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My Interview With Tamsen Fadal: On Divorce, Being Single and “Fixing” Herself

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in breakup advice, Celebrities, coping with divorce, newly separated

 

tamsen fadal

WPIX 11 News Anchor, Emmy award Winner, Entrepreneur and author, Tamsen Fadal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Self help and positive talk is great, but it doesn’t work if you can’t get out of bed,” according to Tamsen Fadal, the New York City 4 time Emmy winning journalist, entrepreneur and author, whose 2008 marriage was featured in the New York Times and whose divorce four years later landed her front and center on Page Six.

I talked with 44 year-old Fadal about her breakup, her divorce, how she coped, and her inspiring new book, The New Single, Finding, Fixing and Falling Back in Love with Yourself After a Break-up or Divorce, which will officially be released on Tuesday, June 2!

 

Tamsen Fadal

Fadal’s new book, “The New Single”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JP: When you were first separated, how were you feeling?

TF: I felt like this couldn’t possibly be happening. I felt like it would work out eventually if we just gave it time. I was in disbelief. And I felt failure. I felt like, ‘I can’t let this fail because I’ll be a failure.’ I had no confidence at all. I was embarrassed and trying to hide it from everyone. My ex and I had a matchmaking business together. So we were helping people fall in love and my marriage had fallen apart.

JP: What was rock bottom?

TF: When I realized it wasn’t going to work because too much had happened. I knew we couldn’t go back. It was a beautiful day and we had been to a mediator and therapist and I called the mediator and told her to file. I was on automatic and going through the motions. I couldn’t believe it was happening. When I look back, I was somebody different that day.

JP: How did you cope and begin to heal?

TF: Self-help and positive talk is great, but it doesn’t work if you can’t get out of bed. I started making lists of how to get through my day, which included the most basic things: get dressed, walk dog, get coffee, answer emails. Following a list made things manageable. Over time I started getting back to who I was. I incorporated yoga, I was reading again, traveling again. And, I started spending time by myself. It was a scary thing being alone with my thoughts but I learned how to get comfortable with it and actually enjoy it.

JP: Why did you decide to write “The New Single?”

TF: I realized there was nothing out there that would give me a basic rundown on what I needed to do to fix myself. I wrote it to tell people how I fixed myself, which wasn’t so traditional. I did things like reorganize my closet, focus on my diet, organize my refrigerator. Coping and healing is different for everyone, but the book is about what helped me.

JP: What’s in the book?

TF: The book goes through every aspect of your life: career, finances, diet, organization, self-talk, happiness. It’s about the importance of finding yourself before you date, and starting on the inside first. It’s about building your self-confidence.

JP: What message do you have for someone who is newly separated?

TF: Nothing is going to look like this one month from now, 3 months, 6 months or a year from now. Going through the process is exhausting but I promise you, if you build and take care of yourself and have your own recipe for self care, you are going to be a different person, and happier than you are today. It’s a new kind of woman out there. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, at the top of your career, divorced or just out of a long relationship, whatever she is, she’s tackling the world like the rest of us. We’re all in this together at the end of the day.

The New Single, Finding, Fixing and Falling Back in Love with Yourself After a Break-up or Divorce is available at bookstores across the country or on amazon.

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26 Places And Ways To Meet Single Men and Women

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in dating, dating after divorce, Dating over 50

 

meet single men

 

 

 

 

 

I offer a lot of divorce and dating advice, largely based on questions I receive from readers. What I have found over the past couple of years is, the question I seem to get asked almost daily is: Where (or how) do I meet single men or women?

 

I’m not surprised. I think it’s human nature that we crave love and companionship. Even after broken heart (after broken heart after broken heart), we keep coming back for more. It’s a thought that makes me smile because it’s proof of people’s hopeful spirit, romantic tendencies and passion to give and receive love.

 

So, where can you meet single men and women? I’m actually going to take bars out of this post, A. because the latest reader who asked me where to meet someone said “I’m not a fan of meeting men in bars,” and B. Because I’m not either.

