Life Advice






Erika Ettin: Exes exit stage left

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

I got this text from a client last week saying, “I really want to solve this issue of men mentioning their exes! Or maybe that’s just normal? Does that happen to other clients on every first date?”

And then this week, after a different client went on a first date, she told me her date said some things in passing that gave her pause.

One...Read more

Science Advice Goddess: Thin Line Between Love And Bait

My relationship with a man I'd been dating was getting serious. His previous relationship ended when his girlfriend dumped him. Last month, he ran into her and told her he was seeing me. She began crying and begged him to take her back. He was torn about what to do. I told him his feelings for her weren't romantic but stemmed from a sense of ...Read more

Millennial Life: When Inspiration Isn't Enough

Had he just driven 53.5 miles south, he could have ended up at my house. Instead, Richard Branson sped into the sky, keeping a good deal of us in southern New Mexico, and around the world, captive to a livestream from Spaceport America and Virgin Galactic.

I hadn't planned to tune in that morning. Breakfast at our house, particularly on the ...Read more

Single File: Walking Single File

Life Advice / Single File /

Married or not, each of us walks single file through life's landscape, because everyone has a "single" part , our unique individuality -- separate and apart from the crowd. Yet from time to time we may travel in lockstep, two by two, when someone we like comes nearby and walks with us. Drawn by love's force, this person may stay with us a ...Read more


Barton Goldsmith: It's almost the most dangerous time of year

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Most suicides do not take place at the winter holidays, like most people think, but happen toward the end of July and in August. At this time of year, being aware of how the people we love are feeling is even more important than usual.

It’s not enough just to say something if you see something; you may have to be the one to give someone a ...Read more


Erika Ettin: Ghosts don't deserve your time

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

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, too) … you get it.

While most of us can see she’s ...Read more

When Hair Gel Met Sally

I'm a 28-year-old woman. My boyfriend of three months is a great person, and I started to think he might be The One. However, he got a new haircut -- one that had him using excessive gel. Looking at him, I felt a wave of revulsion and needed to get away...permanently. I don't understand the sudden change in my feelings.


...Read more


Person to Person: How to create balance in your relationships

Life Advice / Helping Yourself /

In dealing with people we know, it’s easy to feel a lack of closeness or too much closeness. There is tension either way. Finding middle ground can be tough.

Relationships are important, but they can put a strain on our mental wellness. We struggle to find balance, while trying not to offend those we care about.

Maybe you’re neglecting ...Read more

Milennial Life: Letting Go of the Past but Taking Its Lessons With Us

When I attempted to take the license plate off, I realized the scooter was last registered in 2014. I took out a decaying bungee cord, a tire pressure gauge and a reflective vest from the front storage space and then ran my hand over the bolstered seat that my mom had struggled to help me put on with an eBay-bought replacement. I realized, too, ...Read more

Single File: Freedom to Be

Life Advice / Single File /

From one of my favorite books, "Risking," by David Viscott, here are some truths that resonate today as powerfully (maybe even more so) as they did when they were first published. Please give each one the time it deserves, and let me know your thoughts about them.

--For a relationship to work, both partners must have all the freedom, privacy ...Read more


Erika Ettin: Why we want the person who doesn't want us

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

You like someone. They like you… maybe. You continue liking this person. This person stops liking you (or never did) and pulls back. You like this person more. This person, feeling smothered, continues to pull back. You continue to obsess more.

Why should a person’s feelings actually grow the less someone is reciprocating those loving ...Read more


Barton Goldsmith: Have you noticed how people have changed in the past year?

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

It has been a very hard year. Hard because of the pandemic, the election, and the protests, and hard because some people are behaving more aggressively — a trickle-down effect from politicians to plumbers. In part this behavior must be fallout from anxiety over COVID-19, but I’m seeing people get meaner or perhaps just very self-protective, ...Read more

Science Advice Goddess: They Blow Up So Fast

I'm a man in my 30s, and I'm looking to settle down and start a family. I was falling in love with the woman I've been seeing for six months, who seems lovely, intelligent, and kind. Recently, I arrived at her place early and overheard her arguing with her mother on the phone. She was yelling, swearing, and being very nasty. I'm close to my ...Read more

Leaving the Apartments: Embedded in Gun Cultures

Before having kids, I don't think I appreciated enough the ability to leave the house quickly, just grabbing my keys, wallet, phone -- and out. With kids, the effort to be prepared for little human needs is extensive. Over my life, I tried to stay away from the chain of the purse, but the net that traps you is the fashionable, cute diaper bag....Read more

Single File: Mystery

Life Advice / Single File /

I love mystery. No, not the grisly murder-mayhem crime scene. The mystery that moves me (and maybe you, too, after I make my case) is the aura, the enchantment, the spell we women can weave around our femininity. But before we get to that, I want you to know my concept of feminine mystery has absolutely nothing to do with game-playing ...Read more


Erika Ettin: Don't let one awkward experience ruin online dating forever

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Online dating is full of tricky situations, foot-in-mouth moments and embarrassing encounters. And guess what? So is face-to-face dating ... and life in general.

It happens all the time: Someone makes a teeny, tiny faux pas and is ready to throw in the towel on all dating websites and apps.

My latest example is a client who was absentmindedly...Read more


Barton Goldsmith: How to be in a relationship if you are depressed

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

One day during the height of the pandemic, I had a very busy day that got even busier when our dishwasher broke down. I had to find a repair person who could rebuild it, as new parts were not to be found. Also our car was in the shop, and I had a full day of clients and interviews to contend with.

My lovely wife was pretty upset about the car (...Read more

Science Advice Goddess: Platonic Bomb

A guy I know grates on me because he only has female friends. He apparently tried to get involved with each of them at some point but got rejected. Why doesn't he find male friends instead of preying on women (under the guise of friendship) who probably trust him not to hit on them?


This guy probably lives in eternal hope ...Read more