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Happy Blogiversary!

June 15, 2011
the number 1, one

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Logic

Happy Blogiversary – to Simply Solo! Today marks one year since I started this blog. It’s crazy to me that it’s been a full year of sharing (or oversharing) my life with you all. When I wrote my first post, Starting Fresh, one year ago today, I never could have imagined how much of a difference this blog would make on my life.

This blog has been my passion, my creative outlet and my therapy. You readers have been my listeners, my comrades in heartache and happiness, and most of all, my inspiration. You have shared countless comments and experiences that have completely changed my perspective. You have educated me, made me laugh and moved me with your stories. My favorite moment each week is writing a post and hitting publish – not because I’ve put something out there on the blogosphere, but because I can’t wait to hear what you think. So thank you. You all are amazing.

A year ago today, I was bored (and sad) out of my mind. My world had come crashing down on April 19, and here I was in June, still feeling depressed and sorry for myself. I couldn’t imagine how I would make it through the next month until my unwedding dayI needed an outlet desperately – and somehow I found myself starting this blog. It was exactly what I needed. It was the light at the end of my tunnel.

Simply Solo wasn’t my first choice for a blog name. At first, I wanted to name my blog “Just Me.” That name came from my search for a new apartment, where every time I began to fill out the application, the renter would ask, “Are you moving in with anyone else, or is it just you?” To which I’d reply miserably, “It’s just me.” I wasn’t quite at the point where I found living by myself empowering. I thought it would be “just me” forever – I was doomed to die a lonely cat lady, never to love again.

Of course, “Just Me” was taken. So then I proceeded to play with different variations of feeling alone and bad for myself. As I searched for a blog name, I suddenly thought, “I’m alone. It’s that simple. I’m simply solo.” And suddenly, being alone didn’t sound so bad. Simply Solo didn’t sound like I’m Going To Die By Myself.com or I’ll Never Love Again.com. Simply Solo felt very “it is what it is.” I’m alone. But that’s OK.

In hindsight, Simply Solo wasn’t the best choice for a blog name. And not just because Simply Solo is also an Australian dating site (who knew?!). Obviously, I won’t be solo forever. Someday, I hope to be Simply Happily Married. Or Simply A Published Author. Maybe Simply Happy … whatever that looks like. You see, I no longer want my blog – or my life – to be defined by my relationship status. It’s amazing how far I’ve come in a year. Simply Solo felt perfect a year ago because I felt so alone. But this blog, and the amazing experiences I’ve had this past year, have reminded me that I am in no way alone.

But I do love Simply Solo. I love that I can share such diverse content through the Simply Solo Spotlight guest posts, and I love that we have been able to openly and honestly explore relationships on this blog. I’m excited to continue this blog for years to come – and I can’t wait to figure out what other meanings Simply Solo could take on.

I thought it would be fun to celebrate my one year anniversary of blogging with a fun giveaway! Since so much of my blog has been about the search for love, I thought it’d be fun to give away something that could help some of my single readers find their ideal mate.

The kind folks at Match.com have very generously provided a three-month free membership to two lucky readers of Simply Solo. (And I say “very generously” because they have not provided any payment to me or anything like that.) There are no strings attached, just three months to try out the dating site and try your hand at online dating.

So, how can you win? In the comments of this post, tell me why you want to give online dating a chance. Did your aunt’s best friend’s neighbor’s cousin meet her soul mate online? Did you just move to a new town and are finding it impossible to meet anyone? Have you always wondered about online dating but didn’t want to pay to try it? Do you just want a few really good online dating horror stories to share at cocktail parties? Are you finally ready to meet “the one”? Tell me why you want the membership by 6 p.m. EST this Friday, June 17. I will select two winners and announce them next week.

For my coupled readers, please be sure to share this giveaway with your single friends! And, hopefully I’ll be holding more giveaways in coming months in which you can participate.

Thanks again, everyone, for taking part in my journey. I’m extremely fortunate to know you all, and I’m looking forward to many more years – and blog posts – to come!