 

Here are 26 places and ways to meet single men and women:

 

  1. Through volunteer work.
  2. Through your dog: walks, doggie parks, pet stores
  3. At the Apple Store
  4. At fundraising events.
  5. Through your married friends.
  6. Through your single friends.
  7. On a blind date. (You must ask people you know to set you up)
  8. At a live music venue (this doesn’t count as a bar in my opinion)
  9. At professional sporting events.
  10. On-line dating sites.
  11. Social media outlets: LinkedIn, facebook, twitter, Cyber Dust
  12. At the gym.
  13. Jogging trails
  14. Car wash places
  15. Business functions
  16. Through work (some say that’s a no-no but I disagree.)
  17. Golfing
  18. Playing tennis
  19. Through business networking groups.
  20. Meetup groups
  21. Matchmaking services
  22. Running errands.
  23. Hate to say it, but it’s true: Starbucks
  24. Outdoor street festivals.
  25. Through your kids (other parents.)
  26. Through your divorce attorney or other professionals (dentist, doctor, accountant, etc.) but you have to ask!

Here are three rules I live by that I think will increase your chances to meet single men and women:

 

  1. Stop saying “no” to set ups and social events. Just say yes to everything. Your odds of meeting someone go way up when you actually leave your house!
  2. Network: Ask friends and family and acquaintances to introduce you to people. Treat meeting someone like a job.
  3. Having platonic friendships can lead to love. I can’t stand when two people go out on a date and just because there was no spark, they say good-bye forever. They are both missing out on having just another friend in life. Platonic friends can only enrich your life, and lead to a better social life which will offer you more fun and the possibility of meeting the man or woman of your dreams.

 

In closing, I want to say one more thing. I’m not saying don’t go to bars. Bars are fun and talking to people is harmless and can actually lead to friendships, as well. But, the red flag associated with bars is possible excessive drinking, which can lead to bad decisions and judgment.

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Let’s Talk About The Dad Bod

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in dating, dating after divorce, Dating over 50, Health, Over 40, single dads

 

The dad bod

Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come on…you didn’t expect a divorce site not to post a blog on The Dad Bod, did you?! In this week’s Love Essentially column, published today in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press, I write about why I like the dad bod, along with some issues I have with it.

 

Conflicted Feelings on The Dad Bod  by Jackie Pilossoph

Have you heard of the “dad bod” craze? It’s the phenomenon that resulted from an article written several weeks ago in a local newspaper by Clemson University student, Mackenzie Pearson.
“In case you haven’t noticed lately, girls are all about the dad bod,” Pearson wrote in her piece for The Odyssey. “The dad bod is a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. The dad bod says, ‘I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.’ It’s not an overweight guy, but it isn’t one with washboard abs, either.”

When I think of the dad bod, I think of Seth Rogan, Jason Segal, Adam Sandler or Paul Rudd: guys who are adorable, who like to have fun and who seem cuddly, sweet and non-intimidating, which are all great qualities.

That said, I’m a bit conflicted about the dad bod because with more muscles and less fat comes good health. So, while the dad bod seems endearing and comfortable, is it really a healthy body? Maybe, maybe not. I’m thinking Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper might have better cholesterol and blood pressure numbers. Just sayin’.

My big concern is 20- and 30-something guys who have the dad bod even though they aren’t dads. In my opinion, it’s too early in life for them not to be healthy and fit. Shouldn’t the dad bod be reserved for guys of an older age, say 40 or 50?

Speaking of 40 or 50, let’s talk about the countless dad bods walking around on the North Shore. What do I think of them? I have to be honest, I’m a fan for the following reasons:

1. They are less intimidating

2. They help me accept my own body

3. They aren’t obsessed with fitness and food

4. There is a certain endearing, sweet, humbleness to them

All that said, there is something the dad bod really needs to make him truly attractive: a certain amount of discipline and motivation. In other words, women want to see that their guy makes an effort to work out and eat healthy most of the time. It shows he isn’t lazy and that he cares somewhat about his appearance.

Now, the million-dollar question: Do women want to sleep with dad bod guys? Here’s what I think: (Click here to read the rest of the article, published today in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.)

