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I know you’re sitting there asking yourself (or asking me) Um, doesn’t 1+1=2? And before I answer, no I didn’t fail math, I promise. But in some cases, 1 simply is a greater number. Let’s get this right out in the open, I am not opposed to playing the field or casual dating/open relationships. As long as honesty is involved. But, in the case of what I call, partner hoarding, I’m completely opposed.
If you are starting to date someone, and it’s becoming serious, the question becomes, when and how do you tell your other suitors goodbye. Or more importantly, when in your new romances, do you stop looking for eligible bachelor’s? There isn’t an exact science for when it’s time to delete those dating apps or tell those Snapchat buddies no more sexting (is that still a thing?)
I came upon this type of predicament recently, when my recent paramour, we’ll call him The Magician, disappeared, like smoke, without a word, and I had to ask myself, am I supposed to date again? Do I wait? And how honest is too honest for a new potential suitor before it sends them packing? Do I verbal vomit that my most recent eligible bachelor just up and vanished? What the hell does that say about me?!
In my experience, for my own self preservation, I play things pretty close to the chest, I always have, I don’t show my hand till I think I found someone worthy of knowing more in general. Not everyone feels this way, it’s simply a matter of choice. But recently, having just had a very short lived, whirlwind roller-coaster romance, which seemed to be headed towards disaster, I flirted with someone else, very casually without any intentions. I wasn’t up front with them about what else I had going on, given I wasn’t even sure what ground I stood on, if it was on or off (turns out it was both on and off again! Dizzy yet?) I wasn’t up front because I wasn’t sure there was a point to opening a book about something that seemed closed, and I didn’t want to start a fire when there wasn’t any need to burn the forest down.
My best friend warned me “this guy is flirting with you, he’s interested and you need to pay attention” and I brushed it off, thinking, “it’s not that serious, he won’t care that I have an on again off again thing and besides…we’re just flirting.” But what if that was reversed? How do I feel when someone isn’t honest with me? The answer is hurt. And pissed. So pissed. When my Magician again showed back up, I thought “See, OK, this is why I waited and I can explain this at some point to Mr. Flirty because well, we’re really just friends who say somewhat colored things to each other once in a while with no intentions.” Until once again, The Magician disappeared, and I thought, who’s the fool here? Me for playing with fire by stringing someone along and being dishonest, while I wait for someone to show up and stay committed, who clearly can’t. Or blowing off the chance with someone who wants to spend time with me.
Don’t be me. I thought about why I had never said a word to Mr. Flirty, maybe because I liked the attention, maybe because I sort of knew Mr. Magician would vanish again and there would be no point. Maybe because I didn’t want to lose either one just yet. But no answer is acceptable. Don’t hoard lovers out of fear of losing one, because in the end you’ll lose them all. Hold onto the one who will treat you well, even if it doesn’t work out, and if neither is that, then 1 still is the greater number. You.
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Imagine you have the chance to start over and create the life that you’ve always wanted. When you are single again you can make your dream life a reality. Your mulligan (do over) may not be the way you planned or imagined, but you have been given the gift to go forward and create the life you want.
The first healthy relationship you need to have is with yourself. When you have healed your heart and start having a better relationship with yourself, your entire attitude toward life and the vision you have of your dream partner will synchronize. With ample healing, I can clearly see that the partners I once saw as “possibilities” are now “non-contenders”.
Here are 10 tips to jump start your healing to create an amazing life:
1. BE HAPPY: Forgiving yourself promotes healing. Yes, you’re single again. It as a second chance to have the life you’ve always wanted. Want to redecorate? Dreamed of having a gorgeous wardrobe? Always wanted to be a fantastic cook? Yes, you can have it all! Create the life you want. You have permission to be happy!
2. BE POSITIVE: Make a list of all your great qualities and why you are awesome. Recite it every night and morning until you smile. Positive self-talk is powerful! Happiness is for the taking. Go grab a slice!
3. BE HEALTHY: Start slowly by eating more fruits and veggies. Since you’re probably experiencing a lot of stress, now is a great time to take better care of your health. This also includes skin care, hair care, etc. You deserve to feel fabulous and it will lift your spirits!
