Dancing With The Stars: Kissing on the Dance Floor?

In Tuesday night’s season finale of Dancing With The Stars, Helio Castroneves and his partner, Julianne Hough, took the mirrored ball trophy. Today, Helio’s fiancee and girlfriend of six years, Aliette Vazquez, formally announced their split. Did the kissing on the dance floor between Helio and Julianne cause the break-up? Having had some experience in the ballroom dancing world, here’s my take. Professional dancers who are married or in committed relationships know exactly where the line is with their partners. They don’t cross it because they don’t want to lose their primary relationship. For them, dancing is just dancing. It’s [...]

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The Bachelor: Brad’s Frozen Heart

On Tuesday’s After The Final Rose Ceremony show, this season’s bachelor Brad Womack bravely tried to explain why he failed to choose one of the two women he so ardently courted. Neither Jenni nor DeAnna walked away with any real answers, as Brad’s behavior during their dates and his words at the end of it all didn’t line up. Throughout the final weeks of the show, he indicated in actions and words that he was powerfully attracted to both women, and this may have been his undoing. “This is hard for me to say to your face,” he said to Jenni, [...]

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The Bachelor: Surprise!

In the season’s final episode, Brad the Bachelor surprised everyone when he chose . . . no one! That’s right – he passed up the opportunity to marry (or at least propose to) either sweet Jenni or dynamic Deanna. The question is: why? Maybe he felt too much pressure at the last moment. He picked out a ring, said good-bye to Jenni, but then folded in front of Deanna. Perhaps he placed too much significance on the television proposal moment, unwilling to put something out there that he might feel bad about retracting later. After all, the culmination of the series [...]

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The Bachelor: Likes and Don’t Likes

Hunky Brad Womack, this season’s Bachelor, has of course already made his choice between sweet Jenni and bold Deanna. Monday night we’ll find out who he proposed to. Here’s what I like and don’t like about this show. What I like about it is that it’s entertaining. It’s fascinating to watch people trying to act natural and real on a date that hasn’t happened through any of the normal means, all while a camera rolls steadily nearby, capturing everything to be aired on national television. What I don’t like about it is that it’s a lousy foundation for a relationship. [...]

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Julia Roberts: Family Joy At a Price

Uber-Star Julia Roberts was recently honored with the annual American Cinematheque Award at a gala benefit where she was roasted and toasted by her Hollywood colleagues. The focus was her stellar career, but at the end of the day, what she expressed the most value for in her life is her relationships with her husband and her children. Who would have thought that the star of Pretty Woman, one of the biggest grossing films ever, a film about a prostitue who wins the wealthy guy, would find her greatest happiness in marriage and family? As her star ascended in Hollywood, [...]

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Is Britney Suffering From Post-Partum Depression?

Could Britney Spears be suffering from post-partum depression? Dr. Phil says she is a suicide risk. I’m inclined to agree, judging from afar (always risky), based on her over-the-top behavior that seems terribly out of sync with the reality of the need to be a good single parent to her two children. Now she’s lost custody of her sons. The timeline of Britney’s melt-down indicates that there might be something in her brain chemistry that went haywire sometime in 2006. Throughout her marriage to Kevin Federline, Britney maintained that theirs was a good relationship. As recently as June of 2006, she gushed about how sweet he [...]

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The Bachelor: Brad Seeks a Soul Mate

This season’s Bachelor, Brad Womack, is described as “the sexiest bachelor ever.” Thirty four years old, a successful entrepreneur living in Austin Texas, Brad made it abundantly clear in last night’s opening episode that he’s there to find his wife and soul mate. But will he find her amongst the fifteen bachelorettes left after the first rose ceremony? His success relies on two main factors: 1.) did the producers do a good job of putting the right kind of women in front of him? and 2.) is he ready? It’s difficult to tell so early in the show, but initial indicators are that [...]

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Fantasy Celebrity Dates: Who Would You Pick?

A recent Yahoo Personals poll found that single women want to date George Clooney while single men want to date Jessica Alba. Reports have it that George is dating a woman who served cocktails at his table recently, so maybe these fantasy dates are not that far out of reach after all. The fantasy, of course, is that someone who appears to be highly successful, not to mention having fantastically good face/body d.n.a., would also be someone who would be a good partner in a long-term relationship. Looks and success are only one tiny sliver of the picture of what makes a great relationship. But [...]