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Dating A Divorced Dad: 5 Ways To Make Things Easier

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in blending families, dating, dating after divorce, single dads

 

dating a divorced dad

 

 

 

 

 

Dating a divorced dad is complicated. I’d also say it can make you feel sad, frustrated, infuriated and can possibly drive a person nuts, at times. Why? Because there are so many different relationships going on at the same time, and some or all can be intense and sensitive and complex. Let’s look at the dynamics:

 

  1. You and the guy. You have to ask yourself, how serious is our relationship? Am I pushing too much to be around his kids when he isn’t ready? Or, is he forcing this too much before his kids are ready? Is he afraid of his ex-wife, so is he going to try to hide the relationship? Remember that men hate conflict and the easier you make things for them, the happier they are. Not saying you should let him step on you, but rather remember that he has an ex-wife and he has to make it work for his kids. He therefore might not stick up for you as much as you’d like.

 

  1. The guy and his kids. Maybe the kids are angry with their father for leaving their mother. Or, maybe they are very dependent on him because the mom is out of the picture. Or, maybe the kids are protective of him because they don’t want to see him get hurt.

  

  1. The kids and you. Did you and the kids hit it off right away? Or was it forced? Maybe they see you as a threat to some hopes of their parents reconciling, even if that is an unrealistic possibility. Or, maybe they treats you like a friend, desperately trying to get your approval. Or, maybe they feel they can’t be nice to you because that is being disloyal to their mom.

 

  1. The ex-wife and the guy. How is their relationship? Hostile, angry and bitter? Or, are both over the divorce and friendly? Is the ex-wife with someone or alone? That could make a difference, too. Does he fear her?

 

  1. The ex-wife and you. Will she be jealous of you or be artificially sweet? Or, is she genuinely OK with it and looking to be friends with you for the benefit of her kids?

 

  1. The ex-wife and the kids. Are they close? Are they secretly making fun of you behind your back in a caddy, mean girl kind of way? Or, are the kids always trying to sell you to their mom, saying how nice you are and that dad is really happy?

 

All of these relationships have a huge impact on what happens when you are dating a divorced dad and what your relationship will be like.

 

Timing is also key. If you are the first girlfriend of a divorced dad, it might be more difficult to be accepted. You have a better chance of things going smoothly if the divorce has been final for awhile.

 

Although every relationship and situation is different, here are 5 ways that will help you to be happier dating a divorced dad:

 

  1. Don’t take things personally. If the kids are making things difficult for you, remember that is has NOTHING to do with YOU, and everything to do with their feelings. I know it isn’t easy, but try to remember that.
  2. Don’t push. Give him time. Give the kids time. Let everyone get comfortable. Let them actually come to you.
  3. Put yourself in the kids’ shoes. Try to imagine how the kids are feeling. Remember that all kids want first and foremost the love of their parents, and for their parents to love each other. Obviously the latter isn’t happening anymore, so now they just want their parents to get along. What they really do not want is for their dad to have a girlfriend. They can be insecure and want his attention. No offense but they don’t want you. That doesn’t mean they won’t come to love and fully accept you, it just means they will probably fight it at the beginning.
  4. Be supportive and understanding of your guy. I feel sorry for a divorced dad in the respect that it isn’t easy to balance kids, an ex-wife and a girlfriend. Many many women vying for his attention can get tricky and exhausting.
  5. When frustrated, ask yourself, “Does this really matter?” Let’s say you planned to sleep at your boyfriend’s place and his kids threw a fit and said “no way!” Do you end up getting angry and stomping out of there? NO! Just be nice, say you understand, go home and try again another time. Like I said before, kids need time. No need to make a big deal out of it. Sleep in your own bed and be patient.

 

I understand that you can’t wait forever for his kids to accept you. And only you can decide when to throw in the towel. But I truly believe that with time and with the right attitude, kids really come around, and you can end up having a wonderful relationship.

 

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Women Over 40: Love Thyself, Which Includes Thy Body

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in Health, Over 40

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This blog post is dedicated to women over 40. It includes a guest post by entrepreneur, Stephanie Radkay, founder of her Los Angeles based active wear clothing line, Actio926, followed by a contest where two winners will get to go to the Actio926 website and pick something out: a gift from Stephanie!

