Life Advice

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Erika Ettin: Dating after divorce

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It’s no secret that dating has its challenges. Add a divorce to the mix, and it can often feel even more difficult. Whether you’ve been divorced for a month or a year, it was amicable or hostile, you’re relieved or heartbroken, that first date back out there is a hurdle to get over. Do you mention it? Do you hide it? Do you talk about what...Read more

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Couples who rescheduled pandemic weddings now face new headache: Inflation

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CHICAGO -- When Evan Cooperman and Rachel Ambrozewski got engaged in October 2019, in true Chicago style, the couple made no little plans: an elopement to a resort in Bali in June 2020, followed by a stateside wedding at the Michelin-starred, and now shuttered, Band of Bohemia.

But with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, just ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: Talking to yourself is psychologically healthy

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We have all heard that if you talk to yourself, you’re "crazy," but that’s not always the case. According to an article published by the American Psychological Association, talking to yourself in a positive way is actually very healthy for your psyche.

My first exposure to positive self-talk (PST) was reading "The Little Engine That Could."...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Why writing your dating profile to attract a certain type may backfire

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Sometimes writing your online dating profile feels like you’re trying to crack a code. How do you encapsulate that you’re outgoing but equally content with a Saturday night reading a good book, or that you’re interesting but not to the level of being intimidating?

It’s a challenge to capture your entire personality in a few short ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: How to avoid negative people

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Eight more steps to happiness

When life hands me lemons, I do try to make lemonade, but when it hands me negative people, I usually make my way to the nearest exit. I deal with real pain in people every day. Others who just complain to be negative, I can do without. Perhaps you feel the same way. Here are a few ways of dealing with the negative...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Put me in, coach

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I just started watching "Ted Lasso" the other day. (I know I’m behind the ball on this one… and by the time this article is published, I will have binged both seasons!) As strange as it sounds to compare my job as a dating coach to Ted’s job as a soccer (ahem, football) coach, the more I watch, the more I feel the similarities.

If you ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: This one action can change your life, but it takes some work

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The wonderful multi-award-winning producer, writer and director Norman Lear was being interviewed by Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy asked Lear, now 99 years old, what advice he would give to younger people.

Without missing a beat, Lear said: “Learn to let things that bother you go.”

He elaborated, of course, but those few words are some of the most ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: 5 good reasons why we can't be happy all the time

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Life is not an elevator. It is stairs all the way, and sometimes you go up a few and then back one or two. It’s one of the things we humans all have in common. You may think you can name people who are so happy they’re floating in the clouds, but, trust me here, even they get stuck in the rain every now and then. Here are some reasons why it...Read more

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Erika Ettin: How to stand out on the dating apps

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Hi, my name is Erika, and I’m a math nerd.

Hi, my name is Erika, and I’m a dating coach.

Yep, same person. When feasible, I try to combine these two sides. (I actually started my business based on data I gathered and learned from my own online dating experience.)

In trying to keep up with the ever-changing world of online dating, sites ...Read more