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Stef and the City

Monday Morning Jolt

Celebrities Dating for Publicity

Some celebrity couples seem too bizarre or too good to be true. For instance, it’s pretty hard to believe that couples like Kathy Griffin and Levi Johnston shared even one genuine moment of romance. The latest celebrity couple in question involves teen royalty Kendall Jenner and One Direction’s Harry Styles. Despite their claims of true love, it seems the general population isn’t completely fooled by their too-perfect romance. Even though faux celebrity couples like these are often called out for being fake, they show no sign of disappearing anytime soon. Celebrities seem to keep on dating for publicity, no matter the consequences.

Why do they do it? Simply stated, it works. It gets them in magazines, entertainment news shows, and blogs. It keeps them relevant, which is kind of the most important thing when you are a celebrity. They have world-class publicists who know that all the celebs have to do is get photographed holding hands with the right guy or girl, and people will talk about it.

What message does this send? It cheapens the value of a relationship. If they treat relationships like something that is meaningless and can be faked, it sheds a negative light upon the concept of dating. This can be especially problematic for young fans that are looking up to their celebrity role models for ideas on how to act in a relationship.

Does it taint their reputation?  Celebrities who date for publicity lose some credibility. If they do it once what’s to stop them from doing it again? Why should their fans believe anything they say if they were so quick to lie about something so personal? It also makes them look desperate for attention.

What’s the Impact on their future relationships? They chose to put their personal relationships in the spotlight. With this precedent, the world and the media are going to have the expectation that they will always have access to their personal lives. This can impact future relationships because their future partner may not feel comfortable airing out their relationship. If it becomes a big enough issue, it could doom their proceeding relationships right from the start.

So maybe dating for publicity does help celebrities out in the short term because it gets people talking, but is it worth it in the long run? Is it really worth tarnishing their name? Maybe one day this will become an extinct method of gaining publicity, but in the meantime it’s probably safe to say that the next faux celebrity couple is right around the corner.



Would You Rather Date Like Jenny or Melissa McCarthy?


Illinois natives and first cousins Jenny and Melissa McCarthy (yes, they are cousins!) entered Hollywood from opposite sides of the spectrum.

Jenny started out by becoming a famous Playboy model and hosting the TV game show “Singled Out” on MTV.

Melissa was an unknown actress until her big break came as a brusque and overzealous bridesmaid in “Bridesmaids,” along with her success on the TV show “Mike and Molly.”

In dating, people often assume someone who is attractive and thin would always be asked out left and right.

This is not always the case.

Everyone assumes Melissa, who’s known for her funny roles more than her figure, must have a harder time when it comes to men. However, it’s Jenny who is divorced and currently single while Melissa has a husband and two kids.

For most people on the surface, it would seem if you had to place a bet on who is alone on Saturday nights, it wouldn’t be Jenny.

What should this lesson teach about dating?

1. When it comes to love, don’t assume looks, a great body or youth means people don’t struggle.

Next time you see that cute guy, go up to him and start a conversation! Don’t assume he isn’t available if he is attractive.

2. Be confident, even if you’ve had bad luck in the past.

Every day is a new day. Even if you are older, you are now wiser.

3. Be able to accept rejection as a part of life, not always a personal attack on you.

If someone turns you down or doesn’t respond to your online ad, it doesn’t always mean it’s about you. Sometimes things come down to timing.

So where did Melissa meet her husband?

She was at a comedy workshop.

Putting yourself out there and looking at places outside of singles events is always key to meeting potential people who may be your match.

While these women are both successful and funny, both have had their struggles with career, looks and things everyday people deal with.

Life is a series of ups and downs, but ultimately love is available for anyone who truly makes the effort!

Photo source:


This article originally appeared on, check them out for more dating tips!

