Appeared in New York Post: These Couples Conquered Financial Stress -- And You Can, Too

Role Play



Bonnie Winston, 54, and her husband Ken Sugarman, 63, have a more old-fashioned approach to managing their finances, and that suits Winston just fine.

“He is the ‘boss of the budget,’ but I am the boss on how to spend it,” says Winston, a 54-year-old matchmaker who lives in Noho. “He decides how much we can spend on a vacation, and then I’m the one who chooses where to go.”

While Sugarman makes three times Winston’s salary, both of their incomes go into a joint account. From there, Winston organizes payments for their monthly bills (including private-school education for their 11-year-old son), and sets aside an allotted amount for nonessential expenses.

Every three months, the couple, who have been married for 17 years, sits down to decide how they’ll spend their fun money — whether it’s on vacation or a shopping spree.

“[Couples avoid] talking about finances because they think it’s unromantic,” says Sugarman. “But if you let each other know exactly where you both stand [with money], then you’re working together … it makes your relationship stronger.”

“It’s a win-win for us,” Winston says. “We don’t fight.”

Read the full article by Christian Gollayan at

Appeared on BUSTLE: 15 Easy-To-Miss Signs That Your Partner Won't Mature Anytime Soon

"They're Incredibly Impatient

Credit: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Credit: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

While everyone has the occasional cranky moment, a lack of patience can be an easy-to-miss sign of immaturity. So take note if they often get irritated when they don't get their way, or when they have to wait. "Maybe it’s for lunch, dinner at a restaurant, or being put on hold for five minutes," Bonnie Winston, a celebrity matchmaker and relationship expert, tells Bustle. Regardless, they may overreact quickly.

If your partner does things like this on the regular, try talking to them to figure out what's bothering them. They might have something going on under the surface, like anxiety or a ton of stress, that's causing them to react that way. But if not, it might be a sign of underdeveloped maturity."


Original Article Appeared on 15 Easy-To-Miss Signs That Your Partner Won't Mature Anytime Soon by Carolyn Steeber

Appeared on Elite Daily: How to Feel Comfortable On a First Date

3. Download A Safety App On Your Phone

Matchmaker and relationship expert Bonnie Winston advises her clients and friends to download smartphone apps for their safety, since even dates that start out well "can turn weird quickly." 

At any point you start to feel uncomfortable, Winston tells Elite Daily, you can turn on one of these apps and have a subtle, but authentic-sounding excuse to leave. For example, the app uSafeUS has a feature called “time to leave,” which sends an urgent fake phone call or text from your parents or roommate, such as "I AM LOCKED OUT, COME LET ME IN."

These apps can definitely provide you with a good fallback excuse if you find yourself having trouble leaving on your own. 

Original Article:  How to Feel Comfortable On a First Date published on Elite Daily

Appeared on StyleCaster and YourTango: 9 Old-Fashioned Dating Rituals It’s Officially Time to Bring Back

"Chatting on the Phone

It’s hard to believe that phone conversations are considered “old-fashioned,” but the reality is that many daters learn more about each other from texting and social media than they do from actually talking to each other. “Using your phone to make a personal connection shows a lot more effort than merely texting,” says celebrity matchmaker and relationship expert Bonnie Winston. “Studies have shown that hearing a loved one’s voice can increase serotonin levels. I tell my clients ‘ring instead of a ping’ when asking someone out.  It may be old fashioned but it works better, because it shows you care a little more.”

Going out More

With all the great shows on Netflix (and with everything being a tad pricier than it was in the good ol’ days), it’s sooo easy to just Netflix and chill instead of going out—even for something as simple as dinner and a movie. But, Winston says, old-fashioned dating is about going out, not staying in. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. “Star gaze while listening to your favorite music in the car or go to the planetarium for a relaxing and romantic show,” she says. If you’re both outdoorsy, go hiking or ice skating… there are so many things to do that don’t include forking over a ton of cash.

Showing up with Flowers

Have you ever seen this IRL? You’re far from alone if not. Imagine meeting your date and having her or him waiting there with a bouquet of beautiful zinnias and dahlias. This is also something that says a lot but is rarely done. “They can be from a fancy florist or simply a small bouquet from the flower stand or supermarket, or even a cute small plant,” says Winston. You can also try sending them to their office or apartment the day after an amazing date.

Writing Handwritten Notes

You don’t have to be Emily Dickinson to write a sweet poem for your date. Things like love letters and notes are seldom sent anymore, but much appreciated when they are. “If you have personalized stationery, break it out,” says Winston. “Even more old-fashioned and romantic is spritzing your perfume or cologne on the letter.” It doesn’t so much matter what you write (though by all means, pour your heart out if you’re inclined); it’s the gesture that feels special and rare these days.

