RELATIONSHIP 101: Rebounds and moving forward

The first question people ask when they are the first date after a break up is ” Are you sure that I am not just a rebound?”. The answer that the person usually gives is “Of course not”.  That is a lie. With every relationship you enter into it will either end in a breakup or a marriage/permanent relationship.  So with any relationship you enter into, you must go in with the expectation of either one. So many times we will hope that the relationship ends in marriage but when it ends in breakup we are heart broken and in shock that something  “so tragic” could happen to us. We have all been there. When we go through a breakup it is hard to deal with. We spend so much time with the person. We have in some cases changed our lives for that person, and changed friend circles. When a relationship ends, so does that friend circle and current circumstances.  The first few days we are depressed and seek counsel from friends. In most cases we lock ourselves in our bedroom with movies and Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream for days and shut ourselves off from all outside communication. Eventually we put ourselves back together and we realize that the time has come where we need to stand back up and get back into the dating game. 

We all will have the “first person after the breakup” that we date. This person is termed by society as the rebound. 

There are a few definitions for a rebound 

1. Urban Dictionary- Going from one relationship to the next right away to avoid the pain of a breakup

2.  A rebound is someone who you date/go out with to keep yourself busy and you use him/her to keep your mind off of your ex who you still have feelings for
 
3- The freedictionary.com-  To recover, as from depression or disappointment. 
 
These definitions fit societies view of a rebound well. Any time you start a relationship it will end in a breakup or a full commitment…EVEN with a rebound. The problem is that most rebounds end up failing which give them a bad reputation. The reason they fail s typically because the person who just got out of a relationship “settled” for the quickest new relationship, or the person started a relationship with a potentially good match too soon after the breakup and did not have time to fully heal emotionally.  When you start a new relationship without fixing the problems you brought over from the old one they will not just disappear, and you will end up with the same problems in this new relationship. 
 
People tend to believe that a rebound is not fair, or that it is a bad idea. I beg to differ. I believe that a rebound is a necessary part of the process. without a rebound right away, the mind can wander and depression can set in. To end a relationship depressed and down on life is sad. When the rebound steps in and starts taking you out and building you back up, it is a positive thing. They will help you through the healing process and will allow you to realize that the problem is not you. You will then be able to have a sense of hope. By the time you rebuild yourself through this rebound, you will now see clearly that the rebound is not quite the level you deserve. When you end that rebound relationship, you are on your way to full self healing and realizing your full potential in a relatonship. You will then learn what you want and what you DONT want. That is key to understand in a relationship.  This is a learning process for both parties in the rebound relationship. One can argue that it is unfair to the person to be used as a rebound…..but by definition as listed above… the person is going from one relationship to another quickly….so then wont the person who just got “dumped” move on to another relationship? Absolutely! It is all a part of the cycle and it is all necessary in the process. Each breakup requires two people to move on. A rebound is simply the first person you date after a relationship. Just like any other relationship you are in, it will either fail or move forward.  The key is….If you have gone through a breakup, move forward. Date more. It is ok to “rebound” don’t be afraid of that term. Everyone has to get back on the horse to date again eventually.  A rebound is a healthy part of the healing process.  Have fun with dating and tread lightly. Try to remove ALL EXPECTATIONS. Just enjoy people. 
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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.

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!

Dating: Is there a standard timeline?

When people begin to date somebody many questions go through a persons mind. We look at the person we are dating and we ask ourselves, “are we wasting our time or can this relationship work out”? we ask, ” Are we compatible, can I marry this person someday?” These are a couple questions that go into starting a relationship. My opinion is that if I cant see the relationship going anywhere, I will stop it before it starts so that nobody wastes their time. Any relationship that you end up in will end up in marriage/commitment, or a breakup. It is inevitable. When you are into a dating relationship it is easy to put timelines on certain things or set up guidelines. To make the decision that you are going to wait 6 months until your first kiss or to say that you cant get to know somebody and who they really are until after the first 6 months is a fallacy. it changes with every person you date. I do believe that time does tell, but I also believe that it should never be cookie cutter and that each scenario is relevant to each person. You should not determine that you will not marry somebody until a certain number of months have passed or till specific guidelines have been met. You are limiting fate. We think it is crazy when people get married after 6 months and we tell them that it is too soon to know the person. But really, who are we to decide another’s trust level with another person. 

An example would be, if two people are dating for 6 months and they see each other 2 times a week for dinner and they are in an exclusive dating relationship they will take a while to get to know each other.  If two people meet and go on two dates and plan a trip together, if they go away on a cruise for a week, they are having breakfast, lunch, and dinner together, as well as staying the night with each other and spending the in-between times together that is the equivalent of how close the other couple has gotten in their dating of several months. Both spend equal amounts of time together but the trust milestones will be different. The couple that spent a solid week together will be as close and bonded as the couple who has been dating for 6 months……if the couple who went on a vacation together gets married sooner, society may say that is too soon to know somebody, but; Is it?

In a relationship there are certain trust milestones. At a certain point when you feel comfortable with a person you start to divulge information that you keep a secret from society. When you start to trust somebody enough to talk about these things, your walls begin to come down and you begin bonding. That is the trust process. Trust is crucial to any relationship. With two different people there could be two separate timelines for when those trust milestones are acheived. does that mean that you are “more destined” to be with one person rather than the other, no. All it means is that the timeline of trust barrier breakdowns is different. That is why it is important to not hold yourself back or set a timeline in relationships. Each person you meet will be different. And NOBODY will ever be perfect for you. There will finally be one person who you can learn to compromise with and build a future. There will never be anybody that is perfect for you. That is a myth and it is not realistic. That delays so many relationships because we build this fassad of looking for the perfect match. When you love somebody, you have to compromise and sacrifice because true love is sacrifice.  Key points: don’t judge any relationship but your own, don’t limit yourself; have fun. Enjoy the process. The best person to ask advice from is yourself. You will know better than any of your friends what is best for your own life. 

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