Just say, “NO”. 

How many times have you taken a day off and said, “today is my day”. And then you pick up your phone…. And the day is no longer yours. In order to have time to give away, you need to make time to get away. 
We live in a world of busyness. REST is just missing a few letters to read as STRESSED. We add too much to rest and then it becomes stress. Stress is DEADLY. Many evidenced based studies show the negative impact of stress on our life. Rest is the easiest cure yet we never get enough. 

We need rest. Sometimes when we get away from everything we take a vacation and we take our friends with us. This is not getting away from everything. This is taking your life with you and you are not truly getting away from it all. There is a difference between traveling and vacation. 

So many times, we find our identity in our work. This is not who we are. The problem is that we feel as though people need us. That’s just it. People don’t need us. Everyone is replaceable. That’s life. We can give more of ourselves when we are fulfilled and recharged as opposed to just being and constantly draining ourselves. How can you be inspiring and of use to somebody if you are no different and no more passionate than before, because you never stepped away to learn more and get rid of the old and allow yourself to receive the new. 
On the 7th day of creation, God rested. How in the world do we think that we don’t need what God wanted. We need rest. Sometimes we need to simply learn to just say, “no”. …. And when you say, “no”….. Be okay with it. Otherwise the stress from your regret or saying “no” will eat you alive and ruin your rest. Set boundaries in your life. 
We live in a world that doesn’t stop. We work so much and push ourselves so hard that we are literally killing ourselves. 

You don’t have to have the answer for everyone, everytime, everywhere. Take time for YOU. 

The Purpose of Hurt

Light can only enter through an opening. People who go through trauma are left with open wounds. When we recover from our traumas and prove to be resilient we are enlightened. The trauma happened but now we have experience, wisdom, and insight. Our open wounds allows an opportunity for our new found light to shine through to show others what we have accomplished. Others who are struggling will see our hurt and how we react to it. If we hide our traumas and never share our stories or experience with others than the trauma had no purpose. Once we turn our struggle into an accomplishment then we can help others get through their current struggle. You cant have a testimony without a test.

We are often afraid to open up because of the fear of judgement. There needs to be a change in our society. Society looks down on those who have negative pasts. As much as we like to think that we are non-judgmental, the truth is, we are!

What drives change?  Change does not always come from an organizational level. Change comes from individuals willing to come forward with their stories and break through walls of silence in order to break open doors of freedom. We all have a story. The most prestigious people that we know have a past that they would never want their peers to know. If those who are in leadership always pretend that their life has always been great, then those who are struggling have less motivation to pursue their dreams because they don’t think they will compare to the current leaders.  Transparency is a must in leadership. The song “started from the bottom now were here”  really does prove that point. When you see a strong leader who has accomplished much in life, come forward with a rags to riches story- that will be a huge inspiration.

If you are struggling and broken, you can be helped. However, nobody will know that you need help unless you humble yourself to ask for help. When you acknowledge your vulnerability, people will be able to help you. We all go through periods of struggle and periods of prosperity. At each of those stages in life we have different tasks. When you are prosperous- help others. When you are struggling- accept help. It is a part of life. We will all need help at some point and we will all be able to give help at some point. Participate in the rotation. Build your community. Life is short- but life is good.

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Friends vs. Acquaintances

A bomb just went off and all the banks have been destroyed. Money is no longer an element in society. Anarchy is taking over. It is now, every man for himself. Homes are being broken into and innocent people are getting murdered. Supplies are limited. Who are the people in your “circle” that you would stand next to in that scenario? Who would have your back and share their supplies with you until your time ran out? Who would you want to spend the last week of your life with if you knew there was an impending air raid? Who are your “friends”? Who can you trust? Who do you invest your time in, and why?

There is a difference between friends and acquaintances ( people you have met along the way) people who invest in you and build you up as a person are friends. People who you say “hi” to at social functions and have as a Facebook friend don’t necessarily count. Who is investing in you as a person and your future. Who can you go to when your car breaks down at 3 am…who do you value as a person? Who will bail you out of jail when you get a DUI and wont tell anybody else about it and wont treat you differently? These are things I think about when I decide who I am going to put time and effort into.

