Kathryn's Blog: Beware! Bad Stories, Bad Advice

DNA Matching to find your True Love?  Sounds bogus to me…

This sounds SO ridiculous to me: Getting matched based on your DNA?  Come on,now, folks.  What does your DNA have to do with love and attraction and long-term relationships?  Don’t get sucked into this one. 

From the Washington Post:

Ok, We Have Our First DNA-Based Dating Service: GenePartner

Tuesday, July 22, 2008; 1:48 AM

It was only a matter of time before someone launched a dating site that looks for potential matches based on DNA compatibility. That time is apparently today with the launch of GenePartner (ok, it’s not the first, but it’s the cheapest).

The Switzerland-based company says they can use a $199 DNA test (compare to $1,000 for 23andMe) to help you find your perfect match, statistically speaking. They’ve analyzed “hundreds of couples” and have determined the genetic patterns found in successful relationships. Based on their algorithm and your DNA, they’ll determine the probability for a satisfying and long-lasting relationship between two people (color me skeptical).

What about romance? Chemistry? That certain je ne sais quoi when you meet someone and get a tingling sensation in your stomach? Forget it. The future of dating is DNA tests and buccal swabs, so get used to it:

A brush for collecting your DNA sample from your saliva ? called a buccal swab kit ? will be sent to your address. Following the simple instructions included with the kit you will gently collect the DNA from the inside of your cheek. Use the addressed envelope supplied for returning the brushes.

GenePartner is looking to partner with dating sites and have those services encourage users to see if they’re a DNA match.

Will they be able to avoid tough emerging U.S. laws around genetic testing? Well, they’re in Switzerland. My guess is they’re not going to be too worried about California and other state laws prohibiting their service.

From the Roanoke Times:

What your DNA can (and can’t) tell you about you

Mehmet and Mike are happily married. No, not to each other. To two wonderful ladies (one each, of course). But if they weren’t and they lived, say, near Boston, a peculiar dating service might arouse their curiosity.

For $1,995.95, a company called ScientificMatch.-com claims that if you crack open its special kit, rub a cotton swab on the insides of your cheeks and ship the swab to its lab, that the company will use the DNA it collects to find your soul mate.

The company examines the genes that relate to your immune system—technically, the genes in your major histocompatibility complex—to match you with another member of the dating service who has a very different MHC makeup.

Studies suggest that people are more likely to feel that romantic lightning-in-a-bottle called “chemistry” when they have genetically dissimilar immune systems. (One theory suggests that blending diverse genes gives children stronger immune systems, so it’s an evolutionary advantage.)

This matchmaking venture is just one of dozens of consumer-based genetic testing services that have popped up in recent years. Many others promise to look into your DNA and tell you whether you’re susceptible to certain medical disorders. For about $1,000 and up (not covered by health insurance), services such as 23andMe, Navigenics, Genelex, deCODE Genetics and others will scan your DNA for gene markers linked to heart disease, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, certain cancers and more. Other tests claim to identify nutritional deficiencies and then provide diet advice.

Beyond these pricey services, many over-the-counter DNA test kits are now sold in drugstores for as little as $30. Send in your swab and, for an additional $200 and up, they’ll test your DNA for markers of lupus, sickle cell anemia, depression, glaucoma, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, high blood iron ... the list goes on.

Are they legitimate? In the case of romantic bliss, we have seen the studies linking diverse MHC with sexual attraction in animals and humans.

But we also know that these limited studies—like nearly all research involving genetic testing—probably reveal only a tiny part of a complex process that nobody truly understands yet. So we’d take any advice from ScientificMatch.com (or any other personal DNA-mapping or -matching service) with a grain of salt the size of a Volkswagen.

Gene testing is an amazing tool. Mapping the human genome has yielded powerful new weapons against cancers of the breast, ovaries, colon, prostate and others.

In fact, we have colleagues who refer people for testing for the BRCA 1 and 2 breast-cancer genes every week. For adopted children, gene testing may be the only way to acquire valuable medical information. These tests are conducted by certified laboratories and interpreted by physicians who can help patients decipher and use the findings.

Also, while research has identified genes that contribute to about 1,400 diseases or disorders, so far most of these provide only preliminary clues. And with certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, genetic mutations don’t always mean you’ll get a disease. So you really need a counselor help you interpret the results.

The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate the quality of the counseling you get after using one of these consumer DNA tests. These kits could give you helpful information, or leave you feeling falsely safe or needlessly scared. Before trying one, start with these steps:

n Thoroughly discuss your family medical history with your doctor, going back to your grandparents. This can yield vital information. Counselors should ask for this history; if they don’t, you need a different laboratory and counselor.

n If you decide to go ahead, be sure that the company keeps your test results confidential. A recent federal law prohibits job or health insurance discrimination based on genetic tests, but we’re still in uncharted legal territory.

n Review the test results with your doctor or a certified genetic counselor (ask your doc for a referral), not just a rep from the testing company, especially before buying pricey supplements or additional services.

Comment on posting on OnlinePersonalsWatch:

When you take a healthy objective and critical look at these claims of “chemistry” related to DNA matching, one quickly realizes that there’s nothing substantive there to back them up. In fact, some companies have no grasp of the very research they tout to justify their methods.

However, my team has volunteered pro bono to conduct a real-world test of at least one company’s claims. The double-blind experiment would then be submitted for academic publication. It’s disappointing, but not that surprising, that this particular company desperately avoided this offer.

Interested reporters are encouraged to contact me for full details.

As an industry insider and respected compatibility researcher, my professional opinion is that consumers should stay away from DNA dating (and save money on these costly services) until real-world validation studies on their services prove they actually predict relationship quality.


James Houran, Ph.D.


eHarmony’s Big BooBoo

eHarmony has an advice section, pretty standard for the most part, but recently the boss was snoozing and a doozy of an article got sent out.  eHarmony actually ended up retracting the story pronto and issued an apology.  Here it is:

A Note from the Publisher

Last week, the eHarmony Advice site published a column called “Navigating the One-Night Stand” that was also included in the eHarmony email newsletter which reached many regular readers of our Advice site. The advice contained in this column was completely inconsistent with our editorial guidelines and the relationship service that we offer to our members. The day after sending the e-mail newsletter, I was made aware of the column and it was immediately removed from our site.

eHarmony is committed to helping its members find highly compatible, long-term relationships and I regret that the inappropriate content and tone of the column could lead our members to believe that we were not interested in their long-term relationship success. For nearly a decade, eHarmony has served its members very effectively by delivering matches that have resulted in tens of thousands of marriages. We apologize to anyone who read the column and found it inappropriate.

