Dear Judy: She locks herself in her room, is not social & hates her job. I want to help her…

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Photo by Harana Zhang

 

Originally published in the June 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS magazine , by Judy Torres

Hola Judy:

I went through a really rough patch a few years ago and got out of it. It took a lot of effort but I really turned my life around. Part of that was meeting my soul mate and getting married. All is good on our side, but I worry about my husband’s sister. She seems to be in the same rough patch that I was in a few years ago. She has become withdrawn. She works at a job that does not fulfill her and she locks herself in her room when she gets home. I want to help her. I have so much advice to offer, but I am afraid of overstepping boundaries. Her family acknowledges the need for her to change her habits—to get some exercise, apply for new jobs and be social—but should I be the one to help her? How can I get close to her?

 

 

 

Dear Concerned One:

First, let me applaud you for caring about your sister-in-law. Some people find it hard to connect with their in-laws, and I think it’s so kind of you to care for your sister-in-law. It is SO easy to spot a serious problem, when we ourselves have been in the same shoes. But connecting with people sometimes is not so easy. I think the solution is simpler than you may think. Knock on her door, and ask her to come out. Get her OUT of the house. Take her for a mani/pedi, lunch, or take her out for coffee.And then tell her the truth. Tell her everything you wrote right here.

Tell her the following:“I really care about you, not just because you’re my sister-in-law,but because I know exactly what you are going through. Many years ago,I went through a rough patch. It was one of the worst times of my life. I did what you did. I hid. But after some time I finally got out of it. And I want you to know that I simply want our relationship to be stronger.I’d like us to be closer.

Let her know you are there for her if she just needs someone to listen. And IF she does come to you, don’t hurry your response by giving her a solution. It sounds to me as if she truly needs someone to LISTEN. So hear her out. Her story is not exactly your story, but you’ve been there. I want to add that many times when people isolate themselves,they are in a state of depression. So consider how long she’s been acting like this. If it’s more than three months, she may need professional help, and she needs to know that there is nothing wrong with that. Lastly, just put your arms out, and hug her. Remember, when people are hurting, they tend to get over it in their own time. So all you can do is remind her that you and your husband are there for her always.And that no matter what, you love her, and want nothing more than for her to be truly happy!

 

 

 

→See for more of this story in this month’s issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine.

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Is It Okay To Date More Than One Person At Once?

Image via Centives.net

Image via Centives.net

In the past, it was common for people to date one person at once. The idea was that you’d give the person you were seeing a fair chance, and if things didn’t work out, then you’d move on to the next one. For a while, it appeared that this was the way that things should be, but with the addition of dating websites, social networks, and simply put, technology, it’s getting harder to decipher what’s acceptable and what’s not.

Is there a precise “formula” for dating? How long should you see one person before moving on to the next one? Furthermore, is it okay to date more than one person at once? And while dating more than one person may seem like an appealing concept from afar, what happens when you find out you’re number two or three on the totem pole? Does your perception of a serial dater then differ?

While dating two people from say, your job, could get potentially messy, we don’t see anything wrong with getting to know more than one person at the same time. The key is to be upfront. Let the people you’re seeing know you’re seeing other people. Truth is, if you’re intensely drawn to one person, you’ll end up becoming exclusive.

What do you think about dating more than one person at the same time? Do you think it’s rude or immoral? A recipe for disaster? We want to know what you think! Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @LatinTRENDS2010.

Love Advice: Should I Leave My Young Lover?

[Originally published in LatinTRENDS Magazine Issue #106; March 2014]
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Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Judy,

I am what is called a cuarentona. I’m forty but I’m fit and I have a teenage son. I pay for my son to attend a private school and he is doing very well. No problem there. The thing is that I am dating a younger guy. My guy is 22. We’ve been dating for three months and he wants me to meet his mother. I’ve been coming up with excuses but a good friend of mine helped me to see that I’m just insecure. I just assume his mother will not approve.

Being a mom myself, I think I know how she might feel. Also, I’m not in love. I just really like this guy. Do you think it’s time for me to leave my young lover? I know this relationship is limited. What do you think? Is our time up?

