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Where to look for love

looking for love

Good morning Loves.  Yesterday I had my usual Sunday coffee date with my friend Anna, you remember her, my friend who always tells me about her dating horror stories.  She is very open about all the jerks she’s gone out with and I honestly think sharing the stories helps her work through the issues, it’s a form of personal therapy.

Looking for love in all the wrong places

I asked her what she is looking for in a man and where she is looking for them.  She told me that she is looking for men in the only place she knows to look…at bars.  Now back in your 20s there were only a few places to meet men and only one place to meet a really good man.  Back then we could probably meet a man in the school library but who wants to spend their Saturday nights at the library.  So that leaves only one place to find men in your 20s…in a bar.

This is definitely the wrong place to find men.  There are a few problems with meeting men in bars, one: they are drunk and two: they are only looking for one thing.  That one thing usually lasts less than 24 hours.  So if you are looking for a long term relationship you probably won’t find it in a bar.

Is your true love online?

Nowadays people rely on the internet, it’s true for shopping and research it’s also true for their love lives.  I’ve heard both good and bad stories about people who met online.  One of my good friends met her boyfriend online; within a year she was engaged, married and pregnant.  That was a true happily ever after.

I had a friend in high school who connected with someone in an AOL chat room (It was the 90s), met him in person, fell in love, got pregnant and he bailed never to be heard of since.  I guess you just never know who’s out there.  But that can be said for anyone on the street just like everyone on the internet?

Look for quality love close to home

If you are single in your 30s where can you find your soul mate?  I think the best place to find your perfect match is at the office.   If you are like me your life consists of three things: work, home and the grocery store so where else would I meet someone (if I was single) if it isn’t at work?

I definitely think that two people working in the same office can be messy, especially if they break up, but this is only true if they work in a small office.  Two people working at the same company in different departments can be a match made in heaven.

An office romance means you both come from similar backgrounds, may have similar levels of education and you will probably have a lot to talk about.  It also means that your spouse will probably be more understanding about working long hours if they know the pressures of your common workplace.

My photos on Flickr

The One Thing I Never Say to My Boyfriend

Couple Spouse

Good morning Loves.  Saturday morning I was watching an episode of Will and Grace (boy do I ever love that Jack).  Grace just married Leo (Harry Connick Jr.) when he decided to extend his stay in South America with Doctors Without Borders.  Grace was obviously upset that she didn’t get to enjoy the honeymoon period with her new husband but she didn’t say anything to him about her concerns.  Grace’s friends encouraged her to tell Leo how she felt.  When they asked Grace why she didn’t tell Leo how she really felt she said “Our marriage is so new, I don’t want to show my true colors.”

This statement got me thinking, how fake do we have to be to make our relationships work?  I have been with my boyfriend a long time, a really long time, and I like to think that we have a great relationship.  But then I started thinking a little bit deeper.  Even though we’ve been together for over a decade there are still some things that I will never say to by boyfriend.

I don’t think we have to lie to our spouses to make them happy, Lord knows my boyfriend doesn’t.  He is always brutally honest, sometimes so much it hurts.  He just says that being honest is the best policy and I do agree.  However there are just some things that I won’t say, not because they are mean, just because it’s not my place to give an opinion.

Off limit topics in our relationship

His family.   I learned very early on in our relationship that his family is off limits.  Now I keep my opinions to myself when it comes to my boyfriend’s family.  The main reason is because he knows his family better than I do and giving my opinion (if it conflicts with his) is only going to cause friction in our relationship and I don’t want that.  Ultimately my boyfriend is going to do what he thinks is best when it comes to his family so there is no point in stirring the pot, even if I think he’s making a wrong decision.

My family.  My relationship with my mom, dad and sister is complicated and honestly I think my boyfriend is tired of hearing about it.   I stopped talking to my boyfriend about my spineless dad, manipulative mother and my ever righteous sister – mostly because I think he stopped listening many moons ago, but also because there is no possible way he could understand what I’m going through.

My boyfriends family is picture perfect and my dad lives in a trailer park, it’s not exactly comparing apples to apples.  So I just keep all the animosity and anger inside and try to let it go through a healthy outlet such as yoga – or sharing with you.   It’s much better for our relationship if our families stay off limits.

The one thing that is not off limits in our relationship is money, my boyfriend and I always talk about our family finances.  Right now we are mostly talking about our new apartment – no we haven’t found one yet.  We have to decide what little luxuries we want and how much we are willing to pay for them.

Is there anything that’s off limits in your relationship?

