Amy was completely shocked by Lewis' behavior on their date.

Going out on a first date is easy. You can go out on 20 first dates and pretend, “OK, I’m putting myself out there,” and never fully commit to opening yourself up. First date, smirst date. It’s the third and fourth and fifth dates that are most impressive; it takes moxy to show you’re brave enough to find true love. You have to take a risk to put yourself out there, knowing that you may very well get rejected by someone. Otherwise, don’t complain that you’re the serial dater who never gets a meaningful relationship but goes out on a bunch of first dates until you’re 50 and you’ve never been married. There’s nothing that brave about a first date. Talk to me after the third. That’s when things start getting interesting.

Commitment-phobes and control freaks, hear me now. You MUST come to peace with showing a little vulnerability at some point or you WILL NOT find true love. Sorry, folks, there’s no way around it, even if you think you are clever enough to pull it off. Believe me, I’ve tried. I know how uncomfortably terrifying it is to open yourself up to someone and not be in control of whether that person might hurt you. It’s a chance all of us have to take, but my message is clear: we can still accomplish this, without handing over our full hearts and risking our self-esteem to someone we just met. You’ve got to have a strong enough self-esteem before you start dating. From there, it’s all about setting the pace, trusting yourself, and enjoying the possibilities that are in front of you. Then you are in control. So stop trying to control everything else. You can’t, and in the end, who the hell wants to? Is that any fun? So some of you are nodding and probably at the same time baffled as to why I would have been so insecure during my salsa date with Lewis as to bring up his not being in touch with me after our first date. I wasn’t exactly clear-headed, and I needed “Matchmaker Amy” by my side, since this time it was MY heart involved. Regardless, I am pretty proud of myself for being able to recover and move past it with Lewis, which led to a great night. In fact, it led to two great kisses by the end of the date!

When I got home, for the first time I realized that if I want a chance to be happy, I cannot freak out. I have to remain calm, secure, and open to the possibility of something with Lewis in order not to screw it up again. I obviously got a second chance with him, so I was determined to change my attitude and go into our third date looking forward to our finally getting a chance to be ourselves. Instead, I was completely blindsided.

After our kiss goodnight, I thought that things were moving along fine. As soon as I walk into the diner, I noticed that Lewis is being a bit cold, somewhat distant, and acting nervous. He had teased me about being “stiff” the other evening, and how I need to open up and “get out of my comfort zone.” Now here I am, looking forward to a great date and suddenly it’s Lewis who is acting distant and stiff.

My heart was sinking. It became evident in the first five minutes that he was planning on a confrontation, to pick at my faults and criticize everything I had done wrong at salsa. What happened to the guy who walked me to my door, spun me around for one last twirl, and kissed me good night before I walked upstairs? Is this really happening?

The moment I finally mustered up the courage to admit when I’m wrong and open my heart up to this guy is when he decides to completely shut me down? I can’t tell you how painful it was sitting at the table with him. The knots I had in my stomach. Lewis certainly didn’t seem like he was planning to let up. It just felt cruel and not the same guy who had danced the night away with me the date before, who had been so forgivingly sweet for my stupid remark. I don’t know who that person was, but it hurt me in a way I have not felt in a long time. I had to just leave, I couldn’t take sitting there in front of him. I felt belittled, embarrassed, and hurt, and I just didn’t know what else to do at that moment. It was one of the worst nights I’ve had in a long time. I couldn’t have in my wildest dreams guessed my third date with Lewis would end up like this.However, I’m starting to realize the same advice I give clients is exactly how I need to coach myself -- especially in this instance. Somehow I have to be able to transfer what I know to myself, to heed the advice I give to others. It’s unfamiliar territory, looking at my own dating life rather than my clients’. It’s not as easy to maneuver as I had originally expected.

Like hell I’m going to let Lewis or this pain stop me now! I must get back up on my feet, and show my clients I can do the very same thing I would force them to do. I have to dust myself off and somehow get back up -- even though there is a deep pain, and a part of me that wants to say, “Screw this,” go back to working non-stop, and ditch this dating thing all together.

The temptation to do that is terribly strong right now. But I know in my heart, I can’t give up. I’m NOT a quitter. I tell my clients constantly that they deserve true love, but that they’re going to have to work to find it. I’m learning the hard way that the same is true for me.
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Breakdown Breakthrough

Julia Allison think Andrew did the right thing being honest with her.

Well, hello there! Welcome to the penultimate episode of this first season of Miss Advised. Only one week left until the finale in which... Oh, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? This episode finds us back at my house in Marina del Rey surrounded by my ELLE editor (Keith) and a lovely ELLE photographer who can’t stop laughing at my ridiculous bedroom/closet/home/life. Sigh.

