Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Are You Kidding Me? Phone Apps That Help You Cheat

As if smart phones didn't make it easy enough to hide things, now creators of phone applications are making sneaky behavior much easier.  Many apps make it virtually (no pun intended) impossible for others to know what we are doing with our phones.  Some apps connect you to potential cheating partners, others hide your interactions with "secret" people and will destroy any incriminating evidence that may be left behind.  

Here are just a few of the most popular sneaky apps out there:

  • Messages and calls (of your choice) are hidden within secret folders on your phone
  • Only a special code can unlock the "secret" data
  • A dummy version keeps you looking like an angel
  • It can be closed quickly by gently shaking the phone
  • Set how long text messages remain in your phone
  • "Suspicious" messages are deleted from your phone, the receiver's phone AND the databases of both carriers
  • Messages CANNOT be forwarded or copied

The popular adultery website, who's catchphrase is "Life is short, have an affair" has released the mobile version that:
  • Eliminates the electronic trail found on computers
  • The application can be hidden on phone

Only the tip of the iceberg, these apps join many others being released on a steady basis.  But, what do these say about our views of infidelity?  These are definitely leading us further and further away from authentic relationships.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Is it Time to Break Your Bad Relationship Habits?

Are your quirky behaviors not so cute anymore?  Do your interactions with your partner need some adjusting?  How would you know?  

The following article examines some relationship habits (that many of us fall victim to) which should be abandoned.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Women, Use Your Power to Uplift Each Other!

A recent conversation with my mom encouraged me to do my part in uplifting other women. We were discussing the most recent result of her own journey to uplift other women, where she saw the fruits of her labor.  About a week ago, she gave a very sincere compliment to a close friend.  My mother remarked at how good her friend looked in a certain pair of jeans and suggested they should be worn more often.  Her friend dismissed the compliment and even complained at how large her backside looked.  But (no pun intended) during a recent gathering, my mom saw this friend sporting the same jeans!  Only this time, her friend strutted with confidence and even had a little wiggle in her step.  What a difference one statement can make!

This is an example of the influence that women have in the lives of other women.  We can choose to be spiteful, gossipy, envious, and tear each other down OR take steps to appreciate, value, compliment, and build up our fellow sisters.

Here are a few tips to that will help you influence another woman in a positive way:

Give her a sincere compliment
If you see a fellow sister wearing some cute shoes, sporting a funky haircut, or having glowing skin...TELL HER! Compliments are meant to be given and not hidden.  You would be surprised at how life-changing a few words can be.

Be able to accept a compliment
When we see our mothers, sisters, and aunts denying compliments we tend to do the same.  So, choose to be a better role model and learn to receive compliments.  Stop saying, "This old thing?" or "You are just saying that because you're my friend".  Instead, say "Thank you for noticing" and return the favor to someone else.

Stand up to gossip
If you are present when someone is being catty and degrading another woman, stand up for her! Inform them that you will not take part in the verbal assault.  Or mention something positive, something that you admire about her.    

Help the little sisters
Daughters, younger sisters, and other young women we encounter daily are in desperate need of sisterhood.  Lead by example and teach them that other women are not the enemy.  Instead of being competition minded (i.e., for male affection and attention) encourage them to be confidence minded.  When we build self-esteem in others, our own self-esteem increases.  And a boost in self-esteem can make us more attractive to potential dating partners and friends.

Start on your own journey to improve the lives of other women and let me know how it goes...         

Friday, October 29, 2010

People You Should "UN-Friend" On Facebook

Facebook has become a great forum for people to socialize, share daily events, and express their views.  As such, we forget that the company we keep, even in cyberspace, becomes a direct reflection of who we are.  Friends, family members, current and future employers, and strangers judge us (whether fair or not) based on information posted on our facebook page.  Therefore, many us may need to check our friend lists to edit what messages are being sent to others.  

"Un-friend", block, or change privacy settings for people who:

Post things that could interfere with your work or personal life. 

Continuously "poke" you after being asked not to.

"Facebook stalk" you.

Only make negative comments about your status updates and pictures.

Reveal personal information about you.

Bully you or other people.

Use information about you against you.

Use profanity, racial/ethnic slurs, or homophobic language.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How Fast Do We Fall In Love?

Researchers at Syracuse University report that it only takes a fifth of a second for our brain to "fall in love".  During this process, our brains experience emotions similar to those felt when using cocaine or other stimulants.