Photo from Flickr

4 money signs you shouldn’t date him

Bad DateGood morning loves.  Yesterday I spent the afternoon at Starbucks sipping mojito green teas with my friend Anna.  Anna is one of my new friends, we met back in October at a mutual friends birthday party and we immediately bonded over our mutual dislike for young children in public places.

When Anna asked why our mutual friend brought her four month old baby to her 34th birthday party because she thought it was just going to be a nice adult night out, I knew we would become instant friends. Over the last few months I have sat in Starbucks every other Sunday listening to Anna talk about her boy troubles.

For all you lovely married people out there let me tell you that listening to single girl problems in your 30s is very different than when we were in our 20s.  As I listened to Anna tell me about men who are interested in her, how she meets these men and all her awful dates I couldn’t help but think “You should know better”.

What are you looking for in a soul mate?

I am admittedly not single, but I’m not married either.  I live with my long-time boyfriend in our apartment and that’s OK with me.  I know that I haven’t been on a date in a long time but I like to think that I would know what I was looking for if I did.  In my 20s I went on a lot of bad dates and back then I didn’t know what I looking for in a mate, probably because I didn’t even know myself.

However now that I’m in my 30s I know that if I were to start dating again I would want a career man, not necessarily a business man, who managed his money wisely and liked to travel.  As a financial planner I can tell you that you can learn a lot about a person’s personality by how they manage their money.

4 money red flags that you shouldn’t date him:

Not spending any money.  If you go out with a guy and he never spends money or always picks free date spots because he conveniently leaves his credit and debit cards at home it may be a sign to walk away.

Always buying lavish gifts.  Just like nickel and diming it is a red flag so is spending big bucks whenever he can.  There is nothing worse than a guy who likes to show off and spend money carelessly.  I know firsthand that money won’t always be here so I couldn’t date a guy who didn’t budget wisely.

If he always pays with a credit card.  Men who live on credit is a big red flag for me.  I did that back in my 20s and I wouldn’t want to go through that again.  I definitely wouldn’t want to start a relationship with someone who lived off credit and was paying off thousands of dollars in debt.

A man who never makes plans.  I am a huge planner.  I love making lists and I love being organized.  I live my entire life that way, including my money.  I couldn’t date a man who never makes plans, or worse, a man who makes plans and doesn’t stick to them.  People’s lifestyle is made up of personality traits and if he is unorganized in life he probably also mismanages his money.

Would you add anything to the list?

  Photo by Flickr

Would you marry someone without money?

marry someone without money

I read an article in a recent issue of Glamour Magazine about a woman who fell in love with a man who had less money than her.  Actually he had no money at all, he had a low paying job with no personal savings.  She met him online and they instantly connected.

After months of communicating by email, phone and chat the couple finally decided to meet in person.  When he showed up to take her out on their first date she was shocked at what she saw in her driveway.

The man showed up in an old pickup truck and the woman almost didn’t walk out of her front door.  She had seen pictures of the man and knew he was cute but she didn’t know he had no money.  The subject of careers and personal finances never came up in their long conversations.

Should money be a criteria for dating?

So here lies the question, would you go out with a man who had no money?  We aren’t talking about a man who makes good money and just mismanages it, because that can be fixed.  We are talking about a man who makes just enough to get by.  She already had feelings for this man and she knew if she went out with him her life would always be hard off financially.  She wasn’t hoping to marry rich, she was just hoping to marry someone who wasn’t poor.

If this was me I don’t know if I would continue a relationship with a man who had no money.  Maybe in my 20s, but probably not now in my 30s.  That sounds really bad as I read it back to myself but it’s true.  If I already loved the man I don’t think money would matter, actually I know it wouldn’t, if I was in my 20s.

When I was younger I was broke, like dead broke, and I know how much stress money can cause.  I wouldn’t want to go through that again.  When you are in your 20s it’s OK to make mistakes and learn from them.  But as we get older we are supposed to be more financially responsible.

If I was dating now I think money would come up in our first few dates.  In my 20s I wouldn’t have cared if my boyfriend had no money.  However, now in my 30s it would be very hard to start a relationship with a man who didn’t have the same lifestyle I have.

Should money be a criteria for marriage?

I wouldn’t expect women to want to marry a man who can make her life better.  However at the same time I don’t think anyone wants to marry a man who makes their life worse.  The trouble with the man having no money was that the woman was already in love with him.

If she didn’t go out on the date she would always wonder if he was the great love of her life. She would always wonder if she let her soul mate get away because he drove an old pickup truck. She decided money wasn’t worth her happiness so she grabbed her purse and walked out to the driveway where the man was waiting with the passenger side door open.

As expected the man was a total gentleman.  After their first date her feelings were as strong as ever.  They eventually got married and were still together when the article was released.

Photo by tahnyakristina