The possibilities of making the kinds of connections you want are very realistic, and many long lasting relationships and marriages have begun via online dating services, not to mention casual relationships as well if that is what you prefer. The possibilities are all right there and waiting for you, but there are a few key rules you need to know and follow in order to find your perfect date online. Download to learn The Golden Rules of Online Dating – 6 essential rules to finding the perfect online date!
3.3 million households in the UK consist of cohabiting couples based on the Office of National Statistics. Cohabitation is something that has been historically controversial especially because of religious reasons and societal expectations. Yet it is now one of the fastest growing household types as more couples are moving in together for different reasons like cutting costs or taking things “to the next step”. It goes without saying that moving in with a romantic partner is a big deal and should warrant consideration especially when you are not just factoring feelings into the mix.
A lot of couples who decide to move in together can get swept away with the high of taking their relationship to the next level. They end up forgetting that they need to approach this with both feet firmly planted on the ground. Logistics plays a huge part when it comes to deciding where the couple is going to live. Potential living situations can get pretty complicated when each person has their own flat or home. Not everyone is willing to give up the space that they have worked to maintain themselves so opening up your space can be a daunting undertaking. Not to mention that it is something that involves a significant amount of planning.
It’s a conversation that you and your significant other will have to tackle early on. It is best to figure out who is moving in with whom or if getting specialised housing is necessary. Think about how the move will affect your commutes to work and if you need to sell or donate any possessions to make space for joint belongings. Consider what to do about re-routing mail to your new place. Talking about these points and many more will help give both of you a stronger idea of the logistics involved with moving in together. Strong communication will also lessen the likelihood of a cohabitation breakdown as found by University College London.
It seems that two-thirds of cohabiting couples in the UK erroneously believe in the existence of common-law marriage as found through a survey by Resolution. Despite having a lengthy or fruitful cohabitation, the couple does not have the same rights as a legally married couple would have. Each person must be aware of their rights before they enter into a cohabiting situation. This is particularly significant when one moves into the home of another. Even if the one who moved in helps to pay the mortgage, they will have no legal claim to it.
It is ideal to explore the legalities of your decision before you go through with it. For example, you can see if drawing up a cohabitation agreement before moving in is an option. Having a frank discussion about your legal expectations about sharing a mortgage or buying things for the shared home is crucial. If you are going to rent a property from a private landlord, it is vital to clarify whose name will be on the lease. Try to see if it is possible to jointly sign on a lease so you both share equal responsibility and thus share equal rights to the rental.
Never forget that the contract with the landlord will have legal ramifications if either of you breaches it or terminates it offhand because of a breakup. Let’s say you spend several unmarried decades with each other and one of you passes. Unless there is a document that says you stand to inherit, you will have no legal rights to it. It would be wise to consult with a solicitor before moving in together so you’ll know what you’re entitled to.
Disagreements about money are one of the common roots of breakups in couples both married and unmarried. You can even say that things are harder for unmarried couples precisely because they are mostly unprotected by the law. When you move in with someone, you ultimately agree to shoulder your partner emotionally, psychologically, and – yes – financially. That is, of course, unless you both have a drawn up contract that protects your individual financial interests.
Money matters often involve finding out who pays for what expense in the household. There are those that take a percentile approach toward dividing the bills. There are those that consider the earning power of each person. Only then do they pick which financial responsibilities are theirs. If your partner is going to open up an account under their name, you will have no claim to that and the same applies to them when it comes to your finances. It is of fundamental importance to clarify how the couple is to approach any financial responsibilities in the future.
Seeking a financial set-up that both individuals are comfortable with is the goal of talking about money. While aiming to split everything 50/50 might seem ideal, it does not leave much leeway. It’s not until the couple moves in together that they get a firm idea of how much their lover spends on hobbies and other unnecessary expenses. It is unreasonable to ask a significant other to pay for half when consumption and personal expenses are not evenly split. A good idea is to avoid dealing in absolutes when it comes to money figures. Also, don’t forget to be flexible.
Look To Your Future
Right now it would not be surprising if the couple feels like they are for keeps. Naturally, that’s how a majority of couples who have just brought up moving in together feel. The truth of the matter is there really is no telling what sort of future they will have individually and as a couple. That is why it is critical for each to cast a safety net for their own individual interests. Talking about legalities and finances may not be the most romantic topic to discuss but it is necessary in order to lay a strong foundation for the two people in that very relationship. If these are topics that you cannot broach to your partner at this time, it is important to ask yourself if this is a decision that you are still comfortable on making.
