Category Archives for "Relationships"

5 Stood Up, But Not Giving Up

I was stood up!! It took 52 years, countless dates, crazy experiences and now I can add being stood up to my dating stories.  There were red flags everywhere, but I let my curiosity get the better of me.

It all started when I got matched with "Jim" on an online dating site. "Jim's" profile said that he was 51, lived in Toronto, and worked in the investment industry.  He was handsome, educated, fit, successful and seemed to tick off all of the boxes on my mental checklist for the ideal partner. This probably should have been red flag number one.

We exchanged messages on the site and then we exchanged cell phone numbers and begin texting. He asked me if I would be interested in meeting him for a tea or a drink, and I agreed. He said he was travelling to Whistler to do some skiing and then had business in Manhattan, so we agreed to meet the following week.  I was excited to meet him as he was interesting to chat with, and seemed intelligent and fun.

"Jim" contacted me when he returned from Manhattan and invited me to meet him downtown, near both our respective offices, for a tea. The date he suggested was already pretty booked for me, but I really wanted to meet him, so I was determined to make it work. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a mistake on my part as a client emergency arose and I had to let "Jim" know first thing in the morning that I was going to have to reschedule our 1 p.m. tea.

"Jim" was mildly annoyed and said that he had adjusted his schedule to meet me. He sarcastically referenced a line from my dating profile that says I am "looking for a man on top of his game".  He said he was on top of his game and that he, in fact, was a "Rockstar"  or a "God" and that he was in extreme demand.  I apologised again for having to reschedule, and he told me that I was "a dork for blowing him off" (red flag number two).  I advised that I wasn't a "dork" and that I wasn't blowing him off.  He then responded that it was ok as his ego probably needed to be knocked down a few pegs. We then agreed to meet for a tea a few days later.

That night the most interesting thing happened. I got together with my girlfriend who is also single and we began chatting about our online dates.  She showed me a message that she had received from a cute guy who she had initiated contact with, and when I looked at the photos, I realized that it was "Jim"  except in this profile his name was "Peter" and he was 57, lived in Hamilton, and worked in the military. The photos though were the same. This was red flag number three.  I now thought that this seemingly perfect guy was dishonest and some sort of player or catfish.

I debated with my girlfriend what I should do about my upcoming date with "Jim/Peter". Should I stand him up and block him?  Should I cancel with no explanation? Should I confront him about his dual profiles? I chose option three. I sent him a text advising him that I had come across this other profile through my girlfriend and it had all his photos, and that I wasn't sure what to think, but that I thought it was best if we didn't meet.

His reaction was interesting. He denied that he knew anything about the "Peter" profile and almost seemed hurt that I was suggesting he had more than one profile. He then gave me what he said was his full name, home address, and he invited me to check out his profile on LinkedIn which he suggested was more reliable than an online dating site. I did go to LinkedIn and sure enough his "Jim" profile was there.  He asked me where we stood and said he would still like to meet me.  I am a big believer in giving someone the benefit of the doubt so I agreed to meet him.  He was quite attractive in his photos so it seemed plausible that an imposter might have copied them.  I also  couldn't figure out why he would be trying to mislead me on this.

The day arrived for our fateful date/meet.  I walked over to the coffee shop near my office where we had agreed to meet at 5:45 p.m. I chatted with my girlfriend as I walked over and mentioned that I had an uneasy feeling.  I arrived promptly at 5:45 and as I walked in, I didn't see anyone who looked like "Jim".  As I walked up to the counter to order my tea, I received a text from him saying, "hi".  I replied "hi" back.  He then texted, "I hope you are late."  I responded, "I am here, grabbing a table at the back."  There was no response.  I waited about ten minutes and then texted him asking what time he was going to arrive.  My phone then rang and it was "Jim" calling from what appeared to be a Hamilton area number.  "Jim" began by saying that he was a father of 4 and was, therefore, juggling a lot.  He said that a client from Manhattan had walked in his office door at 5:05 p.m. and that he had forgotten that he had scheduled a meeting with him.  I asked why he didn't call or text me at 5:05 then to tell me he was going to either be late or have to reschedule.  He replied, "Good question.  I thought I would still make the meeting."  I replied that this was not going to work out as this situation combined with his dual profiles raised too many red flags.  He responded that he had googled me and might walk into my office one day and try and make it up.  I said I needed to go and ended the call.

I left the coffee shop with a lot of questions.  Why would someone do this? How did it benefit him in any way to play this game? Was he playing a game or was it remotely possible that all his crazy stories were true? I felt disappointed and foolish, and begin to question for the 5000th time whether I should bother with online dating.  I decided that while online dating may not be for me, I will never give up hope that one day I will find love.

