The odds are long but you can have a better chance with this love triangle

April 16-18 is National Cheating Awareness Week. In the past 14 years there were approximately 81,000 incidents of infidelity at work and 4,300 cases of infidelity reported to police.

Confession: Many of the couples I see at my office do not even try to make it to the altar when they are in the throes of their relationship. The results of this cheating is heartbreaking; many couples end up either divorcing or separating.

However, a person’s morals cannot be changed by cheating. In fact, staying married with other people makes the marriage weaker.

Men are often left out of the drama and some become more accepting of their wives being with other men. For men, there are not as many things to do when a woman is with another man. Also, men often do not know that women may have sex with men. But after years of cheating and watching how it changes other relationships, I can tell you that it is worth it. If that same kind of cheating occurred in your relationship, stop your current affairs from going there. For these couples who stay together despite the cheating, they make a commitment to one another and are committed to finding the right relationship for you.

Above all else, it is important to maintain fidelity.


Should I date a man with diabetes?

Dear readers,

With September approaching, many are wondering if they should attend yoga classes to lose weight. Personally, I do not do yoga to lose weight because I do not like the program and because I do not need to lose the weight. If there were no yoga classes I would attend, but the classes will not help me lose weight.

I recently asked a Yoga student if he liked yoga and, as a surprise, he asked me if I had an extra weight. When I said I had a little extra weight he asked if I was pregnant and when I said I was not pregnant, he asked, “Then what do you have?” I said, “Haven’t you been fat forever? Are you having an extra baby? I have to have an extra baby just like you?”

I was just a little annoyed because he was concerned and asked me if I was pregnant because I didn’t fit into his pants. After thinking about it, I laughed it off and said, “If you don’t want your pants checked and you don’t want to have kids at this point, then stop being mean.”

For now, he is threatening to go to the gym and I have said no. But I am also starting to think seriously about my dating life since he asked about my weight. If he asks me for a date, I will tell him the truth but try to stay sweet and polite, and if I want to take him to the gym, then I will do that. I really have no idea how to date and dating someone with extra weight is not going to help me do that.

So for now, I will be continuing to focus on my training for two major kickboxing events which will be happening this fall and next spring.



Answering The Door

Dear Alyssa,

Here is my response to your letter:

Alyssa, I appreciate the sensitivity that you showed your student and the way you explained your situation. Just because we do not have personal experiences with health issues does not mean we should not consider their concerns when it comes to dating someone with a medical condition. That being said, do you think that a man with diabetes would be welcome in your home, or a man who is stressed out with high blood pressure? If you would have said this in a more serious setting, maybe he would have understood your situation more and would have been more kind to you.

This may sound trivial to some but there is a great deal of sensitivity involved when it comes to dating. At a minimum it is important that you tell him how you are feeling. Most men like to figure out what it is you want to accomplish in your relationship when you are with them. With that being said, the best way to let him know how you feel is to be honest.

If you would like to keep this conversation going, drop by the Pets and Weird News page of the Chicago Tribune website



Love Awake


Top 10 things women won’t tell you about online dating

“Women really need to start getting naked for internet dating,” snarled @abianronio on Twitter.

The sentiment is a common one and in some ways, it’s about right: We have an online dating frenzy, and women are kind of lagging behind. The good news is that our time is here and real – plus the bottom line is we get to do it ourselves. (Because good looks are only part of the online dating scene.) From our fearless leader, our top ten (in no particular order) things women will never tell you about their approach to online dating:

A quick meander about what’s going on, boy meets girl, internet match for same as your last one. Got things rolling! – @kanyearrachko

What’s it like to play football? (But without suffering the painful concussions.) – @maskotam

Subtle but right. (Surprisingly, for a woman.) – @sbraga

Cute dog, but the contest’s over when he says “Dove Season!” (That makes me think of both the litter of Poodles at Animal Aid’s adoption shelter and you. Like it.) – @WendyMorris

It’s summertime, but bring a cooler. Even if they are professional and male models. Find cute footie pajamas for both of you. Keep all the leftovers. Thanks. – @blackmomryelling

Call a true friend with your entire internet dating history. You and every guy out there will have something fun to talk about.

Okay. Am I a slutty whore online? – @jonwelsh

Pass the real estate agent and the car. – @fucoffray

To quote Rodney Dangerfield, “You don’t get to be a boss until you earn it!” Get your resume in gear. – @middie


That hot date turned out to be a ghost

Rae says,

I went on a date with a man once, and it happened the same week he was married.

I was with him in the food and beverage area at an arts festival in downtown Detroit.

While at a booth, a couple of tables away from us, a couple from Detroit Tigers baseball told us they had gotten married that very week.

That was a marriage.

We sat next to each other at the booth for about five minutes.

Then a crew of guys came and asked us if we wanted to dance. We politely declined.

After that incident, I haven’t had a date with a black woman since.


Seems like there’s a misconception that black men don’t want women that are not theirs.

Most guys respect you for who you are, and they want to get to know you better.

Ladies, if you’re not “one of the boys,” don’t be too hard on them.

They have a lifestyle they live. You are so much cooler if you can relate to those lifestyle choices than if you just go along with the crowd.

Add to that the misconception that “women don’t like it,” you won’t meet a decent man because of your man.

At the end of the day, we’re all grown people. Dating doesn’t have to be one-sided.

I get it, dating is hard.

Why do so many people feel the need to make it harder for themselves?

Talk to my sister and her girlfriends, especially black women, and you’ll see they don’t understand men’s culture.

We go to nightclubs, party, and do what every other woman would do.