You deserve and expect the best from eHarmony and we are dedicated to providing information that resonates with our diverse, vibrant, and thriving community. Please be assured that we are immediately upgrading our editorial review process and are also reviewing our existing content to make sure that it is consistent with the interests of our members.

Stan Holt (bio) ( )
Vice President, Publishing

And here’s the offending piece, which took some sleuthing to uncover (pun intended):

“Navigating the One Night Stand”

So you’re a swinging single and you’ve had a one-night stand.  What’s the etiquette for establishing boundaries, calling the day after and getting out without hurting feelings?

While most of us are looking for that special someone to spend our lives with, the single life dictates that sometimes the opportunity for companionship presents itself in the form of a one-night stand.  While a one-time roll in the hay isn’t exactly emotionally fulfilling, sex in any form can be relaxing, enjoyable, and fun.

So maybe it’s closing time and you haven’t found Mr. or Ms. Right.  If you are up for it, you can enjoy a romp with Mr. or Ms. Right-for-the-night. But when you find yourself in a position to get lucky, you should heed a few rendezvous rules to ensure a seamless one-night-only performance.

Be Up Front
As consenting adults, it’s absolutely fine for both of you to do what makes you happy.  The key is to make your intentions clear with your date and call it what it is: sex with no strings attached.  Once both of you have appropriate expectations, you can appreciate the spontaneous lovin’ for what it’s worth.

Do the Safety Dance
Keep a cell phone with you, and if you can, tell your friends where you will be and your date’s name.  Further, always use protection. Without the risk of sounding like a high school health teacher, protect yourself from STDs and pregnancy every single time to avoid lingering consequences.

Don’t Spend the Night
Unless invited, don’t sleep over.  Snoozing together is too official, and it should be reserved for an established relationship.  Gather up your belongings and make a respectful exit.  Don’t try to leave a trail of personal “bread crumbs,” such as a wallet, a purse—or, worse, your unmentionables—as a gateway for a second meeting.  Hanging around implies desperation, pegging you as the sad Clingy Clarissa or Hopeless Harry.

Don’t Call
One-nighters need not call or check up on the whereabouts of the person they shared the evening with. Acting as if your near-anonymous night of passion was a first date will just confuse sex with love.

Keep Your Mouth Shut
Don’t crow about your conquest or the amazing time you had with this lover to your friends like an adolescent.
One-night stands might solicit spontaneity and liberation, but you ought to know enough not to participate in short affairs unless you are capable of the detachment they require.

If you have the ability to live in the moment and not demand a long-term relationship afterward, then you are golden.


Get out your Yick Meter - This one is a doozy!

Eeeyuck, is the following creepy or what?  I’ve written about Ashley Madison before, and about the only value I can see of a bottom dragging site like this is that it stands a chance of the married folks (mostly men) wanting to fool around going here rather than the legit sites for singles.  And if you doubt the numbers of men on these sites, take a look at this piece I wrote.

Adultery gets a woman’s touch this Valentine’s Day...

Infidelity Dating Site AshleyMadison.com Names Spokeswoman

TORONTO, Feb. 7 /CNW/ - Avid Dating Life Inc., operators of
http://www.AshleyMadison.com, the world’s largest dating service of its kind,
servicing over 1.8 million registered members in a social networking community
catering to like-minded adults in committed relationships, today announced
Sarah Symonds as their new spokesperson and relationship expert. Notorious
“other woman” and “affair expert” Symonds’ first duty as spokeswoman for the
infidelity dating site AshleyMadison.com, is to invite attached but lovelorn
Canadians to celebrate Valentine’s Day by re-kindling their intimacies with
other attached adults in search of romance.
Symonds shot to fame last year with the release of her book Having an
Affair: A Handbook for the Other Woman, which details her own highly
publicized indiscretions, including an affair with best-selling author and
politician Jeffrey Archer. Symonds book has become the gold-standard manifesto
on how to be a “successful” mistress.
“Sarah’s mix of personal experience and practical advice for all those
involved in or considering forbidden love affairs make her the perfect choice
to be the voice of Ashley Madison,” said Noel Biderman, Avid Dating Life Inc.
President and Chief Operating Officer. “Our site provides a safe and
non-judgemental avenue for the attached-but-lovelorn to revitalize their
intimacies. Sarah’s honest and powerful views on adultery will bring insight
and understanding not only to our subscribers, but to society in general. We
are excited to have the Queen of Infidelity join the King of Infidelity and
company Founder, Darren Morgenstern, in representing our global brand.”
The announcement of Symonds’ union with Ashley Madison comes just in time
for Valentine’s Day. Now, husbands, wives and partners across the country who
are craving romance and emotional connectivity, or just hankering for some
extra-curricular excitement, are invited to enjoy Ashley Madison’s special
brand of “dating.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Ashley Madison team and my Valentine’s
gift to Canada is to help break the shell of hypocrisy that surrounds the
whole topic of adultery,” said Symonds. “People need to wake up and realize
that adultery has been going on for as long as the institution of marriage has
been around, and that services like Ashley Madison did not create the behavior
of infidelity. Instead, http://www.AshleyMadison.com provides a safe and successful
platform for those individuals who have decided to proceed down this path. The
work place and singles dating services are avenues fraught with problems that
I would strongly recommend avoiding in favor of AshleyMadison.com.”
Recently expanding its services to the UK, Ashley Madison has enjoyed
great success in North America. They have appeared as pundits and guests on
major news outlets such as CNN, FOX News, Montel Williams, 20/20, CBS Sunday
Morning, Dr. Phil, The NY Post and TMZ.com. The company has launched a series
of provocative TV commercials entitled “This Couple is Married - But Not To
Each Other” and have embarked on a billboard advertising campaign bearing the
company’s slogan, “Life is Short ... Have an Affair.”

Since its inception on February 14, 2002, the Ashley Madison Agency
Limited has been providing an online service helping attached people who are
seeking a romantic relationship connect safely and anonymously with other
like-minded adults.


Is this something to be proud of or what???

