12:00 AM

When is the Right Time to Meet Your Dream Girl?


Love Birds, I’m home!

Ah, soft sheets, warm showers, and my kitchen.…sometimes it is the smallest creature comforts that I find happiness in!  Well, I am back and I have some big life decisions ahead of me.  Traveling opened my eyes to new possibilities and love.  More to come soon!  This week’s letter comes from the realm of online dating. 
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Dear Sara,

I’ve just discovered your blog a couple of months ago and I am addicted! I am a travel photographer and I loved your series about dating in China. Here’s the thing, I have fallen for a girl I’ve never met. We’ve been sharing everything from private Instagram photos, texts messages, snapchats, and Facebook posts. I am so smitten. I am ready to meet her in person but what if she isn’t what I think she is. Then again, what if she is? I am thinking of asking her out but not sure how to do it.

Enamored on Instagram


Dear Enamored on Instagram,

First, I would like to address your job! You are a travel photographer?! Wow, I can’t imagine having that dream life and it sounds like you might have found your dream girl to accompany you on your adventures! Here's my advice to you: Take it slow. If I were she, I would want you to ask me out for drinks first.  Just try inviting her out for a happy hour drink. This leaves things very opened ended and low committal in case she turns out to be not what you expected. I’m you’ve heard of catfish, right?! Ha! But don’t let this scare you off. If you don’t try then you’ll never know and you will always be wondering what if. This is one of my biggest takes from my trip to China. I don’t want to be one of those people who go through life wondering what if… You’ve got to seize these opportunities and make the most of your life!  Best of luck to you, sweet Enamored, she sounds like a very lucky gal!

<3

Sara

8:00 AM

Can I Trust Him?

Hello Love Birds,

I am nearing the end of my trip and I am feeling such a kaleidoscope of emotions! I am longing for my bed, my love, and reliable internet; but I am feeling so much love for this place and the people. The ancient culture and their focus on self care, mediation, and inner peace is stunning. I will be returning home with a clearer understanding of who I am and where I see myself going. Also, a completely new prospective on dating and love! 

Before I hop on my 16 hr flight, I wanted to address numerous messages I received about my June 7th post from Confused in Cincinnati, who thought her fiancé was going out for drinks with another woman and lying about it. This week's question addresses the bigger issue that Confused in Cincinnati brought up: Trust.

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Dear Sara,

Lately, I've been having trust issues with my husband. It's not necessarily that he did anything to warrant them, it's just that a recent conversation took a turn down us talking about previous relationships and I asked him if he had ever cheated on anyone before. He said once in a previous relationship but that it was when he was much younger and more immature and that now he could never fathom doing something like that again. Here's the problem: I've been cheated on before and more than once. Ever since he told me this, suddenly everything he says or does looks like a coverup or looks suspicious. If he's looking at his phone and he smiles I wonder "is there another girl texting him?" If we're supposed to meet for dinner after work and he is running late I think "Was he with someone else? Is he lying?" I guess you could say I am textbook case for a wife with trust issues. He hasn't really done anything to deserve this, but I feel like I need to be open with him about how I feel; what should I do?

Jealous in Jersey


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Dear Jealous in Jersey,

This illusive idea of trust. How do you define trust? To me, it means I respect you as your own person and know that you respect me as my own person. Which quite simply put, I respect and love you and I know you will do the same for me. Do you believe your husband is a good and honest man? Then trust your gut and choose to push those nasty thoughts from your head. I am sure it is the stress and anxiety of your former lovers' infidelity that are rearing their ugly heads. You found a good one so allow yourself to be loved and respected by him.

I suggest you talk to him about his past and your past. I feel too many people avoid talking about past relationships because they don't want to make their partners feel bad or awkward, but we cannot erase our own history. We have to acknowledge that was who we used to be and the things our younger selves experienced shaped who are are today, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. Talk with him about it, start asking questions about his exes and his relationship history. If he loves you as much as it sounds like you love him, he will open up to you because he should see that you have questions and that you genuinely just want them answered so that you can put them to bed!

<3

Sara

8:00 AM

Surprise Proposal


Nǐ hǎo Love Birds,

I am slowing recovering from my jet lag with the 12 hour time difference between home and China. Whoa, it is incredible here, Love Birds. There is so much happening around me I am not sure I can fully articulate it--especially with my lack of sleep. Check out my insta, as you know, pictures are worth a thousand words.

Now on to the most important part of my trip: LOVE!

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Dear Sara,

Yesterday, I was helping my boyfriend do some much-needed spring cleaning. Seriously, he is like a teenager and can hardly take care of himself, let a lone be trusted to clean up after himself! I was upstairs prepping his winter coats for summer storage when suddenly I found a receipt from a local jewelry store for a $3,400 diamond ring! Valentine's Day has come and gone and my birthday isn't anytime soon, so unless he bought this ring for someone else, I am the intended recipient. He is a nice guy and all, but more often than not I feel like I am his mother and have to dress him, cook for him, get him to work on time, and clean up after him. Honestly, I was thinking I might actually dump him soon, but now I am panicking; I wasn't expecting this. Sara, help! I am stuck!


Surprised in Seattle

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Dear Surprised in Seattle,

First thing's first: take a deep breath! Alright, feeling better? Okay, now take one more. and let's process this slowly: basically, you have been feeling ready to end this relationship and suddenly you just found out your boyfriend has the exact opposite feelings. Feels like the awful sting of cold water on the face, doesn't it? Honestly, this happens way more often than we might think; the amount of messages I receive from Love Birds such as yourself that find they have been on drastically different wavelengths than their partner is quite surprising. But fear not, of all of the questions I receive I feel strongly that this is the easiest one to answer.

