I was recently asked the question, “Do you think moving in together is the answer?” The person asking me is a very young and dear friend who has recently begun a new relationship with a guy she is obviously crazy about. They’ve been dating for two months now, and live fairly far apart (but in the same city). My response to her question was: “I am very honored that you would value my opinion about such an important decision in your life. I am going to treat your question the same way that I would with one of my children:

I know that you’re really crazy about John. From everything we know of him, he seems like a really great guy. I’ve actually not done the moving in together fulltime arrangement myself. I have always wanted marriage, due mainly to my Christian values, faith and beliefs, so I’m probably not the best person to ask an opinion of.

That having been said, when there are no Christian values involved, I would have had nothing against moving in together. I do not believe that moving in together is really any different from marriage in any other way, EXCEPT for the fact that it’s a lot easier to get rid of someone you have no legal commitment nor obligation to. You are a very honorable person who deals with people from an integrity-based level. If I were in your situation, I would want to be absolutely certain that my partner is, too.

It’s completely natural to want to be together all of the time in the early months of a new relationship. So I can understand your wanting to at least consider the possibility of moving in together. I think I would want to take enough time to be certain (in my head, not in my heart) that my wanting to be together all of the time is not part of the infatuation phase of the relationship. That takes time. Time to get to know one’s partner in every area of a relationship, because some of your individual beliefs are bound to be different – i.e. you’ve both come from completely different backgrounds and we all have some baggage we carry with us into a new relationship from that background. This can cause problems in any relationship, and it does.

If you know in your heart of hearts that you are likely to one day want more than a moving in together arrangement with him (i.e. marriage) I must caution you, “Do not move in together!” There is, of course, the old saying, (and it’s crass but there is some truth to it) “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free!”

I would ask myself the question, “Should we realize two years from now that we’re not as good a match as we thought, am I prepared to be abandoned?” If you feel certain that should that happen, you’ll be able to deal with it without it damaging your life for more than the usual grieving period, you’re probably okay. That having been said, there is no “proper” length of time set for a couple to know each other before sharing their everyday lives with each other.

So, before moving in together, and in summary I would say this:

1. Be sure you know each other well, in good and in bad times. This takes time.

2. Make sure that you share the same values (i.e. cheating is unacceptable, etc.)

3. Be sure that you know yourself, and what it is that you want for your life,

4. Be sure that you’re honest with each other about where it is that you see (in your mind’s eye) your relationship five years down the road.

Whatever you decide know that you are likely to need a strong support system that you can trust with which to share your ideas, thoughts and feelings. (Doing this can bring about incredible amounts of clarity, insight and self-understanding.)

Bottom line? There just are no easy answers.

Copyright 2015 by JC Fredlund, LADC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.Me3



NOTE TO PARENTS:  There are four realities that it is absolutely imperative that you educate your child about (if you want to be able to hope never to end up in the living nightmare of the parents interviewed on 48 hours tonight):

  1. Sex offenders and murderers look NO DIFFERENT from you and I!
  2. Sex offenders and murderers are skilled at being charming and at pretending to be fun to be with – until they get you alone!
  3. When your parents are not around, NEVER leave your friends to be alone with anyone!
  4. NEVER let anyone get you into a car – yell, kick, claw at their eyes, fight, because once you’re in their car, they cannot let you go alive! Why? Because you can tell on them!


After watching 48 Hours tonight about the Jesse Matthews case that occurred in the Commonwealth of Virginia, September 26, 2015, I’ve decided to re-run what I consider…

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Have you ever wondered how to stay safe and sane while on-line dating<? Well, many people have asked that question.

I have a previous, published article here that describes my past experiences with online dating sites, titled, “Online Dating, Yay or Nay?” (I’m mentioning that so as not to bore-to-death those who may have already read about my personal online dating experiences.) While online dating, I made some really foolish mistakes. Had I been with a “bad person” at the time, I might not be here to write this column. Since I AM here, I want to try to save some of you from making the same mistakes I did.

The GOOD news is that you really CAN stay safe and sane while doing the online dating scene. Here’s how:

+ Understand that if you join an online dating site that is for all ages, you may very well (like I did) be asked obnoxious questions like (when I stated my dating age limit as being only men 50+) “Well, how old do I have to BE?”

+ You may find yourself asking nonsensical-sounding questions like, “What part of ‘No’ don’t you understand?”

+ You will always want to drive your OWN automobile to the first two or three dates! (Long enough to have had time to very thoroughly size the person up!)

