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Category Archives: Relationships

Dating after Divorce? When?

In case you’re separated, or have finished a long haul relationship, good natured relatives and companions may urge you to begin dating again soon. However, in what manner will you know when you’re prepared for another relationship?

“This uncontrollably changes from individual to individual,” says Judith Sills, PhD, a Philadelphia-based therapist and creator of Getting Naked Again: Dating, Romance, Sex, and Love When You’ve Been Divorced, Widowed, Dumped, or Distracted. “Everybody closes a relationship by lamenting the enthusiastic speculation. For a few people, that happens before they move out. Others are still candidly hitched after the separation is last.”

Dena Roché began dating while sitting tight for her legal documents to come through.

“It helped, because I got to see what ‘normal’ looked like,” Roché says. “I also saw that my ex wasn’t the only guy who would want to be with me. It bolstered my confidence for dating.”

Claudia Barnett needed some alone time to heal before seeking a new relationship.

“Your marriage has died; you need to grieve that loss,” Barnett says. “To move forward, I had to be whole emotionally, financially, mentally, and spiritually. After I accomplished some set goals, I knew it was time.”

Here’s what experts say you should consider before dating:

# The ex factor

If you’re still thinking about what your ex is doing or whom he’s dating, you’re too distracted to begin a healthy relationship.

“Some people date and even marry to try to prove something to an ex,” says Edward M. Tauber, PhD, a California-based divorce counselor and co-author of Find the Right One After Divorce. “You wouldn’t date somebody who’s still tangled up with an ex emotionally. Why offer that to somebody else?”

# Accept yourself as an individual

Your identity has nothing to do with your dating status. Rather than jumping into a new relationship to avoid being alone, give yourself a chance to explore life on your own terms.

“You can’t heal unless you’re on your own,” Tauber says. “You need to find single friends to have a social life with.”

# Are you open to new experiences?

If you were in a committed relationship for a long time, the idea of beginning a new romance may seem scary. If you’ve recently tried other activities that bring you out of your comfort zone, you could be ready to date.

“Have you done something that’s an affirmation of yourself and your life — made a new friend, taken up a new sport, gotten a haircut?” Sills asks. “You open your heart to new relationships when you’re resilient enough to endure the minuses of dating to get the pluses.”

# Things have changed since the last time you were dating

Not only have you changed since you were last single, but so have your social life, circle of friends, and routines. You might meet a new partner through a friend or by clicking with a mysterious stranger — but you may also want to consider online dating.

“The advantage is you have a pool of people who are looking, like you are,” Sills says. “When you drop off the kids at school, there might be a single person there, but you don’t know them.”

# Go by your feelings, not the calendar

Some people are ready to date after 2 months; others may need years. Don’t rush. It’s important to experience the emotions associated with divorce.

Give yourself “a little time to think, a little time to grieve, a little opportunity to find someone else,” Sills says.

# Dating is an adult decision

Some single parents don’t date because they’re worried about the effect it may have on their children. You don’t let your children make other decisions for you, so don’t let them keep you from dating if that’s something you want to do.

But be careful.

“Do a very slow introduction of a new partner,” Sills says. “It should be a serious person with the potential of a long-term relationship who comes to dinner or the zoo as mom or dad’s friend.”

Healthy Relationship?, Here Its Tips

healthy-relationshipRomantic connections are critical for our joy and prosperity. However with more than 40 percent of new relational unions finishing in separation, unmistakably connections aren’t generally easy.1 Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your sentimental association in great working request.

# Keep interesting

Between kids, careers and outside commitments, it can be difficult to stay connected to your partner. Yet there are good reasons to make the effort. In one study, for example, researchers found couples that reported boredom during their seventh year of marriage were significantly less satisfied with their relationships nine years later.4

To keep things interesting, some couples plan regular date nights. Even dates can get old, though, if you’re always renting a movie or going to the same restaurant. Experts recommend breaking out of the routine and trying new things — whether that’s going dancing, taking a class together or packing an afternoon picnic.

Intimacy is also a critical component of romantic relationships. Some busy couples find it helpful to schedule sex by putting it on the calendar. It may not be spontaneous to have it written in red ink, but setting aside time for an intimate encounter helps ensure that your physical and emotional needs are met.

# Talking openly

Communication is a key piece of healthy relationships. Healthy couples make time to check in with one another on a regular basis. It’s important to talk about more than just parenting and maintaining the household, however. Try to spend a few minutes each day discussing deeper or more personal subjects to stay connected to your partner over the long term.

That doesn’t mean you should avoid bringing up difficult subjects. Keeping concerns or problems to yourself can breed resentment. When discussing tough topics, though, it pays to be kind. Researchers have found that communication style is more important than commitment levels, personality traits or stressful life events in predicting whether happily married couples will go on to divorce. In particular, negative communication patterns such as anger and contempt are linked to an increased likelihood of splitting up.2

Disagreements are part of any partnership, but some fighting styles are particularly damaging. Couples that use destructive behavior during arguments — such as yelling, resorting to personal criticisms or withdrawing from the discussion — are more likely to break up than are couples that fight constructively. Examples of constructive strategies for resolving disagreements include attempting to find out exactly what your partner is feeling, listening to his or her point of view and trying to make him or her laugh.3

# When should couples seek help?

Every relationship has ups and downs, but some factors are more likely than others to create bumps in a relationship. Finances and parenting decisions often create recurring conflicts, for example. One sign of a problem is having repeated versions of the same fight over and over. In such cases, psychologists can help couples improve communication and find healthy ways to move beyond the conflict.

