The Benefits of a Long-Distance Relationship

long-distance-relationship

The Benefits of a Long-Distance Relationship

Lots of people argue against long-distance relationships. But if you two are the right kind of people, a long-distance relationship can make love stronger, the relationship deeper and can make each party rise to the occasion, utilizing traits and skills that make them better people. First, a long-distance relationship has automatic breathing room built in. Balancing time for yourself and time together is a great challenge for many couples. Some people like to be together more often. Others like to be apart. Everyone has a relationship style.

If you and your significant other spend more time apart than together, you may be good candidates for a long-distance relationship. It also makes the time you spend together more fulfilling, significant, even magical since it is rarer and therefore, more precious.  In this, you may find that you have a deeper appreciation for your sweetheart and are less likely to take them for granted. Some in this type of relationship claim that a couple sustains the honeymoon phase of the relationship longer. The two aren’t together often enough for it to fade. So each time they see each other the steamy, magnetic giddiness of the honeymoon phase is renewed, at least until they stop being long-distance.

A long-distance relationship builds its own world, for just the two of you through email, Skype, and more. In regular relationships, friends, hobbies, and lifestyles blend together. But in a long-distance relationship, the world is more private, shared only between the two, almost sacrosanct. Excellent communication skills is the number one most important skill for any relationship and long-distancers have it by the boat load. In fact, communication seems to be what they have most of. Affection is also diversified and creatively put forth. If they mention they ran out of Keurig cups you secretly go online and order if for them. If you mention a movie you want to see, your partner will see it too so the two of you can discuss it and have something to look forward to.

Long-distance relationships are more secure in their love. If you’ve seen each other face-to-face for a long time, you start to wonder how committed the other person is. But in a long-distance relationship the fact that the person returns to Skype time and again, calls time and again, and shows their investment time and again keeps you from guessing. If you are considering a long-distance relationship, look at the benefits along with the drawbacks, talk with those close to you, and do some soul searching to see if it’s right for you. For more advice read, The Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide by Chris Bell and Kate Brauer-Bell.

Make a Connection Offline in an Online World

connection

The warm weather months are upon us and you know what that means? It’s time to get social. There are trips to the beach, backyard barbecues, family picnics and so much more. But if you’re single and don’t constantly want to be the third wheel, and who doesn’t like a summer romance that could possibly turn into more, you’d better get on that A.S.A.P.. Sure, dating sites and apps can be lots of fun, but they shouldn’t replace good, old fashioned flirting. Some people settle in behind the comfort and near anonymity a screen brings you. But you lose out on the other senses. Being in the presence of someone, when flirting is going well, is one of the best experiences of life and what an ego boost. Anyone and everyone can flirt. You don’t have to be a heartthrob or a femme fatale. Anyone can, but there are some techniques you can use to make a real connection offline, and in an online world where we kind of shy away from and aren’t as used to doing things that may be socially awkward face-to-face. But the benefits of when it does work outweigh any drawbacks. And if you do it right you’ll be getting more positive responses than you think. First, use your eyes. Simple eye contact alone can really get someone else’s pulse going, and get them interested in you. Let your glance stay on them for a few seconds. Smiling or giving a coy look can add to the experience. Don’t stare, this is creepy. Instead, after a few seconds let your gaze wander and then return again. That second eye lock will make a deep impression.

The next technique is the look back. Walk by the object of your affection and make eye contact and do so on the way back, too. Don’t stare them down. Look aloof, positive, charming, relaxed, confident and vaguely interested. It’s best to walk past at a place that lends itself to this like a bar or a party. Smile when you lock eyes. Give them a raised eyebrow or a smile. Now it’s time for a chat. Small talk always seems like it will be terribly uncomfortable. But the truth is it’s not so hard. First, introduce yourself. Smile and face them, giving them your full attention. Next compliment them or make a comment about something about the place, event or atmosphere. Ask them a question. Appreciate something about the person you are talking to. This shows that you are interested in them and that you’ve noticed things about them. If something funny comes up or if you can make a joke, do so. Laugh, be funny, silly and playful. As things progress, try to touch their arm, hand or shoulder. This nonsexual touching lets them know you are interested in being more than friends without crossing any boundaries. Now it’s time for your first date. You’ll know what to do and how to act then. To learn more about how technology is changing the game entirely, read Closer Together, Further Apart: The Effect of Technology and the Internet on Sex, Intimacy and Relationships by Robert Weiss.

