April 2023

How to Date Like a Mad Woman

“Where are the men?” my girlfriend clamored as our cocktails arrived. “Lately, the guys I’ve met are wishy-washy when it comes to planning the date. If we meet in my area of town, they ask me to pick the venue because they don’t know the area – like Yelp isn’t a thing. And when I offered the last guy restaurant suggestions, he asked what kind of food they serve. What kind of man asks a woman out and makes her not only plan the date, but make sure he’s comfortable with the cuisine, too?”

I’ve had my own run-ins with the boys, lately, as well.  One asked me out for drinks and then told me to tell him when and where to meet, right after he let me know what area of town he works in. Another had my cell and email address after asking a friend to set us up, but chose instead to connect with me on Facebook leaving his number. I should call him if I want to go out, he messaged. If I wasn’t interested in going out with him, why would I have given him my cell and email address? I did not call. The last man I dated told me straight out he wanted to meet me, asked me what I prefer to drink, asked me what part of the city I live in, and set a date, time and place. We dated for months.

I realized I’m not looking for a guy. I’m looking for a man – a confident man who knows what he wants and how to treat a woman. I need to feel feminine. I enjoy being a woman and I enjoy men who enjoy dating grown women.

So while I join the New York City single woman chorus in a round of “Where are the men?” from time to time, I know it can’t be entirely their fault. We all felt we were supposed to be equal in the dating world, so we meet half way and offer to split the check. We all compromised too much. Men got softer. Women got harder. And we’re all left wondering what we’re doing wrong.

My new approach to dating? If you want to date a man, be a woman. Being a lady, I have found, brings out the best in gentlemen. When they are given permission to be manly men, they rise up. And if they don’t? Well who wants a guy who can’t rise up to your feminine wiles? Here are my tips for the first date:

  1. A man plans the date. A woman appreciates the plan. If he says: “What do you want to do?” answer with: “I’ll let you plan the date.” Often enough, they are pleased to hear that. They want to know they are in charge of the first date. It makes them feel like a man. When a man does plan the date, a woman is sure to mention all the details he took into consideration to make it a lovely evening, and thanks him graciously.
  2. If he says: “Let’s meet half way” or “There’s a great little bar around the corner from my apartment,” say: “No, thank you.”  A man makes the date convenient for the woman he’s asked out. A man doesn’t inform a woman about where he lives or where he works. He knows it’s irrelevant. He’ll find a venue near his date. I’ve actually said: “I think you’re adorable and I’d love to go out with you but it seems like you don’t really want to date me. When you want to take me out, call me.” That man called the next night and asked me out to a great new sushi place in my neighborhood. We dated for a couple of months.
  3. A man is confident, even if it means he has to try a little harder. When a guy says: “Let me know if you want to go out. Here’s my number,” don’t call. A man would just call you. Or at least text you. If you do want to go out with him, look him straight in the eyes and say: “I would like to go on a date with you. Here’s my card.” And walk away. A man will call.
  4. If you’re not sure whether or not it’s a “date,” he’s a guy. A man is always clear about his intentions. This does not mean his intentions are polite. But he’ll be clear.
  5. If he says “It’s just casual, so like don’t get all dressed up or anything,” he’s a guy. A man wants to date a woman who is dressed like a woman out on date.

If you want to date a man, be a woman.  Be a strong, confident woman, but be a woman.  A retro-modern approach to dating may not be for every woman, but man, do I love it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on my theories. Share them in the comments below.

Photo credit: Ana Schechter

Melanie Notkin is the founder and CEO of the award-winning SavvyAuntie.com and creator of the popular Savvy Auntie® lifestyle brand – the phenomenon heralded by fabulous kid-friendly women everywhere as a celebration of modern, cosmopolitan aunthood. Melanie is the national bestselling author of SAVVY AUNTIE:  The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts,Great-Aunts, Godmothers and All Women Who Love Kids (Morrow/HarperCollins) and a contributor to Huffington Post Women with a focus on single and childless women. She resides in New York City.