I changed the names in this story to protect "the guilty". If you are reading this and want to venture a guess at "Jim's" motivation for doing this, or whether you think he was being honest or playing a game, I would love to read your feedback in the comments.  While another one bites the dust, I will continue to believe in the good in people and not let the "Jims" of the world get me down. After all "Jim" has provided me with yet another great dating story for my blog.

Survival Tips For Divorcing A Narcissist

Divorcing a narcissist is often extremely stressful and brings its own set of challenges to the process.  In order to preserve your own sanity , it is important to understand how the narcissist thinks. The following tips will help you develop an effective divorce strategy, minimize your trauma and help keep your legal costs down.

Divorcing a narcissist will take its toll in two key area:

1.  Emotional:

The narcissist will not be cooperative through the divorce process or go away quietly. They will blame everyone else for their problems and perceive themselves as the victim. Narcissists need to win and they love the adversarial nature of the legal system. They will be manipulative, and they will try to paint you as the bad guy with family, friends and even your own children.

2. Financial:

Often narcissists are powerful and financially successful so they use this to their advantage. They refuse to provide financial information and documents. They refuse to negotiate and will defy court orders as they think they are above the law. They will file endless motions, hide assets and income and try to exhaust your financial ability to fight them.

How can you prepare for battle a narcissist and get what you need?

1. Have money on hand (a war chest). You may need this money for living expenses while the divorce plays out and you will need funds for legal fees.  You want to begin the process from some level of financial stability, if possible, so that you can fight for what is important to you.

2. Make sure you have good credit in your own name.

3. Get your financial paperwork together. The narcissist will likely hide and withhold information so if you can compile it before discussing divorce, that is ideal. Don’t keep copies at home, instead give them to a friend or relative, or put them in a safety deposit box so the narcissist doesn’t know about it.

4. Put together a top notch divorce team which may include the following:

i) Family lawyer who has experience dealing with narcissists and domestic abuse;

ii) Financial planner;

iii) Qualified therapist who is familiar with Narcissistic Personality Disorder;

iv) Qualified Divorce Coach who is trained and experienced in dealing with narcissists.

5. Once the divorce process is initiated, keep direct communication with the narcissist to a fact based, dispassionate minimum. Email is ideal as it gives you time to think before responding. It also keeps a record of the dialogue and may eliminate some of the abusive behavior if the narcissist knows that someone else may read it or that it could end up in court.

6. Don’t respond to the narcissist’s behavior in kind. It will only elevate things. Don’t fight fire with fire. Don’t opt for a pit-bull lawyer who will contribute to the elevation of hostility. Instead opt for a lawyer who is tough, but reasonable.

7. Stop feeling, start thinking. Do not respond to the narcissist out of emotion. Take your time, ask questions, be reasonable. Decide which battles to fight and focus on those. Don’t stoop to their level. You can’t change them.

8. If necessary due to the level of abuse and its impact on you, communicate only through lawyers. This will add to your legal expenses but your peace of mind is priceless.

9. Anticipate that the narcissist will try to charm the court, your children, your neighbours and may succeed. Try not to get upset about this. Focus on the big picture and long-term.

10. Document everything and keep good records. Log how much time each of you spends with the children as you may need these records if custody is in issue.

11. Keep the narcissist on a short leash when it comes to court orders because they will constantly be testing your boundaries and will to enforce things. The same is true of the terms of any separation agreement.

12. Have courage, patience and persevere. You can and will survive.

While divorcing a narcissist is never easy, your life WILL get better if you endure the pain of the process.  Just keep reminding yourself, that the alternative to divorcing the narcissist is staying with him or her, and that is a guarantee that your life will NOT improve.

I have a coaching program specifically designed to assist those who are divorcing a narcissist.  Please contact me if you would like more information.

4 In Praise Of Shorter Men

As we women raise hell about stereotypes and fight barriers, I find it troubling that the stereotype of the “tall, dark and handsome man” as being the most attractive man still seems to prevail in 2019. I have heard from male friends that some women go so far as to put in their online dating profiles that they won’t date a man under 6 feet tall and I have many girlfriends who list a man’s height as a deal breaker. This is such a pet peeve of mine that I felt compelled to speak out, so I am writing this blog as a tribute to shorter men.

