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Dating Advice: A Tiny Tip That Could Improve Your Love Life

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in dating, dating after divorce, girlfriends


dating advice


In this week’s “Love Essentially” column, published yesterday in Sun-Times Media Local, I wrote about an experiment I did that involved lipstick. The results were astounding, and I think they make a strong statement that could translate into some really good dating advice.


The Lipstick Experiment Boosts Self-Confidence by Jackie Pilossoph


The idea for this week’s column began when I was buying a pair of earrings in Bloomingdales. The cheerful woman who rang me up looked absolutely beautiful. Not fake, made up, skinny model beautiful, but cheerful, happy, healthy pretty. She had these bright pink lips that lit up her face and enhanced her smile.

That’s when it hit me. A small item that doesn’t cost very much money and that takes three seconds to apply can make a huge impact on a woman’s physical appearance.

Never much of a lipstick gal in the past, I dashed straight to the makeup counter, began trying on colors, and 12 minutes later walked out the door wearing Bobbie Brown’s “Berry Punch,” and carrying my new lipstick in a small bag.

This began “The lipstick Experiment,” where I decided to wear my new lipstick religiously for 10 days to see if and how it would make a difference in my life. I wore the lipstick everywhere I went, with the exception of the gym. I wore it even if I had on no other makeup, and even if my hair was in a ponytail and I had on old jeans and sneakers.

The results of this experiment were so much more dramatic than I ever expected! Here are some of the things that happened to me during the 10 days:

1. A woman at the grocery store stopped me and told me I had beautiful eyes. I was not wearing any eye makeup.

2. A friend of mine who I ran into at my kids’ school asked me what brand and color lipstick I was wearing. She then pulled out her iPad and typed in the information.

3. One morning, I was getting some work done at a Starbucks, and realized I forgot to put on the lipstick. I went to the bathroom and applied it, came back to my seat, and the guy sitting next to me did a very obvious double take.

4. I was then walking out of that same Starbucks and a different guy, (who looked a lot younger than me) was walking to his car and kept turning around and smiling at me. I swear I’m not making this up. Click here to read the rest of the article in Sun-Times Media local. Wait till you #7! Plus, lipstick tips from a professional makeup artist!




Divorce Advice: Just Because It’s Officially Final Doesn’t Mean it’s Final

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in coping with divorce, divorce advice


divorce advice

The e-mail below made me want to cry. I feel terrible for this young woman seeking divorce advice, obviously devastated by her upcoming divorce being finalized.
Hi Jackie, I am 26 years old and my husband left me a few months ago. We were
separated for 2 months (his decision not mine) and during those two months
he gave me the impression that we were working on building our marriage. He
even said there was hope when I asked him what his intentions are with the
separation. Long story short, he decided to move forward with the divorce.

He filed and I signed the papers. But this entire and for these past
months, I have called him regularly in tears begging him to change his
mind. Our court date is this coming week and I am devastated. I do not want
this divorce at all. I can’t believe this is happening. I don’t plan on
going to the court, because I am not contesting anything. But I so badly
want him to change his mind.

 I have called him this past week asking him to reconsider and all he tells me is that we have to move forward with the divorce for us to ever have a chance of getting back together. He keeps telling me that each of us needs to work on ourselves and that he would reach out to me every few weeks and that if he is able to overlook the pain he is in, then maybe we can “date” again. I told him that he knows I want the marriage to work and that any little hope he gives me is making me hold on. He said he is making no promises but that he can’t ask me to wait, that it is my choice.

Jackie, I am so sad. I try to keep myself busy, travel, go to the gym, eat
well, work on myself spiritually but I am so sad, all the time. I don’t
want to be with anyone else. I don’t want to date again. I don’t want to go
through this. I want my husband. I want my marriage. I feel like I
am not worth fighting for. It hurts so much to know he would rather divorce
me than be with me. I don’t think I am a bad person, nor were our marital
problems as awful as he made them seem. I am devastated and don’t know what
to do.

My divorce advice to her:


Since I received this e-mail a few weeks ago (sorry it took so long for me to respond!) I am sure you are officially divorced by now. And since I know you didn’t want that, I will say to you, I’m sorry. I’m sure you are in a lot of pain.

But, I wanted to share my thoughts with you regarding your divorce being “final.” Yes, you are officially divorced. You have a decree stating that you are no longer husband and wife. BUT, that doesn’t mean you will never get back together. Who cares about a piece of paper?