47 Comments leave one →
  1. Annie permalink
    June 15, 2011 9:17 am

    I think it is finally time that I give online dating a chance. I had an “unwedding” myself 2 years ago and called everything off two days before the big day because I knew in my heart this was not the right situation for me. My friends have been begging me to sign up for match just to go on some dates with the hope that maybe I would meet someone I want to spend more time with.
    Also my parents met through video dating (the ancenstor of online dating) and have been happily married for 30 years. I figure if I am a product of a dating service than who I am to turn my nose up at it!!
    Winning a subscription is just the push I need to get my rear back in the dating game once and for all.
    Also I LOVE your blog and read it religously 🙂

    • June 21, 2011 8:51 pm

      Thanks for your entry, Annie! I’m announcing winners later this week so stay tuned! And, I love how your parents met through video dating – I forgot that even existed!

  2. June 15, 2011 9:24 am

    What a difference a year makes! Happy 1st Birthday, blog!

  3. June 15, 2011 9:25 am

    Happy 1 Year Blogiversary!!! I’m impressed you’ve only been around for one year and have literally exploded over the net…and now have unofficial “sponsorship” *by this I mean the fact that you are getting contributions for giveaways and that jazz*

    Though I can not participate in the giveaway I can at least help urge other readers (who are in the single spectrum) to give online dating a shot…if they have not yet.

    My reason?

    It worked for me. For those who read this, and don’t know me, I met my girl online (though sadly for the Match.com people not on their site). But it can, and does, work.

    So people. What have you got to lose?

    • June 21, 2011 8:53 pm

      Thanks, Matthew. Not sure I’d ever say that this blog has exploded but it definitely has seen more success than I ever thought a year ago when I started it! Thanks for the plug for online dating too. Your story is a great one and I’m loving watching it progress!

  4. Patrice Tanaka permalink
    June 15, 2011 9:50 am

    I am so proud of you Catherine! You’ve turned lemon into lemonades with what was a really bad event in your life. What you’ve done, I know, has been helpful and healing to so many people, including yourself. Congratulations on Simply Solo’s first anniversary! President, Catherine G. Fan Club

    • June 21, 2011 8:54 pm

      Haha, thanks Patrice! Your support has meant the world to me. And I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to take what was a really tough situation for me and hopefully help a few other people out there. It’s a blessing, really.

  5. Farrah permalink
    June 15, 2011 9:50 am

    Happy Anniversary! I’ve been thinking of trying online dating, but haven’t gotten my nerve up yet. After ending my relationship in February, I’ve wondered when will I be ready to start dating again, and how will I start dating again? At first, I thought it would be a really long time before I would want to go on any dates, but I’ve surprised myself and noticed that I am looking at new men everywhere I go. Seriously, I’m gonna cause a traffic accident looking at the men in the cars around me, and looking at their hands on the steering wheel to see if they are wearing a ring. Although, maybe that would be a great story to tell the kids someday. “I met your father after sideswiping his car trying to get a closer look at him.” Meet cute like in The Holiday. I’ve put the word out to my friends, but it seems everyone I know is married, and everyone they know is married. My church is small and everyone my age is married with children. I go to the gym, but most of the men are way younger than me, or far too old. So, I think I need help in the dating arena, and I think I may be feeling brave enough to try out the online dating pool. Thanks for writing your blog. I found it a few weeks after my breakup and it has been a comfort to read about someone who’s been through the same thing, and reassuring to see you coming out the other side. Kinda like having an older sister to show you how to put on makeup, you’re showing us newly single ladies a post heartbreak path. Thanks!

  6. June 15, 2011 10:20 am

    Happy Blogiversary

  7. June 15, 2011 10:25 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your story this past year. I don’t think I could have gotten through my broken engagement without your wisdom! Best wishes to you and I hope for many more years of writing in your future!!!

    • June 21, 2011 8:57 pm

      Thank you so much KD. Your comments, emails and support have meant the world to me this past year. I am so happy that we connected – even after these unhappy circumstances!

  8. Dee permalink
    June 15, 2011 11:25 am

    Hi. Just wanted to come out of lurking to wish your blog on it’s first anniversary. I am really grateful for your blog. My breakup was on April 8th and I have not recovered yet. I am heart broken and lonely and miserable, but you have made me laugh a couple of times, and I really enjoy your writings. I do not have any hope for my future yet and am not ready to date (online or otherwise). But you have inspired me to look for a light at the end of the tunnel – and right now it is just that I have not killed myself or anyone else. Baby steps!

