Staff Obsessions: Where To Eat On Broadway

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Oh Broadway. It’s packed with hip and trendy boutiques, new condos, great restaurants and bars and a bunch of other spots you undoubtably have to check out. The unending allure of Broadway in Seattle’s trendy Capitol Hill has since been highlighted and, arguably, enhanced by the newly-finished light rail system. So if there was ever a time to go ahead and venture over to Broadway street, it’s now. It’s easily Seattle’s most iconic street, so instead of heading straight to Pike/ Pine, check out some of the below spots on Broadway first!

Lionhead 

The dishes range from steaming bowls of buckwheat noodles to steamed buns filled with braised beef tendon, and Ma Po Doufu, a pork stew, and tofu, which means there is something for everyone to enjoy ☺ This is a Sichaun spot that Jerry Traunfeld opened right next door to Poppy. If you don’t know about Jerry, you must…

Poppy

Jerry Traunfeld is known as chef at the amazing Herbfarm in Woodinville, where he has made an art of Indian-inspired dishes using Northwest ingredients. Stop by this sweet staffed, enthusiastically colored restaurant and try one of the daily Thalis (for less than $30, will get you a half-dozen constantly changing delicacies as well as the best naan, oven-baked flatbread, in the city)!

Ha Na

Try this spot if you are craving a great fish spot with fresh sushi. It is almost always full of locals who appreciate that it’s a little cheaper than Cap Hill’s other raw seafood joints. It’s also a favorite for locals since it has been posted up in the unique Broadway Alley building forever, it includes a little piece of Seattle history as well.

Dilettante Mocha Café

Try it for a sweet treat, this cafe features a newer version of the local chocolate producer’s flagship location (which was on Broadway from 1975-2008). It features the same delicious mochas and desserts as the older places, but has added a full menu as well as a sleek martini bar, which includes a Mexican chocolate drink, hazelnut espresso, and also a version infused with cayenne pepper.

Happy exploring and, as always, happy dating!

-Your It’s Just Lunch Seattle Matchmaker,

Taylor Name

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Dating Tip Tuesday: What You Absolutely Should Never Say On A First Date

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We’re all about communication, honesty and a willingness to be boldly transparent when you’re on a date. After all, how are you going to build a potentially long-lasting relationship with someone, if you have your figurative walls up? Being open with someone – and being willing to share certain aspects of yourself, your life, your goals, your possible future – is a pivotal part of the dating process.

However, there are some things you absolutely just shouldn’t say on a first date. Even if they’re true; even if they’re completely accurate and you would be 100% forthright in your confession; there are just some things that are either A) better left unsaid, or B) Never said at all.

So, with that in mind, here are just a few things that you should never, absolutely ever, say on a first date:

“I just finished cyber-stalking my ex.”

Just, don’t. Don’t. Even if you’re still having a difficult time completely letting go of your ex-husband/wife/significant other/lover/whoever, don’t admit to it. Don’t let your date know that while they’re going on about their favorite movies, you’re thinking about what your ex is doing and who they’re doing it with. Does it take time to get over a relationship? Of course, sometimes it really does and sometimes it is completely warranted. Just, you know, put on a brave face and don’t admit to it on a first date.

“I’m finished with my antibiotics in about 2-3 days.”

If the antibiotics are for a serious cold, you shouldn’t be on a date in the first place! If the antibiotics are for a sexually transmitted disease, well hey, stuff happens and we’re so very glad that you’re being safe and treating your symptoms and yes, talking about safe sex and disclosing any potential issues with a future partner is vital; but not on a first date. Not unless, of course, you plan on having sex on a first date. But if you aren’t and your “issue” is going to be cleared up in a few days, there’s honestly no point. Keep your burning loins, to yourself.

“My period is almost over.”

Again, periods aren’t “gross” and there’s no reason any woman should feel ashamed of a very natural bodily function, but there are some natural bodily functions that just don’t need to be discussed on a first date, at the dinner table while cocktails are being consumed and appetizers are being served.

