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Loveawake.com blog

Free dating tips and advice


How To Date The Newly Unemployed

Permalink - Posted on 2019-08-21 16:04

With unemployment on the rise and companies cutting costs and closing doors all across the country, relationships may be undergoing new levels of stress as one or both partners lose income or positions. Just because you’re facing an experience that takes a pot shot or five at your self-esteem and pocket book, there are ways to keep the love alive through the transition.

Communication is going to be even more important than ever. Try not to assume what your partner is feeling by the latest transition since everyone reacts differently to job loss. Some are going to feel relieved for the excuse to pursue a new opportunity, others are going to go into a dark cave and not come out for a while. Some will hit the job hunt immediately and hard with little time for anything else and others may approach it like a long and on-going project to manage. Whatever the reaction, talk to each other about the realities of the situation and the changes that may need to occur in order to stay afloat.

Find ways to economize without making the other person feel like they put a crimp in your style by losing their job. Perhaps you were used to 20 star kind of meals five nights a week, but this might be a good time to start having those dinner parties with friends you’ve been talking about where everyone brings food to all cook together. By just changing the focus from expensive time out to quality time with friends, you gain something instead of feeling like its one more loss you have to deal with.

Understand that the time at the gym, at the dog park, playing pool with the guys, coffee with her best friend, etc. are all very important to the job seeker feeling balanced and like some part of their life still works. Treat this time as sacred and do what you can to help protect it for your partner. Please hold back on making snide commentary about that time being better used for the job hunt. After all, you just never know when that friend, fellow runner or dog owner will be the one to pass on a great job lead.

Refrain from running their job hunt yourself. There is no quicker way to alienate someone who loves you than by becoming their parent. Just remember that with all parent-child relationships, its the child’s job to eventually individuate and become autonomous from the parent. Unless you are going for a long-view break up, let your partner do their thing without your machinations.

Laugh together. Nurture and cultivate whatever tickles your funny bones… whether its a certain kind of movie or a certain kind of friend. Find your laughter together and remember joy.

If you are looking for some cheap and easy ways to keep love alive:

  • love notes left in places where the other partner will find them in the course of the day.
  • just saying “hi” via text, email or voice-mail. Not in a “you’d better call me back” kind of way, just a little something to let them know you are thinking about them.
  • pay attention to each other. Actively listen when your partner is sharing his or her thoughts, dreams and emotions with you.
  • cooking together (unless you are the kind of chef that whacks people with sauce spoons when they try to contribute to the meal — if you are a kitchen Nazi, maybe keep your cooking as a solo activity…)
  • getting all those little things that need doing done for your partner. If you’ve been meaning to get around to fixing that gate for a while now, it might be the perfect time to get on that.
  • arranging time with supportive friends doing things like game nights, book clubs, etc. Whatever strikes your interest and would be a good way to connect not only with each other but also with people you enjoy.
  • create a CD for each other of music that reminds you of the best times in your life together.
  • write a song or poem for your partner to let them know how glad you are to have them in your life (Top 10 lists are great too — ie. The Top 10 things I love about your mind, The Top 10 Things I love about our relationship, The Top 10 Things I love about you, etc…)
  • sexy reminders… be it pictures, a sexy text, a piece of lingerie where they’ll least expect it. Sometimes the libido takes a hit when you’re wondering where the next dollar is going to come from, but continuing to share passion even when stressed can do quite a bit to not only raise your mood, but also to bind the relationship together.
  • don’t forget to say things like “I love you,” “I want you,” “You are hot!” More than ever, your unemployed partner needs to know that they are important.

I’m sure you can come up with some great ideas that I simply missed… if so, please share! And if you are the one facing unemployment… Good Luck and let us know when you get that great new gig!

The post How To Date The Newly Unemployed appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

How To Date an Entrepreneur And Pitfalls to Avoid

Permalink - Posted on 2019-08-21 15:31

If you’ve ever dated, married or been interested in an entrepreneur, you know that they think, act and relate differently than the average Joe (or Joette.) Sometimes that can be a challenge for the non-entrepreneur — especially one who doesn’t realize that they aren’t crazy, they just need to think… sideways… to get through to their partner.

Having been raised by an entrepreneur, having been an entrepreneur, having dated entrepreneurs and looking at what’s happening in our economy… I thought it might be helpful to write a post about how to spot the TRULY self-employed (not the one who just says they do xyz but have no numbers to back it up), how to figure out if you are suited to date one, how to communicate with one and how to survive the ups and downs that happen in EVERY entrepreneur’s life.

How to Spot Em (this is based on the typical entrepreneur. At times a newly successful business owner might shoot the curve by going bling or an old schooler may decide to take a break… but if you look carefully, these attitudes will still be there)

  1. Careful about money. Yup, if you are planning to date a business owner, be prepared to be picked up in a practical and non-flashy car… go to dinner at places with good food but not over the top, eat in as much as you eat out (if not more) and live in a reasonably sized house in a good part of town (likely with fixer-upper projects needing completion). Any successful business owner keeps an eye on the bottom line and always calculates the cost analysis. Don’t be surprised if you get in a fight and s/he flings a number out at you about how much you have cost them (in terms of money earning time or actual $$).
  2. Careful about time. Entrepreneurs tend to get up early and stay up late. You’ll likely see a comfy couch in their office — short naps are the backbone of most of the successfully self-employed. They squeeze in emails, calls and deals in between bites of dinner and trips to the bathroom. If they see it as a “waste of time,” they’ll be grumpy if not allowed to cut free and move onto something deemed productive. It can become a balance issue, and likely ends most relationships before they ever get off the ground… but if you can talk to your entrepreneur and strike a bargain, you’ll come out a winner on all fronts. (see section on communication)
  3. Competitive risk takers. Your date/spouse will seem (to you) to be blase about risk. They aren’t. The risks are always calculated and analyzed (for the successful entrepreneur) but for someone who isn’t used to free falling, it can be scary. They are also extremely competitive. Family game time can get a bit hairy and most will use the rare free time competing in their favorite venue… be it sports, gaming, gambling, whatever.
  4. Loners. Yup. You might have a hard time getting your entrepreneur out of the house once they get home for time to relax. Some do a good job putting on a social face, especially if it means networking, but know that your partner will not be someone who follows the pack. If the rest of the world thinks one way, your honey will likely think exactly the opposite or between the lines or even off into the future to see some eventual possibility most could never imagine.
  5. Business minded to the point of scanning every environment for business ideas. They are also problem solvers in the extreme and will simply not understand you wanting to talk thru something without coming to a solution. If you need them to stop problem solving for you, be direct and tell them so. It may take some getting used to, but when they begin to see that you solve your own problems in your own time frame, they will generally lay off and let you do your own thing.
  6. Tend to be honest and direct. Many are people that are trusted with handshake deals. If your entrepreneur is at all community minded, you’ll find them attracting and collecting people a lot like them.
  7. If you are trying to figure out if s/he’s the real deal ask yourself one question… do they have a “side job” that contributes a good part of their income? Most of my entrepreneur friends will tell you that no true business owner/starter has the time or inclination for splitting their heart between two jobs. Their business is their baby and everything goes into that. For those who don’t have handy start-up funds, they may squeeze in a side gig or two to raise the dough needed, but will likely never mention it or identify themselves by their side job.
Ok, so you now know how to profile a successful entrepreneur, are you well suited to date one?
  1. Are you risk adverse? Well, you’re going to either have to get over it or learn how to support someone who lives and breathes risk. After all, its part of their genius and if an entrepreneur was afraid to take risk, they wouldn’t be able to start and grow a successful business. Being more zen about the ups and downs of life will help you more than just about anything in living with an entrepreneur.
  2. Are you independent and used to filling your own time for the most part? Perfect. If you need to be the center of your mate’s attention… you may really struggle with what will seem to you to be an inordinate amount of time spent at the computer/office/in meetings/on the phone.
  3. Do you tend to understand the value of money and NOT be a big spender? You would be the apple of an entrepreneur’s eye! By not expecting them to spend money on the “frivolous,” you will be head and shoulders above the pack in their estimation.
  4. Are you optimistic, positive and generally not prone to worry? Bingo. You’re the entrepreneur’s version of a rock star.
  5. Are you flexible with time, expectations and plans? You guessed it… most entrepreneurs don’t know the meaning of “weekend,” “evening,” or “vacation.” My mom was shocked to find that my dad expected to continue working – via phone – even on their honeymoon. My dad was surprised when she got upset about it. My most recent vacay was with a entrepreneur and we had to negotiate phone and laptop time. When I owned my own business, I was well known for asking a date if they were ok with me taking care of “this little bit of business” in between dinner and later plans since my clients required me to be on the clock around 8:30-9:30pm. Some dates were cool with it, some were not. The ones I adored were the ones who either offered to help me or were relieved to take care of some of their own work while I was busy.
Down to the brass tacks: How to communicate with the “all business” guy/girl vs. “off the clock” guy/girl.

