My 2-year Anniversary + Deal Breaker List

Today is my 2-yr anniversary with German. Some of you followed our courtship from day one (Under his Umbrella)–where, for legal purposes, (I didn’t want him to press charges if we didn’t make it to date #2 and read that I wrote about him) I referred to him as Santiago. This won’t be a love is all we need post or how I have cultivated the perfect relationship because truth be told, we have had a roller-coaster of a ride, as do all the other real couples.

But still, to date, German remains one of my favorite people to be around. I can be 100% myself and when he’s at his goofiest, I know he’s operating from authenticity. And I often think, “Had I not given up my “deal-breaker” list, I may not have ever given him a chance.” Here were some of the things on that deal-breaker list: (don’t judge)

1. Must be in a creative profession
2. Must live alone–no roommates
3. Must be “out” to his entire family

In these two years, German has started his freelance photography career–and just last night was adding new buttons to his website. Not only has he gotten creative, he’s learned coding like a hot nerd! We’re now living together so no roommates in the mix (and it’s f*ucked up that my deal breaker list mentioned roommates because I had one at the time). How many of you have something on your list that you yourself are doing? And it was at the airport in Odessa, TX, both waiting for our return flight back from my dad’s funeral in June of 2011, that German called his parents in Mexico and came out. (I have the video footage) It’s juicy yet  endearing.

Looking back at that list–my top three deal breakers seemed real and important at the time. Just as real as your own dating deal-breaker list seems to be as you wave it around saying, “Mine is real Nando, yours was a stupid hot mess!” And I “get it”. Because of my past experiences with certain guys that had those aspects, I didn’t want a “repeat” of my past.

Each guy with their own issue caused me much heartache (not being out: I had to hide when his family came over unexpected or spending my holidays alone because I wasn’t allowed to come along) or confusion (not being creative: they never understood my passion for writing and entertaining and it cause chaos and misunderstandings in the relationships which eventually ended because they were threatened I’d meet someone creative “like me” and leave them–when in reality, their insecurities caused them to cheat…and the end result was me leaving anyways).

When we create our dating deal-breaker list, we’re dragging our past into our future–remember, some-if not all-of our deal breakers are based on past experiences–and that will never function in a relationship. Instead, become a better person and realize thats it’s about creating a new possibility for yourself and allowing the person you’re about to meet to be themselves and allowing them to shine. And maybe, just maybe–those things that once bothered you or felt would keep you from entering a mature and loving relationship might disappear/change/transform on their own, but not because you made demands on your partner, but because your partner just might have thrown away their own deal-breaker list when meeting you causing them to become a better person too.

I love you German and thanks for being present on my continuous journey of transformation.

To Tell The Truth: Dating or Married Blindspots

Recently, I’ve been getting phone calls from women asking for dating tips/relationship advice. Everyday for the last 2 weeks, it’s a clever question disguised as a conundrum but my response to them all is the same, which is, “What does it mean to you?” And then we get to the real issue. A few weeks ago I received a message from an old high school friend who had been married for over 20 years. Yeah, that’s not a typo, that’s the number 20. As my friend Claire nervously asked her question, this was the exchange.

Claire: I’m sorry for calling and bothering you, but I just had to ask you a question.

Nando: No bother, what’s going on?

Claire: I’ve been married for 20 years and my husband doesn’t really pay attention to me, know what I mean?

Claire: Okay.

Claire: And when we talk, I feel like he’s not listening to me, know what I mean?

Nando: Yes.

Claire: I feel like I’m invisible and not sure how to make myself visible again, know what I mean?

Nando: Sure.

Claire: My kids are getting older and they’re off doing their thing and I’m left alone, know what I mean?


By this time, I wanted Claire to see what I saw. So I let her keep talking.


Claire: Is this making sense? I don’t want to be a nag or anything but I need help, know what I mean?

Nando: No, I don’t know what you mean.

Claire: What?

Nando: Yeah, what did that just do for you?

Claire: I felt like you weren’t listening.

Nando: I was listening, I just didn’t validate you.

Claire: I’m lost.


Nando: Do you realize you’ve asked me over five times, “Do you know what I mean?” Why do you need so much validation? You say what you say and that’s all. You don’t need anyone’s permission or validation when you speak. The world only happens in language, and it’s the most powerful way of communication if it’s done right, but you’re too busy making sure everyone “gets you” that you lose your message and effectiveness.

There was a pause. Then I heard a muted cry. Then the waterworks came. Then it all broke down. Which made me happy because only when we break down, can we have a break through.


Nando: What’s going on in your head?

Claire: I’m upset.

