By Mika Rekai - Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 0 Comments
Read all about it…everywhere
It’s Valentine’s Day again, and what better way to celebrate then by reading dozens of articles about why love is probably dead. The reason, according to silver-haired columnists around the world, is because of today’s youth and their unholy reliance on technology. Why is there so much texting, they all ask, and so little staring into the soulful abysses of your lover’s eyes?
In 2009, David Brooks at the New York Times may have well started the trend for curmudgeonly Valentine’s griping when he wrote this article. According to Brooks, Facebook, Twitter, online dating–even cellphones themselves–are to blame for sucking all the rose-tinted, candle-lit romance out of life and leaving only the cold, tasteless husks of a casual relationship in their place. Brooks suggests a return to the “Happy Days era” when “courtship was governed by a set of guardrails”. While Brooks seems to appreciate that Happy Days is a fictional television show set in a pre-feminist era, he still thinks it’s better than whatever young people are up to now: instagraming their love into oblivion, probably.
By Katie Engelhart - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:45 AM - 0 Comments
The soulmate search will soon be mobile, transparent and constant
In 2003, a young Mark Zuckerberg sat in front of his computer and instant-messaged a friend. Back then, “the facebook thing” was still a rough idea, and 18-year-old Zuckerberg was trying to finesse the concept.
Already, he knew what he didn’t want. “I don’t think people would sign up for the facebook thing if they knew it was for dating,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I think people are skeptical about joining dating things.”
A decade later, a somewhat savvier Zuckerberg has had a change of heart. Last week, Facebook unveiled “Graph Search,” a new search engine that will allow users to comb through data from their existing online networks. At a press launch, Facebook reps showed off the new product, explaining that it could be used to search for restaurants, or for job recruiting. At one point, a Facebook employee stood to demonstrate a search for “friends of my friends who are single and living in San Francisco.” Continue…
By Julia McKinnell - Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 9:50 AM - 0 Comments
‘Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture and Creed’ suggests single black women need to mix it up
Is Canada the new mecca for single black American women? The topic crops up with increasing frequency on the Beyond Black & White blog run by Christelyn Karazin, a black writer in California who married a “WASP from Connecticut.”
According to Karazin, eligible black men are in short supply, and it’s time for black women to consider dating men of other races. One black Canadian woman suggested U.S. women look north to find a good man, and recounted the story of a Ghanaian girl she knew who ran an ad on Craigslist, which attracted “a very good-looking, intelligent, sexy American man” who had relocated to Canada. “I need to move to Canada!” came the reply from a California reader.
Karazin launched her pro-intermarriage blog as a refuge for people to talk candidly about the real reason so many black American women are single. In a revolutionary guidebook for single black women, Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture and Creed, Karazin and her co-author Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn urge black women to consider dating non-black men if what they want in life is a husband, and one that sticks around to help raise the kids.
By Julia McKinnell - Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 8:20 AM - 1 Comment
A woman’s guide to diabetes offers tips about dating, diet and airport security
Having diabetes is a full-time job that goes beyond balancing blood sugar levels, writes the author of The Smart Woman’s Guide to Diabetes. You have to worry about how to feel sexy with a plastic pump attached to your lower back; how to still feel desirable with bruises on your stomach from insulin injections; and when in your relationship to tell your new boyfriend he’ll need to run and grab orange juice if you start to pass out.
Author Amy Stockwell Mercer was 14 when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Her book includes her own experience of living with diabetes, as well as advice from other diabetic women on topics ranging from dating and diet to travel tips and motherhood.
According to a University of Toronto study, teenage girls with diabetes are twice as likely to develop eating disorders. “Diabulimia,” Mercer explains, “is characterized by a person with diabetes who is intentionally skipping insulin therapy to keep blood glucose levels elevated, which in turn causes dangerous weight loss.”
One woman cited in the book, Charla, hated being chubby as a child and remembers suddenly losing weight when she was 16. “God was answering my prayers!” she thought as she continued to eat gluttonously without gaining weight. “I also couldn’t get out of bed and knew something was wrong.” Her parents took her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with diabetes. Once she started insulin, “I gained 14 lb. I felt like the Michelin man. The day I got out of hospital I started skipping insulin because I had to lose weight.” She eventually started taking just enough to survive, “one shot at bedtime.”
