The Dating and Relationship Blog

Wayne Brady Calls Rumors He's Dating TLC's Chilli 'Pretty Cool'

TV personality Wayne Brady speaks onstage at The 40th Annual People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Jan. 8, 2014 in Los Angeles. Kevin Winter/Getty Images Wayne Brady said hearing rumors that he was dating TLC's Chilli is "just part ...

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Mother City magic

It seems former president Nelson Mandela's charm is still working for Cape Town, which clinched the top spot on the New York Times list of 52 Places to Go in 2014 just a month after his death. Cape Town landed the podium position in the face of strong...

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Mobile Technology Makes Online Dating The New Normal

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VH1's Winning Strategies In Mobile And Social Engagement Katheryn ThayerKatheryn Thayer Forbes Staff
Shazam's Big Data Predictions On Your 2014 Playlist Katheryn ThayerKatheryn Thayer Forbes Staff

online datingOnline dating is more common, and less stigmatized, than ever before. 11% of American adults now use online dating sites–up from just 3% in 2008. 4 out of 10 adults who are “single and looking for a partner” are looking online. But why the fast rise of this new dating trend? With mobile technology, online dating has become a social–and surprisingly public–activity.

Original online dating sites like eHarmony and Match.com relied on solitary users privately filling out personal profiles. But the creators of those sites noticed behavior shifts towards the mobile web. IAC/InterActiveCorp, owner of match.com and OkCupid, funded the creation of Tinder, seeing that the mobile, social web was on the rise. It might have been hard for the company to imagine how much that app would change young people’s perception of online dating. The mobile app draws basic Facebook information (name, age, interests and a few photos) into a platform that allows users to swipe left if they are interested in someone and right if they are not. When two people swipe right, they’re a ‘match’ and can chat.

With the portability of smartphones and tablets, any online activity can become a social activity. And Tinder did. It’s common for groups of friends to sit around “playing Tinder” together, showing each other pictures and messages. Online dating is not a private, semi-embarrassing activity anymore. It’s now part of how we spend time with friends and entertain ourselves at parties. My friends send me screenshots of their Tinder chats and I hear guys talking about Tinder dates on the M15. The online dating service is becoming part of our offline lives.

Which is why it was particularly interesting when Amanda Hess posed this question on Slate last week: why don’t single sitcom characters date online? Pew reports that 42% of Americans know an online dater – so why don’t we see it represented more in media? To be fair, watching someone Google, Tweet, or do most other normal online activities wouldn’t blow ratings through the roof either, but online dating is becoming a substantial part of our offline social lives.

Well, this spring, Bravo is launching “Online Dating Rituals of the American Male,” a show that follows men in their search for love and/or action online.

Shari Levine, Senior Vice President of Current Production/Original Programming, explains that the rational behind creating this show, in line with Pew’s findings, is the fast-rising number of online daters: “Online dating has become extremely mainstream now and whether or not you are on an online dating site, someone in your inner circle is active on one. Now more than ever, we felt this would resonate with our viewers and that people would find the male perspective intriguing.”

Creators of the show posit males who date online have a significantly different set of objectives than their female counterparts, and are betting it will make for some great television. Levine says, “Generally speaking, women who participate in online dating are looking for a long-term relationship, where the men we encountered were not necessarily looking for “Mrs. Right,” but rather a “Mrs. Right Now.”   Or, maybe these men secretly want love and just don’t want to admit it!  The show certainly captures an insider’s perspective of the male psyche and how they approach dating in the digital age.”

It’s possible the show will reveal men and women have more in common than expected. The site that has done the most to normalize very casual online dating–Tinder–finds females sign up in near-equal proportions to men and reject about the same proportion (70%) of potential matches as men do. Ann Friedman pulls these statistics up to make a case for how female-friendly the app is, also noting that its design allows users to indicate mutual interest before either party can initiate an interaction. The upcoming Bravo show will serve as a test–and likely an affirmation–that online daters are not so different than offline daters, and that men and women can be equally earnest or scummy. Either way, it will be a televised sign of just how common online dating has become. “Online Dating Rituals of the American Male” premieres on Sunday, March 9at 10p.m. ET/PT.

