives that you considered?
In the book Quirkyalone, I have a bunch of alternatives like eccentricalone, bizarrealone, or freakyalone.
Freakyalone is a whole different book and it’s in a different section of the library. It’s not in the library, first of all.
Why quirky? It’s because quirky is softer, for one. It’s eccentric but with a human touch that makes you feel you can get warm and cuddly with a quirky person in a way that maybe you don’t feel you can with freakyalone. It was that sense that I had as a young person and has remained the same as I get older. I only connect with a certain amount of people. I’m not a generic person and quirkyalones are not cookie-cutter type. It’s a practical recognition for a quirky person.
It may take a little longer to find someone who matches you, not that they have to have all the same quirks. Everybody is completely individual and all of my work has this honoring of our quirkiness. When I work with clients, for example, I’m interested in finding out who they are and how they tick because everybody’s different. That’s my orientation to the world. The quirky part is the way of honoring that. I love that about us as people.”
“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.”–Oscar Wilde
If mistakes are what teach us, I have made plenty. I’ve walked around for YEARS with limiting beliefs in my head (aka junk) that have kept me from more love, free-flowing creativity, money, and fun in my life. Over the last few years, I’ve been cleaning out my limiting beliefs and replacing them with more powerful, open beliefs. I want to help you do the same. We tend to have a lot of limiting beliefs about relationships and being single and in every area: work, family, creativity.
I’ve been talking about limiting beliefs lately because this is the crux of the work we do together in our Quirkytogether 101 class. We learn how to turn around limiting beliefs like:
— “I haven’t had enough relationship experience, so no one will want me” or
— “It hasn’t happened yet, so it’s not going to happen now,” or
— “There are no good men/women left or men/women who are quirky enough for me.”
We turn these into into beliefs that give us more power and possibility.
Today I will walk you through the steps of how to turn around a limiting belief. If you’re joining our QT101 class, this post is a warm-up. You can certainly do this on your own too. (It is easier and more fun with the support of two coaches and others who are doing the same thing.)
Step one: The Purge: Naming Our Limiting Beliefs
What is a limiting belief?
A belief is just a thought that we keep thinking. A thought becomes stuck, like a record that keeps playing the same note, and we assume it to be true. A thought becomes a belief merely because we have said it to ourselves so many times.Read More
How is your 2014 going?
Would you like to dance?
I hereby invite you to join me for an for an intimate immersion experience into tango, quirkyalone, and quirkytogether in Buenos Aires this May. The Quirky Sexy Tango Adventure is a unique opportunity to travel to gorgeous Buenos Aires and learn tango at its source. You also get to learn about tango as a metaphor for personal growth as a quirkyalone and quirkytogether.
I love bringing together my love for tango with the lessons that tango has to teach us for our personal growth and relationships, and I’m thrilled to do that with you in this 6-day adventure in late May!
This is for you if:
* you love the idea of going on an international adventure with fellow quirky lovers of life
* you love the idea of learning tango at the source, where you can FEEL the essence of tango, which is the embrace (tango is essentially a dance of hugging and walking)
The QuirkySexy Tango retreat will include:
* Tango instruction (you can be a total beginner)
* Workshops on quirkytogether and tango (how tango can help you to connect to yourself and another in a relationship)
* Outings to traditional, elegant milongas, and young, alternative milongas (milongas are where people dance tango)
The details are here, and registration will open very soon.
If you want in, put this on your calendar and sign up for this special mailing list. Space will be extremely limited and I’ll offer spaces first to the people on the special list.
P.S. I got the energy and inspiration to manifest this dream by using the tools that I teach in GetQuirky where I listen to the things that really call to me and give me the most energy in life. If you want to get in touch with *your* spark for 2014, and get support and a structure for accountability for making your dreams happen, then join us for the GetQuirky New Year’s Edition class starting next Monday January 13. It’s an online class so you can take it from anywhere.
For some extra fun, I’m adding a little contest. There will be a raffle and if you are part of this special New Year’s class, you get the chance win a FREE 1-hour coaching session with me. I will be drawing one lucky winner during the class kickoff Monday January 13. Click here to get the details and sign up.
P.P.S. Feel free to hit reply with questions about Tango Adventure or the GetQuirky online class.
