white envelope with red paper heart

Open Letter to the Single Population

While I do date and I’ve tried dating apps, I’ve been single for over a decade. I’ve always found it odd how much people dread being single. I pity the lengths some will go to ensure they are only single for as little time possible; sometimes, even overlapping their old and new romantic interests. I know that there are good potential partners that I haven’t met just yet. But until I do meet them, I personally refuse to act desperate and settle for unsatisfactory relationships and even worse, the occasional casual hookup. Because I’m worth more than that, and you are too.

Earlier this month in Miami, I was approached by an endless number of desperate men. It was already 3 am, and La Sandwicherie was walking distance from my Airbnb in Wynwood. It was also the only place open. I was starving after dancing with my friends all night, ready to devour my sandwich; only to be interrupted by an endless parade of men trying to hook up with me.

“How’s your sandwich?”

“What brings you to Miami?”

“Where are you from?”

“How long are you here for?”

“What are you doing after this?”

“Can I take you home?”

Asking them to politely leave me alone to let me eat my sandwich did not stop their advances. Not answering their questions while attempting to eat did not stop them either. While I intended to eat at least half of my sandwich before heading home, I eventually wrapped my sandwich up only a few bites in. Then I was approached by two more men while trying to escape, hangrily wishing I could have just ate my sandwich in peace.

Stop trying so hard!

The truth is that the harder you try… the further you will push the object of your affection away. It’s easy to sense desperation, and it’s not attractive.

You shouldn’t need to force someone to speak to you. You shouldn’t have to force someone to date you. If their attention is elsewhere, wait for a more opportune moment. And if they don’t return your affection or interest at all, let it be. My most recent experience being badgered was in person, but if you find yourself being ghosted via email, text, social media, or voicemails, swallow your ego and pride. Act with dignity and respect for yourself, because you deserve better.

If you find yourself needing to lie, manipulate, play games, or seduce someone in order to get them, do yourself a favor and stop. No one should have to overexert themselves, pursuing someone who does not want to be pursued. And if you somehow manage to “convince” them of your worth, how long do you honestly think you can keep up a disingenuous charade?

Treat others and yourself with respect. Approach others how you would want to be approached. The only people that will respond positively to desperate actions are people who are truly desperate for affection themselves.

XO Denise

brown sand love text on seashore

Love and Loyalty

I believe that love and loyalty go hand in hand. Even in my worst relationships, I always remain loyal to my partner. I fully commit to every choice I make in life, and I accept the rewards and consequences accordingly, because to me… love is loyalty.

Your Love Will Be Tested

When I was in college, a guy approached me during class in the middle of a lecture. It was a large auditorium, and I was sitting at the end of the aisle. While my professor was actively speaking and teaching our class, this guy came up to me, sat on his skateboard, and asked me for my number.

I was completely taken aback, and responded in a hushed tone, “I’m sorry, but I have a boyfriend.” I then refocused and continued taking notes. To which he interjected saying “So what? You can’t have friends?” To which I replied, “I’m flattered that you want to get to know me, but my answer is still no.” He then scoffed and angrily left class early.

This was the first of many situations that I’d find myself in where I had to decide between an exciting new prospect and my current partner. Before the rise of social media, it was rejecting guys face to face. But now, it’s ignoring messages from the guys who slide into my DMs.

When I’m in a relationship, I’m all in. I fully commit and respect my partner, because that’s what I would want him to do for me. Of course there will eventually  be other men who approach me that I find attractive, but my morals and innate sense of right and wrong, prevent me from even approaching the thought of getting close to other men.

You Can Learn From Betrayal

Unfortunately, while I was rejecting every guy that asked for my number, this past boyfriend ended up cheating on me with a girl at the gym he worked at. But the outcome of this story is not what I want you to take away from this story. Any man who doesn’t respect your boundaries and decisions isn’t worth having in your life. If a man asks for your number, but respects that you have a boyfriend and walks away, recognize that is a man with integrity. If fate brings you back together one day when you’re both single, go for it.

We are all the main character in our own story. We all have different romantic interests, supporting characters, and villains, but the common denominator is that we’re doing the best we can to make the best decisions for ourselves. I honestly hope that the guys I’ve rejected in the past reflected on their own actions and learned how to approach women differently in the future.

No matter what type of character I play in another person’s story. I hope to always be empathetic, honest, and loyal. Because that’s the type of love I want encompassing my happy ending.