 

I met Stephanie a few weeks ago while interviewing her for a feature piece on Actio926 in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. I loved her after the first two minutes of our conversation and here’s why. Stephanie loves women. She respects and admires us. She cares about us. She is rooting for us.

 

            Here was just one of the things she said to me:

 

“If someone is wearing my brand, it’s my way of giving you a hug and saying, ‘Hey, I’m here. I’m by your side. You’ve got this,’ whether it’s a your first 5K, your first Zumba class, starting a new job, or anything you want to achieve.”

 

Something Stephanie and I talked about was how we both feel women are way too tough on themselves when it comes to our bodies. We all obsess about how we wish our bodies looked younger and thinner, when in truth, most women fail to do two things:

 1. Focus on health versus appearance: Eating healthy—nourishing our bodies with vitamin rich foods and using food as medicine will not only improve overall health, chronic conditions and immune systems, but weight loss becomes a side effect. I found that if I eat healthy for a few weeks and forget about calories or weight loss, all of a sudden I look in the mirror and say, “Wow, I lost 5 pounds. How did that happen?”

2. Appreciate and celebrate our good parts: The other day I was in a strength class and my instructor says, “Jackie, look at your biceps.” Instead of saying thank you for the compliment, my gut reaction was to grab my arm fat and say, “Yea, but how do I get rid of this?” Women’s bodies are beautiful and should be celebrated. They don’t have to be perfect. They just have to be healthy and liked by you.

 

From Stephanie:

 

Activity helps the body release endorphins, which feels like a natural high. Who doesn’t want to feel high without the hangover? Activity helps move the toxins out of our system and strengthens the heart. Who doesn’t want to fend off disease? The best part about being active – it is measurable.

 

And, when it’s measurable you can watch your progress and feel good about yourself as you hit new goals.

 

I’m not talking about going out and running a marathon….I am talking about taking one class and feeling exhausted, but going back again and feeling less exhausted and building up the muscles and the endurance. Working out is for you AND it has a ripple effect.

 

It’s contagious….friends around you want in….your children want to emulate you….instead of eating all that shit and sitting around lethargically you get to have fun doing it with others which helps hold you accountable.

 

It’s the best vicious cycle around!

 

But what to wear when you are getting active? People feel even more motivated when they look put together. They feel better about themselves, take themselves more seriously and the clothing is meant to support the activity. It can pull the sweat away, support the muscles, keeping them warmer, help tuck in the muffin top, reduce the chafing, etc.  There is a purpose. And, I throw in another motivator…I add a subliminal message in my prints “move me to my core” to fire you up when you are wearing it!

 

The harder you work towards your goal, the more important it becomes emotionally to strive harder toward that goal and push forward. The awesome side effect is looking better on the outside and getting healthier on the inside. Unfortunately as we get older, genetics play a role, too. In other words, I am a marathon runner, but I have cellulite. It’s a fact but it doesn’t stop me from wearing shorts because that is what I am comfortable in when I run. I am okay with it because I know I work hard and I love the results I CAN create.

 

What Stephanie and I want to know is: What do you like about your body and why?

 

Answer this question in 3-4 sentences in the comment section of this blog post. After one week, Stephanie will pick her favorite two answers. These two winners will get to go on her website, www.actio926.com and choose something!

 

Why did I pick this question? Because I want women over 40 to celebrate and appreciate your bodies! Focus on what you have and on your health-not your flaws or magazines with air-brushed models or what you think men will think of you. Relationships over 40 are so much more emotionally based. In other words, there’s so much more acceptance, and a much larger focus on inner-beauty. Men and women over 40 love on a deeper level, in my opinion. It’s really quite beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, bodies still matter, but ask any guy over 40 if he prefers a killer body on a woman or someone who is loving, sweet and warm.

 

One last kicker I’ll leave you with: I once read an article that said men see women 10 pounds thinner than women see themselves. So there, you just lost 10 pounds!

 

Enter the contest now by answering the question in the comment section below! Stephanie will choose 2 winners, who get to go to her website, www.actio926.com and pick something out!

 

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