Married folks lurking around on dating sites and trying to snag the unexpected has been a concern for online dating singles.  I haven’t heard so much aobut this being a problem lately, and maybe it’s because of sites like this one and AshleyMadison.com Yeesh.  Talk about yucky—sites that enable extramarital affairs.  Well, at least they may be doing a service and giving these folks a place to go rather that the mainline dating sites.  We should be thankful.

Best, Kathryn

100,000th member looks for an extra marital affair....

IllicitEncounters.com, the world’s biggest extra marital dating website, has signed up its 100,000th UK member . A site spokesman told us “With membership soaring by a couple of thousand a week, IllicitEncounters.com is a clear indication that the 34% of married people having an affair - now choose to look for one online”. There are now more than 10,000 members in Scotland, 6,000 in Wales, 2,500 in Northern Ireland, 500 in Southern Ireland, 2,500 non-UK and the remaining 78,500 are in England.


Some Online Weddings End In Divorce? Duh!

I’m starting to see stories come out in the news about divorces and assorted romantic miseries in couples who met on Internet dating sites.  Well, duh!  Did anyone really think that couples who met on the net would somehow avoid the troubles that every other couple has in spades?  Of course not!  People who meet on the net are going to get married, some in wildly impulsive sort of ways, and a certain percentage of those folks are going to get divorced.  When upwards of 15% of couples marrying now are meeting on the web, it only stands to reason that about 15% of divorcing couple will be cyberpairings.  There is nothing magical about Internet dating that will protect you from marital misery. 

Internet-initiated marriages can head south

11:51 AM PDT on Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Press-Enterprise

In 1998, Matt Frassica was featured in People magazine as a cyberlove success story.

He had found his bride on the Internet and was among an emerging group of those who clicked their way to love.

Six years later, the Northern California resident belonged to a different group. He became a Net nuptial divorcee.
Story continues below

The common interests of long walks on the beach, homemade lasagna and a love for the romantic comedy “While You Were Sleeping” weren’t enough to make Frassica’s marriage last. Frassica realized he was gay and the dream of “happily ever after” ended.

“We really had nothing in common,” Frassica, 34, said. “Our profiles had lots of commonalities, but it didn’t go much deeper than that.”

Internet dating sites began to sprout up about 12 years ago. By 2002, it was a common way to meet a mate. An estimated 3 million Americans have found love online and married or entered a long-term relationship, the Pew Internet and American Life Project reports.

But now, area therapists and family-law attorneys say they are seeing an increasing number of cybersplits. While some swear by online dating and say they would have never found their one-and-only if not for the Net, it’s inevitable that cyberromance will also bring with it its fair share of divorces.

Fantasy World

The emerging rocky Web unions make sense given the median length of a first marriage that ends in divorce is eight years, according to a 2005 Census Bureau survey. There are no formal statistics showing if Internet marriages fare better than traditional forms of meeting, but some say the fantasies people create before meeting a match face to face can be blinding.

A 2004 Match.com study revealed 11 percent of married couples who met through its site were in love before meeting. What’s revealed online through the profile and e-mails exchanged is just enough to start the fantasy, said Orange County relationship specialist Michelle Conboy.

“They have already created this image that this person is perfect for them,” said Conboy, a marriage-family therapist. “They become so excited about the prospect of this fantasy coming true that they ignore red flags and don’t ask the right questions.”

Marriage-family therapist Randy Davis, of Corona, described it like this: “It’s like when you see the dessert plate at a restaurant and you create an idea in your head about how it’s going to taste and then when you get it you’re thinking, ‘Wait, this tastes different. It’s not what I ordered.’ “

Divorce Prevention

But dating sites are finding new ways to help make forever a reality. Some sites have hired love doctors, others boast personality tests that measure compatibility for the long haul, and a few have expanded their services to offer advice and interactive tools for married and committed couples.

For example, eHarmony.com, an online dating service that boasts 90 marriages a day, recently launched a separate Web site, eHarmony Labs, dedicated to the study of relationships. The Web site includes tools to strengthen a couple’s partnership such as a relationship checkup, a 60-question survey that identifies a relationship’s strengths and weaknesses.

Last year, eHarmony launched eHarmony Marriage, a Web site that aims to help couples achieve “stronger, healthier and happier marriages” through interactive videos, exercises and coaching. Match.com offers a program called MindFindBind, a series of online videos, workshops and exercises developed by talk-show host Dr. Phil McGraw. The program is said to help people “enjoy successes in relationships they value,” says the Web site.

BlackPlanet.com, a black social networking site, and MiGente.com, a social site for Latinos, say they are unique because couples typically stay logged on even after they have found love.

“It’s about fostering a community,” said Taryn Langer, spokeswoman for Community Connect, which owns the sites. “The ongoing dialogue between members even after they have found someone creates a support network.”

True.com offers its users a long-term-relationship compatibility test, which follows the standards of the American Psychological Association, and is designed to create lifelong matches.

“That’s what we are after, to lower the divorce rate,” said True.com founder Herb Vest. “Divorce is a real bad deal and we are working to eliminate it.”

Vest’s advice on finding a lasting match: “Take your time,” he said. “If it’s love, you have got to give Cupid time to do his work.”


But with dating sites touting marriage results and nearly promising a soul mate, it’s difficult to ignore the pressure to find Mr. or Mrs. Right, said compatibility expert and psychologist James Houran, spokesman for Online Dating Magazine.

Houran said he is a believer that online dating can create lasting relationships, but the issue is expectations.

“Online dating sites base their success on the number of marriages they create,” Houran said. “When you set people up to think they are only looking for marriage, they come in with the wrong mind-set.”

At first glimpse of what might look like forever, visions of wedding bells begin to dance in their heads. On a turbo trip to the altar, couples are often quick to relocate and make drastic life changes, Houran said.

“These advertising campaigns to find your soul mate are only feeding the fantasy and contributing to the divorce rate,” Houran said. “What they need to be saying is, ‘Put the brakes on.’ “

Exhausted from setups, short-lived romances and bar prowling, online daters are often on a mission to meet someone, Houran said.

“They are eager and looking intently and therefore are more at risk of rushing it and eventually divorcing,” Houran said.

San Bernardino lawyer Stefan Pancer said online dating has opened up “a whole new can of worms.”

Pancer recently got a call from a woman who went overseas to be with her cybersweetie. They married, but when the romance didn’t go as planned, she returned to the United States.

