Modern birth control changed bonding relationships profoundly.  Universal internet connections to practically everyone in the world has been another game changer.  For many of us our beliefs and expectations about relationships has lagged behind the reality of modern relationships.

familyBefore Birth Control (BBC)
In the times before modern birth control intimate relationships between men and women normally produced babies. Mothers nursed infants and cared for the kids and the nest.  Men worked outside the home. Couples exhausted the remainder of their youth and all their middle age raising their families.  Mostly, couples bonded for life. Religions and laws supported this lifestyle.  Couples committed to the relationship once and then made it work as best they could “til death do you part.” Divorce was rarely an acceptable choice. It wasn’t a perfect arrangement, but it lasted centuries.

After Birth Control (ABC)6155_O'Connor_Sandra Day O'Connor being sworn in as US Supreme Court Justice, 1981_with credit_Collection of the Supreme Court_crop2
Birth control affects women more profoundly than men. For men, birth control has allowed the control of taking on the responsibilities of being a provider for a family under the old family model.  For women, it meant they could have relationships and at the same time  be a provider.  Women are no longer expected to be limited to the role of “barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.”

Fluidity of Relationships
Divorce – Since women started entering the career world divorce rates have skyrocketed.  In the BBC way of thinking this has been a shocking reality, but in the ABC world it’s not really so negative. While there are substantial negatives to divorce, particularly with children, divorce is more manageable when both spouses can work and support themselves, as is often the case today. Divorce also allows escape from bad marriages.  The old stigma of divorce is melting away.

Unmarried or late marriages – Statistics show a great increase in men and women who are choosing to remain unmarried or postpone marriage. With birth control they can have careers and relationships without the challenges of raising kids.

Child Care – Career women who wanted children but didn’t want to abandon their careers created a need for child care to take care of their precious little ones during working hours.  Some husbands split or assume all the responsibility for work time child care. Though sometimes reluctantly,  many husbands today are sharing other domestic chores more equally with their wives.

Internet Dating and App Dating
The ease of finding a compatible mate is remarkable when compared to the profoundly limited choices of just a decade or two ago. It’s fast, easy and cheap.

Uncommitted? Relationships
Are humans naturally monogamous?

Is a lifetime commitment the goal of bonded relationships?

When is divorce the right answer for a marriage?

Are religious ideas of marriage keeping up with changing science and cultures?

How do overpopulation and lower mortality rates relate to making families?

Are expectations of having a home like Beaver, or even Bart, becoming obsolete?

If you can answer these questions with intelligence and sensitivity, you need to have a voice that is heard.  For many people the answers to these questions have changes radically over the past few decades.  Our observation is that marriage age people today generally have very different thoughts about marriage than their parents.

 

 

Playing hard to get can be attractive, but it may also turn off a potential mate.

2877-Blowing-Out-The-CandleInterest must balance Disinterest
Don’t let your appearance of disinterest outweigh the other’s interest in you. If the date’s interest in you is just beginning to burn, don’t blow it out with hopes that it will re-ignite.  If the interest is a raging bonfire, you would have to do something bold to extinguish the interest.

Don’t Get Burned
Playing hard to get can make someone desire you more, but it can also make them like you less. We don’t think you want to set up a situation where your date pursues you passionately, finally catches you, then doesn’t like you much afterwards.

Playing Games
There is power in playing hard to get. But we all know that power corrupts. Messing with people’s minds sounds like a bad thing to do.  There is a difference between playing games and just plain playing. Stick with the latter.

I’m a good girl because I really believe in love, integrity, and respect. I’m a bad girl because I like to tease.”    Katy Perry

Care about what is important
We encourage you to care about what’s important in your life. This is not hard to do. Care about your friends and family, care about those who are suffering, care about doing a good job, and care about so many more important things.

shaken-not-stirredIt’s also good to care about a few things that are special to you. Wine. Baseball. Crochet. Even martinis, shaken not stirred. Having refined sensibilities in an area of special interest makes a person interesting.

Don’t care about what is not important
This precept sound a little odd and very easy to do, but often it’s harder to do than you think.  It’s commonly expressed as, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”  In relationships, the benefit of not caring too much about too many things is that you will be easier to get along with. For example, sometimes having discriminating tastes about every little thing crosses the line from interesting into being just plain picky.

How does not caring help relationships?
We have all heard the conversation that goes something like this:
Want to go out to dinner?  Sure, where? How about Chinese? Not feeling it. Italian? Had it yesterday. That new restaurant on Broadway? I read a so-so review. How about our favorite place? It’s wearing thin on me. Hamburgers?  Yuck.      et cetera ad nauseam
spoiled
Wouldn’t it work better as a respectful exchange:
Want to go out to dinner?  Sure, where? How about Chinese? That new place on Broadway? Sure, let’s go!

Or even:  Want to go out to dinner?  Sure, you pick a place, just not XYZ, I ate there at lunch.

While the first couple is getting close to blowing up the others are on their way to an enjoyable evening.

Don’t be a pushover.  Stand up for what is important to you, but don’t make too big a deal over all the little things. Most of the time, when nothing critical is being decided, it will serve you better to be compliant, easy-going, laid-back, chill, mellow, and undemanding.  Your date will appreciate it and with any luck will return the favor.

It can be a challenge to separate what is truly important to you from what you can easily let go, but it is worth doing.

Just say yes!

Wanna get lucky?

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”   Seneca

get lucky

When we want something we tend to want it as soon as possible.  Maybe we want to skip the preparation and move right on to the opportunity. When you start dating, preparation is very helpful.

Sometimes the best place to start with preparation is simply to clarify the goal. Ask yourself one simple question and take the time to think about it.

What do I want?

Knowing what you want gives you the benefits of having a goal. With a goal you can devise a strategy for accomplishing it. With a goal you can know when you are off track.  With a goal you will know when you have succeeded.

Be forewarned by Yogi Berra – “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

We suggest that the key to answering that question is to start with answering:

What type of relationship am I looking for?  (casual, great friends, partner, spouse, etc)

If you can write a clear paragraph (or at least a good sentence) about the relationship that you believe will work for you at this point in your life and possibly beyond, you are well on your way to getting lucky.

Good luck!

“There are two types of people in this world – those who believe you can divide people into two types and those who don’t.”    Dave the astrophysicist and camera repairman

Let’s say you could divide the reasons for dating into two types, just for fun dating and serious goal dating.

datemature1. Dating for the pleasure of dating
You do fun things and meet interesting people.  You get companionship without commitment. It gets you out of the house.

2. Dating to find a more permanent relationship
You may be dating as means to accomplishing something else, like finding someone to settle down with.  This type of dating makes the date itself secondary to the desired future relationship.

What if you go on a date for the second reason and you realize it isn’t going to work on that level with the person?  Why not shift gears into the first type and just have some fun!  Everyone can enjoy some casual companionship.  You may end up making a good friend.  It’s also a great way to learn how to relate better to someone new and different. That’s a skill everyone can refine and benefit from.  Practice makes perfect.  Have fun!

DatingIt probably goes without saying that if you are just dating for fun, and you meet your dream-come-true soul-mate, you might be inclined to let ideas of a long term relationship drift into your consciousness.

There are benefits to being open minded. We encourage you to find pleasure and fulfillment in dating regardless of your goals.

“There are two kinds of people in this world : those who believe there are two kinds of people in this world and those who are smart enough to know better.”   Tom Robbins

Maybe you can’t really divide dates into two types?

Enjoy!