We’re taking a stand and telling you who you are, not who you think you are.

Say you want to go to a bar, but your friend says “No” because you “don’t know a good selection of men,” tell them to go, and you’ll be laughing tomorrow.

And don’t be ashamed of being ambitious.

I like a woman that’s interesting. In a sporty way.

I do like a black woman who’s confident in herself, does what she wants, and is a stay-at-home mom or wife who likes to entertain.

I believe in love at first sight.


Well, Rae is probably going to have to drive for me to the next goal, but she isn’t shutting down in a meeting.

She did mention a few nice qualities that could make it a good date.

Her second thought was you might make more money if you date a black woman.

“Black people are known for always being conservative. You always make a lot of money.

You are probably the best at networking.”

Do I think a black woman should date a white man because of money, they’re just more in tune with your lifestyle?

No, but you can’t blame a guy because he’s just following the way society says it should be.

Kell says,

If Rae wants to date a white man, then why not ask her out?

I think the question she’s asking isn’t, “Should I ask my girlfriend out?” but rather, “Should I be checking out his pickup line?”

Especially if she had the conversation with her sister to encourage her to ask her out first.

In all seriousness, I don’t want to date a black man because he thinks a black woman is more in tune with his lifestyle.

If they can find common ground for the betterment of their relationship, then that’s a date to me.


Rae does need to go check out her own interview for more facts.

I find it very unfortunate that this article was taken out of context to suit a personal vendetta.

Whether you believe it or not, men are marrying black women of all nationalities.

Kell says it’s also very unhealthy for a black woman to date black men that won’t get it if she doesn’t do the same.

For me, a friend of mine was married to a white man for 3.5 years and still remained the most loyal friend.


I disagree with this assumption.

Follow your intuition and be who you are. Do what you want to do.

This common thread is where our points of disagreement are.


Post-breakup advice from a dating expert

Dating’s in general isn’t great.

But there are some bright spots, such as the opportunity to meet and hook up with great people.

I remember, as a teen, having very little idea of what I wanted. Every time I’d go on a date, I was confused by what he was wearing and what seemed real to me. I knew I wanted to date someone, but I didn’t know where to start. I asked my girlfriends what they needed to do to meet someone. Everyone of them had advice: try a date night; go out on a weekend; or “get out of town” once a month.

At the time, I went to an all-girls private school and my friends were just out of high school and entering their 20s. I really didn’t have any time or social interest to travel out of town. So I chose to go to a high school party with my friends, where that one party ended up seeping itself into other parts of our lives. So, yes, I’m still trying to get out of town every other month.

I love to travel. I can go months without a trip, but I have a very long history of vacations and adventures. For me, vacations meant spending time in the resort, or on a cruise, or up in the mountains. For the most part, I’ve been lucky enough to go to these places, whether for holidays or when I just wanted to do something different from everyone else. But the things I’m doing outside of vacation are also really important to me.

Today, I’m on the ride of my life. I have been very fortunate to work on many different and very interesting projects over the years. One is called Love Awake, an online dating company, founded back in the late 1990s with one co-founder. We have six people on staff now and just moved our headquarters to Philadelphia, which is where I live.

I wanted to ask three things on this blog that I really think are important for any woman, especially one who just went through a breakup, to remember.

Go out on a date.

I’m not saying that you need to be old and tanned and clear of acne. Just go. Date somebody with a sense of humor.

Don’t be afraid to seek out a decent, honest person. It’s not always easy to get good people to talk to. But at the end of the day, you’ll be relieved to know that you can really care about another person. Just remember to be a good friend. One thing I’ve learned during this breakup thing is to just take my time — take a breath, be patient. Get out and about. Go to a party. Go to a party. Go to a party. Some people may say you’re doing something wrong, but I can’t think of any reason not to do that.

Taking a short break from dating is a great time to explore something new. You might want to work out more, read more or just stay home and do something nice for yourself. I’m not saying I’m OK not dating right now, but I’m trying not to judge myself or think about my “fair share.” If I’m interested in a guy, I’ll be interested. So now is a great time to do some dating.


What’s the big deal with social media?

Blog: Social Media Dating Etiquette

A Very Clickable Story

AS usual, both Serious Achievers and Entrepreneurs are hard at work on their New Year’s Resolutions. And I’m sure you’ve heard that we have a certain expectation that these two types of people make their most important changes in their professional lives in 2019. But I wonder how many New Year’s Resolutions will actually change the behavior of the Life I know.

Many people in the tech industry are proactive about the social media world. I know of no organization that does not have a social media department dedicated to it. But that does not mean that everybody is on it or that it influences them any more than their choice of work attire. It is the perception of role that is key and with this it is easy to understand the “chosen perspective” — if you can even imagine it — that drives so many of our actions.

People think “I want to go out, meet new people and earn their respect” — and if you’re that person they accept your actions more readily than if you say “I don’t like anyone.”

Here’s one example. Many people do have a lot of social media accounts. They’ve simply shrugged it off because they don’t see it as impacting their lives, and they want to go out with people they already know. But that doesn’t mean they’re showing up. So, they show up under the guise of leaving the house in a way that might impress you, but when they don’t show up, it still looks like they just went out of town.

In the social media era — I would say, in the social media era — we are almost living that worldview.

Let’s just say a “friend of mine” is out of town for a few days and so he has a bunch of different profiles on Tinder. Let’s also say that he also has other profiles on Plenty of Fish. Let’s also say that he has very few Facebook friends — and almost none of them are Facebook friends of his.

Obviously, he has already left his entire social circle for that night. It is clear to me that he hasn’t had a conversation on the phone or over a video chat with his existing friends while he’s gone.