Sleeping Over at the Pajama Jam with Eric and Kathy

With Eric 101.9 PJ JamKathy Hart PJ Jam 101.9

So as a matchmaker in Chicago, I’m often asked where you to go to meet someone. On Saturday night, I attended the Eric and Kathy’s Pajama Jam party at the Fairmont Hotel. This party is a precursor for the many Halloween parties that follow in the next few weeks. This was actually my first time attending this party and I was excited to get dressed up (or dressed down since I was wearing my PJs) for the event.  I got to mix and mingle with various Chicago land singles, most whom I had never met.

I’ve been waiting for an excuse to go the Fairmont, it’s got a nice wine and cheese menu and the hotel is modern and classy. The room for the party didn’t disappoint, it was comfortable for dancing, sipping drinks and appetizers and meeting people to mingle with.

As I tell my clients, after Labor Day, summer is officially over and after September ends, October and November becomes the best time of year to go to the various events. The calendar is full of more events than any other time of the year. There are events that are Halloween themed, exercise related (The Chicago Marathon and the various 5k and 10ks), as well as a few black tie charity events to meet someone before winter hits. Men are known for trolling for women before winter hits, guys have a name of it; they want to “wife up for the winter.”

So since you missed Eric and Kathy’s Party, let me give you some tips on how to meet someone before winter hits:

  1. Try going to something new every week; don’t hang out at the same old bars and meet the same bar flies; Keep in mind you have to give things a chance, don’t assume that if you try something once it’s not worth trying it a second time. Everything can have an off night.
  2. Get a plan in place for Halloween; don’t wait until the last minute to find parties you might want to go to and go to more than one!
  3. Volunteer or participate in an exercise related event; there’s a lot to chose from: The Hot Chocolate Race , Fleet Feet’s Pumpkins in the ParkThe Turkey Day Trot in Lincoln Park  or Chicago’s Perfect Ten are a few major races that are located in the downtown area, but there are plenty more if you live outside the city.
  4. Listen to Eric and Kathy’s ideas for Halloween parties; if they can throw a good party, perhaps they know where some of the good ones are!

How to Meet Someone This Fall: Passive vs. Active

A lot of people don’t realize that there is a difference between passive and active dating practices. Intuitively, passive practices involve an introverted approach to socializing, while active practices involve the extroverted approach of taking initiative and charge of your social life. The problem with a passive method is that it is a quick-fix. You may feel like you are doing something, but if you just sit back and wait, nothing is going to happen.

1) Don’t expect that just being in a database or telling people on the fly that you are single will lead to meeting someone. It’s important to always find ways to keep yourself busy while you are waiting for someone who might be a great match for you! Meeting new people and taking an active approach (especially as your friends get married and you are still single) is important in dating.

2) Sign up for events that you have to pay for and commit to. If you sign up for something that is free, then you are most likely taking a passive approach because the commitment expectation is low of who may attend. Joining sports league like Chicago Sports and Social   or joining anything that allows you to expand your interests and meet new people is being active towards finding someone.

3) If you are on an online dating site, write to people daily. In online dating, for example, there are both passive and active approaches. Sites where you sign up and wait for matches to come to you are an easy way to fall into a passive method. Sitting around hoping someone will message you and arrange a date is not always the most effective way to meet someone.

4) Sign up for and use websites likes Eventbrite. An active approach involves signing up for groups where you are guaranteed to meet people. Making an account with is a great way to meet people with similar interests. If you want to take a slightly passive approach, use websites like Eventbrite, that allow you to browse upcoming events so that you are able to pick and choose what fits best for you. Now You Know Events is another company that does a great job of notifying you of fun things to do in the area. Once you sign up for groups, you can sit passively because you have taken steps to meet people that are concrete and practical. Another way to actively approach your dating life is to sign up for sporting groups because this is the perfect time of year to get involved! 

5) Don’t forget to talk to people in your daily life. Start a conversation on the El or bus or at the gym. Every type you talk to someone it offers you an opportunity to find out information or to meet a new friend, or maybe a date!A lot of people don’t realize that there is a difference between passive and active dating practices. Intuitively, passive practices involve an introverted approach to socializing, while active practices involve the extroverted approach of taking initiative and charge of your social life. The problem with a passive method is that it is a quick-fix. You may feel like you are doing something, but if you just sit back and wait, nothing is going to happen.