4. BE SMART: I could write a book about all the advice I received (both good and bad) when I was first single. One person actually told me that I just needed to, “go out and have some sex.” Um, no. Always, consider the source. Regardless of their intention, you DO NOT need to take anyone’s advice. You are creating YOUR NEW LIFE, drama free. Be respectful but do not be afraid to say, “No thank you.” Regain your confidence by making smart choices.
5. BE PATIENT: When you are healing, you should take all the time in the world until you feel confident enough to jump back into the dating scene again. This might take the rest of your life, and that’s okay. You shouldn’t feel like you are pressured into being with somebody just because you are single. Having the support of friends and family will help cope with your feeling of loneliness. Just be patient, and fate will take care of the rest.
6. BE INTERESTING: I know a guy who boasts about how he only watches TV and never really likes to go anywhere. He says he’s, “a homebody”. It was a very short lived (and extremely awkward) conversation. Read interesting books. Have a hobby. Take up a new activity. Join a club. This will help you heal because you are living life and not sitting around waiting for life to come to you.
7. BE FLIRTY: Ever see the Friends episode where “Ross Can’t Flirt”? You should bring back that little spark to your day (not at work!). It may take some practice but it will help you heal by being more open with people and will help build your confidence.
8. BE ACTIVE: A solo walk in the park, or in the neighborhood during daylight hours (safety first, of course) will help you sort out your thoughts and feelings. Use this time to really think about and plan the life you’re creating. I have walked many, many miles by the river and gained so much clarity during this solitude. A rigorous workout at the gym is great for releasing those endorphin’s for a mood boost.
9. BE AUTHENTIC: Part of healing is being honest with yourself and others. You don’t need to reveal every secret. Being true to yourself will help you understand yourself better and will lead you to seek a compatible partner.
10. BE FREE: Enjoy life to its fullest. This is your chance. Take it!
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I had been in a relationship for over 7 years with an abusive, violent tempered man, when I finally found the courage to leave and start over at 31. There were times I thought, what the hell am I doing?
I don’t even remember what dating looks like, and I definitely had forgotten how to be single. I thought for sure I knew what abuse looked like. But it comes in all forms. After being abused, I had to pick myself back up. This took four months of hanging out with my girl friends, working out at the gym, throwing myself into my work, and of course spending quality time by myself and my rescue pit bull.
I decided it was time to stop waiting around and get back on the dating horse. After saying I never would (and partially being grateful I never had to), I agreed to join a dating app as a “social experiment” along with my best friend. I immediately got several matches and began talking to a few, but instantly clicked with one. This was in the middle of a terrible snow storm we had here in New York. Our first date almost didn’t happen, but he agreed to pick me up in the middle of the snow storm. We went to a coffee shop, where we genuinely clicked, so much so that I agreed to let him come over to help me shovel my snow covered driveway (I swear it’s not a euphemism just a really sweet way to keep our date going late into the evening).
After that first date we just couldn’t stop talking. He joined a chat client so we could talk while I was at work, and we saw each other every day. It seemed too perfect, but after what I had just been through I was thinking “don’t I deserve a little perfect?”. This man was sweet, kind, and loved my overprotective, stinky dog. He refused to let me pay for anything (any time I tried, I would find money hidden in my pockets and a text would pop up saying “Check your pockets cutie xoxo”).
Within a short time he was admitting that something was drawing him to me, he was falling for me, and as scared as I was, I was falling for him too. I deleted my dating app, he deleted his and we asked the question only a few weeks in “are we a couple?” and both feeling giddy, we agreed. On our way to dinner, he looked at me and said with a huge grin “I have a girlfriend!!”, after years of feeling like someone’s property, I felt like I had someone who cherished me and was happy in my company.
Three months in, things changed. I stopped hearing from him as frequently, and got excuses that work was getting busy, well OK, this is a man who runs his own business, it was possible, and who doesn’t appreciate a hard working partner? Suddenly I started questioning his feelings, and mine, already wary of getting used and hurt, now I was on edge.