By her thirties, Charla had developed eye complications—diabetic retinopathy. She finally found a supportive, female endocrinologist who advised Charla to switch from injecting insulin with a needle to wearing an insulin pump. “When I first started wearing the pump, I hated it. I felt like it was a scarlet D on my forehead. I almost gave it back. I stopped wearing dresses. I hated wearing it on my belt because you could see the tubing. Then I figured out I could hide it in a pants pocket by putting a hole in the pocket and stringing the tubing through the hole. Once I figured that out, it was much better. I’m glad I stuck with it.”
In a chapter on puberty, Mercer warns that women with diabetes have more menstrual problems than their non-diabetic peers. Expect long cycles and heavy menstruation. “Usually, a woman’s insulin requirement goes up 10 to 15 per cent during the last three to five days of the menstrual cycle because of the hormone progesterone. Rising levels of progesterone counteract the action of insulin. The only way to manage changing insulin requirements right before your period is to measure your [blood glucose] often.”
Most of the women in Mercer’s book agree it’s best to tell your friends and dates as soon as possible about your condition. “I was a little self-conscious about carrying syringes around. I didn’t want anyone to think I was a drug addict,” explains Stella Biggs. Another woman, Kristin Makszin, tells Mercer, “I think that diabetes can be a good way to find a caring person. If it’s the right person, they will care and want to learn more.”
Another woman, Maia Caemmerer, shares her solution for birth control. “I chose to get a Mirena [hormone] IUD. The consistent release of hormones evened out my blood glucose. It was one of the best choices I made for my diabetes, and it took one thing off my daily health-related to-do list: no more birth control pills!”
In a chapter on travel, a woman warns that the battery in her insulin pump sets off the metal detector at the airport. She’s learned to wear the pump on her waistband, outside her clothing, when she’s travelling and to “never, ever wear a long skirt going through the checkpoint. There is nothing more humiliating than a TSA agent frisking your inner thighs while the whole world is watching.” And don’t forget, “eastward travel means a shorter day. If you inject insulin, less may be needed. Westward travel means a longer day, so more insulin may be needed. Keep your watch on your home time zone until the morning after you arrive.”
By Jenn Cutts - Monday, June 6, 2011 at 10:10 AM - 0 Comments
If you want a man in Australia, get out of the city
What’s a single city girl have to do to find love these days? If she’s in Australia, her best bet is to head for the country. Late last month, the first “Thank Goodness He’s A Country Boy” tour brought 50 single ladies looking for love to Tamworth, New South Wales, a town of 58,000 midway between Brisbane and Sydney. After arriving late Friday night, the girls spent Saturday brunching, shopping and primping before a night of mingling at a Tamworth hot spot, where a “man auction” benefiting a local charity was held. “The best part of the night was watching the guys strut their stuff,” says tour organizer Brie Peters. (The gents had spent the afternoon gearing up by lunching at a local grill and watching a rugby match.)
Demographic data backs up what women in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne already know—there’s a drought of available men in Australia’s cities. With more and more young women moving to metropolitan areas, and young men seeking success abroad in greater numbers, prospects for a love connection are dim. The Tamworth tour had an “85 per cent success rate,” says Peters, who is planning a second tour to Wagga Wagga, N.S.W., in July. “Seeing such genuine country men and knowing so many lovely city girls who want to find love—what better way?”
By Josh Dehaas - Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 1:00 PM - 0 Comments
From ‘wobbles’ to wedding plans: William and Kate meet, break up and make up
Sept. 2001: Prince William and Kate Middleton enrol at the University of St. Andrews where they both study art history. William learns art isn’t his calling. Later that year, when he “wobbles” academically, Kate convinces him to stay in school, but in geography instead.
March 2002: William reportedly pays $450 for a front-row seat to a cheeky charity fashion show where Kate walks the runway wearing little more than her underwear. Reports say he leaned in to kiss her, but she pulled away.
Sept. 2002: The pair move into a four-bedroom house together, along with two friends. Rumours of their relationship emerge, but Kate is still dating someone else.
June 2003: Rumours swirl that William is dating the heiress of a wealthy family in Kenya, but his friend Kate attends his 21st birthday at Windsor Castle. Prince Charles tells the media that, to his knowledge, his son is single.
Sept. 2003: The couple, along with two friends, move into a country cottage near St. Andrews “on two acres of wild grassland hidden behind a six-foot stone wall,” according to author Katie Nicholl.