Women often say to me, “I would never date a guy who isn’t officially divorced,” and I wonder why. Someone can be separated and 100% sure they aren’t getting back together, but they are still in the divorce process. They might still even be living in the same house. On the flip side, there could be a couple who IS officially divorced, who could decide the divorce was a mistake, and end up getting back together. My point is, a legal document doesn’t have precedence over what’s in a person’s heart. So, the fact that you are officially divorced means nothing, as far as the potential of getting back together.

That said, I worry about you because your ex seems checked out. I’m sorry to be blunt, but as an outsider, that is how it appears to me. It hurts me to have to say this to you but I think it is time for you to let go. Stop reaching out to him and live life like he isn’t coming back. Don’t call him or text or email. Let him come to you, and make it known that if he does, you are willing to talk, but that’s it. No more trying to persuade him to get back together.

I have no idea why you got divorced, but in any case, I don’t feel a person should have to continually beg their spouse not to get divorced. Both people really have to want it to work out. Maybe he will, maybe he wont, but for now, he doesn’t.

Here’s the good news. You have so many things going for you! First, you are only 26 years old. Please read my blog on divorce advice for a younger woman with no kids. It applies to you.

Also, the fact that you are saying, “I try to keep myself busy, travel, go to the gym, eat well, work on myself spiritually,” speaks volumes about the kind of person you are! You are going to be just fine, whether you reconcile with your ex-husband or whether you go on to meet someone new who becomes the love of your life.

You probably don’t want to hear that right now and if you want to tell me to butt out, I get it. It’s ok. But I know what I’m talking about from what I’ve seen, which is countless brokenhearted women (and men) who didn’t want the divorce and then ended up with someone else, and 100 times happier than they ever thought they would be.

Just give it time and let life play itself out. Big hugs and best of luck.



10 Single Mom Dating Tips

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in dating, dating after divorce, Single mom


single mom dating tips

Below is an email I received from a woman seeking advice. Her concern is that if she starts dating, her ex is going to badmouth her to the guys. I decided to give her advice by writing “10 Single Mom Dating Tips.”

Jackie, I’m wondering if you can write about dating as a single mom when your ex is especially difficult.  In any divorce, when you think about dating again, you get overwhelmed, but what if you add to that worries about your ex actually trying to sabotage any attempt to move on, just to “get even”?

 What if your ex has called all your family members, friends, even your new job, just to try to discredit you? Surely a new boyfriend would get that same treatment, or worse…

My ex is a narcissist and very difficult. I’ve set firm limits, we hardly
talk, and I have a great attorney. But I worry about meeting someone amazing and them running away because of my ex and his need to control everything (still). I know I’m not alone, because many women leave narcissist husbands. Can you write about this?


10 Single Mom Dating Tips


1. Make sure the guy knows you are a single mom. In other words, don’t try to keep it a secret. A friend of mine met a woman he fell head over heels for. It always bothered me that she didn’t tell him she had two young kids until the 3rd or 4th date. Why was she trying to hide her children instead of taking pride in her two most beloved human beings? That really showed her colors, in my opinion. Was she insecure and afraid he wouldn’t want to go out with her? In other words, she felt she had to sell herself and then “break it to him” that she had kids. That disgusts me. The girl turned out to be a complete nightmare, liar and cheater, and it didn’t work out, anyhow. But, my friend did not care AT ALL that she had kids. In fact, he liked it.

2. Single mom attire and dating attire are totally different. If you feel like saying, “Jackie, please don’t insult us, we know how to dress for a date,” then I apologize.But, true story. A single mom I know came to a party I was at dressed in yoga pants and a t-shirt, her hair in a ponytail and no makeup. And this is a woman who really wants to meet someone. In other words, she wasn’t just there to see her girlfriends. When getting ready for a date, keep in mind that even though you are a great mom, tonight you are an attractive, feminine, sexy woman, and your goal is to feel as pretty as you can.

 3. Know when to stop talking about your kids. I could go on and on about what a great basketball player my 13 year old son is, or how cute my 11 year-old daughter’s smile is, and think nothing of it. But know when enough is enough. A date is about getting to know each other, so try to focus on asking the guy questions about himself and his life and sharing information about yourself. I do get it that kids are a huge part of a single mom’s life, but just remember that there’s a lot more to you than being a mom. Where did you go to college? What do you love about your career? What are your dreams? What’s your favorite ice-cream flavor?

4. Be honest and upfront about why you got divorced. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you need to have “a story.” Not a made up story, just a good answer for the question your date will surely ask: “Why did you get divorced?” A bad answer is, “Because my ex is a total asshole.” Just be honest, but leave out details that will make you seem angry or bitter, or that you have the victim mentality.