Follow @KATontap on Twitter

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The Key to Success? Relationships.

If you ask 10 entrepreneurs to tell you the key to business success, you're likely to get 10 different answers. I'm sure one would say product innovation, and while that's definitely a significant factor, it's not the right answer. And, yes, there is a right answer.  

The key to business success is winning and keeping customers. And the key to winning and keeping customers is, and has always been, relationships. The world's greatest business experts - Peter Drucker, Mark McCormack, Regis McKenna and others - have all said the same thing in one way or another.

Unfortunately, you, my friends, have all been sold a bill of goods. You've been told that spending your time building your personal brand, growing your social media network, improving your productivity, identifying and enhancing your strengths, and engaging your employees, among other things, will make you successful. They won't.

Related: How Great Entrepreneurs Got Started

No matter what you do for a living or aspire to become, none of those fads du jour will have a material impact on how things turn out for you or your business. But building real relationships with real people in the real world will. Not convinced? Here's why relationships are the key to business success:

Your most important asset is your network - not your virtual network, your real one. Every successful executive and entrepreneur will tell you, their most important asset is their network, and they don't mean social network. They mean people they actually know and work with in real time because they're the ones that actually get things done. One real relationship in the real world is worth more than 10,000 social media links, likes or followers.

Sales transactions are between two real human beings. Even with ecommerce, most sales transactions are still between two human beings. Think about it. Every significant B2C and B2B transaction involves a buyer and a seller, not to mention all the channel development and pre- and post-sales support. And the best product doesn't necessarily win. Buyer behavior is mostly subjective and relationships are a big factor. In a service business, they're the biggest factor, hands down.

When opportunity knocks, it's always a person knocking ... and answering. As much as we like to fantasize about opportunities just falling in our laps, the truth is, that never happens. Of the thousands of career and business opportunities I've been involved with over the past 30 years, every single one involved a real relationship. Every job, every piece of advice, every business deal, every vendor relationship - there's that word - every single one.  

Related: 9 Ways to Make Gobs of Money -- Seriously

So what does all this mean? It means there's a good chance you're wasting precious time, even years of peak earning potential, focusing on the wrong things to build your career and grow your business. I learned that lesson the hard way.

Ten years into my engineering management career, I thought I had everything going for me. I was young, I was smart, and I worked hard, but it was all about the job, the product. And you know what? I wasn't really going anywhere. Until one day, some guy changed my life by talking me into making the transition to sales and marketing.

It took a while to learn the skills that would ultimately make me a senior executive in the high-tech industry and then, a successful management consultant, but I can attribute everything good that happened to me over the next 20 years to that fateful day and the relationships I've built since.

Which reminds me of a time, long ago. I was working at home and had just gotten off the phone and looked up to find my wife standing in the doorway. She looked at me in a sort of circumspect way and said, "Aren't you supposed to be working?"

"I am working," I replied.

"No you're not," she said, "You're just BS-ing."

I said, "That's right. That's my job."

Back then, she didn't get it, but now she does. It's just like watching grass grow. You can't see anything happening but one day you wake up to a beautiful lawn. Building relationships and a successful business career is just like that. Call it a leap of faith or delayed gratification if you want. All I know is, it works.

Related: How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy

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5 Ways to Clinch the Third Date

[unable to retrieve full-text content]But the next step might not be what you think. So instead of the oh-so-cliché Friday night dinner, suggest one of these five third-date ideas. Sure, they all start in the afternoon—but don’t be surprised if they end the next morning. 1. Head to an ...

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Toshiba Extends TCxGravity through Global Partner Relationships

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, the global market share leader in point of sale technology, today announced expanded relationships with business partners to provide implementation services and extend significant capabilities such as store mobility clienteling functionality. As a result, Toshiba and their partners have greatly expanded their ability to deliver retailers a unique omni-channel shopping experience for their customers via the Toshiba TCxGravity point of commerce solution.

