Dating

The dating life is rife with questions, doubts, confusion, and questions. These articles provide wisdom and encouragement for every step of the way–from first date to marriage.

If Your Man Didn’t Propose But Should Have Read This

If Your Man Didn’t Propose (But Should Have) Read This

To the girl who didn’t get the engagement you were expecting, this is what you need to do to finally get a commitment… You tried not to get your hopes up, but deep down you feel like it is time. He’s the man of your dreams and he says you are the woman of his. You’ve been together long enough for him to know if he wants to make that big commitment. And it doesn’t help that it seems like everyone’s boyfriend is popping the question these days! Maybe you were hoping it would happen over the holidays… Then, Valentine’s Day… Or, perhaps you were daydreaming about the perfectly planned summer proposal leading to a beautiful fall marriage. You even dropped some […]

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How to Know if Your Boyfriend is a Charity Case

How to Know if Your Boyfriend is a Charity Case

Defining a Fixer  What is a “fixer”? A fixer is someone who feels best when helping others. If they see someone who is less fortunate, their first inclination is to try to remedy the situation. They have a keen sense of the unfairness in the world and strive to correct it. They will volunteer to help and are generally charitable people. If you recognize that you are a fixer, that’s great! It’s a wonderful quality to have. Fixers are nurturing, giving, and empathic. They often do a great amount of good, meaningful work in this world—think Mother Teresa and Ghandi. But unfortunately, many fixers expand that need to fix into their romantic relationships, causing devastation for all. Ask Yourself These to Know if

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He Brings Me Flowers, Is that Enough?

My Boyfriend Brings Me Flowers, Is That Enough?

Your boyfriend brings you flowers, treats you to dinner, and maybe even buys you a gift. Sweet things that indicate he could be the “rest of my life” partner but is that all you want? Or perhaps that’s what he did when you first started dating, but less so now. And the other things you might be looking for haven’t yet appeared. Maybe you’ve compromised on some things you thought were important. Or accepted some that you didn’t think you would accept. This happens to nearly every woman who is seeking that ever-after relationship. The concessions don’t happen quickly; they occur slowly, often without even realizing you’re giving up what you thought you had found. Settling for the opposite of what you

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Ask Dr. Zoe – How and When Do I Tell My Man I Have an STI?

‘Dreading This Scary Conversation’ Asked: Dear Dr. Zoe, I recently found out that I have an STI, and I am devastated. I made decisions in the past that I am not proud of, but over the past couple of years, I’ve changed my lifestyle dramatically. Unfortunately, there have been some lingering effects from my past, including a sexually transmitted disease. One of my biggest fears about this is that I just got into a relationship with someone I’m really excited about, but we’ve only been dating for a couple of months. Although we are not sexually active and hold similar beliefs on wanting to save that for marriage now, I do think it’s something that I need to share with him, but

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Ask Dr. Zoe – Can I Progress in My Relationship From Girlfriend to Wife?

‘Nurse Lauren’ Asked: Hello, I found the article you wrote about wanting a proposal and not getting it and how you shouldn’t feel bad about it just because you want to be married was really wonderful. There’s so much out there about oh you can’t make someone do something and you know you should just decide if you want them in your life and accept it and I just don’t think that’s really very fair. My specific question is regarding the four levels I’m just wanting to make sure that I’m not doing wifey things when I’m still in girlfriend status can you help me learn more about that. Dr. Zoe Answered: Women who find themselves stuck in a relationship phase are

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5 Important Things to Discuss as a New Couple

5 Important Topics for New Couples to Discuss

Recently, I saw an article on a men’s website that shared what males thought they should talk about when they wanted to make a good impression on a date. There were four topics of conversation that these “Einsteins” believed worked best with women: pets, travel, movies, and food. Seriously, is that all some men think women are capable of discussing? Granted, they are trying to make a good impression, theoretically wanting a second date. But ladies, aren’t we a bit more interesting than that? Don’t we want more out of a relationship? Yes, most females have pets, enjoy travel, watch movies, and like to eat. But I think we need to come up with our own list. If it’s the first date,

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If You Wait for Marriage Will Your Sex Life Be Boring

If You Wait for Marriage, Will Your Sex Life Be Boring?

So, a client got me thinking. He was discussing waiting until marriage to have sex. He expressed his respect for that choice, but also his concern as a dating, single male. He said, “What if I marry her and then find out that we are not sexually compatible?” I can certainly understand his concern. Some people would say if you have never had sex before, you won’t know any difference, and it won’t matter. But the majority of people who are abstinent are re-committing to abstinence (some coming out of marriages). They’ve had prior sexual experiences and are worried about sexual compatibility because, well, they actually will know the difference. Should You Wait for Marriage to Have Sex? So, I decided to do some research into this issue, realizing it

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This Is Why You Can’t Rely on Looks in a Relationship

This Is Why You Can’t Rely on Looks in a Relationship

It took three years after my husband died to consider dating again. “Father,” I prayed, “if marriage is in your plan, then please lead him to me.” And then—out of curiosity—I listened to a couple of podcasts about dating and tucked away this interesting nugget: “If there are twenty eligible singles in a room, we automatically rule out seventeen of them based on outward appearance and/or body type.” Too short, too thin, too tall, too thick, apparently we rely on looks. In the course of time, I dated a couple of different men. And then, I met Dan while interviewing him for an article about a shower truck ministry for the homeless. Dan might have fallen into the category of the seventeen

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Breaking Up Made Me a Strong Woman