+ Always meet a new online date ONLY in a busy, and very public establishment or area. (I always chose a public restaurant where it would be easy to get the attention of others if I ever needed to.)

+ If you ever find yourself feeling a knot in the pit of your stomach and suspicious of the person from whom you’re sitting across WITH THE TABLE ALWAYS BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU, you will always be able to excuse yourself politely to the Ladies Room, and split out the door quickly, making a fast get-a-way in your automobile! (Yes, not polite, but better to be IMPOLITE than found lying in a ditch somewhere, DEAD! i.e. ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT!!)

+ It’s never a bad idea to get the person’s license plate number, then call it in to find out whether or not he has a criminal background. (But, if you do this, know that the average inmate has committed at least 50 crimes BEFORE he or she was ever apprehended! i.e. There are no guarantees!)

+ Expect to pay for whatever food and beverage you order – that eliminates the other person getting the idea that you owe him/her something. (Yes, they’d be dead wrong, but people without a conscience do think that way.)

+ If you’re feeling alarm bells “going off” in your gut but you can’t understand why, know that sociopaths are some of the most charming people on earth (until they get what they want from you!) Again, ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT!

+ NEVER go to an online date without telling a family member or a friend, EXACTLY when and where you are going and when you will return home – and that you WILL CALL THAT PERSON THE MINUTE YOU GET HOME!

+ NEVER give the other person your phone number until after the first two or three dates, and your stomach feels completely relaxed inside whenever you’re about to meet the person. Ask for THE OTHER PERSON’S phone number and tell the person that you’ll call THEM. Also tell your prospective date you promised your family you would do it this way – anyone who is any kind of trustworthy person, will SUPPORT you in doing it this way (ESPECIALLY if he/she has either a daughter or sister of their own!)

+ When you ask for the person’s phone number, remember (if dealing with a man) that men love to be the pursuer, so you’re not likely to lose the guy’s interest! If you DO lose his interest for asking, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!)

+ ALWAYS get there plenty early (so the other person won’t know your car – just incase) and always park as near to the front door of the public establishment or area as possible.

+ Keep your cell phone in your pocket, not in your purse (just incase you would need to quickly call 911).

As I wrote in my previous article (mentioned above) I MARRIED one of MY online dates after dating him for two+ years, and have never been happier.

Nevertheless, a girl/person cannot be TOO CAREFUL! But special care in all of the above areas makes online dating much more safe and fun!

Copyright 2012 – 2015 by JC Fredlund. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Just as you might imagine, there is the good, the bad and the ugly to on line dating
! In fact, I’ll never forget my first experience with a dating site.

I’d just ended a five year relationship and had no idea how to use a “Dating Site”, let alone, which one to choose. I don’t recall the name of the site I first tried – it was fifteen years ago.

I’d agreed to meet a man at a restaurant for lunch. I met him there, and was SHOCKED to see that he had misrepresented his age with a photograph! This guy was AT LEAST twenty years older than I, and told me that his wife had just died. So, what did I do? I felt sorry for him. He asked if he could take me for a ride in his car. I remember thinking to myself, I could take this guy (ie. fight and win physically) so, feeling sorry for him, I agreed to go for this ride. I was about to be introduced to the good, the bad and the ugly of on line dating.

Where did he take me? He took me to a huge stone memorial out on a highway in the middle of nowhere, and stopped the car. I immediately said, “Okay, you need to start up the car. I just met you and I have no desire to go out “parking” with you.” He replied, “I just wanted to show you the first place I ever took my wife and kissed her. I said, “Either you take me back to the restaurant or I’m getting out and WALKING!” (By this time, I’m really angry.)

He starts up the car and starts driving. On the drive back to the restaurant, he starts telling me how hard it was to have lost his wife. He then proceeded to explain that he has, since her death, begun corresponding with two women from Russia who now live with him and how exciting they are as sex partners. (I’M thinking to myself , “OH FOR GOD’S SAKE! Would you PLEASE HURRY UP AND GET TO THE RESTAURANT!”) We arrived at the restaurant and I got out of the car without saying anything further.

Over a fifteen year span, I went on dates with other guys from dating sites about eight to ten different times (not more dates than that because it would always take me at least three months to recover from each date!)