Embracing your quirky self in essence means loving yourself. Today I’m continuing to share with you practices that I have found to be the most transformative for this elusive thing called self-love. In the first blog post in the series How to Start Actually Loving Yourself, I shared with you how to write a love letter to yourself. And now I am sharing with you one of my favorite practices: Milagrows.
Milagrows is a practice that I teach in my GetQuirky class. I’ve adapted this practice from a wonderful little book called Make Miracles in Forty Days: Turning What You Have Into What You Want by Melodie Beattie. I have found this practice to be enormously helpful in cultivating a quirky shine. This practice is not for the faint-hearted. It will require some courage from you, but trust me, this is a journey worth taking. There is a lot of light in our darkness if we are willing to go into the muck.
Here is what I share in the class. Try this on for size in your life, and let me know how it goes in the comments. . .
Today I want to share with you a daily practice that has helped me to accept myself and the quirkyness of my life. Slowly. Gradually.
This is a deceptively simple practice. It’s not an overnight quick fix. It’s something that can become part of the fabric of your life and help you to become intimate with yourself and accept yourself, every last nook and cranny of you.Read More
Here’s a new word for you. “Mansplain.” According to Urban Dictionary, “Mainsplain” means “delighting in condescending, inaccurate explanations delivered with rock solid confidence of rightness and that slimy certainty that of course he is right, because he is the man in this conversation.” (I must thank a man, my friend Matt, for tipping me off to this word. Not all men are mansplainers, of course.)
Matt told me about “mansplaining” after I showed him this video. I was on a panel on sex and dating at Litquake Palo Alto. Usually panel discussions are collegial and tame. This one was filled with sparks of debate. The man doing the mansplaining was sex and family therapist Marty Klein, author of Sexual Intelligence: What We Really Want From Sex, And How to Get It, among others. The topic was whether there is a taboo on women expressing their sexual desire, actually talking about enjoying sex.
My new book is about how I found my power through sensuality through my travels in South America and then back in San Francisco, when my eyes were fresh. It’s a “quirkysensual” journey. As I write this book, I find myself feeling how edgy it is to write about sex. I said on the panel, and you can watch in the clip, “There’s a taboo not only about women writing about sex but women having sexual desire. We have this idea in our culture that men like sex, and that women do it to please their men, or that they would rather be on Facebook. There’s something that feels edgy about being a woman and talking about enjoying sex.”
At this point, Marty jumps in to tell me and the almost all female-audience, “I’m sorry, that idea went out about 1957.” (He never explained why 1957, I’m guessing he was referring to Masters and Johnson’s pioneering research on the human sexual response.) He continued by saying, “Some women are still fighting a battle that doesn’t exist out in the real world nearly as it exists inside of them. That’s not to say there’s no discrimination out there or no retro ideals. . .”
“If you look at most porn, most porn shows women with big smiles on their faces.” Hmmmmm. . . As if smiles on women’s faces in porn is evidence that most porn depicts authentic female desire and sexuality?Read More
The Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh has written, “When we walk like we are rushing, we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth‚Äö√Ñ¬∂ Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”
Yes! How we walk and inhabit our bodies deeply affects our psychological state. Even our ability to be quirky–to be free and fully express ourselves like little kids do, with no reservations.
In our busy world, it is so easy for the tensions of the psyche to get stored in the body. When you are more free in your body, you are also more free in your spirit. This is why we start off my GetQuirky class by discovering and practicing our “quirkywiggles” (our own personal dance for infusing ourselves with a light self-accepting joyful quirky spirit).
time to love yourself up
Everyone talks about loving yourself. But actually, truly loving yourself is a pretty big deal. And it takes practice. So today I am challenging you to write a love letter to yourself. Yes, you! The one who is reading this blog post, you!
To help, I’m sharing with you an exercise that we do in both of my quirkycourses: GetQuirky and Quirkytogether 101. This is part one. In a future post, I’ll share another practice that I have found that works to cultivate self-love.
Why? We live in a world where self-criticism is a way of life, constant background noise in our minds. We spend so much more time thinking about things to fix about ourselves. In a world filled with self-help, where does this endless quest to be better ever end?
We rarely stop to celebrate ourselves as the incredible creatures we are.
It’s an inside job.
We may think the salvation lies in finding just the right person to love us. We dream of a great romantic relationship, or when we are already in one, we dream of feeling totally accepted and adored. Of being seen and loved just for who we are.