We put so much time, emotion and emphasis on the relationships we have in life. That is good- community is key to survival. In life, one of the biggest hurts we face is the loss of a person close to us. We lose people daily in many ways. Some die and some move away whereas some are romantic relationships that ended and others are friendships that grew apart. Either way- it is a loss. It is important to validate that each loss causes pain. With every goodbye, you learn.

The key point is that each person you come across in life is for a purpose. Sometimes that purpose is to get us through a hard time in life when we didn’t think we had anybody. A person will come out of nowhere to be “your person” through that trial. In time, that person may fade out of your life yet sometimes they stay. Sometimes we enter into romantic relationships that don’t last. We have to go into relationships knowing that each relationship you enter into will either end in a breakup, or you will end up together. That is part of the process. Each person that you meet may not be the one you end up with- however, they were there for a purpose. Yet each breakup we face we are devastated- why?

When romantic relationships end, we tend to get lost in aloneness and lose self worth thinking that we will be single forever because we lost the one that we wanted to be with. If you ended the relationship then you made the right choice- it wouldn’t have been an option in your mind if it wasn’t the right decision. If that person left you it is important to remember that there is no use wasting your emotions on somebody that LEFT YOU. What you do with yourself and your future no longer includes them. It is hard to face that but it is true. You WILL miss them. That is also part of the process, but remember that you weren’t the one who gave up. When the relationship is right, that person wont just walk away. If it is TRUE LOVE then they will love you unconditionally and work through ANYTHING. When you experience a broken heart think of it as a blessing from God. It is your reminder that He saved you from the wrong one. You dodged a bullet, so to speak. Nonetheless, it will still be painful and it takes time to make peace with that.

When your friend circle dissipates and you start to feel alone, it is natural to feel lonely. Your best friends may enter relationships and start investing their time in a significant other rather than you. That is hard to accept and it is easy to resent their new love. However, if the roles were reversed you would do the same. It is a natural part of the process. Some of your friends may get married and start having kids. It is fun to see the baby here and there, but eventually you realize that you as a single person don’t fit in with the married people and their babies. You just don’t. Not yet. That is hard to accept as well. The key here is to accept that as normal. It’s the cycle of life. Singleness is NOT a bad thing. It is fun and exciting and it is typically only for a time period. Don’t waste that season of singleness in misery worried about who is the right one. If you don’t remove yourself from that previous scenario of your previous friend circle and create a new one then you will get depressed. We all do.

We have to realize that our community of friends is ever-changing. People will come and go from our lives at different points in time. We need to be open to making new friends and entering into new circles in order to avoid getting lost in aloneness. Holding on to the past of how things “used to be” is delusional thinking. Move forwards not backwards. Things will NEVER be the same…that doesn’t mean that is bad- It will just look different. People will be in your life for a specific reason….or they may just be there to help you through a season….and sometimes, JUST sometimes, people stay in your life until the end. Those people are rare and those relationships should be cherished. It is important to note that a relationship takes two people. That means each party needs to invest time and effort into it.

If you come to a point where you are investing a lot of effort into people and you are not getting the same return as you used to, that may be the point where you have to stop and realize it may be time to let go and move on. You only have two hands. Holding on to two hands that don’t want to hold yours back will take up your energy and your hands. Free yourself up for people who WANT to put the effort back into you. Stop crossing oceans for people who wont jump puddles for you. Life is short. Spend your time wisely with those who want to spend it with you. Don’t force relationships. You will be fine….just fine…..

