Happy Valentine’s Day! Thank you HSN for sharing this video. What a perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Try keeping a dry eye while watching this unique wedding proposal on live TV. Congratulations Kristin and Mike!
The other day I was surfing the internet to learn more about what men and women want in their relationships. I wasn’t surprised when I found myself reading about why women want to change their men, but when I tried to find out more about why men want to change their women I hit a brick wall. Now this was a surprise. Is it because guys just don’t talk about that stuff, or do they even care? Are women really control freaks? According to “What Men Want in a Relationship”, written by Rinatta Peris, “men want what women want — a whole partner. One powerful way to attract a great partner and build a vibrant relationship is to create a full, rewarding life for your own fulfillment.” I then realized I had the perfect topic for my next article, “What Do Men and Women Want”. Basically, how to find a real-life partner rather than an idealistic version of one, thus avoid wanting to change them.
Since most online dating sites provide areas for you to tell a little about yourself; as well as, offer tools such as personality tests, they seem to be the logical choice for finding your ideal mate. They are the perfect resource to find what you want if used correctly. The best way to begin is to self-search before jumping into a relationship.
- Make a list of how you like to spend your time including activities you enjoy doing alone. This helps to attract someone who likes doing similar things. As an added benefit, it will help you both avoid planning dates that are stressful and boring. You will have fun while learning more about each other.
- Read “Writing Your Dating Profile with a Smile”, by yours truly. Learn online dating tips from Yvonne Rice, a former Dating Agency Director and expert in the research of all aspects of the single lifestyle. She is a huge supporter of online dating and has researched 4,500+ online singles and over 6,000 online dating sites globally.
- Say cheese! Take your profile picture and make sure it shows who you really are. Of course you don’t want to include a picture of you in your scrubs, or the ever popular picture of you in a mirror shirtless pointing in the direction of the beach to show off those knock-out biceps. It’s important to look your personal best and although it’s fine to get advice from a family member or friend, make sure you’re comfortable with how you look. Confidence is something that makes us feel good about ourselves and is very attractive.
- Before taking the personality or compatibility test on the dating site, try taking the “Jung Typology Test”. It’s a short personality test that will help you learn about yourself without the distraction of trying to attract someone else. For example, after taking the test myself, I found out how important humor is in my life. I would make sure that was something I would include on my dating profile. Additionally, you will learn what career path is recommended for you and for some added fun; you’ll learn what celebrities and other famous people are just like you!
Since whatever you do early on sets the tone for the rest of the relationship, be honest with yourself now and look for the best mate to fit into your real life rather than trying to develop someone in the hopes that they’ll fit into your vision of an ideal mate later.
Here’s to keeping you Safer in the City,
Rachel just turned 18 when she met Jason. She was fresh out of High School, finally an adult, and preparing to go away to College. Jason was 2 years older than her and worked full-time. He attended a local Community College part-time and was doing well balancing both school and work. He was the total opposite of her last boyfriend. In addition to being tall, dark and handsome, Jason was outgoing, decisive and confident…or so she thought.
Blinded by love, Rachel couldn’t see the reality of the situation. She didn’t think anything was wrong with Jason wanting her to be at his house by the time he came home from work every day, or his telling her what she could and couldn’t wear. She didn’t miss going out with her friends because he needed her and she didn’t want to disappoint him. Although a little creepy, she didn’t even have a problem turning her computer on at night so he can see she was at home sleeping.
Rachel was happy and very close with her family. They went on family vacations at least twice a year together. And even though her friends were always invited to the family parties, holidays were always spent with family. So when everyone began to notice she was becoming unhappy and withdrawn, to the point of hibernating in her room instead of joining them, they started to worry. Instead of seeing Jason as outgoing, decisive and confident, they all saw him as aggressive, controlling and obnoxious. When her family and friends tried to talk to her about it she withdrew from them even more. Rachel was becoming someone they didn’t recognize and although she professed to be happy, she wasn’t. Then the bombshell, Jason expressed reservations about her going to College even though she would only be about an hour away, he didn’t want her to go.
