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Divorce Recovery and Early Dating: When Is It OK to Start Dating Again?



There is a lot of heat, but very little light generated by asking when we should resume dating. Some say wait a year. Some say asap in order to get over the divorce. Some say don’t date if the divorce is not final. Some say go for it if the marriage is over, regardless of whether the judge has signed the papers. Many religions say do not date until after the divorce is final. Everybody has an opinion. No one has a one-size-fits-all answer.

Early Dating – What Is It and Is It a Good Thing?

Early dating can be a very powerful part of your recovery from divorce.

Early dating occurs when you start dating again either before the divorce is legally final or soon thereafter. Early dating is marked by huge amounts of “baggage” and attachments to your ex and the life you shared that have not been dissolved or eliminated yet.

Whether it is a “good” thing or a “bad” thing depends on what you want dating to achieve for you. Broadly speaking, if you are wanting to date to enjoy your new-found freedom from being attached to your ex, it can be most enjoyable. If on the other hand, you want to start dating to trigger a response from your ex or to placate your friends and relatives, it will end badly.

Some say you should wait until your marriage is over. Sounds good, but what does it actually mean for a marriage “to be over?”

When Exactly Is a Marriage Over?

Any marriage that is over is actually over long before it’s formally over.

A marriage is over the very instant one of the marriage partners looks in the mirror feeling calm, sober, well-rested, and introspective and declares privately to himself or herself, “I can’t do this anymore. I must get out.” This happens long before any judge declares a marriage officially over by signing the divorce papers.

It also sets the clock ticking for one’s making the decision to begin dating again. In the back of everyone’s mind is the question, “How can I be sure this is a good idea right now?”

One Says “Date” Another Says “Don’t Date” – Will They Please Make Up Their Damned Mind?

Don’t count on your friends and relatives to be much help.

When seeking advice, you should talk with people you can trust. The obvious choices are your friends and family. You assume they will have your best interests at heart. But do they? Can they? Probably not.

Friends and relatives are only human. Of necessity they filter their advice through their own experience, hopes, fears, and belief systems. The result? A jumbled mess of contradictory advice that reflects their fears and fantasies they would have if they were in your situation. In a word, it’s useless.

Bottom line: don’t pay much attention to what other people advise you to do. Their advice, well-intentioned as it is, is a statement of their agenda for you. Invariably, their agenda is different from your agenda.

Your job is to get clear on what your agenda and expectations are and to not sabotage them by trying to move the relationship development process along too fast.

Three Early Dating Rules to Live By

Early dating doesn’t exist without some potential problems, especially impatience.

The 12 to 18 months before and after the divorce is final are sacred! Treat them as a gift from the relationship gods. The goal of this transition time is to reestablish balance, personal power, perspective, self-love, and stability back into your life.

What is important is not what you do, but what you don’t do. Three “rules” will help you make your early dating experience a success.

Rule #1: Slow Things Waaaaaay Down: For the first 6 months of dating, restrict what you plan and talk about with your partner to no more than 7 days into the future. For the next 6 months, restrict what you plan and talk about with your partner to no more than 30 days into the future.

Now is not the time to envision living “happily ever after” with anyone. It is the time to get reacquainted with yourself and to enjoy your new freedom.

Rule #2: Do NOT Sign Anything for 12 to 18 Months: Do not sign any legal or financial documents with your partner for at least 18 months. No marriage licenses, no car titles, no loan applications, no house mortgages, no joint checking accounts, NO ANYTHING! You will have the rest of your life to that after the shock and readjustments to your life after divorce have worn off. Just do not do it in the first 18 months after your divorce is final.

Rule #3: Don’t Get Pregnant Yet: Do not get pregnant or get your partner pregnant. Just don’t do it. Now is not the time to start a new family. Having a child will not miraculously give your life meaning after divorce. It will seriously destroy your efforts to reestablish balance, personal power, perspective, self-love, and stability back into your life.

So, What’s the Point?

There is never a good time to start dating for bad reasons.

Asking “When should I start dating again?” is the wrong question. The more helpful question is, “Why do I want to start dating again?”

Are you dating to enjoy your new-found freedom from the attachments of being coupled, OR are you feeding and strengthening your attachments to the past?

Early dating enables you to begin the transition from being coupled and married to being uncoupled and single, NOT recoupled and married. Early dating is not a vehicle for finding your next committed relationship.

(Now a word from your attorney: The last question to ask before beginning to date again is whether your attorney thinks dating at this time will compromise your divorce case. Obviously, if it will then honor your attorney’s advice and hold off until it is safe to do so.)

This is the time in your life to enjoy having “slipped the surly bonds of an unhappy marriage.” Use it to enjoy your first step into your life after divorce.

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Greyhound Racing: What The Coloured Jackets Mean




The typical greyhound race in the UK consists of six dogs. Each dog is identified by the coloured jacket it wears for the race. The colour signifies its starting position – in other words the trap number it races from – and helps you to identify the dogs as they are racing. The colours are standard so it helps to become familiar with them for your night at the greyhounds. Let’s take a run through them.

The red jacked is always worn by the dog starting from trap one. This is the starting position closest to the inside rail. Such animals generally have a preference for running along the inside of the track and are known to race goers as “railers.” A railer typically requires a good burst of early speed to hold its position in to the first corner and not get baulked by the opposition.

The blue jacket is always worn by the dog starting from trap two. This trap is also generally favoured by railers with such dogs seeking to get over to the rail in front of the greyhound in trap one.