On the Clock or all business: You can recognize this state of being by the one word answers, slightly clipped replies, distracted mentality and maybe a little irritability if you interrupt a stream of thought or creativity. Be direct, practical, non-fluffy and ask for minimal input on issues outside of the practical or easily taken care of situations. By thinking of the bottom line and then approaching all communication at that level, you can bypass some of the irritation via interruption. For example… instead of…

“You remember that guy we talked to at the party a few week ago — the friend of yours who owns a Mustang. You know, the party where you had that one wine you really enjoyed? Ok, so what was the name of the plumber that he mentioned really liking? If you have the time today, it would be great if you could get that information and contact the plumber about fixing the toilet for us. Can you do that? I’ll be home most of the afternoons this week and it would be easy for me to wait for him here.”

Try something more along the lines of…

“Will you please schedule that plumber that your friend Joe recommended to come fix the toilet between 2-5 any day this week?”

If you are having trouble getting through to your sweetie that something is really important to you, try to give them a cost/benefit analysis of the situation. It may seem harsh to you, but to your entrepreneur, it will seem natural and best of all — will make sense to them!

Another example: Instead of

“I can’t believe you are on that damn Crackberry all the time! You don’t love me! If you did you wouldn’t spend so much time working when we are supposed to be out! You don’t even talk to me. If you don’t get it together and treat me with at least as much attention as one of your stupid, business deals, I’m leaving!!”

Try this instead:

“I’ve noticed a communication and time breakdown in how we are investing in our relationship and wanted to know if you’ve noticed the same thing. (Insert a few concrete examples if your partner likes backup information) Since I care about you very much, I want to make sure we are both meeting each others needs so our relationship can continue to grow and expand.

I need _______ in order to continue growing this relationship and am wondering if you are able to meet that need or would you prefer to be with someone who doesn’t need you to meet that need?”

Its a simple and direct problem analysis. One that s/he could easily hear in a boardroom or client meeting.

Off the Clock: This is likely the person you fell for. Many entrepreneurs have a great sense of humor, intellect and creativity. Some also have natural charisma and charm when they have the time to just relax with loved ones. When an entrepreneur sets his or her eyes on someone they want to get to know better, you become their latest goal and all that talent, charm, sales-ability and intellect that usually goes toward getting more business will come your way.


  1. You HAVE to communicate! Even if they don’t seem to have time (they never will), ask them to schedule you in to discuss the important things.
  2. Ask for balance and expect it. Realistically, this will be the largest hurdle for most newbie entrepreneurs. The old schoolers understand that you need balance or you will burn out, but the new ones think that they can just keep going at that rate and life as they want it will be waiting for them when they are done. If you love this person or are trying to make something work with them. Approach it like the above outlined business proposal and explain what you need in terms of ROI (or return on interest/investment).
  3. Expecting them to have a “normal” 9-5 schedule. It just won’t happen. If you can’t accept that, then move along. Also, a real entrepreneurial type will likely never retire. If they say they will, don’t believe it or ask them what they mean by “retire.”
  4. Forgetting that this person cares about you. Yes, many entrepreneurs are lost in their business, kind of like a new mom with her baby… but that doesn’t mean they don’t care about you or have lost the qualities that first attracted you. Remember that, for them, time is probably their largest sacrifice. If they are giving that to you, it should tell you quite a bit about where you are on the priority scale.

The post How To Date an Entrepreneur And Pitfalls to Avoid appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

How To Get A Girl’s Number : Tricks From a Female Point of View

Permalink - Posted on 2019-08-21 14:15

Approach anxiety? I totally get it. I’m notorious for not being able to make and MAINTAIN eye contact with a guy I’m interested in getting to know better (the girl version of an approach.) An actual date? No problem. Guys I don’t know very well, but have a crush on? Problem! Stupid remnants of childhood shyness. *sigh* It must be even harder for you guys to reach out to a girl you’re interested in asking out…

There are plenty of relationship related site you are likely to find great dating advice that includes how to get her phone number. But I could not find much tips from a female on not only approaching a girl you’re interested in but walking away with her number. So, here are some tricks of the trade from a girl’s point of view:

