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31 Flavors - The Greener Grass Of Online Dating

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Have you ever been at a Baskin Robbins Ice Cream counter pacing back and forth in front of the display trying to decide on a flavor? That one has cookie dough, but the next one has real pieces of brownies, and then there’s the one with walnuts or the one with pistachios, and of course, there are the fruit varieties, the cheesecake varieties and 15 separate options with chocolate! How in the world can you possibly pick just one (or two) flavors for your ice cream cone?   That is exactly how it feels when you venture into the world of online dating! Setting up your profile is exciting and you are filled with anticipation for the new and fun people soon to be filling up your inbox. Whether you are looking for a serious relationship, or just casually dating, you are anxious to check out the options. What you may not be prepared for is the sheer volume of options. That’s a good thing, right? Right?? Well, of course, having variety is nice. It means feeling you do not have to settl

For All The Step-Dads Who Stepped Up......Happy Fathers Day

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There are approximately 60 million children under the age of 13 in the US, and 50% of them currently live with a step-parent. This is a reality in today’s world of divorce and one that is not often talked about. As adults, especially after a bad relationship has ended, we tend to focus on our happiness and the love we believe we deserve, and my friends, I’m with you on that. But what we also need to understand is the trauma that our children have gone through and be very cautious about the next person we allow into their lives. You do not have to look hard to find a step-parent story gone wrong. It is extremely difficult to walk into three-quarters of a family and fit right in seamlessly, but today I do not want to talk about the ones who failed.  No, today with Father’s Day just around the corner, I want to shine a bright light on all the loving, supportive, patient men who have come into our lives, embraced us  and  our children and made our world a better place. I do not ha

First Date Fridays - Part 3 - The Conversation

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You mean, we have to talk? I am one of those people that can talk, a lot. I have been told more than once that it is easy to have a conversation with me. That makes me smile. The danger in talking too much though is revealing things about yourself sooner than you should. Or the flip side to that is learning things about your date that forever stay stuck in your head. Like the guy who talked about government listening devices in our light bulbs and believing in aliens. Hey, if you don’t look like Tommy Lee Jones, don’t talk Men In Black stuff to me. Ok? I guess there is a fine line between talking too much about random stuff and making at least the first few conversations count in regards to the exchange of information. Here are some tips for the first date conversations. Start simple. Some of this information you may already know from emailing or talking before the date, but find out basic information. What kind of job do they have? Do they enjoy it? If

Un-Tether Your Soul (Lessons From A Baby Elephant)

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Have you ever been to the circus? The elephants are always a top draw, and in fact, the retirement of the elephant show by Ringling Brothers was cited as a primary reason for declining sales that eventually ended their 146-year run. It is both terrifying and breathtaking to watch these massive and extremely strong animals being led and doing tricks at the will of the trainer. And further still, to walk around the grounds and see they are tethered to a small, unassuming peg in the ground. How is that even possible? We all know they possess the power to snatch that rope in an instant! What stops these impressive beasts from breaking free of their shackles and going wherever they choose to go? Their minds! It is a common practice in training baby elephants to secure them to a stake in the ground with a rope. They will pull and resist the bondage but do not have the strength at this stage to get away. Day after day as this continues to be the result of their efforts, at some point,

First Date Friday - Part 2 - Planning Your Adventure

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When You’re Ready To Go.….Where to Go? You have both agreed to GO on a First Date! Whew! Big hurdle cleared there. Now....the planning starts.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to locations for the first date. The key is to be open to the suggestions of the other person and to use some common interests you may have already discovered. It can be quiet and romantic, which is conducive for talking and listening if your goal is to gather more information; a restaurant with outdoor seating if the weather is good, or one with a cozy corner booth and fireplace if cold. You could go to a museum, an exhibit or even a movie. I have mixed feelings about a movie. Statistically more people respond favorably to a movie as a first date than any other suggestion. I am not sure if that is because it limits the amount of conversation that has to take place, or if people just enjoy a good movie. A movie definitely inhibits talking and finding out more about the other per