Samantha Daniels on How to Get Back into the Dating World

If you’re sitting on the dating sidelines for a while because you have recently ended a relationship or marriage, you haven’t had the interest, or you’re just fed up and plain sick of it, maybe now is the time to get out there and meet someone great! As a Professional Matchmaker and founder of Samantha’s Table Matchmaking, I have some useful tips on getting back into the dating world:

  • Once deciding to go back to dating, you need to start with a positive attitude. If you are optimistic about meeting someone, you will have more of a chance of making that happen.
  • Think about giving yourself a dating makeover so you feel good about yourself and how you look. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Try a new haircut, a new lipstick, or just a different “dating outfit.” It doesn’t matter what it is, just go out there looking a little different and you are bound to have some results.
  • Reach out to your friends, family and colleagues and let them know that “you are back.” Most people are busy with their own lives, it’s time you let them know what is going on in your life. Tell them that you are open, interested and available to be introduced to someone if they think of anyone.
  • Spend that $20 or $30 and try online dating. Maybe you had a bad experience in the past, but these are new times. With a positive and revitalized attitude things might be different this time around. Or if you have never tried it, give it a go! Many people have met their significant other this way.
  • Schedule an appointment with a Matchmaker and at the very least get some good dating advice from that professional. Matchmakers like myself have been listening and observing what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to dating for years. Schedule a meeting and pick that Matchmaker’s brain.
  • Ask a close but also straightforward friend to be brutally honest and tell you what they think might be an impediment when you get back out there to date. Ask them to critique you in an honest and helpful way so you can put you best foot forward.
  • I remember what my grandmother said: “You get invited, you go, and you never know who you are going to meet.” Hence, whenever you get invited out, whether it’s a party, a gathering, a dinner, etc., even if you don’t feel like going, you go. You put on that pretty dress, a smile and positive attitude and you head out the door because “you never know…”


Samantha Daniels is a professional matchmaker, television, personality, author, entrepreneur and founder of Samantha’s Table, a matchmaking service. A former matrimonial attorney, in 1999 Daniels left the world of divorce behind and founded her matchmaking service in New York City, quickly expanding to elite clientele on the west coast.In 2004 Daniels life became the basis for NBC’s hit show Miss Match starring Alicia Silverstone. Daniels a writer for The Huffington Post and in 2005 authored Matchbook: the Diary of a Modern-Day Matchmaker.

Romantic Gift Ideas from Renowned Matchmaker Samantha Daniels PLUS Her Tips on Dating and How to Meet “The One” [Video]

A romantic day calls for romantic gifts, and as a professional matchmaker and love guru I have some of the best insider gift picks for a day of amour.

Enid Collins Love Wooden Box Bag, BUY NOW, $425
If your Valentine likes one of a kind items that make other people say “where did you get that?,” a vintage bag is a great idea. Each one is special because you might not be able to find another. Make sure you know your lover’s style- for the ladies try something like the Enid Collins Love bag.

Heather Benjamin LA Ocean Jasper Mix Ring, BUY NOW, $405
Rings are tricky on Valentine’s Day, especially if she is expecting THE ring. If she is, and you aren’t ready, stay CLEAR of rings and all jewelry, but if she isn’t and loves a real conversation starter piece, go with a cocktail ring from Heather Benjamin LA. The designer’s mix of shells, stones and sand dollars is spectacular and your Valentine will be swept off her feet with this Ocean Jasper Mix ring.

Serene House Mist Whistler, BUY NOW, $299.95
Diffusers are so yesterday and if you want to buy something that not only smells delicious but looks great, try the Mist Whistler Scentilizer. By diffusing fragrant water vapors, it reduces the dryness of indoor air and even has a built in music player- talk about love at first smell!

Anywhere Fireplace Oasis, BUY NOW, $109.99
If you are dating someone who has everything, it’s great to pick something unique. An indoor fireplace is a wonderful way to warm a room and the mood, and Anywhere Fireplace has plenty of chic styles to choose from.

Art Style Innovation Graphic Bookends, BUY NOW, $110
If your sweetie is a literature lover, pick up these special bookends from Art Style Innovation. These handmade acrylic bookends are playful and fun and come in nine different designs and ten different shades to choose from.

A special note on cards– When picking them out, be sure to choose cards that “match” the status of your relationship. This means if you’ve only been together a few weeks, don’t go all lovey-dovey, opt for something humorous instead. If you are in something more serious or have been together for a considerable amount of time, its great to grab more than one card, one of which should be sentimental. And don’t forget to write a message from the heart, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to let someone know you care, so don’t be shy, go ahead and share!

For the best dating tips and how to meet “the one,” check out our exclusive video interview with Samantha Daniels.


Samantha Daniels is a professional matchmaker, television, personality, author, entrepreneur and founder of Samantha’s Table, a matchmaking service. A former matrimonial attorney, in 1999 Daniels left the world of divorce behind and founded her matchmaking service in New York City, quickly expanding to elite clientele on the west coast.In 2004 Daniels life became the basis for NBC’s hit show Miss Match starring Alicia Silverstone. Daniels a writer for The Huffington Post and in 2005 authored Matchbook: the Diary of a Modern-Day Matchmaker.