There is nothing wrong with communicating on social media. There is nothing wrong with connecting with other like-minded people on platforms that some may feel have no influence.

There is only something wrong if there is no relationship — no, not even an opening. That is it. No flirting, no flirting with me. Just a one-way street of nothing but flirting with yourself.

When it comes to social media, our choices are easy. We can ignore it, or deal with it. The old timers are worried about sexting. We are worried about Facebook stalking our ex-lover. We are worried about all the minor things that people are doing on social media.

And it is very easy. A once in a lifetime opportunity to find a life-long friend, a new business partner, or even a mentor. Every conversation on social media is a shot at social capital.

So here’s the tip for you: When you log on to social media — and go beyond just “checking in” — ask yourself one simple question: “Will I use this conversation to break the ice, forge a friendship or to tell my life story?”

Facebook is the always-present friend. LinkedIn is always in the background. Snapchat is dead-set on resting in your thoughts. And Tinder is always on the sideline.

Let your friends and your significant others know when you’re out socializing. Let them see how you connect. Don’t text back “Don’t you know you’re on social media?” Don’t send a quick “hi” to see if they are seeing it. Don’t send them an email after they’ve checked their mail. And when you’re out on the town, don’t flash them your smiley face in the corner.

Just sit tight, observe.

Pinterest, like my own “20 things-to-do” calendar reminds me, is fantastic for serendipity. But let’s not assume everything is serendipitous. It could just be kismet.

Everyone will be speaking exactly the same language.


The Best Dating Apps of Liberal Singles

Most of the more progressive dating sites are associated with a certain (often partisan) ideology. So do note that ones like Swirl, Badoo, and this site are for left leaning individuals. For others, it just makes more sense to hook-up with other liberal singles.

Many of the best dating websites and apps, despite their partisan orientation, are also just free — often free to join, to sign up and for subsequent use. So “free” means you give up nothing in return. And as we’ll see, there are many that are just that — free to give up your dating life for that bit of internet convenience.

A quick look at a few of the more popular dating sites suggests that liberal singles can find great matches on here (in no particular order):

*** Do You Have Multiple Dating Apps? The guy I dated met me on Grindr. But the bad news is they deleted the app from their handset and they also eliminated the live chat option. So I had to settle for a text during the time of tryst. Of course, the entire message thread has been deleted. I thought of using another dating app, but then I don’t have enough pictures of myself to create a “mock profile.” No photos! Now if you have more free time, you can download this app to use in the evenings. But note that it’s associated with the dating site (and by link, it is also the chief contact for that dating site).

Got a Love Match?

Dating is hard to get along with those you’re “dating” because you’re not willing to be as tolerant and tolerant like someone you might meet in person. Dating isn’t even a practice that can be practiced from “beyond.” Love is a really big deal, unless you’re not able to love people — nor do you have a desire to. Come on! — Author Unknown (May 13, 1921 – August 12, 2002)

If you come across someone’s profile on any dating site that reads like he was written for or by that site, look to see if it says, “It’s not about you guys, it’s about me.” — Author Unknown (May 13, 1921 – August 12, 2002)

Hello! Let me introduce myself by way of my profile:

My name is Nicholas DeMetz. I have designed an award-winning paper charger from a simple rubber band. If you’re interested in finding out more about my products, you can reach me by email [email protected] If you’ll be in my city soon, please call me at 843-472-8924 to book a meeting. — Author Unknown (May 13, 1921 – August 12, 2002)

We all have too many dates in the past year. So why not separate your dating list from all the others that go to the gym or the movies? Use our best friend, Patrick Stewart as your worst enemy! — Author Unknown (May 13, 1921 – August 12, 2002)

Which dating sites are you currently using? Have you found any great results? Feel free to share. If you have any thoughts that you’d like to express, please post an email to our helpdesk.


Jared Kushner: Team reporters on Trump, immigration, and liberal politics

Battleground writing, naturally, is flimsy. It’s hard to cover that many people in eight short paragraphs — especially if your running for president.

But — some enterprising souls are — trying to cover the realities of a Trump presidency with accounts of what people are really feeling. One of them is , which by chance does not just cover people for the purposes of Democrat and Republican politics.

In one section, they run four different narrative templates, including a biography of Lynne Stewart, a controversial defense lawyer, and an account of Leonard Muhammad, who stood trial for giving anti-American propaganda and fabricated talking points to followers.

But the connection is obvious, not just at the edges, but to the core of their work: These are all writing projects that revolve around people the reporter has worked closely with — people like Chris Carr, who wrote and emailed them all the time; or Johnetta Elzie, who supposedly had a “spiritual relationship” with the others.

“We all feel like we’re at ground zero in this moment,” Elzie told me in an interview for a story we wrote in March about Chris Carr.

Loveawake’s Facebook page shows plenty of individual images of the people featured in the site — all, as you can see, sharply dressed women or men of color.

There is nothing wrong with that. Plenty of sites that cover people like D.C.’s own The Atlantic — and pay its journalists handsomely — are also ostensibly aiming to illuminate the experiences of their readers.

The problem is that the American Justice Project at Harvard Law School, which has run the project since 2013, claims as one of its goals “to educate readers on issues that are vital to American life and to promote civic engagement and progressive political action among readers and in society more broadly.”

What that kind of mission essentially amounts to is specifically not knowing how to write about people.

As for Loveawake, they might have a chance, if their current trajectory continues.

In 2016, Elzie and Carr, and Elzie’s boyfriend Marcus Jackson, ran for president of Montana as the Black Lives Matter coalition was getting off the ground.

