Money vs Love: Three Rules For Making It Through Tough Times

13 November 2009

by Jennifer Good

Sensual Board Games Reviews
The money factor is one of the most common sources of contention in a relationship. How you deal with hard times can either make or break you as a couple. While we as a nation may be in a time of economic hardship, your relationship doesn't need to suffer because of it. With a little creativity and these three rules, you can use this as an opportunity to strengthen the friendship and intimacy that binds you together as a couple.

Rule #1: Your Relationship Always Comes First
When dealing with any type of stressful situation, it's important to remember that you are a couple. What one person says or does affects the other. If you're stressed out, make sure you're talking about it with your partner. Don't bottle it up and expect things to "just get better." Your partner knows when something's up, so get rid of the guesswork and talk it through together. Two heads are always better than one when it comes to creative thinking.

Rule #2: Keep Having Fun
It's easy to let things in the fun department slide when life starts to get stressful. However, this is a crucial mistake. It's these types of situations where laughter and emotional escapes from your daily life are needed most. A little ingenuity may be just what you needed to "look on the bright side" and find a solution or different perspective for your current situation. Here are ten ideas to get you started.

  • Water Gun Fight
  • Game Night
  • Spend the Night Coloring
  • Test Drive Cars
  • Rearrange Furniture In Your House
  • Start A Garden
  • Photograph Each Other
  • Collage a "Dream Board"
  • Picnic and People Watch
  • Design Your Ideal Home

Rule #3: Have A Common Goal
To keep a group of people focused in the same direction, they have to have a common goal they are working towards. The same is true for a couple in a relationship. If you are both aimlessly living your everyday life without direction, it's quite likely you'll end up either in different places or somewhere you didn't want to be. Have a talk together and talk about your one year, five year, and ten year goals and ideals. You need to have something you are both working towards together, even if it's something as simple as planning a summer vacation or getting a new car.

What's worked for you as a couple during tough times?
Share your thoughts and ideas in our comments area below!