Love or Lust

Hollywood paints the wrong picture of the love story. It shows people who meet and fall in love. It gives us an unrealistic expectation of what love and relationships are like. The difficult issues in life that affect relationships on a daily basis are not presented in the films. The love is covered in Lust and it is based on a physical attraction. Love endures, lust does not. There are many issues in relationships such as: Whether or not they want children, how the finances will work, where the kids will go to school, religion, purpose and direction in life, and moral standards. These are issues that are not touched on that make or break the relationship. The Hollywood picture of the perfect relationship of falling in love and everything just “working out”, leads to the increased divorce rate. Just because you love somebody does not mean the relationship will work out. Many people forget that. Relationships are tough! The word “relationship”, scares a lot of people.

Regardless of how hard people try to fight being in a relationship, ultimately everybody has the fear of being alone. Many people date around and are “seeing” a lot of people at once. They are afraid to enter into a relationship because they’re afraid of making a mistake. The painful truth with that is, any relationship you enter into either ends in a happily ever after, that may include a marriage, or it will end in a divorce or a break up. That’s all there is to it. The relationship will come to a crucial point where you need to decide to end it or move forward in the relationship. Acknowledging this at the beginning, will lessen the hurt when it has to end. Dating is a risk, but it is an informed risk. In the situation where somebody is dating around with many people at once, a lot of people get hurt. If the person is not forthcoming about what their intention is with each of these people, that leads to heart break. The fact is, if you don’t give a relationship a try, you don’t know whether or not you could be happy with just one of the prospects.

Let’s be clear: dating is exhausting. It’s hard to sit down and tell your story to one person on Monday and repeat it on Tuesday and again on Thursday and Friday. It’s physically exhausting to date. When you are monogamistic and you pick one person to spend your time with and to invest in, you have more time to find out who that person is and whether it can go somewhere. If you spread yourself thin amongst many people at once you will get nowhere with any of them because you can’t possibly give yourself out to that many people and have any return on your investments. Granted, if you are seeing one person at a time and you realize that there are nonnegotiable’s that you guys cannot work out, then it only makes sense to end the relationship before you go further. That is a step that most people miss. They continue in a relationship even though they know that at some point it will fail. Again, this comes from the fear of being alone. Most people do not have enough self-worth to know that they will be just fine after the break up. Anybody who has gone through a break up and has found love afterwords has realized that there is hope. This is just hard for people to grasp at the time. We have all been there. Regardless, you won’t know whether or not the relationship can work past the obstacles unless you try. If there are two or more things that you want to change about a person then that is probably not the right person for you.

People can change, yes. Statistically speaking, people don’t change for the better. You can at least give it a try, but again, it is an informed risk. A lot of times what is stopping these people who date around with a bunch of people and deny themselves a relationship status, is the fear of being “taken off the market”. They are afraid to be exclusive with one person because they fear losing out on a bigger, better option. The issue with that is, if you’re afraid of losing out on a bigger, better option then you shouldn’t be in a relationship right now. You are just destined to break a lot of hearts. Yes, you are looking out for your own happiness, but that is at the expense of others. That is when ethics and morals come in to play. You can do what is right for you as long as you don’t hurt anybody else. When you are dating like this, your motives are wrong. Looking for a bigger better option shows internal motives that you don’t want exposed on the outside. Unfortunately, this is very common in today’s dating world.

You need to know what you are looking for and don’t settle for less. That doesn’t mean to be opposed to settling down. Know your non-negotiables. BUT – When you’re ready to settle down, make sure that you are not settling.

Reslience

Since publishing my book, (Taking Back The Pen- Resiliency Amidst Life’s Predestinated Storyline), many people have asked me where I got my resilience. They have also asked me if I can put into words what it is that makes people resilient. The debate has come up of whether resilience is a trait that a person is born with or if it can be obtained in life.

To start off we need to define RESILIENCE The Mirriam-Webster online dictionary (2010) defines resilience as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to change or misfortune”. The American heritage online dictionary (2009) defines it as “the ability to recover quickly from illness, depression, change, or misfortune; buoyancy.” These are both great definitions. On a personal level, it is about how we apply these definitions in our lives. I do believe that resiliency is a personality trait as well as a dynamic life process. The ultimate key here is bouncing back and returning to normal life regardless of what happens. The fact that trauma and life changes occur is not what is in question here. We are in an ever-changing world that is full of misfortune. The focus needs to be on what happens after the misfortune. You cannot stay in suffering. Once you move forward past it and you do not let it control your life you have been resilient. The antecedent to resilience is adversity. We will all face the adversity in life. The question is, will we all be able to be RESILIENT?

