What does it mean when Your Date had a Quick Marriage before?

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What does it mean when Your Date had a Quick Marriage before?

Quickie marriages in celebritydom have become as cliché as the damsel in distress being saved by valiant heroes. But what about in real life? What does it mean when your date has had a quick marriage before? The truth is that most divorces occur after the first two years of marriage. And the social trend is being married over less time. So it may not mean much. Just like everything else, it’s far more complicated than just that. What you really want to do is find out the reason why the marriage ended, and the particulars before you toss this person into the discard pile.

There are many factors to consider. First, who was the one who broke it off, or was it a mutual thing? 75% of divorces happen when one person wants out of the marriage. And more often than not it’s the woman asking for a divorce. Many times people enter into marriage without knowing the responsibility, time and effort it takes to keep a marriage fresh and alive. Also, there are those who find it difficult to commit. They think they’re ready but once the marriage is in full swing it turns out that they aren’t.

Were they young when they got married? If you want to address this question a little more genteelly, ask if age was a factor. Young people are impulsive. They fall deliriously in love and rush off to get hitched, only to realize it isn’t built to last a short time later. But you shouldn’t hold someone’s youth against them, as long as they’ve tempered that impulsive passion with reason. Passion certainly isn’t a bad thing in a date. And impulsivity’s mature stage is spontaneity, another plus. It’s important that you ask your date for information over a period of time, and in a light or direct way. But make sure it doesn’t feel like an interrogation. Or else you may be pushing away a potential partner. Know that divorce is painful for most people. It may be hard to talk about, whether the person admits it or not. Get them comfortable with you. Ask them to share their story. If they don’t feel comfortable sharing the whole thing, or just want to sum it up for now, tell them that’s okay. Really listen. Don’t judge, at least not right away. Thank them for sharing it.

So it’s important that you keep an open mind, don’t jump to conclusions, really think about what the person said, and try to find what they may not be saying, but what they mean. They may not say nice things about their ex, depending upon the situation, but it just may be a defense to cover up the hurt. Be patient and figure out who this person really is, and what’s really going on before going to the next level with them, just as you should do with anyone. For more advice read, Dating the Divorced Man: Sort Through the Baggage to Decide if He’s Right for You by Christie Hartman.

Meeting your Partner’s Needs While Getting Yours Met

THOUGHTFUL-COUPLE

Meeting your Partner’s Needs While Getting Yours Met

Everyone has needs. And if you are in a long term relationship you realize that it’s transactional as much as it’s interactional. We have emotional, sexual, and physical needs such as hugging and cuddling, spiritual, financial and social needs too. There are eight elements in all. When a relationship is doing well the two interact in these realms meeting each other’s needs in full measure. There’s no holding back, no splurging. If they’re lucky there is an “element equation” or a surplus on the part of both partners. If there is an imbalance, the couple can choose to acknowledge it, discuss it and work through the problem. A deficit in emotional availability could by tackled by telling one partner that they aren’t feeling their full presence in the relationship. Instead of reacting, the other partner would agree to discuss it at a certain time. Both parties could then come up with solutions on when the best time is to discuss their feelings, say at a meeting once per week or something like that.

So how do you work on meeting your partner’s needs while getting yours met? First you need to recognize the imbalance. Something doesn’t feel right. Define the problem. Talk about it with yourself. Investigate. Is one person overspending or the other holding back? Where is this imbalance coming from? Next, find the proper words to address the problem. Bring it up with your partner and find an appropriate time to discuss it. The key is open and honest communication, without ego or blame stepping into it. Both parties have to communicate effectively, honestly, and from a point of respect toward their partner. Nothing is solved by screaming matches or finger pointing sessions. But the couple who can have a calm, cool discussion and come up with concrete solutions enjoys the strongest and happiest type of relationship. Find out the reason of the withholding or the overspending. Is there some guilt or feeling of inadequacy? Why does your partner feel this way? It’s important to validate their responses. Always begin from a place of wellness. Make your partner understand that you care about your relationship and want it to be healthy. Let them know that you are invested in them and invested in “us.” For more advice read, The Rules of Love: A Personal Code for Happier, More Fulfilling Relationships by Richard Templar.

