Relationship Trends

Preparing Your Kids When You Reenter the Dating Scene

There are many things that may have changed since you last dated, and one of those things that might be different is that you now have children. Whether putting yourself out there again excites or terrifies you, you’re probably wondering how to handle the situation with your kids.

Depending on the age of your children and your custody situation, there’s no one-size-fits-all way navigate things, but here are some tips from the matchmakers at www.itsjustlunch.com Single parentto keep in mind as you reenter the dating waters.

Talk with them about it first

If your kids are old enough to have a conversation with you, consider sitting them down to explain that you’re going to start dating again. Tell them about your need to develop friendships with new people, but assure them that you’re not looking for someone to replace their other parent.

Most importantly, listen to what they say. Try to really hear their concerns or hesitations and do your best to address them.  

Take things slow

You might get caught up in the excitement of a new relationship, but remember that your children might not be able to move at the same pace as you emotionally. Even if they haven’t met the person you’re dating yet, be careful about how much you share with your children and what you share. No matter how agreeable they are, or how much you view your child as a friend, most children will be easily spooked by something new coming into their life so fast.

Take introductions seriously

You don’t need to introduce your children to everyone you date. Consider what might happen if your children do develop an attachment to this new person and then you break up and they suddenly have to adapt to even more change in their lives.

Wait until you’re sure you’re serious about someone and that you see the potential for moving in together or marriage happening down the road. Talk to your children in advance about how the first meeting will go and set some expectations.

And once again, listen to your children. How are they feeling? Nervous? Angry? Even if there’s nothing much you can do to assuage their fears, being willing to take the time to truly listen and empathize with your children can go a long way.

Don’t get defensive

If the worst happens and your children dislike your new partner, don’t leap immediately into a defensive mode. Ask them questions about what specifically they don’t like. Try to get down to the root of the problem. Are they nervous about this person moving in? Were they hopeful you were going to reconnect with your ex?

Lead with listening. Your children want to know they’re most important. They want to know that your relationship with them will never change.

Make your children feel heard and have reasonable expectations about the time it might take for them to feel comfortable with the situation. Don’t let them stop you from pursuing a new relationship and someone who makes you feel hopeful and happy again, but be patient and remember your children might need to be on a different timetable from you.


Why Reading is Sexy to Professional Singles

Have you ever heard of sapiosexuality? It's an emerging trend in dating and relationships brought on no doubt by advancements in technology over the past several decades. When someone is a sapiosexual, it means that intelligence is necessary for that person to be sexually attracted to someone. Sapiosexuals are just as attracted to looks as most other singles, but they need to have an intellectual connection with someone to sustain their interest. It's a term that has been creeping up among many singles and has gained some new traction thanks to Randomhouse London video posted on YouTube that revived an old-but-not-forgotten-poem written and performed by writer, actor and poet Mark Grist.

 

 

Do you prefer dating people who are well-read?


How Facebook Can Predict Romance

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Yes, you’ve heard every single’s online dating horror story (the no-show, the psycho, the loser). Despite algorithms, without question, dating a mix of anonymous strangers doesn’t always convert to a feasible and authentic romance. Following that logic, chances are the odds of meeting a mate in your own social circle would run even higher. When birds of a feather flock together, naturally compatibility ensues. Isn’t that how it goes? Not necessarily according to a recent study conducted by a Cornell University researcher and Facebook engineer. Based on data from 1.3 million Facebook users who declared themselves “in a relationship,” the study shows that more romantic connections blossom when both partners have a diverse group of friends, even if the connections within their circles aren’t very strong. In other words, the more friends two people have in common, the more likely the chances of a break up.

We as singles can learn a lesson from these findings. Stepping out of your network may require veering out of your comfort zone, but if you’re not encountering quality people and building lasting relationships, going the extra mile—and enduring some initial discomfort--will reap rewards. Try an activity or go to an event you may not typically join, say wander over to a museum even if you’re not a fan of Picassos or say yes to a happy hour with an acquaintance whom you don’t think you have much in common. A little exploration can go far; and looking in the most unlikely places may yield unexpected connections. 


Love Contracts: What Are They and Can They Work?

Before professional singles sign on the dotted line....