These researchers also found that of the 12 areas of the brain that are stimulated, each one responds to different kinds of love.  Studying how these areas are stimulated can give mental health professionals more information on treating depression, anxiety and other negative emotions that occur when love is lost.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Was That A Hook-Up?

Hooking up has become a contemporary term used by adolescents and young adults to describe a number of different intimate activities.  But what does it really mean to "hook-up"?  And how do you know if you just "hooked-up" with someone? 

A "hook-up" can refer to any number of activities ranging from kissing and light touching to oral or genital contact including sexual intercourse.  The bottom line is that most hook-ups are defined by the degree of sexual contact that occurs.

Research on the "hook-up" yields interesting results.  Studies with college students reveal that hook-ups vary in where they begin, whether or not alcohol is a factor, and the what type of sexual contact occurs.
  • 47% of hook-ups begin at a party (23% begin in the dorm)
  • 14% of people know a little about their partner (50+% know them moderately or well)
  • 46% report being slightly impaired (28% are extremely drunk)
  • 34% of hook-ups involve light kissing & touching (23% involve sexual intercourse)

There is not one specific definition for a hook-up and the term is used in many varied situations.  Although, most hook-ups involve some sexual contact between two or more people who know each other moderately well, and have had some amount of alcohol.   
Understanding the definition of a hook-up is important for parents, teens and young adults.  

Parents - should know how their children use this term and what it means within their peer group.  It may be as innocent as a few kisses or much more, which can signal a need to communicate about sexual health and contraception.

Teens/Young Adults - need to have their own definition of hooking up and be able to get clarity from others.  It is a good idea to know the definition and subsequent expectations of your partner so that you can make choices about your own behavior.       

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Waiting for Superdad...

Recently, I gave my class an assignment to discuss some of the gender inequalities that exist in parent responsibility.  We watched media examples and discussed the plight of Supermom - a woman who does it all...working full-time, then coming home to respond to the needs of the entire household.  As I added questions to our class discussion board, I noticed that the word "Superdad" (the assignment was to describe Superdad and explain why we have no media images of him) was flagged by the spell-checker.  No word processing software on my computer recognized this word.  

Understandably so, as there is no definition for Superdad.  We don't discuss him and most of us don't even know him.  Although there are Superdads found all over the globe, most of us don't expect to see him or know of his existence in our own community.  We continually place the extra household and parenting duties in mom's lap and attribute them to her whether dad participates or not.  As a result, when parenting distress signals go out into the sky, they are mostly met by the swift feet of Supermom.  While Supermom is great, many children lack additional critical elements of development as they are left waiting...waiting for Superdad. 

My suggestion is for all Superdads, children of Superdads, or those waiting for Superdad to speak up and call attention to the vital role that fathers play in the development of their children. It is time that dads are given appropriate responsibilities and the opportunity to shoulder the many family duties mom has historically been responsible for.  Let's hold those less than Superdads' feet to the fire and encourage them to live up to the standards set by our Supermoms.  Then one day, hopefully...millions of children can stop waiting for Superdad.

People Lie on their Online Dating Profiles?!?

Check out this story on how many people lie on online profiles and what they are lying about.  Pretty interesting...

Book of Odds - Here's a Shocker: People Lie on their Online Dating Profiles

Friday, October 22, 2010

Does Premarital Sex Increase Risk for Extramarital Sex?

Research suggests that contemporary Americans are growing more and more accepting of premarital sex.  As social mores around sex become more relaxed, people view premarital sex as part of the dating process.  Even the most conservative, while not in full agreement, have become accustomed to the notion that sex occurs before marriage for the majority of the population.

Although chastity belts may have loosened, most will agree that extramarital affairs are a no-no.  With widespread media attention on the extramarital affairs of celebrities, athletes and political figures, society shakes a condescending finger at infidelity.  Also, unknown to many are laws in some states that not only view infidelity as illegal, but can make an unfaithful partner and/or third party liable for damages.    

What may be most shocking is how the two relate.  Some research associates the rise in marital infidelity to the widespread practice of premarital sex.  Researchers purport that numerous relationships and sexual partners before marriage can relate to an individuals' propensity to be unfaithful once married.  Having many partners before marriage makes monogamy difficult as we have become used to being with more than one person.