You don’t have to wait until a relationship shows signs of trouble before working to strengthen your union. Marital education programs that teach skills such as good communication, effective listening and dealing with conflict have been shown to reduce the risk of divorce.

# Reference :

1 Kreider, R. M. (2005). Number, timing, and duration of marriages and divorces: 2001. Current Population Reports. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.

2 Lavner, J.A. & Bradbury, T.N. (2012). “Why do even satisfied newlyweds eventually go on to divorce?” Journal of Family Psychology, 26 (1): 1-10.

3 Birditt, K.S., Brown, E., Orbuch, T.L., and McIlvane, J.M. (2010). “Marital conflict behaviors and implications for divorce over 16 years.” Journal of Marriage and Family, 72 (5): 1188-1204.

4 Tsapelas, I., Aron, A., and Orbuch, T. (2009). “Marital boredom now predicts less satisfaction 9 years later.” Psychological Science, 20 (5): 543-545.

Don’t Say These Things to Someone in LDR

Being in a long distance relationship and missing your boo all the time is hard enough without having to deal with these however well-intentioned, still annoying questions.

# “Is it really worth it?” Having a wonderful S.O. who treats me with respect, makes me laugh, and loves me unconditionally from a distance? Absolutely.

# “What your boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t know won’t hurt them. *wink wink*” UM EW. If I was interested in cheating on my boyfriend, I wouldn’t have told you that I have a boyfriend.

# “Ugh, I haven’t seen my bf in a week.” I haven’t seen mine in two months, so please stop complaining about seven short little days.

# “Are you only looking at schools near them?” Obviously, we’d like to be closer to each other, but that’s a really big decision that, when we’re ready to make, we’ll do what’s right for both of us.

# “Aren’t you worried they’ll cheat on you?” Nope. Because we have a healthy, trusting relationship and distance between our geographic locations doesn’t changed that.

# “Why don’t you date someone who lives closer?” Because I found someone amazing who happens to live far away. Why would I want to give that up?

# “You’ll break up.” Well, person who clearly doesn’t know my relationship at all, no,we won’t, because believe it or not we’re happy in our relationship, even though we miss each other. Also, if you are so good at predicting the future, then you already know this is when I walk away. Ok, Bye.

# “I could never do long-distance.” Ok?

# “OMG you’re going to visit them again??” Says your friend who hangs out at her girlfriend’s dorm seven days a week.

# “Haven’t you met anyone here that you like better?” Nope. Because I already found the best out there.

Avoid These Bad Ways to Ask a Guy Out

# Play hard to get. This doesn’t necessarily “count” as asking out, but it seems like enough people think it’s a great way of putting yourself out there. It isn’t. It just makes you look like you don’t like him. To be fair, there’s a difference between teasing him a bit and just ignoring him and making it seem like there’s no hope. Those differences should be obvious. If they’re not obvious, then never do this.

# Have a friend do it for you. This is a technique that belongs in middle school. At best, even if he’s saying yes, it puts him in an awkward place. It feels decidedly immature.

 # Hit on him when he’s got a girlfriend. This one could work out well for you… but do you want it to? It’ll also tell you a lot about him. Either he’s not interested, or he’s willing to cheat on whoever his current girlfriend is. Eventually, that might be you.

# Ask him out and then cancel or reschedule more than once. This is a great tip for anyone making plans, but I think it goes doubly so when it’s for someone you’re really into: don’t make plans you’re not sure you can keep.

#  Don’t do anything just to impress him. Don’t ask him out snowboarding if you’ve never gone before. You will die. Just do dinner or something. Or, tell him you always wanted to go and ask him if he wants to try too. Just don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t.

# Ask him out, but then take him to a party. This is not a date. It might be fun for both of you, but it likely isn’t a great way to get to know each other, especially if he knows no one and isn’t exactly outgoing. Try and keep to something more one-on-one for the first date.

# Don’t ask him out when you’re double booked. Leaving early is almost as bad as canceling, and it makes it seem like you don’t really care about the date. It’s a real confusing set of mixed signals.

# Don’t ask one of your friends along to make it “less awkward.” This will just make it more awkward. A double date is fine, but asking your friend to come along and be the third wheel just because you’re anxious is a bad idea.

# Don’t overthink it. This is it. You might not have a lot of experience taking the initiative, but don’t worry. Just be yourself, the magic was inside you all along, etc. If he’s going to say “yes” it doesn’t really matter what you do anyway. And he’s going to say yes. Because I believe in you. But more importantly, you believe in yourself and junk.