With the decline in marriage as reported by The Atlantic rates, it seems that a new form of making vows is growing in popularity. It's called a love contract, and professional singles entering into new relationships are starting to write up formal agreements outlining the expectations each partner has for the relationship. In these love contracts, couples make promises for how they will treat each other, when they will have date night, and even when or how often they will have sex. Some love contracts even require that one partner lose weight or go to the gym regularly. Though lovers may personally choose to abide by these contracts, they are in no way legally binding.

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These contracts might be successful for those that feel they need to have more control in their relationships. They can also act as a form of negotiation or compromise when both parties are willing to sign the contract with the same intentions. Perhaps these contracts can help eliminate unforeseen disagreements, as one partner can merely point out to the other, "But honey, it says in the contract…"

On the other hand, these contracts can also be quite limiting for relationships. For starters, they are not legally binding, so either partner could break the contract with no formal consequences. In most states, it is not legal for one person to control the conduct of another in such a way. In reality, these contracts give people a false sense of control that isn't congruent with actual reality.

To ask a person to make such promises for the future can be detrimental for a relationship. Life is constantly changing. People are constantly growing and evolving. What you want today may not be what you want ten years from now. Creating a love contract can set too high of expectations for your relationship, and may not leave room for each partner to grow separately, nor for the relationship to grow and evolve naturally over time. This can affect the relationship sexually as well. Sex is not something that one wants to do out of obligation. Taking the spontaneity out of the bedroom may take away the excitement and enjoyment of it.

Rather than sign a love contract, it may be more practical and considerate to go into a relationship with a sense of openness and trust. Allowing each person to be themselves and act as they wish, without feeling confined to structured rules and regulations. Professional singles appreciate their freedom and are often more likely to do something when they are told they cannot. If simple marriage vows such as, I promise to be with you for better for worse, in sickness and in health are not holding commitments, it is pretty unrealistic to expect someone to commit to such specific commands as to how much weight one should lose or how much time a couple might spend alone together. A true long-lasting and loving relationship comes from accepting your partner as he or she is and supporting his or her freedom to make his or her own choices.

Do love contracts defeat the purpose of marriage? Let us know what you think about our blog post by sending a message to It's Just Lunch on Facebook.


Live-Apart-Ners: Married Couples Not Living Together Becoming a Trend

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Conventional relationships are starting to lose their charm. For some couples, the traditional idea of marriage, living together and sharing a home for the rest of their lives just isn't practical much less appealing. Some couples desire more freedom and independence in their relationships. In fact, some actually prefer living apart from their lifelong partner rather than living together. An emerging term for this new marriage relationship arrangement has often been referred to as "live apart-ners".

While the notion of married couples living apart instead of together may seem absurd or beyond conventional, this arrangement is actually increasing in popularity with nearly two million couples in the United States choosing to live apart from each other. This arrangement is even more prevalent in Britain where an estimated 1 in 10 committed couples are living apart. Many find this type of living arrangement allows married couples to keep the excitement and freshness of the relationship while avoiding some of the typical issues that may arise when couples are living together. As “live-apart-ners”, couples can be married, but still feel like they are dating when they meet up for a lunch date or go to the movies together. 

One of the biggest downfalls of this not-so-long distance relationship marriage concerns monetary expenses. It can be quite expensive to maintain the costs of two homes. This may also be an issue for the children, though some couples have reported that their children enjoy the arrangement and travel back and forth between homes. Another option for some couples is living together for half of the week and spending the other half of the week apart. For those who cannot afford the cost of maintaining two homes, a viable option may also be having separate bedrooms where both parties have the opportunity to be apart and still feel a sense of independence in the relationship.

Marriage therapists are in favor of this arrangement in certain situations, though they do not recommend it for younger couples just starting out. Living apart might work for your relationship if you and your partner both understand and agree upon the arrangement, you trust your partner completely, you both want a sense of autonomy in the relationship, and you have the finances to afford separate homes. It might not work for you if you haven't considered other ways of finding space in the relationship (weekend getaways, separate hobbies, etc.), you do not trust your partner completely, you don't have enough money to live apart, and you aren't ready to make a commitment.

What is your opinion on married couples not living together? Share your thoughts with It's Just Lunch by sending us a message on Facebook!