Friday, February 26, 2010

Stamp Collecting Is Sexy… Part I

It’s true. If someone’s really passionate about the Inverted Head Four Annas[1] stamp from India it could be downright hot.

Ok, I actually don’t know anyone personally who collects stamps these days, but the point of this blog is really that interests are sexy, passions are sexy … regularly engaging in cool activities is sexy.

As you can imagine, I speak with a lot of singles (of all different backgrounds and personality types) about what they are looking for in their potential life partner. Outside of universally stating that they are looking to meet someone who is truly happy in themselves (see “Your Best Valentine,” Feb. 9, 2009 blog for more on this), the other most oft articulated response is unfailingly that they want to meet someone who has interests and is interesting. In some ways, these two concepts are inextricably tied together.

Sound like a simple request in a city like New York ? Well, you might be surprised to learn that there are many single New Yorkers who proclaim to have encountered a profound lack of interesting people out there. And hard as it might be to hear, Ladies, the complaint is largely coming from the guys.

Yes, Loyal Readers, you can consider this blog sort of an addendum to “Don’t Shoot the Messenger: Part I” (see May 7, 2009 blog). While it is very important in this ever so competitive city to be slim and put together, it is also simply not enough just to look good. Having interests and being interesting is equally important.

Just recently, a male client (let’s call him “Jim”) lamented to me – “I meet so many women in New York who are just plain boring. Their only interest is watching reality t.v., looking good … and shopping. Yes, I want to meet someone who looks great but after a while looks fade and we need to have something to talk about!”

In fact, I hear this from a lot of Jims, Joes and Jacks. They’re looking for the girl who they can admire for having interests that are not just staying in shape, seeing her friends and finding a husband.

So, word of caution to the Ladies: if you look hot in your Tory Burch ensemble but don’t have anything to add to the conversation, a lot of “Jims” will ask you out, sleep with you and potentially date you, but chances are they ain’t marrying you.

And it must be said here that despite Jim’s comment that the attractive women he has met of late are “boring,” we all know that Manhattan is home to countless women who are VERY attractive as well as super interesting, passionate about life and engaged in the world around them. And, so Ladies, the really quality men (i.e. those men who also take care of themselves physically, have good jobs and are successful, kind and interesting) are looking for these type of women as their counterparts (yes, of course, there are the guys who love the model-types who stare vapidly out onto the world, but we’re not talking about those guys – we’ll leave them to their models).

To be sure, there is something really appealing to men when your eyes light up talking about how you scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro (yes, one of my female clients has done this – I listened to her story of trekking in the night, blackness all around except for the light emanating from her headgear in complete awe), or when you talk about how you got a scholarship for your voice at a top school (another client’s passion is singing – and well!).

Ok, not everyone is going to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro but that doesn’t mean other interests and hobbies aren’t appealing. You can be passionate about World War II history or fencing or cooking or Russian films or Moorish architecture or Spanish medieval literature … or stamp collecting. You get the picture - it really doesn’t matter. The point is just to have interests that aren’t limited to your yoga or spin class. And if you have plenty of true
[3] interests and passions, make sure that you don’t get too lost in the giddiness of dating that you forget to convey these interests to your prospective suitor. Because that’s when you shine![4]

Ok, Ladies, please know that your message to the men is on its way, so Guys, don’t think you’re going to get away scot free
[5] on this one (hint: Part II is titled “Stamp Collecting Can be Too Sexy”).

[1] “The Inverted Head Four Annas of India is a famous stamp prized by collectors. The 1854 first issues of India included a Four Annas value in red and blue. However, an invert error occurred during production, showing the head 'upside down.' This is one of the world's first multicolored stamps.”

[2] Similarly, isn’t it sexy when you meet a guy who has a true passion or skill at something that is totally unexpected? Both men and women are attracted to people who are excited about life and manifest their passion for life in what they do.

[3] I use the word “true” to qualify the word “interest” here because many New Yorkers will say that they love art, theater, etc. but they haven’t been to an exhibit or play in years. Taking advantage of poetry readings, gallery openings, indie films at the Film Forum, etc. on a regular basis helps to give you plenty of interesting things to talk about with a date and shows that there is likely real substance behind such phrases as “my interests include art, travel and reading.”

[4] And worse, yet, don’t lose these interests when you start dating, because that’s likely part of what drew him to you in the first place!

[5] If you, like many others, mistakenly thought the expression “scot free” finds its origins in the story of Dred Scott, click onto the following link to find out the real origin of this phrase (going to make you do a little work this time!).

Interested in receiving invaluable dating feedback, benefiting from image consulting, dating coaching, personalized introductions, events and more? Contact Marni at to learn more about becoming a client. Give yourself the gift of love in 2010.


  1. Absolutely! Even better than an interest is an interest / sport that one can do with one's significant other. Tennis / golf / channel 35. It's all good.

  2. Very good point regarding the shared interests (I will ignore the Channel 35 reference as I know the source of this comment!).

    If your interest is something that someone else can participate in or at least can discuss with you, I would say that is more conducive to lively conversation than if your interest is something that is very female oriented (e.g. reading Ophrah's Book Club books or knitting).

  3. This blog you have is wonderful Marni! Too many women in NYC need your sound advice! I've been saying all these things for years to my girl friends...I think they are finally just begining to listen as we are all in our early 30s now and not 26 anymore! I have fwded your blog site to my girl and guy friends! :)

  4. Dear Anonymous,

    I am so glad you are enjoying the blog and that you are forwarding it onto your girlfriends - that always makes me happy to hear. Hopefully, the good advice you are giving your friends and the reinforcement here will make an impact!

    Thanks so much for your comment!