We know that people who go on vacations are more productive at work and more likely to get promoted, but are they also happier in their romantic relationships? A study review published in the Journal of Travel Research found that travel has several benefits for families, relationships, and individuals. Holidays are a reminder of the fact that although some things change when you have been married for many years, your enjoyment of each other and your love, can be stronger than ever if you just take the time to enjoy each other with no pressures of work or other commitments. If you and your partner could use a few days away, discovering new sights and learning more about each other, learning about just a few benefits of holidays may inspire you. Does booking a week away to one of the world’s most romantic cities appeal?
Building Beautiful Memories
When you think back on the highs and lows of your relationships, the best moments are probably centered on travel. As noted in a Study by Shaw, Havitz, and Delemere, holidays build tighter bonds because they provide an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and create memories that are cherished years later. As noted by one participant to their study, investing in a holiday makes sense because you are in essence buying into beautiful memories, not just material things that don’t mean as much when you look back on meaningful moments of your life.
The Effect of Holidays on Relationships
Research by Newman and Newman has found that spending more leisure time together is linked to a lower probability of divorce. Another study by Gilbert and Abdullah, undertaken on over 6,000 people, found that those who took at least four consecutive days off to travel, enjoyed greater wellbeing and happiness. A third study by Hoopes and Lounsbury found that going on holiday increased a couple’s satisfaction once they were back home. Some countries have taken notice of the psychological importance of vacations. Malaysia, for instance, introduced a Second Honeymoon Program in 2010, offering couples who were considering divorce an island getaway where they would enjoy counselling as well as enough time to enjoy the paradisiacal setting together. People argue less and enjoy greater intimacy when they are on their vacation, than in daily life.
Holidays Reduce Stress and Promote Peace in a Relationship
Many studies have shown that holidays are important, particularly when you have a high-stress lifestyle or when, as a couple, you have been through the stress of illness. A study conducted recently by the American Psychological Association found that vacations significantly lower stress levels because they take remove us from the activities and environments that cause worry and anxiety. Holidays ensure we have less headaches and backaches, which puts us into ‘the mood for love’. They also enable us to sleep better, so we feel more alert and are better able to give our full attention to our partner. Simply sleeping poorly or tossing and turning frequently at night can increase our stress levels, so a holiday is a good way to cut both stress and poor sleep hygiene in the bud.
Choosing a Romantic Getaway
Paradisiacal islands and mountainside resorts often spring to mind when we think of a romantic holiday, but if you are a city lover at heart, a buzzing city like New York, with its romantic nightclubs, rooftop terrace restaurants, and meaningful monuments (does the Empire State ring any bells?), has all the ingredients it takes to wine and dine your partner in style. Because New York is so expansive, it offers a plethora of romantic activities, including a picnic at Central Park, a visit to the Hayden Planetarium, or a visit to the Diamond District. Other cities on the top of the romance list include Paris, Sydney, and Venice. Whether you are catching a show at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, walking along the beach in Sydney, or taking a gondola ride in Venice, chances are, you will feel fortunate that you are enjoying all these sites with someone you love.
Making Time for a Nature Escape
If you do choose a city escape, try to find a beautiful green area or seaside part of the area you are visiting, to add a little dose of romance to what will undoubtedly already be an unforgettable trip. Researchers in Finland (Liisa Tyrvainen of the Finnish Forest Institute) recently measured people’s wellbeing in three different environments: busy city parks, urban streetscapes, and wild forests. In their study, participants were asked to take a 15-break in these areas. They found that those who had visited the city parks and forests, felt psychologically restored. These feelings were slightly heightened in a forest setting but interestingly, even being in an urban green area had powerful restorative effects. Another study by scientists at Stanford University, meanwhile, found that walking in a city park lifted the mood, working memory, and attention. Once again, it is evident that by working on our own stress levels, we can give our best self to our partner. Therefore, if you do opt for a city break, consider giving priority to cities with a beach, nearby forests, or numerous green areas in which to relax after a hectic day sightseeing.
If you would love to surprise your partner or spouse with a special gift, a holiday may just be one of the best investments you can make. As mentioned above, material things (a designer outfit, killer pair of shoes, or even an elegant piece of jewellery) don’t really form part of our memory when we recall special moments with our loved one. Holidays don’t have to be expensive, or involve a plane ride and fancy hotels. You don’t even have to leave your city or state to disconnect with your partner. Taking a quick city or nature break for a weekend can help reduce stress and arguments, improve your mood, and make you more aware of/attentive to your loved one.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that over 300,000 marriages take place each year in England and Wales. With divorce rates at just 8.9 per 1000 married couples, more of these partnerships are staying together. That is not to say that marriage has gotten any easier, however. Successfully sharing your life with a long term partner requires flexibility. Inevitably, life brings change. The ability to adapt and take on new roles within the relationship can make all the difference in being able to successfully maintain it, forever.