Several business partners, including Tolt Solutions (formerly Kyrus Solutions, Booth 3365) will feature TCxGravity demonstrations in their booths at the NRF Big Show in New York City, January 12-13. Additional relationships with Cognizant, Expicient, Infosys, and Oxford Consulting Group validate TCxGravity’s entry on the global stage with many of the leading systems integrators in retail.

The expanded business relationships allow Toshiba to provide retail stores with access to a growing set of applications while extending joint go-to-market and implementation capabilities globally. Enabling partners and retail stores to develop specific applications in an open ecosystem provides flexibility for unique applications ranging from personalization to customer relationship management. A broad range of companies from large enterprise to mid-size businesses will benefit from the ability to develop, integrate and scale new applications with ease.

“In addition to our strong partnership as IBM Premier Business Partner for Smarter Commerce where we have created deep TCxGravity expertise, we’re thrilled to be expanding our global reach to work closely with innovative and collaborative companies such as Tolt Solutions and others,” said Leo Suarez, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Strategy, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. “This is really about creating a partner ecosystem that is committed to tackling the most dynamic shift in retail today, true omni-channel retailing.

"Toshiba’s innovative and flexible architecture with TCxGravity provides the most advanced omni-channel solution for our retailers. TCxGravity is a true enabler for Tolt Solutions to deliver value-added services by leveraging our partnership, systems integration and mobile expertise and capabilities ,” said Aaron Hagler, Vice President, Solutions Delivery, Tolt Solutions.

For more details on Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, visit www.toshibacommerce.com

About Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions

Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions is retail’s first choice for integrated in-store solutions and is the global market share leader in retail store technology. With a global team of dedicated business partners, we deliver innovative commerce solutions that transform checkout, provide seamless consumer interactions and optimize retail operations that are changing the retail landscape. To learn more, visit www.toshibacommerce.com

  • Business
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Contact:
Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, Inc.
Renee Kiefer, 919-486-0262
rkiefer@us.ibm.com

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How to get over your fear of online dating

It wasn’t an easy decision. I spent about a month hemming and hawing over whether I should or not (“How can you write about all things dating and not seriously include dating online?” one friend asked), badgering my clique for their own experiences with places like Match.com and OkCupid. The responses were more or less the same: just give it a try—and if you hate it, stop.

But as I've mentioned in previous posts, I’ve got this not-so-secret chip on my shoulder about the merits of meeting a mate within the confines of a URL—even though I’m fully aware that cruising the Web for romance has become about as socially acceptable as ordering a coffee at Starbucks. That fear was laced with curiosity, though; and there are only so many times you can ask someone what they’d think if you, too, tried online dating before their eye rolls turn to a death stare.

You get my point—and, if you’re anything like me and have been straddling a fence between giving it a go and idling at yellow, you might appreciate my tips below on how to make the signup process less painful. (Plus, window shopping for men at your leisure. That’s pretty awesome, no?)

1. Expect some initial discomfort

I was 4, maybe 5, when my mother enrolled me in swimming lessons. When it came time for my first test—swimming the length of an Olympic-sized pool sans floatation device—I was fine, even great, until I reached halfway and realized my toes no longer touched the bottom of the pool. “I can’t make it!” I yelled out, expecting my instructor to toss a lifebuoy for me to grab onto. Instead, I was told that I could make it, and that I had to keep going. So, I did what any logical child would do: I yelled that I was drowning. Which, you know, I wasn’t.

My point is that it’s going to feel strange at first—you could also think of it in terms of yoga, and having to work with your body to ease into difficult poses—and you might feel tempted to throw it in the bag when the “What the hell am I doing with my life?” feeling lingers a few days after creating a profile and oh my God, it's public. But you’re going to be okay. (And for the record, I did reach the deep end of the pool—and wanted to swim the lap again as soon as I hit my mark.)

