Coping After A Break Up

Break ups suck, no matter whether you're the one being broken up with, or the one doing the breaking up. Its going to hurt no matter what happens, and thus, some coping skills are needed.

Over the years, surely you've found some [things that have helped you move on]( and get over someone. I know that for me, the worst break ups have also been the times in my life where I've grown the most, and been the busiest - more out of necessity than anything.

How about you? How have you coped with a bad break up? A new feature still in its testing phase is being tried out on this site, which allows readers like yourself to share a story about how they overcame or did something that is dating related. I'd love to hear your stories about [coping after a break up]( ([form](, and what worked for you, as well as any feedback about the form and process itself. You can reach me at [email protected] if there are any problems.

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Using Props To Attract Someone

I've been told on more than a few occasions that Halloween is the best time of year to meet someone. Why? Because everyone in a costume has a built in conversation starter.

So then why not use this same idea and integrate it into our everyday lives? The concept is an integral one to the [pickup artist]( culture (although they call it [peacocking](, where the person trying to attract someone wears or has on at least one conversation piece.

Which isn't to say I think you should go all out and become something you aren't. But at the same time, if you can inject some of the fun and frivolity of Halloween into your day to day life, and it allows you to meet someone truly special, why wouldn't you try it and see?

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Dating Game-Waiting Game

Waiting for that perfect Christian dating match is not always fun, but often feels like some sort of cosmic waiting game. Problem is in our busy lives we don’t have very much patience to wait on things. Funny though, how we will always wait for things that are important to us. We will wait by the phone for our new love interest to call or a report from the doctor’s office.

We wait in line to get into the newest Saturday night hangout. We will even spend hours waiting in line to get on the best thrill rides. We are willing to wait with excitement filled days before our birthdays or Christmas. The amount of time we are willing to wait often speaks volumes as to how valuable we view


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Dating Question About Exclusivity

Confused City Girl asks, "I have been seeing this guy for about 4 months now whom I met from a Craigslist ad that I had posted stating that I was looking for an awesome boyfriend. This guy replies with an awesome e-mail and was very cute too so I make plans to go out on a date with him. We clicked immediately and have been seeing each other since then. We have been to concerts together, spent many nights together, planned a vacation next month, I have even met his family and they love me.

A while ago I noticed that his Facebook and MySpace claim he is still single. I didn't let it bother me too much but I did feel a bit hurt. Recently I have noticed that his text messages are less frequent and much less romantic than they had been. He has also been claiming to need a lot of alone time because he has only been out a long term relationship a few months longer than knowing me.

Last weekend I was at his apartment like normal and went on his computer which is also normal. I noticed in his browser that there was a new saved link that was for [OKCupid]( and I decided to click on it. Well, it automatically signed me into his account that was full of new pictures and a ton of e-mails back and forth with numerous women. He has corresponded with well over 50 women since meeting me. He also sent out an e-mail saying he was looking for a woman to wine and dine and possibly pleasure while he was away on business. He has recently met women for drinks and has told me nothing of it and also told me many of nights we aren't together that he is just hanging out at home or playing music (he is in a band) and so forth.

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Reader Question About Sex and Dating

Julian asks: "I have been dating my girlfriend for almost a year now, and since the beginning we have been having sex. All of a sudden though, she tells me that she does not want to "disrespect" her body and that she does not want us having sex anymore. I feel like she should not have made such a big decision that affects both of us without even talking to me about it beforehand. I love her very much and to me the sex was a way of showing that love. It seems to me that if a relationship was sexually active, and that factor is suddenly taken away, the relationship can't be expected to be the same. Any advice?"

I agree that your relationship with your girlfriend cannot be the same as it was before, as what sounds like a big part of the way the two of you share your affection was through [sexual intercourse]( has now been removed from the equation. However, I think that having sex or not having sex isn't the question.

Yes, it would have been much easier and kinder if your girlfriend to have talked to you about what was going through her mind before she made a decision. When you enter into a relationship with someone, part of that process is agreeing that any major decisions that affect the both of you are discussed, first. Someone gets offered their dream job 400 miles away, an ex invites you to their wedding, or whom to spend the holidays with are all conversations better had, together, before a decision has been made.

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Navigating Life’s Storms as a Single Person

As singles we sometimes think that our lives are in balance and we have things under control. Suddenly, however, we find the rug is pulled out from under us.