For many, marriage is the first time to experience shared finances. Especially as the average age of people marrying is on the rise, these working adults have already learned the basics of personal financial responsibility. Car payments, bank accounts, rent, savings and debt are nothing new. However, having joint bank accounts, entering into debt together, and managing a household budget can be the first stressor in a marriage.
Although there are many ways to manage your finances as a couple, it is not unusual for one person in the partnership to take on the task of budgeting, managing the accounts, and paying the bills. Open communication about money, as in all things, is necessary for the health of the relationship. Without it, one person may start feeling uncomfortable with the arrangement, especially if there is an imbalance in the income being brought into the household.
It is not as easy as it may seem to think in terms of “our” money rather than “yours” and “mine.” Consider having both joint and personal accounts to avoid this source of conflict. Joint accounts can be used to cover household expenses like housing, utilities, and groceries while personal accounts cover things like clothes, nights out with friends, and trips to the salon or barber.
When a couple decides to start a family it marks a massive transition for the relationship. The new and ever changing responsibilities of caring for a child are immense and hugely time consuming. As each person takes on the role of parent, their role in the relationship also changes.
Married couples with children find it difficult to devote time to nurturing their relationship. The Economic and Social Research Council conducted a mixed method psychosocial study on enduring love. They found that parents engage in less relationship maintenance than their childless counterparts. The time spent doing parenting related tasks and activities leaves little time for other things. When children are very young, a parent’s focus and energy is overwhelmingly spent on the child. Parents are left feeling tired and drained with nothing left to give to their spouse.
Couples will have a greater chance of long term success if they commit to spending regular time with one another as a couple, not as parents. A set date night with the help of a family member or childminder can do wonders for keeping a couple connected. Little things can be done on a daily basis to show care and thought for your partner. Making their tea in the morning or sending a sweet text in the middle of a work day is a small gesture that can have a big long term impact.
Illness and Caretaking
As time moves on one or both of the people in a marriage may find themselves in the role of caretaker. This can come about in different ways. A parent of the couple or one of the people in the couple themselves becomes chronically ill and requires everyday care. Whether caring for a sick parent or spouse, this change is an emotional and taxing phase for all involved.
Caregiving takes a big emotional toll on a person. The caretaker has to come to terms with the fact that someone they love dearly is sick. Fear, uncertainty, and sadness can become all consuming. Boredom, frustration, and hopelessness are not at all uncommon. Seeking out help and support is crucial during this time. Having someone to talk openly and honestly with, whether a friend, family member, or professional, is critical to emotional well being.
Practically speaking, a caretaker should not attempt to go it alone. Outside help, even if for only a few hours a week, can give the caretaker a regular necessary reprieve. For those in need, social assistance is available from the NHS by requesting a needs assessment. For short periods of time, for running errands or attending personal appointments, the ill loved one can be left alone. Providing the loved one with communication tools that can help the carer and cared for feel more secure in leaving for these short excursions.
Empty Nest or Retirement
When couples move from being full time workers, parents, or both to being empty nesters or retirees, life as a couple, once again, transforms. Schedules are suddenly more open. Spaces are available that were once filled with children and work obligations. This can be disorienting for a couple. They may feel like they have nothing to talk about or focus on. It requires an adjustment and attention to reconnect or keep the relationship strong in this new dynamic.
Identifying areas of interest that are shared but have never been explored is a great place to start. This gives a freshness and spark to the relationship and can be very fulfilling and exciting. This new found time is a gift and choosing to spend some of it in a passionate pursuit with your spouse is invaluable to the health of the relationship.
Giving your spouse freedom to pursue personal interests or to simply spend time alone is an equally positive way to nurture your relationship during this stage. It is healthy and natural for both parties to a relationship to have interests that are solely their own. Supporting one another in individual pursuits and allowing each other to spend time away can actually bring them closer.
If we are lucky, life is long. Choosing to spend it in a relationship can be the most rewarding experience of one’s life. It is not without its set of challenges but each partner can adapt and support each other through all of life’s changing roles.
