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.

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

phone

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

We are connected to so many different people, venues and organizations through our computers and mobile devices that today people are overwhelmed with options. This is true of modern day “hookup” culture where young adults, spurning marriage and family planning for the extended education it takes to get a job in today’s market, cycle through one hook up after another, for fear of missing out on an amazing experience with someone new. But the problem is that they are never in a relationship long enough to form any kind of intimacy. Studies have shown that millennials are more frustrated and emotionally unfulfilled than previous generations. People of all ages now serially date. They cycle through one person they met online after another, fearing that they are missing out on “the one.” But with so many options, their standards skyrocket. The result? They are too picky and judgmental. They gloss over each date, never really piercing the surface and getting to know the real person deep down inside. Instead, they usually find a superficial reason to rule the person out and move on. So they may have found “the one” without even giving “the one” a chance.

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is now something of a massive psychological condition brought on by mobile devices carrying the internet. People veer to their Twitter while at work, diminishing their concentration on an important task. They check their LinkedIn while with friends, their Facebook while on a date, they even put their own lives at risk and the lives of others by texting or checking email while driving. Lots and lots of people around the world do this. And when confronted with how wrong that is, they just shrug.

Our fear of missing out has us glossing over what is really important in life, and that’s being there, being in the moment, savoring it and enjoying it. Alone Together by Sherry Turkle has a chapter on this phenomenon and The New York Times covered FOMO in an article by Jenna Wortham. There are singles who go on Facebook and feel bad when they see how happy their married or attached friends are. There are teens who lose sleep and are distracted from their studies constantly checking their social media to see who broke up with who, who is dating who and so on. The truth is, this is an impulse control problem. FOMO makes us hyper vigilant, always seeking for something better for ourselves. Most of the time, however, there isn’t anything on there that’s so important it should interrupt the real, offline life in front of you.

Being constantly distracted is no way to live life. Being constantly unsatisfied isn’t a great way to manage a love life either. Instead, limit your use of social media. Only check it at certain times of the day and stick to your schedule. When you feel the itch to check, notice something in your immediate environment that makes you feel satisfied: a warm smile, a delicious cup of coffee, a beautiful scarlet picture frame with a photo of someone you love. Savor the real world with all of your senses and you’ll soon see that social media just can’t compare.

What to Know about Dating a Jamaican Man

jamaican man

Whether you know a Jamaican man in your own country, or you are on vacation and are interested in dating a Jamaican man, the culture is a bit different than that of the U.S. The stereotype is that Jamaican men are controlling, womanizing, and disrespectful of women. The truth is they are like any other group of people. Some Jamaican men don’t treat their women well. Others treat them like queens. We cannot stereotype or generalize, but the culture can be a little bit different. Study the culture if you are seriously interested in someone of the Jamaican persuasion. Here are some things to get you started. If you are going out for a date, or hanging at home, realize that they don’t have the same fast food culture that we in the U.S. do. In fact, Jamaicans eat lots of fresh food prepared at home. Fast food may be okay once in a while, but of course it isn’t healthy so he won’t appreciate eating it all the time. So instead, why not prepare something at home, go to a healthier restaurant, or perhaps ask him to make one of his favorite dishes? And what makes a better date than cooking together? Jamaicans are said to have a number of jobs at one time. The truth is that Jamaicans have a strong work ethic. So don’t be afraid to ask him what he does. It will probably make for interesting conversation.

Jamaicans are very family oriented. In American society, being taken to meet a man’s family means that he’s serious about you. In Jamaican culture, not so much. Very often someone in the family is throwing a party. If they are aware of you they will invite you. But that doesn’t mean, should he be seeing someone else, that he won’t bring her to the next family party. So don’t take an invite or a point where you meet his family as too big of a sign. Also, Jamaican men often take what their mothers say to heart. Understand that her opinion in his life in general, and of you specifically, may carry more weight than an American man’s. If you are a bit prudish, dating a Jamaican may not be for you. In American culture, talking about sex is done behind closed doors, never in front of the family. In Jamaican culture the attitude about sex is much more laid back, and may even be discussed in front of the family. Understand this and don’t be too embarrassed if you find yourself in the middle of some awkward, funny, and interesting conversations. Machismo and masculinity is very essential to the Jamaican lifestyle. If you have any gay friends, realize that your Jamaican interest may be homophobic. Talk to him about it before you bring your gay friends around. Lastly, Jamaican men are thought to be smooth. Don’t get too caught up in his accent or the way he can put sentences together to charm and sway you. You can learn more about dating Jamaican men through the advice of Empress Yuajah in her book, How to Date a Jamaican Man: How to Love and Understand a Jamaican Man.