 5. Don’t badmouth your ex or talk about things he did or is doing that bug you. That will turn off your date and you will most likely never hear from him again. If you want to complain about your ex, call your girlfriends, tell your therapist or journal your feelings.

 6. Don’t introduce him to your kids too soon. Just because you are head over heels with your new guy, doesn’t mean your kids are going to be. This is where not being selfish has to come into play. Enjoy the new relationship for yourself and give your kids a break. They will meet him eventually, if you end up getting serious. Your kids will have such a better reaction if you wait a little while.

 7. Have faith in your new guy, regardless of what he might be hearing around town or from your ex. When I hear a guy bitching about his ex-wife, I kind of roll my eyes, and chances are, that’s exactly what your guy will probably do, should your ex try to “warn” him of getting involved with you. It’s totally out of your control. It’s your word against your ex’s. So, if your guy really loves you, he is going to take your side and decide for himself about you and your character. Have faith!

 8. Don’t constantly talk about how hard it is being a single mom. It is hard. I know that. And, chances are, if your date is a single dad, he knows that, too. So, no need to talk about how you were carpooling all night, or that you are working two jobs, or that your ex rarely sees the kids. Single moms are rarely validated. So, don’t expect to hear how great you are from anyone.Know in your heart how great you are. That should be enough.

 9. Take it slow. If your date thinks you are interviewing him for husband number two, he is going to run away really fast.

 10. Enjoy yourself. Dating is supposed to be fun, so don’t put pressure on yourself that it has to work out. Every date, every guy you meet will add something to your life, hopefully something good, whether it works out or not. So, just go in with that attitude and you can’t lose!



Erectile Dysfunction: A Relationship Issue No One Wants to Talk About

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in Marriage advice, relationships after divorce, Second marriage, Sex

erectile dysfunction     erectile dysfunction

In this week’s Love Essentially column, published today in Sun-Times Media local publications, I decided to address a sensitive topic: Erectile Dysfunction. Why am I posting it on a divorce website? One, for those currently in a relationship or in a second marriage, or perhaps for men and women to reflect back on an issue in their marriage that might have been smaller had they gotten help.

A Relationship Issue No One Wants to Talk About by Jackie Pilossoph

A typical girl’s night out consists of wine, appetizers and lots of talk about dating, relationships and yes, sex. As for what goes on when guys get together to watch football or play poker, I can’t say firsthand.

What I can guarantee is this: There is a subject that neither group dares to discuss, yet it’s an issue that studies show one in two men will experience in their 50s and 60s, which affects spouses as well — erectile dysfunction.

Upon deciding to write about this delicate issue, I reached out to Jeffrey Albaugh, Ph.D. and advanced practice registered nurse, who is the director of sexual health for NorthShore University HealthSystem. Albaugh said despite the common occurrence of ED, no one wants to talk about it.

Sex is everywhere, but sexual dysfunction is something that is embarrassing, upsetting and devastating,” said Albaugh, who has worked with patients suffering from sexual dysfunction for more than 20 years. “There’s so much stigma attached to it, and that’s not how it’s supposed to be according to the media.”

Albaugh said erectile dysfunction usually begins when men start to age, and it is commonly a comorbid condition caused by diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other issues that impact blood flow or nerve condition.

He said oftentimes, the reason couples don’t seek medical help for ED is because of embarrassment.

“Many patients break into tears in my office because they are so relieved there are treatment options and that they are finally going to get help,” Albaugh said.

Albaugh explained that possible treatments include PDE5 inhibitors, such as Viagra, Cialis or Levitra, but it’s not as simple as popping a pill. He said patients need to be educated on using the medication to maximize its potential and minimize risks.

Other erectile dysfunction treatment options include Korean Red Ginseng, vacuum constriction devices, urethral suppositories, penile injection therapy or surgery.

Albaugh said 80 percent to 90 percent of patients experiencing ED have an underlying physical cause, which means overall better health can prevent or improve the condition.

“Lifestyle choices and living really healthy in terms of diet, exercise, weight control, nonsmoking, minimizing alcohol are all essential,” he said. “If you think about it, cardiovascular health is all about blood flow, which is required for an erection.”

Here’s where things get complicated. Click here to read the rest of the article in Sun-Times Media local.



Divorce Advice: Common Mistakes People Make

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in divorce advice, divorce process, newly separated


Divorce Advice

Andrea Muchin, Divorce Attorney and Partner at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck

Divorce Attorney, Andrea Muchin has seen a lot in the world of divorce, which isn’t surprising, given the fact she’s been in the field for 25 years!