In the UK as is many other countries, divorce, separation, and repartnering are the norm, with many welcoming children from their partner’s former relationship into their home to live together as a family. The latest report from the Office for National Statistics recorded over half a million blended families with dependent children in England and Wales, with 28% of these families having three or more children. Without a doubt, walking the fine line between parent and friend can be challenging for parents of new blended families, and it is vital for spouses or partners to manage their situation with a sound and united strategy, working as a team to ensure the health and happiness of every person living in their home.
What are Some Problems that Blended Families can Encounter?
Parentline Plus, a hotline for parents with family issues, reported receiving over 14,000 calls in a single year from step parents with stepfamily issues. Research by psychologist, Lisa Doodson of Regent’s University London found that stepmothers had significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression than biological mothers, as well as a weaker support structure. Common problems can include a lack of time (parents find that they now have to spread the little time they may have between more children); sibling rivalry (children may find it hard to get along with their step siblings or compete for their parents’ attention, fearful that they will be loved less now that they are not living with both biological parents); and territorial issues (children can find it hard to have to share bedrooms, bathrooms, toys, etc. There can be initial difficulties establishing territory and limits). Parents can also struggle to get twice as many kids to get to after-school activities and lessons, while work and other personal and social demands.
Adaptation Takes Time
Research shows that it can take blended families at least four years to adjust to their new arrangement. Therefore, if you feel frustrated or powerless when it comes to managing so much change, know that it takes time to get to know your stepchildren and to negotiate the many rules and routines that may differ considerably from your own. Be patient and use humour to diffuse tense situations, and use tried-and-tested conflict resolution skills to reduce tension and focus on issues that arise, looking to solve these issues one by one. As time passes, you will start to appreciate the benefits that being part of a blended family can bring to your life. Things may be a bit more chaotic than they used to be, but they can also be more entertaining and the presence of more rather than less people in a household can actually be a source of support in terms of time, chores, company, and other essential life factors.
Building a Strategy
Before you begin to live as a blended family, it is important to time to discuss routines and rules with your new spouse or partner. Uniformity must prevail in a home if there is to be peace in a blended family. Therefore, some feel it is logical to ask new children arriving into the home to adapt to established routines, bedtimes, etc. This isn’t to say that your spouse’s considerations don’t matter. During your discussion, you might decide that some changes will be profitable for everyone in the family. Equality should prevail, but you should not feel like you don’t have the right to establish norms in your home.
Deciding on Conflict Resolution Norms
When norms for conflict aren’t established, arguments can quickly escalate. It is important that once children are mature enough to understand and learn conflict resolution skills, that conflict resolution skills be learned, to make for peaceful, purposeful communication within your blended family. At a family meeting, you can explain to kids why using the right language is important. For instance, language such as “You always” or “You never” should be avoided, because they put the listener on the defensive and veer the discussion away from the actual problem you are trying to fix. The ultimate aim is for step siblings to see the family unit as a team. This way, conflicts can be seen as an opportunity to achieve outcomes rather than to ‘beat the opponent’.
Adding a Dash of Understanding
Be prepared for your stepchildren to utter, at some point during your life together, “You can’t tell me what to do, you’re not my mom/dad.” Understand that when they say this, they are essentially telling you they are hurting, they are finding it hard to adapt, and they may miss their old home structure with their biological parents. For some kids, discussing conflicts should be left for when the situation is calmer. Take the time you need to clear your mind when you feel like you are frustrated. Go for a walk, do some deep breathing, or meditate for a few moments, coming back to your stepchild when the tension has diffused a little. Explain that you are not trying to replace their parent, but that as an adult in the home, you need to establish ground rules across the board, for all kids living with you. When you speak to them, use humour and warmth to help them feel loved rather than chastised. A warm embrace and a smile can go a long way towards helping children understand that there is nothing personal about rules; they simply need to be set for the household to run as smoothly as possible.
If you are about to start a blended family living arrangement, it is important to be realistic and expect a few teething problems, both on your part and those of your existing and new kids. You and your partner can reduce the likelihood of conflict by agreeing on ground rules and explaining them together to your children in a family meeting. Be prepared for a few territorial fights and tears at first, but be resistant, don’t give in, and always stress the importance of approaching problems as a family. Take complaints as a sign your new kids may need a little reassurance and extra time and attention and do your best to give them as much support as they need. Once rules, schedules, and bedroom arrangements are set, you can start enjoying the diversity and fun involved in living together, seeing conflict as an opportunity to learn more about your biological and step children, but also about yourself.