2. Announce from on high that you’re dating online

Imagine you wanted to quit smoking. First of all—good for you. Second, some argue that it’s easier to be held accountable to goals when you share them with your inner tribe. Which is why when I created my account, I told the very girlfriends who’d encouraged me to sign up for it in the first place. One friend offered to guide me through creating my profile; another sat with me over brunch and helped me pick out photos to upload. Most have checked in to ensure I’m enjoying myself, and that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be, like replying to messages from men who pique my interest and, um, not shutting down my account. Let your friends support you, people. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a lot of hand-holding to convince an adult woman to stop being a wuss.

3. Expect, also, the “ex” factor

You know that feeling when you see someone you used to date while you’re out and your stomach drops, and you run and hide behind a wall instead of saying hi because you’re mature for your age? I obviously never do that, but yes, it can happen online, too. I came across several men from my not-so-distant past (one of whom knocked three years off of his age—ahem!—and added two inches to his height, and another who boasted a rather voracious, er, appetite) on one of the sites I was considering joining. I mentioned these findings to a friend, who sympathized, and acknowledged that the best way to approach the situation is to not acknowledge it at all.

Moving along.

4. The subway manifesto

Admittedly, one of my fears upfront was the thought of having someone from a dating website recognize me in real life while doing everyday things, like grocery shopping and riding the T. Which seems rather ridiculous, since wouldn’t one, in theory, want to recognize their prospective date (lest he or she be of the type who shares outdated and/or Photoshopped images that don’t represent his or her true self)? You’ve got me there.

But, hey: we’re living in a social media world. Strangers have recognized me IRL based on my photos here and on Twitter; though their motives are usually flattering, it is kind of strange. Much like my swimming pool anecdote, you’ll just have to get over it. You’re not drowning.

5. Have fun with it

Just try, okay?

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Readers' most hated online dating cliches

By Clare Spencer BBC News Magazine

Woman looks shocked at what's on the computer

January is a boom month for online dating, but certain irksome recurring phrases might put off potential mates.

A Magazine article listing 20 cliches people write on their profiles attracted a huge response from readers.

Here are a few of the most unpopular expressions.

"Looking to make friends"

Olive from Boston says it's always funny to see people say they are "looking to make friends" on a dating website: "If you were looking to make friends then a club or interest group website would suffice." To go on a dating site for the same purpose "seems odd".

Joe from Harrow agrees friendship is not what dating sites are for. This phrase always prompts him to ask: "Does this person really know what they want?"

Of course, it could just be an attempt to appear coy. But Teresa Bentley from Horsham warns this could backfire: "If you're an adult and you haven't got any friends by now, then that suggests personality flaws."

"Hello, is it me you're looking for?"
lionel richie, mid-1980s

Craig Smith from Glasgow has just got to let you know how much he dislikes this line from the Lionel Richie hit.

"It's one of the most repeated straplines/headline descriptions for a female profile that I have come across, and that really bugs me now," he says.

"It's been done to death so that I am now put off whenever I see it."

"Looking for my knight in shining armour"
Knight in shining armour

Sean from Aberdeen argues that this is "not only outdated in modern day life but also a much-misunderstood myth".

He asks: "Are these really the guys a modern woman wants? Did Sir Lancelot ever do the washing up? Or hoovering?"

He urges women to ditch this stereotype and seek out "caring" men.

It's not just Sean who feels this way. Those seeking such a boyfriend are living in "fantasy land", says someone who calls himself Sir Steven Mountjoy from Wolverhampton.

"No baggage, please!"

This is both the most unrealistic and frequently-repeated phrase Melissa from London says she has seen on online dating wish lists.

"The human being with no baggage does not exist, so presumably the people who write this aren't actually ready to date anyone, or else they are signing up for perpetual disappointment when all their dates turn out to be real people who have had real lives," she says. "What we should be looking for is someone whose baggage is compatible with our own baggage."

Cathy Bartholomew from Portsmouth agrees: "Most men, it seems, won't consider a woman with anything more than an overnight case.

"Depending on your definition, this likely to be unachievable in my age group (early 50s) unless you've been in a coma for half a century."