Abrazos,
La Cuarentona

 

Dear Cuarentona,

You are, what is called “human.” There is nothing wrong with age differences MOST of the time, provided that you are not liable to be arrested for statutory rape. In this case, he is 22, and you are 40. Let’s do the math. You are 18 years older than him. You have lived life, gained wisdom, and have had enough heartache in life to know that love will always give you more chances. At 22 your guy hasn’t. His life is just beginning, in a way. What do you really have in common?

At 40, sometimes we notice our mortality. We know that in 10 years, we will be considered middle-aged, and to have the attention of a hot, handsome 22 year old has GOT to make you feel sexy, attractive and wanted. And who doesn’t want to feel that way?

If you were just having an affair, a fling, and both of you knew that’s what this is, then I would say keep having fun. But big alarms went off in my head when you mentioned that he wants you to meet his mother. That means he is thinking that this is a serious relationship. As for his mother, of course she’s not going to like it at all because she will see the potential for her son to be hurt.

I suggest you don’t even show your face to her unless you are ready to confess your love for him. Your’e not in love with him. It looks like you’re just having fun. And let’s just call a spade a spade here. Your young lover is your boy toy. And you are his MILF (Mother I’d like to #%@)…you are the cougar, haha. It’s fun in the beginning, and 3 months is about the time where people decide to go exclusive. So a decision needs to be made here. And since your are not in love with him that decision is simple. STOP it.

It’s time to end it. I say let him go, and allow him to bring a woman who actually loves him to meet his mother one day. But that woman is not you. Cuarentona, this is a lesson for you too. I’m 45, and being in our 40’s we know by now that the heart is not to be played with. So, if you wouldn’t want someone to just use you, don’t use him. Good luck!!

Love,
Judy

Love Advice: My Boyfriend Has Lost Interest

[Originally published for DTM magazine January 2010 Issue #65]
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Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Judy,

I didn’t think I would need sexual advice so early in my relationship, but after being with my boyfriend for 8 months, it seems that he has lost interest in me. He always tells me how sexy I am, but when it gets late, he suddenly has a lot of headaches and stomachaches, or is just already asleep when I get out of the bathroom.

My friends tell me how their boyfriends have sex with them 3, 4 or even 5 times in one night, and I wonder why I’ve never experienced that. My current boyfriend doesn’t even try a second round!

How often do couples really have sex in a relationship, and what can I do to make my boyfriend want me again?

Maria, 22

 

Dear Maria,

There is nothing wrong with asking for advice, sexual or otherwise. And there is nothing wrong with you! Usually in relationships, the sex doesn’t taper off until about a year or a year and a half after the relationship has begun. So if it is tapering off after only 8 months, it seems a little unusual.

Now, one of the challenges that all couples face is that each person in the relationship has a different sex drive.

Scenario A: If I were to give your boyfriend the benefit of the doubt, I’d say he may have a different appetite for sex than you. Therefore, it may be hard for him to tell you the truth. I would assume that your boyfriend is in his 20’s (as you are), and I would imagine he has a strong appetite. Result? Nothing funny going on here, just a matter of preference.

Scenario B: When a man suddenly falls asleep by the time you return from the bathroom, or says “Sorry, honey, not tonight…I’ve got a headache,” etc., he’s playing the avoidance game. He may be avoiding you for some reason. The reason could be that he really isn’t in the mood. The reason could be that he may be worried he can’t perform, particularly if he’s stressed out. But the reason can also be that he’s avoiding you out of guilt for being with someone else. I have no proof of this, but just keep it in the back of your mind just in case.

Ask yourself these questions: How long has it been since the last time? The last time you were together, did anything embarrassing or strange happen? Besides the bedroom, how is the relationship going overall? This is where you have to call on your inner voice. Your female instincts will never steer you wrong.

By the way, never compare your relationships to your friends’ relationships – they may be lying! Even if they’re telling the truth, I can guarantee that 5 times in one night may leave you in a bit of pain.

You asked me, what can you do to make your boyfriend want you again? Here’s my answer: do nothing! You’re not doing anything wrong. I can tell you to wear something sexy, make some naughty phone calls, etc… but I honestly feel it’s not you, sweetie. If you remember this for the rest of your life, you will save yourself from a lot of pain: You cannot control what other people do. You can only control how you respond to it.

Talk to him, and if you’re not happy after exercising patience, leave. Every person in a relationship needs to feel wanted, desired and fulfilled. Good luck, sweetie! Remember – it’s not you!

