Dating in College!

 

The first day of college is fast approaching. While it’s tempting to gush over the eye candy on campus, remember your prime reason for being there: to learn. Here are some great tips on college dating.

 

Are you in a toxic relationship?

 

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Toxic relationships are not healthy and can become extreme. You experience a sense of dread, misery, illness and nervous energy whenever you have to handle people who emit toxic energy. They can be people in the office, friends or even family members.

Reality shows like The Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives franchise have only perpetuated the use of toxic relationships as entertainment. With the pulling of hair extensions and drunken punches to the face, many live vicariously through these people because they’d never behave in such a way. It’s a guilty pleasure, if you will.

That being said, even good relationships take work. Some relationships, however, are more difficult and require proportionately more work. These relationships have mutated themselves into something that has the potential, if not corrected, to be extremely harmful to our well-being.

Let’s look at Rihanna and Chris Brown. In early 2009, Chris Brown assaulted his then-girlfriend and was charged with assault and making a criminal threat. I’m
sure you saw the horrifying pictures that surfaced after that. rihanna-and-oprahThis week, Oprah interviewed Rihanna where she revealed that Brown was “the love of her life.” She said they were working on their friendship now that a restraining order on Brown has been lifted. The tone of the interview suggested that friendship might turn into something more, but I would be very wary.

When the assault occurred, Rihanna and Brown were 21 yrs and 19 yrs, respectively. That is quite young to fall so deeply in love with someone, but also a reason a possible reason why Rihanna might not have known how to get out. She cites this revelation with Oprah in the interview as well.

So why, when we are aware that someone is bad for us, do we stick around and yearn for them? Vulnerability is a key factor. Fear is another.

What exactly is a toxic relationship and how do you know if you’re in one? Do you feel like you have lost a lot of self-esteem? Do you feel like you have been zapped of emotional energy? And how about your significant other? Does s/he show signs of self-centeredness, dominance and control?

If you have answered yes to the above questions, then how do you get out? Well, first and foremost try to gather supporters who will help you feel safe and secure, and who will reinforce your ability to take care of yourself. You will also need to seek out a place that you can consider a safe haven so you will have a place to go should you the muster the nerve to leave.

Once a woman has decided to end a controlling relationship, it is best to have a clean break. Trying to go bit-by-bit will only result in coercion from her partner and create an inability to leave.

Just be careful and remember to take care of yourself. You are the most important person in your own life and you shouldn’t have to succumb to being with someone that makes you feel threatened and unhappy. Life is too short to live in fear.

 

Remembering Helen Gurley Brown

 

Chances are if you’ve ever picked up an issue of Cosmo, you’re heard of Helen Gurley Brown. She revolutionized how we think about sex in a time when it was a bit taboo to do so. She gave single women everywhere the validation that is was OK to have a career and a fulfilling sex life. Sadly, our dear feminist heroine died this week. She was 90.

I don’t know that I’d be in this business today if Brown hadn’t started speaking frankly about sex all those years ago. She gave us permission to enjoy being single but to also find that guy we’d want for keeps. She taught us not to settle.

The T.V. show “Sex and the City” is a direct homage, in my opinion, to Brown’s 1962 book, “Sex and the Single Girl.” I’m sure I’m not the first to make that comparison and I know I won’t be the last. Without that book, there would have been no Carrie Bradshaw, Joan Holloway on “Mad Men,” or even “50 Shades of Grey.” We owe her a lot.

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Brown spent three decades at the helm of Cosmopolitan, the racy magazine that catered to women’s sexuality. She was hired as its editor in 1965.

She promoted the idea that women could enjoy sex without marriage (didn’t men?), and that women should enjoy the same benefits of work and career as men. From Brown’s perspective, empowerment was available to women who used their wiles to get men to relinquish the keys to their kingdom.

She said at the outset that her aim was to tell a reader ”how to get everything out of life — the money, recognition, success, men, prestige, authority, dignity — whatever she is looking at through the glass her nose is pressed against.”

She, along with Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, represented the so-called “second wave” of feminism, the post-World War II voices that followed the suffragists of the early 20th century. It will be rare for someone to come along like her again.

We’ll mis you, girl. Thanks for blazing the trail.

 

Are we staying together for the kids? Boomer divorce on the rise

 

In recent weeks, I’ve written about marrying too young, but what happens when you reach your golden years and you and your spouse decide it might be time to part ways? Do you do it or do you find a way to make it work?

