Author Archive

A Fond Farewell

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,JDate

For all of you have been readers, questioners, and part of JDate, I would like to take this opportunity to bid all of you a fond farewell.

It has been a pleasure being a part of the JBlog. I have enjoyed every minute of it! Thank you for all of your questions and comments, it was always a pleasure.

Keep in mind when venturing out into the dating world your happiness is of the utmost importance.  Don’t settle for anything less than any of you deserve! I wish you all luck in your dating experiences and hope all of you find exactly what it is you are looking for.

Until we meet again.

Signed,

Gems from Jen

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Younger Men

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,Online Dating,Relationships

Dear Gems from Jen,

Is it ok to date a much younger man? Two women in my office are married to men that are at least ten years their junior. What do you think?

Dear Younger Men,

It all depends upon what you are comfortable with. I know for me I would want to spend my time with someone who understands the cultural references from my generation. However, what works for one person does not necessarily mean it will work for the next person.  The most important part of any relationship is compatibility. If your co-workers are happy and compatible with their husbands then I say more power to them!  As long as the people involved are comfortable, then no, there is nothing wrong with it.

Signed,

Gems from Jen

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Friendship to More

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,Relationships

Dear Gems from Jen,

I am coming out of an almost 24 year marriage. My husband decided he did not want me/this marriage any longer, Ouch! Anyway, I am beginning to heal. I met a man through online dating and he has been in and out of relationships for awhile, nothing has stuck. We are keeping this at a friendship level so far. He knows I am not ready to give my heart and I want to be aware not to rebound. But, we went out the other night and I wanted to kiss him, but he gently told me no and I respected this. I have never had a real male friend. I am struggling with being attracted to him and wanting to kiss and hold and be held without ruining this friendship we are trying to build.  I am lonely and I am craving being held and kissed and wanted. I can’t tell if he is attracted to me this way or not. It feels like he is and he is respecting our friendship first unless I am totally hallucinating?!

What do I do?

Dear Friendship to More,

It sounds to me as if you might be a bit confused about what it is you are really looking for. On one hand you appear to be enjoying this friendship and on the other you seem to be craving physical intimacy. You are going to need to figure out what it is you truly want from this man.  Is it friendship or romance? Take some time to think about this question. Once you cross the friendship line there is no turning back. Take your time, there is no rush. It appears as if he is respectful of your friendship, so while you are thinking about what it is you really want, enjoy having a new friend!

Signed,

Gems from Jen


Introductions

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Dear Gems from Jen,

At what point does one introduce their new romance to their son?

Dear Introductions,

You haven’t given me a lot to go on here, but I’ll give it a shot.  How old is your son?  Where is your son’s other parent?  How long have you been dating this person? Are you in a serious committed relationship?   What does your son know about your dating life?

These are just some of the questions you will need to ask yourself before making this decision.  Bringing romantic partners in and out a child’s life can create unnecessary damage to the child.  I always suggest to parents in this situation that before an introduction is made there is only one partner and it is a committed relationship.  If you are serious and monogamous with this other person and they are aware that your son and you are a package deal then my best suggestion is to go ahead and introduce your son to your partner.  Please make sure that your partner is in it for the long haul and your son is aware the new person is not replacing the other parent.

Signed,

Gems from Jen


J-Messaging

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,JDate,Online Dating

Dear Gems from Jen,

How do I get somebody who got my attention to answer my messages since no matter how many Flirts or e-cards I sent him, he would not respond?

I can see that he is still single as he in online every day.

Dear J-Messaging,

Sometimes one can over-do things.  It sounds to me as if you are chasing someone who is probably not interested.  If you have sent e-mails and Flirts and still have not received a response, my best guess is this particular person is just not looking to get to know you better.

Take this as a sign to move on to other profiles. Don’t waste your time and energy on this guy any longer.  I’m pretty sure there are a bunch of other guys on JDate looking to get to know someone like yourself. Spend your time emailing and flirting with people who are willing to respond. Good luck!

Signed,

Gems from Jen


The Magic Age

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,Single Life

What is your magic age? I was speaking with an old friend’s daughter who has been dating the same guy for about 4 years now.  She is about to be 22 and he is approaching 24.  During our conversation she mentioned that 24 is the magic number.  Perplexed, I asked, “What is a magic number and the significance?” She replied, “24 is the age you are supposed to settle down, find a career, own a home, and start planning a family. “ I cannot imagine in my wildest dreams even considering any of those possibilities when I was the ripe old age of 24!  Nope, those thoughts were not even a part of my remote thinking. Now, 30 I must admit was my magic number.  I was supposed to have an established career, husband, and a child on the way, home ownership, and all of the responsibilities that I believed came with adulthood.

For the record, none of these things happened, not a single one! I began to think how these beliefs can be detrimental to my friend’s daughter.  I know they were to me, so I can only imagine they must be to other people. I have decided there is no magic number.  Everything in my opinion happens when it is supposed to; when I am ready and not a minute sooner. It has been a hard realization because like most people I want what I want when I want it. However, a few years ago I made the choice to not push ideas that were out of my control.  Once I made this decision things in my life that I worked for began to come to fruition.  I know for some this may sound a bit kooky, but realizing I couldn’t control everything has really helped me to become more at ease with myself and with other people. I let go of the “supposed to” idea and my magic age, which in turn had me ease up on my own expectations of myself and others.