Eight Steps to Finding True Love

09 October 2009

Dating Guide for 2009: Eight Steps to Finding True Love

By Dating expert Diana Kirschner, Ph.D.
Updated: May 22, 2009
Dating expert Diana Kirschner, Ph.D.
2008 is winding down and New Year's Eve is coming fast. You'll blow the horns, make a few toasts. It'll be another New Year's party with no one you really want to kiss at midnight. Another lonely year staring you in the face.
But it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, 2009 can be the year you find the love of your life.
You can create the stuff of your dreams by making a simple shift that changes the way you date this year. You can make a resolution right now, right here as you read this dating guide, to find new love that is better than any relationship you have had before.
For singles, the chances of finding a mate could be better than ever! The average marriage now lasts under seven years, and this means new singles are coming on the scene all the time. In fact, around 16 million people are now using online dating in the U.S. You have a lot of singles to choose from.
So go on, make the affirmation. Something like, "I will find a mate who is just right for me." Here is an eight-step action plan that can make your resolution a reality in 2009:
1. Prioritize Finding Love. Imagine if you didn't have a job. Looking for one would be your top priority. You would spend hours searching sites like Yahoo! Hotjobs, calling recruiters, and jumping on any leads.
In contrast, finding love ranks pretty low on your to-do list. You come home from work, run errands, call your friends, watch your favorite show, and maybe spend 15 minutes browsing your online dating site. Most singles are better at planning their weekend than planning their dating life.
Yet study after study has shown that relationships are treasured above all else when we reflect on what has meant the most in our lives. So make finding a mate a top priority.
2. Have a 'New You' Party. Invite friends over for a New You party where they give you a makeover. Let them go through your clothes, getting rid of unflattering stuff and putting together some hot new looks for you. Find a look that makes you feel great.
Tell your friends you are looking to meet someone special. Email the same message to any other buddies who did not make the party.
3. Work Your Online Dating Site. Throw out your old photo and profile. Have a friend who is a good photographer take 100 headshots of you in order to get one that looks especially warm, attractive, and inviting. Get some opposite-sex friends to help you pick out the best photo and work on your dating profile.
After you post them, spend at least three hours a week looking around the site, sending and responding to messages, and connecting by phone and in person with people. Block out time in your daily calendar to work the site.
4. Go Where the Odds Are Better. Sign up for two ongoing classes or activities that interest you and have lots of singles in them. Finance courses, rock climbing, golfing, snowboarding/skiing, and hiking are great formeeting single men. Single women are plentiful at cooking classes, yoga, and spirituality workshops.
Coed city sports teams are great and usually have an even mix of genders. Look into volunteering for a local or national political group. There are many other activities to consider, so search online, or go to and peruse their groups.
5. Meet New People. Say hello to three new men or women every day. Assuming you are in a safe or public place, make eye contact, smile, say hi or ask for some help. This is what I call the Marcia Cross Technique. Actress Marcia Cross was in her forties when she met her husband by chatting with him in a flower shop. She now is the ecstatic mother of twin baby girls.
You can start with saying hello to the less threatening types and work your way up to the ones who are "out of your league." You will be surprised how receptive the cuties can be!
6. Date Against Type.
“Most singles do not find love with the type of person they imagine for themselves.”
Most singles do not find love with the type of person they imagine for themselves. The guy who wants a petite blonde winds up with a brainy brunette. The woman who dates starving artists marries a rich, balding lawyer. Look at photos and profiles that you would ordinarily take a quick pass on. Try and experiment. You may be very happily surprised!
7. Go for a Second Date. Even if you are not exactly blown away by a person on the first date, remember to stay open. You cannot know what secret goodies are hidden in someone just by meeting them once. You have to let a potential partner unfold and show you his/her different sides. If there is any connection with this person at all, give it another chance. Love almost always comes in a surprise package.
8. Open the Door. If you do meet someone and have a really good time, send a quick text or email the next morning to let the person know that the door is open to getting together again. This is especially important for women to do. Write something specific about the date that points to the connection between the two of you or refers to something you both loved.
Now you have your love resolution and plan. Most importantly, commit to the first step and make finding a mate your top priority. Then follow the recommended program to create the love you want in the coming year. Chances are, by next New Year's Eve you'll be kissing the one you want.

source: Yahoo Personals

9 Ways to Make Your Relationship Last

08 October 2009

Apply these simple tips and watch your relationship flourish in good times and bad.

By relationship expert Stacy D. Phillips for Hitched
Updated: Aug 27, 2009
Happy dating couple (Getty Images)
As a divorce attorney, I pride myself on having saved some marriages during my 25 years in practice. I would very much like to see people work things out, if they can. I have come to realize that if couples try one or more of the following 9 suggestions, they may be able to keep their relationship from hitting the rocks in the first place.
1. Delineate "yours," "mine," and "ours." If you have finances that should be placed in each of these three categories (for example, you have an inheritance and he has a savings account he accumulated before the marriage, and you also have a checking account to which you both contribute), have an upfront conversation about those assets and what belongs to whom. Moreover, talk about your time away from "together" activities, like he wants to bowl with the guys on Tuesday nights and you want to attend your yoga class on Wednesday. Respect these important delineations. Doing so will make the relationship stronger.

2. Carve out time to be together. Sure, you're busy working and attending meetings, but how important are those things if your relationship falls apart? Make time to do things together that you both enjoy. This could be anything from grocery shopping to taking in a movie. Take regular vacations together -- at least a couple of long weekends and, better yet, a couple of long vacations (more than a weekend jaunt). Commit to a weekly date night and make it as unbreakable as that all-important staff meeting at work.

3. Take care of yourself. Spend time every day on your appearance and your physical well-being. Work out regularly, eat healthy, and stay fit. Not only will your partner like looking at you, but you'll feel better about yourself.