  1. Observe: Take a moment and look for a conversational cue. It could be the logo on her baseball cap, the kind of book she’s looking at in the bookstore, the brand of vodka she just requested for her drink or even a friend in common you noticed her talking to. There is your opening gambit.
  2. Remember that most girls have the fantasy of a guy crossing the room because he wanted to meet her.
  3. If she smiles at you or makes eye contact — GO TALK TO HER!
  4. Be Interesting: You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or even a topic expert. Use a confident tone of voice and ask an engaging question to get her talking. Sometimes listening after asking a quality observational question will get you a lot farther than nervous chatter. What you really want to do is establish common ground without being skeevy about it. (Commenting on her appearance can quickly establish a skeevy-I-want-your-sex feel. I know you guys are very visual and it’s great to compliment a date on her outfit, but women aren’t seduced the same way so if you want to play it safe, stick to the non-visual compliments.)
  5. Be Aware: Watch body language and conversational cues. If she’s being short or dismissive with you, it’s likely she’s either not interested or afraid her boyfriend is going to walk up. Let her invite you to continue the conversation by responding to your questions and keeping open body language. If you don’t get her back or the brush-off, consider it a green light to proceed.
  6. Be Nice: A good bit of the PUA info out there tell guys to start an argument, insult or “diss” her in order to keep your edge and appear like a guy who has control. I actually don’t know any girls who hope a guy does this. Most girls talk all about the guys who charmed her not insulted her. The guy who’s emotions came across as positive instead of combative. If you’re dealing with a bitchy type or crazy chick… well, the PUA guys might be right. But if your girl is sane, classy or sweet… I’d advise being really careful about that edge you’re trying to wield. Humor is great. Even being playful in a sarcastic way can work, but if you’ve EVER been told that you “don’t know when to stop” or “take things too far” put down the match book!
  7. Ask for her info: This is the make it or break it point. If you walk away from the conversation without asking for her contact information, she WILL assume you are not interested or are too passive to be interesting. It can be taken one of two ways if you have to hunt her down via social media or friends. If you’re a total package or she wished you’d asked for her number — she’ll be flattered. If you’re not — you’ll be deemed a stalker. I know it’s not fair, but it’s the unfortunate truth. The best course of action is to ask for her number during the conversation and then if she’s not interested, you were a sweet guy who wanted her info but not a stalker.
  8. If she says no: Keep your cool and say something like, “No problem. I had to try, right?” And smile disarmingly while walking away. Do not linger. Do not try again. Do not insult her. Do not move on to the girl standing next to her.
  9. If she says yes: Continue to keep your cool and decide if you want to make your excuses while you’re ahead (meaning live to call another day) or want to go all in and continue talking in hopes of making yourself more memorable or perhaps even extending the time together. Both options carry their own risks and rewards… you have to decide if you’re better in one on one date-like situations or if you have enough chemistry to keep her attention. (Quick Note: look at her number. If it has a 555, you have been given a fake number and you should cut your losses.)
  10. CALL HER! If you went through all this trouble to get her info, get in touch with her. Do not wait weeks or even days. Strike while you are still fresh on her mind. Your prime time to call is between 18-24 hours after you meet. You can maybe hold out to 48 hours, but if you go longer than that you risk losing the momentum or being seen as a game player.

The post How To Get A Girl’s Number : Tricks From a Female Point of View appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

Let’s Talk Body Language : Examples And What They Show

Permalink - Posted on 2019-08-20 15:26

We’ve all been there…the date where you just missed the cues… She wanted you to kiss her and you shook her hand instead. He wanted to be anywhere but there and you couldn’t stop telling that story about your grandmother’s teacup poodle. When you forget to pay attention to your audience… you run the risk of being “that” date living on your date’s oral tradition of crazy date stories.

How to avoid missing the details within the big picture? Pay attention to the non-verbal cues. She may say yes to date #2, but is she really going to answer your call?

The Good:

  1. The eyes say it all. Big Pupils. Extended eye contact. Focus on you. Good. Very Good.
  2. Grooming signals. Hair flipping. Lip stroking. Straightening clothes. Your date is interested!
  3. Touching you. Arm brushes. Small of back squiring. Toe or finger contact. The distance has been bridged — unless the touch is inappropriate or friend-ish (ie. punching you on the upper arm) — you are in like Flynn.
  4. Body Positioning. Leaning towards you? Shoulders squared towards you? Feet pointing in your direction? Wrists or palms of hands exposed to you? The signals are all green.
  5. Mirroring behavior. Same speech tempo. Body synchronization (moving at the same time in the same direction). Using words you use. Breathing or shifting at the same pace. (All of these are usually unconscious patterns that rise to the surface as you warm up to each other.)

The Bad:

  1. Crossed arms, legs or eyes. This suggests a wall or barrier between you.
  2. Looking at everything and everyone but you. Yes, many of us are “people watchers” but if you are doing it on a first date — its because you are more interested in watching people other than the person you are with.
  3. Distance. Do you feel or see a “great divide” and it has nothing to do with the table or cleavage between you? Your date is distancing from you like someone would with a slobbery dog and a favorite suit. This is typically not an indicator that they want to swap spit with you.
  4. Not even trying to carry their side of the conversation. If someone is totally checked out of the conversation and it’s a first date… you aren’t likely to get another date. Yes, some people are shy and some are quiet. Some are interested in quirky topics and really only discourse on those subjects. All of that may be true — but they are still going to try to make a connection if they are interested. Another note about conversation red flags — they discourse on their ex. Extensively. Really not good.
  5. Back patting, hand shaking, side hugging at the door. Bad news… you have now entered the friend zone.

The Ugly:

  1. They never show up for your date. (This is usually seen as a really really bad sign.)
  2. They actually act on their friends “emergency you have to come meet me” phone call and leave the date before dinner gets to the table.
  3. They hand their phone number to the waiter/waitress. In front of you.
  4. They offer to set you up with an acquaintance instead of accepting the second date offer.
  5. Excessive yawning, eye rolling or name calling. Unless your date was up running through your dreams all night, lost a contact and has Tourrette’s Syndrome (and you like it that way)… don’t go in for the goodnight kiss.

The post Let’s Talk Body Language : Examples And What They Show appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

What Her Cooking Style Reveals About Her Personality

Permalink - Posted on 2019-08-20 11:57

She wants a quiet evening alone, so she’s offered to cook for you. It sounds like heaven if you haven’t had someone cook you a good home-cooked meal since you last visited your mother. Recent study by https://datingappsadvice.com/ have shown that couples who cook together are more likely to stay together. You even think it’s cute when she asks if there’s anything you don’t like to eat as she prepares to surprise you. That is, until you’re at the table about to eat her creation. The content of that dinner plate will reveal a lot about the woman you’re involved with because it’s a small window into her nurturing style. The following cooking styles will reveal some insights about the woman you want to know better:

Takeout Queen

She doesn’t cook, but likes to choose from many options. Yes, she gets bored with too much food repetition, but this lady always knows the best wine or mixed drink to accompany her dinner selection. For her, the meal is only one of the reasons you’re together, because tonight is about getting to know more about you.

She’s not going to get all worked up in the kitchen like you’re her relative visiting from out-of-town. She’s not going to use this date to audition for the title of ‘wifey,’ because she’s not even sure if you have what it takes to be her life companion. If the evening goes well with a little takeout, she may cook for you on a future date. It all depends on if you make a good impression on her when the focus is you and not who toiled in the kitchen.

Home Economics Ace

She can prepare her favorite childhood meals from memory and knows the names of most of the hosts on the Food Network. She has the reputation of ‘best cook’ among her friends and will share her secret recipe if you rave over one of her creations. She relieves stress by cooking or baking, so preparing a meal for you is something she’s happy about doing.

There’s a story behind her favorite recipes and a reason why she chose the meal you’re consuming. She likes to set the mood for eating with nice music, silenced cell phones, and candlelight. Her efforts remind you of holiday dinners, get-togethers with friends, and all of the comforts of home…and she never forgets to have a great dessert.

