The Heart Beat

Opinion and Invective On The World of Dating and Relationships

wants sex all the time
June 14, 2016

When Your Partner Wants Sex All the Time: What it Means

Not long ago, a female client came to see me for help with stress in her marriage. She and her husband had been married only a year, and they had been dating two years prior to that. One year into the marriage, he wanted sex all the time. My client came to see me because […]

friendships importance
June 13, 2016

The Importance of Friendship in a Couples’ World

Writer Briallen Hopper once had a close friend explain her priorities in precise order: her child, her husband, her work, her friends. “In her life, a kid thing would always trump a partner thing; a work thing would always trump a friend thing. This was the best way she knew of trying to impose some […]

getting married nowadays
June 8, 2016

Should Every Couple Get Premarital Counseling?

In an ideal world, every couple who plans to get married would go to premarital counseling. In that world, seeing a counselor before marriage would be so expected that people would actually frown on couples who don’t do it. Largely because of the stigma that still exists around counseling and psychotherapy, many couples don’t go. Many men […]

battle of sexes
June 6, 2016

Let’s End The Bogus Battle of the Sexes

Shortly after my book, It’s Not You, was released, I was giving a reading in Brooklyn, NY, when a reader asked me why relationship books like mine are always written for women. “Because women buy the books,” I said. My editor and publicist, sitting in the front row, both nodded. This, I added, wasn’t necessarily […]

May 24, 2016

You Remind Me of Me (and That’s Hot)

At two bars in France, three women attended speed-dating sessions with specific instructions from a research team: mimic certain men they met, and take pains not to mimic others. For the uninitiated, speed-dating is a system where a large group of singles are paired off and placed at tables for short “dates” of about five […]

May 11, 2016


I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou There are an overwhelming number of women who feel unappreciated by their husbands. I often hear the following: “I just want to feel appreciated. For years I have […]

happily ever after myth
May 5, 2016

The Problem with ‘Happy Ever After’

Earlier this year, a reader told me that until very recently she always thought she needed a man to “complete” her, citing the line from Jerry McGuire. Fortunately, she later realized that wasn’t the case and discovered new interests and relationships that filled her in ways she never imagined possible. I definitely recall a certain […]

April 25, 2016

A Reader Asks ‘Am I Undateable?’

Dear Sara: I loved the letter that you posted from the young lady who was struggling with dating at first. She eventually realized that she enjoyed being single and meeting all types of people and loving them. Are some people just undateable (excuse my made-up word)? I am beginning to think I have been single […]

feeling left out
April 18, 2016

Dating Advice: ‘It’s Hopeless. You’re a Mess. Why so Negative?’

This week a client wrote me about a disappointing evening. She met a guy she liked at a networking event and … it didn’t go the way she hoped. Anyone who has been single for any length of time has probably had this kind of night. It can feel very significant in the moment, even […]

happy single
April 6, 2016

She Dropped Her Need for a Relationship—and Learned to Love

A couple of months ago, I posted a letter from a woman who was having a tough time dating and felt disheartened because her coupled friends were judging her for it. She had written me several weeks before, and by the time the piece posted she had mostly worked through the issue herself. She wrote […]