4. Make sure communication goes both ways. Many relationships fail because of misunderstandings. Effective communication skills are necessary if your relationship is going to survive. If there is a hint or vibe that your partner is disconnected or you are unhappy about something, do not ignore those signals or feelings. Approach your mate and suggest an open discussion. You may be frustrated, angry, or hurt and so may he or she, but always stay calm and reasonable. Your goal should be to resolve differences, and the only viable way of doing so is through open and direct communication.

5. Criticize gently. Don't judge too harshly. If you criticize, do so in the same way you would want others to criticize you. Be kind and considerate.

6. Never stop courting one another. Gifts, compliments, and a loving embrace go a long way, especially when they are a surprise. Send unexpected greeting cards, slap a Post-It note where you know your mate will find it, keep those flowers coming in a "just because" way. Treat your partner with the same courtesies you did when you were dating. A terrific mindset is to pretend you are trying to win your partner all over again.
7. Keep the flame burning. Keep your romance alive despite the chaos and craziness life can present from living in the midst of sheer reality. Resolve to offer up romantic suggestions for your partner's pleasure, even if only occasionally, like cooking her favorite meal when you know she's had an impossible day, or entice him into a bubble bath with you just for the fun of it. Little gestures like these from time to time can ensure that the flame you once had burns forever.

8. Spell out your terms of endearment. Call out the expectations for one another in the form of the "terms" of your relationship together. Put them in a contract, if you like. This contract will simply clarify and document those needs and wants that mean a lot to you. For example, though he typically runs late, your agreement might specify those times when he agrees not to be late; she may agree to keep her spending at a certain limit, though she typically has little restraint as she traipses through the mall. Discussing these boundaries, as well as your needs and wants, can prevent either of you from stepping over the line and causing irritation. It is often the disappointments (needs and wants, gone unexpressed) that bring down a relationship.

9. Renegotiate your contract. Your relationship will evolve, and your needs and wants will change right along with it. Once a year, it's a good idea to review, update, or revise your contract with each other -- whether it is verbal or written. Be mindful, however, not to allow such a "contract" to ruin your relationship.

source: Yahoo Personals

Four Signs He's Over You

07 October 2009

Four Signs He's Over You

Has your guy been behaving strangely lately? Be warned: This could be his exit strategy.

By Dating blogger Gregory Gilderman for Cosmopolitan
Updated: May 22, 2009
dating couple snuggles while the man looks unhappy
Sure, guys are supposed to be the tougher sex, but when it comes to breaking up with a chick, we turn into serious wusses. Of course, we know the right thing would be to sit you down and say, "Listen, it's over." But no -- instead,
“we use passive-aggressive tactics in the hopes that you'll hate us so much, you'll pull the plug first.”
we use passive-aggressive tactics in the hopes that you'll hate us so much, you'll pull the plug first. Some clues your guy could be taking the coward's way out...
More Dating Articles from Cosmopolitan:
#1. He Doesn't Do What He Says He Will
Yes, it's true: You usually have to ask guys about 10 times before they'll actually help you put in those bathroom shelves -- that's typical. But when he promises to go with you to a friend's party and then bails or doesn't call when he says he will, that's a problem. "When I started losing interest in my ex, I intentionally became really flaky," says Bruce, 24. "I just didn't feel like going out of my way for her anymore."
#2. He Keeps Asking You, "Are We Okay?"
Let's be honest here: Single men hate to talk about relationships. So if he starts suggesting weekly powwows, take notice. "I didn't want to just flat out break her heart, so instead, I tried to hint that I wasn't the right guy for her," says Jack, 32. "I'd ask, 'So, what do you want for the future?' Since I knew she wanted a guy who could take care of her financially, I'd say something like 'I don't want to be a VP someday. Money is overrated.' After enough of these talks, she realized I wouldn't be the rich husband she wanted."
#3. He Makes You into the Bad Guy
Your guy starts constantly choosing his buddies over you... and yet, he says you're the selfish one. It's called deflecting. "I'd been wanting to break up with my girl, but I couldn't bring myself to do it," explains Tyler, 28. "So instead, I made it seem like she was a rotten girlfriend by telling her she wasn't giving me enough of her time or accusing her of cheating." See how it works? Eventually, you'll be dying to free yourself from his incessant harping (or so he hopes).
#4. He Makes Comments About Attractive Women
Look, no guy is stupid enough to go on about how sensual some random chick is in front of his girlfriend... unless, of course, he's trying to be inconsiderate. "Once I knew it was over, I just stopped censoring myself," says David, 27. "If I were watching a music video on TV, I would say that I'd never seen a body so perfect. I knew it upset her, but I just didn't care at that point."

