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.

Talk about Sex before you Get Married

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Talk about Sex before you Get Married

Planning a wedding can be a whirlwind that scoops you up and carries you along. There are so many things to plan and do. But one of the most critical parts of a marriage, your sex life, is often swept aside. Yet, it plays a crucial role. Not only is your sex life important, but the intimacy that stems from it can fuel your relationship and keep it intact for the long haul. But a lack of intimacy can sap your marriage.  Most people expect their married sex life to be phenomenal throughout. Though married people often register higher numbers on sexual satisfaction surveys, the truth is one’s sex life ebbs and flows throughout a marriage. Psychotherapist and sex specialist Vanessa Marin says that those couples who do talk about sex before they get married are more successful overall. It is important for any couple that wants decades upon decades of happy sex ahead of them to discuss it, and come to an understanding about the matter with their partner. Schedule a time to sit down together. It doesn’t have to be stuffy. You can set a romantic mood, get wine and light candles. Or you can just sit down on the couch together and start talking about sex. It’s really up to you, and what style you have as a couple.

The first thing to consider is to ask what your sexual strengths and weaknesses are. Talk about your favorite memories together. Share what the best sex you ever had was. What was it about that time? How did it make you feel? What about it made you feel that way? Ask what theirs was and why. What do you both really enjoy doing together or to one another? What really works for you? Over time, usually couples get better. They get to know each other’s likes and dislikes, and trust builds. Each person should ultimately feel free to open up and express their needs, wants and desires. This will build a great sex life together. It will help build your relationship, as it provides immense intimacy to be able to shed guilt or shame, open up, be understood and accepted, and ultimately be fulfilled by your partner. Ask yourselves how to make intimacy a priority. Marin writes in an article in Psychology Today that she always shares this with clients. They need to set aside time for intimacy. Those clients usually respond by saying, “we didn’t know we had to do that…” Having a fantastic married sex life requires a little bit of care and effort. Schedule date nights, get a sitter and get some special alone time together each week.

Talk about how you feel about the inevitable changes in your sex life throughout your marriage. Are you planning on having kids? You can’t imagine how that will change your time in the bedroom. Menopause and lots of other things will change it too. Discuss how you plan to keep the spark a towering inferno of passion throughout your life together. You don’t want things to get boring. Talk about interests and fantasies together. Marin suggests each person making a list using red, yellow and green lights. “Reds are the things you know you don’t want to try, yellow are the ones you’re unsure about, and greens are the things you feel perfectly comfortable with. Making these lists can be a fun way to keep the chemistry going,” she writes. Talk about what you will do if you ever have a fight about sex. Marin says it is inevitable. Do you have a communication strategy in place? Will you decide to see a marriage counselor or sex therapist if you have to? Know each other’s feelings on these sorts of things. Think about how each of you can nurture your individual sexualities. Lastly, talk about your honeymoon with your soon-to-be spouse. What are the expectations? What will you experiment with? Does the sex take precedence or other honeymoon activities? For more on how to have great sex with your now or soon-to-be spouse, pick up a copy of Marriage And Sex: Marriage Advice On Spicing Up Your Marriage And Marriage Tips About Sex For Married Couples by Suzie Holmes.

Can Marriage and Lust Coexist?

Happy couple in bed --- Image by   Darren Kemper/Corbis

Can Marriage and Lust Coexist?

It is a common misconception that people who have been together a long time inevitably see their passion fade. So can marriage and lust coexist?  In fact, research has shown that married people are having more sex than their single counterparts. For instance, a 2010 Kinsey Institute survey found that three out of five single people went without sex last year, as opposed to one out of five married people. In another study conducted by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth which studies families, married 25 to 59 year olds were more likely to have sex two to three times per week than their single counterparts. Usually couples have sex often in the early phase of the relationship but frequency slows down as time goes on. What often happens is people get caught up in the demands of a career and raising a family and so have sex less often. But studies have shown that married people enjoy it more. Laura Carpenter, a sex researcher from Vanderbilt University says, “While people get older and busier, as a relationship proceeds they also get more skillful—in and out of the bedroom.” Still, couples often blame dry spells on their marriage. It’s usually certain aspects of the marriage such as an all too familiar partner, arguing or household chores and the politics that can come with them.

Science can’t help us here. There are few studies that have looked into what a normal sex life looks like in mid-life. There is no recipe therefore on what can keep sex hot and lust going in a marriage. Still there are indicators. The eminent John Gottman, a pioneer in the field of couple’s research and head of Seattle’s Gottman Institute says that when men and women share their lives, they are more likely to engage in sex. Men who share in the household chores and childcare had sex more often than those that didn’t, Gottman’s research found. Other researchers have also found that the more a couple shared, the more sex they had. Other research has shown that it doesn’t matter who is the breadwinner. No matter the financial situation, long-term couples had the same frequency. On another front, it’s important to see a certain psychological paradigm that exists and how to overcome it, or balance it out. Our sexual feelings are filtered through our culture. Rules and norms on desire, fantasies and arousal lock us in to what researchers call “sexual scripts.” These are the roles, desires and fantasies we allow ourselves to take part in. University of Washington Sociologist Julie Brines thinks the trouble is we are still stuck in traditional sexual scripts. Even more problems occur when we are between scripts.  “I don’t think we have newer alternatives to traditional sexual scripts in marriage,” she said. Since couples relate differently in and out of the bedroom perhaps our sexual scripts should reflect this new dynamic. But one has yet to settle in.

