Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage


Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage

When you see a disaster is eminent, the best plan is to get out before it’s too late. After that, it’s all triage. Nowhere else is this truer than when entering into a bad marriage—the consequences of which can follow you for years. Sometimes we’re blinded by love. At other times, something arises that cannot be reconciled. Either way, when the divorce is final, we often look for easy things to blame. We feel confused, overwhelmed, hurt and angry. But usually there are many things that lead to the decline and dissolution of such a relationship. Enjoy love but keep on the lookout for important warning signs. You may be able to duck a bad situation or likely recognize when your relationship is heading south. Do you remember your first fight? Few couples do. Well, maybe some women do. In any case, lots of couples fight about the same things, money being the topmost issue, confirmed in several studies. But if you start fighting about money early on, say as you’re boarding the plane on the way to your honeymoon, the marriage could be in trouble. That’s according to research out of Kansas State University. That’s because arguments about money early on affected the marriage even years later. Fighting about money was the “top predictor for divorce” regardless of socio-economic status or income level.

If you got married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas at the spur of the moment, surprise–you might not make it. But if you dated for three years before deciding to get married, you have a 39% less likelihood of seeing the inside of a divorce court, according to researchers out of Emory University. Couples who dated for three years had far better odds than those who dated for less than a year. Are you both teetotalers? Or perhaps you both like to party until the wee hours. If you’re drinking habits diverge sharply, your relationship might soon too, so say University of Buffalo researchers. If one spouse drank heavily, the couple was more likely to get divorced. But the same results weren’t true when both partners tipped the glass often. Apparently, it’s the mismatch rather than the habit that causes strife.

Did you two talk about a prenup before marriage? If so, you are more than likely to keep your money when you two go your separate ways. That’s because the longevity of the marriage isn’t the utmost concern to both parties. Couples that don’t share a bank account are 145% more likely to divorce, says the National Center for Family and Marriage Research. The reason is financial generosity and sharing is conducive to marriage. It makes you a unit. Keeping things for yourself and separate is not, though of course we all need some individuality. Still, complete separateness denotes something. How much did you blow on the wedding? Some events seem to cost more than a mortgage nowadays. But one Emory University study found that the more you spend on the wedding, the less likely you will have staying power. That’s because spending more gave each elevated expectations for the marriage. When you aren’t ready for problems when they inevitably strike, there are no coping strategies set aside to deal with them. Those who coughed up $20,000 or more were 3.5 times more likely to divorce than those who spent $5,000-$10,000. Social networking sites have us all interconnected. They influence us more than we think. In fact, one study published in “Social Forces” Journal found that if a friend or neighbor got divorced, that person was 75% more likely to get divorced themselves. For ways to make you marriage strong whether entering into or already in the thick of it read, The Marriage Guide Book: How to Make Your Marriage Thrive by Vanessa Pagan.

Surviving Dinner with an Ex


Surviving Dinner with an Ex

There are many reasons why you might end up at dinner with your ex. You share the same friends and you want to show that the breakup isn’t devastating to you, whether or not that’s true is another matter. You may work at the same place and this is a business meeting. Perhaps you have to discuss a weighty issue post breakup. Or you drunk dialed your ex and you’re too proud to back out or admit it is a mistake. Whatever the reason there are some guidelines you can follow for surviving dinner with an ex.

Do not show up to this function inebriated. In fact, keep your alcohol consumption to a reasonable level at all times. You don’t want something uncomfortable slipping out. You certainly don’t want to make a scene. If anything you want to look calm, cool and collected. Be sure you are punctual and have absolute control over yourself. Fake it until you make it if you have to. If you feel an emotional outburst coming on, excuse yourself and have it in the bathroom. The better your façade the better you’ll look and the more your ex will wonder if indeed they hadn’t made some mistake by not trying harder to be with you. If you do make a scene, try to recover from it as gracefully as possible. Make a joke, make amends with whomever you’ve offended and make an excuse to leave.