It was the second attempt, but first was surely the most prominent. In a post on Loveawake, Carr said he has followed Jackson’s career “since the early days of Black Lives Matter and has always been impressed with him.”

But in their initial attempt, Jackson was knocked off the ballot. After Election Day, he tweeted that it was a fluke and indicated that his attempts had been pushed off by the Trump revolution.

In an interview earlier this year, Jackson, a civil rights lawyer, told me that Elzie was a significant source of campaign finance information.

He was “a rare candidate who was willing to share about the campaign — what the issues are, who are they, what are their opinions on it. But, there was a lot of misinformation about it, so he would break things down.”

Elzie told me that, in more recent political campaigns, as well as during the media run-up to the 2016 election, Elzie has had fewer insights, and fewer creative outlets.

“I used to get a lot of emails from people just saying, I didn’t even know there was a Black Lives Matter movement going on, or I didn’t understand that black folks care about guns. Or that this was a movement for helping black folks, and yet there was no organization. I would say, I don’t know if that’s a problem because these people need your help.”

Nevertheless, he conceded: “Some days you don’t know what to do.”

“We have always argued that the media shouldn’t just be about politics, or people who happen to hold high office — which this administration doesn’t and we’ve had a lot of issues.”

But if they are going to take that argument to heart, maybe they ought to ask themselves what political kind of journalism leads us to the passage of bigotry and hate?

Whether or not they change our world through their work as reports on people, they are out to prove that they can be the change they want it to be.


Dinner Date Help? You may be talking to the wrong guy

By Scott Taylor | Staff Writer

You find yourself on the dance floor or the date-night dessert table, eyes locked wide in the general direction of one particular person, yet you can’t seem to seem to keep your lips apart from that guy who made your mouth water — or just butter up — on the second date.

The lubricant is strong, but the passion is low. Smiling is probably your best bet, but even that can get messy.

Will your date know why he or she isn’t wearing the magic box lube? Or what you want? There’s a good chance your lips will still be dry in a few days, and you’ll probably be breathing through an oxygen mask.

If you want to be that girl who moves past the bad-date mind-set, or moves past the lube box, we’ve got a few tips for you.

Ask your date about bad kissing, and make sure you also ask him or her about bad sucking. We’re not talking about getting your favorite guy to go down on you — though that would be interesting — rather, speaking with your date about what makes a man not feel good about himself. If he’s guilty of not showering, a man who enjoys the company of other people, or those kinds of nautical connections, chances are, there’s a problem. Look at him. Pay close attention. You may need to whisper, “I’m thinking about you” between the lines.

And if it still isn’t working, ask if you can be sure you don’t have some kind of physical connective tissue issues that could be improved with better nutrition, a good cleanse, and/or increased vitamin C. Find a referral to an acupuncturist, or someone trained in reflexology. But even just rubbing a layer of natural lovegloves all over his abs or torso may be helpful. We used to say back in the day that it was important to keep “love ingredients” in your refrigerator, but we now say it’s just as important to keep your emotional food stuffs healthy and stocked.


The Ryan Seacrest ‘At 28 or above’ proclamation: Dear journalism

Some people love the infomercial where Ryan Seacrest told us that in America, one in four people will marry later in life, because “as people get older, they can see the value of other’s opinions.”

Sounding like he was listing all of the people who said they used that snotty, vague line in the “Remember the Time…?” trailer, he said, “Now get married. You’ll never have such an opportunity again, so don’t waste it.”

Seacrest uttered the first of a series of nuggets that ranged from romantic to scientific. They were all part of the The Ideas Everyone Will Convinced You Are Bad At Daily Program, which the talk show host presented as the answer to anyone who was stuck at home “sad, confused, or wishing he or she had invented the self-cancelling app app that got rid of rainy days.”

But as pointed out by Ann Marie Damon on Dating in the Age of Blackbirds blog, all the offerings were “just one step away from moronic, snazzy, or downright creepy.”

A few of the other junk:

• Write your own wedding invitations

• Create your own candy bar recipe

• Be an overweight dog trainer

• Eat with a spoon, instead of a fork

• Perform a lesson in infinity mathematics

• Learn personal branding strategies from the 17th century

• Become a vegetarian

• Walk on a treadmill backward

The most problematic of all, however, was the verdict on whether the key to romantic connection is age-related.

The digital reality TV show: Searching for Love with IHeartRadio’s Ryan Seacrest hit The E! Network this week, and I watched it.

“Age Gap: Is It Nothing but a Number in Relationships?” asked the promo, showing the host asking some young, attractive people what they think about the idea of having a union earlier in life.

Seacrest asked a guy: “You think about marriage. You think about your family? What’s the ideal age?”

The young man said 31, but also “a lot younger.”

Seacrest then asked a woman: “Are you married?”

The young woman said she was, but “I was a teenager in my 20s. It’s different. It’s like, you grow up.”

Seacrest then told a woman: “Some people complain. Some people love it. Some people are like, it would be boring. But what I do find interesting is that people actually come up to me and say, ‘I can’t believe I’m not married.’ And I’m like, ‘Are you serious? You’re not married! You don’t like the sex?’ But I keep hearing it. It’s great. We’re getting the word out to younger people.”

Damon was stunned by that final, final answer: “…and they don’t even get that it’s not necessarily better or worse.”

Gee, Ryan. You appear to be saying that many older people don’t like sex and hate to have sex, whereas lots of young people enjoy a good romp once in a while.

And the post date talk that matters is not about romance but habits of the heart — preferably those patterns established by baby-boomers of yore, which were common to many (most?) young people back then.