A Recipe for Seduction: Tea-infused Chocolate Truffles

We heart the idea of seducing your loved one this Valentine’s Day with the sensuous pairing of warm tea served with sweet tea-infused chocolate truffles, made with Tracy Stern Salontea, The Lover, a Chocolate Chai tea. This tea blend is a natural aphrodisiac, not to mention that the art of pouring tea is incredibly sensual! Tea has been a drink of seduction throughout history: many love affairs began over meeting for tea and ended as the greatest love stories of all time. We’re pretty confident that you will love this delicious V-Day treat!


  • 2/3 heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (cut into pieces and softened)
  •  2 tablespoons of The Lover tea-chocolate Chai tea leaves
  • 6 oz finest bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  •  1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


Combine the cream and butter in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Stir in the tealeaves. Remove from heat and let steep for 3-5 minutes.

Put chocolate in a bowl and strain the cream mixture through a sieve over the chocolate: discard the tealeaves. Whisk the chocolate and cream mixture together until smooth, chill for approximately 2 hours until mixture is firm.

Dust your hands with a bit of cocoa (or cinnamon) then use your hands to roll the chilled chocolate mixture into balls (Tracy likes to use a melon scooper).

Use 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons of chocolate mixture for each truffle. Drop the truffles into the cocoa, turn them until they’re lightly coated, and then place them in an airtight container. Store them in layers separated by wax paper.

Serve in edible rose petals…enjoy!


Best Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him and Her

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a fabulous gift for that special someone! Be creative this year…there’s no need to rely on old standbys. These hand-picked gifts for him and her are sure to delight any of the loves in your life.

T. Anthony Kent Slim Messenger, BUY NOW, $450
The T. Anthony Kent Slim Messenger bag is a perfect gift for the guy on the move. The super slim and stylish messenger is lightweight and made from scratch resistant pebble grain leather that will keep during the most rugged of wear. I bought one for my husband recently and he loves it for every day and for travel. You can also have the bag gold stamped with your man’s initials–love a personalized gift! T. Anthony bags have been featured in O Magazine, Allure and Bazaar.

Michael Kors Men’s Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch, BUY NOW, $225
A signature timepiece is an important part of every man’s wardrobe. This sleek design by Michael Kors is impeccably chic, and offers a lot of look for the price. Oversized chronograph styles are my favorite…this one looks hip and cool without trying too hard.

Johnnie Walker Engraved Blue Label Whisky, BUY NOW, $225
Personalization makes a gift extra special. The whisky aficionado will relish in owning an engraved bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label! The 200 year old brewer is known for their consistency and flavor quality, perfect for the man who has everything.

Molton Brown Echo Bath and Body Gift Set, BUY NOW, $109
If your Valentine could use a little rest and relaxation (can’t we all?), indulge them with the Molton Brown Echo yuan zhi Gift Set, complete with bath and shower gel, body cream, and medio candela. Molton Brown has been a leader in the best quality body, skin, hair and home products since the 70’s. All of their materials are sourced from natural and sustainable ingredients and the blend of yuan zhi root, ylang ylang and vanilla makes a great scent for both sexes. Fans include Leighton Meester and Kristen Chenoweth.

Brookstone Bluetooth Keyboard for Ipad 2 Tablet, BUY NOW, $99
Every iPad2 tablet owner will be delighted with the Brookstone Bluetooth Keyboard. The sleek portfolio case is made out of a rubberized material with a built in wireless keyboard that lets you type with ease at laptop speed and has full access to the device’s camera and port capabilities. It’s available in fun shades like pink, orange and green as well as basic colors so it makes a great gift for anyone with an iPad2. This is the nicest one I have seen–it’s not bulky and the keyboard is super comfortable and easy to use.

Jacks & Jokers “King’s Head” Graphic Tee, BUY NOW, $60
These ultra hip t-shirts are incredibly soft and detailed with authentic graphics and logos from decks of playing cards. A totally fresh take on a tee, the fun designs are great for the King of your Heart. It’s a perfect present for the downtown guy, and the uptown one who needs to revamp his preppy collared shirt look. Jacks and Jokers tees have been spotted on celebs Adrian Grenier and Kevin Dillon, New York Yankee Nick Swisher and were featured in Hamptons Magazine.