Then after buying him a plane ticket and hotel to visit my family out of state, I didn’t hear from him for nearly 3 weeks. It was radio silence, so much that my best friend even texted him, to sarcastically ask him if he was dead. What was going on? I cried in text messages, “where are u?! ” and asked him to confirm if we were still going on this trip, or even still a couple, which, briefly he assured me he was and we most certainly were.
He agreed to pick me up one night but never showed up. I was about to give up, but the day before the trip, miraculously there he was, and he owed me a serious explanation. Which to this day, I only sort of got. He gave me apologies, about how selfish he was, for thinking he could disappear and how he knew how close to losing me he came and he never wants that to happen. I listened and said, “do this again and we’re done”. He promised. He said let’s move in together. When we got home things were better, for a short time, and then we had to decide on an apartment. I spent time looking, time he had promised to spend with me, and yet came up with reasons why he couldn’t. When I found a place for us, he couldn’t be there to see it, he disappeared…again. He stopped answering his phone.
Abuse comes in all forms. I thought I knew what it looked like and could spot it a million miles away. I found myself on the receiving end of a roller coaster of emotions again, not knowing when or where I would hear from this man who claimed to care about me. Are there good, kind men out there? I’m still hoping.
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A guy I have known only a few weeks told me he loves me. While we were on the phone, he told his friend that he was talking to the woman who might be his wife. Whoa… I just spent 6 years in divorce court. Marriage talk… Not exactly a winning strategy with me.
He talks about how we will make a great team and offered me housing. He says he has spent the past 15 years looking for someone like me. We haven’t even kissed. He is a really nice person. I enjoy talking to him. He’d make a kick ass business partner. But, he needs a dating coach. He is going about finding love all wrong.
In theory you should be able to stop the game playing and tell someone you like, that you like them right away. In reality, however, you need to follow the following rules…
1. Play hard to get.
2. Never put all your eggs in one basket… Do not focus on one person. Date lots of people. Don’t stop dating lots of people until someone you want to be in a relationship with is falling in love with you.
3. Exercise. If you are a guy, do not assume money alone will get you laid. Both sexes care a lot about how you look naked. The better you look, the easier dating becomes.
4. Do not tell someone you are attracted to them. Keep them guessing about whether or not you have the hots for them.
5. Do not call a new person often. We are back to Rule number 1. Do not call too often because you need to play hard to get.
Sorry I did not make this funny. I have a migraine. But, while it isn’t funny, it is the best advice anyone could give you. Memorize those rules.
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If you are like me and have been single for a while and are in the dating world I’m sure you have met many unavailable, unemotional types. Your feelings were all over the place numerous times over and over again. This can become very disappointing when you’re a relationship person and can’t find one person to be consistent with. You probably stayed friends with a few because you were romantically not compatible but they weren’t terrible human beings and actually tolerable as acquaintances. But the truth is, are they worth keeping around or could they mess up new potential possibilities?
The best part about dating all the wrong people is that you learn something new each time about what you are really looking for and willing to actually put up with. Once you are ready to let someone in and you are ready to be serious for a long-term commitment I think it’s a must that you get rid of any past influences or potential failed mates that are still lingering around.
Maybe you have some of these characters texting you or messaging you on Facebook . They tell you their feelings randomly on Friday nights at 2 am. If you have more than one of these guys/gals on your list it’s time for some serious Spring cleaning. The reason why it’s so important to re-evaluate the people you have lingering around is because they drain your energy that you can be sharing with someone new and deserving who is actually worth keeping on your speed dial. Do you want to end up alone because you couldn’t say goodbye to yesterdays news. Here’s a list for you to review in order to start taking a hard look at yourself and the company you have been keeping.
1. The high school/college Ex – Everyone has one or two, and they were with these guys/gals during the best years of their life. School was fun and you both looked your best. You enjoyed the time, it was a part of growing up and your first real relationship…your main stepping stone to adulthood. You will always have those memories, but seriously it was years ago. If your old school flame was going to make a move again or you wanted to it would have happened at this point. You guys are actually in a friend zone for life!! It’s over, sorry to ruin everyone’s fantasies of marrying their high school sweetheart. Honestly it ends up being you only see them as a good friend and you are not even on the same page anymore. You have experienced new things, it will always be a part of you but now you are a more evolved, complicated being.
