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Cyber Dating Monday – Tips For Making This Holiday Season Merry & Bright Online

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Today is Cyber Monday and all online retailers have a frenzy of deals and gimmicks all designed to entice you to buy their goods this holiday season. There is also another type of cyber frenzy that starts up about now; online dating. While Cyber Monday is not the busiest day for new online dating accounts, it does mark the beginning of the hustle and bustle of finding someone to spend the holidays with. Unfortunately, if you are not careful, you will also find gimmicks, not-so-great ‘deals’, and those wanting to sell you a bill of goods. So today seemed like a good day to discuss having a successful and safe online dating experience this holiday. In the dating world; fall and winter is defined as the cuffing season. Simply put, it is the time where even singles who typically enjoy their freedom, tend to want to settle down and be ‘cuffed’, or tied into a relationship for these colder months. The idea is to have someone to snuggle up with while waiting for spring. The shorter d

Hold On To Your Towel (3 Reasons NOT To Surrender)

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Have you ever just wanted to ‘throw in the towel’? (Maybe the kitchen towel, because the dishes somehow magically multiply overnight and you never seem to catch up. Or the bath towels, because the laundry piles up and who is around to smell check them anyway!) Actually, I’m talking figuratively about the mental fatigue that is sure to show up when you least expect it and the feeling that it’s time to call the fight. The phrase, throwing in the towel, originates from the boxing world. When a fighter had taken too much of a beating and was unable to go on, his coach threw a towel into the ring to mark the end of the fight. The boxer had no more strength or resilience to keep going. We often feel like that fighter from time to time in our lives; that the world and circumstances have beat us down to a point where we just do not think we can muster the energy to keep going. We have moments where we sit alone with our thoughts and consider the concept of ‘throwing in the towel’. Maybe

Life To My Days

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Last weekend I took a road trip with some friends of mine to Nashville, TN. I had been looking forward to this trip for a very long time. While I have known these ladies for quite a while, this would be my first such adventure with them, and I was excited for the new experience. I was not disappointed. Let me also add that each of these ladies has their own unique story, background and bring something rare and precious to the table. Suffice it to say this was not a cookie cutter convention, and yet there was mutual respect and admiration for all. I felt accepted, safe and appreciated; which is really all anyone can hope for within their circle of friends. We had a great time, and this blog post is dedicated to just one small blip from that trip that made a big impact on my heart. On Friday night we went to see The Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium. It was so much fun to be there live and hear all the great music. My favorite was a bluegrass group; Doyle Lawson & Quicksi

Why Didn’t He Call Back? (Dating Mystery #23)

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If you notice, the title does not read, “4 Reasons Why He Didn’t Call Back”. That would be a statement implying I know the reason (4 of them to be exact). I intentionally presented this as a question, because, in fact, I don’t know the answer. I have theories, and I am willing to share them with you, but unfortunately this is just one of dating’s true mysteries that strikes everyone from time to time. I am no exception and even though I use this platform to offer advice and encouragement, I ask myself that same question when it happens to me. There are some dates where you know right away that no follow up call/date will come and with most of them you are truly grateful for that knowledge. Then there is the occasional ‘great’ date where all the elements seemed to fall into place. There was connection, ease, fun, maybe even chemistry. After a few bad ones, this date goes just the way you wanted it to. It ends with a lovely, “We should do this again sometime.”  Then……………………..cri

When You Let Yourself Down (How To Get Back Up)

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We don’t want to admit it, not out loud. We don’t like the way it makes us feel. We grow accustomed in life to handling when another person or situation disappoints us; but what if the person who let you down was yourself? I know that sounds harsh and possibly even cruel. We beat ourselves up way too often as it is. Why add another layer of guilt? My Hopefuls, this is not about guilt, it is about letting go, learning a lesson and turning a page. It is about forgiving ourselves when we mess up. Maybe it is just me. Maybe I am writing to reach my inner self, who struggles with insecurities, set-backs, wrong turns and bad decisions. But I need to believe, for my own reassurances, that I am not alone in this fight. I want to use my challenges to encourage you to become a better advocate for yourself and a stronger voice in your own life. Let’s look at a few stumbling blocks and steps we can take to get back in the game and back on track. Procrastination – “Wait… I’ll finish

