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.

Divorce Rate Lowest in Northeast, Highest in the South

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Divorce Rate Lowest in Northeast, Highest in the South

According to the latest U.S. Census information as recent as 2009, the divorce rate is the lowest in the Northeast and the highest in the South. This all comes out of the new report the bureau is now generating, Marital Events of Americans. 2009 was the first year data was collected for this report. This document surveyed Americans 15 and older about marriage, widowhood and divorce.

Divorce rates are lower in the Northeast because people put off first marriages longer and there are less marriages occurring in that region. In the South, more marriages occur so the divorce rate is therefore higher.  The Southern states with the highest divorce rates for men were Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Texas. The Northeastern states with the lowest rates of divorce for men were New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Southern states with the highest divorce rates for women were Kentucky, West Virginia, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Northeastern states with the lowest divorce rates for women were New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The report uncovered some other interesting findings. Children of divorced parents were 75% more likely to live with their mother than their father. 28% of Children whose parents divorced in 2009 were more likely to live below the poverty level. 23% of Women were more likely to need public assistance after divorce. 15% of men had a greater chance of needing public assistance. 22% of women who divorced in the last year were more likely to be in poverty, compared to 11% of men.

Previous to this report, information on marriages and divorces was collected at the state level through collecting marriage and divorce certificates. These certificates were passed on to the vital statistics system of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Then in 1996 the NCHS and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ceased collection of these records. This latest report taken up by the Census Bureau is meant to fill the gap. If you’re going through a divorce and want advice, read the book, The Divorce Survival Guide: The Roadmap for Everything from Divorce Finance to Child Custody by Calistoga Press.

Is Monogamy’s Death Due to Hollywood?

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Is Monogamy’s Death Due to Hollywood?

On TV and in the movies today we see lots of young, healthy, attractive people taking part in friends with benefits scenarios or no strings attached sex. Meanwhile, frustrated wives and overweight inept husbands blanket the TV and movie screens. Monogamy is seen as passé by many millennials. In a survey last year many millennials said they thought marriage would soon die out. So here’s a riddle spawned in real life, another case of either life imitating art or art imitating life. Is monogamy’s death due to Hollywood? Or is Tinsel town merely reflecting a cultural phenomenon taking place in our country today?

First, there’s the fact that Hollywood is only out to entertain. A sexy young couple trying to feel their way through a friends with benefits scenario is far more interesting than a married couple trying to decide what color tile should go in the new bathroom. TV teen shows also portray torrid love affairs to long term romances. “Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries” and “Glee” are all a testament to this. Also shows like “No Strings Attached” and “Friends with Benefits” made it onto the small screen for adult viewing this year.

Dr. Jeffrey Gardere a clinical psychologist recently spoke on this phenomenon, the lack of monogamy and the widespread portrayal of hookup culture. “To some extent Hollywood may be promoting the hook up mentality because that is much more exciting and sexy than promoting monogamy and stable relationships.  Today’s younger culture is about the hook up and fun instead of settling down, so certainly Hollywood will play to that audience. I also believe there is a tendency to promote that lifestyle as being more easy to achieve than it actually is. There are not enough stories about the emotional and even physical repercussions to the hook-up mentality.”

But Jessica Wakeman, famous author and blogger on women’s issues and pop culture for popular website TheFrisky.com said, “Hollywood is not accurate about a lot of things regarding sexuality, but I do think it portrays ‘hook-up culture’ somewhat accurately. Teenagers and young adults today are a lot more comfortable hooking up with each other without further commitment than at any other point in history. A lot of us have friends with benefits to meet our needs for sexuality and companionship.” Most experts agree that although Hollywood does influence us psychologically, it’s mostly economic reasons that have changed male-female relationships and gender roles. Still, the impact and role Hollywood plays in shaping our perception of this phenomenon will be debated for some time to come. To learn more about hookup culture read, The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture Is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused about Intimacy by Donna Freitas.

Study Reveals who’s More Romantic, College Guys or Girls

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Study Reveals who’s More Romantic, College Guys or Girls

Whether it’s that beautiful romance or the fun of playing the field, college for most people is one of the most exciting and pivotal times in their dating life. Noting the importance of this time in one’s life, researchers decided to answer the question of who’s more romantic, college guys or girls, and the study reveals some interesting results. Undergraduate men were far more likely to choose a romantic relationship over education and career goals according to the study. These results threaten to turn traditional notions of gender roles on their head. But not so fast. One question, however, is how a romantic relationship is defined. Are they talking about true love, marriage and children or merely a chance to get under the sheets with someone who’s caught his eye?