XO Denise

happy valentine s day text

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

With Valentine’s Day around the corner and not being able to write any new blogs last month, I decided to be kind to myself and do a simple Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for today. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, I support spending Valentine’s Day giving love to every important person in your life. Every year, during the week of Valentine’s Day, I spend time with and give gifts to all of my loved ones. To be clear, this is not your average “Valentine’s Day Gift Guide”. Today, I’m going to be sharing ideas that encompass all five love languages.

The Five Love Languages

In February 2021, I wrote about the Five Love Languages. Before getting into Valentine’s Day “gifts”, I want to express the importance of catering to the love languages of your loved ones. Remember that gifts are not for everyone. Personally, my parents don’t like gifts. My Mom prefers spending quality time together and my Dad expresses love through action. With this in mind, my siblings and I always visit our parents for family dinner every other week, which my mom loves and appreciates. Before dinner, I always help my Dad in the kitchen as his sous chef, which he loves and appreciates as well. Before thinking that you have to spend a ton of money wining and dining your loved ones and showering them with extravagant presents, recognize that they may prefer receiving love in other ways.

Acts of Service

People whose primary love language is acts of service appreciate it when you take chores off their plate, so think of all the little and big ways you can make their life easier on Valentine’s Day.

  • Prepare a home-cooked meal.

I love when my loved ones cook for me. Whether it’s a quick breakfast, making me a sandwich for lunch, or a fancy three course meal, it melts my heart. If you’re not very handy in the kitchen, try a box service like Hello Fresh. It comes with all the ingredients you need, straight to your door.

  • Car Maintenance

I personally dread doing routine car maintenance. This is why I specifically set a monthly calendar event to ensure I put gas in my car, check my tire pressure, and get my car washed and detailed as needed. I would absolutely love it if someone took these mundane tasks off my to-do list!

Physical Touch

People whose primary love language is physical touch want to be intimate. But don’t jump the gun and head straight to the bedroom with sex toys and lingerie! There are plenty of other ways to enjoy the loving touch of your partner.

  • Massage

Even if you already give your partner massages regularly, there are plenty of ways to make it extra special for Valentine’s Day. Make an at-home spa experience for them with lemon lavender scented candles and massage oil for relaxation. You can even look up YouTube video tutorials to give you new massage tips.

  • Coupon Book

Coupon books may fall on the cheesy end of the Valentine’s Day spectrum, but if you are not someone whose primary love language is physical touch, giving a coupon book will help. Giving your partner a coupon book filled with coupons good for back rubs, head scratches, foot massages, etc. can help your partner speak up about when they feel deprived of physical intimacy without the added pressure of making you feel guilty, as though you’re not already doing enough.

Quality Time

I love private, uninterrupted time with my loved ones.  Especially when day-to-day life starts to interfere with your date nights, it’s fun to take the necessary time to reconnect with your partner.

  • Turn off your devices and have a movie night at home.

It’s easy to get caught up with documenting every moment of your life on social media, but it’s more important to disconnect from screens. Pick a movie together, grab your favorite takeout and snacks, and cuddle on the couch. Talk about the movie, laugh, and just enjoy each other’s company.

  • Redo your first date.

To bring back that initial spark and excitement when you first started dating, reenact your first date together. Go to the same bar, eat the same food, watch the same movie. And if your first date went horribly wrong, but you’re somehow still together, use Valentine’s Day to rewrite history. Make the impact and memory of your second, first date replace what could have been done better the first time.

Words of Affirmation

Some people love to hear words that make them feel loved and appreciated. With words of affirmation, their doubts of your love are quickly put to rest.

  • Write down everything you love about your partner and give the words to them.

You can pick out a meaningful blank card and write them a heartfelt love letter, or you can write the kind words on pink post-its and arrange them in the shape of a heart.


Gifts are usually the most expected on Valentine’s Day, but try to choose something beyond the typical candy, flowers, and stuffed animals. Choose something personal that shows you’re giving from the heart.

  • Favorite Snacks

For anyone that doesn’t enjoy candy, dessert, or sweets, consider buying their favorite snacks. One year for Valentine’s Day, I bought my boyfriend his favorite chocolate peanut butter snacks: a box of Nutty Buddy bars and Bugles.

