This is just another WordPress site for women like me, older and possibly wiser, in search of a better relationship. Every word written on these pages is hard-earned and hard-learned. I created the checklists featured here so that when it comes to love, next time I’ll look before I leap, and if take the plunge, I’ll do my part to keep the water temperature just right.

My scribblings are free but you might be better off with real advice.

This site contains affiliate marketing for books, videos and podcasts by reputable therapists and scientists. My pledge is that every product rated here is something I have watched, read, listened to, or investigated myself.

Also, I hope you will share your stories, and a special page has been provided for that purpose. We learn from one another, and your experience is priceless to us all. Plus, journaling is fun.


If you’re psychologically healthy enough —  aka lucky — to have a supportive mate who loves, honors and cherishes you, mazeltov! However, some men shred the life, emotionally speaking, out of the women they “love.” The purpose of this blog is to help women steer clear of these types.

Women can be equally handy with the psychic cleaver, but two wrongs don’t make a right, and they certainly don’t make for right relationships.

(Physical domestic violence is a criminal offense in most developed nations, except in Russia, and is not the subject of this blog.)


Do the “right” men even exist?

Alain de Botton wrote a New York Times Op-ed last year positing that we all marry the wrong person, and his article sparked a spate of  me-too commentary. I beg to differ. Some partners are more wrong than others. There’s wrong, and then there’s really wrong. (Ask Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.) This blog is about how to avoid the really wrong ones.

There are three checklists: what to look for, what to avoid, and what to do if you’re in a relationship that’s turning rocky. Lastly, there’s the pesky question of our own behavior, and that checklist would be forthcoming, except that it’s the same as the first three. What we ask of others should be no more stringent than what we ask of ourselves.

The first two checklists paint a bird’s-eye view of your candidate’s character. This can seem unfamiliar, especially if you’re not in the habit of consciously articulating someone’s good and bad points, but it is imperative that you do this BEFORE you get hooked.

For example, it’s easy enough to say we want kindness, but haven’t we known men who wait until they’re sure of your love before becoming distant, selfish, withholding, shaming, or downright cruel? A better understanding of neurobiology has evolved over the past decade and provides a scientific explanation for this all-too-common phenomenon, but it doesn’t predict it in advance. The checklists, on the other hand, contain clues about whether such behavior lurks around the corner.

To anticipate whether a different persona will emerge down the road, you’ll have to look beyond the sweet nothings that he utters during pursuit, because when a man is hot on your trail he’ll promise you the moon, and if he’s falling in love, he’ll throw in the stars. Don’t fall victim to a bait-and-switch, so toss your rose-hued glasses and use the checklists to unveil the true colors of your prospective mate.

While classic sociopaths exist, such as the extreme example of the killer in “Gaslight,” most men who should be given a wide berth are probably as confused about their relationship failures as we are. These guys don’t wake up and ask, What woman can I find today to control, cling, abandon, co-depend, degrade, or degrade myself for? Men and women alike act mostly on instincts and recollections below our conscious control, living out behaviors burned decades ago into our implicit memory and epigenome. (See the Experts section for book reviews about the neuroscience of relationships.) Unlike the brand on a calf, our scars can be healed, at least in part, because of the gift of neuroplasticity. The memories may never disappear, but we can alter our reactions so as to lift the curse of the past.

What about substance abuse?

What if you discover that the man you love is an alcoholic, a drug addict, or compulsively engaged in (self-) destructive behavior? Some women fall in love with addicts – alcohol is the traditional addiction, but nowadays opioids are an epidemic. Are these women...

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