"I don't bite, unless you ask me to"
bite

It makes Gemma Webster from Oldbury cringe. She worked for an internet dating agency for three years approving profiles.

"It's amazing that six years later people are still using the same phrases," she says.

Its variant "I don't bite, hard ;-)" is a particular bugbear of Adam from Manchester. "This one makes my skin crawl!" he says.

"If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best"

The complete quote by Marilyn Monroe is: "I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." Watson Brown from Aberdeen complains that too many women "feel compelled to regurgitate" it.

It's so widely used that it has lost all meaning, complains Leo from London. He urges online daters: "Be yourself not someone else. Particularly not someone who died before you were born."

Ben Joyce from London doesn't approve, either: "If in your one free text field you can't say something about yourself without resorting to quotations then it doesn't bode well for first date conversation."

"I don't take life too seriously"
man with feet up on table and holes in socks

Joe from Harrow says that someone who posts this is effectively telling would-be partners: "I want someone as directionless as me."

Claire from London suspects men who advertise they are looking for someone like this mean that they will treat you poorly and "you can't get annoyed, because you're not meant to take yourself too seriously".

Ady Miles from Wednesbury just doesn't think it is possible. "Can you ever take life too seriously? We all want someone who's fun, but aren't we all being serious about looking for someone special?"

"I work hard, play hard"

This is the most irritating and off-putting phrase for Kalvin Chapman from Manchester. He states on his profile that if you have used it that you are unlikely to get along with him. "What an absolutely ludicrous thing to say. It also smacks of the 1980s more than anything," he says.

"My children are everything to me"

Chris in Staffordshire, who is also a parent, complains that this just goes without saying. "You don't need to spell it out," he says.

"It smacks of 'My children are everything, so you are competing for second place... Oh, sorry... The cat, I forgot the cat... So you are in for a shout of being my third priority - along with my car - so woo me!'. Way to make someone feel special!"

"I'm bubbly"
Bubbly woman

Damien from London says "bubbly" is the single most annoying word anyone can use to describe themselves on a dating site. "What does that even mean?"

Dean from Rugby has an idea.

He offers a translation: "'I'm bubbly and fun' - I'm loud and have a laugh like a foghorn."

Follow @BBCNewsMagazine on Twitter and on Facebook

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Relationships in 2014: Ours Is A Society That Could Use A Hug

Relationships in 2014: Ours Is A Society That Could Use A Hug

By Robert E. Hall

 

“She would be better off to start smoking again because the interaction with other smokers in the designated break area would do her more good than the smoking would do her harm.” -Doctor to the son of an 85 year-old resident at an Alzheimer facility.    

In this New Year, ours is a society that could use a hug. After all, when smoking is a prescription for better health – it is hard to deny the importance of relationships. By any objective measure, the most compelling priority for this New Year is human relationships.  According to an AARP survey, more than one third of adults over 45 report being chronically lonely, up 65 percent in the past decade.  Loneliness now carries the same mortality risk as smoking and twice that of obesity. Our whole concept of relationships is changing and not just for the older crowd.  Catherine Steiner-Adair, author of The Big Disconnect, laments this is "the first generation to grow up in a culture where being sexually intimate is understood to be disconnected from the context of a relationship." So much for the relational term, “making love.” Replaced by the insistently mechanical “hook-up.”        

Not only are we more alone but we are more separated by our distrust.  According to the General Social Survey data just released, only a third of us say “Most people can be trusted” compared to half in1972. Similarly Gallup reports that 70 percent of workers are disengaged at work.  

Distrusted, disengaged, lonely – it is what you would expect from a society increasingly going it alone. We keep finding new ways to bypass human interaction, communicating and transacting more by email, text, and tweets. On-line sales Cyber Monday – following Thanksgiving – were up 36 percent while in-person retail shopping was down 2.9 percent.  We increasingly take our information and transactions a la carte – hold the personal interactions.

Studies jar us with how important relationships are to our health, wealth and happiness. We are all in the relationship business and by any standard, business is not good – ours is a relationship recession if not depression.   