2. The crush – This one is a hard one because this is someone you desired but, the liking was unrequited. She/he may be with someone or not ready to be in a relationship with you. You know the crush, the one that is hard to get so you chase, chase, chase. But then one day you’re just like, well this isn’t fun anymore. Then all of a sudden they are texting you like: “Where have you been I miss you blah blah blah.” Listen Mister Or Miss Crush, no one should have to try that hard to be happy with anyone…Real love comes naturally and is mutual. The crush is a tease, an illusion like gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s fun to think about, but try getting to that gold. It’s not happening, so let it go before a tornado comes through.
3.The random people you dated over the years in person or online – The flakes, the duds, the waste of time guys and gals who played numerous games. They are out there serial dating, but when they get lonely, they try to hang out with you and tell you they were wrong. Guess what? They are all talk! Do you want these people ruining your new relationship? They are selfish, narcissistic beings that think emotions and love are just a joke. They are a waste of your precious energy and will only lead you down a path of waking up alone.
4.The social media instagram / facebook friends that like all your stuff – Ok so these guys/girls are harmless, but every time you post a picture or status update, they like it and always comment how pretty/handsome you are. They fill your inbox up with invites to parties and nonsensical small talk. Yes they are attracted to you but you are most likely not attracted to them. Best advice here is when you do get a new boyfriend or girlfriend be very open about it. Post a picture with an update saying, “This is my guy or gal and I’m very happy!” If they continue to contact you let them know you are seeing someone and that they take up a lot of your extra time. So if you’re not writing back it’s because you are pursuing the relationship and committed to it. They will most likely respect your wishes. If not…block them.
Well I hope this helps anyone looking to take a more serious approach to dating and are just tired of the random stragglers and left overs that keep coming in as they please. Take control and take positive steps towards the trusting relationship you want to have or are just starting. Make sure it is steady and mature and worth the effort. Your new partner will be thankful for your cleanse and this will show them you want to start fresh and get rid of the interference. This way, you can give them your full focus and wake up next to someone, instead of being alone. Have a real relationship, not a wired one.
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I can’t tell you how many times I talk to somebody from a dating site and after exchanging phone numbers, pictures and finally making plans to meet up, they tell me how they have recently been catfished. It’s funny because when I tell them what my tech startup does, they instantly say what a good idea it is and how they wish they had known about it sooner. The funny thing about being catfished is that is has been happening for decades and nothing has changed in the online dating industry to help people avoid it.
There are definitely ways people could avoid being catfished (besides my app). Some of the ways may be obvious to you, but for some reason, not everyone abides by these unspoken rules:
1. Make sure the person you’re talking to has at least a couple of full body pictures in their dating profile. Head shots don’t count because they could be hiding a 300 pound body underneath that beautiful selfie.
2. NEVER meet up in person before seeing said full body photos. This is the ultimate catfish syndrome. You are attracted to someone’s photos, but then not being attracted to their body. There are some of us (including me), who actually prefer women who have a little more meat on their bones. But for those guys or girls out there that don’t, it’s always best to show what you have up front.
3. Do your research. You can easily Google someone and look up their social networks to find out a lot about them, especially their LinkedIn profiles. Wouldn’t you rather find out if the guy or girl is a creep? Or just to find out if they have different tastes or a different personality than you do before investing your time, money, and emotional energy in meeting them in person?
4. Try your best to convince the person who you are talking to, to have a video chat with you, whether Skype, FaceTime, or other apps (shameless plug), to break the ice and have a first date to find out if there is any chemistry. A face to face video chat is by far the best way to get to know someone besides meeting in person. You can see their smile, hear their voice (and laughter), and get a good reading on if you are a match. Is he / she laughing at your jokes? Are your eyes connecting? Is their house a mess? Does she have 17 cats? Does the guy have all his hair and teeth? Stand up in front of a mirror and show yourself right then and there to show what you look like TODAY, not 10 years ago!