By Julia McKinnell - Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 12:20 PM - 10 Comments
Shut down conversations about finding a man, and brainstorm new places to live
For one woman, the most lonely night of being single came when she had to drive herself to the emergency room. The doctor “asked if I could get anyone to pick me up because of the narcotic medicine he needed to give me, and I briefly thought about it and said no. Maybe there were people I could have called in a dire emergency, but lots of my friends go to bed early and I didn’t feel comfortable waking them. So I had to wait until the sedative wore off, then drove myself at 1:00 a.m. to find a 24-hour pharmacy,” remembers the 41-year-old nurse.
“This should never, ever happen to anyone,” writes Michelle Cove in Seeking Happily Ever After: Navigating the Ups and Downs of Being Single Without Losing Your Mind. She spent three years interviewing single women, many of whom worry about a future medical emergency. Cove suggests lining up support well before you need it.
Start with girlfriends: “Let them know it would comfort you if you knew they could be part of a support team to help you in duress.” Each friend should know she’s part of a small team, not the only one helping, and be specific about what you are asking for, “such as being your emergency contact, taking care of your pets if you’re hospitalized, bringing you to the ER if necessary.”
By Stephanie Findlay - Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 11:20 AM - 0 Comments
With more women at most schools, young men have never had so many dates. And boy, they’re playing the numbers
“If you strike out everywhere else, just come to the Mount,” says Cody Brown, a congenial second-year student at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. The reason is simple: the Mount’s student body is 79 per cent women. “It’s a great ratio,” says the 19-year-old enthusiastically. “A phenomenal ratio.”
Though the Mount is an extreme example, female-dominated campuses are an increasing reality at universities across the country. According to Statistics Canada, 57 per cent of the student body in universities is female. Of the 69 schools Maclean’s surveyed in its 2010 university guide, 24 institutions have a student body that’s over 60 per cent female. And it’s not just Mount Saint Vincent where the females make up more than 70 per cent of the population. It’s the same at NSCAD University and Université Sainte-Anne.
The trend is welcome news for women who want to focus on homework instead of being incessantly courted, and men who like all the attention. But as the female-to-male ratio skews, dating must adapt.
By Julia McKinnell - Saturday, June 19, 2010 at 10:31 PM - 24 Comments
Single women are advised to be more open about who they date
A checklist of requirements may be your biggest impediment to finding true love, says Toronto-born dating coach Andrea Syrtash in her new book He’s Just Not Your Type and That’s a Good Thing. Syrtash coaches single women to consider the type of man they think they’re attracted to, then counsels them to work on doing things differently, such as dating a shorter man if they’ve always gone for tall, or an introvert if they’ve always liked the charismatic. “It’s not about throwing out your standards,” Syrtash told Maclean’s from her home in New York. “It’s about being more open.”
The now-married dating coach herself admits she was not at first physically attracted to her husband. “He wasn’t my type. I mean, he’s an attractive guy but it’s a funny thing,” she says. “I dated these all-American clean-cut, more conservative-looking guys, and my husband is dark. His parents are from Egypt. He didn’t come in the package I thought was my type.”
By By Julia Mckinnell - Monday, May 3, 2010 at 3:11 PM - 69 Comments
If he has no friends, or if you can’t see in him the qualities you want in your children, run
If love is blind, “marriage is like a trip to the optometrist’s office,” warns an 81-year-old priest from New Jersey in a new book for women designed to help them evaluate whether the man they’re dating is marriage material. Up front, Father Pat Connor addresses those who might question his authority to speak on the topic. “You might be thinking, ‘He’s a priest. He’s never been married,’ and in that you would be correct.” But, he goes on, “for over 50 years I have had the privilege of speaking with young women on the subject of whom not to marry. These women have opened their hearts and minds while bringing me their questions.” Questions such as: “Is money really important in a marriage?” “Yes. Yes. Yes, to that one,” he writes in Whom Not to Marry: Time-Tested Advice From a Higher Authority.
Remember, he writes, “You can be deeply in love with someone to whom you cannot be successfully married.” If you’re thinking love conquers all, “it doesn’t,” he writes. Top on his list is, “Never marry a man who cannot hold down a job.” Then there’s “never marry a man who has no friends.”