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Relationship Safety Schools

Many people who attended college started the application process with at least three schools in mind:

Number 1 = The school we REALLY wanted to attend
Whether it was the alma mater of family or friends, the one with the best reputation for sports, or the one that could catapult us into our career of choice, this school was number one.  In our minds, this was the ultimate college experience which we would make many sacrifices if given the opportunity to attend.

Number 2 = Good, but not the best  
This was also a good school and one in which we could enjoy the next four or so years of our lives.  But, although it was a good choice, it was still not and never would be our #1.

Number 3 = Our Safety School  
This is the college or university in which we were sure to gain admission.  The safe bet, last resort, good old come through if all else fails school.

Our preferences for mates are very similar to our college choices.  There is a hierarchy with which we perceive and treat our partners based on which number they occupy.

Number 1 = This is THE ONE   
This person knocks our socks off and we won't hesitate to make them our primary love interest.  OR The number 1 could be the leader of the pack.  Although we may not have a formal commitment, they take precedence over the others we are dating.

Number 2 = Good, but not good enough 
Our number two love interest has all of the qualities that we want in a mate, but there is something missing. It may be a unwillingness to commit, lack of chemistry, or different goals that keep us from seeing this person as number 1.

Number 3 = Our Safety School
On a Friday or Saturday night when there is nothing else to do, you call this person because you know they will pick up.  They also provide the fruits of an relationship without any real commitment.  We know that if we wanted a relationship from them, they would not hesitate to say, "YES!"

Are you someone's safety school?  Stay tuned for information on how to find out!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Woman Found Dead In Ex- Boyfriends Chimney

The following story is one of the main reasons that I write this blog.  I am hoping to impart information and discussion that may keep people from making decisions such as this.

Apparently, Dr. Jacqueline Kotarac in an attempt to gain access into her ex-boyfriends house, climbed down his chimney.  At some point she became stuck there and died. Making matters worse, her ex allegedly fled the scene and her body was found three days later by a house sitter.

Read the entire story HERE

Instead of discussing the actions and/or mental status of both Dr. Kotarac and her ex, I want to sum up lessons that people should take from this story.
  1. Rejection is life's way of moving the wrong person out of your life so the right person can come in.
  2. No other person is, will be, or should be responsible for your emotional state.  
  3. Relationships are not supposed to cause trauma and pain. 
  4. No person on this Earth is worth your sanity.
  5. A broken relationship is not worth your life. 
  6. EQ (emotional quotient) is just as important, if not more, as IQ (intelligence quotient).
  7. When people show you who they are...believe them!  If they have been wishy-washy with you in good times, expect the same during the bad.
I just had to get those things off my chest as they flooded my head upon reading this story.  I only hope that something on this blog touches someone and causes them to think before acting in a way that could harm them.

R.I.P. Jacqueline 

Continue to create authentic relationships!   

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are You Kidding Me? Releasing a Sex Tape to Get Ahead...

Usually I try to provide detailed information as to the source of my various posts and rants. This time is no different, except I am waiting for the full information.  But, hearing about this study forced me to blog about it and get some discussion started.

A recent study conducted by an online dating website (CanDoBetter.com) states that women in the millenial generation or Generation Y have some interesting views on paths to success.  According to the site:

  • 64% of women would make/release a sex tape to become famous
  • 35% of women would blackmail a co-worker in order to get a promotion
  • 38% of women would sleep with a professor to get a good grade
  • 46% of men would buy an expensive gift for a boss to get ahead 
First and foremost, you must consider the source of the survey and that these results are only applicable to members of this particular dating site.  But, with constant media coverage of celebrity cases (Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Montana Fishburne, Kendra Wilkerson, Danielle Staub...) one could assume there may be an effect on those who are susceptible to media's influence. 

Secondly, I cannot confirm the validity of the results.  I have yet to receive a copy of the full survey (waiting on said survey to arrive) in order to check what methods were used and how the questions were worded.  

Despite the above, I wonder if this generation is overly desensitized to personal information made public and driven to succeed despite any and all costs?


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rekindle Your Relationship: Back-to-School Style

Around this time of year parents and children are gearing up to go back to school.  A task often dreaded by students, parents rejoice at the thought of some free time.  Parents can also choose to take this time to reconnect with one another.  Couples may need to get reacquainted following a summer of child activities, rushed vacations and financial worries.  Here are some ways to get your back-to-school loving started:

Drive Each Other Wild - Instead of being the family chauffeur, let the kids ride the bus or carpool with a neighbor or friend.  Take advantage of those brief morning or evening moments and kiss your partner.  Be flirty, playful, and act like you just started dating.