If you’ve been seeing your significant other for a while and all is well in your relationship, the next step may involve living together. In the UK, more people than ever are cohabiting before getting married, and a survey has revealed that living in a couple is the most popular living arrangement for those aged 16 and over. Moving in together may be one of the best ways to strengthen your bond, and it could potentially be a financially sound move. However, living together presents a few challenges, both relationship and money-wise, and there are things that you and your partner need to consider before the big day. To keep the love alive and to ensure that all goes well between you and your SO, here’s everything you need to talk about before moving in.
When should you move in?
Is there such a thing as the right time to start living together? In a Bridebook poll in 2017 which involved 4,000 British couples, it was revealed that the average couple dated for 17 months before moving in together. Bridebook’s founder, Hamish Shephard, said that the findings indicate that living together before tying the knot can “clearly be very positive steps to finding ‘the one’ and having a fantastic long-lasting marriage.”
Although the survey shows that most pairs wait at least a year before making the next step, identifying the ideal timeline for moving in together can be difficult—each relationship is different, after all. But you can take a good look at your relationship to find cues whether it’s the right time to cohabitate. Experts say that once you and your significant other understand and are willing to live with each other’s habits, then that’s a good sign that you can consider moving in. Being open and comfortable talking about money and finances is also a positive sign.
My place or yours?
Another thing to consider before moving in is where you’ll live. Should your partner move into your place, or should you be the one to relocate? When it comes to sharing a place, ultimately, the best thing that you and your SO could do is look for the best option that would make sense for your lifestyle and budget. For instance, if your partner owns a home and you’re renting, then it may be better for you to move into your loved one’s place. However, if your place is located near you and your SO’s respective places of work, then it may make more sense for your partner to move into your flat.
There’s also a matter of space—who currently lives in a place that can comfortably accommodate two adults? If you have the bigger home and the extra closet space, then your partner may want to move into your place. As for buying a new home together, it may be prudent to hold off on investing in a shared property until you decide to get married. Not only will it be less complicated, but it saves both of you from the trouble and heartache of dividing possessions and the home should the relationship not work out in the end.
My aesthetic vs your style
If you and your partner share the same taste in interior design, then you may skip this part. But if your SO prefers a traditional style while you lean towards an edgy and modern aesthetic, then you may have to sit down and talk about how you can compromise on this matter. A home should reflect both of your sensibilities, so finding out how to combine the best of both worlds is your best bet so both of you can enjoy and appreciate the decor. The best thing that you can do is to hire a professional interior designer who can successfully put together elements from each of your preferred styles. If money is a little tight, make a project out of it with your partner and learn to compromise and find a balance. This means that if your partner wants traditional furniture in the living room, then you can have an edgy and sleek fireplace and a state-of-the-art home entertainment system in the same space.
Having “the talk”
Talking about finances and paying bills may not be the most romantic things that you can do with your partner. You may not even look forward to having the money talk with your loved one as it can get awkward or uncomfortable. However, it’s one of the most important things that you should do to have a healthy relationship. Experts say that being honest and open about your finances can improve the trust and quality in your relationship. Moreover, it reduces the chances of having big financial problems in the future.
So how do you have “the talk” with your partner? The first thing is to determine your household expenses. This may involve rent, association dues, utilities, and groceries. Some people think that splitting the cost evenly is the right thing to do, however, this only works if you and your partner are earning the same—or close to the same—amount of money on a regular basis. If your partner is earning considerably less than you, then it may be difficult for your SO to pay their half. If this is the case, you can cover the bigger expenses, such as the rent, electricity, and water bill, then perhaps your partner can cover the groceries and the cost of your cable or Internet.
For personal expenses such as clothes, salon visits, and haircuts, each of you should be responsible for this and take care of your respective purchases. Also, don’t expect your partner to pay your credit card bills or insurance—you should take care of that on your own, the same way you always had before moving in.
Keeping the romance alive while living together
Living together makes you privy to all your partner’s habits and quirks, and you may discover something new each day about each other. But even though you’re living in the same space, it’s crucial to keep the spark alive to ensure a happy relationship. Make quality time for each other—remember that living together doesn’t mean that you’re spending lots of time together every day. Continue to go on date nights and flirt with each other. If it’s been a tough month, by all means, stay in, but make your meal a romantic one by lighting candles and playing soft music. Going the extra mile even though you’re living together is always worth it if you’re doing it for the person you love.