    • June 21, 2011 9:03 pm

      Dee, thanks for your comment. It’s nice to hear from you 🙂 I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed this blog. It means a lot to me to hear you say that. I know that you are going through a tough time right now, but know that it will get better. Seek the light at the end of the tunnel and tell yourself that you will have a future and you will be happy again. It just takes time. Which sucks, right? Because time is the one thing you can’t control. Just take care of yourself, and everything else will work itself out. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

  9. June 15, 2011 11:56 am

    Happy anniversary! Blogging is fun and addictive and a great outlet to express your feelings. I hope you’ll stay around for years to come, too! And I think SImply Solo is a much better name than Just Me. When you do meet somebody, you can always change your name on the site. But then you’d lose your cool logo…

    • June 21, 2011 9:04 pm

      NO!! Can’t lose my logo!! The damn butterfly is here to stay. haha 🙂
      Thanks for your comment. Blogging is addictive – especially when you have as many wonderful readers as I do! Thanks for everything you’ve done for me here, Mark. I really appreciate your support.

  10. June 15, 2011 12:56 pm

    I love this – and Happy Blogiversary to you!! I think Simply Solo is a fabulous name for your blog. But – you could always change it to Simply… if you ever need to replace Solo. You know, categories – Simply Married, Simply Writing, Simply House Hunting.

    Anywho – I already do online dating. But a membership at match would give me some new prospects, and the chance to really see how a paid site works vs the free sites I use now. The differences alone would make fabulous blog posts.

    Not to mention, I firmly believe my prince is out there. I just think he’s too stubborn to ask for directions. 😉

    • June 21, 2011 9:06 pm

      GGS,
      Thanks so much! I do like Simply Solo.. so I’m just gonna have to find a way to make it work forever and ever. 🙂
      Thanks for your entry. I’ve been a little crazy this week but I am posting a winner later this week so stay tuned!

  11. June 15, 2011 7:07 pm

    Happy 1 year blogoversary Catherine!! I love your blog. Always insightful and well written! YEY!

    Oh, and count me out of the contest, I’m good. 😉

    • June 21, 2011 9:06 pm

      Grey Goose,
      Thanks so much! I love your blog too! I appreciate you always reading and commenting. Your support means a lot!

  12. Mysterious Neighbor Upstairs permalink
    June 15, 2011 8:53 pm

    Happy Blogiversary! I can not believe a year has passed already. You have done such wonderful things and made such great progress in this past year. I know how much of your heart and soul you put into this blog week after week and it definatly shows. I love ya girlie and look forward to many more years of the Simply Solo Brand!

    • June 21, 2011 9:08 pm

      Thank you Mysterious Neighbor! You know, because I’m always like, “I gotta work on the blog…” and usually it’s not even writing a post, it’s doing all the other stuff! I appreciate your help, as always 🙂

  13. June 15, 2011 10:42 pm

    Hello from Toronto, Canada!

    Congratulations on your one year blogiversary! Yeahhh!

    I am a relatively new reader to your blog…just over the past month or so.

    How I ended up here? I was recently dumped. He just dissappeared without a word or a good-bye. Sigh. While I can not imagine what your pain must have felt like, what we shared was loss and the need just to be heard.

    Your blog and others helped me feel that I am not alone. There is hope for all of us!

    I am not ready to move on. Who knows..maybe “he” is on match.com ?

    Good Luck and I hope to continue to read about your journey….single or not..lets just follow our bliss,where ever it may take you.

    Pamela

    • June 21, 2011 9:09 pm

      Shades of Matter,
      Thanks for your comment and for reading my blog. I’m sorry to hear all you’ve been through – that really sucks. I hope that you are doing okay. And, I thank you for your entry. I’m a little behind, but the winners will be announced this week so keep your eyes peeled!

  14. June 16, 2011 12:39 am

    Congrats– and I love the contest! That’s some very smart marketing on your part 🙂

  15. annie permalink
    June 16, 2011 1:37 am

    Catherine, happy first anniversary! While it’s not the first anniversary you initially intended (wedding), I believe it is a much more powerful anniversary, and one that you should feel very proud of. The fact that you made the decision a year ago to pick yourself up, be proactive, and look introspectively at your experiences is inspiring and says so much about your strength of character. In doing so, you’ve created a forum which fosters your ability to write beautifully and honestly, and provides readers a place to seek solace in the comfort that crappy relationship experiences are not a unique phenomenon. For me, I’m grateful for the simple reminder that everybody struggles with dating issues, and that I am not the only one who had something bad happen.
    I think you’ve done a great job, congratulations, now go have some celebratory anniversary cake!