. . . Until I joined, I met guys who were ten to twenty years my junior and who hadn’t been honest about that until we met for coffee at restaurants, one guy who gave me one year to make up my mind to marry him (that lasted only a couple of months mainly because I really don’t react very well to ultimatums,) and a guy who took me to his house, sat me down on his sofa (his only piece of furniture in a huge house) and played a song that was pretty sexy and I thought “Oh brother, THIS guy’s really got a strategy going for himself!” (It seems his wife had just left him and taken everything in the house. I bowed out gracefully and left. (By the way, this guy proposed on that first date! THAT should’ve been my FIRST clue!) Of course, I wasn’t naive’ at ALL!!! lolBest2

Suffice to say, dating sites weren’t working very well for me – until I finally saw a site (SPM). I didn’t give up because when I was a Campfire Girl I took an oath to “Always finish what I begin!” (Actually, I’m extremely determined and don’t like to lose! lol) was designed for “seniors”.

Someone recently commented that I just got lucky, cuz all dating sites are bad. Not true. I hadn’t just gotten lucky; I’d earned my stripes! lol

I am 64 yrs. old now, and had remained single/divorced for nineteen (19) years following my divorce from a guy who had a long term affair with a much younger woman than I. At the twentieth year point, I remarried a guy who is honestly the most trustworthy man I’ve met yet – more so even, than I. But we dated for two YEARS first, he is financially better off than I was, I knew exactly what I wanted in a person (integrity, honesty, a family man), and it turned-out that we had many mutual friends, (oddly enough we had to join a dating site to meet each other though!)

Before I met Ralph, I met another very nice man who’d been a teacher in a high school, retired and had begun a career that required him to be in other states for a week at a time. (I’d been married years ago to an over-the-road truck driver and really did not want to return to that kind of life; although we were quite attracted to each other and I liked him a lot as a person and friend, we agreed to part ways.

How did I know, after 19 yrs. of being divorced and two marriage proposals from others I’d dated that Ralph was the one? Because he values HIS relationship with HIS two children, every bit as much as I do MINE! (He’s very much a gentleman, who enjoys (as do I,) having our American Staffordshire Terrier sleep in bed with us every night – ie. when he loves, he loves with his whole heart.)

So, what did I learn from fifteen years of dating site washouts? I learned that there are numerous “cads” out there, and women too, who hop from one dating site to another in order to secretly, “play-the-field”. I also learned that determination and persistence are priceless; yes, even when online dating.

Copyright 2014-2015 by JC Fredlund. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.direction to the original content.

Having endured months of grieving the loss of my five year relationship, at last I experienced a profound and healing “Aha” moment that I’d like to share with you:

“Good-bye” is a word,
nothing more, nothing less.
As I give it voice . . .
so that I might finally put
this love for you to rest;
so that I can bring closure
to this love that has for so long
inside my heart,
burned so brightly;
as if with a life, all it’s own.
Yes, a love that burned so brightly . . .
that it lit even the tiniest crevices
of this before, empty heart each time your eyes met mine.
It was as if I’d been lifted by love’s angel wings
upward, into billowy soft, white cloud places . . .
of unimaginable, joy.

It is time now.
Time that I come home . . . . to me,
to rest.
For I
, who sheltered and nurtured this mending heart,
I who now celebrates every small note of happiness it sings.
I claim this heart of mine . . .
with all of it’s wondrous gifts of love
that I, alone, create, nurture, then choose to give or receive
with daily, loving thoughts of those
for whom I care.

For it has been this heart of mine, alone,
that, all along,
sang sweet songs of love, of joy, of you.
you, who gave it the gift of new songs to sing, and wings to fly, but I,
who, with daily, loving thoughts of you
to see you in the loving, white light
that beamed so brightly from my own loving heart.

Now, go.
Go in peace.
But take not with you,
this loving heart of mine.
Take with you, only the dark and distant moods

with which you came.
In almost celebration
of this heart that will love again, I say to you,
“May God be forever at your side,
may He forever, keep you safe from harm . . .
For as I, now, offer you up
to His everlasting care and protection,
and as the real meaning of the word “good bye” is spoken . . .
“Go now.”

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ©Copyright 1997-2015 by JC Fredlund. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.direction to the original content.

Shan & I

I never thought I’d see the day when I would realize that changing course can be a survival essential. Some of my most life enriching insights have resulted from my conversations with my best friend, my daughter. Just the other day we were talking about common mistakes people make. I was sharing with her that if there were only three things I could tell my children about life, those three things would be:

  1. We cannot ever predict the future (even though we may flatter
    ourselves into believing we can and/or how very desperately we
    want to believe that we can;)
  2. That which is meant to be will come to pass whether or not we
    know it, fight it or choose not to believe it;
  3. Everything happens for a reason i.e. there are no accidents!

It had been at this point in our conversation that my daughter had asked me whether or not one of the things I would share is the saying that “change is inevitable.” I’d answered her question with, “yes,” and explained that I’ve been repeatedly reminded throughout my life that the one sure thing in life IS change.