Get Rid of The Guilt - I promise, it is okay to miss one soccer game or ballet recital or karate class.  Especially if you are going to work on your relationship.  Resist the urge to be SuperMom or SuperDad, earning perfect attendance at all of your child's extracurricular activities.  Your children will not hate you and/or need years of therapy because you chose a date with your partner over their activity.  Schedule an occasional date with your partner when the kids are practicing or competing.

Special Delivery - Most professions allow for a lunch break, be it 30 minutes or an hour.  Instead of eating last night's leftovers or the fast food value meal, make a special lunch appointment with your partner.  Since the kids are at school, meet at home for a lunchtime love session.  If you live too far from home, plan ahead, save some money, and invest in a hotel room for this occasion.

Add Some Spice - Have the kids complete homework or chores in their rooms while dinner is being prepared.  You and your partner can playfully cook dinner together.  Kneading dough, sifting flour, stirring sauces, and washing veggies can turn into romantic activities for two.  This time it is okay to play with your food!

Now that the kids are occupied with school, take some time each day (or at least each week) to foster intimacy with your partner.  Give your relationship the extra-credit it deserves.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Divorce and Race

In 2008, 3% of all marriages were interracial with the highest #s being between a White individual & an individual of some other race.   Some say interracial marriages have a higher divorce rates due to pressures (society & family) facing the couple.   This is not necessarily true, although there is a relationship to race and divorce.

Interracial couples tend to get married later and have higher income (=lower risk) and they have bigger age and education differences (=higher risk). 

The biggest predictor of divorce appears to be the racial composition of husband and wife.  

In interracial marriages, couples who are:
  • Asian/White are more likely to divorce than Asian/Asian 
  • (depends) Black/White are more likely to divorce than White/White 
  • -White women/Black men couples are twice as likely to divorce as White/White couples        
    -White husband/Black wife couples are 44% less likely to divorce than White/White couples
    • Black/Black are more likely to divorce than White/White 

    Thursday, August 5, 2010

    Learn To Assert Your Personal Rights

    Getting your life in order requires prioritizing and focusing on what matters.  To do so, you need to develop ability to put yourself first.  Not meant in a selfish manner, but putting yourself means that you make your needs and care a priority.  It is impossible to adequately help others without first helping yourself.  Although difficult for most, it is possible.  Use the following rights to establish your place on your priority list.  Keep a copy of these on the bathroom mirror, at the office, on the refrigerator door, in your gym locker...wherever you will refer to it frequently. 

    I have the right to TAKE CARE OF MYSELF
    I have a right to MY OWN PERSONAL SPACE and TIME
    I have a right to have MY NEEDS and WANTS respected by others
    I have a right to MAKE MY OWN DECISIONS based on my feelings and judgment
    I have the right to MAKE MISTAKES and not be perfect
    I have the right to BE UNIQUELY ME without feeling I’m not good enough
    I have a right to all of MY FEELINGS, not just those feelings other people want me to feel
    I have the right to EXPECT THINGS from others
    I have the right NOT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR OTHERS' behavior, actions, feelings or problems
    I have the right to EXPECT HONESTY from others

    Adapted from: "21st Century Bill of Rights for Mothers" by Susan Van Scoyoc

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    How To Know If You Are Officially Over Them

    1.  Thoughts of them no longer stir up emotions
    2.  You can honestly say that you wish them well
    3.  Weeks go by with no thought of them
    4.  You no longer wonder if they think about you
    5.  Accidentally running into does not evoke fear
    6.  Current and/or future partners are not compared to them
    7.  You accept the relationship as it was and not what it appeared to be
    8.  There is no blame for what occurred in the relationship
    9.  The relationship is seen as a learning experience
    10. You feel strengthened and the prospect of a new relationship is exciting!

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    How To REALLY Get Over A Break-Up

    We are all experienced in this area whether we initiate a break-up or not.  For some the pain after a relationship ends can be mild and brief, while others experience tremendous heartache that seems to go on forever.  Several factors affect our level of functioning after a relationship ends: the length of the relationship, our emotional connection to the person, mutual vs. individual decisions to part, etc.  Regardless of what may have caused the break-up, the most important thing is the process we take to move on.