People who have RESILIENCE as a personality trait will demonstrate effective coping skills master their problems, have positive adaptation and are able to integrate control while adjusting and growing through life events. The key term here is GROWH. When we defeat a trial, we grow as individuals in wisdom and character. Some people CHOOSE To have a depressive mind state when they come in to adverse life events. In any situation we have a choice of how we react. We cant always choose what happens but we can choose our response Resilience has a lot to do with personal choice it stems from ownership of our actions and reactions to life events. We can’t always control our life events but we van control our response. How we interpret the event is key. The events can be either physically, psychologically or emotionally traumatic- sometimes even socially. The cognitive ability to interpret this adversity is found through your worldview. That is a personal thought process. Those with different worldviews respond differently to stressors. It is key to have a high self-expectancy and self-determination and to set goals in life. You need to have positive relationships as an individual. Your social support is key in life. Building community is essential to have a successful life. WHO ARE YOU SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH?

There are many different groups where we can look at resilience: see where you fall into a category

Children- Building resilience begins as early as childhood. We all started there… Take a glance back to see where your roots began. Many children are born into poverty or have a parent who suffers from mental illness. Many have divorced parents. Some children have a chronic and terminal illness will some suffer from child abuse and neglect. Some children are even born into a homeless family. Resilient children are able to respond diversity by adapting circumstances and can cope and manage these major life problems despite their immeasurable disadvantages in life. It is true and it should be noted that children who have “rough lives” growing up start out with resilience for survival and carry that through later in life. That is why people going through such events are stronger than most. They began to fight these battles early in life. There is a switch in life from surviving to thriving.

Survivors of disasters- In America we have had plenty of disasters in the recent years. Many of these survivors of these disasters were resilient by resolving to live, obtaining food and shelter, maintaining survival strategies, keeping families together and building their community. Social support is CRUCIAL. These people were able to give testimony after they finished the trial. That testimony helps others. Trust in God, family support as well as your friends around you allow you to maintain resilience through these challenges.

Adult population- As we age, health wise, we have a decreased functional status. Our stress level increases, poor living conditions abound and we have faced many negative life events by this time. These changes can be influenced to a more positive outlook by maintaining good quality relationships building community and developing coping strategies. Many people have family support and a large network of friends. The problem comes with broken families that do not have the family support. This population leans more heavily on the friends in the community around them whether it is neighbors or people from church or other social circles. Older adult women and sometimes men have faced sexual abuse either as children or in their early adult years. It is been found that these women have used silence, holding in their thoughts and emotions about it, and internal sense of hope, social support and advocacy and intentional self-care. The biggest attribute here was social support. Those are personal dramatic events that most people don’t know about and the resilience here is internal because the success cannot be physically and publicly weighed against what they have been through in order to fully understand how successful they really are today, compared to where they have been. Many people attribute a spiritual grounding as the main source of help. Having a higher power to lean on that give meaning and purpose of their lives. This is key to purpose and strength of moving forward past adversity

Building Resilience – There are many characteristics of resilient people that can be learned and acquired in life. Having a sense of hope. There’s no such thing as false hope, any hope is a positive thing. Self-efficacy, control (Being able to regain control of the situation and alter the events to the way that you would like them to go), coping, confidence, flexibility, adaptability, sense of coherence, recognizing the skills you possess, and the ability to focus. Cognitive reframing, critical reflection and reconciliation are all strategies to build resilience. THESE ARE ALL ATTAINABLE. So when the question is asked, can anybody obtain resilience or are you born with it? The Answer is, YES, anybody can be resilient, they just have to CHOOSE to be.