Healthy/Vegetarian Cook

Her motto is “You are what you eat.” She’ll watch your fat intake, fill you with vegetables, and make sure you know meat doesn’t have to be consumed at every meal to be satisfied. For her, food is fuel, so second helpings and passing around a gravy bowl is not her cup of tea. The food she cooks will look more like a garden on your plate than anything processed or killed, so if you’re on a path of fitness she’s the perfect dinner date for you.

She knows the proper portion sizes, number of calories you’re consuming, and will encourage you to try healthy recipes on your own. If you’re a meat and potatoes guy, you may find yourself stopping for a quick burger or a slice of pizza when your dinner date is over – but at least this woman want you living pass your eighties.

Microwave and Ready-Made Maven

Patience isn’t a virtue she cares to learn. She hates clean up and loves convenience. Complicated recipes aren’t her thing but she likes to be in her kitchen for simple things like making refrigerator (bake and ready), chocolate chip cookies, zapping a microwave dinner, or cooking a frozen pizza in the oven. She’s also known to put her own special touches to microwaved dishes by adding extra dry spices or jarred sauces to ‘jazz it up’.

She has made many fire detectors go off during her cooking attempts so don’t be surprised if you find the one near the kitchen has been dismantled or lacks new batteries. She believes she doesn’t need some mechanical contraption to tell her there’s smoke in the kitchen. She doesn’t mind anyone eating in front of the television because she’s very easy-going and easily smitten by a man who cooks. So if you offer to take over the kitchen and whip her up a meal instead, she’ll be more than pleased to let you take charge.

Grill Mistress

She likes fire just as much as you do and likes to call the shots in the kitchen, but under her tough exterior is a tender heart that enjoys seeing everyone happy. She likes hearty sauces, rich marinades, and great cuts of meat. She knows her way around a grill and will challenge you to a ‘grill off’ – but that contest won’t happen on her new grill. (It’s her pride and joy, of course.)

She may tell you she enjoys grilling because the weather is nice – but that’s not the only reason she likes burning things over a fire. She also likes to let men know she’s an independent, determined woman who knows her grilled chicken and vegetables will make your mouth water. So don’t tell this lady you like to eat light and whatever you do, don’t touch her grill unless she asks you to, because if you play with her fire, you’ll get burned.

Top Chef Wannabe

She takes cooking to the ultimate level. She’s creative and knows her spices better than the shoes in her closet. She won’t let you help in the kitchen because if you mess up her sauce, she’ll pout for the rest of the night. And if you make the mistake of asking her to do an ingredient substitution, you’ll get a disapproving look because every dish is a masterpiece and every bite must be savored as she’d imagined it. If your plate is clean after you’ve consumed the meal, she’ll feel like she received a winning trophy.

Either she hates a dirty kitchen and cleans as she goes, or her kitchen looks like a tornado hit it because she was inspired to try a new recipe. But don’t worry, she’ll never let you go hungry or have a bare refrigerator. If she had a chance to buy a new purse or a new 8-qt covered stockpot, she would purchase the cookware every time because she wants to be the new Rachel Ray in her next life.

I’m sure you can think of other categories of cooks but you get the point. The way women cook and entertain says a lot about us, so have a good time when you walk into your dinner date. Don’t put any pressure on the woman or fill your head with comparisons with other great cooks you know. Cooking is a learned skill so enjoy the effort that was made to get you alone for a one-on-one date.

And remember one thing: if you use the fact that she can’t cook as a relationship deal-breaker, then you’re not being fair. She’s not asking if you can swing a hammer and put a closet organizer up on one of your dates. And at some point, you’ll have to cook something for her, too. All of us have our strengths and weaknesses; the trick is discovering what you can live with and without in your relationships. Besides, all adults should know how to cook these days. It is 2019, people.

Stay confident, handsome, and otherworldly!

The post What Her Cooking Style Reveals About Her Personality appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.

Over 50, Single and Dating – What You Need To Know

Permalink - Posted on 2019-08-20 11:02

Imagine a woman over 50, who suddenly finds herself single again and longing for companionship. In my case I had been without sex or any sort of affection for almost two years. I craved connection. I wanted sex. But, I had no clue of how to go about finding what I wanted. I turned to an online personals site.

That was 12 years ago. Separated and moving slowly towards divorce, I was determined, impulsive, naïve and hampered by my desires to find a man. The results were humorous, pathetic and exhilarating–in equal measure. My first sexual encounter was disastrous. He had a tiny half-erect penis that he tried, repeatedly, to shove in while saying something about forgetting how small it was…. Horrifying. Undoubtedly the worst sexual experience of my life.

I only had one date with the man who turned out to be married and sleeping with 3 other women—I was to be the fifth in his stable. Several years later I saw his photo in the paper—he’d been convicted of trying to murder his wife.

The Doctor who started the date by asking to wear my bracelet so he could ‘get’ my energy. I agreed to wear his cheap rubber watch during our (one and only) coffee date.

The list goes on.

The Challenges of Over 50 Dating

Entering the dating pool, particularly online dating, is new to many of us over 50. How do we get started, what is it like to go out on a date? And sex? Yikes. Getting naked in front of a stranger after all those years, baring our saggy boobs, stretch marks, and flabby tummies. It’s daunting.

There are so many things to think about—like sexual transmitted infections. We may have no idea how to ask the right questions. Many older women can’t even imagine having a conversation about sex in general.

Talking to a stranger, arranging that first date, figuring out what to share and how soon. Handling the rejections. It’s a lot to figure out in the beginning. We were savvy in our former lives, but when it comes to starting over as a ‘single’ woman we may feel overwhelmed. Where do we turn for help?

What The Over 50 Woman Wants to Know About Online Dating

A search for guidance on the internet will turn up many ‘experts’ eager to provide answers. Love Coaches will help you clear up your daddy issues or talk about the Laws of Attraction. Or maybe you want to fork out big bucks for an hour of personal coaching to get in touch with your fabulous self? You can find tips on how to dress younger, dye your hair, reverse the aging process and flirting.

For example, John Grey of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus fame offers some flirtatious questions to use on a potential date. My favorites: “What was your ex thinking when he/she let you go?” or “What is your favorite ice cream flavor and why?” Really? An opening gambit that has me talking about my love affair with Ben and Jerry? Or leads to an angry diatribe about the ‘ex’.

Treat me like an intelligent woman. Don’t assume I’m going to change my appearance and lifestyle to attract a husband. Don’t tell me putting scented candles in my bedroom will make a man swoon with desire for me—though the dim light might hide the stretch marks on my stomach.

Don’t assume that I’m looking for a husband.

Educate me about sexy. Tell me how to find a reputable confidential lab for STI testing. And explain why I need to worry about herpes when I’m 65. Talk to me about dealing with erectile dysfunction. Show me some of the best sex toys sites on the internet and which toys I might enjoy on my own or with a partner. Let’s have more websites focused on sex for older women—my needs are somewhat different from a 25 year old’s. What about lingerie that won’t make me look like a whore?

Show me how to avoid predators, scams and unpleasant men I’m likely to find in an online dating site. Share some tips on making the first phone call, or scheduling my first date with a complete stranger.

Don’t talk down to me. Don’t tell me how many frogs I have to kiss. Don’t insult my intelligence with perky little pep talks. Don’t send a married 26-year-old man to tell me, a 57-year-old woman, what I need to do to attract the right man.