Unfortunately people like Rachel, in unhealthy relationships, suffer constant stress and anxiety, which can compromise their health, erode their self-esteem, make them feel helpless and alone, and undermine the way they function in school and at work. According to The Center For Relationship Abuse Awareness, “Relationship Abuse is defined as a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner. An abusive relationship means more than being hit by the person who claims to love or care about you. Abuse can be emotional, psychological, financial, sexual or physical and can include threats, isolation, and intimidation. Abuse tends to escalate over time. When someone uses abuse and violence against a partner, it is always part of a larger pattern to try to control her/him.”
If you feel the relationship you are in may be abusive, the first thing you need to do is to acknowledge it. Abusive relationships don’t start out that way. They usually start out on a high note, and gradually become abusive. By answering the questions below in the “How Healthy is Your Relationship” quiz courtesy of Linfield College, you may be able to recognize a potentially abusive situation before it gets worse. Talk to your family and friends. Usually they are the first to notice the problem anyway and, like in Rachel’s case, have already voiced their concerns. If you are a student and away at College you can also seek help by going to your University’s counseling center. Most importantly make sure to maintain outside relationships because it’s imperative that you’re not alone. Do not allow anyone to isolate you. We all need a good support system and no one has the right to take that away from you.
If you know of someone in an abusive relationship and you want to help them speak up. Tell them what you see going on because of their relationship and then listen with compassion. Don’t be judgmental or they will tune you right out. Discuss a safety plan if they ever feel they need it. Help them to disconnect and move away from the abuser. Talk to them about healthy intimate relationships. Pick up a few self-help books to read together. By knowing they are not alone, the victim is more likely to view their relationship more realistically and empower them to break away. Finally, suggest they seek professional help so they can learn to make safer choices in the future.
How healthy is Your Relationship?
1. Does this person accept that you have other friends?
(A. Yes B. No)
2. Does this person ask for your opinion about issues that affect you?
(A. Yes B. No)
3. Does this person have good relationships with his or her family and friends?
(A. Yes B. No)
4. Does this person talk AND listen to you?
(A. Yes B. No)
5. Would you consider this person a friend?
(A. Yes B. No)
6. Do you “act like yourself” when you are with this person?
(A. Yes B. No)
7. Does this person have other interests besides you?
(A. Yes B. No)
8. Does this person expect you to say where you have been when you’ve been apart?
(A. No B. Yes)
9. Does this person lose his or her temper easily?
(A. No B. Yes)
10. Does this person get angry or hurt and/or claim that you don’t pay attention to him or her?
(A. No B. Yes)
11. Have you ever seen this person throw, hit or break things when angry?
(A. No B. Yes)
12. Is this person jealous of the time you spend with your friends and relatives?
(A. No B. Yes)
13. Does this person seem to have control issues?
(A. No B. Yes)
Count and total each “A” and “B.” Use the key below to gauge how healthy your relationship is:
13-11 A’s = you seem to have a healthy relationship,
10-8 A’s = your relationship is showing moderate signs of abusiveness,
7-5 A’s = Please seek help, you are very likely in an abusive or potentially abusive relationship.
National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799- SAFE
John and Mary were in their late seventies when they met. Both were widowed after enjoying long and happy marriages. Although Mary lived in an active retirement community in Florida and participated in many of the activities there, she still felt lonely. So she decided to pack her bags and move up to Connecticut to live with her son. She wasn’t looking for a relationship at this stage in her life, however blissfully one found her.
“Excuse me, let me open that soda can for you so you don’t ruin your pretty nails” were the first words he said to her. John, recently widowed, was trying to strike up a conversation with Mary. She was so beautiful and he saw this as the perfect opportunity to introduce himself. Maybe she would invite him to sit with her, he thought. The two were on a bus headed for the Hard Rock Casino, an activity they both enjoyed organized through their retirement community, when they first met. Mary said thank you and politely asked John to sit with her. They soon realized they had a lot in common and sparks began to fly.
