Fourteen years ago when I met my husband, we were both failures. Relationship failures, that is. He was divorced twice and so was I. We were in our early forties, fearful of making another mistake, yet still hopeful that maybe this relationship would be the right one. We both had a healthy dose of skepticism, but we forged ahead. Good thing we did because meeting him has definitely turned out to be the best thing that has ever happened to me! If you are single and over forty, odds are you have at least one big relationship failure in your life. Singles often ask me about the people they are dating and whether or not they are worth the risk. He’s been divorced and single for ten years. Is he ready? She’s never been married but lived with a guy for fifteen years. Does she have a problem with commitment? The twice divorced person may look like a long shot, but it turns out that there are some real advantages to dating relationship failures. If [...]
Women ask me all the time: how can I meet someone who is ready for commitment? How do I find a guy who is actually interested in marriage, not just fun and games? My answer is simple but not easy: figure out what you need to do to attract a commitment minded guy. Some of that is the inner work you need to do so that you are not attracting emotionally unavailable guys. Good relationships are always an inside job. The rest of it is understanding what to do on your dates so that you set the stage for real love, commitment, and a journey to marriage. In this podcast, featuring the questions I get from real people, you’ll learn why it is so vital that you DO talk about marriage with the men you date. Secondly, you’ll learn how to talk about it without scaring away [the right kind of] men. Listen Now You can download this podcast as an MP3 file: Right click on “Listen Now,” choose “save target as” and save it to your [...]
Dear Nina: I truly feel I’m addicted to my wife. We have been separated for 3 years and we have 3 children together that I have full custody of (yes I’m a male). She lives with another man, and still sees me and a third guy who is the reason we split up in the first place. I keep telling myself that I’m through, I’m done, yet find myself right back in the same situation a few days later. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m literally on the verge of complete insanity. I love her and I want our family back together. She claims she wants the same yet she continues to hang out with this younger guy AND still lives with the other guy who I honestly don’t think has a clue about what she is doing. We’ve been together for 15 yrs, separated for 3 of them. I really just don’t know how or what to do anymore. Please help me. – Dave, age 39 Dear Dave: You are definitely in the throes of love addiction, defined as the inability to get basic relationship needs met, yet [...]
Did you know that too much materialism can kill your (future) marriage? A new study highlights the problems when one or both partners focus too much on having more things. We now know the personality traits that are associated with materialism, and with the downfall of marriages as a result. As a single person, you may want to know what to look for as you date and consider someone for marriage. There are clear signs in a new relationship that you may not be financially compatible. Since conflict over money (how to spend, save, and debt) is the number one reason for divorce, it pays to be savvy about it as you date and discover. Click on the arrow below to listen now, or download and listen to this podcast later. Listen Now You can download this podcast as an MP3 file: Right click on “Listen Now,” choose “save target as” and save it to your music folder on your computer. Sync with your MP3 player or iPod, and listen to Nina Atwood, the Singlescoach®, anytime! [...]
Why do we choose the people that we do? Sure, there’s physical attraction, but it turns out there are other factors at play when we act the crazy way we do in the name of love. Politics and religion have more to do with it than you may realize, even if you don’t talk about it! Find out all the fascinating science behind love and mate selection. Also in this Love Strategies show, find out what you need to know to make it more likely that love the second time around can actually work. Divorce and remarriage isn’t so easy, so you will need this information if you are divorced and dating. Also, understand the risks and hazards of dating long distance, and what to do about it. Click on the arrow below to listen now, or download and listen to this podcast later. Listen Now You can download this podcast as an MP3 file: Right click on “Listen Now,” choose “save target as” and save it to your music folder on your computer. Sync with your [...]
Remember the bizarre meltdown of Congressman Weiner? The story is old but it ties into the debate about monogamy: What is happening to monogamy? If you pay attention to the media, you might begin to conclude that is is an antiquated notion that no longer applies to today’s modern relationships. In this podcast, Nina tackles the issue of monogamy: why it is so important and what it has to do with today’s relationships. Also: is sexting cheating? Are emails of a sexual nature to someone outside of your relationship a sign that you’re cheating? Nina covers all these issues and more, including cyber cheating. Also in this episode of Love Strategies: How to identify the signs of a relationship that is turning violent and what to do about it. Every woman who has ever felt afraid of her boyfriend or husband should listen to this. Click on the arrow below to listen now, or download and listen to this podcast later. Listen Now You can download this podcast as an MP3 file: Right click on [...]