The first step is to get back up every time you fall. Nobody will move you forward in life except for yourself, with your own two feet. You can’t fully depend on anybody else. There are social structures that can help you in times of need but community is ever changing. Ultimately you need to move forward on your own and except help when it’s given but when it’s not available be able to handle it on your own. Autonomy! Strength! Resilience!

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Sex: The Market Value

If you’re having trouble getting into a relationship with somebody where you want to get to know them first before you have sex you may find that this is hard to do. Relationships and dating are more complex these days than ever before. Values are being lost in translation. Emotional barriers have been put up that makes sex seem like an everyday task that has less meaning. Boundaries have been dropped because they’re not taking into consideration by the partner anymore. Women feel in many cases as though they need to have sex in order to keep somebody. That is quite the wrong way to start off a relationship. Anybody who’s been through several different relationships can trace back the reason. Most times it comes back to the fact that you had sex too early in the relationship. Once you enter that physical portion of the relationship is hard to go back to square one and start the basics. There are now expectations. There is a reason for this. Sex has gotten cheaper. It can be traced back to simple economics just like anything else. Marriage rates in the United States has hit a low. The revenue of the online dating industry is at an all-time high which is $1.049 billion. Romantic relationships are becoming more complex to navigate these days. Less couples are moving their relationship towards marriage. Marriage is getting delayed.

Sex can be looked at as an exchange each person involved is getting something from the other person. At face value, it may appear that they are giving each other the same thing; Intimate access to each other’s bodies. But there is more going on than meets the eye. Men and women both appreciate sex. Studies have indicated that men and women experience sex differently though. On average men have a higher sex drive and women do. It may be linked to testosterone or whatever other factor thrown out for the reasoning for this, but men are more sexually permissive than women,they instigate sex more than women and they connect sex to romance less often than women do. That’s just the way it is. That doesn’t mean that’s the way it supposed to be. Women tend to have sex for reasons beyond pleasure. Women’s motivations for sex tend to be, expressing love and receiving love strengthening there commitment affirming their desirability and relationship security. So when the exchange happens and men want sex more often than women do women use sex as a resource and the women decide when it happens. So when the women have the reigns in the relationship it comes down to pricing.

Women have something of value that men want badly. Something that men are willing to sacrifice for. So how much does Sex cost for men? It may not cost them anything more than a couple drinks and a coffee or a nice date with respectful attention or all the way up to a commitment with shiny diamond ring, meaning they will be together exclusively. But the prices vary widely between relationships. In some cases women give it away for nearly free and others it’s a high demand such as the engagement ring. So if women have the rains and have so much power why don’t women charge more? The answer is because it’s not entirely up to women. The market value of sex is part of the whole social market exchange system in society as a whole. From an economy standpoint, if you will, where men and women learn from each other. Women learn from magazines,media and friends what is “supposed” to be expected as an exchange for sex. So that brings sex away from being a private matter between two consenting adults. It is more of a basic supply and demand. When supplies high the prices drop. Since people won’t pay more for something that’s easy to find. But if it’s harder to find then the price goes up. In our current society, men know that sex is cheap these days. As long as they know where to look. We got to where the market of sex has dropped so drastically because of technological shocks that have altered the market. Inventions such as the birth control pill have allowed men and women to have sex without the fear of an economical setback such as a child. This lowered the cost of sex. Before contraception sex in a relationship took place as individuals were trying to find a mate. Someone to marry. Sex didn’t mean marriage, but a serious commitment was a common requirement and it was geared towards marriage. Since the olden days all the way till now, dabbling in sexual relationships means the possibility of having babies. The original purpose of the birth control pill was to prevent pregnancy. The data now reveals an unexpected side effect; it throws the mating/marriage market into disarray. Having sex and thinking about marriage have become two separate entities.