You have been feeling stuck in a rut for who knows how long and have arrived comfortably at the conclusion that you want to end your relationship. A $3,400 ring can't change the way he has lived his life for the past X years and it isn't going to suddenly change him now. Just because you are the woman of his dreams doesn't mean he is the man of yours. Andif he wasn't the man of your dreams yesterday when you woke up, then please don't let him buy his way into your dreams tonight. In the 21st century, any respectably mature man should know that a conversation about marriage ought to take place before he springs that kind of money on a ring and pops the question unexpectedly. I've had this conversation numerous times with my Alexander and we both agree that multiple conversations will happen before even one cent is saved to buy a ring. First things first, find out if you can actually live with guy before deciding if your lives can be joined permanently.

Here is what I suggest: don't even let on that you know he bought a ring, I would just proceed with your original plan and find a way of slipping that receipt back into a place where he can find it, because he is going to need it!

<3

Sara

12:00 AM

Meeting the Parents



Hello Love Birdies!

Today, I am writing you from Wuhan, Hubei Providence, China! I am sipping the most deliciously hot green tea and eating fantastic dim sum.  As I sit at my table, across from me a date is clearly occurring.  The dating scene is quite interesting in Chinese cultue. Here the men run the show. Which is a bit refreshing after having to the one who makes the first move.  At least that was my experience with Alexander, who was really shy and slow to ask me out.  This leads me a question I just received regarding relationship statuses. 
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Dear Sara,

I’ve been seeing this girl for a few weeks now, and I found out yesterday that she has been calling me her boyfriend. I am not necessarily opposed to the idea of us being boyfriend and girlfriend but it wasn’t a conversation we ever really had. Is this something you think we should talk about or is it something couples just sort of evolve into?

Perplexed in Providence





Dear Perplexed in Providence,

First off, how do you feel about this girl? You seem to like her but I don’t get the feeling you are really into her. It sounds like you are both on different pages and this “label” conversation needs to happen. Communication—in all forms---is the number one most important rule in all relationships. I was once head over heels for a guy whom I was casually dating. I wanted so much more and wanted it much more quickly than the relationship was ready for. Basically, I forced it without seeing how he felt about it. Ultimately, it freaked him out and I lost out on what might have been a really great pairing. 

Here’s what I would do, I would have a real conversation with her about your feelings for her and how you see her fitting into your life. Maybe it is just casual with no labels, but maybe its more (and awesome for you both!). keep the conversation light but honest because if you ultimately  make her your official girlfriend, or possibly something more serious, you are going to want to have communication at the forefront of your relationship.

Best of luck, dear PP, and I can’t wait to hear how the conversation goes!

<3,

Sara

12:00 AM

Am I Your Boyfriend?!


Hello Love Birdies!

Today, I am writing you from Wuhan, Hubei Providence, China! I am sipping the most deliciously hot green tea and eating fantastic dim sum.  As I sit at my table, across from me a date is clearly occurring.  The dating scene is quite interesting in Chinese cultue. Here the men run the show. Which is a bit refreshing after having to the one who makes the first move in my current relationship. At least that was my experience with Alexander, who was really shy and slow to ask me out. This leads me a question I just received regarding relationship statuses. 
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 Dear Sara,
I’ve been seeing this girl for a few weeks now, and I found out yesterday that she has been calling me her boyfriend. I am not necessarily opposed to the idea of us being boyfriend and girlfriend but it wasn’t a conversation we ever really had. Is this something you think we should talk about or is it something couples just sort of evolve into?

Perplexed in Providence




Dear Perplexed in Providence,

First off, how do you feel about this girl? You seem to like her but I don’t get the feeling you are really into her. It sounds like you are both on different pages and this “label” conversation needs to happen. Communication—in all forms---is the number one most important rule in all relationships. I was once head over heels for a guy whom I was casually dating. I wanted so much more and wanted it much more quickly than the relationship was ready for. Basically, I forced it without seeing how he felt about it. Ultimately, it freaked him out and I lost out on what might have been a really great pairing. 

Here’s what I would do, I would have a real conversation with her about your feelings for her and how you see her fitting into your life. Maybe it is just casual with no labels, but maybe its more (and awesome for you both!). keep the conversation light but honest because if you ultimately make her your official girlfriend, or possibly something more serious, you are going to want to have communication at the forefront of your relationship.

Best of luck, dear PP, and I can’t wait to hear how the conversation goes!

<3,

Sara

6:15 PM

To Text or Talk...That is the Question

Hello Love Birds!

Speaking of speaking--or not speaking--in person, I found this great article that you all should read. There is so much more that goes into why the scared kid in us all likes to text instead of talk. Yes, it's normal to keep our noses in our phones; after all, most of us were practically born with one in our hands! But if you want to make a good impression you've got to stand out! And to me, that means going old school and talking in person or making an actual phone call.

Interesting stuff for pondering!

<3

Sara

12:00 AM

Surprise!

Nǐ hǎo Love Birds!

I'M GOING TO CHINA TOMORROW! I can hardly contain my excitement. But don't worry, I am going purely for research; Okay, and a little to scratch my wanderlust itch. 


During my three weeks in China I will be immersing myself in local culture and--of course--the dating scene. I want to know what it means to fall in love in Asia. I will be exploring their dating rituals from how they meet, flirt, date, and ultimately fall in love in hopes that it will bring inspiration stateside.  Please don't fret! I will still be sending along my love from China and answering your questions so keep them coming and I will be sure you #neverdatealone.

<3

Sara