Life Advice




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

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

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


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

Volodymyr Tverdokhlib/Dreamstime/TNS

Barton Goldsmith: Honoring your father

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If you were lucky enough to have had a good dad, not a Super Dad but just a regular guy dad, you really hit the jackpot. So many kids grow up (or try to) without the emotional support or even the presence of a father. The idea of not having one is heartbreaking to me, and I know it is all too common.

On this Father’s Day, you have only one ...Read more


Erika Ettin: Does this date come in my size?

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Sometimes I feel like Carrie Bradshaw when I write about dating. (Did I just date myself? I loved that show.) Just as Carrie would have shopped for clothes on "Sex and the City," I want to talk about how online dating is a bit like clothes shopping. I know the analogy is a little cringey, but bear with me for a minute.

When most of us go ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: Finding your way through a big problem

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With all the ruminations we go over daily, it is amazing how easily what we once perceived as problems, even some trauma, can disappear instantly when an even bigger problem comes along. I can imagine a family in Ukraine arguing over household chores the night before the missiles started hitting their innocent targets.

We carry with us many ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: First date spins that seem like a good idea… but aren't

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If you wanted to play Steve Harvey and survey 100 people about a situation that makes someone nervous, a lot of people would probably answer “a first date.” It may even be the number one answer on the board — and for obvious reasons. You’re meeting someone new, trying to make a good first impression, and trying to decide if this is ...Read more

Ivy Ceballo/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

On a sunny day in a Tampa park, LGBTQ couples got married. It was nice

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TAMPA, Fla. — Shiine and Angel Thompson met at a sorority event and had their first date at a Brandon, Florida, bowling alley.

So when Shiine Thompson proposed, she surprised her intended by doing it at that same bowling alley, even reserving the same bowling lane.

“I would say the first time I met her, I already knew,” she said.

...Read more


Barton Goldsmith: A simple way to deal with emotional stress

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If something in your life is giving you anxiety or making you feel depressed, there’s a simple way to deal with your emotional distress. This technique has helped many, many people.

When you have an issue going on, you need to remember a time when things were actually worse. It’s not hard to do, but it can bring up some difficult memories. ...Read more

Andrii Klapko/Dreamstime/TNS

Erika Ettin: Two of the most common questions clients ask this dating coach

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As a dating coach, I get a lot of interesting questions, and some of them come up more often than others. For that reason, I wanted to share a Q&A on two of my clients’ most common questions:

Q: I was with a friend tonight who recommended I fudge my age on these sites. I know it’s not the most honest thing to do, but she said she would have...Read more

Korrawin Khanta/Dreamstime/TNS

Barton Goldsmith: Neglect is never benign

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The expression “benign neglect” means that neglect, or lack of attention, was intentional and done supposedly to help someone or something. That may work well for a cactus, but not another human being, and what if that person is a child?

Neglect is hurtful and abusive in many circumstances, especially when concerning children. Neglect is ...Read more


Erika Ettin: Summertime and the livin' is easy -- online dating can be too!

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The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing, and the air conditioning is on — summer is almost here.

In the world of dating, summer is usually associated with more casual flings, while relationships go hand in hand with winter months. After all, the months of October through February have even earned the name of “...Read more


Barton Goldsmith: Paying it forward helps to build a better brain

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We are all being made much more aware of how we have to exercise our brains to keep them in shape for the long term. Many people do puzzles like crosswords and sudoku, but I have a suggestion for another means of brain building that will make your life better as well as the lives of others.

As a therapist, I am constantly using my brain to ...Read more


Erika Ettin: Do dating apps work?

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A question I get all the time, from clients and strangers alike, is “Do dating apps work?”

Here’s the thing: Any app can be efficient or successful, depending on what you put out there and how proactive you are in the process. If you put up six mediocre pictures and no writeup and expect to attract quality people, you’ll be sorely ...Read more

Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/TNS

In their search for love, South Asians swipe right on dating apps catered for them

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LOS ANGELES — Most swiping for love on a dating app know the drill.

Strategically pen an inviting self-description. Select filters — age, geographic proximity — for potential partners. Perhaps declare intentions: Looking for something serious? Something casual?

The dating app Mirchi presents another possibility: "Auntie made me sign up....Read more


Erika Ettin: How to put down your phone and meet new people (yes, including 'The One')

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Online dating seems like the most obvious way to meet a potential partner — after all, how many singles (who are ready to mingle, of course) do you know who don’t have at least one dating app on their phone?

But online dating has become more than just a place to find dates. When someone moves to a new city, it’s a place to chat with ...Read more


Barton Goldsmith: How to make your relationship more interesting

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There are thousands of ways to keep your relationship interesting, but I’ll only give you a few special ones that will not only make your partner feel loved, but also make you proud of your efforts. The more you put into your relationship, the more you will get out of it.

Do something sweet every day

For my wife this comes naturally; for me ...Read more


Erika Ettin: When it's time for a break from the apps

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Whether it’s at work, in our personal lives, or even something as specific as going to the gym, we all experience burnout from time to time. Why would the world of online dating be an exception to the rule?

Finding a romantic relationship may feel like the top priority at times, but that is going to be a lot harder if you’re not in the ...Read more

Oleksandr Brylov/Dreamstime/TNS

Barton Goldsmith: Releasing the panic button

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When you wake up with a chest full of anxiety, it does not bode well for what the rest of the day will bring. But there are a multitude of ways to help relieve your anxiety and maybe even put it away for good.

Many of these techniques were developed at the UCLA Pain Control Center and published by its founder David Bresler, Ph.D., whom I was ...Read more


Erika Ettin: The best writer isn't always the best catch ... and the best catch isn't always the best writer

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There’s nothing like a first impression — and in the online dating world, that means your photo and your bio. Admittedly, the photos are the first thing most people look at, but for the purposes of this article, let’s focus on the written part of a profile.

Talking about yourself isn’t just difficult, it’s also a delicate process ...Read more


Barton Goldsmith: The power of saying no

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Last month I said no to an offer from a publisher, and I didn’t know if I’d ever get another one. That didn’t sit well, but I had other things to do, so I let it be and did my positive self-talk: You’ll be fine no matter what, the newspapers love you, you’ve got seven books already, and your blog is on fire. All true, and I let these ...Read more