Nando: At?

Claire: Myself.

Nando: Why?

Claire: Because I have been like this all my life, know what….(she stopped herself) I’m mad at myself because I’ve been like this all my life.

Nando: Why did you stop yourself from another, “Know what I mean?”

Claire: Because I realize that I no longer need validation for my feelings. And I feel a relief.

Nando: Empowered?

Claire: Yes! That’s is! Why is that?

Nando: Because you just discovered  a blindspot.


In our lives we have mastered many things for our personal development, careers, etc. and that makes up about 5% of what we know. Another 10% is made up of things we know we don’t know, you know? I don’t know how to make a a pie from scratch, but that means I need to know enough about how to make a pie to know that I don’t know how to make one. Think about it. First I need to know what a pie is, then I have to know what goes into a pie (filling — which I don’t know how to make) and I know there’s a crust involve (but also know enough to know I don’t know how to make one). Clear?

But the bigger portion of our lives is made up of stuff we don’t know we don’t know. We call these things, blindspots. Claire’s blindspot was seeking validation in life as noted in her conversation. Now, this is not going to fix everything in Claire’s life/marriage, but it’s a major start. When we look outside ourselves and into another person for validation/permission for thinking what we’re thinking, feeling what we’re feeling, or simply existing–that’s not the best place to find ourselves because we won’t always be granted validation. And it’s not fair to the person we’re married to, dating or in a relationship with. That’s not what they signed up for. Instead, we need to take a step back and realize we are creative beings who were made in “creation” therefore we create–and there is power to that but you can’t allow anything outside of you to power you up, only you can do it. The conversation in your head needs to stop being, “You know what I mean?” to “This is how it’s going to be.”


Nando: Claire, you’ve always had a radiant smile, and when you smiled, your light was so bright that people wanted to be around you. Try to find at least 3 reasons to smile each day and give the world your smile–let us enjoy it. And trust in yourself enough to know that you are your own power source. And just as the sun doesn’t need permission to shine, it just shines….so do you.

Do you seek constant validation in life? Where is that getting you? What are the conversations in your head?


Kim Kardashian, Marriage, Megaphones and YOU!

In today’s world–several of us have a megaphone, a one-way device that allows us to shout at others what we think they should mentally digest. Some people’s megaphone is Facebook while other’s use Twitter and if you’re lucky (luck is in the eye of the beholder) you have a reality show that transports your shouts even louder (especially if you count reruns). And Kim Kardashian has a loud megaphone–louder than the rest of the Kardashian klan and it seems many people are ready to snatch that bad boy away from her to keep her from shouting any further in order to teach her a lesson, but why?

Do you realize that Kim Kardashian is being true-to-self. She hasn’t changed. She hasn’t morally switched sides. She is still the pampered, “my way or the highway” type of gal we all fell for several porn tapes ago. Why the backlash? Did you pay for her wedding? Did you send her a blender and want it back? Did you lose your faith in love or marriage because hers only lasted 72 days, if so, you have bigger problems on your hands.

When people remain consistent in their behavior–as Kim has– yet there’s a major shift in how they’re perceived, the only scale you can claim is yours. Did your scale move over to the left (now you hate her) or the right (now you like her)? Why? Dig deeper into your own life to examine what about her actions pissed you off so much or made you like her more–only then can you own your reaction and stand by it.

I see it all the time in relationships and dating–people complaining about being single, then they complain about their new love being too short or too hairy or they aren’t in the right income bracket and take to their personal megaphone to ask, “What should I do?” At least Kim had enough sense to make her own decision–can we say the same about you? Did she ridicule marriage? To me she didn’t because I think people do it all the time, on and off reality shows. Have you checked the latest divorce rates? Have you checked out your neighbor’s marriage? Your own? Marriage isn’t a magic trip you take that offers guarantees.

Are you upset because it lasted only 72 days or because you are now 100% convinced it was all for publicity? We knew this was her personality type when we heard her screaming out Ray J’s name on their sex tape. She is being consistent. So do you dislike Kim Kardashian because you believe she isn’t living life according to your plans–or because she has a bigger megaphone than you?

Goddess 101

Goddess 101 is a  seminar that will empower women from a 3-pronged approached: mind, body & soul. I will be the event’s MC as well as give a 30 minute presentation on dating, how sexy does that sound? For more info on the event’s organizers, 3D Beauty Consulting, visit their website.  Nandoism readers also get a special discount, enter Nandoism when prompted at check out. To secure your ticket, click here.



The event is in the Forest Hills Community House
15 Borage Place, Forest Hills, NY

Forest Hills is 25 minutes outside of NYC – right over 59th Street Bridge.