By being open, honest, and having the willingness to compromise, you and your partner can have a happy relationship while living under the same roof. As time goes by, there may be ups and downs as you continue to discover new things about each other, but be reminded that no matter what, it’s the love—and not the house—that binds you together.
“Love recognizes no barriers, it jumps hurdles, leaps fences, and penetrate walls to arrive at its destination, full of hope,” quotes Maya Angelou. While real love, as described by Angelou, keeps marriages strong, sometimes divorce is the healthiest options for couples. Besides separation, the other common and more natural way that marriages end is through death. Losing a spouse to death changes the world around you and subjects you to sorrow and grief. You may experience guilt for being the one who is alive or get mad at your deceased partner for leaving you. But should you live like that forever, or should you move on?
The 18th-century writer Samuel Johnson defined remarriage as ‘the triumph of hope over experience.’ This can be perceived as a cynical statement to mean that if you have been married once, you ought to know better than to remarry. But his witticism also expresses a more positive and more profound truth about the human nature that we are all hopeful species especially when it comes to fulfilling the most basic human need: to love and be loved. So, why not be hopeful?
Ask a lot of questions
A date relates to an interview because you are actively trying to learn more about the person to see if they are a good match for you. Many people get nervous during dates, and as a result, they end up talking too much about themselves. Instead, you should compose yourself and try to learn something about your date as well. Knowing the other person is crucial, hence you should not hurry up down the aisle with them, even if you were in love before your divorce. This is because your relationship is on an entirely different footing; it is no longer a secretive affair which in most cases scraps off most of the excitement.
Don’t talk much about your ex-partner
One thing that your date does not want to hear is how your former partner was a jerk or was not adhering to your agreement. If you dwell too much on the negatives from your past relationship, you will most likely never hear from them again. Therefore, you should try to concentrate as much as possible on the present and the future. In case your divorce comes up, keep it brief, shallow and resist from cursing. Some of the words you should refrain from include depressed, devastated, heartbroken, bitter and deadbeat.
“Does the person bring the best in me?” Do I like myself when around this person?” these questions emphasize whether your date is a good fit for you. If you are dating a person who makes you feel bad about yourself, you might find that everything you do is inclined towards making them love you more, and on most occasions, they cannot. Instead of trying to make such a situation work, accept that they are not the one and that you need to move on for your well-being.
Don’t talk much about kids
Your children are your pride and joy, and they are in most cases, a significant part of your life. In this line, your date is not with you to talk about them the entire time but to know you and what defines you when you are not a parent. Similarly, when people find love after divorce, they often want their kids to dive and join in the happiness. They do not realize that children might require more time to adjust. Therefore, you should not hasten to introduce your children in a bid to solidify the bond. It is vital to understand that just because you are dating your soulmate, it does not mean that your kids feel connected to those of your partner. As such, don’t force them to spend time with each other but give everyone time to accept the new arrangement.
Put in mind that divorcees shuffle a lot of issues including kids, job, and more. Dating as a divorcee is significantly different than when you were younger. Therefore, issues like last minute rainchecks, kids despising you and your partner’s ex being rude to you are typical scenarios to expect. In addition, there might be days they fail to talk to you, and though they might not manage to see you as often as you want, it is essential to remain calm and understanding; those are just the constraints of dating after divorce or death of a spouse.
A bit of time to yourself after losing your spouse, through whichever means, allows you to reflect and get to know yourself again. You may not feel like you’ve lost yourself but when you’ve been part of a relationship for a long time, you can lose some sense of yourself as an individual. Give yourself time to breathe, reflect on your own wants and needs and get to know yourself. You can rethink your sense of style, your ambitions in life and where you hope to spend your later years, even with a new partner.
How long to wait
Whether your previous marriage ended with death or divorce, you need time to recover. You have gone through a significant life transition and you ought to get in touch with your emotions before indulging in another serious commitment. Also, for divorcees, try to understand what went amiss, and if you find yourself laying 100% of the blame on your ex, you may not be entirely realistic. Until you have acknowledged your role in the separation, you are likely in danger of repeating the same mistake. In fact, a period of self-examination is vital. Also, therapy might be helpful as it clears off any emotional baggage so that you do not drag it into your next marriage.
After a divorce, no one scores 100% in dating and remarriage because the past always sticks with you to a certain degree. Remarried couples will always have to deal with issues from previous marriages. However, openness, honesty, patience and mutual support are the keys to a successful remarriage. The good news is that the union is more likely to be successful because partners are more experienced and more mature than they previously were. It might not be fair to term remarriage as the ‘triumph of hope over experience’; it could be that very experience you have gained that grants you a reason to remain strong and hopeful.