“I slept with our server. I hope that’s not weird.”

There’s honestly just no reason to be divulging you sexual past to someone on a first date. They shouldn’t be asking, and you really don’t need to be willingly telling. A) that’s no one’s business and B) we can’t tell you that going down the list of past sexual encounters makes for great first date conversation.

We definitely encourage an open line of communication between you and your date, and that is best established through honesty and a willingness to open up and share. Just, you know, don’t open up and share too much.

Happy Dating!

-Your It’s Just Lunch Matchmakers,

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Feedback Friday

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Today’s Feedback Friday is from an IJL Seattle male client who just had his first date. He was a little hesitant going in about what to expect, but this is what he had to say afterwards:

“She was very nice and cool, good personality, gorgeous girl, smart and easy conversation. The time flew and we exchanged numbers at the end. I already asked her out again and we’re planning to get together next week. You guys did really well!”

-IJL male client, 47 

Trusting us with your dating life can be a big leap of faith, but you’ll never know unless you jump in with both feet – the journey is what makes the end result worth it!

Happy Dating!

-Your It’s Just Lunch Seattle Matchmaker,

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Dating Tip Tuesday: How To Turn A First Date, Into A Second

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The only thing better than a first date, is a second one. However, turning a first date into a second date can, at times, be difficult. Connection aren’t always mutual, schedules don’t always synch and some people just aren’t as well intentioned as others. However, if you’ve just had an amazing first date and you’re adamant about seeing that potentially special someone again, here are three easy ways you can turn that first date, into date number two.

Follow Up Like A Boss

Don’t be afraid to be the first to reach out. There’s no reason why you should adhere to an aging social standard that says the man should be the one to call, and you definitely don’t need to follow some fictitious rule like “wait three days”. If you like them and want to see them again, let them know! It’s honestly that simple.

Call, Don’t Text

We understand that technology has dictated how we interact with one another, but a call is more meaningful than a text message. It just, well, is. If you feel uncomfortable calling, we understand and maybe, for you, text messaging is the way to go. But if you think you can stomach an actual phone call, do it. The fact that you made the time to speak into a phone and hear their voice on the other end, won’t go unnoticed.

Be Flexible 

If you want to see someone again, then you need to make it a priority. Securing a second date is the start of compromise; the very compromise you would have to uphold when in a long-term relationship. So don’t be surprised if seeing your date again would mean moving your schedule around or pulling an all-nighter one day a week for work. When you’re beginning to engage in a relationship, it’s important to remember that you’re not the only one involved.

At the end of the day, how your first date is going to dictate whether or not it turns into a second, but there are things you can do after your date is over to help ensure that you see that person again. It’s all about continuously engaging, being honest, and having the courage to put yourself out there.

Happy Dating!

-Your It’s Just Lunch Seattle Matchmakers,

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itsjustlunchseattle.com

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Dating Tip Tuesday: How To Date When You’re A Parent

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Dating is hard for everyone, but it can be especially hard for a single parent. You’re decision, who you associate yourself with and who you decide to be romantically involved with affect more than just yourself, and the weight of your decisions is substantially heavier when children are involved.

But just because you’re a parent, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the same love, romance and prospects as anyone else. Which is why, when you’re a single parent, you’re still entitled to a romantic life. The balance may be difficult to find, but here are a few ways to make dating when you’re a parent, easier.

Be Honest, Upfront And Always 

Having a child isn’t a piece of information you should ever feel like you should hide, and it most certainly help your dating life to avoid talking about your life in an organic and honest way. Be upfront about your situation; let your date know that yes, you’re a parent and yes, you’re up for (insert: whatever it is you’re up for). Communication is key when it comes to dating, for anyone, but especially when you’re a parent.

Take The Time To Self-Examinate 

It might be uncomfortable or awkward or even painful, but looking inward is key when you’re dating. Learn to be honest with yourself. Figure out what it is you’re looking for, want and need. You can’t be truthful with someone, if you’re not truthful with yourself, first.