Photo shoots with new photographers make me self-conscious as it is, but to have one conducted by ELLE (in my own home, which tends to veer toward the eccentric) was beyond nerve-wracking. My mother was in town at the time, and I felt like she wouldn’t be thrilled with the concept of a photoshoot (She thinks they are “frivolous” and “self-indulgent” -- even though the shoot was my editor Keith’s idea). My nerves stemmed from that, along with anxiety thanks to a confluence of stresses, most notably my blocked writing. So much so that I was breaking out and stress eating. Not exactly what you want prior to a photo shoot.

Plus, Keith sort of...rolled his eyes at my closet. It’s not often you have your boss in your closet, but when you do, you definitely don’t want him to react like that. Especially if he works at a prominent fashion magazine. You start wondering if you just aren’t cool enough to exist, let alone write for said magazine. In a misguided attempt at "cool," the first outfit I tried on for the photo-shoot was this Rachel Zoe maxi skirt in blue (not pink!), which I paired with a simple white tee. It was a look that felt a lot more hip than I actually am. Ironically dressing that way made me uncomfortable. It just didn’t feel ME. But when I put on a vintage pink dress and sat (upon Keith’s request) in a pile of pink tulle on my bed, tiara in my hair, somehow I felt like myself again.

My editor chastised me about my taste (both in fashion and in home decor), but at the end of the day, I sleep in my bedroom every night, and I have to live with myself. Keith doesn’t! I figure it’s more important I like my own space than if anyone else does. Besides, it’s a great litmus test. If something as silly as a pink bedroom or a proclivity toward occasionally wearing frothy dresses scares a guy away, then I’m not convinced he was worth the trouble in the first place!I hope every woman realizes this: you don’t have to smooth away all your “eccentric” personality traits to find the right man. If he’s right for you, he’ll love you FOR those eccentricities, as long as you’re not counting “being a total bitch” amongst them.

As for the writer’s block I discussed with Keith: I DID eventually get through it, although it took some serious work with therapists regarding my anxiety and self-esteem issues. So far, I’ve published seven columns on (it will be eight by the end of the Guinea Pig of Love series, next week) each written at 2,000 words (they ended up getting edited down to 1,000 or so). You can read them all here. For someone who has been as tortured by writing as I have recently, getting through these is a victory for me. I know it could always come back, but at least I’ve won the battle. Next up: trying to win the war!

Ah, and now for the slightly more depressing portion of this episode -- my ill-advised (if you will) trip to San Francisco to see Mister Andrew. So, about Andrew. Sigh. I don’t know where to begin, but suffice it to say that although it seemed that trip was fast, it really wasn’t. Since the first “PROMMM!” date, we had spent time together, including weekend trips. We talked frequently on the phone and sent zillions of texts and emails. He played me music on his guitar and cooked dinner. I had met his friends and he had met mine. It was time to have that talk. You know, the dreaded “where is this going?” talk. I’m not a huge fan of those talks, but things were getting (as Andrew put it during that conversation) “to that depth” where we needed to discuss it. But Andrew did me a favor, and as much as it hurt at the time, for that I thank him. He didn’t feel that he could fall in love with me, and while that wasn’t what I wanted to hear then, it certainly was the right thing for him to say, because it was true. What if he had led me on, allowing me to develop deeper and deeper feelings that he didn’t reciprocate? That would have been brutal and kept me from being able to heal and move on to find someone who COULD fall in love with me. Andrew is a good man, and he couldn’t do that.

I cried quite a bit when Andrew broke up with me. (Oh, let’s be honest, when Andrew dumped me.) But it wasn’t just over Andrew. I started crying over Andrew and segued into crying over every guy who had EVER dumped me, and then from there into every relationship that hadn’t worked out, and from THERE into a future filled with men who would dump me and relationships that wouldn’t work out. It was quite a cry I had, and poor Andrew sat there rubbing my back, wondering what the hell was going on. Had he accidentally killed my puppy? No, I explained to him later. This is simply how women grieve (some women...sometimes). We stack all of these terrible things on top of one another, one after the other after the other, until it feels like our romantic lives are doomed, like we won’t ever succeed, like we won’t ever be loved. It was as if everything I’ve ever feared I looked at and felt completely and totally throughout my body. I grieved for every end I’ve ever had.

And here’s the strange part -- after I sobbed for about half an hour (and drunk half a bottle of champagne), I felt inexplicably better. Like I had gotten it out of my system. It wasn’t pleasant, but it was certainly cathartic. I had been holding in so much pain, so much fear, so much disappointment and regret over my love life, and Andrew was pretty much the last straw to a mini-breakdown. A breakdown I needed to have, as it turns out, to have a breakthrough.What breakthrough, you ask?

Oh, about that. Well, you’ll just have to wait until the season finale for that!

P.S. That slap? That was just a joke. Even in moments of sadness and disappointment we can (and should) laugh.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND ME ONLINE (if you want to read more!)

Me: @JuliaAllison / / / email me!


My roommate, JP: @JuliaPriceMusic / / /

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