There is now a split in the market. One side of the spectrum are largely pursuing marriage while the other half is pursuing sex without the risk of having babies and not creating a family. There are more men looking for sex then marriage and there are more women looking for marriage rather than just sex. Language of online dating reinforces the reality of the split market. Men tend to write that they’re looking for fun while women right that they’re looking for marriage. They look for only serious inquiries and no games. This dating market causes a big problem for women. They certainly call the shots when it comes to short term sexual relationships, because they have as many men in their courts as they want to be because the men are always looking for an easy sexual relationship more commonly than they are a marriage. This allows women to be more selective in the short term relationship scene. But the reverse is true when they want to settle down. The options are not as endless. We tend to hear about man’s lack of commitment but the blunt reality is purely economic. Women massively outnumber men in the marriage market which means men can be picky about which woman they want and they can insist on sexual relationships before the commitment. Men are in a position to maximize their reward. And they can invest fewer resources. Why do men do this? Because they can! This agreement and unspoken pact from the past of a higher market value of sex has vanished. In this new world where having sex no longer means babies and marriage becomes optional. Women no longer have each others backs and now they’re each other’s competition. When women compete for men they tend to do so by appealing to what men want. Which means they give into sex sooner. And here’s what women have wrong about men. Men are not afraid of commitment at all. While women hold the keys when it comes to sex the deal is that men are in the driver seat in the marriage world. They can navigate it exactly how they want to. From marriage to fun to planning to fun to marriage to fun. Men’s virility doesn’t expire a certain age as women’s does. So what’s the rush for man? Talk about having the upper-hand! So it’s no surprise that now the average age of marriage in the United States is continuing to rise. The ages of people between the age of 25 and 35 getting married is continuing to drop. There are factors that contribute to each of the trends. Young men are failing to adapt to contemporary life. When attractive women will still go to bed with you, And give you sex for practically no commitment or effort.

Life for a man just isn’t that bad after all. Because men tend to behave as well or as poorly as the women in their lives permit them too. Economists have said that women working together on this task force would be the best way to bring the price and value of sex back up and to get control of this sexual imbalance. This would raise the market value of sex for everyone. But this is not seen among women today. Not yet. If women gathered together and demanded a higher market value for sex and relationships we would be seeing more impressive relationship status. There would be longer relationships, more commitment, and more longitudinal relationships. There would be fewer premarital partners. For a woman to know what she wants in a relationship and to let the man know clearly, this is her power and economy. But these things are not occurring. Because today the economics of sexual relationship clearly favor men And what they want even if what they are offering in the initial exchange has diminished. And it’s all thanks to supply and demand.

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Daddy issues? Reality check on dating older men

Things to keep in mind if you are dating somebody older than you, ( 12+ years of age difference) when dating older there are benefits as well as risks.

Typically I would write my posts gender neutral, but in this area of interest the statistics show that women are more often in this situation of dating older, as opposed to men.

Benefits: The person has had more life experience and has wisdom to offer you. They are typically more mature. They have seen the good and bad in life they Are generally established and know what they are doing in life as opposed to dating somebody in their 20’s who is still figuring out their life. They offer a sense of safety and security. They can fill voids in some sense ( some call it daddy issues but regardless, if it works for you WHO cares).

Lifestyle: A risk here is that they can be very set in heir ways. Many times when dating somebody older they expect you to drop your life and be picked up and dropped into their life they have set up. This may be a dream for some women….you get a man with a great job and a car and a boat and a house with land and a dog and everything is move-in ready. That is a beautiful thing and hats off to the man for establishing his life like that. But what if you want to live in a loft in a big city and he wants nothing to do with that idea. what if he has a dog and wants more and you dont like dogs…..” exit relationship here” KEEP in mind.. In a healthy relationship that is based on love, each party to the relationship needs to concede and be willing to make changes for the other person. If something as simple as changing which city you live in locally is going to cause an issue where the guy is unwilling to change, and if he isn’t willing to give up a pet to be with you ….is that really somebody you want to be with? I have come across this situation before and it is unfair for one person to drop their life to enter another’s …it should always be 50-50. I think that two people should want to build a life together and be willing to make concessions for the other. If there are more than 2 things you want to change about a person then you are probably with the wrong person. NEVER SETTLE

