Life Advice

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JON BREAM/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Inspired by a Simon & Garfunkel song, two old friends travel the world to sit on a bench together

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

MINNEAPOLIS — Larry Bans and Tom Edelstein met crabby.

It was their first day of seventh grade, and the outgoing Edelstein turned around to introduce himself to Bans at the morning assembly at Highland Park Junior High in St. Paul.

"I know who you are," Bans whined, having done his intel.

It turns out that they were trying to date the same ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Which came first, the chicken or the second date?

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I was on a Zoom call this morning with a client doing a coaching call (it was our third of three). In the first session, we went over his Hinge and Bumble profiles to make sure he was putting his best foot forward, both through the photos and the profile itself. In the second session, we talked about what kinds of messages to send to people in ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: Things you can do while you've got time on your hands

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Time is our most valuable asset, and wasting it is not good for your psyche. If you’re in line at the bank, stuck at the office or trapped at home hoping the plumber will arrive soon, you can do a number of things to enhance your life, and not just wait for the time to pass.

1. Get out your phone and do some work or play. You can listen to ...Read more

Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot/TNS

'I decided I would be with her every day': 15-year friendship leads to caregiving for woman with cerebral palsy

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At the bowling alley, Julia Prendergast carefully worked the joystick on her friend’s wheelchair, positioning her perpendicular to the lane.

She brushed a wisp of hair off Tyme Fiedorczyk’s face and adjusted her glasses. Tyme has cerebral palsy, which impairs her muscle coordination; to talk, she must type into an electronic device; to move...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Let sleeping ghosts lie

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I have a former (male) client who has what I’ll call “a ghosting pattern.” He will text someone after a date he thinks went well to ask her out again. She doesn’t answer. He writes to her again. She doesn’t answer again. He writes again (maybe this time on Facebook and LinkedIn also) … you get it. While most of us can see she’s ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: When bullies do their thing

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Bullies are not just limited to the schoolyard. Workplace bullies are all too common, as are bullies at home. And of course, there is no shortage of social media bullies, or those who like to make their demands known publicly. We also have — and there are those who even applaud — a few celebrity bullies. Not exactly a good example to set for...Read more

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Setting good boundaries makes you a better friend. These 3 keys will get you started

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LOS ANGELES -- In the classic TV sitcom "Seinfeld," the boundary-violating friendship is played for laughs. When across-the-hall neighbor Kramer, practically the patron saint of overstepped boundaries, forages fridges, borrows clothes or barrels uninvited into Jerry's apartment, it's comedy gold. In real life, though, setting boundaries with ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: How to deal with emotional triggers

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According to the Mayo Clinic, “suicidal thoughts are the result of feeling like you can’t cope when you’re faced with what seems to be an overwhelming life situation.” The tension and sadness of anxiety and depression have led many people to making the ultimate mistake of stepping out of life before their time. This is something that ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Poor grammar, negativity, and other reasons your dating profile isn't working

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Writing an online dating profile is daunting, but I probably don’t need to tell you that. As if talking about yourself isn’t hard enough already, you have to try to convey who you are, share your hobbies and interests, give a little bit of your background, include elements of your personality and express what you’re looking for in a ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: 10 things they don't teach you about work relationships

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We learn a lot in school, but unfortunately, information about work relationships is usually not offered, much less required, reading. Once you get into the working world, you may run into people who are difficult or don’t play by the rules. Here are some tips you were probably never taught in school.

1. Do your due diligence before letting ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Your last date doesn't represent your dating life

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I have a client who is lovely. Let’s call her Julia. She’s 55 years old but looks 45 (which I rarely say!), she's extremely physically active, and she has a 1,000-watt smile. I’m helping her manage her Match.com account, selecting men, arranging dates, etc.

She had a first date with a man from the site, and they met at a dimly lit bar. I ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Hug or handshake? Your handy guide on introducing yourself on a first date

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Every online dater knows the emotional roller-coaster of the process. After spending tons of time crafting your bio and choosing photos, you finally feel all the stress and effort is worthwhile when you start coming across promising profiles and starting meaningful conversations. Things reach a new level of excitement when you finally agree to ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: And the darkest hour is just before dawn

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When things get very complicated and upsetting, feeling low is understandable, and things aren’t going so well in the larger world right now. It’s also not far from the time of year — late spring and early summer — when suicide rates are higher than at any other time of the year.

The thing to remember is that there’s always a better ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Does success in online dating take luck, or work?

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Everyone says, “Relationships take work,” which is true. But finding love also takes work, which many people don’t realize. I wish we were all so lucky to have that perfect-for-us person fall into our arms, but I don’t know anyone who has that kind of good fortune. Just like in our jobs, we have to make our own happiness. We have to do ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: 5 ways to keep your relationship emotionally balanced

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Relationships are great when the two of you are in the same emotional place, but that doesn’t always happen. The cause can be biochemical, work may be getting in the way, or your own emotions may be so powerful that they keep you from seeing your partner’s. Here are five ways to get back into balance again.

1. If either one of you gets your...Read more

Erika Ettin: Ask and you shall receive

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All too often, I get questions like these from clients:

— What did they mean when they said that?

— How do I know if they want to be exclusive?

— Why didn’t they text me this morning like usual?

— Why don’t we have plans lined up for the weekend already?

From my 11 years as a dating coach, I can certainly give an educated guess ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: The emotional costs of inflation

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I practice positive psychology with both my clients and myself. I am honest about the struggles we have been going through, but I can also almost always find a silver lining. With inflation on the rise and the market in bear territory, right now the best I can do is give you economic insecurity emotional survival techniques.

Like a lot of ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: Tips for 21st century parenting

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Perfect parenting doesn’t exist, but a balanced and loving approach to parenting will teach your kids how to get through this wild world. Good-enough parenting from emotionally healthy people sets you up for a more balanced life. Here are a few values you can instill in them.

Appreciation

No matter what your circumstances, when you wake up ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: The emotional cost of living in the world today

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Let’s talk about the world today and what it’s like being alive in this very different time. We have been living in a pandemic for over two years, and well over a million people in the United States have died along with millions more in other countries.

Now there is a war going on in Europe. Everyone is affected by this, some to a greater ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: What are you doing on Thursday? The new online dating app that is trying to change the game

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Over my career, I’ve heard all the complaints about online dating apps and websites:

“It takes up too much time.”

“I never know when to make a move to meet in person.”

“I don’t want a pen pal; I want a partner.”

Well, there is an increasingly popular new app that is addressing many of those issues. It’s called Thursday — ...Read more