Women want and expect relevant, useful, intelligent advice, information and resources. We want straight talk that acknowledges our capabilities while offering legitimate support as we begin online dating and move into relationships.


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Dating Advice for Single Parents and after Divorce

Permalink - Posted on 2019-08-20 10:51

How do I know I can trust him?

I have met a really wonderful guy who adores me both mentally and physically, however through a lot of bad experiences, I have a problem with trust when it comes to him and other potential women. He is in the middle of finalizing his divorce after 17 years in the relationship. I have not been married for more than 10 years, hence my bad experiences with men who cheat. Do you have any tips for building trust before I lose what could be the best thing ever? — Pam I., 38, Ebensburg, Pa.

You used the word building — that is exactly why trust is so hard once it is demolished. I’d like you to consider an idea. The only way to build trust is one thought at a time, one action at a time and one experience at a time. So ask yourself if the man you are with has given you a thought, action or experience to break that trust. If he hasn’t then you need to accept the possibility that you are using your past experiences as an excuse to keep yourself closed off and safe. After all, you have good reasons, right? The thing is that you don’t have a good reason with this man. The choice is yours — either stay buried in the rubble of past hurt, rejection, and doubt or let it go and give the actual experiences of your life a chance to build a new idea of what love can be. I can promise you it won’t get easier, so you might as well give trusting someone a try.

P.S. If he has given you reason not to trust him, leave.

Bring my daughter on dates?

I’m a single mother with a five-year-old old girl. My parents get upset when I take her on some of my dates. If I don’t take her with me, I would never go on dates. Do you think it is right for me to take her? — Jackie K., 26, Woodford, Va.

You have a great opportunity here to enlist babysitters. If your parents get upset, then why not sit down with them and explain your predicament. There might be a solution that would work for you and them. If they agreed to baby-sit once a week, they could have more time with their granddaughter and you could go on an enjoyable date alone. I don’t think taking her with you on a date is a great idea for a few reasons. First and foremost is that it will be hard to be yourself and have an adult conversation with a five-year-old listening to every word. Second, your daughter may become attached to the man you are dating and then feel another loss when you stop dating him. It is best to wait until you are in a serious relationship before introducing your children. There is another option you might want to consider — other single mothers who live near you who might want to share childcare. If you can find a single mom with a child around your daughter’s age, it would become a play date that your daughter could also look forward to. This might take a little effort but once you build this support system, dating as well as other activities you’d like to do may become possible.

Will he be good for my daughter?

I am a single mother with a great concern about who I bring into my daughter’s life and when. What kind of questions can I ask a man to help me be more assured that he would be good to her? At what point is it good to introduce the two and see how he handles her. After all words are just words, right? — Wendy W., 36, New London, Wis.

When you have dated a man long enough to know you are seriously interested in a long-term relationship, that is the time to introduce children. Instead of asking questions I would watch how he treats his family and friends. What kind of stories do they tell about his loyalty, compassion or concern he’s shown them in the past. Then I’d examine closely how he treats you. A person can’t really change who they are to fit a circumstance. They might put on an act for a while but in the end an act is hard to keep up forever. So, before you introduce your daughter make sure you respect the way he treats people in general.

I would also spend some time figuring out how you want him to interact with your daughter. In my experience it works best to draw the line by saying that you are her parent and it will be your job to parent her. That way he doesn’t feel like he has to walk in and be some sort of father disciplinary figure. It will also allow you to parent her without his comments, control or criticism. You might tell him ways he can support you in being the best mother you can be; by helping with dinner so you can spend more quality time with your daughter or by listening to you when you are struggling with a disciplinary consequence. The way he ‘is’ with her is up to you and will be based on the boundaries and expectations you set.

Why do daughters make dates vanish?

What about us single dads? I meet women easily and before I had my two girls I had a different gal almost every weekend — really. Now that I’m raising the girls on my own I couldn’t even buy a date. Don’t get me wrong, I still meet girls, but when they find out that I’ve got the two little ones, they seem to vanish and lose interest. Why do girls want a man to accept their kids and be unwilling to accept mine? I figured that rearing two kids would show I was stability and trustworthy. — Trace P., 38, Washington Court House, Ohio

I’m not sure how old the women are that you are trying to date, but I would first off suggest you date women your own age. If you are interested in younger women who have no children, then I can see how this situation might occur, but I seem to hear constantly from women (ages 34 to 40) who are looking for a man just like you, so I’m a little confused. I for one find men who are loving fathers and are willing to take on the task of raising children much more attractive than single fathers who are without responsibility.

Why can’t we be alone together?

I met someone on Yahoo! Personals. We hit it off extremely well right away. He tells me I’m the best however he doesn’t have much free time from his work and children and when he finally gets some time he spends it with friends. We have dated for about a month and he has never invited me to do anything alone with him. He seems to only invite my son and me to hang out when he has his children. What do you think is going on with him? — Jamie C., 27, Watervliet, N.Y.

A month is not that long, he may need some time to get to know you. Although I do find it odd that you have spent your only dates together with your children. It could be that you will need to be more specific about your expectations. First thing I would do if this arrangement bothers you is change the parameters. Tell him you’d like your next date to be just the two of you. If he can’t go along with it, then he isn’t interested in the same kind of relationship that you are. This means you either let him go, or decide that you will abide by his rules for a while longer. Whenever you are uncomfortable with the way someone is treating you, it’s very important for you to have the courage to be clear about what you want and need. That way you find out right away if the relationship is going to be an equal partnership (where each person’s needs are equally important), or a one-way street (where one person runs the relationship and the other follows along afraid of being rejected).

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How To Get Rid of a Toxic Ex

Permalink - Posted on 2019-08-16 10:30

Let’s say you are in a happy relationship. Everything is going along swimmingly. Well, everything except for one little issue. There is an ex that just won’t go away. They’ve been asked politely. They’ve been asked not so politely. You’ve heard promises and threats that they never EVER want to talk to you or hear your name again… but you don’t hold your breath because they call… text… email and IM time and time again. It’s a become a problem. An embarrassment. Something you passionately wish would just go away.

And just to be clear right up front, I don’t believe that ALL exes are a problem. I know that some of you do believe that exes aren’t meant to be friends while others of you are friends with all of your exes and take pride in that. Either way, whatever works for you. But this article IS about dealing with the ex that becomes toxic and how to save your relationship from the potential fall out.

“I just miss your friendship and want to be with you.”

“I can’t live without you.”

“I still love you.”

“I never really got to say all the things I needed to say to you. We need more closure.”

“Just one last hug/kiss goodbye?”

“You’ll never be happy with anyone like you were with me.” (Obviously. That is why you are broken up.)

If any of those sound familiar, then you are the proud owner of a toxic ex. And I’m betting that as much as you once cared for them, you now find yourself cringing when the phone rings or sighing as you tell your partner that your ex phone bombed you today. Again.

So what do you do?

First, take care of your relationship.