When a portion of Father Pat’s list appeared in the New York Times, a twice-married and divorced woman sent him her own version: “Never marry a man who is more affectionate in public than in private. Never marry a man who notices all of your faults but never any of his own. Never marry a man whose first wife had to sue for child support. Never marry a man whom your children don’t like.”
Father Pat advises women to take a year between the decision to marry and the wedding. “Use the engagement as a time to ask questions,” such as, “What would I be glad to know about him that’s impossible to know in the first few months of dating?”
He writes about one woman whose fiancé loved to shop for expensive clothes. “Then he wants to go to pricey restaurants to show them off,” she told Father Pat. “I prefer eating at home and wearing my comfortable clothes. How can I change him to like the simpler life?” “Change him? Forget it! He’s a bad risk for marriage. I’m afraid it’s just that simple,” Father Pat told her.
One of his must-haves is physical attraction. “There used to be, in one of the formulas used at weddings, a wonderful sentence that was said by each spouse in turn: ‘With my body, I thee worship.’ If you feel no physical attraction to him, don’t marry him!”
He urges women to ask: “Has your love grown since you became serious about one another?” “Do you see in this person the qualities you want in your children?” “Do you love each other with equal intensity and are you sure your love is not one-sided?”
Beware of the “Green-Eyed Monsters.” “Envy and jealousy are as complex as they are puzzling, and they’re both destructive.” He tells of a young woman who loved to dance but complained, “my boyfriend always declines my offers to dance with me. When I’m dancing with other boys, I can feel him staring at us. How can I help him to like dancing and to stop staring?”
“You’ll probably never get your boyfriend to like dancing,” Father Pat told her, “and the staring only means that jealousy is in play here. Have a chat with him about that unlovely quality. If he persists in his jealous-laden behaviour, drop him!”
If your boyfriend has cold feet, “Never put yourself in the position of trying to persuade him to marry you. No good can come of that,” he writes. “It’s important to pay attention to those actions that convey a lack of commitment on his part.”
Adhering to dating rules is another mistake, he says. “I’m uncomfortable with this rules approach to dating—rules that take into account anything from who calls whom and when, who pays for dinner, and how many dates to have before either becoming intimate or moving on. Rules can quickly morph into ultimatums, and that’s no good for anybody.”
Also, think twice about the “fun or quirky proposals,” like eloping to Vegas “on a whim.” Father Pat urges women to “think about it. The decision to get married will affect your entire life. Do you really want to enter into something so casually?”
One couple’s modest engagement rings made him happy. The groom said, “We bought these rings, one for $15, one for $20.” The couple hoped to upgrade later on. Father Pat told them, “I hope you forget in future getting more expensive rings. Put the money toward your children’s college funds!”
By Anne Kingston - Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 5:00 PM - 19 Comments
Is it crazy to marry someone you’ve known only a few weeks? A lot of smart people don’t think so.
Last month, Jillian Harris packed up her bags and moved house from Vancouver to Chicago to live with her fiancé, Ed Swiderski, whom she’d known all of nine weeks before giddily agreeing to marry him; they plan to wed within the year. The couple’s warp-speed romance, one of several Harris was juggling on the last season of The Bachelorette, was served up like spray cheese on crackers to a fixated audience of millions. The 29-year-old gushed about her instant connection with the 30-year-old Swiderski on Live with Regis and Kelly in July: “We had that one date when everything came together,” she said. “I knew I could not let him go ever.”
As psychotic as that statement sounds, it’s the linga franca of the whirlwind courtship, a phenomenon far more fascinating in reality than any on faux “reality” programming. Lately there’s been a crop of them. Earlier this year, the 70-year-old writer Joyce Carol Oates married Charles Gross, a professor of psychology at Princeton less than a year after her husband of 47 years, with whom she’d had a happy marriage, died. In January, the National Post columnist Diane Francis wed John Beck, the CEO of the construction conglomerate Aecon Group, knowing him less than four months. The couple, both in their 60s, met at a dinner thrown by the conservative think tank the Fraser Institute, which, when you think about it, is the perfect forum for finding Mr. or Ms. Right: Beck, who arrived late, ended up in the only available empty chair, next to Francis. The opinionated pundit declines to comment on her personal life, but in an email response to a question from the Globe and Mail about the relationship’s rapid progression, she wrote: “When it’s right you just know it.” Continue…