What are your dreams for your life? Do you believe you can make them happen, or have you given up? More importantly, what is in the way of you achieving your dreams? In this enlightening podcast, Nina talks about the power of dreams: defining them, overcoming obstacles, and believing in them. If you are willing to take a few risks, you may want to challenge yourself to a.) define your dreams, and b.) understand how you may be sabotaging yourself on the road to achieving them. Also, find out how dreams can be the fuel for your life, and what kind of dreams actually motivate people. Understand the role of financial goals and what kind are empowering versus the kind that actually can get in the way. Learn how to create energy, motivation, and more life satisfaction. Click on the arrow below to listen now, or download and listen to this podcast later. Listen Now You can download this podcast as an MP3 file: Right click on “Listen Now,” choose “save target as” and save [...]
What is “free love” and how does it affect today’s relationships? If you are over the age of 45, you already have some concept, but whether you do or not, the 1960′s notion of “free love” has a huge impact on relationships today. Your life has already been impacted by this historical phenomenon, and you may want to know how, especially for women. It’s not what you think, and in this enlightening podcast Nina shreds old notions about this familiar concept. Find out what real love really is, how two people can create it together, and why it is so much better than the alternatives, no matter how “free.” Click on the arrow below to listen now, or download and listen to this podcast later. Listen Now You can download this podcast as an MP3 file: Right click on “Listen Now,” choose “save target as” and save it to your music folder on your computer. Sync with your MP3 player or iPod, and listen to Nina Atwood, the Singlescoach®, anytime! Amazon.com Widgets
Dear Nina: My wife and I have been married for 12 years and have two children – a 9-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl. We have a difficult, unhappy marriage. There’s no outward fighting or drama, and our young children may not know there’s a problem. But my wife and I rarely have meaningful talks or display affection. We’ve become essentially roommates. We would like to divorce but are worried about the impact on our young kids. Our marriage isn’t completely intolerable. So should we stay together for the kids’ benefit? Or should we consider our own (selfish?) desires and divorce? –Martin O., age 39 Dear Martin: First, you are correct to be concerned about your children. There is no question that they will be affected by a divorce. Research shows that children of intact families fare better than children of divorce. They perform better in school, they tend to be physically and emotionally healthier, they are less likely to get involved in drug or alcohol abuse, they are more likely to go to college, and [...]
New studies highlight a so-called new trend: Stayover Relationships. The question raised by these studies is this: “Do stayover relationships interfere with the path to marriage?” But is this really a new trend, and does it really impact the decision to marry? Couples have been “staying over” for decades – meaning that they maintain separate homes but spend three or more nights per week at one place or the other. Find out from Nina why staying over might not be a bad idea, and also what to watch out for if your relationship follows this trend. Also in this podcast, find out what couples author Steve Stosny calls “toddler love.” Understand what it is, how it impact relationships, and how can you can avoid shooting yourself in the foot in a new relationship. Click on the arrow below to listen now, or download and listen to this podcast later. Listen Now You can download this podcast as an MP3 file: Right click on “Listen Now,” choose “save target as” and save it to your music [...]
“Love at first sight” is a well-known expression, but how real is it? I’ve heard many couples over the years refer to how quickly they fell in love. Some say it was instantaneous, others say it took weeks or months. You have probably heard more than one friend say “it was love at first sight”! The latest research tells us that it is possible to fall in love in as little as a fraction of a second. But the reality is that it doesn’t always lead to lasting love. One study, conducted by Syracuse University Professor Stephanie Ortigue, revealed that up to twelve areas of the brain are involved in falling in love, the net result of which is a feeling of euphoria not unlike the feeling derived from the use of cocaine. Researchers found that this could happen in as little as a fifth of a second. They also found that the experience of love is based on processes that take place not just in the brain, but also in the heart and stomach. “Butterflies” in the stomach [...]
“Love at first sight” is a familiar notion, but is it real? More importantly, can it last? Now, new research answers the question of whether or not those couples who instantly fall madly in love make it over the long haul. What causes instantaneous love? Is it real love? Why is it so difficult for crazy in love couples to take their time before marrying? In this podcast, Nina answers all those questions and more. Also in this podcast: how to effectively deal with the lying about age, height, and weight that you may encounter in the online dating world. Also, living together and money: how it can both define your relationship and cause your future divorce, and what you can do about it. Click on the arrow below to listen now, or download and listen to this podcast later. Listen Now You can download this podcast as an MP3 file: Right click on “Listen Now,” choose “save target as” and save it to your music folder on your computer. Sync with your MP3 player or iPod, and listen to [...]
Is your girlfriend pressuring you to get married? Maybe it’s time to listen because she’s right – getting married is good for you! Everyday Health reports the latest research on men’s health and the findings are in – men are healthier along every major dimension when they marry. From sex to cancer to heart problems, married men fare better. Married service men have lower rates of PTSD. Married men live longer, behave better, and drink less. For the full run-down, read the article in Everyday Health: “7 Ways Marriage Helps Men’s Health.” Of course, the obvious caveat is that when you marry it’s important to marry someone you love, respect, and admire. Studies show that couples who stay together – happily – are the ones who make the transition from falling in love to a deeper kind of love that includes admiration and respect. Your choice of dating partner leads to your choice of spouse, so it’s vital to make the right choice. Check back for my newest book, coming soon, just for guys – [...]