When The Flaw Becomes The Beauty

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In today’s Western society we put a high value on new, pristine items. We have no shame in removing and replacing damaged or broken objects from our lives, whether they are tangible ornaments or shattered people. Value is assigned and increased if there are no visible signs of flaws. And we have it all wrong. The Japanese hold a much greater appreciation for the overall beauty and history of an object and go to great lengths to preserve it. Kintsugi is the 500-year-old Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with liquid gold or silver. The name literally means ‘golden joinery’ and the philosophy behind it believes the cracks or breaks are part of the history and journey of the object and something to be treasured and not disguised or discarded. In fact, the repair is literally highlighted with the precious metals and now becomes the focal point of the beautiful piece.   Muneaki Shimode is the youngest professional Kintsugi craftsman in Japan and at the age of 27 here are

First Steps To The First Date

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Regardless of age, we all feel excitement and a little nervous about a first date. This is your moment to shine and make a good impression. You are very hopeful your date will also make a good impression. There are many dynamics going on and it is best not to get too wrapped up in the details and just relax and be yourself. As comfortable as it is to sit all cozy at your home in your PJs chatting with someone online, you will never know if there is any real connection until you are face to face. (However, this should never take place  in  your home OR  in  your PJs.) After you have connected with someone and sent a few emails, the anticipation is building towards meeting them in person.  Some people want to go straight from an email to meeting at Starbucks, and while I understand this is tempting, I recommend talking on the phone at least once before agreeing to meet. There is something about having an actual conversation with a person that reveals much more than a written e

When Mother' s Day Is Not Happy

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May is Women's Health Month. As we approach a holiday that focuses on the beauty of motherhood, I would like to take a few minutes to talk about an issue that impacts women everywhere but rarely discussed. Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and whether you are scrolling through social media, walking through Hallmark or watching commercials on TV, it is celebrated as the joyous blessing of motherhood. But what if being a mother isn’t exactly joyous? What about the mothers who struggle to find peace and balance? Postpartum depression and anxiety disorders are a difficult reality for approximately 15% of new mothers, with the numbers growing and the mental health community working to bring it out of the shadows. These women love their children fiercely but have a challenging time adjusting to the demands and the new life they are now responsible for. The stories are heart-wrenching of women who carry tremendous guilt for feeling lost, sad, immobilized with fear at a time when they

Price Of A Dream

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The #1 theme of motivational quotes all over the internet and social media is an endless variety of Follow Your Dreams. There is an enormous amount of information on why we should, but not too much is said about the price. Taking a leap of faith to pursue a dream can be a lonely journey. You start out with excitement and the adrenaline propels you forward. You become razor focused and sometimes put blinders on to fade out the distractions. Once you start on this course, it can take on a life of its own. That is not a bad thing. Channeling energy into one purpose yields results, but it leaves other pursuits with little or no energy to thrive. You watch as certain parts of your life pass by or begin to fade and then the doubt slowly surfaces. So what are the dues paid to the Keeper O’ The Dreams? The obvious one is MONEY. Few dreams are handed out free of charge. The bankers call it an investment, but regardless of the label attached to it, it is still funds, moolah, doug

Death of a Marriage - 5 Steps to Healing

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There are few life events more stressful than going through a divorce. For many of you, divorce actually feels almost like a death. In reality, it was the death of your fairy tale. We know the statistics going in, but we all think we are the exception, our love is real, strong enough, the forever kind. Of course, there are always some who foresee trouble and bring out the prenup, but the majority of us believe we will beat the odds. To realize one day that we lost at the table of love is devastating and it affects our brains much like a physical death does. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote about the Five Stages of Grief as it relates to death. I would like to suggest we experience similar responses when we are first faced with the reality of a divorce. DENIAL…. It’s not true. It’s just simply not true. “He’s just going through a phase. She’s very stressed at work. They are just bluffing because we had a fight.” We come up with reasons to explain why our partner just dropped the