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Erika Ettin: My date suggested a restaurant I can't afford -- What do I do?

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

There’s so much to stress about when it comes to a first date — what to wear, what conversation topics to avoid, if you’re about to get catfished — that another big obstacle is often overlooked: the financial aspect of dating. Even grabbing drinks a few times a week can really add up over time, and the last thing you want is to turn down...Read more

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More couples are hiring wedding content creators, so they and their guests can 'live in the moment'

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

PHILADELPHIA — In the car on the way home from her wedding, Bayley Shanley's phone pinged with a notification from one of her vendors.

As her new husband drove, Shanley flipped through more than 500 candid photos and videos.

She watched her bridesmaids walk down the aisle, a moment she had missed, and relived the speeches. She sent her ...Read more

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How much time should you spend on dating apps? You might be surprised

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

If you have screen time alerts on your phone, you already know that you probably spend more time than you are really willing to admit looking at that device. And if you’re anything like the rest of the population (or just me? Can’t be just me), much more of that time is spent browsing Instagram or playing sudoku than making phone calls or ...Read more

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Ask Anna: How do I address my disability on dating apps?

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Dear Anna,

I'm a 28-year-old straight man living with an invisible disability — I have epilepsy. I've recently started using dating apps again after taking a break, and I'm unsure how to address my disability in my profile and conversations. I want to be open, but I'm worried about being judged or overlooked because of my condition. How ...Read more

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Ask Anna: Cheating technicalities and when a boyfriend crashes friend time

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Dear Anna,

I recently discovered that my girlfriend has been using a dating app. Not to make friends. Not even for hookups, but to find a new partner. We're not in an open relationship, and I made it clear from the start that I wouldn't tolerate cheating. When I confronted her, she admitted to having the profile but argued she wasn't cheating ...Read more

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Shared values vs. shared timing – Which is more important?

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Question: “Any advice about anxiety around turning 40? I want kids and a partner. I don’t have either right now.”

I get questions like this all the time. And trust me—I get it. It can feel overwhelming when you know you have a certain goal in mind but haven’t had the results you’re looking for yet (and might see all your friends ...Read more

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Ask Anna: Supporting a partner through mental health challenges

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Dear Anna,

I’m 36 (F) and have been dating my boyfriend (38) for about two years. We have a deeply loving relationship. However, he’s been struggling with depression for most of our time together. He’s a wonderful person — kind, caring and an incredibly talented artist — but his battle with depression has made our relationship ...Read more

Illustration by Jim Cooke/Los Angeles Times/TNS

The average wedding costs $41,000 in California. 16 couples share what they really spent

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

LOS ANGELES -- Planning a wedding is a highly personal experience, reflecting your tastes, values and vision as a couple. But one thing is universal: It'll likely cost more than you think.

In a survey by the Knot that polled nearly 10,000 U.S. couples who married in 2023, the average cost of a wedding was $35,000 — a $5,000 increase from the ...Read more

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Navigating modern dating: Tips and realities

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

As a dating coach, I’ve seen the landscape of modern dating evolve at a dizzying pace. From swiping right on Tinder to sending a Super Like on Bumble, the way we meet and connect with potential partners has dramatically changed. But while the methods may be new, the fundamentals of finding a meaningful connection remain important as ever.

...Read more

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Are your dating profile acronyms saving space or scaring away?

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

It won’t take much time swiping on any dating app or website to realize that online dating often comes with a whole new language to learn. In addition to phrases like “ghosting” and “cuffing season” that may inspire a Google search when you first come across them, many singles looking for love have adopted acronyms to use in their ...Read more

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Ask Anna: How to handle friends who make hurtful LGBTQ+ comments

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Dear Anna,

I’m a 29-year-old queer, nonbinary femme. I’m a pretty quiet and introverted person, so making friends has never been easy for me. Right now, I only have two close friends, and although that might sound sad, I value these friendships deeply because they’re all I have.

Here’s my dilemma: My friends misgender me and ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Going on a date isn't a waste of time

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

As a dating coach, I browse hundreds (thousands?) of dating profiles every week on every app imaginable, and a few phrases tend to repeat themselves:

“I like to travel and go on adventures.” Great, but who doesn’t? Also, what does “adventure” mean to you?

“I look younger than my age.” You don’t. Sorry.

“I can’t believe I�...Read more

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Ask Anna: Ready to come out? Tips for a smooth and empowering experience

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Dear Anna,

I’m a 20-year-old college student. I'm majoring in computer science and have a small but pretty great group of friends, and a campus job that keeps me busy. I’m also part of the university’s LGBTQ+ club, but hardly anyone in my life outside the club knows that I’m gay.

Here’s the thing: I’m ready to come out. I’ve ...Read more

Antonio Guillem/Dreamstime/TNS

What you're doing wrong in dating... and how to fix it

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

As we enter the summer and all of the fun date ideas that present themselves (picnics, ferry rides, outdoor breweries—oh my!), many people reflect on the fact that they are single and don't necessarily want to be. While we obviously can't control chemistry (or the longevity of relationships), we can certainly control our approach to finding ...Read more

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Ask Anna: Caught my boyfriend on a dating app -- confront him or ghost?

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Dear Anna,

Six months ago, I ended my relationship with my boyfriend due to repeated boundary violations, including emotional abuse and dishonesty. Recently, he apologized and promised to change, so I hesitantly gave him another chance. Spoiler! This was a big mistake. Despite his sweet words, I felt something was off. Four days after we ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Ask Anna: My girlfriend is still married: How to handle a separated relationship

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Dear Anna,

I have been seeing a woman who’s been separated from her husband for 14 months. We met through work and have known each other for over 10 years. The past 14 months we have been intimate and I have gotten a place for us to live. However, she recently told me that her gut is telling her not to divorce her husband over my concerns. ...Read more

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From 'it's a match' to first date: Steps for an easy transition from app to real-life

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

After what can feel like endless swiping, seeing “It’s a Match!” pop up on your screen can feel like a victory. But let’s be honest: The journey has just begun.

There are still quite a few steps between achieving a mutual right swipe and meeting face-to-face. From sending an engaging opening message to setting up a first date spot, a ...Read more

Q&A: These researchers examined 20 years of data same-sex marriage. They didn't find any harms

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Twenty years ago this month, Marcia Kadish and Tanya McCloskey exchanged wedding vows at Cambridge City Hall in Massachusetts and became the first same-sex couple to legally marry in the United States.

The couple had been together since 1986, but their decision to wed was radical for its time. In 2004, only 31% of Americans supported same-sex ...Read more

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Ask Anna: My boyfriend almost had a threesome -- now I'm questioning everything

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Dear Anna,

Hello, I recently discovered that, while we were on a break, my boyfriend had conversations with a gay man who offered him a threesome with him and some hot chick. I also know my boyfriend is into pre-op trans women but has never slept with one. So he says, at least.

I don't know what to do with this information and I'm overwhelmed ...Read more

Bozhenamelnyk/Dreamstime/TNS

There's no substitute for time

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

In a world of instant gratification and constantly wondering “What’s next?” I’m not surprised someone sent this question to me the other day.

In fact, most days I get questions from people asking why a relationship ended when it did and wondering if they could have prevented the time and the heartbreak. Often, the answer is no.

...Read more