    (I would like to be considered for the online dating service. I have come to the conclusion that the only reason I live where I do, was my fiancee. Now that he is out of the picture, I want to live by my family, whom I miss so much. SO, I am making the decision to move, and I would love to have the match subscription to help me get back into things when I arrive “back home”, where I belong.)

    • June 21, 2011 9:12 pm

      Hi Annie,
      Thanks so much for your comment and for sharing your story. Your kind words mean a lot to me, and I really respect you for your strength and all you’ve been through. I appreciate your entry into the contest, and I will be announcing a winner later this week. Take care of yourself and thanks for reading 🙂
      Now, I’m mad at myself for not thinking of anniversary cake.. I’m losing my touch! Need cake! 🙂

  16. June 16, 2011 2:26 pm

    Congratulations! Your blog has been one of my very favourites since I found it around ten months ago. My attention to blogworld has faded in recent months but I’m still interested to hear how things pan out for some people whose stories I’ve been following, and you’re high up that list.

    I’m not entering your competition, because I’m still very happily involved with another great dating blogger, but from previous experience many years ago I do recommend that anyone who’s curious gives online dating a try (and from recent experience I’m tempted to recommend blogger-dating too!)

    • June 21, 2011 9:14 pm

      Matt79,
      I totally understand why you’ve taken a breather from the blogging world – you have something so much more fun and real to focus on! I really appreciate you stopping by from time to time and I look forward to hearing your updates as well. You were one of the first bloggers I’ve followed, so I definitely feel like I have a stake in your story! I just want everything to turn out well for you (and it seems it is on it’s way!). Thanks for all your support 🙂

  17. sakurasunny permalink
    June 17, 2011 12:34 am

    Congratulations on your anniversary!! Thank you for sharing your amazing inner journey with us. It’s such a courageous thing – I really admire your strength and openness. Witnessing them through this blog has empowered me a lot.

    I was actually just about starting to go back to online dating, so it was such a funny coincidence that you are offering a free Match membership! 🙂 And here’s why I’m giving online dating another try…

    For the longest time I thought I wanted to live in Brooklyn. So, when I finally got to move there three summers ago, I was naturally ecstatic. Then, 3 eventful (to say the least) years later, I ended up moving back to Queens, my old ‘hood before Brooklyn. And I am pleasantly surprised by how much I love it here now – the ‘hood I swore to myself I’d never ever come back again when I left.

    So, this whole experience taught me a few things. One of which is that people do change, and another is that you have to give everything a second chance to fully appreciate its true beauty.

    I did my fair share of online dating expenditure before. I met some guys and had wide range of experiences – from great to horrible – but regardless those were the people I wouldn’t have met otherwise, and they all inspired me and showed me some new horizons one way or the other, so I was appreciative (I even keep in touch with some of them as friends to this day). But my primary purpose of trying it out in the first place – meeting someone truly special – wasn’t fulfilled.

    So I gave up on online dating for a while, about 2 years or so. I went back to going out with “friend’s friend”, some set-ups and blind dates, even some people I got to know through work (tricky, I know). And I was still with no luck. That was all when I was in Brooklyn.

    Now, the summer is here, I am “solo” in my new apartment in my old ‘hood. I am full of hopes and curiosities. Would online dating give me a similar unexpected, pleasant surprise like the borough of Queens did? I am intrigued, and ready to find it out. (and the 3 months of free membership on Match will definitely help me do it! :))

    • June 21, 2011 9:18 pm

      Sakura,
      Thanks so much for your entry and for sharing your story! I’m selecting a winner this week, so definitely stay tuned. And either way – good luck to you in your new hood! 🙂

  18. June 17, 2011 10:37 am

    Okay, well I don’t have a TON of faith in online dating. However, I have never tried Match.com. So maybe I just never tried the right site. WARNING: if you live in my part of the world DO NOT try Zoosk. In the first ten minutes of all of my Zoosk dates I remember thinking, “Oh, now I see why you’re single.” And the last straw for me was when a guy showed up and he didn’t have any front teeth. It was very difficult to eat my salad across from him.