Don’t mention this date on your social media sites. Whatever you say it won’t make you look good. You don’t want your ex catching wind of it either. Do not use social media as a form of therapy to deal with the emotions surrounding this meeting. It will seem too emotional and desperate. An online pity party or a bunch of replies of support may feel good at the moment. But if your ex reads it how will you feel? How will your ex act then at dinner? It’s better to play your hand close to the chest. If you want support, validation and advice meet with your close friends offline.

If this is an ex you broke it off with who wants to reconnect but you aren’t interested, give this person all the signs to say so. Don’t be warm and flirty then surprised when they say they still have feelings for you. Expect even if they broke up with you that they still might try to get back together with you. Understand what that means from a logical standpoint. What broke you two up to begin with? Sometimes these sorts of meetings will be an emotional whirlwind. You’ll laugh and reminisce. You get sucked back in. Soon you’re dating again and then everything comes back to you. The relationship comes to a screeching halt when you figure out why you and this person don’t work. Don’t get caught up. Give yourself time. Think things through. You can survive this dinner. With these tips you’ll be on top of your game, and they’ll be lamenting the end of your previous relationship. For more advice read, Love at First Ex by Grace Fraga.

How Women can Protect Themselves in Bars


How Women can Protect Themselves in Bars

Bars can be great places to relax, have fun, hang loose and meet new friends, or even someone special. But as much as harmless or friendly flirting occurs in bars they are also the venues of unwanted sexual aggression and advances. A new study out of the University of Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health entitled Blurred Lines?” Sexual Aggression and Barroom Culture found that 50% of women who attend bars are victims of sexual aggression. 90% of the time males initiated this aggression and females were the victims. Though this is quite common, women don’t have to be mere victims. So how can women protect themselves in bars? First, be extra vigilant when interacting with strangers. The atmosphere in a bar is often charged sexually. The sexual aggression that occurs in bars generally takes place between strangers, so says the senior research scientist of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute of the University of Washington Jeanette Norris. In fact, it is the unfamiliarity that could create a perfect environment for sexual aggression. According to Dr. Norris, there are two psychological phenomenon that occur, “First, perpetrators might be more likely to depersonalize and dehumanize the targeted woman, and second, it might lead them to believe they are less likely to suffer any consequences for their actions.”

Don’t drink so much when you are in the bar. Women who get drunk are seen as sexually more promiscuous or worthy of blame according to lead researcher on the Toronto study Dr. Kathyrn Graham.   Dr. Norris states, “Other research has shown that women who drink are often seen as more sexually available than women who do not drink. They may also be seen in generally negative or derogatory ways – as sluts, unfeminine, or generally not worthy of respect – which may provide an excuse for attacking women sexually.” Next, consider the reputation of the place you are going to. If it is a seedy place, somewhere that isn’t well lit or that has a poor reputation, head someplace else. If a man is being sexually inappropriate in an establishment with a good reputation, reach out the restaurant manager or even the bartender and they will put a stop to this inappropriate behavior, or perhaps eject the man entirely. If a man is coming on to you aggressively, don’t give him an inch. Shun him and let him know immediately that you aren’t interested. If it causes a scene, so what? It will be him that’s embarrassed and he’s more likely to back off. Fear of creating a scene or embarrassing him protects the perpetrator. Let your aggressor know straight out that you aren’t interested and shun him and he’s more likely to back off. If he continues to be aggressive let the bartender know or leave immediately before the incident escalates. Don’t go to bars by yourself. A group is safer than being alone or just with one other friend. Sit near the middle of the bar if you can. Predators go for easy targets usually off in the corners. Lastly, use the belly button rule. Point your belly button toward people you want to talk to and away from those you don’t. To learn more about sexual aggression read, Examining the Context of Sexual Aggression by Tim Hoyt.