If we dream of that but never give it to ourselves, it just won’t work. Every relationship unravels if we don’t truly stand for our own value. We just can’t expect that someone to do that for us.
Although people help us to see ourselves by loving and appreciating us, no one else can give us our value. It’s an impossible job for someone else to do that–because it’s an inside job.
Consider this: Every day, we are training other people about how to treat us. If we show up habitually putting ourselves down, we are training other people to devalue us. When we show up knowing our value, we train people to treat us as valuable too.Read More
I’ve been getting great questions from my readers as I start talking more about being quirkytogether. Questions open up a chance for dialogue and dialogue always helps us to learn more. If you have questions, bring them on!
they’re not lovers, they’re quirkytogethers, from my book Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics
Here are couple of great questions that have come in about the Quirkytogether 101 course.
Leslie shares: “I was very excited when I heard about your book Quirkyalone. I felt for the first time that being quirky AND alone (which is my preferred state) is okay. I am 67, attractive, busy, and fortunately healthy. I married in 1970 and divorced in 1976. I have had many long-term relationships over the years and found them all a struggle. I revel in being alone and feel stronger because of it. I am a mother of two, and grandmother of two. That being said, I am saddened by your recent turn toward Quirkytogether. I was hoping for more discussion re being alone and truly happy that way.
Perhaps things have happened in your own personal life which have changed your focus. And that is wonderful if that is working for you. I wish I had gotten to know you sooner when you were truly Quirkyalone.”
Sasha responds: Thanks for sharing your story with me. Let me be clear. I’m still truly quirkyalone! Whether I’m single or partnered, I consider myself quirkyalone. Quirkyalone stands for freedom for all of us to create the lives that most suit us. The essence of quirkyalone is that you don’t date simply out of social obligation or convention. The quirkyalone movement has always stood up to say that our experience can be rich when we are single or coupled.Read More
Today is the official day to celebration singledom in Brazil. Feliz Dia dos Solteiros! I found out when a Brazilian Facebook friend posted a photo of himself cooking alone and called it his “Feliz Dia dos Solteiros” photo! I spent six months of 2010 in Brazil and can testify that there is a growing consciousness among young men and women who prefer to be single rather than settle for a lackluster (or untrustworthy) relationship. Brazilians are also driven by passion and that fits with the quirkyalone penchant for passionate relationships. My book Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics was released in Brazil. Here is the Brazilian quirkyalone twitter account which has inspirational tidbits from my book Quirkyalone in Portuguese. Love.
My Portuguese language teachers, me, and my fellow student, enjoying our very own SoSingular
My friend Laura informed me that South Korea has a National Singles Day too on June 14. Single people get together on “Black Day” to eat noodles with black bean sauce.
Note: This piece also appeared on the Huffington Post.
Two weeks ago, on a Friday night around midnight, I was loitering on the sidewalk outside a San Francisco bar with two friends, about to head home but not quite ready to call it a night. A guy standing nearby on the sidewalk told us that that our red, green, and blue jackets, respectively, made us look like the lightbeams that create a color spectrum on television sets and computers. It’s hard to imagine a geekier pick-up line than “You look like RGB!” But that’s what passes for flirtation in 2009 San Francisco in the (waning?) era of web 2.0. He wanted to take a picture of us and upload it to Flickr.
As a writer who also works a product manager in social media, I know the web 2.0 type.
I quickly realized that this web 2.0 boy was part of the Twitter cult, or, as they call themselves, the Twitterati.
The Twitterati are in full effect in San Francisco, Brooklyn, Austin, Portland, and Seattle, where members live their lives as performance art. They exist, therefore they tweet.
Whenever they watch a sunset, eat something delicious, or feel disappointed by a product, they tap out a message on their phones or laptops. Some of them tweet a few times a day, some as many as ten. Or they twitpic, uploading photos. They also seem to believe Twitter is going to revolutionize our lives.
I was looking for a bit more excitement to cap off my evening, and now I had found it. My friends went home and web 2.0 and I hung out on the sidewalk for another hour. First we talked about where we live and what we do, but then, about Twitter! His unself-conscious fervor fascinated me. I played anthropologist, listening to him gush about how Twitter was ushering in a new era of connection that we so desperately needed after the Bush era of fear and division.