The Benefits of Friends with Benefits

Senior Couple

Though guys are acculturated to desire no strings attached sex, most women are raised to believe that their end goal is commitment. But with women’s liberation, so many divorces nowadays, and the shift in focus toward career over family, many women are also choosing a friends with benefits type of relationship. They choose them for many reasons. Some are young and want to sow their wild oats as much as their male counterparts. Other women are completely career focused. They want to enjoy the benefits of seeing someone without sacrificing all the time and energy it takes to sustain a long term committed relationship. There are women who are too emotionally scarred by a painful divorce to want a committed relationship again, but they want to enjoy their love lives and they have needs that need to be met. There are benefits for both members of a friends with benefits relationship. The important thing is to see if it’s right for you.  First, consider your friend. Friends can have emotional ties, enjoy the chemistry that floats between the two, laugh and have fun without all of the difficulties a committed relationship often brings with it, sooner or later.

If you are getting over a painful divorce, realize that you will be loved again, and you will be found attractive. Lots of people have trouble being with a new person. That’s where friends with benefits might come in. If it’s someone you are emotionally comfortable with, have chemistry with and enjoy being with, the friends with benefits scenario can help you validate yourself, release your tension, understand how to be with someone else, and liberate your new single, sexual self from the bonds of the past. Of course it’s important to always practice safe sex. The friends with benefits relationship can also help in this transition. They will generally be patient and the pressure will be off if you are going from a no protection bedroom scene to one where protection has now become vitally important. Those career minded and education minded individuals who pursue FWB relationships share with the newly divorced, or those who have sworn off long term relationships, one important element; freedom. You don’t have to tell anyone where you are going and when you’ll be home. There isn’t someone who is upset with you for any reason when you do finally come home. You have absolute freedom. Why not enjoy it? The friends with benefits scenario can offer a safe place to explore sexuality and fantasies without having to worry about the opinion of a long term lover. There are those who should not pursue this type of relationship however. If you cannot separate love and sex, if you are the jealous type, if your friend has feelings for you or if when you have sex with someone you tend to fall in love with them, then the FWB relationship style is definitely not for you. Otherwise, if you have the means, why not consider it? For more insight on this topic, read The Friends With Benefits Handbook by Dee Bockler.

What to do if you think your Spouse has Hidden Assets

Hidden-Assets

There was a woman in California who won $1.8 million in the lottery. She filed for divorce from her husband of 25 years and failed to disclose her windfall. But the husband found out about it and the judge granted him all of her lottery winnings.   Failing to disclose all of your assets during the divorce proceedings in a no-no and you may end up with a far worse judgment than you would have if you were honest. That said, what do you do if you think your spouse has hidden assets that weren’t brought up during the divorce proceedings? One thing you can do is hire a forensic accountant to investigate. You can find them online via a Google search, or even in the phone book. Your divorce attorney or accountant may also be able to recommend one as well. These are special accountants who know how to search for hidden assets. But what if you don’t have the financial wherewithal to hire someone like that? During the discovery process, your divorce attorney can do a lot of things to have these assets discovered. If you can’t count on your ex you certainly can’t rely on their financial affidavit. Your attorney should review the following documents carefully: pay stubs, bank statements,   tax returns, cancelled checks, credit card statements, brokerage statements and any other financial statements.  Each document should be scrutinized carefully to extract the proper information.