Talk To Your Kids 

If your children are old enough to understand, be upfront and honest with them. There’s no reason to keep them in the dark as, well, let’s be honest: kids are smart. You don’t want your child to feel like you’re abandoning them, hurting them or putting them last on your list of important people, so be truthful about your intentions. Let them know that romance is important to everyone, and everyone definitely includes you.

Separate Your Dating Life From Your Parenting Life (For Now)

Being a parent means, more often than not, protecting your children. There’s no reason to involve your kid in your romantic conquests, until you feel like someone is in it for the long haul. We’re not saying that it’s healthy to lie to your kid, but we are saying that it’s healthy to protect your kid form a possible let down of what could turn into a revolving door or dating prospects. Don’t introduce your children to your date, until you are certain your date is going to stick around.

Find A Balance

Because you’re a parent, you’re incapable of investing all of who you are in one particular thing. Dating is just one facet of your complex life, so find a balance between being a parent, a coworker, a friend, and a date. You can put off a date to spend time with your kid; that’s completely warranted and healthy. And you can find someone to spend time with your kid, while you go on a date; that’s also completely healthy and warranted. Don’t let your guilt force you into putting too much time into one thing. Being a human is complicated and complex.

Dating is hard for everyone, but that definitely doesn’t mean it isn’t also worth it. For everyone. So whether you’re a single parent or just single, enjoy yourself, have fun and give yourself the opportunity to find the love of your life.

Happy Dating!

-Your It’s Just Lunch Seattle Matchmakers,

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itsjustlunchseattle.com

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Diary of a Dating Diva: 8 Ways To Create Your Own Dating Luck

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March makes me think of the upcoming Seattle Mariner’s season, the impending spring-time weather and, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. There’s nothing like a full 24 hours of celebratory drinking and the shameless belief in undeniable good luck.

But when it comes to dating, luck rarely (if ever) has anything to do with it. Yet, when a couple gets together, becomes engaged or says their vows in front of their friends and family, we’re quick to tell them that they’re lucky. “You two are so lucky you found one another.” “To the lucky, happy couple!” We all like to think that someone else is holding our dating cards and we’re just along for the ride. While it’s scary to think we don’t have any control, it’s also somewhat comforting to know that, hey, we don’t have to try that hard because someone else is pulling the strings.

But that’s just not true. In fact, the only luck anyone has when it comes to dating, is the luck they make themselves. We are in control of our futures, our potential relationships and our possible destinies. We’re the ones who can put ourselves in situations that provide us with the best chance of finding someone truly special.

So with that in mind, I’d like to spend some time this March not thinking about the luck of the Irish, but thinking about the dating luck we can all make ourselves. Here are just a few ways you can give yourself the best chance to find your forever someone.

Keep A Positive Mindset 

Easier said than done, I know, but the foundation of successful dating is a positive mindset. Not every date is going to be wonderful. Not every person you meet is going to knock your figurative socks off. The key is to continue to be optimistic. If you let the bad dates ruin the potential good dates, I can guarantee you that you’ll never have a good date again.

Don’t Stop Dating 

You know what they say; you can’t score if you’re not in the game. Sure, you can “take a break” from dating and sometimes (I would argue) that’s necessary, but at the end of the day, if you don’t get in the game you’re never going to be successful. The more you put yourself out there, the better your chances are.

Be Open Minded

We all have a list of “deal breakers” and perfect qualities that help us to pick out people we believe ourselves to be compatible with. But if we stick to those qualities religiously, we could end up losing an opportunity to meet someone who is actually wonderful. So if you have a “deal breaker” list that has more than five things on it, you should probably reevaluate. You’re never going to give yourself the best chance of finding someone special if you don’t give people the opportunity to get to know you (and you, them).

Practice Self-Love 

You can’t expect anyone to love you if you don’t first love yourself. While the future relationship you have with a romantic partner will be very important, the most important relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself. Be kind to yourself; take yourself for dinner every once in a while; celebrate your strengths and work on your weaknesses so you can be the best possible you, for you.