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, married couples now represent 48 percent of all U.S. households. That’s down from 52 percent in the last Census. The reason is twofold: The fast-growing older population is more likely to be divorced or widowed later in life, and 20-somethings are putting off their nuptials for longer stretches. Experts say fears of not keeping a job, a widening labor market for women and a shift away from having kids at a young age are some of the reasons people in their 20s and early 30s are not joining the ranks of married people, at least not until they are older. But does this really mean that marriage is on its way out as an institution? I don’t think so, and here’s why. Listen to this special podcast to find out why I believe marriage is alive and well. Find out why it is so important to understand how most people really FEEL about marriage, and how to handle those conversations in dating. Also on this podcast: How do you know [...]
Hi Nina: I am attracted to emotionally unavailable men. However I am also emotionally unavailable; I always look for an escape clause. I watched my parents, who loved each other, have a miserable marriage for over 30 yrs (they divorced when I was 26). I swore that if I cared for someone & he or I wasn’t happy I would be strong enough to leave. I was in a relationship with a man for 6 yrs & as usual I left. I believe this was the right thing to do, for both of us. Now when I meet someone I am interested in I automatically start to push them away, even before there is a chance to know if they are interested. I am very independent & have been told by my mother & others that I am too independent. My mother even went so far as to say that no man would ever want me because I would make him feel emasculated. So instead of waiting to find out if someone is interested in me [...]
After a nine month courtship and a multi-million dollar, media event, star-studded wedding, Kim Kardashian is ending her 72 day MARRIAGE. The cynical side of us says “Another narcissistic Hollywood starlet is throwing a tantrum called ‘filing-for-divorce-after-one-minute-of-marriage’ - so what?” But the concerned side of us must ask this question: Why do we worship at the altar of these media spectacles? And, more importantly: What is the cost to the rest of us for the messages sent and received? Millions watched Kim’s wedding, and you can bet that the majority of those viewers were young women – impressionable girls who desperately wanted to believe the fairy tale. The message leading up to the wedding was compelling: that the temptation to rush into a relationship pays off big-time! Kim and Kris dated four months, barely enough time to begin to get to know one another, and in this case even more difficult because it was long distance. The reward: a whopping 20 carat two million dollar engagement ring and romantic proprosal! What followed the engagement was the spectacle [...]
Let’s see. If you take suggestive emails, sexually explicit texts, and pornographic tweets and add them up, then substract the physical contact (because we never actually met or had sex), that equals NO CHEATING. Yeah, right. That’s fuzzy relationship math, and it doesn’t add up. If you believe in monogamy, then Congressman Weiner’s “cyber cheating” really is cheating. Get the whole scoop from me in this Fox 4 interview.
You’re dating someone new and he’s wonderful! You think he may be “the one” but before you start buying bridal magazines, listen up! Nina informs you of the top four unconscious ways you may sabotage your new relationship. Also in this show: dating violence and how to protect yourself or your daughter. Discover: How you REALLY choose your relationships and how to get control of the process so you only date high quality good guys How to keep yourself emotionally balanced while you are falling in love How to maintain his interest over time while you build a bridge to his heart How to convey interest, not desperation How to set the stage for a loving, healthy, lasting relationship with a great guy And much more! Listen Now You can download this podcast as an MP3 file: Right click on “Listen Now,” choose “save target as” and save it to your music folder on your computer. Sync with your MP3 player or iPod, and listen to Nina Atwood, the Singlescoach®, anytime! Sign up for future podcasts
Love Strategies August 15th: It was truly a mix of topics, starting with women leaving their marriages in droves, touching on honesty in online dating, and ending with an inspirational quote from Kahlil Gibran on love. Listen to the whole show here. This story appeared in the Dallas Morning News over the weekend: Why are women leaving their marriages? Journalist Christine Wicker cited anecdotal evidence that middle-aged women are not content staying married to the husbands with whom they’ve spent the past several decades. Confronted with mid life, they are questioning the decisions of the past, and many are carving out an escape path. Divorce is real, and it’s still prevalent. Is it higher for middle aged women these days? That’s not clear, but if it is true, there are things we can learn from these stories: – Never stop focusing on having your own life, even if you’re raising children; loss of “self” is a major reason women become massively dissatisfied later in life and blame it on the men they marry; divorce and remarriage won’t fix that [...]