Now she has a husband in another country she wants to divorce, which makes the situation “difficult,” Pancer said.

“I used to see the impulsive Vegas weddings and now I am seeing this,” he said.

Lawyer Stephen Levine, of San Bernardino, has also seen his fair share of Internet splits. On one occasion, the marriage only lasted months before the couple landed in his office.

“She moved here from Idaho and after they got married they were wondering, ‘What the heck did we do?’ “ Levine said.

Palm Spring’s psychotherapist Patricia Craine’s advice: “Remember all that glitters isn’t always gold.”


ARGH! Get it right about online dating, okay?

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles like the follow one.  Clearly, the media is paying attention to the burgeoning success of online dating sites and the singles who are meeting via them.  But the paranoia!!!  “Well, yes, happy couples meet, but the DANGERS!” Gawd! 

Yes, there are dangers in online dating.  But in case you haven’t noticed, plain old tradtional dating, before the Internet and dating sites were even invented, was fraught with dangers: Without dating, there would be many fewer rapes.  And domestic violence has to start with a courtship, right?

If anything, online dating has to be safer.  People talk, and if folks heard in sufficient numbers about bad experiences via online dating, don’t you think they’d stop doing it?  See my next posting for some supporting facts and figures.

From The Daily Vidette:
Relational risks, realities of online dating
By: Amy Gorczowski
Posted: 4/2/07
A happy couple stands embracing each other on the television screen as music plays in the background. They tell their story of meeting online and describe it as the best experience ever. Is logging on a computer to find a soul mate easier than meeting in person?
“On average, each month Match.com receives news of more than 400 marriages or engagements from members of former members,” Maida Goodman, public relations coordinator for Match.com, said.
As Goodman mentioned, some couples from this count are former members, so even with this statistic, there is no guarantee that the couples in question actually met online, only that they used Match.com at one point.
“Last year alone we got word that more than 500,000 people found a relationship that changed their lives through Match.com,” Goodman said.
But what qualifies as changing a life? While online dating may bring happiness and long lasting relationships to some, it also poses a wide variety of risks.
“My first thought about online dating is that there’s a certain degree of risk,” Lisa Rutherford, a licensed clinical social worker for Chapin and Russell Associates in Peoria, said. “You don’t really know the person that you might come into contact with and nothing they have told you is necessarily true.”
In addition, it is important to realize the age difference in any potential online relationship. Pursuing a relationship through an online program too early may increase risk for future relationships.
“Our program targets people who are 21 and older, but there are some college aged students involved,” Goodman said.
“According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 90 million single people in the United States older than 18. Of those 90 million, 60 million are online and 33 million are open to pursuing an online relationship.”
Although millions of people are willing to be in an online relationship, one cannot help but wonder what type of people these programs attract.
“As a counselor, one of the risks is getting involved with someone and having that person be sick,” Rutherford said. “If that person has significant relationship issues to begin with, that may rub off on the other person involved.”
Rutherford went on to emphasize that if one is involved in a traumatic relationship at some point, it can certainly effect future relationships. She stressed that problems created in early relationships can trigger similar, even identical, problems in future relationships. Still, online dating sites advocate such ideas and even promote them as better than traditional dating.
“Couples who meet online can potentially have a higher success rate or longevity than ‘offline’ couples,” Goodman said.
“Of the people I have seen who have used such programs, there seems to be a pattern of a risk of multiple rejections.” Rutherford said. “If you use online dating, you’re really setting yourself up to experience a lot more rejections that if you were to not use it.”
Apparently, the public is not interested in this fact, as more and more people are joining sites such as Match.com every day.

“More than 60,000 new people register on Match.com every day,” Goodman said. “They join the millions of people who know that Match.com is simply a better way to find love.”

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Fake Dating Experts?

I can’t believe it.  Not only is lying by singles a big problem, now we have lying by people/websites purporting to be dating experts.  See the article below from “The Globe And Mail.”

Rest assured that this “dating expert"-- me—is very real.  I give interviews, as well as copious proof that I do indeed exist and know what I am talking about.  Just see my website.

Best, Kathryn

Beware the mysterious online dating guru


May 12, 2007

Paige Parker and Christian Carter are my new best friends. They e-mail me every day, mainly about boys. Specifically, problems with boys. Boys who don’t call and boys who can’t commit and boys who withdraw emotionally when the going gets tough. Boys who just want sex and boys who don’t want sex and boys who say they adore you, offer to take you away for the weekend and then turn out to be two-timing slop buckets.

Paige and Christian know all my “issues,” and tell me they’re caused by low self-esteem, a fear of abandonment and an inability to treat myself the way I wish others would treat me. They say all I need to do is learn how to become the confident, independent bombshell I was born to be, and communicate with men in a language they understand (which is not, apparently, standard English). I’m not sure how they know all this, but they do. Which is weird since I’ve never even met them. All I did, actually, was log onto their websites.

Okay, the truth is Paige Parker and Christian Carter are not my friends. They might not even be real people. For all I know, they could be the same person. Or a dozen people. They could be an 11-year-old in a basement in Sausalito.

What they are - and this is for certain - is part of a trend of mysterious online dating gurus who are fast unfurling their viral marketing tendrils and excreting a new kind of snake oil to (who else?) the sad, lonely and desperate. And, as of last week, me.

After checking out Paige Parker’s site DatingWithoutDrama.com, downloading Christian Carter’s cringe-inducingly named e-book How To Catch Him and Keep Him, and receiving daily e-mails with subject headings such as “Why men leave after the ‘Honeymoon’ is over” and “What your feelings are telling him,” I came to the conclusion that their advice wasn’t so bad. Silly, yes. Worthless, possibly. But good entertainment when you’re waiting for the streetcar.

That’s the genius of it, after all. A savvy, professional gal like me wouldn’t go out and buy this kind of pathetic self-help - but skimming a free e-mail on “the top 10 Love mistakes women make with men” while waiting for your friend to show up at the restaurant, now where’s the harm in that?

Things got weird, however, when I decided, quite innocently, to contact these alliteratively named experts to find out a bit more about them. Neither of the websites lists any credentials, contact address or biographical information. This creeps me out. Don’t I deserve to know a few things about the “friends” who are e-mailing me about my personal life every single day?