If He Has One of these Traits, Still Give Him a Chance

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If He Has One of these Traits, Still Give Him a Chance

Single women are the largest growing demographic in America. That said, some experts think that many women who could end up with a man they enjoy being with, deflect men who show interest in them for small, superficial, inconsequential reasons.  In a new book entitled, Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough Lori Gottlieb explores this very notion. Women have to be more open minded when selecting their mates, and stop considering little things as deal breakers. But what kinds of things is she talking about? If he has one of these traits, you should probably give him a chance.

First, if he is younger or older than you don’t rule him out right away. The truth is that you can’t always select who you jive with. Not everyone has to fit some sort of cookie cutter mold. Instead, realize that people of different ages who have a fondness and compassion for one another, whose souls intermingle when their bodies are at a discrepancy, these are still vital relationships one should give a chance to, no matter what loud mouth ignoramus is spouting about dirty old men, cougars or what-have-you. If someone is older or younger than you are, of legal age of course, but makes you happy and you make them happy, what’s the difference?

Lots of women single a man out for what they perceive as certain physical shortcomings. For instance, if he is bald or balding, if he is a little overweight, a tad two short, wears glasses, has facial hair and so on. Often, women bemoan the shallowness of men and of our culture, which is true. But then they reject someone who doesn’t fit some sort of mental image or standard they themselves have set. Sometimes when we first meet someone we find it hard to look past physical things, that turn out to not be a big deal later on. But the guy who has a bald spot may have also written a book. He may have a great sense of humor. He may speak French and know how to dance the Calypso. If you knew all that upfront perhaps you would give him a chance. So don’t judge a book by its cover. Reserve judgment and get to know the person. That said, if there still isn’t any chemistry, remain friends. Don’t try and force something that isn’t there. If he lives far away but you two hit it off, consider a long distance relationship. Perhaps go and visit. Have him visit you. Consider moving or see if he can move.  Life is too short. And if you live your life to other people’s standards you’ll never be happy. But don’t set yours too high either. There are lots of people with amazing qualities out there that can’t wait to sweep you off your feet, if you’d let them.

Preconceived Notions of Love Threaten Real Life Happiness

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Preconceived Notions of Love Threaten Real Life Happiness

Have you ever used the phrase “better half”? How about “made for each other”? Even if you were toasting a happy couple at a wedding, you may have sabotaged their relationship and not even known it. How’s that? According to a study out of the University of Toronto romantic, idealistic phrases such as these may solidify unrealistic expectations about love in the couple’s heads. The study found an inverse relationship between these sorts of phrases and relationship satisfaction. Subjects in the study were bombarded with idealistic phrases such as “better half,” “we were made for each other” and “we are one.”

These phrases actually gave the participants a pessimistic view of their own relationship. That’s because the myth that two people magically meet and everything falls into place, without any effort whatsoever, makes people in the real world resentful, angry and anxious when they feel that their own relationship doesn’t measure up. The irony is, a great relationship may be flowering but they are so busy with their disappointment, or wondering whether or not they are really “meant to be” to allow the relationship to blossom. Instead, it’s nipped in the bud, leaving the person wondering why they can’t find love. Here are some preconceived notions about love that we have in our culture that threaten real life happiness.

Those who expect their relationship to be perfect are in for a real shocker. There is the assumption floating out there that a relationship written in the stars begins perfect and stays that way. The truth is we are all human. We all have our positive and negative qualities. Sooner or later, once the initial honeymoon phase wears off, you will begin to realize the flaws of your beloved. They will also see yours. This is only a natural process. But how you negotiate problems and each other’s differences will spell whether you stay together or drift apart. Obsessing over everything your lover said, or becoming upset that things aren’t how you pictured, is only going to increase your stress level. Instead, focus on the positive. Seek out the reasons why you are blessed to be in this relationship, and remind your significant other why they are lucky to have you.

There are those who believe a relationship that is “fated” doesn’t need work. Everything just comes together on its own. Nothing could be further from the truth. All great relationships, though they may look effortless, require work. Any couple that looks perfect has worked hard at overcoming obstacles or is ignoring their problems altogether. Use patience, understanding, active listening and the art of negotiation to keep your relationship on track. Spend quality time together. Communicate clearly and often. Show how fond you are of your lover. They will feel good, and do the same for you in return.