Active approaches may take a little extra effort, but it’s worth it in the end. Invest that extra effort, and you will be rewarded!

What Singles Want?


Are you single?  If you live in the US, there is a 44% chance that you are, according to I bet you anything that as a single person you already have the list of “must haves” for your potential partner. According to recent survey the top “must haves” for women and men are respect, trust, sense of humor and good communication. However, men emphasize more on physical attractiveness- of course, whereas women prefer their date to share the same values. Woman making decision

Even though it is a good idea do have a “must have’ list, we here suggest that sometime by having a list of characteristics limits you and you miss on great opportunities. Check out the article “Must Love Dogs: Throw Away Your Checklist and Meet Mr. Right”



We live in an online age where relationships are constantly changing their dynamics and “Like” on Facebook is almost as relevant and cool as paying someone a compliment when you see them in person. Therefore more than a third of the people would cancel a date due to information they found while researching their date. The most easily available information is the one you post on your social networks, so keep in mind how people might perceive you- almost 45% of people will research you on Facebook before going on a date. Not only that, but Facebook is the reason that 6% of the relationships in 2013 have broken up due to posts or pictures their partner has posted.  Even after breakups, it seems harder to let go of digital emotions that are connected to your “ex” on all the social networks. According to article “Facebook is making breakups sadder”, Facebook is the reason breakups nowadays are harder considering the fact that they are literally just a click away from you.    


Nowadays, what singles consider important is shifting and makes me happy to see that there is still hope for meaningful relationships based on trust and respect. However, as more relationships are becoming so called “superficial” and your online presence is judged in less than 10 sec according to, you need to make sure that your digital profile is impeccable. The “Chicago Intoductionista” Stef Safran knows what does it take to revitalize not only your social life but also your online presence to help you find that perfect match. Check us out and fill in our form at, so we can better facilitate your personal need. It’s as easy and you have nothing to lose.

Happy Dating!

Spring Has Sprung: It’s officially baseball season

 Major League Baseball Stadium Seating

Whether you root for either of the teams, or neither, baseball season is underway and a sure fire way to meet more people! Whether you are a die-hard Cubs or Sox fan there are plenty of options for fun dates that involve baseball. Attending or watching America’s favorite sport is a great idea whether you are just starting a relationship or looking for something new to do.

We’ve compiled a list of great date ideas for any budget looking to head out to see the Cubs or the White Sox.

Rooftop decks surrounding Wrigley field give you a great view of the game with food and drink packages to keep the baseball atmosphere alive. Deck tickets range in prices depending on game day and opponent but it’s another great way to experience the Chicago cubs in style. To take a look at the different options and places to view the game check out Wrigley Rooftops.

If you want to get up close and personal with Wrigley Field on your date why not enjoy a guided tour of the historic baseball stadium? For $25 per person you can enjoy a 90 minute tour with your date on game days and non- game days. Tours include a view of the visitor’s clubhouse, press box, bleachers, batting cage, dugouts and an occasional walk on the fields. To find out more about tours and available tour times visit

Schaller’s Pump is a great option to watch a White Sox game without having to deal with crowds at the actual stadium allowing you to enjoy better conversation with your date. Located a short walk from U.S. Cellular Field in Bridgeport, you can enjoy Lunch or Dinner during the game and interact with local fans.

The daily deal mega site Groupon offers great deals on tickets for both teams to various game series including rooftop tickets. Tickets on this site goes fast. We suggest signing up for daily updates to be the first to hear about when tickets become available.

Yipit, a deal aggregating site is perfect when looking for date deals on a budget. Regardless of what team you are rooting for you can find great deals on regular game day tickets, rooftop tickets that feature all inclusive food and drink packages and pre-game party deck tickets.