Love,
Judy

Love Advice: I Was Invited to My Ex’s Wedding…But I Don’t Want to Go

Judy Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Judy:

Felipe, a good friend of mine who also happens to be an ex-boyfriend, has invited me to his upcoming wedding, but I have no desire whatsoever to go. Felipe and I dated about five years ago and broke up because I was 19 and not ready for the type of relationship that he was looking for. We remained close friends, and shortly after, he started dating Jennifer, his now fiancée.

For a while, we all got along fine. Jennifer knew Felipe and I were friends, but I only saw her a handful of times over the next couple years while I saw Felipe on an almost weekly basis. At first, she was never anything but friendly, but after a while, things got ugly: she sent passive-aggressive messages on Facebook, and wrote nasty wall posts about me, calling me a whore and a drug addict, and accusing me of trying to steal her fiancée, among other hateful things.

I was upset and confronted Felipe, but he took her side and we didn’t speak for three years. Last June, Jennifer unexpectedly dumped him, and he and I began talking again, becoming very close. Two months ago, they got back together and eloped in December. He and I still talk occasionally, but not nearly as much as we did when they were broken up. Yesterday, he sent me a nonchalant text message asking for my address so he could send an invitation for the ceremony they’re having in March. I absolutely don’t want to go because I think it would be totally awkward (my first meeting with Jennifer after all the time should not be at their wedding).

I called him to say I wouldn’t be in attendance and he was very hurt and said I was his best friend and the first person he thought of to invite. He said if I wasn’t a girl I’d be his best man, and he didn’t understand why I don’t want to go. I’m from the school of thought that exes aren’t invited to weddings unless everyone is very friendly. I mean, isn’t that the norm? I told him I would give it some thought and let him know in a couple weeks. I’m considering going because it means so much to him, but I’m dreading it.

Am I being awful if I say that I just don’t want to go? Or should I suck it up and go for his sake?

Signed,
The Friendly Ex in Freeport

 

My Dear Friendly:

No, you’re not being awful. If your relationship with Felipe is only strong when he isn’t with Jennifer, and you haven’t actually had anything to do with her since she wrote nasty things about you on Facebook, then Felipe is the one who is a little out of line by putting a guilt trip on your for skipping the wedding
ceremony
.

It would be one thing if you and Jennifer were on good terms, but you aren’t. If Felipe truly sees you as a best friend and wants you in his life, his first thought should not have been to invite you to his wedding, but to foster a healthy relationship between you and his soon-to-be new wife.

He dropped the ball and there’s no reason you should feel bad for not bending over and picking it up. But if you’re interested in remaining friendly with Felipe, you could tell him you’re sorry you won’t be able to attend his wedding, but you’d love to take him and Jennifer out for a celebratory dinner some time after
their ceremony. This way you get to reconnect with Jennifer in a neutral setting, and you get credit for supporting your friend’s happy occasion.

But there’s a flip side to this situation and it’s that you aren’t really interested in being “just friends” with Felipe. You say you broke up years ago “because you were 19 and not ready for the type of relationship he was looking for.” If that was the main reason for your breakup and you’re five years older now, maybe in your mind you are ready for the kind of relationship Felipe was/is looking for and you are disappointed that instead of giving you another shot, he went back to Jennifer. After all, until a few months ago, you were both ex-girlfriends of his and you were the one he was spending all his time with.

If there was any part of you that hoped for a romantic reconciliation, it has to hurt that he reconciled with a different ex instead. You need to be honest with yourself and if that’s your
frame of mind right now, it’s probably best that you gracefully distance yourself from Felipe and his new wifeand give them a chance at happiness without the complication of a messy love triangle. Good luck!

Love,
Judy

Love Advice: Hot for Teacher

Judy-Torres

Ask Judy

 

Dear Judy,

I am a 21-year-old college student, set to graduate in May. For the past year or so, I’ve had a major crush on one of my sociology professors, but I’ve always thought that he was unobtainable.

However, recently, he approached me between classes and asked if I’d like to go for a drink with him. It goes without saying that I was absolutely flattered, and wanted to accept right away.

However, I’m also a bit concerned, because there’s a 14 year age gap between us. Also, I’m worried whether it’s appropriate for a student to date her teacher — even though he won’t be my teacher in a few months, once I graduate. What do you think I should do?