I remember the day when my friend told me this story and about how she found out they were intimate. She stopped over her dad’s condo early one morning and when she did not find his car in his own driveway, she decided to drive over to his girlfriend’s condo. When she saw her dad’s car was there she was shocked. It was hard for her to imagine her father as a sexual being, but then what kid can? So you know what I’m thinking…great topic for my next article.
“A lot of people are shocked. They don’t want to think of grandmom or grandpop having any kind of intimacy,” says Terri Ginsberg, DO, fellowship director of geriatrics for the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging at UMDNJ-SOM.
“People think intimacy is just for the young. But actually, sex is still an important aspect of the quality of your life even as you age. It’s something you can continue to enjoy, and may even enjoy more now that there is more time for foreplay and being intimate with a partner.”
Continuing my research into dating in the golden years I was immediately intrigued by the Weisman center in Florida. They not only hold a weekly speed dating event, but they also offer sex education for seniors. At first I thought – what? Are there that many seniors still sexually active? Shouldn’t they already know about sex anyway? I had a lot of questions. What I learned was, in part due to living longer and Viagra, many seniors today are remaining sexually active well into their 80’s and even 90’s. Alright, now this was my turn to be shocked.
Furthermore according to Dianne Matthew, director of clinical services at the Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service, there was a huge increase in STDs in the senior population. Dianne says: “These people got married at a very young age and most likely only had one or maybe two sexual partners. They came from an era where they weren’t taught about condoms or any sort of protection against STDs. Just because you can’t get pregnant doesn’t mean you don’t need to know how to practice safe sex — at any age.” As a result she was asked to teach a class called “Sexy Over Sixty.”
Indeed the times are changing and, like the program in Florida, I think we’ll see more centers launching new public education programs on safe sex for seniors. In the meantime, for those actively dating, make sure to discuss your love life with your doctor so they can give you advice. Get routinely tested and stay active. You’ll be glad you did.
For those seniors not into the bar scene, there are online social groups and numerous senior dating sites. Additionally there are retirement communities, church groups and well meaning relatives and friends, so no senior needs to feel lonely.
By the way, if you’re wondering what ever happened with John and Mary, it’s been four years since Mary unpacked her bags and she and John are very happy enjoying their vacation lifestyle and each other.
Until next time, here’s to keeping you Safer in the City,
Since we are coming up on the Fourth of July, this article was going to be about sparks, fireworks and how to keep them alive in a relationship. Instead, the more into my research I got, the more Independence became my focus. You will find many articles on how to keep the flame lit in a relationship, but there aren’t enough written about the importance of Independence in a truly strong bond.
Independence is an attribute many people strive for and one that is important to keep in mind within a relationship. It’s something we teach our children at a young age and hope they maintain throughout their lives. In a relationship, independence can be both positive and negative depending on how you balance it with inter-dependence. A healthy combination of the two is necessary in love.
“If you’re “too” independent in relationships, there’s little or no connection–no matter what kind of relationship it is. There may be great love but the other person can feel like something is missing in the relationship and that he/she is being held at arm’s length.
If you’re “too” dependent, the other person can feel smothered and search for every opportunity to have some freedom.” Say Susie and Otto Collins in an article posted on their Love and Relationship Advice Blog.
In this article titled, “Relationship Advice for Dealing with the Independence/Dependence Issue“, Susie and Otto share their ideas on how to balance and honor the need for independence while keeping the connection strong.
So as you watch the sparks fly this Fourth of July, remember, it’s ok to lose yourself in each others’ gaze, as long as you don’t lose yourself in each other. Like anything else awareness and balance are key here. You can maintain a strong relationship while balancing a healthy level of independence as long as you’re aware of it.
Have a Safe and Happy Independence Day!
Do you listen to your partner every time you communicate? Has boredom become a concern in your relationship? Are you wondering how to be a happy couple through the years? I think everyone asks themselves these questions at some point during their relationship. Since I always like to be prepared, I decided to research how to make love last and share with you what I found.