I sat down with Muchin and asked her for divorce advice for my readers, specifically wanting to know, “What mistakes do you see clients make?”

Here is Muchin’s helpful guest post.

Mistakes People Make While Going Through Divorce by Andrea Muchin


Having practiced divorce law for approximately 25 years I feel I have a perspective on the issues that many people face while going through a divorce. Although each person’s case is unique, there are certain mistakes I see people make over and over again. While these seem obvious to me, most people going through a divorce for the first time do not have any perspective on why certain things may be problematic.

The following is my list of some common mistakes I see people make while going through the process and why:

1. Using your divorce attorney as a therapist.

First, this is very expensive. Most divorce lawyers charge hourly for their time and it adds up very quickly. Moreover, while I may have been personally drawn to becoming a divorce lawyer because of the therapist type relationship some attorneys have with their clients, I have no formal training and I am likely not the most qualified person to get my clients through this very emotional time. Therefore, I encourage almost every client I have to find a good therapist. Not only does it help them get through this difficult period, but usually it is cost effective.

2. Overusing written communications.

Today, emails and texts are they way many people communicate with each other. When a spouse (or soon to be former spouse) asks for something, it is much easier to instantly respond, which is oftentimes preferable to having a live conversation. Unfortunately, however, these communications can read and sound different than they were intended, and are sometimes misinterpreted or taken out of context.

First, people going through a divorce must realize that any written communication between parties can be attached to a pleading or document. Although when it was written it may not have seemed like a big deal, when attached to a pleading or read out loud to you while on the witness stand, all of a sudden the seemingly innocuous text or email is now a big deal.

In any case where there is a disputed issue concerning children, I strongly suggest that people refrain from texting and emailing except when absolutely necessary. I frequently ask my clients to send me their emails first, both because I can offer an outside perspective as to how the written communication may be perceived and because with the inherent delay, they may no longer feel the urge to send it.

Finally, never read an email as an isolated event. Keep in mind that there is usually a prior and subsequent email and unless you have read the whole trail, the communication may be a misrepresentation. Even when the issue is seemingly simple, people in the midst of a dispute should be extremely cautious when emailing and texting.

3. Making decisions when angry

Many people are angry when they begin the divorce process. While there may not be a right time, this is absolutely the wrong time to make a long term decision. For instance, even though your spouse may infuriate you, withholding parenting time is not necessarily a good decision for you or your children. Moreover, once the anger subsides, having a night or weekend off may be a plus. Another example might occur when you feel the urge to air your spouse’s dirty laundry to his or her co-workers. At the time, it may seem like a good way to let off steam or get back at them. However, this could have a negative impact on their professional status and, in the long run, could adversely affect their ability to earn an income. When people are angry, I encourage them to slow down and not make any life changing decisions. Divorce is a process and once you are not embroiled in anger, better decisions are made that will last for the long term.

4. Not doing something merely because it may be bad for the divorce

A classic example of this situation occurs when the standard advice told to a parent going through a divorce is not to move out of the marital home under any circumstances. However, if the home is filled with tension and hostility, this advice is not necessarily good for the parent or their children. When people ask me whether or not they should move out, assuming they can afford to do so, I often inquire whether or not it will be personally good for them or their family. If the answer to either is yes, I sometimes encourage it.

Another classic example is when a non-income earning spouse is told not to look for or accept a job during the divorce because it may hurt their support chances. Sometimes, however, the perfect job opportunity arises. When this occurs, I ask them if this opportunity will make them feel better or get them out of their rut. If so, I sometimes advise people to go for it. In most instances, the good outweighs the risk and the price may well be worth it.

5. Getting remarried without a prenup

When I first started practicing in this area, I thought many people did not need a prenup and a good estate plan could protect them. While that may still be the case, in second marriages I usually think it is helpful to have a prenup. After surviving a divorce, the last thing you need to worry about when you remarry is having to repeat the process. Unfortunately, some people look at the prenup as a way to take advantage of their spouse, which I do not endorse. Assuming that is not the case, however, a thoughtful prenup, designed to protect and not penalize and looked at with an eye towards both parties, is usually a benefit. This way, both parties can start their new marriage with an open mind and educated slate.

Andrea Muchin is a Partner at the law firm, Schiller DuCanto & Fleck, where she has worked for over two decades. A graduate of Boston University Law School, Muchin resolves cases both through settlement and litigation. Muchin also specializes in pre and post nuptial agreements. Learn more:


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