After much back-and-forth with auto-reply functions, I managed to get in contact with Brad Lensing, a man who says he works with Christian Carter. His response to my interview request was blunt: “Thank you for your interest in Christian’s e-book. Christian currently does not do any interviews, but most likely will be in the future. Sorry that we cannot be of more help for your current article.” When I e-mailed back requesting sales numbers, dates, or even a short bio, I was greeted with radio silence.

Paige Parker was only slightly more forthcoming. While she declined a phone interview on the grounds that she was “just about to travel” (um, it’s called a cellphone), she was happy to engage in an e-mail correspondence. We chatted a lot about her philosophy, but when it came to the details of her personal and professional life she was circumspect. Asked what her rough sales and website hit numbers are, she said she “connects with and helps tens of thousands of women from every corner of the world.” As far as her own relationship history is concerned, Parker chirped: “After several years of experiencing dating drama of my own, I created ‘Dating Without Drama’ and became its very first success story! Today, I am happily married to the man of my dreams.”

Which is funny since I’ve overcome all my insecurities and am planning a holiday with Ryan Gosling. Only he doesn’t know it. Which makes it sort of not the truth. But whatever.

Speaking of the truth (and there seems to be a lack of the hard kind when it comes to Paige Parker and Christian Carter), I am not the only one who feels that dating gurus have a responsibility to come clean to their readers about who and what they are - even if it involves a bunch of twentysomething website technicians in a suburban office space in suburban California. (I’m just speculating here.)

Lisa Daily, a real-life Florida-based dating expert and the author of Stop Getting Dumped, says there is good reason to be wary of the Christian Carters and Paige Parkers of this world.

“Whenever you take advice, you have to look at the source,” she explains. “When you’re talking about a person who is not willing to make themselves known, you have to wonder, ‘Why not? What have they got to hide?’ “

Daily is particularly fed up with Parker, who bought a misleading ad on Google: Type “Lisa Daily” into the search engine and a link to Parker’s website appears as a sponsored link, misdirecting readers to the competition. It’s a marketing strategy that Daily sees as unethical. But what more would you expect from a mysterious online dating guru?

“Lying is rampant in online dating and now maybe it’s getting rampant on online dating experts,” Daily says. “People should be careful what they believe.”


The Cyber Lothario, With a New Twist

Have you encountered a Cyber Lothario?  These women sound like they have....

Here’s a twist on a phenomenon I have written about before: The Cyber Lothario. This letter and answer was printed in the Daily Record.


Q I HAVE two friends who are into internet dating. They are both in their 50s.

But it seems from talking to them that they have both fallen for the same man. They’ve both shown me photos of him and although he’s using two different names it’s definitely the same man.

He’s asked them both to pose nude for him. My question is do I tell them my suspicions?

A I USUALLY tell people to keep quiet and well out of other people’s love lives.

But there are rare situations where it’s right to tell. This is one of them.

They’ll not thank you and may well be annoyed with you rather than the man himself.

But if they can’t or won’t believe you, then that’s their funeral. You at least will have done your best to warn them off this dubious chancer.

Whenever you find yourself agreeing to and doing something you would not normally consider, watch out.  This guy has a routine down for sure.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Is this nuts or what?

Here’s a letter to Dr. Joyce Brothers from the Seattle Times:

DEAR DR. BROTHERS: I started talking to this guy on a dating site on the Internet. At first, I didn’t think I would like him or meet him or anything like that, so I gave him the standard pack of lies about myself. I mean, I lied about my age, my weight, my name, my education and other facts you don’t want to tell a stranger. But now, after a month of chatting together, we are about to meet. It turns out I am very interested in him, based on similar interests and hobbies we have (these I didn’t fake). Should I confess about my lies before we meet, or just surprise him?—M.C.

DEAR M.C.: Before we deal with your upcoming meeting, I’d like to talk a little bit about giving strangers on a dating site a “standard pack of lies” about yourself. I think it is wise not to reveal things like real names, phone numbers, addresses or employers to just anyone, and I’m glad you are prudent. But you should use the type of dating site where you can feel comfortable telling the truth about your age, weight and hair color—in other words, one where there isn’t a lot of pressure to present yourself as looking a certain way.

It sounds as though your incipient friendship is not based on those things you lied about, but on the hobbies and activities you might enjoy together. That’s excellent—and if your new friend can get past the fact that you lied about the other things, it sounds as though you might have a chance to develop a real relationship. But be prepared for him to be disappointed or even angry—especially if he didn’t lie to you. Tell him now, so you can meet on an even playing field.

Standard pack of lies???  Is their a pack of lies that is “STANDARD” nowadays?  This woman should fess up, apologize for her caddish behavior, and beg forgiveness.  And the guy should NOT agree to meet her, if he cares about his future, at all.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Annie’s Mailbox Goofs: Lying About Age

This letter was in a recent “Annie’s Mailbox” advice column.  I think the columnists missed the point:

Dear Annie: I’m a 54-year-old divorced woman. A year ago, I met a very nice older man at a dance and we started dating. I thought 64 was too old for me, but I convinced myself that 10 years was not such a big deal. In three months, we were engaged. Two months later, he told me that he is really 20 years my senior.

This came as a shock, and I don’t know what to do because I love him.
Since we’ve been together, things have been good, but I have started to notice signs of age, including memory loss, forgetfulness and physical problems. We are still engaged, but I can’t see a bright future for us.

I’m taking care of my 84-year-old failing father right now and am terrified of becoming a caregiver for another old man in a few years. It would break his heart if we broke up. Please help me. — Conflicted in Massachusetts

Dear Conflicted: You have no way of knowing what your life will be like in the future, just as there are no guarantees that a younger man wouldn’t become ill and require care. You are smart to recognize the problem, but the answer depends on how much you love him. Marriage vows are “in sickness and in health,” regardless of age. If you would resent becoming his caregiver should the need arise, it would be a kindness to break it off.

What “Conflicted” is having a hard time putting her finger on, as are the “Annie’s Mailbox” writers, is that the man in this case lied about his age—big time.  If the lady had known up front that he was 20 and not 10 years older than she, likely, she would not have entered into a relationship with him.  She had to talk herself into “10 years was not such a big deal.” Not only is 20 years a big deal, the lying is a much bigger deal.  This guy started out on the wrong foot from the git-go.  I’m surprised he could dance at all (joke!).

Now she IS confused, because she’s deeply involved with and cares for a man who lied to get her.  She has also got to be angry.