    Whether you bounce back easily or need more time to heal after a break-up, taking specific steps can help in the journey from heartache to healing.

    Step 1: Make a clean break
    The initial goal is to position yourself in a place where you can move on.  Those dealing with many emotions need a "spring cleaning" in order to facilitate healing.  Limit opportunities to relive the hurt: erase phone numbers, Facebook pages, text messages, chat IDs; block email addresses; request that friends and family do not encourage you to contact the person (if possible).  This may be more difficult if children are involved or there are financial ties.  In those cases, have others intervene for you (have your ex pick up kids from a friend/family/neighbors house, etc.) until you are ready.

    Step 2: Focus on you
    Turn you efforts on yourself and discover new things about you.  Spend more time with friends and family that are supportive.  Or make new friends that are fun and share your interests.  Devote more energy to success at your job, explore an old or new hobby, volunteer in your community.  Also, take this time to get a mental health check-up.  Visit a therapist, counselor, or spiritual/religious leader to aid in your restoration.

    Step 3: Re-invent yourself
    Keep on working on yourself, focusing what YOU need in life and in love.  Do not dwell on mistakes from the past, but push toward success in the future.  What are things you can do to improve yourself?  Going back to school, trying a new hair color, taking a vacation with friends, joining a book club, learning to play golf...what a great time to do things you might not have previously!  This step is not to correct what is wrong or attract a new mate, but to discover things about yourself you didn't know.

    Step 4: Continue to heal, heal, heal (*most difficult)
    Resist the urge to jump into another relationship (or back into the same one) until you know that emotions from your previous experience will not interfere.  Move on when you will not judge others based on your ex, and when you will not view new mistakes as repeats from the past.  How do you know if you are able to do this?  If you have to ask, then you are not ready.  In that case, go back to step 3 and enjoy getting to know yourself.

    I welcome your stories and comments on this post.

    Sunday, August 1, 2010

    Living the Single Life Today

    Is being single in today's society more difficult than ever before?  Do you wonder about the experiences of other singles?

    This documentary gives an in-depth look into the strengths and weaknesses of single life.  It is a good resource to show those of you who are single, that you are not alone.  Also for those who are not currently single, this film can increase your understanding of what your single friends may experience.

    For more information, check out Single: A Documentary Film

    Saturday, July 31, 2010

    Blogger Update

    I would like to apologize to my loyal blog readers and to all of my new daily visitors for the lack of posting lately.  I am in the process of moving and things have been a little hectic.

    I am resuming my normal posting schedule, so keep coming back to the site for exciting relationship content.

    Thanks and keep reading!

    MORE TO COME......

    Sunday, July 25, 2010

    Is It Time To Clean Your Relationship Closet?

    Although it is not currently Spring, it is never too early or too late to do a bit of relationship "Spring Cleaning".  Are there people in your life who should not be there?  Should you try to repair toxic relationships or move on?  

    Here is an article that will help to tidy your relationship closet. 

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Dating Your Spouse/Partner

    People have a natural tendency to stop dating each other when they enter into a serious relationship.  They become comfortable with one another.  They decrease (or end) many of the behaviors which got them into the relationship in the first place.  With such common practice, it is no wonder why many are unfulfilled in long-term committed relationships.

    Why do relationships change over time?  
    Sage advice from my mother - "Do only those things in a relationship that you can/will continue in the long run." This statement resonates an important feature for most relationships.  If someone was worth the effort during the chase, why are they no longer worth the effort once they are caught?  

    Research on conflict between couples highlights the loss of behavioral patterns that existed during courtship.  Couples who have been married for many years no longer act like newlyweds.  

    They may rarely:

    • Express genuine affection (hugs, kisses, love play)
    • Show how much they appreciate each other (love notes, doing things for no reason)
    • Display joy when they see each other (especially after being apart for some time)
    • Work on their friendship (ask about goals, dreams, desires)
    • Date (go out without children, share new experiences)
    • Share positive feelings
    • Surrender to let the other person win
    • See sex as a fun activity instead of a chore
    • Make their relationship a priority

    Relationships are NOT EASY and they require HARD work full of emotion, thought, and action. This is especially true for long-term relationships.  Effort must continue throughout and it must be reciprocal with both continuing to woo each other (even if at different times) and not take each other for granted.  These are the things that make the beginning of relationships exciting and gratifying. 