Seacrest, however,”has got no idea of the baggage that undergirds the age gap of old. In fact, he might be all wrong about it.”

Here’s a tidbit about why you might not want to grow old alone: Just the other night, someone asked me at a party if I would get married before the age of 60. I said no, though I have a high degree of self-confidence in that answer.

So, the question was not a reflection of your age, but of your emotional readiness.

Damon, an expert on dating from the investment stage of life to the dating stage, simply disagreed. She wrote: “The age gap is coldly calculated. It is a ruse to assert that the young person has an advantage, based on age. Some people, (and possibly some of the young people being pitched as options for you), consider it real love at first sight. Or maybe it’s just materialized peer pressure to live up


Is Your Love Being Fulfilled? When to Break Up and Make Way for Someone Else

When it comes to dating, it can seem there is no specific order in which to get into a relationship or when it’s time to break up and make way for another person. Often, an attraction will be so strong that it leads to a passionate match. But then it can be hard to see past your feelings. It also can be difficult for other people to recognize that someone is in love, which causes a lot of confusion. But you can get clarity by taking the time to recognize what you really want from life. What do you want to do with your life now and in the future?

Once you know what you want out of your life, you will know when it’s time to step back and let other people try to save you. At the beginning of a relationship, you are looking for a complete connection with that person. But in order to do this, it is important to recognize your own fears and be honest about the potential future you both want.

It’s important to keep an open mind, but not to allow your fears and insecurities to control you. Use your own expectations and curiosity to get to know someone from their perspective, not only yours. Sharing stories and ideas in a casual way can give you a taste of what kind of person that person is.

Because you will want to show a person what you really want in life, you will want to focus on your own needs. You will want to be happy, healthy and well cared for. So, don’t expect that person to be perfect in all aspects. Make allowances for differences in needs and expectations. Try different relationships, and live in hope that one day you will meet someone to share your life with.


Bold romantic gesture? Really?


Sweet Cabo will lose one more dolphin if your boyfriend is any good. He’s apparently too good to actually play it cool with sweet Cabo and hear his girlfriend singing and dancing in the background. According to New York Daily News, she decided to bring the guy to the lady’s hotel, thus saving her being alone with her dolphin companion when she finally gets ready to leave for home. What kind of guy would bring a date home to visit his happy bunny to keep it busy?

Of course, it didn’t stay too long. He’s joined by a second man, and the whole house is having fun with the dolphin. Despite his importance, he doesn’t break out a goofy cardigan and sock puppets, but maybe that’s just me. What was going on in this room? Is this a big night? Are they dancing? Cuddling? Or are they just going to get dressed and leave?

I’m pretty sure this was a big night and he was just going to spend the night with his dolphin. If not, it was unnecessary. Of course, they went home, but did they actually? Let’s say they didn’t. Do you think he’s actually devastated and misses the dolphin? Because I imagine he really didn’t, and if he is, I hope he takes her dolphin’s name with him, because I’m sure he would find someone else if he needs a friend.

In the most bizarre piece of relationship advice on the web, the male point of view had this to say:

“We both make sweet love… What could possibly go wrong?”


Not All Who Entertain at Your Party Seem To Look Up To You

You’ve met someone who is cute, and interested in you and your space. They’re polite, intelligent, and come off as the kind of person you would want to date. You just need to talk things over with your friends. They’ve started messaging you. Then, they’ve asked you out. You’re so excited! But then, the text gets ugly. “I don’t want to date any more losers. There’s nothing to this person so you need to keep away!” Eww! Maybe they’re just really great for you after all! Maybe! Can’t you just date one person? If you refuse to listen to friends, well that’s an extreme case of what has come to be known as dating and relationship poison. It’s when you reject someone out of fear of rejection (“Don’t let them out of my sight!”). “Don’t trust him/her!” (“I am totally not into jerks!”). “There’s something wrong with them.” (“Let me tell you how much I like them!”). “This person is just not right for me.” (“What a turn off!”). “They’re literally a complete turn off for me!” (“Ew.”) Most of us are familiar with toxic relationships; at one point or another, this toxic partner has brought fear into our lives, destroyed our health, ruined our quality of life, and dragged us into an emotionally damaging cycle of destructive behavior. This toxic relationship may have started because of a conflict of values, fear of the unknown, or just perceived dishonesty. It may have started because of feelings we had not articulated, secrets we had not shared, a lack of communication, deceit, excuses for bad behavior, hurtful exchanges, name calling, anger, resentment, disrespect, manipulations, unreasonable demands, or manipulation. A toxic relationship takes place when a person uses and abuses you in an effort to justify their ongoing emotional dysfunction, instead of focusing on their own need for healing.

I have found that in most cases, toxic relationships originate between 2 people; that is, a toxic person and a toxic relationship. This toxic relationship may start over time with several sessions, or it may be an abrupt incident resulting in the two of you having a falling out. Sometimes, a toxic relationship begins at a distance with a physical distance: my partner is distant, though it may not be the case; my friends, others who are my support are present, but rarely and maybe only occasionally. Sometimes, a toxic relationship begins at a distance: my partner has and has had a history of being emotionally abusive. Sometimes, the toxic relationship starts in a love connection: one of us is attracted to the other and provides the other person with comfort, loving care, compassion, compassion, support, permission, and feelings of self-worth. Sometimes, the toxic relationship starts as pure passion: a few flirts, I’m interested, and I want to meet her/him but something doesn’t seem right. Often, the toxic relationship can be broken down into 5 categories:

Miscommunication; misinterpretation; egocentricity; arrogance and/or insolence; and purposeful sabotage

When someone is communicating with you on a real, normal level of confidence, you respond with openness and positivity; however, your partner’s words and behavior are acting on, and undermining, their claim to trust and competence; causing you to stay in a position of confusion; or thinking about your boundaries and trying to meet them, however, your boundaries are being crossed and you become angry and frustrated; or even just confused about something you may not know exactly what you’re doing.