Health- LETS BE REAL- In the normal way of life with no traumatic events an older person will die sooner than the younger due to simple degenerative health conditions. Heart attack, stroke, diabetes etc. That being acknowledged you have to realize that if you are dating somebody 20 years your senior then when you are 60 they will be 80 if they are still around. Therefore it is KEY in dating an older man that he is willing to make healthy lifestyle choices to make sure he is in good health as he ages to be less of a burden to you. That is not a selfish thing to ask for. It is selfish if the older person that you are dating is not willing to work out and stay in top shape for you. That is the least they can do out of respect for you giving up the end years of your life withy partner to enjoy them in your life now. It’s going to play out to where you are taking care of your parents as well as your husband at the same time. ( this is not a negative…it’s a beautiful loving sacrifice- but it still has to be acknowledged or you will be in denial and quit the relationship early when you realize the expectations)

Finances. When somebody in their 20’s dates somebody in their 40’s it is obvious that the older person will be more financially stable and have more assets than the person in their 20’s. In most situations this is typically the reason for the relationship in the first place…and those relationships end early or are not truly satisfying. Men like to feel needed and they want to be the supporter and women like to be taken care of. This gets complicated when the women quits her job to be a part of this relationship and let’s the man support her. For the time period of the relationship this may work out well for both when both are getting what they need. You both get to spend time together and you can be the dream wife who has dinner on the table every night and meet all his needs as your full time job. BUT if the relationship ends 10 years into it and the woman has been out of the workforce for so long with no income or savings of her own it will be very difficult to be a part of society again. This needs to be discussed as a reality.

Children: Typically ,e in their 40’s have had children who are grown now. They are usually done having kids. This needs to be established before the relationship continues…..do you want your own children? Do you get along with his? If he already has his own then they will most likely not be ok with him dating you! I mean face it, if your dad came home with a girl your age, how would you feel? Lets be real…. There is a stereotype and there will always be judgement. You have to accept the fact that you will never be #1 in his life if he has children. They will always come first. That is how it should be. At the same time the man should never sacrifice his happiness because of a simple unapproval from the children. if that is the case then you need to move on for your own good and fall in love with somebody else who will treasure you and make you feel wanted in the midst of his circumstances. never let your needs be bypassed because of somebody else’s choices in life. Never sell yourself short. If the kids are grown and they have their own lives then it should be a non- issue.

Retirement: This goes along with finances. When dating somebody who is set up to retire in 15-20 years, this can pose a problem if you are both not on the same page. It can work out well if the man says that when he retires he wants you to retire with him and to not work anymore and then you guys can enjoy retirement life together. That would be best case scenario for the relationship. Sometimes if that is not the case where the man can financially offer that to you, then you will come into the situation where: you go to work 40 hours a week and you are stressed and tired just like any other real- life producer and you come home to a retired husband. He has done nothing all day and is stress free and making travel plans in his retirement dream living. This is dangerous territory. It can be easy to start to resent him. I have seen this many times. It is very hard when one person has several years till retirement and their spouse sits around drinking margaritas all day. It isn’t a typical lifestyle and that is a hard pill to swallow and it isn’t something that is thought through when starting the relationship.

Do you and the person have the same retirement goals.. That is HUGE! If the person you are dating or married to wants to move to California when they retire and you still have 20 years left at your job and you like the place you work at, are you willing to move jobs for the last part of your life if you have to continue working? All things that are difficult to think about but are a reality and need to be considered.

I’m just giving some common problems that I have witnessed and experienced myself. Dating older is a wonderful thing and I approve 100%. Most of my boyfriends have been 35-50 and I am 25 years old. I have learned a lot through the process and I have learned what really matters and have seen the realities of the end-goal. Just have fun with dating and make sure that younare both on the same page…..but realize that there are definite considerations to make if you see the relationship going further than a learning experience.

When you are ready to settle down…make sure that you are not settling!