Just Be Yourself 

Your luck increases when you’re authentic, genuine and real. The more you pretend to be someone else (whether it’s a heightened version of yourself or someone you think your date will like) the greater the chance is that your date or potential relationship will flounder. The truth is, you’re fantastic just the way you are, and you deserve to find someone who will love you for you, not you for the person you pretend to be.

Set Boundaries 

It’s important that you set some personal boundaries as you begin dating. Whether it’s managing your time so that you’re not investing too much too fast or deciding when you will feel comfortable being intimate with someone; you should always feel empowered to make sure that you’re comfortable during the dating process.

Be Patient 

You’re not going to find true love in an hour and a half, like most romantic comedies would like you to believe. It takes time. I mean, there are billions upon billions of people on the planet, finding the one is going to be labor intensive. So while I know it’s hard to manage expectations and not rush through the dating process, be patient. Giving yourself time to simply enjoy the moments you will share on the dates you’ll go on will only add to your experiences.

Have Fun 

That’s the whole point, right? To have fun? If you’re not enjoying yourself, then you’re doing something wrong. And if you’re not enjoying yourself, I can guarantee you that your date isn’t enjoying themselves either. And most importantly, if you’re not enjoying yourself, you’re not putting your best foot forward and giving yourself the best opportunity to meet someone extraordinary. Don’t over think it. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just have fun!

Wishing on falling stars, cheering over pints of green beer and hoping the luck of the Irish will help your dating life out, is for the birds. We all make our own luck, and I know that you can make yours!

Until the next time I kiss and tell,

DatingDivaPonytail

The Seattle Dating Diva

Coaching Topic Of The Month: The Power Of Waiting

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One topic that comes up a lot with my clients is “playing the dating game.” What a lot of clients don’t like to hear is that as much as you don’t want dating to be a game, it is. There’s a reason why I tell men and women not to text back right away, or not to get too eager on a second date. Mystery is what keeps people interested, and there’s scientific research to back it up. I recently started reading Aziz Ansari’s book, Modern Romance (stay tuned for my exciting book review next month! Sneak peek: you should all read it).

Early on in the book, Aziz talks about “The Power Of Waiting.” An excerpt reads,

 Psychologists have conducted hundreds of studies in which they reward lab animals in different ways under different conditions. One of the most intriguing findings is that “reward uncertainty”— in which, for instance, animals cannot predict whether pushing a lever will get them food—can dramatically increase their interest in getting a reward, while also enhancing their dopamine levels so that they basically feel coked up.

He then goes on to use texting as an example,

If a text back from someone is considered a “reward,” consider the fact that lab animals who get rewarded for pushing a lever every time will eventually slow down because they know that the next time they want a reward, it will be waiting for them. So basically, if you are the guy or girl who texts back immediately, you are taken for granted and ultimately lower your value as a reward. As a result, the person doesn’t feel as much of an urge to text you or, in the case of the lab animal, push the lever.

What I love about this example is that it applies not just to texting, but creating mystery in the dating process in general. This is also why I tell clients to keep the first date brief. If you meet for 5 hours and learn everything about each other, the urge to follow-up and see each other again quickly is decreased. Women want to be pursued, but men want to feel like they are working towards a reward (a great relationship). Make the reward too available, and he may start looking for a bigger challenge, and therefore more satisfying reward. In the same sense, if you’re a guy showing up to her work unannounced with flowers and chocolates after only one date, you probably need to dial it back a bit.

From this we learn that dating is a fine-tuned dance: being available but not too available, showing interest but not throwing yourself at someone, opening up but not putting all your cards on the table right away. So keep this in mind the next time you decide to text someone you’re interested in 3 times in a row without a response back. Play the game right and the relationship will be worth the wait!

Happy Dating!

-Your It’s Just Lunch Seattle Matchmaker,

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