Relationship is our single richest source of value.  According to Gallup, engaged customers yield businesses a premium of 23 percent in revenue growth and profits while disengaged customers suffer a 13 percent discount. Matt Lieberman’s new book Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect, reports that economists correlating financial and happiness data found that seeing a friend most days has the same impact on our happiness as earning a $100,000 more each year and simply seeing your neighbors on a regular basis is like getting $60,000. Volunteering at least once a month is like moving from a yearly income of $20,000 to $75,000.  Conversely, getting a divorce is like suffering a $90,000 per year decrease in salary.  

It makes sense.  Research has shown that never being married reduces wealth by 75 percent and being married and then divorced reduces wealth by 73 percent compared to the continuously married.  Building and retaining productive relationships yields a higher and more predictable ROI (return on investment) than most any business or personal initiative.  

And “giving” relationships are even more powerful. The University of Chicago’s General Social Survey shows charitable givers are 43 percent likelier to say they are “very happy” than nongivers. Nongivers are 3.5 times more likely than givers to say they are “not happy at all.”

Yet our attitudes and behavior trend counter to this relationship reality.  The American Freshman survey reports that in 1965 college freshman said that “starting a family” and “helping others” were more important life goals than being “very well off financially.”  By the 1980s the priority had reversed and in 2012, freshmen prioritizing “being very well-off financially” reached a record high of 81 percent. Lieberman concludes:  “The more individuals endorse materialism as a positive life value, the less happy they are with their lives.” Our relationship with money seems similar to our relationship with dieting – the more we talk about it and glamorize thinness, the fatter we as a nation become.

If health, wealth and happiness are not enough – how about being better looking?   Dutch and British researchers report that women found men who were purported to give money to the poor more attractive – and the more they gave the more attractive they became.

We have not intended relationships atrophy. It has been the unintended consequence of advancements like technology where new-found control and convenience enables relational laziness and neglect. Relationships are the engine of health, wealth and happiness. Their absence disables. As Mother Teresa famously said, “The world’s great disease is not poverty, it is loneliness.”

Relationships necessitate sustained intention.  Among family, friends, colleagues, customers, neighbors, and in faith, who are your “go to” relationships – that warrant renewed and sustained initiative in 2014?   Where will you target relationship turnaround: replace neglect with attention, electronic messages with face-to-face interaction, denial with caring confrontation, costly avoidance with relational investment?  The cashier’s tee-shirt at the Potbelly Sandwich shop near me captured the urgency of our relational interdependence:  “Get in here before we both starve.”

Robert Hall is a noted author, consultant, and speaker on relationships. He is the author of This Land of Strangers: The Relationship Crisis That Imperils Home, Work, Politics and Faith. www.RobertEHall.com.

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Top 5 date ideas for men!

Pic Courtesy: - Movie Still, Picture for representation purpose only Zee Media Bureau/ Aparna MudiNew Delhi: With Valentine`s day just around the corner, everyone is looking for their love to flourish. Many are looking for their perfect first date. S...

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Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller halts benefits to same-sex married couples – Allentown Morning Call

New Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller on Thursday reversed a directive issued by departing Executive Matt Croslis that expanded benefits to cover same-sex couples.

In a memo to county employees, Muller said Croslis had overstepped his authority, and he regretting having to rescind the order. "I realize that this reversal must be extremely frustrating to those who have been hoping – and even expecting – the county to fall in line with the major cities and employers in the Lehigh Valley," Muller said.

The county's solicitors "emphatically advised" that the benefits change is a policy decision that rests with the Board of Commissioners, he said. Commissioners twice rejected the benefits expansion.

He previously said he would uphold the directive if it was found to be legal, and rescind it if it was not.

"I understand that this is a very important subject to some of our employees and retirees and their families and can only encourage you to continue to have patience," he wrote employees.

Croslis quietly issued the directive Dec. 30, his last week office. He argued excluding same-sex married couples from county benefits conflicted with the county's personnel code, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual preference.

