Life Advice

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Erika Ettin: Does chivalry go against equality?

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

In this day and age — #MeToo, wage gap issues, etc. — when it comes to dating, there are two seemingly opposing forces: chivalry and equality. (Please note that in this column, I am defaulting to opposite-sex couples, but similar concepts apply in same-sex couples.)

Chivalry: The guy pays.

Equality: You split the bill because no one is ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: I had a cool dad

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

I look forward to writing this column every year, a chance to honor my father’s memory and his legacy. I am the proud son of a former Chicago Tribune reporter, Peter Charles Goldsmith, who taught me everything I know about being a newspaper man. I guess you could say writing is in my blood, but more accurately my dad is in my soul.

My dad was...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Take the good with the bad

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

It’s interesting. Clients aren’t shy to share with me when they’re not happy or not having “luck” in the dating process (breakups, ghosting, etc.). Yet when they are happy (relationships, marriage, etc.), I often don’t find out until years later… if at all!

Along those lines, I received this email recently from a former client:

�...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: 5 clues to beat the summertime blues

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Longer days and warmer weather are on the way. For most people, summertime is a good time of year. It can also be very helpful for people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

But many others may feel pressured by the extra time in the day and feel guilty for not enjoying themselves. For many depressed people, going to bed is sadly the best ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: Ready to go back to the office? Maybe not

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

I have been writing this column for 20 years. I can think of a few things I’ve done for longer, like brushing my teeth, but I think this could be considered a good run. I have no intention of stopping, so no worries there. I have made the leap into digital media and have a comfortable niche there as well. But still, 20 years — who does ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Creative summer date ideas for every type of single

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

In the dating world, the worst part of winter isn’t the cold weather or the lack of daylight hours (or, ahem, COVID-19). It’s the limited options for creative dates. Seriously, there’s only so many happy hours inside dark bars or dinners at the same restaurant that someone can take before losing their mind.

But with summer just around the...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: How to navigate your way through the rest of this pandemic

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

As we continue to navigate the current emotional landscape of living through a global pandemic, most people are feeling that their valleys are way outnumbering their peaks. It is still hard to relax, feel balanced and find some happiness, with all this pain and fear going on around us. Learning how to enjoy the passing of time will help. It ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: The worst excuse for canceling a date is back

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

There were very few silver linings to the past year of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, but one was this: People stopped using the “I’m not feeling well” line to get out of everything from work and Zoom calls with friends to, of course, dates.

Now that feeling sick isn’t automatically tied to coronavirus, thanks to the vaccine rollout, ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: Simple life hacks to improve your emotional health

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Life hacking has become one of my favorite things to watch online. There are so many different ways to make things easier and prettier and more profitable. But what about hacking your way to a better emotional life? Here are a few “hacks” I share with my clients.

1. Removing the fear about fixing things

If you are handy, you can skip this ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Ask this question next time someone comes to you with a problem

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

“Are you looking for me to listen or offer advice?”

I find myself asking some form of this question all the time — to clients, friends and romantic partners.

Sometimes, someone calls you and starts to vent about something. Human nature — at least mine, and most people I know — is to jump to finding answers or solutions when, in fact...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Clients seek answers to dating dilemmas

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Every so often, I get a truly great dating question or two from a client that I want to share with my readers. This week, I’ll be sharing two of these, one from a man and a woman, respectively, along with my responses:

Q: I went out with a woman a month ago for coffee (outdoors!). Then I went out of town, so we just got together again this ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: Finding new opportunities when the world has changed

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

These days, it’s pretty easy to get caught up thinking about lost opportunities. During the pandemic, you may have been unable to move your life forward the way you’d like — and been unable to see the gains you may have made. This can set you up for a difficult time emotionally.

It’s hard when you see that the 664 billionaires in the ...Read more

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With capacity restrictions loosening, couples hope for larger weddings. But they'll have to navigate tricky vaccination questions first.

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

CHICAGO — When Nicole Bowles and Hosein Heidari sent out invitations to their August wedding, postponed by a year from the original date, Bowles couldn’t stand the thought of trimming the guest list to fewer than 50 people.

So Bowles, 33, of Albany Park, sent invitations to the full 120-person group and hoped Chicago’s COVID-19 capacity ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Expanding your search criteria… without compromising your deal-breakers

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Knowing yourself and what you’re looking for in a partner is essential to online dating, whether you’re swiping through apps or browsing profiles on a computer. However, all too often, people are more focused on what they don’t want ... and swiping left or clicking out of a profile as soon as they come across a potential conflict.

Two ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: A heartfelt thank-you to the mothers of the world

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

I cannot count the number of texts, emails and phone calls I have received that began with “My mother sent me this column you wrote.” All these moms caring for and continuing to nurture their now-grown kids — what a wonderful example of motherhood!

You never stop being a parent, even when your kids aren’t kids anymore. You don’t ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Don't fall for the 'thrill of the chase' fallacy

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Someone on my mailing list — not a client, but a person who seeks dating advice — asked me this question via email:

“Is it good to have some secrets in a relationship? Isn't that one of the many things that attracts a person … a little mystery? Are there things that you should always keep to yourself?”

My response to him was short ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: How to heal when someone has angered you

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

This has been a year like no other, and with all the goings-on, most everybody is agitated about something or at somebody else. Be it personal, political or pandemic-related, most all of us are holding on to some kind of anger. And that is never a good thing for the human psyche.

There is a lot of talk about unity, but a lot of people are still...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Vaccines are here! But online dating isn't back to 'normal' just yet

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

After an entire year of masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing, many singles are more than ready to jump back into in-person dating. But there’s a problem: Not everyone is as eager to move from messaging and phone calls to face-to-face just yet.

Millions of Americans are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine each day, and with each shot comes ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: 5 ways to ease your pandemic stress

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

The pandemic has changed all our lives. None of us are living like we were before this all happened. Most of us have more time on our hands, and it can be a challenge to keep yourself entertained when what you used to love to do isn’t available to you at the moment.

Here are a few things we’ve discovered have helped make this time more ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: Give yourself a break

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Like many creative people, I sometimes get bored with my “art” and have to take a break. Stepping back can be a great way to unblock your creativity. I just did this and came back much stronger.

This process has also proved helpful to my writer and musician clients. Hopefully, it will be helpful to you in overcoming your own creative blocks...Read more