Duke University’s Medical Center’s Catherine Mosher and the University of Albany’s Sharon Danoff-Burg conducted surveys on undergraduate university students. 80 male students and 157 female students participated, ranging in age from 16 to 25. Reaching goals in different relationships such as family, friends, romantic relationships, marriage and children were measured by the questions in the survey. Goals outlined were financial success, physical fitness, travel, owning a home, career and education success and societal contributions. How much they were willing to sacrifice for romance was also measured.

The results were that both genders felt the need to achieve goals individually but also in their romantic relationships. 51% of female students chose romance over personal goals, compared to 61% of male students. “Charming companions” were more easily traded for travel, educational and career goals. The number of female students choosing a relationship over their career goals came out to 20% compared to 35% of male students. 15% of female students would jettison their education goals for love while 30% of male students said they would do the same. In an interview with LiveScience Mosher said, “I think that those are the issues in which people find tension often in real life, between having a career and making time for relationships.” But how romance was defined wasn’t clear. Were guys really into relationships or were they more than likely letting biology do the thinking for them? According to Kruger, “Maybe for the men they’re thinking close romantic relationship, but that doesn’t necessarily mean long-term commitment of getting married and having children.”

In terms of evolution and traditionally men strived for high status in order to have access to a higher or wider pool perhaps of potential mates. Kruger says, “So in a way it’s kind of like saying, you’re doing all this stuff to strive for something, but if you can get that ‘thing’ without additional striving, wouldn’t you?” Women on the other hand had been so focused on their career and educational goals that they didn’t want any relationship to come in and mess up their plans. Heterosexual men also get more emotional support from the opposite sex. For more on how to balance career and romantic goals pick up a copy of, Married to the Job! How to Balance Your Relationship and Career in the 21st Century (Love Lockdown Series) by Steve Cain.

Who’s More Sensitive to a Relationship’s Quality, Men or Women?

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Who’s More Sensitive to a Relationship’s Quality, Men or Women?

You may be surprised by the answer. According to a study out of North Carolina’s Wake Forest University, men are more sensitive to a relationship’s quality, while women are more sensitive as to relationship status–whether or not they are in a relationship. If a relationship has a lot of ups and down, is frustrating, or is supportive the guy feels it more according to this study. Lead author in this study Robin Simon said in a statement, “Simply being in a relationship may be more important for a woman’s identity.” She went on to say that having someone in your life, “is something that is emphasized constantly for women. Just pick up any woman’s magazine.” But once in a relationship, its hardships bring men down far more, and its upsides are more encouraging.

1,611 took part in this study, including both genders between the ages of 18 and 23. Participants were asked questions about their relationship; about their emotional states including substance abuse and depression. Then the same questions were asked again two years hence. According to researchers, people’s emotional states tend to hinge on their relationships not vice-versa. Difficultly in a relationship caused equal levels of depression in both sexes. But men were more likely to abuse substances and become dependent on them due to relationship troubles.  These findings lacerate the traditional view that women are the emotional ones in a relationship.

The study purposely looked at those in the “transition to adulthood,” stage of their lives, from the late teen to the mid to late twenties. Forming relationships is an important part of this life stage. Studies that have focused on marriages later in life have found that relationship stressors affect both partners equally. But in our culture the emotions that are a result of the relationship’s state are expressed differently. According to Simon, Part of our emotion culture is that men should not feel sad. While women are free to feel and express these emotions … men turn to mood-altering substances to get rid of culturally inappropriate feelings.” Whether this innate sensitivity in young men concerning their relationships is carried on later in life to inhabit their marriages or long-term relationships is something that has yet to be answered.  Simon however thinks that perhaps it does. She says, “These guys know that it takes a woman’s salary to make ends meet.”

Young men of this and subsequent generations may consider aspects of their partner and relationship that weren’t relevant in the past. So guys, if you are in a relationship that is important to you, talk to her about how you feel and how the relationship affects you should you be experiencing negative effects from it, or even positive ones. Ladies, check in with your man and see how he, and the relationship is doing. Make sure you do it in a sweet way but that doesn’t diminish him or make him feel less masculine or you will undercut your own objective. You can find the results of this study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. For advice on building a strong relationship read, Making It as a Couple: Prescription for a Quality Relationship by Allen Fay, M.D.