5. The worst part about being catfished, is being stuck on a date that you don’t want to be on. So the best way to avoid this is to not have a first date be a long dinner or a show, or a movie, or anything that requires you to be seated with this person for more than an hour. Take a walk in the park, grab a coffee, a quick beer, an ice cream, something quick and simple that you would otherwise enjoy by yourself or with a friend. That way it’s not awkward and you are not stuck for a long time if you need to make a quick exit.
I can’t believe that there is still an overly abundant amount of people getting catfished out there. I hear it every day, and nothing is being done to change it, with all the dating apps out there, not one of them helps avoid this and I think it’s crazy. I’m glad to be in business of helping people avoid being catfished forever.
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It’s human nature to think you will beat the odds. That is why so many people buy lottery tickets. It is also why people sign up for The Bachelor. Every contestant thinks they have a good chance of ending up on a mountain top with The Bachelor on his knee offering a lifetime of connubial bliss.
The 24/25 (I think those are the odds) chance of being rejected on TV while millions watch doesn’t seem to register. Every time the person who doesn’t get the rose seems shocked they got rejected, I want to knock some sense into their head. When you give yourself a 96% chance of getting rejected, expect rejection. Why are you crying in the back seat of some car? I feel no sympathy. Of course, I also have a hard time feeling sorry for gorgeous singles in their twenties.
While I think The Bachelor contestants are moronic for expecting to beat the overwhelming odds against them, I made a similar mistake in my last relationship. A mistake you can learn from. This boyfriend had never been dumped. He’d been in plenty of long term relationships and even a 9 year marriage, but he was always the one who bailed.
While we were together, I had that same “magical” thinking that you see on The Bachelor. I knew he’d dumped lots of women. Statistically my chances of getting rejected are astronomical. But I’m special. I have something those other girls lacked. That was my moronic thinking. Needless to say, I got dumped. By that time, I didn’t care that much. I had a crush on someone else. This boyfriend had been awful to deal with. There was no communication, but what I think happened was that he sensed my roving eye and got out before I could hurt him. In hindsight, I can say that was his MO. He’d never gotten rejected because he bailed first to avoid the heart break and humiliation.
The lessons to be learned are that if you don’t learn from your paramour’s history, it repeats itself. If a guy has a track record of dumping lots of people, you are setting yourself up for a dumping. Hit the road and stay far, far away. You are special, but that does not mean when a person’s past proves they suck at relationships that your relationship with them won’t suck too. It will.
I got no closure from my last relationship, until last week. It ended with no warning. I knew he had never been dumped. He’d left every relationship he’d ever been in. That should have made me wary. An important clue to where your relationship is going is where your ex’s relationships have gone.
But, I learned something about gambling that applies. It is human nature to think you will beat the odds. That is why people buy lottery tickets. While chances of winning are next to nothing, people buy the tickets because they think might win.
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There’s a big game going around the internet, and if you’re innocent like me you may have been played once or twice. Half the people you meet online have other people on the side or a slew of others on the back burner. I never used the internet to meet people until I started researching different websites for my own app. There were a few apps I just stayed away from because I knew they were bad news and I wasn’t looking for a one night stand. I was looking for a serious relationship and I made this very clear in my profiles. But after one failure after another I realized online profiles don’t work, they are just a bunch of the words that paint a picture to lure you in. Marketing yourself at your best. Is dating really a job interview?
I was once approached online by a very confident man who boasted about his prestigious job and how much money his family had. He was not only boasting but he was telling me how great I was and blowing up my head and my phone for days on end. The problem was that I was not attracted to him at all. So after his constant emails, texts, and compliments galore…I gave in. After our date, he was really acting like he was all about me to the point I thought it was a little too much.
But some signs were showing, his words were just words and when I called his bluff he turned the situation around on me, calling me insecure and needy. He made me feel like I was the problem. I don’t want this happening to others. The game is nasty and will have you feeling defeated. So here are some signs these guys/gals are all talk and just professional serial daters:
1.They are eager to talk about the future: house, kids, wedding , they seem in a rush and make all these great romantic plans yet they don’t even know your middle name.