When someone is communicating with you on a lack of candor, you are not being fully honest; however, your partner denies or minimizes what they’re saying and your silence allows them to continue doing their destructive actions and statements.

When your partner is communicating with you in a way that reflects an element of narcissism, they are minimizing your feelings, energy, and thoughts; however, your partner views themselves as entitled, understanding, and smarter than you; however, they are disengaging from you emotionally.

When your partner believes they deserve to have the power, attention, recognition, and love that only they have and they’re entitled to it because of certain ways they think you have failed, or are wrong: they are threatening to punish you for the things you did or did not do; or for not doing it more quickly, harder, and more egregiously; or at


Relationships 101: When is the right time to go back on the market for a new partner?

By Douglas Ewing of Love, Awake, (

When I first began dating, I felt like I was dying when I turned 42, and I knew I needed to find a guy with my same interests. Here’s how it was working out then:

The guy I was dating was clean-cut and educated. He had a job, two young kids, was down to earth and even had a pocket protector! He also had fairly good connections with his family, and it didn’t hurt that he had about a million mutual friends. Well, I was head over heels. He had everything I was looking for. I had everything he had. Our families had friends in common, and we communicated by phone. (There are definitely a lot of benefits of calling and texting instead of chatting over the phone in this age.)

I made plans to see my significant other just prior to my 45th birthday. Our anniversary would be the week after my birthday. I expected to see him that day at work. But I didn’t. I decided to go ahead and go to work with hope that I would meet him as I got to work. That did not happen. I thought I had some kind of premonition that he did not show up at work. Of course, it is normal to have thoughts about your significant other around such an event, but in my case, there was one more thing that it had to be him. When I put an end to that thought, I entered a deep and powerful fear. A fear of abandonment. The fear of not knowing what is out there for me in my life. That fear came with the realization that I was ready for new beginnings, and my significant other was not.

So I put two and two together and then three. On my birthday, I finally met my current husband – he was with his own children and his wife at the time. We had a falling out with our significant other. I learned about his new and special relationship in the interim and left it at that.

We both had our “happy place”: He was at his job, I was at my job. We were not getting any younger, we had spent most of our marriage in it, and we both yearned for a new excitement. I took those new jobs, and he did not. It was like going in a well-packed trunk, and both of us started to look for cars and new experiences.

I had a teacher’s son’s birthday coming up, and I told him, “I can’t be happy without me – how can you be happy without me? I can’t be sad, what are you gonna do? I know he will be happy when we can both be happy.”

Next week: When is the right time to go back on the market for a new partner?


Dating and relationship poison

Dating and relationship poison

Overanalyzing relationships and sometimes even trying to cure what ails them isn’t going to improve things much. If you analyze things too much, that will derail you from the path you need to take.

An example is the way many women treat men. There are so many ways to talk about men, and even more ways to decode what’s going on. The reality is that most of us have no idea what our men are thinking about at all. It can be very confusing.

And really, we don’t need to go there. Most men would be happy if we respected their hearts. If we approach our relationship based on what is, and what isn’t – not on what we think they want, or not on what we want from them.

Dating and relationship poison

Dating and relationship poison can be a serious problem. Our brain can expand an idea or a feeling to a point where it becomes very important. If we draw in too much attention, and every thought is this way, we can cause ourselves to lose track of what’s really important.

It doesn’t help that a lot of times, people talk more about the little things with the man than the bigger issues. Like dating and relationship poison, we can start distancing ourselves from something. We can start believing that the minute we start focusing on the bigger issues – the fear of being dumped, or not being able to pay the bills, or what we’ve been doing wrong – that the relationship will fall apart.

How to stop

Too much analyzing can not only destroy a relationship but can also overwhelm us. It’s time to take a break. Acknowledge you are important. Reassure him that he has a place in your life. Open up communication by talking things out. If you don’t have anything in common, you don’t have to hide it. Communication is the key. Only communicate when you understand the other person – when they understand what you’re saying.

When you don’t have an open, honest relationship, you’re often wondering if you are to blame for the problem or why this is happening to you. You know what really matters.


Corn overhang: Some solutions for increasing supply and reducing demand

Sugar cane can be processed to extract high fructose corn syrup, but the majority of sugar cane needs to be made into ethanol — unless you prefer sweet stuff and not sour.

The primary use of sugar cane is to make ethanol, which can then be converted into energy through use as a fuel for a combustion engine, or as a catalyst for a powerplant.

Ethanol is now a highly efficient fuel source. It runs 20-percent better than conventional gasoline and 30-percent better than biodiesel. (See How To Get Ethanol, Not Just Gas for more.)

Numerous industries have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to produce more ethanol, primarily in the United States. Ethanol prices are plummeting because of an oversupply created when it is produced domestically and because of an increase in imports from Brazil.

But the U.S. corn belt is one of the biggest consumers of ethanol. That hurts American farm communities and farmers who must compete with lower-cost Brazilian alternatives.

Between 2008 and 2015, the U.S. government subsidized hundreds of billions of dollars to private businesses to produce ethanol. The incentive has caused corn prices to plummet as farmers planted more corn than it was going to use for ethanol. Corn production declined and the demand for corn as an energy source decreased, while the prices of corn and corn products continued to climb.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announces a new goal for ethanol production. The challenge is made more difficult because of the many mandates, supply and demand dynamics and an abundance of corn.