At Premier Match, we’ve seen a significant rise in potential clients that are between the ages of 55 and 64.  Compared to five years ago, we’ve seen about a 30 percent increase in the number of new clients who are older and divorced. A recent study found the same thing.  And Hollywood hasn’t been immune to this trend either.

  • In 2009, longtime partners Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins called it quits after 23 years together.
  • In 2011, it was discovered that Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard, also longtime partners, had split in 2009 after almost 30 years together. When you’re famous, it’s a blessing not to have to file divorce papers and separate in private.
  • Last week, Stevie Wonder filed for divorce from his second wife after being separated from her for three years.

Despite these various splits, Hollywood is embracing rom-coms focused on older couples.  “Hope Springs,” which opened this week and stars Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, focuses on a couple that’s been married for more than 30 years and somewhere a long the way, the passion faded. Instead of splitting up, they go to a week-long couples therapy program in Maine to get their spark back.  I haven’t seen the movie, but am curious to know if they decide to stay together or part ways in the end.

So what causes these rifts in our marriages?  These are generally the three key reasons:

  1. Empty nest: Once the children are gone, it sometimes becomes challenging to communicate with your spouse.
  2. Drifting apart romantically; passion is completely lost.
  3. Changed values and interests in life: different views about retirement and future goals.

Still, many people continue to look for companionship even into their later years. Here are the key reasons older adults come to me for finding a love connection:

  1. Social circles are a lot more limiting to interact with than with younger singles.
  2. Most individuals have achieved great success, so Internet dating is out.  Why? Confidentiality concerns and they are not comfortable with the online dating concept (a generational issue).
  3. Since many were married for 20+ years and have since divorced, they have been out of the dating scene for decades. They aren’t comfortable with the “dating/courting” situation but know they have to get out there to meet people. My program offers insight into present dating techniques and offers coaching to assist gun-shy clients.

Dating today isn’t as scary as it seems. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’d love to hear your stories in the comments section below. You can also email me directly with any questions: premiermatch@gmail.com.

 

Why women cheat

 

As we watch the fallout from Kristen Stewart’s affair with director Rupert Sanders, it’s gotten me thinking about why women choose to cheat.

At just 22, Stewart has presumably been with actor beau, Robert Pattinson, for about four years. This is a long time for a relationship, especially for someone so young. In a previous post, I wrote that if you get married before about age 30, you might as well call it a “starter marriage.”  The same can be said about serious, monogamous relationships.

When we turn 18, we’re called “adults.”  Just because one is called an adult does not mean they behave as such.  Your late-teens and early-20s should be the time when you figure things out. You learn more about who you are and who you want to be than any other time in your life. Figuring these things out also shapes what you want out of a long-time partner or spouse. Your ideal at 18 will not be your ideal at 30.  I can guarantee you that.

So, why did Stewart cheat?  Various articles have revealed that she thought her life was too easy.  Others have suggested that this might all be a ploy to get more publicity for the final “Twilight” movie.  Whatever her reasoning, if she was bored she’s not anymore.  It’s quite obvious that she wanted to be caught.

I’ve interviewed many women who are now single who had affairs in their previous marriages. I asked why they chose to even begin the affairs. The following are the most common reasons:

  1. Revenge – They caught their husband in an affair at some point during their marriage and after a period of time, became more and more angry about it. If they received attention elsewhere, they embraced it.  They felt justified having an affair, like “an eye for eye.” Once they began the affair, they enjoyed receiving extra attention and admiration from others. Eventually, many of these women initiated a separation from their husbands and began divorce proceedings. They knew their marriage was broken.
  2. Low self-esteem – Many women who cheat are married for a long time. They became housewives and mothers. They admit their marriage is dead. They don’t feel loved and/or appreciated.  They stay married for the kids.  In life and marriage we all need an adequate amount of affection and admiration from our partners.  If this attention falters, the person feeling low self-esteem can become more and more insecure and start looking for the attention in other people.
  3. Boredom – An unsatisfying, dull, and predictable relationship that isn’t growing in depth can make the excitement of a new relationship very attractive.  The affair is not only exciting due to the new person involved, but also to the whole experience of sneaking around and hiding it.  This can be a huge adrenaline rush and, for some, mildly addictive. Women who have multiple affairs may be experiencing this kind of stimulus.

The most important thing in any relationship is communication. When your relationship starts to lose its luster, talk to your partner about it. Seek attention from them, not from outsiders. If you try to make it work and it doesn’t, at least you tried. Then you can both go your separate ways without the added pain an affair will cause.