I shared with her the many times (when I’d been young) when I’d believed that I had my whole life perfectly mapped out. For example, my first husband (my children’s father) was going to be my husband forever. We would grow old with each other and spend our last years sitting side-by-side in our rocking chairs enjoying each new sunrise together. (Yes, I was quite the romantic.) However, several years later, it became necessary for us to go our separate ways. Although there were moments when I missed him intensely, at no time did I ever seriously regret my decision to divorce. Heart-wrenching? Oh yes. But far too much water had washed over the dam to deny the reality of our situation. It was time to say “good-bye” and good-byes are never easy. What I was about to learn was that the most painful part of all, was saying “good-bye” to my DREAMS for our life together. Ten years later I came to understand so many things about good-byes and about moving forward with my life. But then, isn’t hindsight always 20-20?

In retrospect, there’ve been several times during my fifty-eight years when I’ve found it necessary to chart a new course for my life. These situations have not always arrived at the best possible times, however. By the very virtue of that fact, little did I realize, they were most necessary, indeed. Once upon a time, I viewed those times as “end of my world” times. Quite the contrary, they turned out to be new beginnings of many new adventures, some good, some not so good and some great! I was to learn that there is undeniable truth in the saying, “Before a new door can open, an old one must close.” Yes, I now understand the importance of realizing that changing course can be a survival essential.

The important thing is that every one of those experiences make up the sum total of the mature, loving woman I am today. It’s funny you know, at age fifty eight, I’m pleasantly surprised (if not a bit shocked) at how all of the situations that used to cost me many a good nights sleep, hardly phase me at all anymore. Why? I think because years of experience have taught me that everything really does happen for a reason and that whatever it is that is happening, it will eventually pass! In fact, I’ve been marveling at how the only things that really matter to me anymore are family, life and death! I’ve come to realize that whatever happens in between is really just a mere incidental! Yes, I’m beginning to believe that true wisdom may, in fact, truly come with age!

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 1997-2015 by JC Fredlund. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and the link to blog is included with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



In many ways it makes perfect sense that to have a successful relationship your core values must be alike. It makes sense because when two people agree to be in a relationship, those two people are each coming from completely different backgrounds. This being the case, each person logically has different likes and dislikes, beliefs. and perhaps even different values.

As you no doubt know (after reading my “About” page), I’ve had a few relationships in my time. There is one common thread that has run through every one of them. What is that common thread? Our values were not alike! Values, you might ask, what exactly are they? They have far more meaning and depth than I ever before gave any credence. Our values are the very core of our being, they’re who we are. Our bottom line. What we’re really all about down deep where it counts.

It’s not so much about morals as it is about the principles one believes in and is willing and proud to stand-up for. Have I always stood up for my values? Unfortunately, no. I haven’t always. Every time I failed to stand up for my values/principles, I ended up regretting it in ways that ran very deep for me.

It’s simply a matter of asking oneself, “What beliefs of my own REALLY matter to me?” Therein lay my values. It’s all too easy to sell oneself out without even realizing it until after it’s too late. You know, things like temptation, desire, longing for that which we don’t have. Suddenly values, the core self takes a back seat to those desires.

For example, what if I really want to have a relationship with someone whose principles don’t coincide with my own? It can be very tempting indeed to tell myself that in time, I can change that person. What’s wrong with that, right? Well, first of all, it’s failing to face reality! As a therapist I recognize that people are pretty much who they choose to be. Who in the world am I to decide that an individual should change . . . let alone, for me!! It really isn’t even being very respectful of the other person. It’s like saying “My values are right, yours are wrong!” When, in fact, my values are niether right nor wrong . . . they simply are who I am deep down inside, where it counts. Diddo for the other person. Does it really make any sense that if those values clash, I could expect a relationship to work-out and last?? (H-m-m-m-m . . . I think not.)

If I were to give anyone any advice in the area of relationships, that advice would be to make absolutely certain that you have the same basic values before commiting yourself to anyone. Make absolutely certain that their values are values you totally respect. (Just as they are!) Thus, in order for a relationship to work functionally, it just stands to reason that your core values must be alike.

It occurs to me that something so special as who we are deep down at the very core of our being is something that deserves to be treasured and for each of us to take great pride in. The only thing better than one person’s values are two people sharing the same values! I strongly suspect now, that therein can be found harmony, trust, peace and growing love.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ©Copyright 1997-2015 by JC Fredlund. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.direction to the original content.