    How to continue dating your spouse/partner:
    1. Practice the bulleted behaviors above 
    2. Work on the Marriage Plan (even if you are not married) as a couple
    3. Follow John Gottman's Magic Five Hours and the 5 to 1 Ratio of Couple Interactions
    4. Enjoy each other!

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    Making Your Connections Authentic

    I am now a guest blogger over at Stop Stressing Now, a website providing life-changing information to decrease stress and increase overall well-being.  To introduce my new authentic blogging relationship, I would like to refer you to an enlightening article on measuring your life's connections.

    Sunday, July 18, 2010

    Tips For Improving Your Body Image

    Body image refers to how we perceive our bodies, the control we feel over our body, and how we compare ourselves to others.  Our body image is not constant, it fluctuates on a spectrum between positive and negative.  Those with a positive body image have a realistic understanding of the size, shape and function of their bodies.  Others who have a distorted view and are anxious, shameful or guilty about their bodies struggle with a negative body image.

    Approximately 80% of women and 50% of men report being dissatisfied with some part of their bodies.  Men and women differ as to to which body part causes the most concern:

    Female complaints
    • Breasts
    • Thighs
    • Stomach
    • Nose
    • Arms                                                                                                                                                         
    Male complaints
    • Hairline
    • Stomach
    • Nose
    • Breasts

    Most of us face some kind of dissatisfaction with our bodies at least once in a lifetime.  It is normal to have occasional doubts or slight issues with our appearance.  Problems develop when people have more bad days than good and experience  consistent stress and worry about their bodies. 

    For those who do struggle with a negative body image, here are some tips to encourage a more authentic view of self:

    Concentrate on your genes, NOT your jeans 
    Not all of us were meant to be a size 0 and weigh 115 lbs.  A small frame will forever remain an unattainable goal for some.  Take into account the structure of your body (i.e., bones, muscle mass, where you carry weight) and assess your family members to determine what is possible for your body.  

    Focus on health 
    Instead of striving to be thin or to look like someone else, make being healthy your goal.  Regular exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep will increase your metabolism and make you feel better about yourself.

    Accentuate the positive
    Instead of focusing on what is wrong, celebrate what is right.  What are the things that you do well? Highlighting positive qualities increases your mood which indirectly affects how you look and how you think you look.

    Get a support system
    Surround yourself with positive people.  Increase the time spent with those who validate you and who have a positive image of themselves.  Limit your exposure to toxic people who put you down and make you feel bad.

    Say NO to negative images
    Limit your exposure to media that values and promotes an unhealthy ideal.  Magazines, movies, and commercials can subconsciously make you feel bad and critical of your body.  For example,  when I watch t.v. I do not watch commercials.  I take this time to check the weather, get something from another room, or send a quick text message.  

    All of these can help to slowly turn your negative body image into a more positive one.  They are also good for those with a positive image, in helping them keep up the good work.


    Friday, July 16, 2010

    What's Good for the Goose Is Good for the...Cougar

    Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher - 15 year age difference

    Men dating women that are considerable younger than them is a widely accepted phenomenon in our society.  Although some scoff at these relationships, most are accustomed to seeing these types of May/December romances.  Many relationships like this exist as women are more likely to practice the "marriage gradient", a tendency to date/marry up with regard to income, height, weight, education level and age.  

    Now the tables are turning and we are seeing more and more women dating younger men.  In fact, many women are now reporting that they prefer to date younger men.  AARP The Magazine conducted an online survey of people 40-69 and found that for women: 

    • 35% complain about male baggage
    • 23% did not know where to meet men and were meeting too few men
    • 2% said sex on the first date is okay
    • 35% prefer to date younger men 
    Nick Cannon & Mariah Carey - 11 year age difference  

    Increasing numbers of women dating younger men has not alleviated the stigma associated with this type of relationship.  It appears that women have more of an issue than men when discussing a relationship between an older woman and a younger man.  Attributing to this are stereotypes explaining why younger men would enter into such a relationship.  Younger men must be/have a:

    The Mommy Complex:
    The younger man is in need of a caretaker and dates older women as they are more domestic, nurturing, and caring.

    Gigolo Joe:
    A man will woo an older woman in the hopes of getting her retirement, pension, or insurance money.
    Secret Lover:
    Secretly he is sexually attracted to older women and is addicted to dating them.

    Second Time Around:
    Most men lose their virginity to an older women.  Therefore, men who date older women are seeking to relive their first experience.