If you still need to hear the 411 on the teams, don’t forget to check out Sports Divas Inc.’s blog. They’ll keep you updated with a cheat sheet and information to help out a beginner sports fan!


How to Find New Things to do This Spring

Young couple posing on a fieldI was just on WGN  this past week talking about things to do to meet people this spring. Especially right now while the weather facilitates between snow and rain, it’s depressing and hard to think of new things when the signs of spring hide away.

As I mentioned on the show, it’s easy today to find things to do if you plan ahead (Not Friday at 3pm!) by signing up for email aggregators such as Yipit and Now You Know Events. Yipit, is like Groupon or Living Social but allows you to create a profile of all sorts of deal-a-day sites that can not only give you things to shop for, but can have you find classes for exercise, instruction or find activities that you didn’t know existed, at a discounted price! I’ve found spa places like King’s Spa, a Korean spa, the Galo’s Caves, a salt cave and last year I did go on a Helicopter Ride with Sun Aeros Helicopters, all things that I found through Yipit.

On Now You Know Events, I find out about various events in Chicago, all by signing up for a daily or weekly email newsletter.

Now, you have events to go to, where to find new people to go with you? If you’re single and needing to find more wingmen or wingwomen, try Another free option to finding groups that you can do things with other people with the same interests. Or, if you can’t find a group, you can create one yourself!

This spring, stop making excuses and start finding things to do by joining groups that exist in an email list! And, of course you can still come to us and we’ll do this for you, after all, as Chicago’s IntroductionistaTM, I can direct you towards various activities that may lead you toward romance and new friendship through our personalized social calendars!

The 80% Rule

Find love in simple ways

Find love in simple ways

Ladies, I know many people who have spent a lifetime of wanting to hit that perfect weight. And yet we’re still not at it! However, when you are dating do the “He would be perfect if only he…. was two inches taller, 15 pounds lighter, 2 years younger, lived 10 miles closer, etc.”

I see too often that people expect that dating means instantly they are going to know IMMEDIATELY if they want to go out again. However, agreeing to a second date with someone that doesn’t make your heart pound, doesn’t guarantee that a second date is going to equal a relationship.  However, not going out with people at all, usually does guarantee that you are not meeting people, period.

Some relationships grow over time, that’s been my experience as some of relationships were with men that I remained unsure of until I had gone on more than three dates. The attraction grew. However, even in cases that the relationship didn’t, I look back and kick my 20 something self for not going on more second dates with men that hit my 80%. I definitely interviewed the men some of the time- wondering if they had similar enough backgrounds, if they liked working out at a gym, if they shopped for clothes at the “cool” stores. Silly things when I look back at them.

If there was one thing I learned in my career, it’s that networking and meeting people in crucial. I have met clients who don’t come to me for six months or even two years. I have met people at events that I never thought twice would become important parts in my personal life or career.

I see too many women (and men) who refuse to give people chances, and chances don’t mean that you can’t date other people, it doesn’t mean that you have to be physical immediately, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be unsure. In fact if you ask many couples if they were ABSOLUTELY sure before they married their significant other, many will tell you NO.

There’s a different obviously between being on a date with someone who doesn’t treat you well or disrespects you. Those people are people that you shouldn’t be giving a second chance to. Yet, if I hear “He lives in the suburbs and I’m not a suburban person.” Those are the times I wonder if you thinking about what a relationship takes in the long term. After all, your perfect guy could have to move to the suburbs to be closer to his job. (Unless of course you think an unemployed guy is more desirable!)

Keep this in mind when you go out there and judge someone else because they didn’t dress in something you think is “cool” or their hair cut is dated or they could lose a few pounds. If someone hits your 80% rate, it’s enough to warrant a second chance. Will that always equal a relationship or passion, not necessarily, but part of life is meeting people who don’t always go the immediate gratification route.

If you give people chances instead of always saying “no”, you may actually end up falling in love, or you may meet someone through this person that may introduce you to your next relationship!