Do Men Avoid Dating Successful Women?

SUCCESS-WOMAN

Do Men Avoid Dating Successful Women?

For the first time in American history, women are surpassing men in bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Single, professional women are one of the fastest growing demographics in the country. Though they still do not make what a man does for the same job in many places, in some urban areas professional women’s salaries are outpacing men. What’s more, over half of all households will see a female breadwinner by 2025. That is amazing progress in a very short period of time, though the feminist movement has its roots a long way back in American history. Some women however say their success in the scholarly and economic realms is having negative consequences on their dating life. There are professional women who say the men they date are intimidated. They either pull away or blow them off due to a discomfort with the woman’s success. Perhaps these men find it emasculating, it is thought. Lots of these women’s girlfriends today console them by saying so, at least. There is even a school of thought that says a woman should dumb herself down in a man’s presence in order to make him feel comfortable and allow the relationship room to grow. But is it true? Do men avoid dating successful women?

Sure there is a segment in the male domain that pine for the 1950s. They believe in traditional values and are put off by women who are independent. But is this the majority of men? Certainly not. Nor is it right to generalize, which in addition to being inaccurate is in a way sexist since it paints all men as antiquated, chauvinists. There are lots of men who appreciate the success, knowledge, skills and other aspects of an accomplished woman. They also want a partner to share interesting times and conversations with, someone with many facets and dimensions, just as women do.  In fact, there are a lot of men who brag about the accomplishments of their wives and girlfriends. There is too a growing segment of stay-at-home dads and lots who enjoy it. So what’s really going on here? Their selection process could be an issue. What kind of men is this person seeking? What qualities do they all hold in common? Are they chauvinists, traditional or perhaps they fear commitment? The woman herself may also be subconsciously sabotaging her chances at love due to some deep-seeded trauma. Another aspect, it might be the woman’s personality itself. Pushiness, vanity, decisiveness, being opinionated and other aggressive behaviors propel some forward in their career. But on the dating scene these qualities are a huge turnoff.

In terms of selection process, lots of women say they want a man who is just as accomplished or more. But then are they selecting someone who is also decisive, aggressive and opinionated? When two people share such personalities the relationship quickly becomes an arena of locking horns rather than a relaxing atmosphere where love and romance can flourish. Only selecting this type, a person who fits a checklist of certain career accomplishments also shows underlying issues. This person worries of what others think or has a need to project their value. One’s relationship can be seen as a reflection of one’s self. But why don’t they explore other sides of their personality? We don’t have to date someone we view as a colleague. Looking for someone to love is not the same as a job interview. So someone who is opinionated may enjoy hanging out with someone who is open-minded, shy, artistic and free spirited. This may nourish other aspects that are suppressed in their normal, workaday environment. A professional woman may be interested in someone who is accomplished but in a totally different field or way. Lastly, sometimes this attitude that no men are good is an armor to protect from the fear that they themselves are at fault, or doing something wrong. Each person brings problems into a relationship, big and small. No one is perfect. We are all human. But it is in examining our mistakes and our own flaws that we can grow and develop and become better. There’s an old Buddhist saying; when the disciple is ready the master will appear. When the heart is ready, love will be there. For more savvy ways to navigate your love life read, Love Smart: Find the One You Want–Fix the One You Got by Dr. Phil McGraw.

Ways for Couples to talk about Money

MONEY-CONVERSATION

Ways for Couples to talk about Money

What’s one of the biggest indicators of an oncoming divorce? Talking about money. Money is the number one most contentious issue for couples and the topic fought about the most. People are even using financial indicators as to whether or not they want to marry a person. A survey conducted recently by the website Lawyers.com found that 40% of responding couples, ranging in age from 25 to 55, found honesty about finances more important than fidelity. Today lots of couples want to manage their money in a smart, healthy way.

Gone are the days when one or the other spouse took care of all the money matters. Today couples want to discuss it and manage it together like partners. But what is the best way for couples to talk about money without the conversation devolving into a squabble? Financial advice website Learnvest.com CEO and newlywed Alexa von Tobel has some ideas. She recently teamed up with Cosmopolitan magazine to conduct a “Love and Money Boot camp.” This five day seminar includes how to best combine your finances and what moves you should make to ensure a successful financial future together. Couples are talking about money early nowadays as the relationship moves on.

But why is money such a thorny topic for couples? Mrs. Von Tobel said in a statement, “Discussing finances openly with your partner is crucial because money plays into every aspect of our lives, from the jobs we take to the way we raise our children. Since it affects so many major decisions, it’s necessary to check in with your partner from time to time to make sure that you’re on the same page when it comes to your finances.” Understand that there is no set way to manage money. If you are having difficulty in planning together, why not consult a financial planner? If one person thinks the other spends too much, the planner can go line by line through the credit card statements. It takes the pressure off the concerned party and takes resentment out of the equation.

Next, consider how you will merge your assets and your debts. Perhaps figure out a percentage out of each person’s salary that is put into a joint account that then pays the bills. Decide who pays those bills too, how it is done and so on. Don’t wait until there is a problem. Discuss financial issues often. Why not even schedule a certain time once per month or every other week to revisit the issue? Decide on a discretionary spending ceiling. Keep your shared goals in your mind. It isn’t always easy to iron out the money situation. But if you can do it, you will come out stronger as a couple. For more financial advice read, Home Finances for Couples: Resolve Money Problems in Marriage and Learn Easy Steps to Manage Your Family Budget by Leo Ostapiv.