Driving – Use GPS -there will be parking available in the Forest Hills Garden
Public Transportation:
5 minute walk from LIRR
6 minute walk from MTA Subway Lines R/F/E on stop 71st /Continental

10 Tips To Pick Up The Perfect Hibernation Girlfriend

This is a guest post is written by Jimmy Jacob (@Personalsfacts) author of whom I just tweeted with earlier this week for the first time which immediately resulted in creative collaborative efforts. Ladies, you have to visit his site for great dating insights (from a straight man’s perspective) with an honesty, humor and spark! (Really!)

It’s the beginning of November, which means hibernation mode will kick in soon for many men out there.  And how do men hibernate you may be wondering? We find a girl to stay in for the next few months, of course.

According to the Urban Dictionary, the definition for hibernation is: When a guy keeps a significant other throughout the winter only to dump them once spring arrives to be single for the summer months, they are said to be in hibernation.

I have had many of my platonic female friends ask me why men do this and the answer is simple: It’s way too cold to go to the bar to pick up. (Sad, but true)  By the end of November, every girl is covered up from head to toe and temptation is gone making it harder to hook up with ready, willing and able ladies.

If you’re a single guy in November, you can pretty much guarantee you will spend most of the winter having threesomes with “Palm-ela” and “Keri.”  (Keri Hand Lotion, that is.)

On the other hand, if you can find yourself a hibernation girlfriend, you won’t have to worry when you are guaranteed sex every time you hook.

So fellas, if you’re looking for your new “snow bitch,” here are some guidelines you should follow:

1. Avoid Your Neighborhood Bar

From personal experience, I have found that although there are many opportunities to find your new “winter girlfriend” at your local watering hole.  Unfortunately, you don’t want to sh*t where you eat and when Spring eventually arrives; you may have to sacrifice your beloved hangout to avoid drama after you breakup.  Stick to other bars and pubs you are not familiar with to better your chances.

2. Avoid Gyms

The last place you want to find your hibernation partner is at a gym.  The whole point of finding a winter girlfriend is to find someone who you can be lazy with.  Getting with a woman who works out is counterproductive, since she will probably want you to look your best at all times.

3. Make Sure She Lives Further Away From You

I know what you’re thinking: Why would I want a hibernation girlfriend that lives far away from me?  Having your winter gal live far away from you gives you the perfect excuse to end things in the springtime.  You can give her the whole “long-distance doesn’t work me” speech.  It’s also good to have her live far away because it gives you enough space from each other so you don’t get attached to her.  She should be your weekend getaway. Plain and simple.

4. Avoid Drop Dead Gorgeous Gals

This is an extension of number two.  You want a winter gal who doesn’t care about appearances and is fairly low maintenance. If she is drop dead gorgeous, you run the risk of falling for her and being lured into a formal relationship.

5. Go For Taurus Gals

I’m not one for astrology, but I have noticed that Taurus women are laid back, lazy, sensual and homebodies.  All the qualities you need in a woman for your hibernation period.

6. Make Sure She Has The Same Tastes In Movies And Television as you

During your hibernating romance, you will most likely be watching a lot of television and movies, which is why it is essential to pick a girl that has the same tastes as you.  If you’re more of a David Lynch fan and she is only interested in watching Jersey Shore reruns, then it won’t work out.

7. Bonafide Stoner 

DVD box sets and ganja go hand in hand during your hibernation period and you know it.  If your girl is straightedge, it probably won’t work.

8. Hook Up With Her After The Holidays

You don’t want to worry about buying your winter girlfriend a present or introducing her to your family around Thanksgiving, which is why you should hold off on dating until after Christmas.  Sure, you may have to spend New Year’s with her, but at least you will save a ton of money by staying in for the night.

9. She Has To Have A Sexual Appetite That Matches Her Appetite For Food

Let’s face it: the next three to four months will require three essential things to get through the winter together.  Those things are TV, FOOD and SEX.  One does not go without the other.  You will need to burn those calories and you don’t want her to blame you for packing on the pounds after you break up with her in the spring.

10. Don’t Fall in Love

The winter is no time to fall in love.  This relationship should be comfortable and easy.  When you’re in a genuine relationship, you do fun and productive things with each other outside of the bedroom.  Falling for her during a hibernation relationship will only set you up for failure and possible heartbreak. You’ve been warned.

Here’s hoping you can find your hibernation girlfriend this winter!

To show the author, Jimmy Jacob, some love, tweet him @Personalsfacts AND visit his awesome dating tips blog at NOW!

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