First of all, as a writer, I believe that communication is the seed to growing a strong, healthy relationship and the tool you need to cultivate it. Often times we take communicating with each other for granted. I bet if you asked yourself how you can be a better communicator, and were honest, you would probably say by being a better listener. For one thing, by truly listening to your partner you will discover new things about them so that you’ll have something interesting to talk about. Listening is a powerful skill and one that can help you succeed in your professional life as well as your personal one. Many of us seem to focus on being heard and not the other way around, for this reason listening is going to require practice.
Additionally, developing your individual interests can help deter the boredom that sometimes creeps into a relationship. Although having mutual interests are important, couples need time apart to pursue things that make them happy. Too much togetherness can harm a relationship. One of Hollywood’s most romantic relationships that withstood the test of time was Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Admittedly when asked why their marriage lasted so long, Paul Newman is quoted on the IMDB website as saying “we are very, very different people and yet somehow we feed off those varied differences and instead of separating us, it has made the whole bond a lot stronger.”
Unfortunately some couples are threatened by their partner’s independence. Therefore I suggest the following advice from an article, written by Kimberly Dawn Neumann for Chemistry.com and Match.com, titled “Happy Couples: What’s Their Secret?”
Nurture your separate selves
Going off to your book club when your sweetie’s out golfing isn’t a sign you two are drifting apart. On the contrary, developing individual interests allows for a richer life as a couple. By taking little “couple breaks,” you gain a greater appreciation of the gifts your partner brings to your life and you have more to offer as well. “It’s very sexy to be independent sometimes,” says Magdoff. “You feel better about yourself and you’re less demanding of your partner when you’re together.” After all, taking some personal responsibility for your own well-being relieves the other person of the pressure to “provide” happiness—so go ahead and nurture some solo adventures. That’ll also keep each of you stocked with plenty of adventures to chat about, which also builds your bond.
Eventually we realize that relationships are always a work in progress. We start out by creating a bond and then we need to continue to strengthen that bond to make it last. So how does a couple work together towards strengthening an already amazing relationship? I recommend the following 5 tips from an article titled “5 Habits of Successful Couples” How to love and cherish each other through the years by: Dr. Pepper Schwartz written for AARP.org.
- They keep up with the changes.
- They know how to fight fairly.
- They find new ways to play.
- They accept the challenges of aging.
- They stay physically connected.
Finally, I’m a firm believer in focusing on the positive. So rather than learning what not to do to maintain a successful relationship, check out the article links below and learn what to do to keep yours happy. Better yet, have your partner read them to you and just listen.
Until next time, here’s to keeping you Safer in the City,
“What’s Their Secret” chemistry.com
“5 Habits of Successful Couples” AARP.org
In the news this month Match.com announced their new policy of screening applicants against the National Sex Offender Registry after a law suit was filed by Carole Markin. Ms. Markin claims she met a man on Match.com and after their second date, he followed her home where he attacked her.
Unfortunately, there will always be those people out there that go online in search of someone to connect with for the wrong reasons. In fact it was a disturbing story similar to this one that started our website. SaferDates.com was created after one of our founders heard a story of a woman whose experience with online dating ended tragically. This story touched us so much that we have made it our mission to dedicate every day to providing an atmosphere that empowers the online community to defend itself against the threat of criminals both on and offline. Everyone on our staff strongly believes that empowerment is driven by knowledge. We are proof of it personally as the majority of us have backgrounds in martial arts and self-defense.
For this reason it’s important to help not only our members, but everyone out there looking for love online by sharing as much information about personal safety as possible. Online dating is becoming more popular now and is expanding to all age groups. Many people either know someone who uses online dating, or someone who met their partner on a dating site. After all, where else can you conveniently meet someone you are attracted to and have similar interests, personalities and values?
The first and most important physical safety tip is awareness. Unlike social networks, many online dating sites have measures in place to protect your anonymity when communicating. You have control and do not have to share any of your personal information including your first name. Keeping your profile page simple and honest without over sharing is attractive and safer. Below are a few additional safety tips to put into practice:
- Before going out, gather information on your date and share that information with friends and family. Keeping any romance a secret could lead to serious complications later.