In the list of Top 10 reasons for a marriage to end in divorce in the UK, money problems come in third. As observed by lawyers specialising in divorce law, money problems put a major strain on couples; so much so that in 2010 (the aftermath of the financial crisis) many decided to call it quits. It is difficult to keep the flame burning when bills continue to pile up, so if money’s too tight to mention, be aware of its potential to risk the stability or your relationship and take the necessary steps to ensure you and your better half are financially and personally stable.
If you are newly married and you frequently argue about money with your partner, consider this a warning sign. Researchers have found that in the ‘honeymoon’ stage of relationships, “Arguments about money is by far the top predictor of divorce. It’s not children, sex, in-laws or anything else. It’s money — for both men and women.” When you argue with your partner frequently, it is difficult to feel responsive and loving towards them. Worst of all, when you are stressed, it can be hard to find the mental clarity you need to sit with your partner, analyze your finances, and make a few necessary changes. Sound financial planning is key for couples at all stages of their lives but especially when economic times are tough. By working on resolving your difference and reducing tension at home, you can work on a long-term strategy together.
Research indicates that equality seems to promote stability – especially when it comes to finances. Couples who feel that they are part of a team in which everyone contributes money towards bills can feel that they are being treated more fairly, than those who feel overburdened by having to assume all expenses. The truth is that although modern couples don’t necessarily aim to be millionaires, they do perceive that living on a very small income can be highly stressful. This is especially true when they are struggling to pay the bills or do not have a savings account they can turn to on a rainy day. Sometimes, households simply cannot meet all their expenses unless both partners contribute.
Money can’t buy you love
While it is true that financial stress can hamper a couple’s happiness, wealth is not everything, which is something couples should keep in mind in hard times. Research shows that overly materialistic couples fare worse than more spiritually inclined couples when it comes to communication, conflict resolution, and responsiveness. Interestingly, researchers have noted that the way a couple perceives their finances is more important than the actual money they have. By keeping your focus on the value of your relationship rather than the wealth you are building up, keeping that loving feeling alive becomes easier. Sharing tasks is also important. Couples as a whole seek some sort of equity, so that if one spouse works from home while the other works in an office, home tasks such as cleaning and cooking should be fairly divided.
How can you talk about money without causing couple strife?
If money objectively does have the capacity to destroy marriages, what steps can you take to ensure this doesn’t happen to you? You essentially have three choices when times are tough financially: you can take steps to improve your situation, avoid facing the facts, or adapt to a tighter budget. The first strategy – informing yourself, making changes to your budget, and creating a strategy for the months ahead – is the most proactive and arguably the most useful in the long run. Creating a Plan B for your future will help you feel that financial worries are all temporary and surmountable.
What stops couples from moving forward during financial crises
Some of the biggest problems standing in the way of couples include lack of (or too much) information, poor communication between partners, and poor time management or lack of time to do the research. Try to work as a team, dividing tasks if need be until you talk to the right people or find interesting information online. If you have kids, try to teach them the basics of financial literacy early. As soon as they are able to, they should learn about concepts such as loans, interests, credit etc. so that as they enter into adulthood, they refrain from buying things that are simply above their means, or borrowing more than they can reasonably pay. Scientists note that today’s young couples want a big wedding, a home, cars etc. but it is sometimes important to take things in small steps, opting to spend less so as to enjoy financial stability later in their lives.
Having a talk once a year
Get together at least once a year with your partner to have a ‘reality check’. Talk about old and new financial goals – including saving for a family holiday, paying off credit, or taking out a private pension. During this talk, you can agree to discuss (non-defensively) any concerns you may be having. For instance, rising interest rates might mean one of you is paying off a higher amount on a loan, and this needs to be factored into your respective contributions if you have different accounts. This is also a good time to bring up hopes and dreams. Is there an experience or item that would make your life a lot more meaningful? Is there a caprice you would love to treat yourself to? You might be surprised to learn that your partner also sees value in what you do. It is important to support each other as much as possible, so long as any expense incurred is not unrealistic or above your means. Of course, in addition to this ‘big talk’, smaller discussions should take place throughout the year.
‘Give and take’ is key when it comes to staying together ‘through the good and bad’. Partners can agree to see their financial success as a team goal; one that both partners do their share to fulfil either in a paid or unpaid fashion. By being aware that financial instability is a stressor, and committing to tackling it proactively, couples can ensure that strife is temporary, and that stress does not take away the most important thing they have: each other.