Everyone deserves to know what they are getting into.  If you have bad news to tell, then do it.  You may worry that what you are hiding will make you less marketable, but hiding it is extremely short-sighted and bound to blow up in your face.  Find out up front if the person you want can want you, just the way you are!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Advice From Forbes Magazine: Don’t Marry a Career Woman!

Well, actually it’s not Forbes, per se, but in an article by Michael Noer published in Forbes on August 22, 2006.  Oooeee!  If you want to read something scurilous, go on over.  With it is a rebuttal “Don’t Marry a Lazy Man” by Elizabeth Corcoran, and some follow-up on Slate.com with lots of links to even more skuttlebutt.

Here’s what makes Noer’s position particularly ridiculous: His definition of “career girl” is a woman with a university degree or higher, works more than 35 hours outside the home, and makes more that $30,000 a year.  WHAT??!!  Who’s left, Mr. Noer? 


From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Scam Resources

Did you know that the Secret Service handles Nigerian scamming cases?  The following information comes from www.Crimes-of-Persuasion.com

UNITED STATES ( and most other countries )

United States Secret Service,
Financial Crimes Division,
419 Task Force
950 H Street, NW,
Washington, DC

or telephone fax: ,

You can report this crime online to the U.S. Treasury Department Secret Service ( Nigerian Frauds ) e-mail <>

A list of local Field Offices for the Secret Service.

Materials sent in should still be labeled No Financial Loss - For Your Database if that is the case and Loss - and whether or not there is a US Connection - if there was a loss.  If you are from outside the US, you should also note the country you are from.

If you receive such a letter in the mail, do not respond. Send it to:

Inspection Service Operations Support Group
Two Gateway Center, 9th Floor
Newark, NJ

For more about Nigerian scams, see:




I’ve written many times about scamming for money from singels, particularly the notorious Nigerian scammers.  Read more of what I have written here.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Nigerian Dating Scams-Again!

On July 18th, two different TV stations covered Nigerian scam stories involving three separate female victims.  Read about their experiences here via and and here from KUSA

I’ve written a lot about scams and bad advice.  Take a look here. In a nutshell (accurate word, nutshell), never, never, never give money to someone you met online. Not for a long, long while anyway.  And then think aobut it more than twice.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Scamming in Colorado

9news in Denver reported on May 17th about a woman in the area who had been scammed by a man she met on MySpace.com.  Within months, he had moved in with her and even got her to pay for her own engagement ring.  The gig was up when other women online got in touch and told her they had also dated the man.  A simmple Google search (using “Colorado Court Cases” and “Colorado marriage” brought up evidence of criminal offenses pages long, including domestic violence.

In an unusual case of media reticence, 9News did not reveal the man’s name, though it did print two of the women’s.  So what’s the big deal about HIS name, for heaven’s sake?

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Feng Shui to Find Sweeties?

I’ve been married to a scientist for too long.  I could not about feng shui and finding your mate without a huge dose of skepticism.  I could just hear Drew snickering.

how the proper use of feng shui principals can result in singles finding love.  While I can believe that feng shui principals can be visually attractive and improve the looks of your surroundings and therefore your mood, I screach to a halt when this gets extended to somehow magically making your prince/princess appear.

Luck can be enhanced, and an imporved attitude can go a long way, but don’t resign your membership to Match.com in favor of feng shui.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Married and Wanting to Fool Around?

KOLR in the Ozarks is doing an investigation of online adultery and the AshleyMadison.com dating site.  AshleyMadison.com, for those who don’t know, bills itself as the site for folks “When monogamy becomes Monotony.” The site helps married men and women connect to have affairs.

KOLR had a man and a woman list themselves on the site.  Within two days, the woman got 40 messages from interested men.  The KOLR man got none. I’ve heard that the men far outnumber the women on these sites, and the KOLR findings support that.

I’ve written about ol’ Ashley before.  While I cringe at the whole premise, let’s get those married cruisers off the mainline sites like Match.com and Yahoo! Personals.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Anybody Can get Scammed

on May 10 describing a classic scam that I’m seeing lots of reports of out of Nigeria.  See the Nigerian connection pieces I have written.

Ben Coleman contacted Aileen Califano through a dating site.  After spending some time to gain Califano’s trust, Coleman asked for money, which Califano rightly refused.  Then Coleman sent her $3,800 in money orders, which he asked her to deposit in her bank account, then wire the money to Colorado. 

Califano was not fooled.  She was sure they were a fraud, and checked.  They were.

Sending phony money orders and asking the receiver to deposit the fake checks and then forward the money to another address is a common scam technique.  In the May 15, 2006, issue of the New Yorker, author Mitchell Zuckoff wrote about how John W. Worley, a Christian psychotherapist, was suckered into a classic Nigerian scam.  If you want to see how a perfectly normal, bright man gets suckered, take a look.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Dating Scams in Atlantic City

CBS3 in Philadelphia about an Atlantic City man who scammed at least 80 women through telephone and online dating sites.  Paatrick Giblin (41) set up accounts all over the country and contacted women in different areas.  He’d tell the women he was planning to relocate to their area and was looking for a romantic relationship.  Then, down the road a piece, he’d say that he needed money for the move and asked for loans.

Whatever he got, he seems to have gambled away in the Atlantic City casinos.  Giblin has moved, since he has been in federal custody since March, 2005.

Never, never, never give money to anyone you meet online!

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Beware “Executive Christian Dating”

An article from WNDU.com of South Bend, Indiana, describes Bethel College assistant professor Angela Meyers’ brush with a shady dating site.  Even though the site was seductively named (for Meyers, anyway) “Executive Christian Dating,” seems like the site was not performing in what one might describe as a “Christian-like” way.

Meyers paid over $900 for a six month membership, which supposedly would entitle her to a counselor who would match her with other “executive Christians.” Imagine her surprise when the guys she was matched with had never heard of “Executive Christian Singles.” Sounds like the “counselor” mined other dating sites like Yahoo! for email addresses of unsuspecting guys.  WNDU reports that the Federal Trade Commission has at least 11 other complaints this year about “Executive Christian Singles.” Not to be outdone, the site goes by other names as well, such as “Executive Jewish Dating.”