source: Yahoo Personal

Dating Tips: 8 Habits That Wreck Your Relationship

30 September 2009

Find out how to rebuild your bond after a wrecking ball hits your relationship -- and learn how to sidestep couple-killers in the future.

By dating editor Brenda Della Casa for Glamour
Updated: Sep 30, 2009

Dating couple gazing at each other (Getty Images)

#1. Having an affair with his "potential"

Wanting your man to be the best version of himself is admirable, but approaching his looks and personality with "Extreme Makeover" ambition will do little more than erode his self-esteem and leave you both frustrated and resentful. "If you and your partner believe that love means acceptance, pushing him to change and criticizing him is going to send him the opposite message. What he hears is 'you aren't good enough,'" says Nina Atwood, M.Ed., L.P.C., author of "Temptations of the Single Girl: The Ten Dating Traps You Must Avoid."
How to rebuild: This is where the old 80-20 rule can be used to the benefit of both of you. Spend at least 80 percent of your time together letting your partner know all the things you adore and appreciate about him, so that when you mention something you don't like, it doesn't feel like another item on a long list of failures.

More Glamour: #2. Major mood swings

We're living in some pretty anxiety-inducing times, and when life takes a stressful turn, it's not uncommon for couples to start taking out that stress on each other. While the occasional mood swing can -- and should -- be forgiven, being in a relationship with someone whose bad moods outnumber her good ones can make a man run for cover. Wouldn't you do the same?
How to rebuild: The next time you catch yourself taking a downturn, take a moment to consider what kind of impact your moods are having on your man and the relationship. "If a woman is too moody, we start to walk on eggshells because we just don't want to deal with the drama," says Matt, 31, of San Diego.

#3. Gossip

Talking to pals about your love life is a normal part of friendship, but if you're calling your BFF, your sister, and your mom every time your man pisses you off, you're not only going to wind up embarrassed when the storm passes, you'll also find yourself in a relationship with someone who feels violated and judged. "As a couple, private information should stay private or you risk damaging your reputation as a couple, which in turn may isolate you from others and sever your relationship," says Dan Schawbel, personal branding expert and author of "Me: 2.0." Remember that word of mouth is a powerful force, and it can hurt your reputation if your mate or others brand you as untrustworthy."
How to rebuild: The next time you log on to his computer and find an improper download, resist the urge to get on the phone and vent to your top five. Instead, sit down and talk things out with the one person who can help you work through it. If you're not sure how to approach him about a certain topic, sit down and write him a letter. (Helpful hint: Sit on it for 24 hours to make sure it says what you really want to say and isn't just filled with angry words and blame.)

#4. Melodrama

If you're calling him in tears every time your coworker irritates you, deleting him from Facebook during every argument, and threatening to end the relationship over him leaving the toilet seat up (again!), he might start looking for a new leading lady. "Men have a tendency to really like low-maintenance girls when it comes to relationships," says Kristian, 35, of New York City. "We're pretty lazy in general, and it's exhausting when you need to work so hard to make someone happy and calm them down every day."