  1. Talk to your partner openly about it. No ultimatums. No threats. No passive aggressive snark… just good old honest and compassionate communication. “My ex keeps contacting me. I know it’s become a problem. What do we need to do about it?”
  2. Evaluate your own emotions around the issue and do your best to clear out any of the ugly in your heart that may be creeping in due to frustration over the situation. If you are the non-owner of the toxic ex, avoid jumping immediately to mistrust of your partner. Unless your partner is doing something to encourage the behavior… he or she really can’t control the toxic ex’s toxicity.
  3. However you decide to handle the problem, maintain transparency with your partner about your actions (or lack thereof.) Secrets only lead to trouble down the line. Trust me on this one… TELL your current partner what is going on!
  4. Focus on the relationship you are building. Find your common ground and remember that you are together for a reason. The more you can pull together as a team, the less outside problems/people will impact your relationship.
  5. Be flexible in finding a successful solution. Sometimes action that works for getting one person to back off will do nothing but egg another person on.
  6. Ask a professional for help in formulating a plan.
  7. If it’s YOUR ex that’s a problem, don’t discount your partner’s feelings. It’s one thing if they are jealous and possessive about everything and everyone. It’s entirely different if they are expressing concern about someone exhibiting toxic or inappropriate behavior.

Next, take care of the problem.

The person with the toxic ex probably needs to contact Mr. or Ms. Toxic and ask them (if they haven’t already,) to please go away. Be warned, email can come across more harshly than you intend, in this situation, so use it with care.

  • If the ex is yours, explain that you aren’t coming back. Communicate the romantic relationship you had is over and you have moved on.
  • Sometimes, sharing that any and all future attempts at contact will be shared with your current partner, can serve as a contact deterrent.
  • Say whatever you need to say to let this person know that the past is the past.
  • Be kind and firm, but don’t leave any doors open for hope to creep back in.
  • Some exes will argue that a friendship should be maintained. Unless you share custody or a group of friends, there is no reason to maintain any kind of relationship with someone who brings toxicity into your life.
  • If you feel that you MUST have this conversation face to face — make SURE you go to a public place. This is not a talk that you want to have in private unless you want to explain to your partner why you have lipstick on your collar and your pants button is ripped off.

If the ex continues to intrude, you can repeat your request for no contact. If you do, stick to simple and to the point. The less you say, the better. The shorter and more non-emotional your communication is after the initial request to leave you alone, the less your ex will have to hold onto.

Or you can try the “ignore them and hope that they go away” part of the plan. For some exes, this is all they need to get bored and go away. No fuel to burn… move on to the next fire. For others, it can actually cause the opposite reaction. (If they are prone to delusional thinking or consider you the “one who got away,” ignoring them may actually escalate the behavior.)

If your ex continues to try to engage your attention, block their number, email, IM, Facebook, etc. Any points of engagement simply need to be removed.

Finally, if you find that Mr. or Ms. Toxic is actually moving into stalker territory — drive-bys, following or contacting your current partner, increased contact, researching new ways to contact you, tracking behaviors — showing up where you are, intimating that they have knowledge of where you’ve been, etc. — you need to contact the police and seriously consider getting a restraining order.

I’ll say it again, not EVERY ex is a problem. If the communication is infrequent, respectful and/or limited to discussing things like shared custody, business or bills, then you really have no reason to get too upset with the connection. However, if the ex’s communication is simply meant to keep the door open, to manipulate or seduce or if they are ignoring a request to cease contact… refer to the lists above.

Breaking up is hard to do, and there is usually one, if not two, hurt parties. If you are reading this article and realize that YOU are the toxic ex… tune back in tomorrow for a few helpful hints on how to get your life back and move on!

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How To Know He is The One For Me

Permalink - Posted on 2019-08-16 10:06

Sometimes life just throws you some curve balls, so I called in a few relief pitchers for your enjoyment over the next few weeks. A beautiful gift in my inbox, today’s post reminded me of how truly inspiring my friends are. I hope you enjoy this post by Courtney C. as much as I did…

How I knew he was the one:

My dad always used to tell me he wouldn’t pass judgment on the men I chose, because “when you think you’re in love, you’re in love.”  So true, but you can absolutely be “in love” with someone who doesn’t make a good partner for you.  And no matter how much you love that person, or even how much they love you back, it still doesn’t make it a good, healthy relationship.

I knew J was “the one” when …the relationship started really working as this separate entity unto itself – when I didn’t feel like this one individual trying really hard to commit my life to someone else and be a good wife.  I’d been someone else’s wife before, so I had something to compare it to, and with J it felt like something that worked on it’s own, without me having to hover around worrying and always doing the right thing to keep everything in a good place.

Now I tell my friends, “I don’t care about his qualities.  Of COURSE you’ll pick a guy who has great qualities.  Find me a woman who DOESN’T want a guy she finds handsome, smart, kind and funny.  I care more about the quality of the relationship.”  The bottom line is you shouldn’t just be with the guy you imagine, you should be in the type of relationship you imagine, so start dreaming of what that relationship feels like so you’ll know if you’re inside it.

Why I know our relationship will last:

Relationships are hard because life is hard.  I’m very lucky in that even though my life sometimes intrudes its unwelcome drama upon my just-shy-of-one-year-long marriage, it’s LIFE making my relationship hard, and not vice versa.  (And yes, I’m looking at some of you out there who seem to thrive on the inverse situation.  Can you feel my big hairy side-eye being given to you right now?)

In the past two months, J and I have had to deal with more drama than most couples have to deal with in their first few decades together, and we’ve been forced to weather it with less than a year of marriage under our belt.  Talk about initiation by fire.  Two months ago, after celebrating 5 years cancer free, my surgeon called with more bad news.  The scans that were supposed to let me off the hook and give me reason to celebrate 5 healthy years instead found a congenital defect in my brain.  I had to urgently find a neurosurgeon, fly across the country for consultations, decide on a course of action, find people to take care of all our pets, choose a short hairstyle that would hide the bald spots, and in the middle of the mayhem not forget to hold my husband close every night and whisper to him (as though saying it out loud would make it true) that I was going to come out the other side alive and the same person I’ve always been.  No brand-new husband should worry that he’s going to have to spoon feed his wife for 50 years.

Some days he was my rock, and some day I was his.  Some days we both just cried together, when I was hurting physically and it killed him emotionally.  And some days we snapped at each other, because waking up every 90 minutes to take a handful of pills will give even a saint a short fuse.  But neither one of us is too proud to say I’m sorry (and we try to say it before too much time has elapsed).

For a couple who can and does talk about everything, the hardest part for me was that the experience of spending days in the hospital and going through so much pain was something I had to suffer alone.  I usually share my burdens with J, and though he was the perfect support system, I still had to be the one to endure painful IVs burning through my arms, spasming limbs from not being allowed to move for fear of throwing a clot, and headaches that left me in a nauseated heap on the floor.  J couldn’t suffer that in my place, though I know he would have done it in a heartbeat.  And – in my pain – I was so jealous of him for feeling fine while I was in pain.  Senseless and juvenile, I know, but I was pissed at him for being healthy.