- Be vague. You’re not being deceptive if you tell someone you live in a big city instead of saying you live in a specific town.
- Make sure your first date is in a public place and agree to meet them versus having them pick you up at home.
- Have someone call and check up on you sometime during the evening. You can always use code words to get out of an uncomfortable situation.
- Finally, before you go out with someone, make sure to always run a background check. Although it is not a guarantee, it could certainly help avoid a dangerous situation.
The following excerpt is from a website appropriately named onguardonline.gov. Their article titled “Online Dating Scams” is definitely worth the read. It provides helpful tips for online financial safety, as well as, information on how to report online dating scams.
“Scammers look for targets of any age and in any location, who they can convince to send money in the name of love.
It can be tough to tell if your sweetie’s heart is in the right place. Here are some clues that it’s not:
- He wants to leave the dating site immediately and use your personal email or IM.
- She claims love in a heartbeat.
- He claims to be from the U.S., but is currently overseas.
- She plans to visit, but is prevented by a traumatic event.
People have reported scammers who professed undying love and affection at warp speed; others who secured their trust through passionate and intimate conversation; and still others who took a more deliberate approach with months of patient wooing before asking for money. Some scammers even make wedding plans”.
In short, the fact that technology is changing the dynamics of dating means we need to work on the adaption to a new set of safety precautions.
With this in mind, let me share a REAL true love story about some friends of mine. These two sweethearts met in High School. They never dated anyone else and married each other after she graduated and he returned from the Air Force. People told them that they didn’t think they would make it together. Family members said “You can’t live on love”. Although there were bumps along the way, they are still together 29 years later and still in love.
Out of curiosity I asked her what was her most memorable Valentine’s Day. She then began to tell me a story about a Valentine’s Day 10 years ago when her husband made a CD for her with only one song on it, “You’re Still the One”. There was a single red rose and a short note asking her to put it in the CD player. Nostalgia took over as she remembered that as being one of the most romantic Valentine’s Days ever. It was amazing how something so simple meant that much to her.
So this year, instead of gifts, she is planning on making his favorite dinner, lighting the candles, and again enjoying “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain playing in the background. Indeed love lives on.
My friend said to me “It’s not how much money you spend on your partner that’s important, it’s how much time you spend letting them know how important they are to you”.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, and Here’s to keeping you Safer in the City,
For many seniors it can be hard to go out and meet people. Their social groups are smaller and the thought of going to a night club to hit on other singles just doesn’t sound like fun. They might feel awkward because they haven’t been out on a date in a long time and as a result, they choose to isolate themselves.
Fortunately, entering the dating scene just got a lot easier. One reason is that technology is becoming more fundamental in the lives of seniors today proving that technophobia is no longer a problem. For millions of seniors, a divorce or the loss of a partner at 50 drives them to find a new love, and after all there is no age limit on love. Finding romance or your soul mate is possible at any age.
Anthropologist Helen Fisher, a consultant with Match.com and Chemistry.com, had the following to say in an article written for thirdage.com: “I’ve always felt that online dating would be most popular among people who are 50 to 65. They know everyone in their family and social circles. Where are they going to meet people? They don’t have time to adopt new hobbies that are likely to introduce them to potential partners. And they are long past going to bars. In the old days we had different mechanisms, but those are gone.”
Consequently, many seniors are seeking companions online who share similar interests. They are learning that online dating really doesn’t take a lot of effort and can be done in the comfort and privacy of their own home. They have an advantage over the younger generation because they are more comfortable with who they are and, through their past relationships, they know what they’re looking for in a mate.
While online dating can be very rewarding, it’s important to be cautious. So before posting your profile, make sure to review the steps you can take to increase your online dating safety by reading “Online Dating Safety”, courtesy of ilookbothways.com. Then View Photos of Single Seniors in Your Area Free! Match.com