There are incentives to buy corn and build refineries that produce ethanol. Government policies that are intended to increase ethanol production have the unintended consequence of increasing corn prices and giving corn farmers in the U.S. a financial incentive to rip up and plant more corn.

There have been other unintended consequences of high corn prices.

When corn is planted, the land is planted with weed seeds, which the local corn farmers sell to the farmers who sell out of town. There are weeds in every state, but many farmers sell their fields to local farmers.

There are more tractor drivers. Tractor drivers are in high demand as well as agricultural property owners, who are able to lock out city or suburban farmers.

There are more buildings and houses. Most farmers have rental properties in their operation, including houses, mobile homes, sheds and storage buildings.

There are more Americans. Per capita agricultural land and acreage have decreased for about five decades. Farmers who have purchased land have only increased it by about one acre per year. It is one acre per city resident instead of one acre per farmer.

The increase in individuals moving to rural areas is pushing acreage prices higher, especially in the corn belt where farm fields now sell for $300,000 and up per acre.

Renewable Fuels Standard, the Renewable Fuel Standard, requires that the industry has to obtain a certain percentage of our energy from renewable resources. Part of that target is the production of ethanol from corn. The U.S. produces corn-based ethanol at about 1 billion gallons per year, and is committed to increasing production to 15 billion gallons per year by 2022.

It will likely take longer than a decade for the demand to outstrip the supply, and farmers to outgrow and plant more land to produce the required amount of ethanol. This could place significant pressure on corn prices.

Why don’t we simply move away from corn? Using sugar as a partial substitute is a viable option.

One of the most efficient forms of cellulosic ethanol is sugar cane, which can be processed to remove the sugar and leave only cellulose as a byproduct. Pure cellulose, though, is a very tough feedstock, much tougher than corn.

In the “steady state” scenario, ethanol produced from sugar cane will also create energy — but it will take a tremendous amount of work and technology to begin to eliminate some of the concerns that ethanol producers would face with corn.

How do we meet the demand of producing more ethanol and using cellulose as an energy source, with lower costs?

Culture — creating the will and the culture to make it happen. Cost — finding a way to not only use our corn, but also an efficient way to use sugar cane.

To reduce the consumption of corn, we need to reduce our demand for food. In addition, we can decrease our dependence on food by implementing cost-effective ways to heat and cool our homes. We can also reduce our food use by increasing food efficiency.


Website: ‘It’s your choice as to which dating sites to use’

Let me first state something that all those who have been on this website will readily agree with. This online dating industry is a daunting one to navigate. It’s no secret that I am not a fan of online dating and all of the public shaming that sometimes occurs, but let me put it this way: It is my biggest weakness in terms of good dating decisions. However, there are so many sites, including some wonderful online dating apps, that I understand and appreciate, which is why I have now “gone legit” and launched my own online dating site, Love

If you love a particular website, you are welcome to either join Love Awake, or do your own research and find your own sites that are a match for you, your identity, your beliefs, and your personality. There are many sites I would not recommend to you, and I will elaborate on the sites below.

Some of the Christian dating sites:

Love Awake – Love Awake is a Christian singles’ dating and relationship site, and is not affiliated with any other dating sites.

Christian Mingle – Christian Mingle is a Christian online dating site specifically for singles over the age of 23.

Christian – This site is aimed at single individuals between the ages of 18-45, who are over 50. It is a Christian online dating site.

Curious Church – Curious Church is a Christian dating site for singles ages 55 and up.

Savvy Christian Mingle – This Christian dating site is focused on singles and attracted to other singles and post-college singles between the ages of 25-45.

Predictably Christian – This site is focused on singles between the ages of 25-30.

Pure Christian – Pure Christian is a Christian dating site specifically for Christians and seeking to find romance within God’s Kingdom. – This is a Christian dating site.

Temptation – Temptation is a Christian dating site.

Pastors Thrift Shop – This Christian dating site is for singles and attracted to Christians over age 25. It is not affiliated with any other dating sites.

So, there you have it: There are some Christians who use the Christian dating sites, and there are some who do not. I fully understand both beliefs. I don’t begrudge either, and I feel most Christians would embrace the option of loving and dating within God’s Kingdom.

The Christian online dating world is a very small community, and we all are proud to be a part of it. We wish each other a huge Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, as well as hope that we will discover our Love Awake and leave our singles behind.

I will be hosting a “Get to Know Your Online Dating Site” event on Oct. 18 in Schaumburg, IL. The free event will be held from 7-8:30 pm at Mount Olive Church of the Nazarene, 10300 W. Higgins Road.

This church was co-founded by my father, Rev. James W. Malter. Rev. Malter was a pastor in Northern Illinois for more than 30 years, and has conducted many youth conferences in Southern Illinois for the youth ministry, Transformation Lifespring. (Transformation Lifespring is not a separate Christian ministry, but it is a wonderful program that calls on all people to become MORE alive and to have greater hope. That’s where Transformation Lifespring shares its excitement about being focused on elevating God’s people to greater heights.) I am excited about the event, and I hope you will join me to learn more about the online dating industry. Click here to RSVP.…

By Jen Markounis For The Gazette

Jen Markounis is a youth pastor in Central Ohio. She is a recent Wheaton College graduate and studied pastoring in the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies program.

Jen Markounis is a youth pastor in Central Ohio. She is a recent Wheaton College graduate and studied pastoring in the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies program.


What to look for in a site?

