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Emily Straubel

Emily is a sex and dating crusader. She founded The Red Lipstick Project as a place to talk openly about dating and sex and to connect with other intelligent women who want to find relationships that are as passionate and ambitious as they are. Emily also works with these women as a certified Holistic Health Coach to focus on their health and mindfulness as they go through breakups, job changes and other transitions to feel and look amazing in their own unique bodies. To share your story or experiences with dating in Portland email her at

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The Sex Files with Emily Straubel
Posted: March 24, 2014

Stop! Don't let the weather sabotage your relationship (or your desire for one)

It’s not you. It’s not him. It’s the weather.

I’ve noticed a wide-spread trend across Portland’s dating scene recently.  At the very least it’s a little unsettling, and at worst it will cause mass rioting. It’s making people do things that are uncharacteristically cynical, gloomy, and just mean. And it’s not only affecting single people; I have seen couples caving to the same weird negativity, and that is when I started to really worry.

It came up a few nights ago when I was having drinks with one of my closest friends. She is a master dater, and loves meeting people. Even if they are not “the one,” having interesting conversation and a beer is always worth it. But she looked completely defeated and admitted that it would take a tall, dark handsome swoon-worthy sex-is-guaranteed sort of guy to get her off the couch. She asked me, “What is wrong with me? Have I hit a new low of singleness?”

No – it’s just freaking cold out and we’re all over it.

Winter has overstayed its welcome and it’s starting to get into our heads. We’ve been cooped up too long. We’ve watched every decent (and shame inducing) movie on Netflix and we’ve played Cards Against Humanity so many times we’re actually starting to question our ethics. We are bored and we are starting to get angry.

So to everyone out there reading this from behind a duvet, snuggled in bed with a space heater on: Please, before you make any sudden moves or rash relationship decisions, STOP. It’s not you, it’s not them, it’s the frigid cold weather. Please don’t make these mistakes.

If You’re Single

The sparkle of wintertime in Maine faded like six weeks ago. Remember how romantic Pandora’s balls were in December? Now they are half lit and sort of hanging limp from the side of MECA. And that’s exactly how you’re feeling (womp womp). If you’ve finally settled into being forever alone, I get it. Confidence can be hard to find in March. With a reaaaallly long winter, it feels like we are putting on a second winter layer and feeling less than sensual. That can really screw with your mojo and push people to just stay home. And it’s been even more difficult since there just isn’t as much to do during this time of year, so meeting people and dating can be tough. I feel for you.

But you’re from Maine, nothing comes easy to us. Get off your butt and go do something. Go to a yoga class and start to shed the second sweater. Remember that list from a few weeks ago. Do one of those things. Or you know what, screw it, just go sit in a coffee shop and smile awkwardly until someone catches your eye. That worked for me! If you need a wingman or a swift kick in the booty to get you motivated, call me. No seriously, I’ll give you a free relationship pep talk.

I’m not kidding.

If You’re In a Good Relationship

There is a good chance your partner is getting on your nerves. How could he/she not? You’ve been shut in for months without light or oxygen and the dry air means constantly chapped lips. That is enough to kill almost any relationship. The fact is, inactivity makes us irritable. I recommend spending slightly more time apart and rekindling your friendships (remember those people?), I’m sure your friends will thank you for offering a much-needed break from their SOs. But whatever you do, don’t make any quick decisions about a generally good relationship until after the sun starts to shine. It’s amazing what a little Vitamin D can do for your sex life.

If You’re In a Generally “Meh” Relationship

The prospect of being single again suuuuucks. I get that. And when it’s hard to go out, you might be tempted to stay in a not-so-great relationship. You know what is worse? Realizing you stayed in a bad relationship for six months longer than you should have because you were too lazy to get out. Spring is the perfect time to be single and NOT looking. Focus on taking care of yourself. Start using that gym membership, do a detox/cleanse, or make a change to your health that you’ve been meaning to. Pick up a new hobby so you can be a master by summer (and show off at all the cool parties). I tell all my clients (and my friends) you have to say NO to say YES. Getting out of a “meh” relationship now means you will have time to heal and get your business together so you can meet someone amazing during tanktop season.

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