We all have our favorite drive-thru or take-out meal. A burger and fries can taste really good when you're out and about or in the airport rushing to get on a flight. It might even be a guilty pleasure that you go out of your way to devour. Sometimes when your stomach is growling out loud, you'll simply settle for what's readily available to satisfy your hunger.
How do you typically feel shortly after indulging your craving? Do you feel a little bloated? A little nauseated? Maybe you have some heartburn. Do you feel guilty and wish you had eaten something healthy instead? And have you noticed what happens to that scrumptious fast food when it cools off and isn't hot anymore? It's pretty nasty, isn't it?
Well, bad relationships are pretty much the same as junk food.
They usually start out with a hunger or craving for companionship,
but if this healthy craving escalates into loneliness and neediness
, such people tend to make bad choices
. They might just grab whoever's available or seek out a particular type that at first glance always appears appetizing. When it's hot, it's fabulous! It's exciting and fun--very enjoyable. But as the euphoria of the new relationship starts to wear off and the "can't get enough of you" passion cools down, what's left isn't exactly satisfying. Sometimes it's even harmful, and the long-term effects can be devastating. (Ever see Fast Food Nation
The difference between consuming actual
junk food and indulging in emotional
junk-food is that with food, at least you usually know what you're consuming isn't really good for you. With relationships it's not always as easy to tell it's not good for you until you've already digested a lot
of it. As a relationship coach, I see a lot of people who don't really know if their relationship is right
for them. I even see people who are in downright toxic relationships but don't know it, or refuse to acknowledge it. Many people think they know, or at least have an idea of, what they want in a relationship. But most people don't know what they don't
want in a relationship until they've experienced it and didn't like it. I think knowing what you don't want in a partner is more important. This book is intended to empower you with knowledge--to help you create virtual nutrition labels for potential partners and make healthier relationship choices.
My greatest hope is to prevent you from suffering through a long list of dysfunctional "been there done that" liaisons
to acquire knowledge, as I did. I always thought I was a great catch, and I hope you think you are a great catch as well. But if you're reading this book, your relationships probably aren't working out the way you want them to. They weren't working for me either, until I realized I needed to change some behavior. I was junk-food, and I learned that the hard way.
At age eighteen, my modeling agency got me an apartment in New York City. I was thrilled to be in the heart of America's biggest singles scene. I felt like a kid in a candy store! Parties, late night clubs, even in the dressing rooms of my modeling and acting bookings, I saw and heard a lot of dating tales and disasters. Personally, I was a serial monogamist
(always had a boyfriend); I didn't want to be alone.
But I never managed to make the right
choices. My friends and family were frequently concerned. When you're in love (or think you are), you don't want to listen to anything negative. You certainly can't hear
it. I made it through my twenties thinking I was doing okay. Then I turned thirty and had my heart broken for the first time. I was blindsided, actually, and I was having a hard time catching my breath. I was left questioning, "Why doesn't he want me anymore?" For the first time, I started to think, What's wrong with me?
A lot was wrong with me. Not just to suit any guy; negative behavior was affecting my life. It just took a guy to make me see that. I then had an epiphany: If I was ever going to have a healthy relationship
, I needed to learn exactly what one was. A girlfriend turned me on to self-help books, and I discovered knowledge was the only thing that made me feel better. I became a knowledge junkie. I enlisted the help of a great therapist and serendipitously began a new career.
After years of dating without becoming someone's exclusive girlfriend, pining over a man I couldn't have
(at least not full-time), starring in a reality show,
cohosting a talk show,
and writing a magazine column,
New York City started to call me "the real-life Carrie Bradshaw."
I have to admit that the title fit. I finally learned how to enjoy being alone
; and then I met a wonderful well-balanced meal. In 2006, I enrolled at New York University
to officially become a life coach. Clients frequently tell me I give them a unique perspective--a combination of practical hindsight, intelligence, and academic knowledge
. It's incredibly validating when they call to simply say, "You were right!" I can't help but think, "It's about time I got it right." Almost three decades later, I feel I have earned
the title of dating and relationship expert. My favorite part is helping people make better choices than I did.
As a teenage model whose only income came from what she looked like, I was obsessed with working out and trying to eat right. I'm from Philadelphia, and cheesesteaks and hoagies (which come on a twelve-inch Italian roll) were my favorite comfort food. It was a constant battle between enjoying what I ate or enjoying how I looked. At the same time, I was struggling with my relationships. I had no idea what boundaries
were, and looking back, I definitely had a few "What was I thinking?" relationships. If I had thought then to put a food value on men, I would have known exactly whom to indulge in and whom to throw away. That's how the idea for this book was born. Like attracts like; therefore, you are who you meet, just as you are what you eat.
I'm going to give you a detailed nutrition label for all the most common--and some obscure--behaviors and personality types so you can become a smart shopper. I intend to help you figure out what kind of situation you are currently in, what your personal deal-breakers should be
, and how to make your relationships better.
 Fast Food Nation is a 2006 American/British drama directed by Richard Linklater that examines the local and global influence of the US fast-food industry.
 Single in the City, 2002 WE Network USA, Bravo Canada, a.k.a. To Live and Date in New York 2002 Metro TV, New York, a.k.a. The Real Sex in the City 2002 Sky Broadcasting in thirteen countries. Produced by September Films out of London.
 Naked New York with Bob Berkowitz 2002-2003. 205 episodes. Metro TV, Cablevision, New York.
 New York Moves 2003-2004 Dish Relationship Column
 The lead character in HBO's Sex & the City, 1998-2004
 New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies 2006-2007, Personal and Life Coaching Certification