    So, maybe just for that I deserve another chance. A chance to find a guy with his front teeth intact who is single for some of the same reasons I’m single rather than because he is a d-bag or because he has some sort of impatience disorder. A guy who doesn’t spend 70% of his income on his car. A guy who hasn’t been divorced twice and doesn’t have six kids with three different women.

    Dare I hope he is out there? Dare I hope he is on Match.com and that I might meet him because my dear friend Catherine decides I’m worthy of another chance and a free one at that.

    Oh, I hope!

    • June 20, 2011 2:36 pm

      So…I’m guessing hat since I haven’t heard from you I wasn’t one of the winners. 😦 But I’m DYING to know who did win! Please, pleeeeeease tell us who won!

    • June 21, 2011 9:20 pm

      LOL, Crystal, thanks for your entry and for your prodding for me to get on with it! I’ve had such a busy week already! I promise to announce the winners this week, so you’ll know soon enough. Thanks for your entry, very funny stuff 🙂

      • June 21, 2011 10:01 pm

        Oh…so you mean there is still a chance?! Hooray! In that case, I should probably add that even if I don’t find the right guy on Match.com I promise to write about all the wrong ones on my blog. And you know how you love that! And heaven knows I need some new blog fodder.

  19. ACommenttoMake permalink
    June 17, 2011 11:39 pm

    Congrats!
    I started reading this blog in December. My friend (who broke her engagement off in December) fell in love and shared it with me (I got engaged a few months before her, but she scheduled her wedding before mine…I also broke my engagement off almost right after she got engaged–what a mess!) Anyway, Ive been following and commenting from time-to-time since.

    About 5 minutes ago I realized that my unwedding day is TOMORROW. Before heading to write a post in my Dear Hubby blog, I decided to stop and read your blog! I didnt mean to talk about all me (but we are all a little egocentric) but I wanted to say HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY! You have touched strangers lives in ways you cant imagine! May you always be blessed with that gift! (and thanks for making us other unengaged folks feel more normal!)

    • June 21, 2011 9:23 pm

      ACommenttoMake,
      Thank you so much for your comment and for your support! I hope both you and your friend who also cancelled her wedding are doing ok. I can’t believe you JUST realized your unwedding day was so soon! I had some sort of crazy countdown clock going on in my head. That’s a feat in itself that you didn’t let it drive you crazy. I really appreciate you following my blog and sharing your story. All us unengaged girls gotta band together!! Take care of yourself 🙂

  20. June 19, 2011 3:48 pm

    Hey Catherine,

    Congrats on the blogiversary!

    I’d love to win the chance to try Match.com, because I’ve been trying free sites but I’m just not having success. I’m hesitant to pay for Match because I’m in thrift mode this summer, paying my bills and working on my debt, and there’s not much money left over for fun stuff like boys from Match.com!

    Best,
    Maggie

    • June 21, 2011 9:24 pm

      Thanks for your comment and entry Maggie! Good to see you – feels like it’s been a little while! I gotta head over to your blog and see what fabulous quotes you’ve shared recently 🙂
      Thanks for the entry!

  21. BeneathTheSpinLight permalink
    June 20, 2011 12:40 am

    I’m sorry I missed your blogiversary! What a wonderful post! xox!

  22. 2NewBeginnings permalink
    June 22, 2011 3:11 pm

    Congratulations on 1 year of blogging! Neat idea on the Match.com and if wasn’t in a great relationship now, I would be all over it!!! The wheels are finally turning for me and I couldn’t be happier!! I hope whoever wins the prize, finds everything they have been looking for and much more. I also agree on keeping Simply Solo! Because no matter where you are in life, you know that you, Catherine will be okay, whether alone or with someone. You have faith and confidence in yourself and that is where it all begins. Let it grow with you. Good luck to all who entered!

    • July 5, 2011 10:16 am

      2NewBeginnings,
      I’m so happy for you! I’m glad that everything is going well for you – that’s so good to hear. Thanks (as always) for your support, I’m so happy to have met you 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. Open Letter to Married Men Who Hit On Me « Simply Solo: Single girl starting over – follow the journey
  2. Winners and Random Funnies « Simply Solo: Single girl starting over – follow the journey

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