"Even though the commonwealth does not recognize the validity of valid marriage licenses from other states does not mean that the county cannot recognize those marriages for the purpose of providing health-care benefits to its employees and their spouses," he wrote.

Croslis' directive applies to employees who have a marriage certificate from a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.

Muller, then Croslis' director of administration, sent a memo to department heads Dec. 31 with the update to employee benefits, noting it may take until February for the change to take effect.

Establishing same-sex spousal benefits was Croslis' signature initiative in his proposed 2014 budget. The board eliminated the expansion with a 5-4 vote. Croslis vetoed that and the board then overrode the veto, 6-2.

Croslis said early on that he thought he could make the change through executive order but was concerned a future executive could just as easily undo it.

His directive, however, went against the board's wishes and an opinion from the county solicitor, who said it amounts to setting policy, which is the board's role.

Croslis, an attorney, argued that the board's budget amendment eliminating the benefits and its subsequent veto override were appropriation decisions, not policy decisions.

Muller said Thursday that he directed human resources and the county's benefits administrator to ignore his previous request.

Muller has said he supports the expansion of benefits, and will include it in his 2015 proposed budget, as Croslis did in his 2014 executive budget. But as county executive, he added, "I must respect our county charter."

Muller said he doesn't want to be drawn into what solicitors are telling him would be a losing legal battle with the commissioners.

Commissioner Geoff Brace, one of two Democrats on the board, said he was disappointed the county wouldn't be providing benefits for same-sex couples and is committed to changing that policy.

samantha.marcus@mcall.com

Twitter @samanthamarcus

610-820-6583

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Top 5 date ideas for men!

Pic Courtesy: - Movie Still, Picture for representation purpose only Zee Media Bureau/ Aparna MudiNew Delhi: With Valentine`s day just around the corner, everyone is looking for their love to flourish. Many are looking for their perfect first date. S...

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A Guide To Recognizing Your Couples Therapy Cast On Twitter And Instagram – VH1 (blog)

January 9th, 2014 | 8:00 am

by Michael Arceneaux

CouplesTherapy
Couples Therapy kicked off its fourth season on January 2nd with a new cast including Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Taylor Armstrong and her fiance, John Bluher, The Real L Word stars Whitney Mixter and Sada Bettencourt, Jon Gosselin and girlfriend Liz Janetta, rapper and author Ghostface Killah and Kelsey Nykole, plus Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham.

You can keep up with the stars of Couples Therapy season four by following them on Twitter and Instagram. Fret not, we’ve created a handy cheat sheet for you to find them all (well, almost all of them… you’ll notice that some are a bit more social media friendly than others). Check it out below and start following!

Twitter:

Dr. Jenn Berman: @DrJennBerman

Taylor Armstrong: @taylorarmstrong

John Bluher: @JohnBluher

Ghostface Killah:@GhostfaceKillah

Kelsey Nykole:@TheKelseyNykole

Whitney Mixter:@WhitneyMixterLA

Sada Bettencourt:@SaraTRLW

Farrah Abraham:@F1abraham

Jon Gosselin: @jongosselin

Liz Janetta: Not on Twitter, but click here for her Facebook page.

Instagram:

Ghostface Killah: @ghostfacekillah

Kelsey Nykole:@iamkelseynykole

Whitney Mixter: @whitneymixterla

Sada Bettencourt: @sadasimone

Farrah Abraham:@farrahabrahamofficial

Dr. Jenn Berman:@drjennberman

View Photo/Video Gallery

Taylor

Tags: Couples Therapy

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Utah`s Mormon governor un-marries 1300 gay couples – AMERICAblog (blog)

Last month, on 20 December 2014, Utah became the 15th state with legal gay marriage, due to a ruling from Federal District Court Judge Robert Shelby.

In his ruling, Judge Shelby declared Utah’s state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment guaranteeing due process and equal protection under the law, and in a very clear and forthright opinion, tied marriage equality to the previous bans on interracial marriage.

Since then, both Judge Shelby and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to issue a stay pending appeal, resulting in an estimated 1300+ newly married gay and lesbian couples in Utah.