The white jacket is always worn by the animal starting from trap three and the black jacket is always worn by the greyhound staring from trip four. Such starting positions are generally favoured by greyhounds who have a natural preference for running along the middle of the track as signified by the (M) notation next to their name in the race card.

The orange jacket is always worn by the greyhound starting from trap five and the black and white striped jacket by the greyhound starting from trap six. Such staring positions are generally favoured by greyhounds who have a natural preference for running towards the wide outside of the track as signified by the (W) notation next to their name in the race card. A potential advantage of wide running is that the frequent first turn scrimmaging can be avoided.

Trap position does make a difference and should be taken in to account when looking for betting opportunities. A greyhound running out of position can be harmful to its chances though usually for graded races trap preference is taken in to account by the racing manager and a wide runner will not be placed in to an inside trap and vice-versa.

This is to avoid trouble in running. For example if a greyhound which is normally a wide runner was to be placed in trap one its natural instinct would be to seek the outside rail and move right out of the traps. This could cause interference with other dogs in the race.

It can be a fun night out and need not break the bank as entry is not expensive. Many race goers like to enjoy a meal as they watch the racing from the comfort of the restaurant. A few minutes familiarising yourself with the different coloured jackets, the starting position and if your chosen greyhound has a noted preference for trap position can aid your enjoyment when going for a night at the greyhound racing.

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How Do YOU Measure Success




It was in January of 1962 when Barnsley P. Wentworth III told his father that he wasn’t going to be a doctor: he was going to be a clown. Without hesitating his father replied, “Then you will never amount to anything. Consider yourself a failure.” That was the moment Barnsley P. Wentworth III fell from his father’s grace, changed his name to Juggles, and became a clown. It was his greatest joy. It was his greatest passion. And he never made more than $50 a job.

It was a hot afternoon in July and Juggles was driving back to his hotel after working all day at a county fair, when he took a wrong turn into a trailer park and saw the mailbox covered in balloons – the calling card of a child’s birthday party. He sat there for a moment, looked at his watch, shook his head, sighed, and grinned from ear to ear as he put his rubber nose back on and jumped out of the car. He saw a little red head peeking through the flowered sheet curtain followed by piercing squeals as the door burst open and children rushed at him like excited puppies finding food. He would never forget that sound or the shocked look on the mother’s face as she whispered thank you and started to believe again. Or the sheer adoration on the birthday boy’s face as Juggles signed his cast and he solemnly vowed to never wash his arm again as he hugged Juggles’ striped leg and that moment was branded into his memory as he whispered thank you and started to believe again.

Juggles never stopped being a clown. Day in and day out. It stayed his dream and remained his passion. Even when his hair fell out and he was too weak to honk his nose – even from his bed, when what little fans that were left had to come to him. It was March of 1998 when Juggles died, wearing a big red nose and a contented smile. He never made more than $50 a job.

How do you measure success?

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When Do Interns Have to Be Paid? Revised FLSA Test May Create New Unpaid Internship Opportunities




Did you know that the Department of Labor recently changed the test used to determine whether interns are employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)? Though mostly overlooked, this development may significantly affect the manner in which employers provide internship opportunities. It may also encourage other employers to start their own internship programs.

In January 2018, the Department of Labor clarified that going forward, a “primary beneficiary” test will be used to determine whether interns are employees of “for profit” employers under the FLSA. Why is this a big deal? The FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime pay requirements generally apply to employees, not interns.

Educators and employers alike agree that individuals can benefit greatly from properly designed unpaid internship programs. Unfortunately, since interns are not entitled to compensation under the FLSA, they may be exploited by employers who use their free labor without providing with an appreciable benefit in education or experience. The DOL began issuing informal guidance to prevent this kind of abuse in the late 1960s.

In 2010, the DOL published a 6-factor test to distinguish between interns that don’t need to be paid under the FLSA and employees that do. One factor in particular proved to be a nearly insurmountable obstacle. “The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.”

Since all six factors had to apply, many believed this test was too rigid, including some federal appellate courts. These courts instead opted to apply a “primary beneficiary” test that:

  • focuses on what interns receive in exchange for their work;
  • gives courts the flexibility to examine the economic reality of the intern/employer relationship; and
  • acknowledges the uniqueness of internships in that interns agree to perform work in exchange for educational or vocational benefits.

In January 2018, the DOL essentially adopted this “primary beneficiary” test to eliminate unnecessary confusion and provide increased flexibility to holistically analyze internships on a case-by-case basis. This test includes seven factors to consider when determining whether an intern is actually an employee under the FLSA.

  1. Expectation of Compensation. The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee-and vice versa.
  2. Training. The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
  3. Education. The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
  4. Academics. The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
  5. Duration. The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
  6. Displacement. The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
  7. Promise of Employment. The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.

Unlike the rigid six-factor test, the primary beneficiary test is intended to be flexible. No single factor is determinative and additional factors may also be considered on a case-by-case basis when appropriate.

The FLSA’s “internship exclusion” was quite narrow under the old six-factor test. Whether this changes under the new primary beneficiary test remains to be seen. Nevertheless, employers should proceed cautiously when evaluating and determining whether someone can be treated as intern under the FLSA, rather than an employee.

The risk of employment-related claims goes up whenever laws and regulations change. Employment Practices Liability Insurance, which may include limited wage and hour coverage, can protect employers in the event of an inadvertent violation.

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