Laying Out a Great Dinner Date


Laying Out a Great Dinner Date

If you’re a good cook and know how to lay on the ambiance, then the first dinner date at your place can be a great opportunity to show off your skills. But for most people, it can be a little nerve wracking. Will they like the food? Will you ruin the meal? What should you serve and what about laying out the table and so on? You want to set the atmosphere and leave them impressed, not running for the takeout menu. So how do you pull it off? Here’s how to do a great dinner date at your place, all laid out like the perfect table setting before you. First, you need to set the mood. And what’s more romantic than candlelight? You don’t need candelabra from the Liberache estate to build atmosphere. A couple of unscented votive candles, preferably the tall elegant ones, will add soft light and a touch of romance, while still allowing you to hold eye contact with your date. Don’t stop there. Make a nice centerpiece. Peonies are in. Place two or three in a vase. Or float the blossoms in a bowl of water. This move is classy, adds a beautiful touch but doesn’t cost a lot of time or money. Use a nice cloth table cloth and cloth napkins. It brings the meal from a dinner at home to a gourmet meal with your lover. What’s more romantic?

Wine is always a good choice. But if you want to set yourself apart why not meet them with a nice cocktail? Something sophisticated. If your date is female steer toward sweet drinks, a Cosmo perhaps. Gentleman may prefer a nice martini. Choose your wine carefully. You don’t have to spend a lot. There are perfectly delicious and classy wines to fit any budget. Typically, red wine is served at room temperature, or just slightly chilled. White wine is served chilled. Red wine goes well with red meat. Fish, poultry, vegetarian meals or pasta are more often paired with white. Make sure you know what your date prefers however. He or she may feel perfectly alright sipping a Riesling or Moscato over steak. When preparing the entre, pick something that is low effort yet looks impressive. You don’t want to work all day over a nice meal that your date turns their nose up at. A little discussion and paying attention to their tastes at other dinner or lunch dates can go a long way. Roast chicken is an easy thing to prepare. Cook it beforehand and just pop it in the oven when your date arrives. Make sure to stop by the bakery for the perfect dessert, or make a nice strawberry short cake, easy to make but impressive nonetheless. Bon appetit! For more ideas, read Dinner Dates: A Cookbook for Couples Cooking Together by Martha Cotton.

When Dating after 50, It’s all About Tolerance


When it comes to dating after 50, it’s all about tolerance. There are things you can tolerate and things you can’t. The trick is to figure out which is which. Do you have qualities the other person just has to have such as the same culture or religion? This isn’t a line of thinking that goes with any one sex. Both men and women have deal breakers. Women sometimes hang on to relationships that aren’t good for them, though some men do it too. They think they can change the person they are dating. With the right kind of love, and since you are the right kind of person you think you’ll change them. But frustration builds and actually hurts the relationship when these plans don’t work. They simply can’t work. Because the problem is that no one can change unless they come to the conclusion themselves, the old lead a horse to water model. There are women who decide settling is better than being alone, and that she’s with a good man. The truth is for people over 50 today, with the divorce rate so high, there are lots of people to date. There are also lots of ways to meet people. So there is no reason to feel cornered.

Some people are very attached to their pet. They won’t be able to tolerate someone who doesn’t like pets, or doesn’t enjoy the dog or cat as much as they do. You’ll have to figure out where you fit in the family and vice versa. Do you have adult children? What about your mate? If they have kids who are teens, are you okay with that, even when your kids are grown and moved out? Some people can’t tolerate smokers, while others can’t give up their cigarettes. Know how you feel about smoking before dating someone who does. Is it important for you to have someone you can share an occasional bubbly with or is someone in AA okay? What is the situation in the bedroom? Each person is different and it’s important to know whether you are compatible. What are the money issues? Who pays and how does it all work? The value of dating at this age is you really know yourself and you aren’t often hemmed in by social obligations like getting married or having children. There’s a lot more freedom, but you still want to enjoy it with the right person. Thinking it through now and knowing what you can tolerate in a relationship and what you can’t, and what your mate should be able to tolerate and what they shouldn’t have to put up with, is what it’s all about. Enjoy this very special time in your life and the new freedom it affords you. For more, pick up a copy of Over 50 Dating Secrets: #1 Senior Dating Guide For Mature Singles by P. David O’Brien and Over 50 Dating.