Ways to Put your Finances Together

finances

Ways to Put your Finances Together

In the old days men generally took care of the finances, though in a few households the women took the money and paid the bills. Today, as partners, we are expected to each contribute our thoughts and feelings on the matter. People have different backgrounds and outlooks on how they deal with money. Some people realize that you only live once and money is to be enjoyed. Others understand that saving for the future and being frugal is paramount to success. Both outlooks are true. But it all depends on the kind of lifestyle you lead.

If a free spirit marries a skin-flint you’d better hold onto your hats. The arguments these two will have will be explosive. But talking about finances and ways to put them together, how to manage them, compromising, coming up with innovative strategies, and remembering shared goals are all a part of becoming life partners. It can still be difficult to navigate the uncharted waters of shared finances. There are lots of traps along that journey. But instead of falling for them take a look at these ways of putting your finances together. See if you can suggest one or two to your partner, move through the roughness and on to smooth sailing straight up ahead.

There is the equality approach. This is where both partners keep separate accounts but put money in for savings and the bills into one checking account. Both parties contribute an equal amount. Realize that a joint account means both people can put money in and take money out. There should be an explicit understanding of what that money is for and trust in one’s partner that they will handle their access to that account responsibly. If you aren’t getting married but cohabitating consider getting a cohabitation agreement to cover what may happen if you two break up. Further, separate leases could cause less grief should someone want to leave whilst both of you are on the lease.

When there are unequal incomes involved, a way of alleviating this problem is to allow both parties to contribute a percentage of their income, or what they can afford. Of course, if one person is a hedge fund manager and the other a kindergarten teacher and they live in a penthouse apartment, there’s no way the teacher could afford the rent. But who would want to give up that apartment? Instead, the educator can contribute what they would pay were s/he in a regular apartment. This gives the teacher their own independence. S/he is not reliant on the significant other for support. But it is also a sign of respect, in contributing his or her fair share. For more advice read, Money and Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples by Matt Bell.

Should we be Happy about the High Divorce Rate?

FUNNY-DIVORCE

Should we be Happy about the High Divorce Rate?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, our sour mood on marriage has been sustained for three consecutive years in a row, 2009-2012 with signs that it hasn’t abated. We’ll see what the newest numbers bring. The number of divorces in 2012 reached a record-high of 2.4 million. Not only are we ending more marriages but fewer are being created according to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research. Their findings show the marriage rate is down a whopping 60%.

If you are a believer in marriage, even hoping it’s coming for you, these stats can put you down in the dumps. But just like with every thunderhead the clearest sunny day follows. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, all this divorcing is good for the economy. Two separated people have to get two separate houses, or at least two distinct places to live. That means new leases or mortgages and more money flowing into the economy. That’s good for everyone else. The bad news? There isn’t much benefit to the individual.

Single women are the biggest growing demographic in the economy. They are also buying houses in droves according to the U.S. Association of Realtors. Richard R. Peterso, author of the book Women, Work, and Divorce recently said that, “Divorced and never-married women are more likely to work and to work more hours per year, and are less likely to withdraw from the labor force, than married women.” According to investment website LearnVest.com those who are single shell out more for the privilege of living alone, $67,000 more over six decades.

A recent story in The Atlantic stated that women can expect to make one million dollars more if you take taxes, healthcare and other things such as this into consideration. Though a bad economy usually increases divorce rates, due to the strain it puts on couples, some experts believe lots of people are staying separated, cohabitating instead of getting married and altogether avoiding divorce. Only with time will we see what actually happened to marriage due to the Great Recession.

Gender Roles have made a Dramatic Shift

stay-at-home-dad

Gender Roles have made a Dramatic Shift

47% of the workforce will be women by 2050. In 1950 that number was 30%. Though we take our ideas of gender roles, men the breadwinners and women the housekeepers, from outdated 1950’s style thinking, the truth is that throughout history men and women have worked together in different ways to provide for the family and manage the household. The number of women may even surpass the number of men in the short term. Gender roles have made a dramatic shift due to the Great Recession.

Traditional male employment industries such as construction and manufacturing took a nose dive. Meanwhile, the only industries that seemed to have survived and thrive are those traditionally the spheres of women such as healthcare, the service industry and education. So does that mean that men are flooding the household realm while the women work outside of the home? Though there has been an uptick in househusbands, research has shown that there is no flood of men into the home. A 2009 New York Times article points out that women who are laid off spend their extra time doting on the children. Time spent with the children remained low no matter if the man was gainfully employed or not.

While the focus used to be more on the job search and the nuts and bolts of finding employment, the emotional sphere seems to be making its way to the forefront as well. Psychologists are noting that men are becoming more able to communicate their emotions than in years past, expressing fears and anxieties about joblessness and other issues. Since the early days of humankind men have gone out and brought home the bacon, either by hunting, or by bringing home a salary. While modern feminism broke women away from traditional roles, men have been slow to adapt. Their egos are wrapped up in their jobs and providing. Though many feel at home being in the home, others chafe at the idea, feel it isn’t manly or are lost. Many social scientists and psychologists note that this breaking out of traditional gender roles is good in the sense that it brings egalitarianism into a marriage or cohabitating relationship. Still, women and men aren’t treated equal. Women still make less than men. Men and women are now free to define themselves. They are struggling with the gender roles of the past, but they are free to define their own future. For more on this topic read, The Unfinished Revolution: Coming of Age in a New Era of Gender, Work, and Family by Kathleen Gerson.