Never Changes These Things because of Your Crush

You know you should never change for someone else, and anyone who is worthy of you will like you exactly as you are. But sometimes, when you’re in the throes of a brand new crush, you can forget the basics, and suddenly, you find yourself acting totally not like yourself. So here’s a quick reminder of all the things you should never, ever change for your crush :

# Your beliefs.

Whether it’s your religious beliefs or your political views, your belief system is bound to develop and change as you grow and learn — and that’s totally okay. But one thing’s for sure: you should never compromise your beliefs to impress your crush. If you’re passionate about your faith, don’t pretend not to be just because your crush isn’t religious, or vice versa. If you’re republican, don’t pretend to be a democrat just because your crush is one. If you pretend to believe everything your crush believes, they’re falling for a version of you that doesn’t actually exist. Not to mention you’re going to constantly have to pretend when you’re around them and then go home and look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day. Basically, not a great foundation for a fun, healthy relationship.

# Your personality.

If your crush makes you feel like you have to to tone down your personality, or go out of your way to try and crack jokes to fit into their idea of what’s funny, you’re going to spend more time worrying about what impresses your crush or makes them laugh than enjoying yourself and living life. Plus, chances are, you’re going to come off as inauthentic anyway. You’re better off accepting that you and your crush’s personalities aren’t compatible and waiting for someone to come along who appreciates your fart jokes and loud, talkative nature.

# Your friends.

As the very wise Spice Girls once said, “If you wanna get with me, you gotta get with my friends.” It sounds cliche, but crushes come and go, which is why you should never let one of them come in between you and your friends. If your crush isn’t meshing with your besties (even though you know your besties are awesome because you handpicked them), chances are, the problem isn’t with your friends — it’s with your crush. And if you feel like you need to hang out with a different crew in order to be “cool” enough for your crush, think about if you you really want to date someone who only likes you based on your popularity or who you hang out with.

# Your interests.

Maybe your fave hobby is filming beauty blogs in your room. Maybe you like watching anime and drawing manga. Or maybe you’re into writing fan fiction. Whatever it is: it’s awesome and totally unique to you. Don’t let your anyone make you feel weird about the things you’re most passionate about. It’s something you love to do and if they can’t accept that, you guys would probably never work anyway. In the same vein, don’t feel like you need to take up certain hobbies just because your crush is into them or they’re “cool”. Sure, it’s fun to try new things, but you don’t need to ditch chess club because you think your crush will think it’s “dorky” and join the yearbook instead to impress someone you like. Your crush might think it’s really cool that you’re a chess whiz, but may never get a chance to find out if you ditch it just to join the same clubs as them.

# Your tastes in general.

In the end, it’s okay to have different tastes than your crush. You can like romantic dramas, and they can like comedies. You can like comic books and they can like classic literature. You can have completely different preferences, but still respect and like each other. Plus, if they know you’re not really into their taste in music but you still buy them tickets to their fave EDM DJ’s concert for their birthday, they’ll appreciate the gesture that much more. Because they’ll know you did it just for them.

# Your look.
If you wear pink every day, and your crush says something like, “Black is a really cool color. You should wear more black,” (no joke, this actually happened to a friend of mine), that’s a red flag that your crush may not be so cool, after all. Same goes for any suggestions to adjust your look. Phrases like, “You’d look great if you grew out your hair,” or “Don’t you think that skirt is a little short?” should never come out of your crush’s mouth. Your crush should like you for the way YOU look at present. If he tries to change it, he’s more interested in what you could look like rather than who you actually are.

# Your body.

There may be a little voice in your head telling you that maybe if you were a little bit taller or a little bit thinner, things with your crush would work out. But girls of all sizes are beautiful, and the things that annoy you about your body that you might see as “flaws”, your crush probably doesn’t even notice. You being comfortable with your body and owning it is much hotter than fitting into any dress size or having Kardashian-style curves.

# How much money you or your family has.

Throughout the course of your romantic life, you’re going to have crushes on people that might have a completely different lifestyle than you. They might go swimming at the country club every weekend, have an expensive car, and go out to eat at really expensive restaurants — things that you might not necessarily be able to afford. So when they ask you if you want to go to that concert in NYC next weekend and the tickets cost $200, in your head, you’re like:

# Your schedule.

When you’re crushing on a new person, it’s tempting to jump at any opportunity to hang out with them. They feel so fresh, and new, and like they can disappear at any point. So, what’s the big deal with ditching one track and field practice to go get coffee with your crush after school, or skipping one movie night with your girls or dinner with the fam to go see a movie with bae?

While there’s always some give and take when you start dating someone new, you should never put your academic commitments or your friends and family on the back-burner. Plus, it’ll give your crush the idea that you’re always available and make them think they don’t have to make plans with you in advance. If your crush really wants to spend time with you, they should be willing to work with you to make your relationship work around both your schedules. Remember, having a busy, full life is attractive, and maintaining that life while still making time for your crush will also help you avoid moving too fast (which is definitely tempting when you first start a relationship.)