Dear Nina: I’m in a three year relationship. The hours that we work differ greatly and as a result, we do not get to spend the time together that I would like. My daughter seems to want to love her, but when I ask her to go and spend time as a family, there are an abundance of excuses. Even watching TV she will sit away from us and then claims that I push her away when my daughter is there. I just don’t understand what else I can do other than continue to ask her to join us. I really need to know if this is worth it or if I should finally break it off. – Pete Dear Pete: There are several issues in your question. First, what are your intentions in this relationship? I hear you calling it “family time,” but until you are married, you are not a family. Your girlfriend may be responding with ambivalence toward you and your daughter because she’s unclear about what her role is in the family that [...]
Dear Nina: I have been with my boyfriend for seven years. I am a divorced mum of one child; I have tried to prevent further trauma to my son by remaining in the marital home. My relationship was very up and down with this man for the first four years and after many split ups he appears to be more committed; i.e., not going out to night clubs. The problem is that he is very jealous and upsets me when I try to do things on my own like going on a conference for my business or doing things with my friends. In my previous marriage I could do whatever I wanted and now I feel that I am stunting myself. I do love this man but how do I keep me. – Vivienne Dear Vivienne: I don’t know which came first: his jealousy (maybe he’s just wired that way) or your lack of commitment as displayed by remaining in the same home with your ex-husband (maybe you provoked him into it). Either way, you have a complicated situation that is not conducive to a [...]
“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.” – Mother Teresa Okay, so maybe we can’t always be the shining example of love that was Mother Teresa. But we can benefit from her example and her words of wisdom. If you want a great relationship, one of the milestones is realizing that most of the love you receive comes from the love that you give. If you think of it like “emotional muscle” that you must develop in order to be a healthy partner to someone, then the workout is looking for opportunities to practice loving behavior. You don’t have to be in love to give love. You don’t have to wait until your soul mate comes along to practice the same behaviors you will need when you meet him/her. You can begin today by looking around and noticing who needs a little emotional boost that you can [...]
This past week, my friend George moved into a brand new house with his bride of two weeks. George and his new wife are blissful, looking forward to a life together of dancing, cooking on the grill, spending time with their kids and grandchildren, and loving each other. Just a little over a year ago, George was coming out of a long-term dating relationship that didn’t work out. And just three years before that, he was recovering from the death of his beloved first wife of cancer after more than thirty years of marriage. George has been through a lot. But he’s never lost his innate optimism about life. Through all of it, he’s maintained a positive belief that he’s meant to share his life with a special woman. Make that two special women! George’s story is proof positive that life can turn on a dime. You may be alone in the world today, but your soul mate is just on the horizon, if you believe that to be true. You may be suffering from a [...]
You’re in love, you’re spending almost every night together yet paying rent for two separate homes. Is it the right time to move in together? The answer is: maybe, but it’s wise to be cautious about co-habitation. Here’s why.
Let’s start with some data: contrary to popular opinion, living together is not an effective way to ensure that your marriage will be strong. Statistically, couples who live together prior to marriage have a higher divorce rate than couples who do not. It turns out that “test driving” the relationship by living together doesn’t work. Here are some other reasons NOT to move in together:
- One of your leases comes up and you figure you’ll save money
- To save on gas – no more driving back and forth
- Your other couple friends live together
- You hope that by living together the engagement will follow
- You like his/her home better than yours
In short, you shouldn’t move in together for reasons of convenience or money. The risk of moving in together too soon is that one of you may succumb to the Temptation to Settle for Less because it’s much harder to break up if you are co-habitating.
So what are some good reasons for living together prior to marriage – when is the right time?
- Both of you see yourselves as a committed couple
- Engagement is definitely in the plan, or you are already engaged
- Marriage is definitely in the plan, or you have a date set
In short, moving in together can work if your relationship is very solid and you are moving down the path to marriage or some form of lifetime commitment. Otherwise, moving in together can jeopardize your relationship. Why? Because unless you are on the same page, one of you may have the secret agenda of getting the other to move forward in the relationship. This can result in conflict rather than deepening your love. Better to wait for this step until you are truly aligned – ready for marriage, excited about your future together, and planning your wedding.
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Add comment May 5th, 2010
Dear Nina: Is there anything wrong with dating just for the fun of dating? Yes, I understand the partner should not be misled. Generally speaking, it sounds as if you feel that if a relationship is not headed toward marriage, it should be over. – Brian Brian: People date for all kinds of reasons: For companionship, for intimacy, to look for a significant partner, and yes, for fun. There’s nothing wrong with dating for fun – it’s human nature to seek companionship in life, to enjoy being with another with no particular goal in mind. On the other side of the coin, there are relationship dynamics that are critical to keep in mind as you socialize and date. One important concept is that of attachment, meaning the energy which binds us to particular individuals. Social scientists have long studied this phenomenon as it relates to parent/child bonding and mate bonding. The upshot is this: Given enough time together, almost any two individuals will bond in some way. Add some chemistry, some intimacy, both emotional [...]