As a seasoned dater, I am very aware of how difficult it is to meet someone with whom you find a true connection. With all of the games that go on and all of the people out there carrying so much baggage they could fill an airplane, it seems to me that someone’s height is just so superficial. When I hear my girlfriends go on about the importance of height I roll my eyes, and think to myself, how ridiculous it is for them to reject someone who is kind, smart, fun, good looking, funny, fit and successful, someone who has everything else going for him, but he is 5 foot 7 instead of 6 feet. To me, this is utterly ridiculous, but yet I have come to realize that I may be in the minority for thinking this way.

I come across women who are not necessarily bringing a whole lot to the table themselves, and yet, they go on and on about the importance of height in a man. I meet women who are short themselves, and they place importance on height. I meet tall women who insist on a man being well over 6 feet. It seems that many of them would rather compromise on kindness, humour, intelligence and a great personality just to make sure they have their 6 foot 2 man.

At the end of the day, we are all entitled to place importance on the qualities that we choose in a date or a prospective mate. If Margaret or Nancy would rather date a 6 foot tall asshole than a 5 foot 8 wonderful man then that is their prerogative. I just think that as women who complain about stereotypes, we shouldn’t be applying them ourselves. I also think that when it is already difficult enough to meet someone with whom your truly connect, placing a rigid height requirement as a non-negotiable criteria, certainly limits the quality men that you will have the opportunity to meet. I guess I should celebrate the women who do this, as it means less competition for women like myself who don’t hold onto this rigid height requirement for love.

We are attracted to what we are attracted to and sometimes it can be difficult to explain or understand. I do think, however, that it is important to question why we might feel a certain way and whether it has been groomed by a stereotype. As we see stereotypes surrounding race, religion, and age disappearing in the dating world, it would be nice to see what I think is another superficial stereotype also disappear. What do you think? Do you have a height requirement?

2 Dating In Midlife: The Good, The Bad And The Outright Ugly

With the high divorce rate and more transient nature of relationships in 2019, more people are dating in midlife than ever before. Factor in the growth of online dating, dating apps, and dating through social media and the entire dating culture has dramatically changed. Change can be good, change can be bad, and in the case of midlife dating change can be outright ugly. For those who are out in the trenches, here is a summary of the realities of dating over 40.

Continue reading

Six Tips For Dating When You Have Children

When you have children and you find yourself single again, dating can be very complicated.  Not only do you have the challenge of finding someone worthy of dating, but you have more constraints on your time, potential childcare issues, and then the complex issue of what your children should know and who they should meet.  The following are some general tips that I have acquired through my own experience and the experience of clients.

Continue reading

The Good Vibes Only Relationship

Let's be honest. No one likes a Debbie Downer. We all appreciate positivity and good energy. This is especially true in the dating world. We want our relationships to be fun and to complement our already stressful lives. Modern day daters, in particular, seem to only want relationships that are fun, light, easy....."good vibes only." While "good vibes" are definitely important, "good vibes only" should not be what we strive for in a relationship.

Continue reading

2 Why I No Longer Date Tire Kickers & Why You Shouldn’t Either

If you have ever worked in a sales job, then you are most likely very familiar with the "Tire Kickers".  A "tire kicker" is someone who appears to be interested in buying something, asks a lot of questions, uses up a lot of your time, but then does not buy anything.  There are lots of them around and if you try to sell something on the internet, it can be even worse. Sadly, the "Tire Kickers" have expanded from not only wasting people's time in the world of sales, they are now a force to be reckoned with in the dating world of 2018.

Continue reading

Do People Even Go On Real Dates Anymore?

In this world of "coffee meets", "hanging out", and "Netflix and chill", do people even go on real dates anymore?  As someone who longs for some of the old style courtship, I am starting to think that "real dates" are becoming an endangered species.  While I have certainly met some wonderful gentlemen who know how to properly court a woman and take her out for a wonderful evening, for every man like that, there are dozens who just want to hang out.  I am sure that there are many men finding the same thing about women, so my comments in this blog are aimed at both genders.

Continue reading

Can You Be Single So Long That You Become Undateable?

A friend of mine gave me a piece of dating advice a few years ago.  She said, "You need to meet a man when he is newly separated because once he has been single for too long, he will enjoy single life and not want to commit." At the time I thought that this was interesting advice, and I wasn't sure whether it was true or not.  Now, as I enter yet another year of single life, I am beginning to wonder if this statement is not just true of men, but of women also.  Is it possible that if we are single for too long we start to enjoy the independence, lack of drama and accompanying freedom so much, that with each passing year we become more reluctant to give it up, and thereby become almost undateable?

Continue reading

1 2 3 4