I am a veteran reader of The Examiner, and I have followed the article “Online Dating In Your 40’s – What Should You Look For in a Site?” very closely.

In the article you describe you experience at Work, on this site, and in person. The number of divorced men you deal with at work is quite astounding, but quite frankly, it may surprise you to know how many divorced women are left out. What I do see is an increase in the number of women entering the single arena at a younger age than some of their friends. Women seem to be embracing a different way of life and dating is almost a rite of passage.

A woman of my age is becoming confident and now having a voice in her life. I believe your question was focused on whether or not your profile should be fair and modest, your dating style is something to be embraced, and I have some thoughts and advice for the reader of this post on my site.

First of all, I think there are a lot of people out there looking for marriage. I’m 50 years old and there are a lot of divorced men out there trying to find a wife that will love them more than they love her. My idea of how much a person should be willing to invest is different than yours. The financial heft of the person depends on their age. He is mid 40’s I believe.

If a man is approaching his 30’s, he is done with the dating game and either is broken up with or still in a relationship. It is not uncommon for couples to go past 7 years of being together as a single person. My guess is that if you have been active in dating for 7 years, you should be looking for marriage. If you have been with a man for 1 year, chances are he wants to continue that relationship until he is at least divorced from his last wife. If he will wait a year before filing for divorce, and if he is still in a relationship, then that is very common in that age group.

My advice to this woman would be to evaluate how much she has invested in her relationship with her boyfriend/husband. Then, consider how much effort it would take to get your eyes opened to a new dating situation. I know you enjoy going to work, doing different things and spending more time with your friends, and now might be a good time to connect with a new prospect. Use your imagination and some imagination skills in using that new person that will help you open the door to what you will do once you are home from work. There are different things you can expect to look for in a new relationship. It should not be surprising. Have fun on the site, learn some new things about people, and start having fun!


GIRL MEETS MALAISE: An open letter to a relationship-seeker

Check it out:

Liz Chandler wrote in this space that she needed to know what she wanted from her boyfriend, Tommy. She wrote that she was in between relationships and that she felt like she wasn’t able to relate to guys she met online.

She was actually searching for the same types of expectations she had in the past in relationships, so she could build on them. What she found was a love of and respect for travel, and her email turned into a dating site where people with similar experiences could meet for coffee.

Liz’s stories were originally featured on my web site, and now, they’re featured in this blog, where they’re updated regularly.

If you are considering giving it a try, let us know in the comments below.

Liz writes about the relationships that have helped her build the confidence to step into the dating world:

While going through trials and tribulations with some of the guys I dated online, I looked back and realized that those relationships were the ones that gave me the confidence to step out into the real world. I am the same person that I was before, and despite the trials I faced, I still am responsible for my actions, and sometimes things don’t always work out. When you have a positive attitude and realize that you can move on from anything, that is the one thing that will allow you to move forward.

If you or a friend would like to write in to share your relationship advice, post it in the comments and be sure to include as much of the story as possible.

How are you doing with love? Tell us in the comments below.



Rules To Help Healthy, Happy Relationships: How to Find Your Happy in Mind & Sight Daily Forums Roundup Plus: The 10best Ideas for a Weekly Schedule, 10 answers to How to Build Wealth & Is Smart Phone Nation Going To Kill Traditional Life? posts their weekly slate of links to helpful articles, headlines and a quick overview of the topics of most interest. Enjoy!



Self-acceptance is a trait of a healthy relationship. If one party loves himself enough to admit that he’s wrong, then that is the person who will express humility and learn from mistakes. In healthy relationships, both partners are motivated to be better, to improve. A partner who values self-acceptance is NOT prone to underestimate or disrespect the desires of his or her partner. This is the value to look for in a healthy relationship. If a partner doesn’t have self-acceptance, he or she is less likely to work on the problem.


Think through what you want to accomplish and then work out a plan to get there. The goal should be attainable and what you bring to the table should be what you want your partner to benefit from as well. Have something that the person you love likes to talk about that you can do together. Implement your plan together.


Sit down with your partner and discuss your desires for the future and present your opinions. Everyone has different passions. Choose what’s most important to you and what you like to do together.


Time together should be quality time. If you’re feeling resentful or distracted, why not plan some individual time? You can have plenty of spontaneity for this, but making time for yourselves shouldn’t be just because you can. Communication and communication only means you’re accountable to your partner.


It’s important for both partners to remember to have a single, singular focus. Each person should not be worried about accomplishing the other’s goals or focused on one’s spouse when only one is with the other. By giving 100% to your partner, you will be able to watch one another from a much greater distance.


If you feel as though your spouse is trying to destroy you or walk all over you, it can be traumatic. It can also undermine your belief in your own self-worth. You’re not powerless. Take control of the relationship by empowering your spouse to do what it takes to improve or perhaps make the decision you’d like them to make.


Self-esteem means believing in yourself. One of the best ways to feel good about yourself is to listen to yourself and allow your partner to do the same.


Your self-esteem comes from seeing the good things about yourself. If your spouse’s acting out or you’re self-critical, ask yourself what’s working for you and what’s not. Then see if you can bring that into the relationship.


Where you feel loved, valued and supported is always a good place to begin. Ask each other if this is something you want in your relationship. What’s on your wish list?


Communication is not the same as 24/7. Try not to always be in front of your laptop. Often in the beginning of a relationship you want to go out and socialize and to be with other people, but you don’t want the people to know that you’re hurting. Some day you will get so busy, frustrated and so busy that you can’t figure out what to do with your time. Keeping connected in other ways, like spending time with your spouse outside of your relationship, is good.