What makes someone your soul mate? Does it only apply to relationships, or can it apply to friendships as well? Maybe even someone in your family? And, lastly, does it indeed only have one, sole, individual meaning? I used to think the term “soul mate” was someone, anyone, who understood you like no one else could, and the same to you with them. If you were a puzzle, your soul mate would be the last piece, fitting perfectly into the middle to reveal a beautiful, collective picture.

We all have many different personalities. The one we use at the office with our co-workers. The one we have with our parents and friends, who know us better than anyone. The one we have when it is just us, alone, at home. And the one we have on our dates. Usually, our personalities shift a bit with each different circumstance, but we always stay true to ourselves. Or do we? When it comes to dating, should we be our real, true self on the first date?

 It is 2012 and it’s no surprise that everything we do is posted online. From the books we are currently reading, to the random thoughts we are thinking, to the songs we are loving, and even to the people we are dating. On social media sites such as Facebook, there is an option to display your relationship status, and on top of that, it lets you show who that person is. And why not? A person you are dating is a big part of your life, so why not share it with your closest 900 friends? 

I am Ah, my friends, it is that time of year again. The time where we spend our Saturday nights making festive cookies, blaring “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” on repeat and drinking spiked (soy) egg nog. No? Just me? Okay. The one thing missing from this equation is a significant other to eat those delicious cookies, someone to sing and dance along to the songs on the Holiday Pandora station, and a guy to get drunk with.

The seasons are changing, and so should we! People always use New Year’s as the mark of starting over, beginning a new chapter, or making a few, sometimes necessary, adjustments. But why wait until January when we can start over right now? There shouldn’t be an exact date when we ought to reevaluate what’s missing or what needs improvement. We should emulate the leaves we see outside and allow ourselves to change.

 It seems that every time I go to my mailbox, I have a new wedding invitation. Whether it be from close friends, cousins, co-workers, or my mother’s best friend, wedding invites are ubiquitous in my life right now. I am 25 years old, and apparently this is only the beginning. Already in 2012, I have been invited to five weddings and asked to be part of the wedding party in three. I’m exhausted just thinking about that.

New York City. The concrete jungle. The city that never sleeps. The city filled with museums, culture, art, and a beautiful park, all crammed on a tiny little island. For those of us that live within the five boroughs of Manhattan, we are every day entertained with the excitement of being able to live in a city that, just like its name states, is all about the new. New restaurants, new bars, and new shops are opening up so fast, that we cannot even keep track.

Remember when we were children and our parents would console us over being pushed on the playground or teased by a classmate? They would always give that same, stale answer: “They are only doing it because the like you.” Well, now that we are grown up, have things really changed? Or are we still teasing the ones we like?

 When it comes to dating, especially in those beginning stages, we all try our best to trick or deceive the person we are courting. Whether it be fibbing about our actual jobs or telling a little white lie about the year we spent in prison, it’s pretty natural to exaggerate or mislead others to make us appear someone they really want to date.

Now, I know you are thinking: “Why in the hell would I take dating advice from this guy? He can’t even get a second date!” Well, while that may be true, I have some advice to offer regarding first date etiquette that will be sure to land you a second and a third. Basically,  it’s the exact opposite of what I normally do. And maybe, by writing this post, I will teach myself a thing or two as well.