Sincerely,
Hot to Trot in Hell’s Kitchen

 

Dear Hot to Trot:

Reading your letter reminds me instantly on a little crush I had on a handsome teacher some years ago. It’s kind of exciting, right? The idea of dating a professor – meeting in hallways, secret messages, etc. – is very exciting, because in a way, it’s taboo.

But sometimes this situation is better if it remains a fantasy. There is nothing wrong with the age difference: you are 21, and as a “new” adult, the life lessons now begin.

Life Lesson #1: Never put yourself in a position of being manipulated, threatened or used. Your sociology professor is in a position of power. This man holds the key to whether or not you pass this class, which can ultimately reflect your ability to graduate. And since you are on the verge of graduating, this can make you vulnerable. This professor is 14 years your senior, which also translates to him having much more life experience than you. He may know how to “seduce” you into whatever it is he wants. What does he want? The cookie – um, I think you know what I mean!

Scenario 1: You go out and have a drink. It’s a great date, one thing leads to another, and you sleep with him. Everything works out, and he marries you. Happy ending! Uhm…NOT likely!

Scenario 2: (a more realistic scenario): You go out with him, have a drink, and he makes advances, which you turn down. He’s angry. Here’s where he uses his power to abuse you: two weeks later, you’re not passing the exams or papers, and you cannot understand why. One day, you confront him and he kindly offers to pass you, provided you give him what he wants.

Before you know it, you’re part of a scandal and it’s his word against yours. You are TOO close to graduating with a degree – there is too much at stake here.

So what should you do? Tell him you are VERY flattered, and that the interest is mutual. Let him know that right now your priority is to graduate. Tell him as part of the graduation celebration, you’d love to go out for a drink with him – AFTER graduation. Then have the drink…tell him you’d like the drink to be accompanied with food. You deserve a real date: dinner and drinks.

Sometimes “just drinks” gives a man the impression that you are just going to hook up. I think you’re smarter than that and you deserve more. Good luck and do the right thing for yourself!

Love,
Judy

How Do Mature Couples Keep The Fire Going? Judy Torres Gives Her Advice!

Ask Judy
The Freestyle Legend con un corazón de oro!
Judy Torres


QUESTION:
Querida Judy,

My husband and I are part of your mature audience…meaning we’re old folks. We’ve been together for almost twenty years and I thank God for every single moment of our lives together. Now, even though I am old—I’m not dead. Things in the bedroom have been pretty stale for some time and I am wondering if a pretty young girl like you can give an old lady like me some advice.

What I want to know is—what can I do to get my husband all hot and bothered again? We’ve fallen into such a routine.

Viva el amor!
Bethany


o-MATURE-COUPLE-IN-BED-facebook
ANSWER:
Dear Bethany,

Sometimes in life, what we want, we have to give. If you want love, give love. If you want to not feel lonely, you give companionship to someone else. Now, if you want a break from routine, you need to do something wild and spontaneous. If you want your husband to be hot and bothered again, you need to get hot and bothered. Why not take him out on a date night? Think like a man. Not like a woman. Don’t think about wining and dining him. Think about doing something to make him laugh, like a comedy club. Then feed him—take him to his favorite bar. Get a beer, some wings, let him watch a game. At some point during the night, text him something naughty. Be VERY naughty. Be explicit.

In other words, do the opposite of what you’ve been doing. Flirt a little on the way home. And when you get home, have a scavenger hunt. Have him search for certain items in the bedroom and when he finds each one, he gets a reward. Play it up. Do some role-play. Wear a costume. Pretend. Just have fun. You know your husband better than anyone. You know what will excite him…do that, and then some. Stop worrying about being old.

And by the way, I will tell you, that there are many people out there who would LOVE to have a predictable relationship with lots of routine. What you have is solid—you’ve been married almost 20 years…you must be doing something right. I will tell you what my fiancé told me actually just last night. He said, “I’m in a relationship because I want to be comfortable. I want to be with the same woman over and over again. I feel most comfortable when I do that.” So here’s to love. Here’s to comfort. Go pamper yourself. Get your hair and nails done, get a facial, get a massage. When you start feeling sexier, so will he. You are not old—you are experienced. You know who you are, and that is sexy! He loves you. Believe that.

Buena suerte!