Minding Your Manners

The thing about manners is that they’re actually not old-fashioned; they’re timeless—so use them! This goes for both guys and girls. “I had a client who wasn’t interested in taking a woman out again because not only was she rude to the server, but she didn’t thank him for the lovely dinner,” says Winston. “Often people won’t tell you they’re offended, they just won’t ask you out again.” So, say thank you, don’t be rude, and definitely don’t text or even put your phone on the table during dinner. "

Read more:

Appeared on REDBOOK: 21 Relationship Resolutions to Make in the New Year


You don’t need a big party or even an officiant to renew your commitment to each other. Rather, it’s about remembering the promises you made and the love you felt that day, says Bonnie Winston, matchmaker and relationship expert. “Get out your old vows or write some new ones and recite them together for a special bond,” she says. “You can also play your special song that you danced to at you wedding or eat the same type of cake you served. This is a good resolution because it brings back the romantic feelings.”


Original Article: 21 Relationship Resolutions to Make in the New Year appeared on

Appeared on YourTango: If He Does These 5 Things, He's Not Chivalrous — He's Manipulative

"5. He gets rough when you don’t play your part. 

This is the ultimate sign of false chivalry. Matchmaker Bonnie Winston shared with me that she had a female client who found a man who obsessed with one small thing: he absolutely insisted on walking next to the curb for “her safety.” 

“At first she didn't mind, but if she forgot and walked on the wrong side he’d yell at her,” explains Winston. “They broke up because one night on their way to dinner he put his hands on her, and pushed her away from the curb and she fell.” 

So much for safety and chivalry, this action was obviously about control and aggression. Fortunately, the girl promptly broke up with him—but looking back, I can’t help but wonder if she wished she called it quits after his weird bouts of yelling, before it came to actual aggression.

Remember, chivalry isn’t just a set of actions that men use to get something. As Bret McKay of The Art of Manliness told Verily: “Chivalry is not about either the inferiority or the lofty superiority of women. Instead, it can foster mutual respect and remind us of our underlying biological differences and the complementary nature of the sexes. These little social gestures add some texture to a social life that often feels bland and homogenized.” As McKay points out, true chivalry is one of the few remnants of courtship we have left, often the big differentiator between a date and a nebulous “hang out.” 

Ultimately, real chivalry boils down to this one question: do you feel honored and appreciated, or do you feel pressured and pulled? It might take one or two dates to really know your answer, but when you do, you’ll know in your gut, not by tallying minute details. "


Original Article: If He Does These 5 Things, He's Not Chivalrous — He's Manipulative published on

Romper: 23 Unexpected Questions That’ll Deepen Your Bond With Your Partner

"Do You Have An Endgame Goal?"

You need to know what your partner's goals are. Does he want to start his own company? Does she want kids (or more kids)? Are they thinking about goals for the relationship at all? Matchmaker and relationship expert Bonnie Winston says that you need to know what those relationship goals are. It's important for many reasons, but one of those reasons is that knowing that the two of you have shared goals for your relationship is one way to strengthen the bond between the two of you. Not knowing where the other person stands is never comforting.

Originally Published on

Appeared on BUSTLE.COM: 7 Ways To Know If Your Chemistry With Your Partner Will Last

7. Your Partner Makes You Laugh

Laughter can make for some great chemistry (and some lighthearted fun, of course.) "Chemistry can peter out quickly, but if your partner makes you laugh, or you do other chores together and adore one another OUSIDE of the bedroom as well as inside, those are clues that your partner and your passion will not fizzle out," says celebrity matchmaker and relationship expert, Bonnie Winston, over email with Bustle. 

If you have any of these habits and behaviors in your personal relationship, you're in luck. There's tons of promise that you and your SO will stay happy and intimate for years to come. (Which is what everyone wants, right?)


Original Article:  7 Ways To Know If Your Chemistry With Your Partner Will Last By ISADORA BAUM, CHC

Appeared on BUSTLE.COM 15 Signs You Actually Play It Too Cool & It’s Holding Back Your Love Life

8. You Haven't Been Asked Out In A Minute

While you might think it's over-the-top to express your desire, people actually really like that. "Men and women want to feel desired and wanted and this sends a message of ambiguity, which will hold you back in love," says Bonnie Winston, a celebrity matchmaker and relationship expert. But if you can be honest about your feelings, and even a little flirty, you might find yourself on a few more dates.


14. You Don't Want To Feel Rejected

As Winston tells me, some ladies (and men) who play hard to get — especially the ones who really lay it on thick — are doing so because they fear rejection. But that's part of the dating process. If you don't put yourself out there, and risk a few rejections, you'll really be holding yourself back.


Original Article:  15 Signs You Actually Play It Too Cool & It’s Holding Back Your Love Life By CAROLYN STEBER

Scam-Detector: Dating Traps: A Spread Between 'Matebaiting' and Fake Identities

Dating is fun, but sometimes it comes with the most unpleasant surprises. That includes cases when the person you thought you know is in fact someone else. We thought we'd try to get deeper into the intricate world of dating scams.

We're not talking about the classic - by now - online dating fake profiles asking for money after the relationship takes off. We connected with two of the most reputable elite professional matchmakers in North America to share their thoughts: Bonnie Winston and Susan Trombetti.