I can finally pay those bills each month that I used to dread. My relationship with my family has been restored. My heart is at peace and I can feel complete without having a partner at my side. Then a large gust of wind comes along and all of the things that we struggled so hard to get into place are scattered.

How will I have the strength to pick up all these pieces again? What did I do wrong, or not do that I find myself seemingly back to where I first started? Did I disappoint God? Did He forget that I was here?

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The Cougar Cruise

Everywhere I go, I see mention of cougars. No, I don't mean the animals in the wild, but rather the relatively new terminology that associates older women with younger men. The first mention of a cougar in this context (and please do correct me if I'm wrong) was Valerie Gibson's book, Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men, which was originally released in 2001 and has seen an upswing in sales since its re-release last year.

But although calling someone a cougar wasn't the nicest of labels a few years ago, older women seem to be wearing the title in stride, somewhat in part to the character of Samantha on Sex in the City. There are reality shows about cougar women (TV Land's The Cougar), movies (2007's Cougar Club), a cougar convention held this past August in Las Vegas, and Courtenay Cox's [Cougar Town]( is coming to a TV near you this fall as well.

So it only makes sense that the "first" [cougar cruise]( would be held next year too, where cougars and their "cubs" (men who hook up with cougars) can meet in a no-holds-barred, sexually charged setting. Although billed as the first of its kind, I did find mention of another cougar cruise from Canadian dating and sex columnist Josey Vogels, who described in great detail [her experiences on the four-hour tour]( Still, this new cruise under the Carnival line boasts a bit more get-to-know-you time, with three days of on-board fun and frivolity including a pit stop in Ensenada, Mexico.

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Halloween Costumes

I must say I'm impressed at how many of you are already thinking, looking, researching your Halloween costumes this year - be it a couples costume or singles costume, people are planning ahead.

I spoke briefly with a representative from [Spirit Halloween](, a Halloween costume retailer, and asked them what was hot this year. Anything Twilight-related (either solo as a vampire or tandem ala Robert Pattinson and [Kristen Stewart]( are in hot demand, as are gladiator, flapper and gangster-related costumes. And online costume retailer Buy Costumes ([Buy Direct]( is showing anything superhero related or star trek/star wars flying off the shelves.

I've listed a few of my personal favorites for the year below, but I'm wondering: what will you wear for Halloween this year?

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Dating Question About Trust And Condom Use

Mercedes asks, "What does it mean if you find an unwrapped condom in your boyfriends truck, and he says his friend accidentally left it there because he lent out his truck so the friend could see a girl?"

Touchy question Mercedes, and a lot of how I'd answer this dating question depends on your relationship about both how the information was shared, as well as how it went down. Have you been dating more than six months, or is this a relatively new dating relationship? Has your boyfriend given you reason not to trust him before? Are the two of you using condoms? Have you been tested recently for STDs? Does your boyfriend routinely lend out his truck to friends for similar reasons? Was the condom merely unwrapped or (ick) used?

These types of situations are always shocking to someone who didn't see it coming no matter how solid your relationship is or how long you've been dating. Sure, your boyfriend could have warned you that he lent out his truck before the nasty surprise, but if he really did do as he's saying, then its also not unheard of to have that kind of detail slip his mind either. I'll talk more about this in a moment.

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Dating Slang Terms

I've had a lot of fun this week reading about some of the slang terms used both in the past and currently with regards to dating and relationships, and how much I take for granted some of the words I use daily that might not make a lot of sense to someone not familiar with the English language, or even someone not familiar with regional variations. For instance, hooking up is an oft-used slang term, but the age of the person using it as well as where they live will determine what "hooking up" really means. For some, hooking up refers to having casual sex, others use it to define casual dating or friends with benefits, while for yet others it means merely spending time together.

Every subset of the dating world seems to have its own slang terms as well. Pickup artists use words like [kino](, [avatar]( and [peacocking](, folks in the UK refer to [sailor's elbows](, relationship therapists are hearing words like [umfriend](, [textationship]( and [exing]( being used by their clients, and poly folks refer to slang terms like [NRE](, [abundant love](, and [open relationships](

Do you have any slang terms that you use to refer to a partner, a relationship or a fling? What are they, and how did they get started?

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