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Cyber-Stalking

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,Relationships,Single Life

How many times have you checked his or her Facebook? JDate Profile? Twitter? In today’s world it is incredibly easy to keep tabs on someone. Is there a benefit to doing this? Do the rewards outweigh the consequences? I have received countless emails on this very subject. I realize how tempting it can be to “spy”, but is it really worth it? Can it give us answers or set us up for suspicion and mistrust? The next time you find yourself tempted to look at someone’s cyber activity ask yourself the reasoning behind your behavior. Are you merely interested in updates or are you looking to catch the person doing something you believe they should not be doing? The cyber world is a great way to stay connected, but the pitfalls come into play when we use this means of communication as a launching pad for stalking-like behavior.


Children and Dating Etiquette

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,JDate,Online Dating

Dear Gems from Jen,

I am just starting to date again and I have a daughter who is a year old.  I have no idea about proper etiquette while dating with kids.  When do you tell them?  What do you say?  When do you introduce?  I am so lost.  Please help me!

Dear Children and Dating Etiquette,

It is very important you disclose your role as a mother from the very beginning. I cannot imagine dating someone and being left in the dark about the presence of a child. Be honest. Your daughter and you are a package deal.  Anyone who you would like to get to know better deserves to know about such an important facet of your life.
All you have to say is you are the proud mother of a beautiful daughter. Let your dates know how important she is to you and what, if any role, her father plays in her life. As for introducing someone to your daughter wait until things get more serious. You don’t want to confuse your daughter or have a stream of dates coming in and out of her life.
Update your JDate profile and let potential suitors know who you are, including your daughter’s role in your life. As long as you remain honest and protect your daughter from meeting every person you have a first date feeling lost will no longer be an option for you.

Signed,

Gems from Jen


He Wants Kids

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,Relationships

Dear Gems from Jen,

I met a guy on JDate a few months ago. He is nearly 50 and never married. His profile said that he wanted to have kids.

I have kids and don’t want more. I asked him if he wants kids and he said he didn’t know. Well, as we got more intimate, I asked where the relationship was going. He asked if we need to put a label on it. I told him I was looking for a monogamous relationship. Then he said he thinks he wants kids, so I said I couldn’t date him since it is past my time to have them.  He said okay and we stopped seeing each other. Well, he called and we ended up seeing each other again. I don’t know what to make of this. We get along so well. I don’t know if I should go along with it and see what happens or just stop.

Dear He Wants Kids,

It sounds as if you are both sending one another mixed messages. It seems as if he is unsure about what it is he wants and the same goes for you. You know there is no possibility of having more children and it isn’t something you want.  However, you have chosen to date this man even though you know the two of you are on different pages. How did you feel when he said he didn’t want to put a label on the relationship? You want monogamy; he doesn’t. He appears to want more children; you don’t.

I understand how exciting it can be when two people really hit it off, but this relationship seems as if there are two people who want very different things. If you are willing to have a casual fling with this guy then go for it.  However, if monogamy is what you want, I invite you to take a step back and look at what it is you are sacrificing because you are getting along well with someone. Keep in mind also that his desire for children will in all likelihood outweigh this relationship. Unless the two of you are both willing to give up your own wants and needs this particular match seems unlikely to have any longevity.

Signed,

Gems from Jen

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Time-out

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,Relationships

Working with kids during the early part of my career I learned the “time-out” technique.  Whenever a child did something that was unacceptable, against the rules, or threw some sort of tantrum, I would use the time-out intervention. I would remove the child from the larger group, have him/her sit out for a few minutes, and then I would discuss the issue with the child.  Ordinarily an apology from the child would follow and all of us would continue on with our day.

Once I became a therapist I began to re-think this technique. It seemed so overly used. It was the trendy thing to do when a child misbehaved. But, was it really the right thing to do? I began to recall my days as a teacher and realized the time-out was inevitably for my own sanity. The children quickly learned all that was needed to return to the larger group was a smile, an apology, and an “I will never do it again,” statement.  Did the children ever really learn anything from the time-out lessons? My guess is no, but it kept me from pulling every last hair out of my head.

When I began to work with couples I again began to re-think this simple technique. Can a time-out work within a relationship? Can two people who care about one another take time-outs in order to re-group, re-focus, and see the other person’s perspective? Absolutely! What didn’t work so well as learning experiences for children (in my opinion) does seem to work really well as learning experiences for adults. Next time you are about to battle with that important person in your life, remember the time-out technique.  Walk away for a few moments.  Gather your thoughts.  Remind yourself that your relationship is not about winning; it is about caring, compassion, and intimacy. Everyone disagrees and before things get really heated take a time-out.  If the kids can do it so can you, and you might learn something about yourself and your partner in the process.