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Josh Duhamel and Fergie: A Fine Romance

Josh Duhamel, hunky star of Las Vegas, and his girlfriend of three years, singer Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson, seem to be developing a fine romance that may stand the test of time. You never know what really happens behind closed doors, but all the right signs are present. One, Josh gushes about Fergie, saying that although they spend weeks apart, “she’s worth it.” He clearly adores his girlfriend and makes it widely know how much in love he is with her. Two, there doesn’t seem to be much pretense in their lives. Fergie is very open about her veer off the [...]

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The Bachelor: Should Andy and Tessa Live Together?

Saronne commented that Andy and Tessa’s goal to live together in Hawaii was ill-advised. Turns out she’s right. Most studies indicate that living together before marriage does not increase a couple’s odds of success (i.e., “testing” the relationship before marraige) and may even lessen them. The problems with living together prior to marriage include: Often couples decide to live together for financial reasons (i.e., my lease is up) rather than emotional ones (we’re committed to each other) One of the two may believe that this is a transition to marriage while the other sees it as a relationship test (i.e., [...]

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The Bachelor: Andy Chooses Well

In last night’s season finale of The Bachelor, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Andy Baldwin, M.D., made his choice. He proposed to Tessa Horst with a beautiful engagement ring, and she said “yes.” This dramatic moment settled the choice between Tessa and Bevin Powers, the other woman Andy fell in love with (or so he said) during the course of the show. Andy’s dilemma was whether to choose based mainly on chemistry or to choose based on compatibility. Bevin, once divorced, liberal, and from a different faith, presented a future challenge to Andy. His family portrait included loving, still-married-to-each-other parents, grandparents married [...]

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Dating a Westbound Train: Is It Worth the Risk? (Part One)

Kellie dated Freddie for seven plus years. He didn’t want to marry, she did. They broke up. He wanted her back. She said “no way without marriage.” He capitulated, they married, and she moved on to her next agenda: having a baby. After three years, they succeeded, and she’s now a single mom. Freddie moved out when she was six months pregnant. Freddie - for Kellie at least – is a Westbound Train*. Kellie is a morning radio show host on the widely syndicated Kidd Kraddick in the Morning. She courageously shared her story every step of the way. What does she say [...]

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Katie Couric: Older Women Dating Younger Men

CBS news anchor Katie Couric, age 50, is reportedly dating 33-year-old Brooks Perlin. That’s a seventeen year age difference. Demi Moore and Ashton Kucher have been married for a year and a half. Their age difference is fifteen years. Historically we saw lots of older men dating younger women but increasingly we’re seeing the other dynamic: older woman and younger man. What’s changed and does it work? With exercise and nutritional breakthroughs, we have the opportunity to look and feel much younger than our parents did at the same age. Women who take great care of themselves can now have the [...]

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Idol Contestant Lakisha Jones; Her Bull**** Meter Works!

American Idol contestant Lakisha Jones says that now she’s famous, guys she knew previously call her and try to re-connect. Her response? “Are you kidding me? Baby? I remember you didn’t give me a return phone call. You remember that? Stop calling me, dude. It ain’t happening.’” Lakisha’s bull**** meter is working great! How about yours? Can you tell the difference between an insincere come-on from someone who wants something from you and real interest in you? If not, maybe it’s time to develop your ability to discern real love from plastic. Real love is based on trust, and trust [...]

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American Idol: Simon and Paula

Paula Abdul reports that she and Simon Cowell, her fellow judge on American Idol, are friends with chemistry. That’s not an unusual phenomenon when two opposite sex people are together in intense situations (such as starring in a hit reality television series). The teasing, the ribbing each other, and the head shaking while the other is talking: all are signs of the bantering relationship they share. Are they friends who are dating? Probably not. Could they become romantically involved? Probably not, or if they did, it wouldn’t last. Simon and Paula have one fundamental difference that is striking, and it’s [...]

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Britney’s Meltdown: A Lesson for All of Us

Unless you’ve been on a desert island, you know that last week pop star Britney Spears suffered a personal meltdown. The one good sign for her is that she’s in rehab. If she stays, she has an opportunity to put her life back on track. We can all learn from Britney’s experience by acknowledging a fundamental aspect of human nature: we don’t do well in our lives when we become insulated from real feedback. Celebrities often fall into the trap of believing their own press. They focus far too much on the image of themselves reflected in the media and lose track of [...]

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Tom and Katie: Too Soon to Celebrate Part 2

Tom’s baggage: divorce without “due process.” Tom brought a major issue into Katie’s life and how they deal with it will determine their true success in the long haul. It appears that when Tom grew disenchanted with his second (that’s right, second) wife Nicole, he bolted. Nicole says that she was blind-sided. She may have known they had problems, but she clearly didn’t expect him to abandon their marriage with no notice. This doesn’t bode well for Katie! The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, and Tom’s indicates that when he reaches a certain level of frustration, he [...]