    These stereotypes do not define most older woman/younger man relationships.  With increasing longevity, men and women see themselves as sexual beings for a longer period of time.  Divorce, not death of a spouse, is more older adults to enter into the dating scene.  Also, women, reaching their sexual peak later in life, are exploring different options and obviously having fun while doing it!  

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Using 7 C's to Be More Authentic

    Lately, my mother has been reciting phrases (which include a series of C-words) when talking about situations that she has no control over.  These phrases help her focus, regain her personal rights and be able to say no when confronted with the thoughts or behavior of others.  I found these to be very enlightening and will include them below.

    When you find yourself in a situation that you cannot control, tell yourself:
    1. I didn't CAUSE it.
    2. I can't CURE it.
    3. I can't CONTROL it.
    4. I can help CARE for myself by COMMUNICATING my feelings,
    5. Making healthy CHOICES,
    6. And by CELEBRATING myself.
    These are coping mechanisms from the National Association for Children of Alcoholics to combat fault and guilt found in children of alcoholics.  In my opinion, we all can adapt these statements to increase our coping with difficult people, stressful situations, and everyday issues that we cannot control.

    Recite these everyday until they are memorized, then refer to them in times of need.

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    The Truth About Infidelity (part 4) - Risk During Marriage

    Infidelity is more likely to occur during certain points in a marriage than others.  External pressures, stress, illness, even changes in society can affect a couples' risk for infidelity.

    Risk of infidelity increases:

        After the 1st year of marriage
        Once the "honeymoon" period is technically over, marital couples settle   
        into everyday life with each other. Routines are established, partners become  
        comfortable, and the "lovely-dovey"  newlywed behavior is gone.  Many couples 
        do not continue to date and/or maintain pre-marital interactions that strengthen 
        their relationship.

        Once the first child is born
        Children bring joy and excitement to a marriage.  For first-time parents, the 
        worry and stress associated with parenting takes their focus off of the marital 
        relationship.  The child becomes the most important thing in the family.  Not able to 
        effectively deal with parental stress, couples' can increase their risk for divorce.

        Between year 5 and year 7
        Called the "seven year itch", this period occurs when daily routines and focus on children 
        can decrease the friendship, respect and love which once existed in the relationship.    
        Partners may look outside of the relationship for the excitement they felt during dating or 
        the first year of marriage.

        Middle age 
        There is some debate as to the validity of the "midlife crisis", in which individuals attempt 
        to recapture their youth.  What is true is that during this period, many evaluate their lives 
        and whether or not they reached long-term goals.  This process of change can cause stress 
        and conflict within the relationship increasing risk for divorce.  Also, as people are living 
        longer, more and more choose to live their final 30-40 years with someone new.


    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Finding Your Relationship Deal-Breakers

    Deal-breakers are those things (character traits, lifestyle choices, behavior, etc.) in a relationship that can end the relationship.  Some people have very specific deal-breakers and others have general ways of evaluating whether or not they will continue a relationship.  

    Common relationship deal-breakers:

    • Domestic violence 
    • Infidelity
    • Change in sexual orientation
    • Criminal activity
    • Substance abuse
    • Poor financial habits
    • Dishonesty
    • Undesirable personality traits
      • i.e., anger, jealousy, uncleanliness, conceit, etc.
    It is a good idea to know your deal-breakers BEFORE entering into a relationship.  Upon meeting a potential mate, stick to your deal-breakers and DO NOT excuse them or assume your mate will eventually change. 

    Steps to identifying your own relationship deal-breakers:

        Make a list 
        Write down all the things you can think of that you CANNOT tolerate in a     
        relationship.  This may take some time as it requires thinking of situations  
        that you have and have not experienced.  Get inspired by others using 
        situations from friends and family, and examples from the media.

        Revise your list 
        Most of us have just a few true deal-breakers.  The rest of our lists would 
        include dislikes, or traits we would rather not have to deal with.  But 
        remember that authentic relationships require work.  Our loved ones have 
        flaws, as do we, therefore many unwanted behaviors will not be deal-

        Follow your list
        Accepting or ignoring deal-breakers will inevitably lead to relationship 
        dissatisfaction.  No relationship is worth overlooking your deal-breakers 
        no matter how attractive, nice, or attentive a someone may be. 

    If you have already established your deal-breakers, please comment and let us know what they are.