Back home, he’s been patient and kind with me as I heal.  He has to drive me everywhere until I’m off medications and the risk of seizures has passed.  He has to handle tons of stuff for my nonprofit as I don’t have enough stamina even to sit at my desk and focus for a full 8 hour workday.  He has to come running into the kitchen every time my even-more-klutzy than normal body drops something or forgets where something is stored.

I set myself up for success in this marriage by choosing a loving, kind, huge-hearted man, and I try every day not to screw it up by forgetting to tell J how amazing he is.  We give one another the benefit of the doubt, we talk through even the most minor of slights or hurt-feelings, and we kiss as often as possible.  I think HE is the most selfless human in the world, and he thinks I am, so in trying to deserve one another, we’ve each given more to one another than in past relationships.  And maybe, just maybe, when we celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, I’ll figure out how I got so lucky to be so loved.

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Infidelity: Seven Tips to Help You Get Money When Your Divorce is Caused by Affair

Permalink - Posted on 2019-08-15 10:55

A University of Chicago study found that 25 percent of all marriages are affected by the pain adultery sometime during the life of the marriage. If devastated spouses decide to divorce the cheater, can they get more of the marital assets? Maybe.

While all’s fair in love and war, all is not necessarily fair in divorce court. “In California, adultery doesn’t make a bit of difference in division of property. It’s an interpersonal issue. Not a legal factor. So, judges don’t get into it. Often, people are very disappointed to hear that,” said Nordin F. Blacker, president of the Northern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. However, all is not lost.

“You can put yourself in a better position and bargain for more favorable terms, if you know how to go about it,” said Ruth Houston, author of “Is He Cheating on You? – 829 Telltale Signs“. Getting that greater share requires understanding the complex laws governing divorce, property settlement, and spousal support. It also requires knowing how to leverage alienation of affection, intentional infliction of emotional distress and criminal conversation laws. Here are seven steps that can put you on the path to negotiating for a better settlement:

1. Do your homework.

“Don’t wait until the cheater cleans out the bank account and leaves or you’ll lose your chance to gain the upper hand. If you suspect that something might be going on, be smart and quietly go about getting some of the details,” Houston said. According to a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), a resounding 88 percent of the nation’s top divorce attorneys say they have seen an increase in the number of cases using electronic data as evidence during the past five years. “Technology is having a big impact on the way that divorces are now conducted,” said James Hennenhoefer, president of the AAML. “Many people still don‘t realize how much evidence can be gleaned from personal electronics ranging from computers to cell phones and GPS devices. In the Internet age, there is often a very clear trail that has been left behind and can be easily traced.”

E-mail takes the lead as the most commonly used form of technological evidence, with 82 percent citing it as the main source. Text/instant messaging and Internet browsing history tie for second with seven percent each, while one percent of the respondents cite data taken from GPS systems. Interestingly, the survey also reveals that wives are more likely to make use of electronic evidence than husbands. Once you have evidence that there is an affair, confront your spouse. “Letting your spouse know you’re aware of their affair may make the difference between being dumped and negotiating for more favorable terms,” said Houston.

While it may be uncomfortable to think of using threat of disclosure as a bargaining chip, for a spouse who is facing the loss of their marriage and financial security as well as the public humiliation of having others know their spouse cheated on them, working a deal where the reasons for the divorce are kept quiet in exchange for a larger settlement may make sense for both parties. For example, the U. S. military considers adultery unacceptable conduct. If a U. S. soldier commits adultery, he/she can be charged with Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. If found guilty, the soldier will be punished by the military and the adultery will reflect adversely on their service record. Agreeing not to disclose the adultery in exchange for having custody of your children or a greater share of the marital assets can help both of you.

“If you do decide to pursue this avenue, you will have to keep quiet as you are learning about the affair, otherwise you will lose your bargaining power,” said Houston. Also, if possible, keep the discussions about adultery out of the courtroom because proving adultery isn’t easy. “Even if you have a video of your husband and his secretary going into a hotel room, that doesn’t mean you’ve proven anything,” said Thomas Wolfrum, a certified Family Law Specialist who is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

2. Determine the grounds for your divorce. Find out if you’re in a fault/no-fault state.

The facts that you have to prove to get divorced are called grounds. There are fault grounds such as adultery, physical cruelty, mental cruelty, habitual drunkenness, and desertion; and, there are no-fault grounds such as “irreconcilable differences” or living separate and apart without cohabitation for a certain period.

Oklahoma introduced no-fault divorce in 1953. But, the idea that you could get a divorce without blaming someone for the failure of the marriage really didn’t get much traction until 1969, when California passed the Family Law Act which abolished the old common law action for divorce and replaced it with dissolution of marriage on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences.” By 1985, every state had adopted no-fault divorce.   Some no-fault states do allow you to claim fault when you file for divorce. If you live in one of those states, while there are many factors that go into the court’s decision, judges are allowed to penalize the “at-fault” party“ when it comes to deciding who pays attorney’s fees or who will get what property.

Whether you file a fault or no-fault divorce, the grounds on which you are granted a divorce don’t necessarily correspond to the financial end of the divorce. For example, some no-fault states do consider fault an issue when it comes to determining spousal support and sometimes cheater’s remorse can help sweeten the pot. “Sometimes a cheating spouse will put more on the table because of guilt, but guilt normally has a short shelf life,” said Blacker.

3. Find out if you live in a community property state or an equitable distribution state.

Even if you live in a state where you can’t divorce on the basis of fault, you still may be able to get more of the marital estate. That’s because there’s a difference between the grounds for the divorce and how the property of the marriage is divided. That difference is affected by whether you live in a community property state or an equitable distribution state.

In community property states (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin), fault is not considered in division of property. However, fault does get in the back door, according to Wolfrum. “Domestic violence is a factor that affects child and spousal support. It’s a kind of fault that could be used to increase the amount or length of time of spousal support,” said Wolfrum.   All the rest of the states are equitable distribution states. “In these states, the judge has discretion to decide how the property should be divided and the court can consider a number of factors such as length of marriage, the age and health of the parties, the earnings of parties, the abilities of the parties to support themselves, their education and who paid for it, the property that both sides own and the locality of the property, and the future opportunity to acquire assets,” said Wolfrum.

Whether the marital property was inherited or earned during the marriage also affects how it is divided. “However, if you get a 60/40 split, that may be offset by getting less maintenance or getting maintenance for a shorter period of time,” said Wolfrum.

4. Ask for spousal support to get back on your feet.

If you’re a basketcase after discovering the affair, you may want to ask to have that factored into your earning ability. “You can say, ‘I’ve been married for 20 years and I thought was he was faithful. Then, I found out he was having not just one affair but multiple affairs. I need at least a year of therapy and I want child support and alimony computed on zero income for that year because I’m devastated and emotionally unable to work,’” said Wolfrum.

While you may have to show you’ve been diligent in working through what’s happened, if at the end of the year, you feel you need more time, then, depending on how the order was written, you may be able to petition to have the time extended.