2.They tell you to take your online profile down: yet they don’t take their’s down. They get weird about adding you to facebook or social media feeds. They get upset if you tag them in pictures without their permission. This is because they have something to hide. And I think every fifth person you know, knows someone you know so they might get caught.
3.They want to talk to you all the time at first and they are so comfortable: Honestly that kind of comfort is a professional online dater. When you really like someone there’s always a little shyness at first until you warm up.
4.When you finally show interest they back off so quick: You won’t know where they went. Poof – gone! My best friend always said,”If they are hot and heavy that means they are never ready.”
5.They are usually fast talkers: They always have something going on. They either get back to you right that second or hours later with excuses why it took them so long. Top three excuses: (1)Something with Work (2) Their phone battery was dead. (3)With friends or family. Funny part is you know they are lying because most dating apps show when you were last logged in. So if you were so busy, how did you have time to search for other girl/guys?
6.They never say anything imperfect about themselves: A man or a woman who doesn’t make mistakes or doesn’t have any flaws cannot be trusted.
7. Call them out: On their BS, and watch what happens. That sweet guy/gal gets nasty real fast. You interrupted the game and they don’t like losing a turn. As quick as they wanted to sweep you off your feet they will pull that rug from under you and won’t help you back up.
Hope this helps if you are online and see any of these signs welcome to the game.
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I don’t believe in second chances. The old me used to give second chances and it was nothing but a waste of time. Listen, the truth is people don’t really change situations do. People just adapt to the new situation they are put in. If your pondering whether or not you should give an ex or an old friend who has hurt you a second chance…think again. There is an old saying: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein
I’m going to give you an example. I had an ex, and we were doing great; But when he went out with his friends he would act immature, and get wasted like he was a college frat guy. When he was with his buddies he would pick up his phone and laugh at me while lying about the places he was at so we couldn’t meet up. I wouldn’t hear from him for days when this would occur. Then I would see him add a bunch of trashy bar girls on Facebook after his Houdini act. He eventually broke up with me because he won a trip to the Miami Winter Music Conference. He was an ignorant, immature, turd who acted like he was better than me. Now I step on men like him.
When an opportunity for a second chance came along, he apologized and said he had changed. He was in a different place now, rarely drinks and he was so sorry he treated me poorly. When it came time to hang out he gave me the run around once again. Surprise…he was out drinking with his buddies at 1 PM on a Saturday. His immaturity was shinning through, Déjà vu at its’ best. I actually wanted to cry after getting hung up on by him . I felt like a joke once again, but I knew what I had to do. I told him I was over it and that there was no room for second chances. The truth is this guy is not going to change. Maybe his situation will and he will find someone that will do the same to him or put up with him and his binge drinking, but I don’t have time for it. He lacks respect for women and at 34 years old there is no changing that.
He wasn’t the only one I gave second chances to. My ex who I was engaged to and have a son with cheated on me for 9 years the entire time. I left him for over a year when he begged for me back and proposed. He made a promise when he asked me to marry him. Then he broke that promise when we were only engaged for a week and he slept with his ex girlfriend. He told me he was working late that day, and the only reason I found out was because she called me to tell me what they had done that afternoon. I was devastated. I remember the tears pouring down our faces as I took the ring off and gave him my final goodbye. I said, “Second chances don’t work because people don’t change. Maybe one day you will not cheat on a person. But not with me. You will always cheat on me.” I lost him as a friend/lover and as the father of my son I would have to see him again, but the kind of pain he introduced to me over and over was unbearable.
When people ask me why I’m single I should say: Because I don’t believe in second chances. When making the decision whether or not to take an ex back and rekindle your old flame remember this quote by Joan Crawford: “Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.” Think about how that flame burned you once, do you want to get burned again? You probably separated because they lacked respect for you and by giving them another opportunity to do it again you are saying what your self worth really is to you. I guess I compare second chances to the book of Genesis. If you look behind you it’s an impending disaster. You have already been warned, if you do so you will turn to stone, a pillar of salt. Just keep moving forward and don’t look behind you. A safe haven is nearby and so is a better kind of love.
Until next time, one foot in front of the other, and stay on your path.