When you are looking for perfection in a relationship, all you can see are the downsides to things. All you notice are disappointments. Soon flaws appear at every turn. Even if this relationship falls away, the next won’t be satisfying either. These expectations are too unrealistic. They get in the way of real love. That’s why they say love isn’t a noun but a verb. It is constantly reforming itself. Love is always in flux and forever evolving. When you focus too much on a preconceived notion you miss the real beauty that exists before you. Real love is being perfectly comfortable with someone, enough to feel vulnerable, to bare the absolute you and not worry at all for judgment or ridicule, and allowing your partner to do the same. Being judgmental just stands in the way of all that. Sure the honeymoon phase is amazing. What we often forget is how nerve wracking it is too. But if you can get to the level of absolute comfort and vulnerability, you will build a bond that is deep and strong. Finding out who that person really is, and their finding out who you really are and accepting each other’s faults, even loving them more because of them, is the real meaning of true love. For more on perfecting your love life read, The Relationship Handbook by Dr. George Pransky, Ph.D.

Use these Good Marriage Habits to Avoid Divorce

HAPPY-COUPLE

Use these Good Marriage Habits to Avoid Divorce

Divorces happen for a multitude of reasons. Almost all are preventable if the two have the time, the energy and the desire to invest in the relationship, be open with each other, and be open to changing themselves. Oftentimes once our careers, the kids and the responsibilities are all squared away, most people just want to sit on the couch and relax. But it’s important to invest in the marriage too. Or else one day you wake up next to a stranger wondering what the point of it all is. No matter where you are in your marriage, it doesn’t take much to use and practice good habits in order to keep your relationship strong and avoid divorce. If you have been married for a while and feel it getting stale, or you and your spouse becoming distant, don’t focus and become anxiety ridden about the problem. That isn’t going to help anything. Instead, look for ways to reconnect. It might seem impossible. But a nice dinner together, a day or weekend spent doing an exciting activity you have in common or an evening relaxing together and reminiscing about the past can start to rev your engines, bring you back and help close the distance between you. Here are some other good marriage habits.

Don’t hold onto grudges. A grudge is like drinking poison in hopes of another feeling the pain. You’ll only be hurting yourself. Of course you need to work out problems. So talk to your spouse and work things out. Set up some ground rules. Get through to them and let them know how you feel and let them make reparations or show that they won’t do that again. But holding onto a grudge doesn’t help anything. It only makes you and, through you, the marriage worse. Next, don’t take your spouse for granted. Think of it as always being in the courting stage. That’s how to keep love young. Show them your gratitude for what they do. Write a little note for them now and then. Give them a little trinket, something meaningful. Thank them for what they’ve done around the house, even if it is the chore they are supposed to do. Couples who take one another for granted get divorced. Those that cherish one another have a romance that lasts a lifetime. Support your partner. If your spouse has a challenge or an opponent, give them all that you can to help them win. Teamwork is always better. Remember it’s you two against whatever you come up against. Always be on the same team and have each other’s back.

Make sure to talk about problems. Be patient. Really listen and overcome the problem together. Don’t shame or blame. Instead, find ways to overcome things that suit both of you. Look for the win-win or at least find ways to negotiate. Communication is the best tool you two can use to solve all of your problems. If you have depression or anxiety learn how to cope with it, and get professional help. Don’t let it eat you and the marriage, too. Find emotional support to meet these challenges. Break out of your routine every once in a while. Do something new, fun, exciting, spontaneous and novel that will get both your hearts racing. Studies have shown that sharing novel experiences together that get the pulse going can restart that lovey-dovey feeling you had when you two first got together. Set your boundaries and expect your spouse to respect them and respect your spouse’s boundaries. When you talk, don’t mince words. Tell them what’s inside your heart. Always speak from the heart and always tell them the truth. Trust your spouse and show them that you trust them. Compliment them when you feel something nice because of them, or you notice something nice about them. Find ways to grow together and bond. Have faith in your relationship. Trust them. If you think they are being unfaithful, discuss it with them. Don’t go sneaking around. You may be wrong, and if you are you will whittle away at the trust in your marriage. Lastly, find little rituals in your marriage just for you. Whether it’s writing each other notes and putting them on the fridge, hanging out in bed and drinking coffee on Sunday morning or what have you, these rituals will help you bond and make it stronger. For more on how to inject contentment and bliss in your relationship read, The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time by Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D.