How Breaking Up Made Me a Strong Woman

Once upon a time, I was in a five-year relationship. There were good times and bad times, but overall—it was just a lot of time. A lot of shared experiences. A lot of shared life. It was a devastating loss at the time, but, now, I’m so grateful for the experience because breaking up made me a strong woman. Yes, I was sad when we went our separate ways. But more than anything, I was so incredibly lost. I didn’t know what to do with my time. I didn’t even know what I liked to do. I had no idea who I was by myself. I wasn’t exactly a fan of feeling my emotional pain; what I really wanted to do was fast-forward

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Walking Away from Mr. Wrong to Love the One Who Is Right

Walking Away from Mr. Wrong to Love the One Who Is Right

(Listen to the audio version of this article here.) He sat in his black chair with a headset on, and periodically, I’d hear him shout obscenities at the screen. He was playing the latest version of his favorite video game on his PlayStation 3 or 4 (I’d lost count), and it was a Friday night. I was sitting on the sofa in the adjacent room, watching some romantic movie that made me feel lonely and worn out as I ate a pint of chocolate ice cream and wondered why, at 30 years old, I was still dating Mr. Wrong, a version of the same boy since high school. This was a typical date night: together but alone. Or it was going to

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I Thought He'd Propose on Valentine's Day—He Broke Up Instead

I Thought He’d Propose on Valentine’s Day—He Broke Up Instead

It was Valentine’s Day. We sat on my small, tan microfiber loveseat in my sparsely decorated apartment. The night had been perfect. Dinner at our favorite local restaurant. A bouquet of flowers along with gifts of chocolates and a stuffed animal. My heart swelled in anticipation of how I dreamed the night would end. A Change in Relationship Status I knew six months wasn’t very long, but for a girl in her senior year of college in a town where most of my friends had been engaged by now, I felt the clock ticking. At the perfect moment, just when I thought it wouldn’t happen, he would release my hand to retrieve one more gift from his pocket. He would slip from

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The-Reality-of-STDs-Hard-Conversations-You-Need-to-Have

The Reality of STDs: Hard Conversations You Need to Have

There truly are some conversations we would much rather avoid. The ones that create angst in both the discussion starter and the recipient, whose terrified expression is begging you not to continue! An honest talk about STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) has to be in life’s top five! This is definitely not sunny chatter over the dinner table, or light banter with the store clerk like you’re talking about the fair weather. But the reality is that our current societal statistics require us to have these talks. We absolutely must have them with our children. We absolutely must have them with our dating partner. Today’s studies tell us 1 in 4 females between the age of 15 and 24 have an STD*, currently a full

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Ask Dr. Zoe – My Boyfriend Retracted His Proposal—What Do I Do Now?

‘Debra’ Asked: I am a widow; I’ve been seeing him for nine months. He asked me to marry him a couple of times joking around and I just didn’t respond because I thought it was joking. However, he proposed the last week of February and I just stood there staring with no response. He caught me off guard. They was a lot of commotion going on at the job, so I didn’t answer him right away. Later I said I loved him and I would marry him but he said I didn’t answer him when he asked so he got his answer then. I told him I loved him and wanted to marry him and he said it didn’t work that way

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A Letter to All the Single Ladies: the Good, the Bad and How to Own It

A Letter to All the Single Ladies: the Good, the Bad and How to Own It

(Listen to the audio version of this article here.) I’d like to tell you about my ex. I mean exes. I’d like to share a poignant account of my time being single, and how I survived a string of unhealthy relationships before resting firmly (and a bit unassured) in the coveted marriage and motherhood status.  I’d like to paint an atrocious picture of love gone wrong, of an incredibly insecure and trauma-ridden little girl who grew up to jump in bed with any old crack pot who wanted to be with her (and there were more than a few—God, I hope my kids never read this). Maybe I’d weave in some funny stories here and there—like the time I woke up on

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My Independence Day—Choosing Between My Self-Worth and His Selfishness

My Independence Day—Choosing Between His Selfishness and My Self-Worth

When I stormed out of Jimmy’s apartment, mid-dinner on the Fourth of July, I left the peach and raspberry pie I had made behind. We’d spent the morning apart. I stayed at my apartment baking and thought he was sleeping late at his. Instead, he went water skiing with a mutual friend. I loved water skiing, and he knew it. I’d Gotten Used to His Selfishness at the Cost of My Self-Worth His ability to push me aside started to feel like a natural reflex. The missing sensitivity in him was made up by his family, so it took me a while to realize he was truly a jerk. There on his balcony, mid-bite into my hamburger, he bragged about his morning.

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Should I Keep Waiting For The Right Man? Rebecca St. James Shares Her Story

Should I Keep Waiting For The Right Man? Rebecca St. James Shares Her Story – 179

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreEvery woman wants to find the right man, but finding your forever-after prince isn’t always so clear cut. We wonder whether he’s out there, how long it’ll take to find him, and if we’ll even recognize him when the moment arrives. We can even get so frustrated with the wait that we might be tempted to settle for a good man, but not the right man. But is it worth waiting for the right one? According to Christian singer and songwriter Rebecca St. James, it definitely is. She joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender on This Grit and Grace Life podcast to

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Ask Dr. Zoe – Do I Stay With My Man When I’m Pregnant and Still Waiting for a Proposal?

‘Pregnant in Purgatory’ Asked: My boyfriend had been subtly talking about proposing for several weeks, he hinted that he had a ring and would talk about when he felt it was the “right” time, which seemed to align with our anniversary. But you can guess what happened…anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and a trip to the coast all came and went and no proposal. Then something unexpected happened, I got pregnant. So while I thought we were onto something good, now I am pregnant, living together and there’s no ring. I feel so foolish and sad. I’ve become deeply depressed, and we have argued about it several times when I have tried to share with him how hurtful this has been. Now he says

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