An Empty Saddle (6 Signs You Are Not Ready To Move On)

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Most humans are social creatures, meaning we seek out and enjoy the company of other humans; being alone distresses us and we do not really want to be a solo act. After a breakup, most of the advice centers around getting back in the saddle and not giving up. In theory, this is sound advice, but what is often left out of the equation is the time involved. Everyone has a different timetable when it comes to moving on. It is not healthy to push yourself, or someone else, to speed up that process. Successfully navigating towards a new healthy relationship looks different for each individual and all should be allowed to work through the pain and journey at their own pace. While there are no real preset guidelines for when you should consider yourself ready, there are a few red flags that spotlight you are not quite there yet. 1.       Stalking Social Media…. Whether it is their Facebook, SnapChat or Instagram account, you find yourself checking your ex’s status and following t

When HOPE Is Hard To Find

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We woke up yesterday morning to news of another tragic mass shooting spree. We tried to wrap our minds around the incredible mayhem and death while listening to news commentators rattle off statistics and recount past occurrences and our capacity to comprehend maxed out. Our hearts hurt and our minds flooded with questions and fears and we wondered out loud, or maybe quietly to ourselves; “What in the world is going on?” We look around at the grief and pain and collectively, as a nation, feel the loss of not only innocent lives, but also our peace, as nowhere seems completely safe now and our HOPE, because we sometimes fail to see it in times like these. What are we to do when HOPE is hard to find? Where do we turn? How do we handle the uncertainty? Faith is a great place to start. There were thousands of Facebook messages and Twitter posts all proclaiming “Prayers for Las Vegas”, and that is a sweet sentiment, but just typing in the words for our social media feed is not th

My Date With Non-Shallow Hal

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Shallow Hal was a quirky romantic-comedy movie from 2001 starring Jack Black as a man only interested in the outward physical beauty of a woman; earning him the obvious name Shallow Hal. He was grossly inept at meeting women and after a brief encounter with famous life coach Tony Robbins, was hypnotized to only see a woman’s inner beauty. The rest of the movie unfolds as he starts to date; then lose, then date again a woman who is outwardly obese, but a true gem on the inside.  The moral of the age-old story; that beauty is only skin deep. Fast forward to 2017 and my encounter with a very progressive; non-shallow Hal (aka Chuck). Chuck and I met; where else, online. He was from the mid-west; in the medical field and new to the area. He was a few years older than me; with three daughters. His first wife died when his daughters were very young, and I was impressed with the way he spoke about being a single father. (I know I shouldn’t be more impressed when a guy does it; women do

Forgiveness Is A Verb (Break The Shackles)

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When I Googled the word ‘forgiveness’; (4) of the first (6) results were religious and Biblical in nature. While this was interesting and even comforting to me, it also made me wonder if the act of forgiveness took a measure of strength required from a higher power and that people, by nature, were not pre-disposed to forgive willingly. I suppose that is the origin of the phrase; “To err is human; to forgive divine.” Why is that? Why is forgiving someone such a monumental task? We all want to be forgiven for our mistakes, so what drives us to be so stingy when it is asked of us?   Part of the answer to that question lies in the harshness of the standard we impose on others, while cutting ourselves a continuous break. Take, as a simple example, a common exchange in any household down your street. John is tasked with taking out the trash and Beth is tasked with picking up the milk. Both forget and fail to complete their tasks. Beth’s internal (and most likely external as well) di

Your Life Is Beside The Point (And So Much More Than A Dot)

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Now before you start scratching your head or crafting your strong rebuttal, hear me out. I promise you, it’s good news. While scrolling (or trolling, depending on your outlook) Facebook recently, I ran across an article that described a professor and an experiment he assigned to his class. He walked in, told everyone there was a pop quiz and handed out the test paper, face down. He then had them all turn the paper over at the same time, only to find the paper blank save one small dot in the middle. The assignment was to describe what they saw. The students were confused and waited for the catch, but finally set out to complete the task. When they had finished, he gathered all the papers up and began reading them, out loud to the class. Collectively, the entire group had all written about the same thing, the dot. They gave details on the size, color, position on the paper. There was great emphasis and time spent on the dot.  And nothing at all on the rest of the pristine, clean