Psychotherapist Esther Perel says the issue of losing passion in a marriage comes when we are too focused on our need for security. It comes to dominate our competing need for novelty. Perel says that, “couples who describe themselves as loving, trusting, and caring complain that their sex lives have become dull and devoid of eroticism.” What Perel does then is show couples how to, “reconcile our fundamental need for safety and security with our equally strong need for adventure and novelty.” It’s worth noting that her 2013 TED Talk has five million views on YouTube. Some suggest using one’s sexual imagination to explore what is interesting and novel to the couple themselves. Gottman found that desire was present most in couples who responded to each other’s feelings. Those that were adversarial shut down desire. These were the sexless marriages. Gottman also found that sex didn’t take a back seat to other things on the couple’s agenda.  “Couples who are going to have a lot of sex end up somehow being able to communicate to one another that it’s a priority,” the researcher said. “It is not going to be the last item on the infinite to-do list.” When one person wasn’t in the mood in these marriages Gottman said one would give the other person an alternative to intercourse. This is done so as to show love and concern for the spouse and their needs. Lastly, to keep the spark alive, Gottman said that sexual imagination needs one very important thing, a free and comfortable atmosphere conducive to play. For more on keeping the novelty in your marriage read, Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel.

Having Naughty Dreams about your Ex

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Having Naughty Dreams about your Ex

Don’t feel ashamed if you are having dreams that involve sex. According to a study by the University of Montreal both men and women dream about sex 8% of the time. If you’ve been having naughty dreams about your ex however this statistic doesn’t calm you down. What will make you feel better is to realize what psychologists say about sex dreams. That is, they are rarely about sex. Sex in the mental realm is about the need for psychological closeness not physical closeness. Whether you broke up with this person recently or years ago the fact that they are appearing in your dreams shows that you have a need for intimacy that currently isn’t being fulfilled and this person symbolized intimacy in your mind, which is why they are the vehicle for this need in your dreams. You may still think about this person or even be infatuated with them, though you could be in denial regarding that infatuation. Whether it’s naughty or sweet, remember it’s symbolic not literal.

Lots of people dream about their first love or first serious crush. Sometimes in a long term relationship that is happy but perhaps a tad too comfortable, these kinds of dreams pop up not as a need for intimacy but as a need for some more excitement in your marriage. Passion, butterflies and sparks flying is what this relationship needs. Sometimes you fall into a pattern and that pattern becomes a rut. You need to mix it up inside the bedroom and outside. Go bungee jumping, scuba diving or sky diving together. Get tattoos or travel to some exotic destination. Some good deals can be found on Orbitz.com. In the bedroom try pillow talk. Do some role play. Visit a sex shop and purchase some toys one or both of you are interested in. Read the Kama sutra together. Take a class or watch some videos about tantric sex. Have long, deep conversations about your fantasies. Swap fantasies; you will perform one of theirs if they perform one of yours. Remember not to take this kind of dream at face value. Remember that dreams are our subconscious trying to talk to our conscious mind in the only language it speaks, symbols. Getting it on with an ex in a dream is just a symbol for what is missing in your life. Listen to your subconscious, learn to speak its language and it will help you in your waking life. To learn more about the messages in your dreams read, Dreams: Dreams and Visions, Dreams and Meanings, Dreams and Interpretations: Your Personal Guide to Understanding Your Dreams and the Meaning of Sex Dreams, Flying Dreams, Falling Dreams, Ghost Dreams, and More by Sam Siv.

Must Haves for the Single Girl

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Must Haves for the Single Girl

Whether you are just out of a relationship, are playing the field or like Amelia Earhart you just love flying solo, there are certain things that are a must have for a single girl in this day and age. The little black dress isn’t the only thing you need. One thing you shouldn’t live without is an amazing photo of yourself. This is the shot where your face, hair and figure come together and blow the viewer away. Hang it on the fridge for when dates come over, use it as your profile photo on dating websites, and email it to would be blind dates and other suitors. You’ll be on their mind, no denying that. The next thing you need is that killer pair of heels. These can make you look sexy and stylish in any outfit from jeans to cropped khakis to your favorite skirt. You don’t have to tower over everyone. One-inch heels will make your strides confident and assured. You’ll be able to see more cute guys from the higher vantage point too. When it’s time to have a guy over, make sure you have one rocking CD in your collection. Just chick music will put him off. But if you have one Stones, The Clash or something a little edgy, it will show him that you’re well rounded, open-minded and not so thin skinned.

Get yourself one smooth pickup line that you can use in different situations. It can just be as simple as “Having a good time?” Have a line to detract would-be suitors that don’t cut the mustard. “Sorry, I have a boyfriend,” will do just fine. If you want to impress a date when you have him over why not stock your fridge with some nice microbrews? It’ll show you have great taste and really win him over, particularly if he’s a fan of the brand you’ve chosen. Have a business card ready. This is as true for business networking as it is for dating. It shows that you are a professional, an individual and you have your own stuff going on. Men love independent women in this day and age, especially if she has a particular passion or career path that models his own. Make sure you have an honest guy friend whom you can reach out to. Female friends are great to get relationship advice from. But if you don’t understand where your date is coming from, go to the source. If you have a guy you can trust you can go to him with particular situations and get insight from a guy’s point of view. What’s better than having someone on the inside to help you form your game plan? For more advice read, The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible by Ali Binazir, M.D.