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Tom and Katie: Too Soon to Celebrate Part 1

At the risk of sounding like a hopeless non-romantic (and nothing could be further from the truth!), I must weigh in against all the media hype surrounding the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Yes, they are one gorgeous couple. Yes, their soulful looks, embraces, and kisses in front of the cameras are truly beautiful. Yes, they pulled off the wedding of the decade: breathtaking venue, gorgeous designer clothing, see-and-be-seen reception, and all the trimmings. None of this, however, has anything to do with what makes a successful marriage. That’s right – a great wedding does not equal a great [...]

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The Character Gene

Dan makes a good point (see comment). If relationships are a mirror, then choosing someone lacking in basic character is, indeed, a reflection on the chooser. But what is it reflecting? There are several possibilities. First, the obvious: both people are missing the character gene (or something else), resulting in a chaotic orientation to life. Two chaotic people usually make a highly combustible relationship – they shoot up like rockets but flame out very quickly. More common is the scenario in which one person is fairly stable and the other is not. The more stable person, in this case Britney, is drawn [...]

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What We Can Learn From Britney

The overriding lesson in all of this is slow down! It isn’t popular, it isn’t wildly romantic, but it works. Choosing a life partner is so critical to our well-being, and the consequences of a bad choice are so deep and far-reaching, that we can’t afford to rush the process. Pacing is the answer: in dating, in courtship, and even in the first year of marriage. What about you? What is your experience with the speed of relationships? If you have a story of a rushed courtship and marriage, send it to us at SinglesCoach. Go to the contact page. [...]

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Britney’s Love Lesson Number Four

If you do divorce, do so with “due process.” With the exception of physical abuse, all couples benefit from a gradual process toward divorce. Speedy divorces side-step the necessity of that magical relationship remedy: open, honest, compassionate communication. Strange, isn’t it, how someone can be good enough to marry and have two children with, yet doesn’t rate sitting down with and trying to salvage the marriage? The radical shift from “our marriage is wonderful” to a text message saying “I’m outta here” is evidence that this relationship is far from complete. Rushing to divorce court creates enormous emotional baggage. The [...]

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Britney’s Love Lesson Number Three

If you do marry fast, put off having children until you see if it gels. Again, the rush to having children, like the rush to marriage, is like spinning that big roulette wheel. This time, though, the consequences are huge and the children pay the price if your number comes up wrong. Study after study shows that children of divorce suffer in countless ways. Perhaps the deepest effect is that they grow up lacking in the confidence that relationships can last for a lifetime. Their experience is of the revolving door of relationships, so they tend to either shy away [...]

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Britney’s Love Lesson Number Two

Date first, for a considerable period of time, marry later. Why? Because everyone who’s ever fallen in love knows that the first stage of a relationship, the Enchantment stage, doesn’t last! It’s a great beginning for bonding and intimacy, but when it fades, and all those brain love chemicals fade, then we’re faced with the reality of day-to-day life. It is at that point that we really begin to know someone. Getting married while still enchanted is like spinning the roulette wheel of relationships: when it stops spinning, will you win or lose? Who knows? Only time reveals true compatibility. [...]

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Britney’s Love Lesson Number One

Date someone with character, first and foremost. How do we know that Kevin is lacking in the “character gene”? When Kevin was doing backup in Britney’s band, his girlfriend at the time, Char Jackson, was pregnant with their second child. He quickly dumped her the moment Britney showed romantic interest in him. When Kevin and Britney married, Char had not yet given birth. I wonder what Kevin’s relationship with his first two children is like today? Clearly, he failed to do the right thing with Char, a strong indicator to Britney that when push comes to shove, he’s not mature [...]

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Britney and Kevin: Mature Marriage or Starter Marriage? The answer is in.

Oops, she did it, again. Britney Spears is getting divorced in record time, just weeks after giving birth to her second child with husband Kevin Federline. It’s fast and furious and it has generated a media feeding frenzy, just like her marriage to Federline, and just like her 55 hour marriage to her childhood friend, Jason Allen Alexander. Does anyone remember him? For the past two years, Britney has maintained that her marriage to Kevin is “wonderful.” Now, the truth comes out: “irreconcilable differences,” according to the papers filed last Tuesday. The latest story according to Reuters is that she [...]

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