  • meUndies

If your partner isn’t into sexy lingerie, try meUndies! (You get 20% OFF your 1st order!) Right before the peak of the pandemic, my boyfriend bought me a meUndies modal tank in Cabernet. It’s so comfortable, and perfect for our quiet date nights at home! You can also get you both matching meUndies using matchMe.

  • Kitsch

For your best girlfriends, try Kitsch! I spend Galentine’s Day, February 13th, with my besties! We usually do brunch or afternoon tea and exchange gifts. From satin pillowcases to fun hair accessories, they have something for everyone on my list! You can even get 15% OFF your purchase with the code DENISE15.

Hopefully my Valentine’s Day Gift Guide has given you ideas for gifts for your own loved ones. The important thing is to keep it simple and personalized. Because when you give from the heart with consideration of your partner, that’s when you’re embodying pure appreciation and love.

XO Denise

wrapped box with christmas present

Give From The Heart

The holiday season is upon us! I’m still proactively Christmas shopping, which inspires today’s blog post. I personally love giving my family, friends, and loved ones gifts. When it comes to compiling my shopping list and choosing the perfect gift, it’s easiest when I give from the heart.

How do you “Give From The Heart”?

To give from the heart, choose what you know the other person will love rather than what you love. In the process of finding gifts for others, more often than not people end up buying something they actually want. In turn, they’re basically expecting their recipient to want what they would want to receive. Similar to catering to someone’s love language, personalize your gifts to the person you’re giving to.

Give From The Heart Example

When I spend quality time with my loved ones, I do my best to always intently listen and remember our intimate conversations. This way, I can recall specific things that they like or even better, if they say exactly what they want to buy themselves one day. For example, my friend and I spoke about the reasoning behind his newest tattoo, which was a Daruma Doll. To quickly sum up our conversation, his new tattoo only had the left eye filled in. Daruma dolls are used for goal setting, by painting in the left eye. Then, once the desired goal is achieved, the right eye is filled in. For his birthday, I bought him a real Daruma Doll in his favorite color. Even though it was a small and very cheap gift, he loved it.

Why should you “Give From The Heart”?

Giving from the heart puts others before yourself. It makes every gift you give someone special. And most importantly, it feels good. When you give from the heart, you’re also showing the recipient how well you listen, know them, and appreciate having them in your life.

XO Denise

Confessions of a Former Mean Girl

From my blog archives, “Mean Girl | Why I Got Into Self-Improvement” originally posted on September 20, 2016.

My name is Denise, and I am a former MEAN GIRL

At my very core, I am self-aware enough to say that I can be a mean girl. (This is also probably why I relate to villains and seem to attract people with similarly shameful pasts.) I can come up with sassy quips and sarcastic comments at the drop of a hat. I don’t always watch my tone when expressing my opinions, and I’ve even made people that I love cry. If you’re finding this hard to believe, then I’m really glad because it means that I’ve done my job. Every day, I find myself actively going against my initial instincts and innate behaviors. I’m definitely not proud of it, but I’ve grown to accept it as part of who I was

My Childhood

Growing up, I never had issues getting what I wanted. My parents provided me with an amazing childhood. In school, I excelled in all of my classes. I made every dance and sports team that I wanted to join. Cute guys ask me out on dates regularly. I got invited to dances and parties. People were just naturally drawn to me without much effort on my part. A friend of mine, who has a degree in Psychology, categorized me under the “What is beautiful is good” stereotype. (It felt like a backhanded compliment at the time, but I understood his intentions.)

To make things clear, I’ve never been an outright bitch. (Or at least I hope that I haven’t…) Because of the privileges I had been given, I was blind to my own faults. I was placed under an unrealistic spotlight that inevitably lead to complacency. Too smart for my own good, and I’d never known what it felt like to fail. I never feel rejected. I’d never been someone’s second choice. I didn’t know what it felt like to not be good enough. Life was about always putting myself first and doing what was in my best interest over the needs of everyone else. Expressing myself and making decisions without considering how it would affect others, I broke hearts without remorse. I thrived on proving that I was right, even if it meant making someone else feel stupid. (Ok… maybe I was a bitch.)

What I’ve Learned

As I grow older, I actively work to become more self-aware and considerate of others. Now, I consciously weigh every pro and con and consider the benefits and disadvantages for every person involved in my decision making. I also do my best to take every unfortunate situation as an opportunity to learn and grow as a person. Not only do I want to keep my inner mean girl in check, but I want to become as good of a person as most people perceive me to already be.