5. Consider going after the home wrecker.

Yes, it’s utterly vindictive to go after your spouse’s paramour. Yet, why should the little home wrecker get off Scot-free while you’re left to pick up the crumbs? Stealing a spouse is a form of personal injury and there are three ways to be compensated for that. Depending on which state they live in, injured spouses may be able to file Alienation of Affection, Criminal Conversations or Intentional Affliction of Emotional Distress suits against the person their spouse cheated with. Even if you don’t go after the paramour, raising the possibility may get you a better deal if your soon-to-be ex spouse wants to protect his/her lover.

Alienation of Affections: “Alienation of Affection” is an umbrella term that covers the “wrongful or injurious act” of interfering with an affectionate relationship in a way that causes one person to lose affection for the other. Since 1935, the Alienation of Affections tort has been abolished by most states as an archaic and outdated form of revenge. However, if you live in one of the states where they’re still on the books (Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah), and your spouse has cheated on you, you may be able to receive some level of financial compensation to make up for the pain of betrayal. More than 200 Alienation of Affection cases are filed annually in North Carolina, which has a public policy that protects marriages from third party interference.

If you decide to pursue an Alienation of Affection suit, you won’t be bringing it against your cheating spouse. You’ll be filing it against the weasel they erred with. And, you don’t have to prove that they had sex with your spouse. That’s because the basis of the suit is not adultery but the fact that the weasel caused your spouse to lose that loving feeling for you. According to Haas McNeill & Associates, a law firm in North Carolina, “The exclusive right of sexual intercourse is not the right protected in this type of case. It’s the actual affection between spouses that’s the right protected.”

According to the Legal Match Law Library, “To succeed on an alienation of affection claim, the “injured” spouse must show three things: the marriage entailed love between the spouses in some degree; the spousal love was alienated and destroyed; and the third party’s malicious conduct contributed to or caused the loss of affection. It’s often not necessary to show that the third party set out to destroy the marital relationship, but only that he or she intentionally engaged in acts that likely would impact the marriage.”

How much can you get? According to Gailor, Wallis & Hunt, a law firm in Raleigh, North Carolina, “The potential size of a favorable verdict may vary depending on multiple factors including length of the marriage; the egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct and the length of time over which it has occurred; the conduct of the plaintiff during the marriage; and actual damages such as medical or psychological treatment costs and loss of income in addition to humiliation and emotional harm among others. Not every case of alienation of affections or adultery will merit bringing a claim.”

However, for those who win a claim, the reward can be substantial. Haas McNeill & Associates reports that North Carolina juries have handed out big awards in some of these cases. In 2001, a Greensboro jury awarded $2 million to the Plaintiff. Another jury awarded $1.2 million in 1997 in a Forsyth County case. Other awards include $1 million to an Alamance County woman, $243,000 to a Wake County man, and $40,000 to a Durham County man whose wife allegedly ran off with another man. You can sue for both punitive and compensatory damages. In May 2001, a cuckolded husband was awarded $100,000 — $50,000 for compensatory damages and $50,000 for punitive damages.

Criminal Conversations: Whereas Alienation of Affection suits are about how your spouse feels about you after getting involved with someone else, Criminal Conversation suits are just about whether sexual intercourse happened between the defendant and your spouse. You don’t have to prove that the intercourse changed the way your spouse feels about you — you just have to prove that sex between the defendant and your spouse occurred while you were married.

While it may be tough to prove that sex took place, if you can prove it, there are no obvious defenses to a claim of criminal conversation. According to Lee S. Rosen, a Board Certified Family Specialist and founder of Rosen Divorce, the largest divorce firm in the Southeastern United States, “It is not a defense that: the defendant did not know the other person was married; that the person consented to the sex; that the plaintiff was separated from his or her spouse, that the other person actually seduced the defendant; that the marriage was an unhappy one; that the defendant’s sex with the spouse did not otherwise impact on the plaintiff’s marriage; that plaintiff had mistreated the spouse; or that the plaintiff had also been unfaithful. It might be a defense that the plaintiff “consented” to the illicit intercourse; but the defendant would have to show that this approval or encouragement had pre-dated the extramarital conduct.”

There is a three-year statute of limitations for Alienation of Affections claims. The clock begins ticking on the date of your separation. The court generally views behavior that happened after the separation as irrelevant. So, if your spouse starts dating before the divorce is final, that generally doesn’t count as Alienation of Affection. However, if your spouse continues a relationship that broke up your marriage, that shows that the cheater chose the paramour over you and can be evidence the affair really did destroy the love between you.

Substituting Alienation of Affections With IIED: Since most states have abolished Alienation of Affections laws, wronged spouses have tried to recover damages under the cause of action known as Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED). Courts have generally recognized IIED as separate and distinct from Alienation of Affections, so that IIED may be available against a third party for conduct that breaks up a marital relationship, even in states that have abolished Alienation of Affections. To bring a successful IIED claim, the party suing must prove four elements: conduct that is intentional or reckless; conduct that is extreme and outrageous; the wrongful conduct caused the emotional distress; and the emotional distress must be severe.

6. Find out who the other party is.

Before you can go after the person your spouse cheated with, you have to know whom they are. Ruth Houston offers the following three tips to unearthing their identity.

Reverse phone number search: “If you find unfamiliar numbers on your caller ID, cell phone bill, programmed into your spouse’s cell phone, or scribbled on scraps of paper or the back of business cards, you can do a reverse phone number search to find out whose number it is,” said Houston. Your search is 100 percent confidential. For an additional fee, this service also lets you run background checks on any names you come across.

Reverse e-mail address search: “If your spouse is sending or receiving e-mails from someone you don’t know and you want to find out who a certain e-mail address belongs to, you can run a reverse e-mail search with the largest e-mail search database on the internet,” said Houston. This is the same service used by law enforcement, government officials, lawyers, private investigators and many others.

Background check: “If you have the name of the person(s) you think your spouse is involved with, or if you find a suspicious name among your spouse’s personal effects, you can quickly and easily run a background check to find out more information about this person including: their address history; their work history; whether they’re married, single, or divorced; whether they’ve ever committed a crime and more,” said Houston. All background searches are confidential.

7. Hire a good lawyer.

Getting a greater share of the marital assets requires a skilled lawyer who will advocate for your best interests. “The yellow pages are absolutely worst place to look for an attorney. I recommend you start with attorney from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers because they noted for excellence in this area and many have passed a second bar exam to become a certified family law specialist,” said Wolfrum, who also recommends you get a copy of IRS Publication 504: Instruction Booklet for Divorce.

Finding out your spouse has cheated on you unravels your world. It can be particularly galling if the person they cheated with benefits financially. Ashley Dupre, the call girl Spitzer allegedly hired, stands to make big money. The Week Magazine reports two songs Dupre posted on her MySpace page are being played on New York radio and have been downloaded several hundred thousand times for 98 cent a piece. Hustler Magazine has offered Dupre $1 million to pose nude and a Nevada brothel has offered her a $250,000 signing bonus.

Rather than feeling screwed twice, Houston encourages betrayed spouses to take action to protect their right to the marital assets. “Act decisively and you’ll feel empowered, rather than victimized,” Houston said.

The post Infidelity: Seven Tips to Help You Get Money When Your Divorce is Caused by Affair appeared first on Loveawake.com blog.