At least three lessons here:

1.  Beware small sites. Stick with the biggies that are well-known like Match.com and Yahoo! Personals. 

2.  Fees like the $900 that Meyers paid for six months are WAY too high.  If you must go for the services that Meyers thought she was getting, start at the smallest level (like a month) until you have proof that the site can perform as promised. 

3.  Sites that include words like “Christian” or “Catholic” or “Jewish” lull the unsuspecting to think that the site and everyone on it share the same values.  Remember that it is as easy to meet a murderer or scam artist in church as in a bar.  Don’t drop your suspiciousness.  Keep your guard up, even on supposedly religious affiliated sites.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Bad First Dates: Deadbeats Beware

Just as good folks are finding it easier to locate each other via the Net and dating sites, and crooks are finding ingenious ways to use the technology for nefarious activities, nice people are figuring out how to use the Internet to trap the baddies.

A dead beat dad was located and arrested through his online dating action. Brian Lee Todd owed a pile of money in child support and was on the run. Police heard that he was active on a dating site. A female detective posted a profile, communicated with Todd, and they arranged to meet.

The first time, Todd got in an accident on the way to the date, wrecking his 1990 Cadillac. His driver’s license was suspended, so he wasn’t even driving legally. Right after getting out of the hospital, he got in touch with the detective again and set up another date.

Talk about rough first dates: he recognized her, started running, but got caught and arrested.
Lesson: Just because typing away and sending missives into cyberspace feels private, it’s not. Be careful what you write. And it pays to be honest. People can find out if you are not.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Ghad!  Terrible advice!

I just read the following letter and answer in an advice column by Dr. Erika Schwartz in the Boston Herald:

Q. I am a 45-year-old widow who has started dating again after 10 years of raising four children alone. I am embarrassed to say, I desperately want to meet a good man but I won’t use the Internet dating sites. Is there hope for me, or should I just give up?
- K.P., Brockton
A. As long as we are alive there is hope. You successfully raised a large brood; why would you doubt your ability to meet the right man now that you have experience and wisdom? Join a church or synagogue, book club, social club, charity or adult-education class, anything that piques your interest. I am confident the right man will find you. Just keep your eyes open and enjoy the process.

What a sad letter and what aninadequatee answer! First off, what’s embarrassing about wanting to meet a good man? And hasn’t this woman been listening to what’s been happening the last few years as far as Internet dating is concerned? It’s mainstream, for heaven’s sake! And dating sites provide the very best way to meet more singles than you could ever meet in any other way combined.

The good doctor gives all the old saw advice about joining religious groups, clubs, charities, most of which are dominated by women. Then says the right man will find her. Aaaahhh! 45 year old women are not Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. It is highly unlikely that some man is going to find this poor lady with out some effort on her part.

And now the “desperate” part: Nothing is more unattractive than desperation. And desperation clouds good judgmentt. I can’t think of a better cure for desperation than getting on a good online dating site like Yahoo! Personals or Match.com and seeing how many guys are as interested in finding a mate as you are. Instant relief.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Desperate Bachelorette—Eeuw!

I knew that there was a good reason why I haven’t watched the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows, beyond the fact that they are embarrassingly shallow. Evidently in the latest go-around in Paris, Dr. Travis Stork (Can you believe that name?) is the picker, and Dr. Allie G was one of the 25 pickee’s. Dr. Allie, 33, in a snatched semi-private moment with Dr. Travis announced that she was entering “the reproductive phase of my life.” Bomb. Dr. Allie gets dumped from the show.

Then she confronts Dr. T and demanded to know if it was her breasts or fanny (too small or too big, respectively). Dr. T said he was ready to reproduce.


But, as the article states, not the best things to say on a first date.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Depressing Dating Stories From Abroad

Here are three different and dreary stories I saw recently:

From Asia—A 20 year old woman emailed her then-boyfriend topless photos of herself. When she later tried to end the relationship, he demanded money or he would post the photos on the Net. Evidently, this is not uncommon, that men will later use compromising photos to get women to meet them or give them money.

Young men in Somaliland are worried. Young Somaliland women have learned about the Internet and use it regularly in Internet cafes to meet men in other countries. Fellows closer to home do not have as much to offer materially, and the women are probably making the best deals they can. In an odd response, they are being encouraged to marry local men (and get pregnant) earlier, forgoing their education (and probably Internet cafes). I wonder why no one seems to be thinking of how to improve the marketability of the Somaliland men?

In an odd reversal of the American men and Russian or Fillipina brides, Janet Masters (40) of Australia married Emmanuel Ochola (28) of Uganda. Even Ochola’s village neighbors were happy about the match: They think that Masters will invest in the area and improved the impoverished conditions. Ms. Masters (Mrs. Ochola?) plans to take her husband to Australia and get him a job, then come back to Uganda and build him a house. Ochola is pleased with the deal, too, which included a cell phone, all the wedding expenses, and new clothes.

To balance this whole business off, keep in mind that there are far more stories of successful matches that started online.  Just check out any of my postings titled “We Love Love Stories” or similar.  Remember the journalism rule: “If it bleeds, it leads.” Horror stories sell papers, that’s why they get printed.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Maine and the Nigerian Connection

I’m always on the look-out for stories about my native Maine, and when one comes up about Internet dating, too, I pay attention. Unfortunately, this story also included fraud, based in Nigeria, as I have written about before.

A story by Colin Hickey in the Kennebec Journal told of a Waterville woman who was scammed by a pro. And she now has to pay the bank $2,500. Then right around the same time, came out in the Los Angeles Times that describes, in chilling detail, just how those Nigerians do it. This article is REALLY a must-read for all online daters. Or anyone who gets email, for that matter. I get scam emails all the time—don’t you?

Be sure to read to the end of the article, where there is a side box listing various types of scams, like the “next of kin” scam, the “winning lottery” that you never entered scam, and the “laundering crooked money” scam. Some will sound pretty familiar, for sure.

Now remember, most of the folks out there are legitimate, honest people just like you are. But a few are out to get you. Just like anyone you meet on the street. Pay attention and learn how to pick up the signs. Protect yourself, just as you would walking at night.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


A First Person Report On The Senior Bachelor

I’ve gotten a lot of traffic to my blog because of postings I did months ago ( (4/24, 4/29, 4/29, and 5/9) about Richard Roe, the Senior Bachelor. And guess what? One of the women who got to a face to face meeting/screening with Roe wrote a first-hand report. Here it is:


I would love for the hundreds of women that Richard Roe has taken pictures of to know that now the photos are on the web for other men to look at. We all knew and signed papers, but never did anyone of us think he was such a cad that he would start his web page on senior dating before he even picked the one he wanted.