If you are over 65 and you have recently become divorced, when time has passed and you begin to feel ready again, the sound of starting over might appeal. If you have a small social circle and you don’t know where to start, online dating may be a good idea. A new study by Pew Research found that a majority of people believe online dating is a great way to meet people. Moreover, around 12% of mature daters reported using an online site at some point in their lives compared with only 6% in 2013. The fast pace of life in urban areas means that it can be difficult to meet new people with shared interests. The Golden Rules of Online Dating will enlighten you on the essentials of finding the perfect date while being honest and optimistic and enjoying the journey towards your new life.
Who can you meet online?
People from all walks of life sign up to dating sites to find the person of their dreams. If you thought you would never find someone who matches your interests, experiences, and abilities, think again! The fact is that ‘grey divorce’ – divorce in over 50s – is more common than ever before so there are many more interesting singles on the market than just a few decades ago. As noted by the Office of National Statistics, “In England and Wales, divorce is in decline – our most recent 10 years of data show a 28% fall in the number of divorces between 2005 and 2015. But older people are bucking the trend. In the same period, the number of men divorcing aged 65 and over went up by 23% and the number of women of the same age divorcing increased by 38%.” There are several reasons why people are getting divorced older. One is that life expectancy has increased considerably; people who turn 50 or 60 realise they have many decades left to enjoy life and wish to do so with someone who is compatible with them. Another important reason is the fact that second or third marriages tend to last shorter. This phenomenon leads to a higher percentage of single seniors.
What about non-age-limited dating sites?
What if you are over 50 but wish to not be defined by age? Some people can feel that limiting themselves to ‘mature dating sites’ can be limiting. After all, who is to say that the love of your life won’t belong to a different age bracket? The good news is that sites like Plenty of Fish have millions of active daily users. You can use an age filter when you are searching for a partner if you choose, making your search as wide or limited as you like. Ultimately, joining a site with a large percentage of active users is key, since it means your experience will be dynamic and that you will be getting messages and Likes/winks from day one.
What sites should you try?
Mature Dating UK is aimed at singles over 40 and 50. It does have a charge (ranging from a free three-day trial to £11.99 for six months?. The site has pretty cool features, including the fact that it allows you to upload many pictures and videos to your profile. You can flirt with users by sending them a ‘wink’, chat on the online forum, and send each other emails and instant messages. When you sign up, you will be asked to fill out a personality and lifestyle test. This will steer you in the right direction when it comes to finding compatible singles. Another popular site is Dating Over 50s. It encourages mature users to sign up and get to know other people with shared interests or hobbies. The site is free to join but you can also pay a small fee and enjoy membership privileges – such as sending and receiving private messages, chatting online with instant messenger, seeing who has viewed your profile, creating and reading dating diaries, and adding multiple photos to your profile.
How do seniors feel about online dating?
Research carried out by scientists at Swinburne University shows that older adults have taken to online dating like a house on fire. Some of the reasons that make this system so appealing include the difficulty of meeting other available singles in day-to-day life; the ability to find matches that are compatible in terms of interests and locality; and the excitement of meeting various prospective partners. The study showed that unlike younger online daters (who tend to date online for a brief period), seniors like taking it nice and easy, dating people for months before deciding to settle down.
Making the most of online dating
If you don’t find love as quickly as you’d like, stay positive and focus on increasing the size and quality of your network. The great thing about online sites is that they also allow you to meet friends on features such as online chats and forums. This in itself can lead to meetings that can indirectly open your circle and lead you to people who may not actually be members of the online dating site you are using. Some people find love surprisingly quickly; others wish to take it slower. Because your choice of partners is arguably one of the most important things in your life, being certain before making a commitment is key.
How to present yourself?
There is no point in using an old photo or presenting yourself as something you are not. The reality show Catfish shows how deeply painful and disconcerting it can be to be lied to by someone. Because your aim is to find someone that truly loves you, it is important to be honest from day one. List your real interests and hobbies; if you are a homebody, say so instead of trying to impress. You may be surprised to find that there are many people out there who appreciate the things you do – even if your ideal night involves snuggling by the fireplace and catching a great film on TV.
If you have just got divorced, online dating may be a good place to start once you are ready to meet someone new. Think about whether or not you would like to limit your search by age, and pick the appropriate site. Sign up on sites with many active users, and consider any membership fee an investment that will enable you to get to know others at a deeper level before agreeing to meet in person.