How to rebuild: Save the details of your office drama for brunch with the girls, and the next time you feel your inner Heidi Montag moving center stage, take a deep breath and rate the situation on a scale from 1 to 10. If it scores below a 5, let it go and save award-worthy performances for anything above a 9 (cheating, insulting your boss at your holiday party, etc.).

#5. "Mom-ing" him

Your man loves his mama and he loves you, but when you're the one telling him to stop playing Guitar Hero, scoffing at his lack of manners, or informing him he can't go out with his pals because he has a "big day tomorrow," it's anything but appealing. He'll not only resent that you're trying to control him, but he'll also likely do what all children do when they're being reprimanded -- rebel. "Scolding your mate creates an unhealthy dynamic of parent-child relationship, which automatically puts your partner into a child role and you into the role of mom," says Jeannine Estes, M.A, a marriage and family therapist and author of "Relationships in the Raw." "Children often do the opposite when they feel as if they don't have a choice, and this is similar for couples."

How to rebuild: "Instead of scolding or telling him what to do or not do, try to ask for your needs in a clear and respectful way and avoid using the 'mother' tone," says Estes. "Share with your partner the importance of your needs rather than demanding or scoffing at what he has or hasn't done right. Also, scolding him like you are his mother can put you in a parent role, carrying the relationship without any assistance or partnership."

#6. Too much together time
Spending time with your guy is one of the best parts of being in a relationship, but there's a big difference between bonding and being joined at the hip. "Many men are attracted to secure, independent women," says Stacey Rosenfeld, Ph.D, a New York City psychologist. "Once in relationships, women may tend to become more dependent, to demand more time and attention of their partners. This can represent a problem, as often men need more space than women."

How to rebuild: Remind your guy of the independent and fabulous woman he was initially attracted to by indulging in your favorite pastimes and enjoying your friends without him every once in a while. By flashing your independence, you'll not only give him a chance to miss you but also have interesting things to share with him when you meet up.

#7. Jealousy
He lets you know how much he loves you constantly, but that doesn't stop you from checking his phone when he's in the shower or sending every pretty girl he talks to eye-daggers. Although a tiny bit of jealousy in a relationship is normal, accusing your man of cheating and questioning his whereabouts every time he walks in will have him feeling controlled, manipulated, and insulted. "Jealousy in a relationship, or even personally, is the spiritual equivalent of dumping hydrochloric acid on the person," says 33-year-old Marc from Los Angeles. "Just sit back and prepare for the disintegration."

How to rebuild: Unless your man has said or done things to make you suspicious, your jealousy is more about your relationship with yourself than you two as a couple. Back away from his computer and check out your own history. Were you betrayed in the past? Did you grow up in a household where the fidelity vows were broken? There might be ways in which you are allowing unresolved issues from your past to dictate your present behavior. If you don't feel you can overcome the green monster on your own, don't be afraid to reach out to a qualified counselor who can help you identify the sources of your insecurity and work through them.

#8. Getting too comfortable
In the beginning of a relationship, both parties make sure to look and act their best, but as time moves on, the sweatpants come out and routine takes over. "People tend to get lazy in their relationships, and while it's good to be comfortable, no one wants to be boring or to be bored," says Lissa Coffey, author of "What's Your Dosha, Baby? Discover the Vedic Way for Compatibility in Life and Love."

How to rebuild: Men love to be seduced and romanced as much as we do, and part of what makes the courtship phase of relationships so fun is the experience of uncovering the mystery of another and trying new things together. "When a woman stops making an effort to look nice for her man and expects him to take care of all the stuff in the romance department, a man begins to feel taken for granted and thinks that she doesn't care about impressing him anymore," says Brian, 30, of New York City. Show your guy he's still worth the effort by surprising him with a break from the ratty T-shirt you wear to bed, a sweet note, or planning a special night out for him "just because." He'll not only appreciate it, he'll also reciprocate -- and that's a give and take
to get excited about