This whole thing was about money and is a surprise to me at least.

I did meet Richard Roe and did have my twenty minute meeting with him. HE IS A CAD. Now he wants to meet with twelve women and then pick six to take on a trip, one month each. What happen to finding the one? Also, he has already invited someone that had something to do with Pop and Me to be on part of the trip. Like I was, these women are so wrapped up in the dream he is promising that they don’t see anything else.

Roe will not let you write on his blog if you do not identify yourself. There were people on that were telling how it really is and he would delete them as soon as he found them. The whole thing has been a scam from day one. He changed the rules every time we would turn around. Now you have to be God, which was never said before.

I just had this gut feeling when I meet him that he had a different agenda.


Doesn’t surprise me at all. I’ve had my doubts from the start.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Dating Scams, The Nigerian Connection, and Australian Men

In July, I wrote a posting here about

Here’s another story about unsuspecting daters getting hooked for money from scammers with a Nigerian connection. Don’t, I repeat DON’T, get caught up with anyone who asks you to cash checks or money orders for them, ESPECIALLY if there is a Nigerian connection.

And for guys who usually feel safer, here’s an article out of Sydney, Australia, about a series of abduction/robberies of men. Apparently, these men (in their early 20’s) were lured to meetings with blind dates they had met on the Internet. When they went to the meeting, they were ambushed at knife point, kidnapped, and taken to the nearest ATM. After emptying theirATM accounts, the robbers took the money and drove off in the car, leaving the victim stranded.

I don’t know if Australian men are particularly over-confident,because this reminds me of another of my earlier postings about an Australian man who was particularly dumb about his own safety. But what I wrote there applies here too: Pay attention to basic safety rules. Arrange first meeting(s) in public places where there will be people around. Men, don’t assume that because you are a guy, you are safe. Don’t make stupid mistakes with your life.
From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Searching for Love In The Ruins of Katrina

In what seems to be a misguided attempt to “Make lemonade out of lemons,” some men and a few women are advertising on Craigslist.com for partners from those who have fled New Orleans and Katrina. This article on Boston.com quoted one man who said “I’m trying to attract somebody who under normal circumstances may not be attracted to me.”

Hurricane victims??? Why does this remind me of the (mostly) men who go to China or the Philippines to look for mates “with more traditional values” ie who are willing to be dominated and who will feel lucky to marry almost any American who can afford to pay their ticket to the States?

Taking advantage of someone’s vulnerability, either by birth or natural disaster, does not seem the best way to start a relationship. When a relationship begins with a power imbalance right from the start (one partner having the power over the other, perhaps in strength, money, or class), it does not bode well for the future. Practically no one likes to stay in the “down” position forever. If you use power to coerce another person to be with you, you will likely pay a big price later on.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Richard Roe The SeniorBachelor Is Still At It

Evidently, “Oprah” reran the episode with Richard Roe (the SeniorBachelor.com guy who is looking for a woman to travel the world with) in August, because since then, my blog has seen a lot of extra traffic from all over the world because of Google searches on his name. See my earlier postings on Richard Roe’s endeavors. April 27, April 29 Part 1, April 29 Part 2, and May 9 I wrote this last entry after watching “Pop and Me,” the movie Roe’s son made about their trip around the world. It (the film AND what I wrote) are revealing.

I decided to go on over to SeniorBachelor.com to see how Richard’s search is shaping up. Oooeee! It’s more of the egotism I wrote about earlier. Check out his blog, particularly the entry for September 4, and see him living out the bachelor dream. Ya gotta hand it to the guy: He’s got a great line going.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


See You in Court? New Dangers for Internet Liars

Here’s a story that came across my computer screen this weekend that presents yet another reason not to lie in your Internet dating ventures. Dr. Khaled Zeitoun (a fertility specialist—doesn’t he get enough female contact in his work?) is being sued by two separate women he met on an Internet dating site. The problem? He’s a married man with three children. He told potential Sweeties that he was single.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with these suits. I wonder whether the court will take them seriously. But again, it’s more reasons not to lie about ANYTHING. People find out, one way or another, and as these ladies are proving, you could find yourself in court.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord


Marrying Felons: Runaway Brides of Another Sort

Why do women like bad boys? The extreme playing out of this old saw happens when women pursue and marry men who are in jail. And while we don’t hear about it so often, free guys also fall for imprisoned women. And of course, guys for guys, and women for women.

We’ve just been witness to this in the dramatic example of Jennifer Hyatte, who murdered a guard to bust her husband (of just a few months) George Hyatte out of prison. George was serving a 35 year term for several robbery and assault charges.

While this is certainly a very complicated phenomenon, here’s what strikes me right off the bat: Men in prison are the ultimate bad boys, yet contained, controlled, and “civilized” by the fact they are in prison. Just think about it: The percentage of single men vs. married men in prison must be much higher than in the real world, they are all concentrated in one place and can’t move, they are desperate for connection to the outside world, and they are super-skilled at manipulation of vulnerable people, with a prison full of tutors if they need a little help.

Here’s the “edginess” that lots of women crave, that sense of mystery and danger, yet also controlled. Like a caged lion. And these men have nothing better to do with their time than to focus on a woman who is vulnerable and charm her, if not her out of her pants, than out of her good judgment. A woman would feel as if she were in control of a relationship like this, and forget that it is the bars that are keeping her safe.

Sounds like Jennifer Hyatte fell and fell hard. But like most fairy tales, when exposed to real life, matters are quite different. Without the bars, the romance crumbled fast, and ended just the way you’d imagine, with the couple on the run, in a crumby motel room. Now they are both back in jail, and she is likely going to face her own life sentence for murder.

Remember: Danger is dangerous. Excitement usually comes from fear. Fear is supposed to keep us cautious and therefore avoiding dander. Sometimes we get mixed up: roller coasters are based on this mix-up. They make fear and danger “safe.” But sometimes even roller coasters kill. Certainly people do. If someone is in prison, they are most likely there for good reason. Pay attention, and at least wait until they are out of prison to see if they have learned their lesson and now can behave in socially appropriate ways.

From Your Romance Coach, Kathryn Lord