Both of them work with celebrities and have experienced enough to know what could raise a red flag.

Winston has coined a term called matebaiting. What is it? “Crooks are dating and baiting the other person with exactly what they say they want. Let me explain”, says our expert, the founder of

“Let's say you go on a first date and outline all your must-haves during dinner. There may be some chemistry and on the second date the other person suddenly mentions, You know what, I want to get married and have kids soon, as well. Or something like: Hey, I love Indian food and camping. I’m looking for a committed relationship, as well.”

“In other words, they are matebaiting. Finding out what you want and then telling you exactly what you want to hear about a long-term relationship. These people, it can be a man or woman, are not really interested in long-term, they’re just manipulating the situation.”

“Often, especially for women, marriage and children is the ultimate goal, and guys know that. So be careful about revealing too much in your online profile, or in social media, or on a first or second date.“, advises Winston.

“Sometimes the person using these practices hides a very dark past. I was introduced once to a very attractive man, full of charisma, smarts and spirit. I was surprised to find out he was never married or in a long serious relationship, but I decided to consider representing him, not before doing some research.”

“It took me a while, but I discovered that this guy had spent seven years in jail for a $750,000 money laundering scheme... Would you trust him?”, says Winston.

“Make sure you go on the Internet and spend quite a bit of time looking for your prospect. You'd be surprised how much stuff you can find, especially nowadays. Sure, not everything online might be true, but when you find a mugshot as I did in the case I just told you about, you know that's a big issue. Also, don't be afraid to run a background check if you really like the person and consider a future with him or her”.

Originally published on

Appeared on YourTango: How To Tell He's Not Into You, According To Relationship Experts

"9. He starts hanging out with other people in his social sphere more than he does with you. 

Whether it's his friends, or staying "late at work" more and more often, it should be clear that you aren't a priority.

"He only initiates a date with you when he wants sex, but isn’t interested in hanging out with you or having a conversation otherwise," says Bonnie Winston, celebrity matchmaker and relationship expert.

10. He starts making up excuses NOT to have sex with you. 

He’s "too full from dinner" or he has to "wake up early for work" the next day when none of these things kept him from jumping on you before. That's a clear sign.

11. He doesn't discuss the future with you.

He used to talk about the next vacation you two were going to take or how you’d eventually move to the suburbs to raise your kids. 'But these days it seems like all your plans revolve around the routine present,' says Winston.

12. He’s always on his phone when you’re at a restaurant.

'Instead of staring into your eyes for hours, he’s staring at his Instagram feed. Every text ping seems to interrupt your conversation and he’s responding instead of concentrating on you,' warns Winston."


Original Article: How To Tell He's Not Into You, According To Relationship Experts by Aly Walansky

Appeared on Readers Digest: Always Follow These 8 Rules When Texting Your Partner

"Mad texting is always trouble, so take some tips from  to keep it fair. "Wait until you cool off a bit, and your head is clearer," says professional matchmaker Bonnie Winston. "Impulsively sprouting mean or nasty remarks by text cannot be undone easily. As hard as it might be, give yourself some time to calm down and reason, and think it through. This goes for partners, as well as anyone you really care about."


Original Article: Always Follow These 8 Rules When Texting Your Partner published on Reader's Digest by Bryce Gruber

Appeared on Bustle: 11 Movies To Watch With Your Partner That Might Spark Meaningful Conversations

"This film can be fun to watch, for the pure nostalgia of it all. But Breakfast at Tiffany's can also strike up meaningful conversation. "You could discuss what your feelings were initially for each other, and what your 'end goals' are currently," matchmaker and relationship expert Bonnie Winston tells Bustle. "Have they changed... and what are they now? It could also spark a realistic conversation about money, values about love, and what you would or would not do for money.”


Original Article: 11 Movies To Watch With Your Partner That Might Spark Meaningful Conversations

Appeared on Bustle: 11 Times A Lack Of Passion In A Relationship Isn't Actually A Bad Thing

"1. You Aren't Having Sex As Often

If your sex life starts to slow down, don't panic. "[It] doesn’t mean you have a loveless [relationship]," Bonnie Winston, a celebrity matchmaker, tells Bustle. "Decades of proven evidence says that the average couple’s passion lasts just a few years. That means if you aren't really compatible in other areas, there's a good chance that your relationship won't stand the test of time." So, the fact you're still together, even though you're no longer having sex 24/7, can be a sign of high compatibility."

It's great if you think your partner is the sexiest person alive. But if you're obsessed with the fact they're an 11 on the hotness scale, it could be a sign you're a little too passionate. "I tell my clients that if you see someone at a bar, party, or the dry cleaners and on a scale of one to 10, you feel this person is an 11... run, do not walk away," Winston says. "You are so attracted to that person because they have the issues you never worked out with a relative, parent, or difficult circumstance ... It will be a pattern that repeats itself." In other words, that 11 might make for a fun hookup; not necessarily a stable relationship.

Original Article: 11 Times A Lack Of Passion In A Relationship Isn't Actually A Bad Thing published on Bustle.