I think perhaps our host, John Aravosis, had a smidge of optimism that the Mormons would forbear from their usual knee-jerk homophobia, suggesting this turn of events could represent a new chance for them to reform their reputation… but I’ve been skeptical all along. Heck, one Utah man went on a hunger strike to stop gays and lesbians from marrying.

Mormons

Mormons via Shutterstock

Indeed, mere days later on New Year’s Eve, the Mormons and the GOP both begged for Federal intervention from the Supreme Court, referring their request to the supervising head of the 10th Circuit, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who then referred the matter to the full bench, which then did issue the requested stay on January 6th, Monday.

The marriages stopped. Yes, everybody knows that the legitimacy of those 1300+ Utah marriages remains in question pending a final judicial ruling. However, there’s the judicial precedent of California. Roughly 18,000 couples from the 2008 “Summer of Love” did have their marriages upheld, despite the lack of Federal recognition.

And now we have a situation where these 1300+ Utah couples, regardless how the state government feels about it, would enjoy post-DOMA Federal rights and protections. Thus, there is clear and unavoidable ‘tangible harm’ if those marriages are overturned, whereas — as I like to put it — the only harm to homophobic bigots and religious radicals is their fee-fees are hurt because gay people aren’t suffering. Every reason posited to oppose same-sex marriage equality and equal protection under the law is based either on outright lies (harm to kids, procreation, etc.) or blatant anti-gay animus, or both.

So what does the Utah state government do? What Mormon bigots always do – attempt to un-marry gay people.

In this case, Governor Gary Herbert (R-of course) announced Wednesday (Jan 8) that the state will not recognize those 1300+ marriages. It’s also worth noting that Governor Herbert (why do I always think of Star Trek when I hear that name) felt compelled to issue this statement despite the fact that Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes (also Republican, surprisingly) said he could not determine on his own whether or not the marriages were valid.

Reyes said:

We are unable to reach a legal conclusion as to the ultimate validity of marriage  between persons of the same sex who completed their marriage ceremony in Utah between Dec 20, 2013 and Jan. 6, 2014. That question remains unanswered and the answer will depend on the result of the appeal process.

Actually, they’re married.  The Supreme Court stayed the federal court’s decision, pending appeal.  But they didn’t say anything about undoing the marriages that were already done.

In the meantime, I for one will be quite interested to hear the official position of the Obama Administration and his Department of Justice. Will these couples be considered married by the Federal government, despite the pending case?

We have no doubt what Governor Herbert has in mind though, do we?

Tags: gay marriage, Governor Gary Herbert, marriage equality, Mormons, same-sex marriage, Utah

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Judge backs adoption for children

Press Association – 

Three children fathered by a man with "unhealthy" attitudes to sexual relationships have been placed for adoption on the orders of a High Court judge.

Mrs Justice Pauffley said the man - who lived with the children's mother - posed a risk of "significant physical harm" to children and adults.

The judge said she made care orders after concluding that the children's mother was "unable to make any kind of break" from their father.

She said two boys were placed for adoption in March when aged 19 months and six months and a girl was placed for adoption in December when aged 10 weeks.

Mrs Justice Pauffley said no-one involved could be identified.

Detail has emerged in a written ruling published by the judge following private hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

"(The father) poses a risk of significant physical harm to any child or adult with whom he resides," said Mrs Justice Pauffley, in the ruling, which has been published on a legal website.

"(The mother) is unable to identify and thereafter respond appropriately to the risk of harm."

She added: "(The father) holds unhealthy and or u nwholesome attitudes to sexual relationships."

And she went on: "(The mother) was unable to make any kind of break between herself (and the father)."

Mrs Justice Pauffley said she realised that orders she had made meant permanent separation between children and natural parents and were the "most serious kind of state intervention".

And the judge said on a "human level" she had sympathy with the couple.

"Neither of them had the kind of start in life which anyone would want for a child," she added. "They never had the foundation which might have enabled them to provide adequately for any of their three children."

Mrs Justice Pauffley said she made care orders following applications from local authority social workers.

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