 I take a genuine interest in every new person I meet, and I hope to consistently benefit the lives of my closest friends and family. It’s a priority to be kind to strangers and be more compassionate and patient. I hope to boost the self-esteem of others and not be afraid to open up and feel vulnerable.

Going forward, I aspire to know better, do better, and be better. I may never be perfect, but I like who I am becoming. 

XO Denise

pink petals on pink surface

What To Do Instead of Ghosting

Dating is hard. Most people will kiss a lot of frogs along their journey to find true love. But nothing hurts quite like being ghosted by someone you’ve invested a lot of your time & attention in. Ghosting is a sign of emotional immaturity, emotional unavailability as well as low emotional intelligence. Today, I’m going to share what to do instead of ghosting.

What is Ghosting?

Ghosting is the act of ending an interpersonal relationship by suddenly & without explanation, withdrawing from all forms communication. Most individuals choose to ghost someone out of fear. In fact, it’s a cowardly act usually justified because they don’t want to hurt the other party or close the door on the relationship completely. In reality, it unfairly gives the dumpee a false sense of hope for reconciliation, while the dumper moves on.

I’m proud to say that I haven’t ghosted any of my exes. After being ghosted more times than I’d like to admit in my years of dating, I promised myself in my early twenties to always do the right thing & fully give closure to every single person that I’ve entered into a romantic relationship with. That said, here’s how I end romantic relationships:

Break Up In Person

Ending a relationship in person can be terrifying, but it’s the only respectful way to end a relationship. I will shamefully admit that I broke up with my 1st boyfriend via email. I tried to do it a few days prior. But I selfishly couldn’t bear to see his face as I ripped out his heart, days before I left for college. He was the only & last person I did this to.

If I could go back in time & make sure to break up with every single one of my exes face to face to get & give them closure, I would. Being able to talk through how your feelings have changed, & that you want them to be with someone who can give them everything that you’re not capable of, is the adult thing to do. Do your best to demonstrate that you’re not breaking up with them out of hatred or spite. Your actions are actually out of love & respect for them as a person, because they deserve better.

Be Honest & Apologize

When relationships no longer have trust, they’re doomed to fail. When it’s already over, know that there’s no point in continuing to lie any further. Tell your partner exactly why you want to break up.

Healthy relationships need two emotionally mature individuals who choose each other & want to continue to choose each other, working through anything wrong within the connection every single day. It’s okay to admit that your feelings have changed. Maybe you want to be single, or maybe things have been off for a while so you want to date other people. Lying to protect your ex’s feelings will cause nothing but trouble down the road if you keep in touch & they discover the truth. Apologize for any conflict, hurt, & pain you’ve caused them. Take ownership of your shortcomings within the relationship. Explain how both of you need to still be invested, & that putting the breakup off any longer would be cruel & unfair.

Set Your Boundaries

Make it clear that you no longer want to be romantically involved with your former partner. And whatever you now want or do not want out of this relationship, say it.

I am cordial, but I am not friends with any of my exes. I do not have any of their contact information or follow any of them on social media. Do you want to have a clean break? Do you want to remain friends? Whatever your preference, set your boundaries & stick to them. There’s nothing worse than having wishy-washy boundaries & hurting someone who only agrees to the boundaries you’ve set because they have hope for rekindling the relationship.

When I break up with someone, I weigh the pros & cons for a while, so my mind is made up. And that’s why once I’ve set my boundaries & promised to not bother or reach out again under any circumstances, I keep my word.

Cut Off Contact As Your Last Resort

If your ex cannot respect the boundaries you’ve set, it’s ok to go no contact, but express why as an alternative to completely ghosting. Exes can stalk your every move, show up at places you frequent, beg, cry, & plead with you to work on the relationship & stay together, despite the boundaries you’ve already set.

So when the other options above aren’t enough, simply apologize, honestly explain why you do not want any further contact, ask that they respect your decision, & move forward for your own mental health.

Again, breakups are never fun, but they’re necessary. Make room in your life for the person that you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with. I promise you that while it may be terrifying & hurt more than ghosting, being upfront, honest, & respectful with your exes is the only way to generate good karma for yourself as well as attract a new partner who will treat you with the same good intentions & take care of your heart.

XO Denise