Here are some things you can do to make sure you have the best chance of bringing all of your ex-spouse’s assets to light. First, take a good look at the tax return, the 1099 and the brokerage accounts. Has all interest and dividends been disclosed? Next, run a public records search on your ex’s name. Do they own any property that perhaps wasn’t brought up? Now it’s time to look at your former spouse’s pay stubs and other documents. Take a good look at the bank statements. Is all the income accounted for? Does all income have a record of deposit? For example, if your ex makes $10,000 per month but there is only a record of $3,000 being deposited per month, where has the other $7,000 gone? Now it’s time to look at any cancelled checks. Check out the bills which they pay. Look at mortgage or rent payments, credit card payments, auto loans, utilities and others. Are there any bills being paid from a different account than that which you have knowledge of? If you believe the funds for these bills are coming out of a separate bank account of which you have no knowledge, your previous spouse may be hiding assets. Next, have your attorney subpoena your spouse’s employer to request to find out what kinds of benefits your ex has such as stock options, a 401K or some other retirement plan or a deferred compensation plan. These should also be included during the disclosure of finances phase. If they haven’t, let your attorney know and he or she should make sure that it is included.

Check out the monthly income disclosed. Now take a look at the family expenses and add them up. If the income is lower than the expenses, consider whether you and your ex-spouse were dipping into savings or some other area in order to make ends meet. If not, there is likely financial assets that aren’t being disclosed. Look carefully at the account statements. Look for transfers or withdrawals that don’t seem to end up anywhere else. Your attorney may need to subpoena back documentation to see where and in whose account the money ended up. Look over canceled checks, wire transfers, credit card statements, purchases of significant items such as works of art, jewelry, antiques and so on which may not have been disclosed. Look for cancelled checks, wire transfers, or payments on credit card statements that go to insurance or property taxes on a property other than your own home. This can indicate undisclosed real estate. If you discover any of these inconsistencies it may now be time to depose your ex-spouse. They can’t lie under oath or they will face sanctions. Now you can ask about bills being paid out of secret accounts, property taxes being paid on real estate you didn’t know about or whatever you had discovered. Divorce can be a very painful, high anxiety affair. But it pays to keep your head about you and protect yourself. The outcome of the divorce proceedings can affect your life for years to come. So it’s important that you and your attorney have access to all the information you need in order to safeguard the best outcome possible. For more on this topic, read Forensic Accounting for Divorce Engagements: A Practical Guide, Third Edition by Donald A. Glenn and Ezra Huber.

Is Being Single or Married better for your Bottom Line?

money

Weddings today are so costly. It seems that you put down the GDP of a small country just to cover all the expenses. Generally you have to figure for a loss. Then there’s that pesky marriage penalty. But still there are tax breaks and many other incentives for being married. When single, you don’t get these but you don’t have an expensive wedding to pay for. Nor do you have to shoulder the debt of a spouse. So in taking everything into consideration, is being single or married better for your bottom line? If you guessed married you would be correct. According to a new article out in The Atlantic Monthly entitled “The High Price of Being Single in America,” a single woman will pay a staggering $1,022,096 more than a married one over the course of her lifetime. There are those tax breaks we mentioned. A married woman is privy to part of her husband’s salary, shared to take care of the bills and so on. Then there’s savings on housing, healthcare costs, even social security benefits. But is it all as straightforward as this article portrays it?

One thing that is always true, housing is more expensive for singles. This goes for insurance, too. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20-somethings spend an average of $9,964 for their housing. For the average married couples that figure is $8,844. For the lawfully wedded, over the course of six decades that can total $67,200. Not a small amount of money to be sure. Not only is housing more expensive for singles, but they don’t have a dual income household to help share part of the costs. Another area to look at is the tax savings. Many times it works in a couple’s favor because there are their certain deductions married folks can take. Often with dual income households, one spouse’s income isn’t quite up to par with the others. When this occurs however the couple can actually save on taxes while not being pushed into a higher tax bracket. In terms of healthcare, single people spend an average of $570 per year, compared to their married counterparts who shell out $482 each on average, due to the costs of coverage being reduced for their status. The exception is that many times insurance companies do not offer a savings by putting a couple under the same plan. It’s best to check before committing to one. Even for lifestyle items such as cell phone plans, gym memberships, even travel expenses are more expensive. To read more about this phenomenon, check out Dr. Bella DePaulo’s book, Singled out.