Judy

From Start Up to Permanent Residence, the Ms. Cheezious Brand ®

Ms. Cheezious w_PartnersStarting a business is not only challenging, but takes a lot of time and patience. In less than three years, the Ms. Cheezious Brand® has built a successful business with a loyal following. After, winning several awards all around Miami, Florida where the business began, it is evident that this brand has had a great impact with the community. Beginning in 2010, Ms. Cheezious® Food Truck opened for business quickly followed by a second one a year later. December 2013 will mark the three year anniversary of the brand and the restaurant of Ms. Cheezious® will open in conjunction with the celebration. Fatima Mullins and husband Brian Mullins run the day to day operations of the social media platform and the food truck, respectively, and Christian Dickens, co-owner, is the business partner in the operation. LatinTRENDS sat down with Fatima Mullins and Christian Dickens to talk about running a start up business to a permanent residence.

Interviewer: How did the idea of a start up business come up?
Fatima Mullins: The idea came from when Brian (my husband) and I were working together and found out that since we worked well together, we know that starting a business would work as well.

Interviewer: What do you think is the key to having a successful business?
FM: The key to having a successful business is to put in a lot of hours while engaging in social media, interacting with the community, putting out a great product and giving great customer service.

Interviewer: Do you plan on expanding your business beyond Florida, may open a restaurant?
FM: Yes, we are planning to expand to New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Las Vegas and Chicago.

Interviewer: What have you learned from running a business?
FM: What I have learned is that you need to work well with others, and feed off of one another’s energy in order to drive and do better and build relationships.

Interviewer: Would you change anything in the business right now? What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a business?
FM: There is really nothing that I would want to change, except to have more family involved. Some advice that I would give to people is to look at their strengths and the dynamics of how you all work together because you will be spending a lot of time together.

To find out more information, check out the website http://mscheezious.com/.

OpEd: Is Debt a Good Thing?

When it comes to the best ways to use money, too many Americans operate under a key misconception, says investment adviser and financial planner Ike Ikokwu.

“Money is opportunity, and having a blind spot for maximizing investment can drastically reduce one’s future options,” says Ikokwu, author of Winning the Money Game: Separating the Myths from the Truth (www.winningthemoneygame.net).

That blind spot is debt, he says. Just as Americans have learned that are such things as good fats and good cholesterol, so too is there good debt for a prosperous financial future.

“The three most common ways people in this country get rich all involve using debt,” he says. “They use it to launch businesses, invest in real estate, or pay for advanced degrees in order to become high-income earners.”

Some myths born from the idea that all debt is bad include:

• Paying off your home mortgage provides financial security.
• A 15-year mortgage is always the quickest way to pay off your home.
• Putting money in your 401K or other qualified plan saves you taxes.
• The stock market is the only place to generate high, double-digit returns.

Admonishments to “stay out of debt” prevent people from gaining financial independence, Ikokwu says. Investing in education, a new career in another state or a new business may be more lucrative than paying down a mortgage.

“My definition of being ‘debt-free’ is to have enough money so that you can pay off your debt at any time – if you need to,’’ he says. “But you don’t necessarily want to do that. Good debt can save you money on taxes, increase your investment gains and allow you to take advantage of wealth-building opportunities. Bad debt, on the other hand, is like having a big hole in your money bucket.”

Ikokwu developed a new personal financial plan after a period of successful investing imploded following the market crash in 2001. After filing for bankruptcy in 2003, he rebuilt his wealth – using his new plan – in five years. Today he is financially independent and his wealth secure.

“To a greater extent than many Americans suppose, money is plastic,” he says. “That means you do not have to be rich in order to gain more wealth, and we do not have to follow old, outdated paths. We can all mold the money we have to a shape that yields better return.”

About Ike Ikokwu

Ike Ikokwu, “The Financial Independence Coach,” is a CPA, CFP and registered investment adviser. He holds a bachelor’s in accounting and a master’s in personal financial planning. Ikokwu is president and CEO of Winning the Money Game with Ike, a tax and financial advisory firm in Cumming, Ga. While working for “Big 6” tax firms and buying real estate, Ikokwu funneled his profits into domestic and international investments, only to realize too late that they were Ponzi schemes. Forced to declare personal bankruptcy in 2003, he rebuilt his wealth by changing his approach to finances. Tune into Atlanta’s WGUN-1010 (AM) at 11 a.m. Saturdays for his weekly show.