Married Couples and Money

The bride counts the money. Wedding expenses. Bride with a piggy bank

When we think of marriage, we think of wedding bells and dresses, flower girls and ring bearers, and a couple expressing their everlasting love to one another.

No party is as fun as a wedding and very few life experiences can alter your life in such a meaningful way.

I’ve written a few posts on love and relationships but I don’t think I need to remind anyone that there is a financial consequence to marriage.   In fact, I think most of us consider FIRST the tangible benefits of being with a partner more than the intangible aspects like character, honesty, integrity etc.

A perfect relationship is a balance of the two. A perfect compromise of tangible and intangible benefits. I’m going to talk about the financial pitfalls and benefits that come from marriage.  In this post, I’ve discussed some of the more intangible benefits.  Sometimes money and relationships can mix like oil and water.

Benefits:

1. Sharing expenses in a relationship and couple finances:

Definitely something couples discuss when moving in together but when married you need to take it to the next level. It goes beyond utilities, rent and groceries. It’s time to talk about retirement and spending habits, saving and buying a house.

Two people are better than one in this type of division.

To give you an example, imagine this scenario:

Jim lives on his own, he rents a $1400 one bedroom right outside of NYC. He has one car. He pays $300 between payments and insurance. Groceries cost him about $200 a month but he orders out a lot so it adds up to an additional $200. His utilities for electric and internet cable are $150. On the weekends, he likes going out to dinner/drinks with friends. His entertainment spends are around $300-$400 a month.

Jim works as a IT tech earning 75K annually or $6250 monthly. After taxes he brings home $4275.

Take home income

$4275

Minus

Expenses

-$1400 apartment

-$300 Car

-$400 Food

-$150 Utilities

-$400 entertainment

-$600 Misc.

Net savings to go toward personal savings, 401K and Medical savings accounts.

$1175

*This is a very simplified budget but you get the picture.

Now let’s look at Jane and Sam.

They are newly married. Jane works as a teacher and makes 40K. Sam works in construction and makes 60K between hourly and overtime. They live in the same apartment building as Jim and pay 1400 for rent. Actually their spending is almost identical. They spend 600 on food, share a car for $400, $150 on utilities and spend 600 on entertainment and $600 on misc.

Together they bring in $8333, after taxes it’s an estimated $5,833.

Take home pay

$5833

Expenses

-$1400 apartment

-$400 Car

-$600 Food

-$150 Utilities

-$600 entertainment

-$600 Misc.

Net Savings for personal savings, retirement and medical savings:

$2083 or $1041 per person.

The point of this example is that even though Jane and Sam both make less then Jim, their still able to save roughly at the same rate each because they are pooling together for their major expenses and budgeting as a couple.  This is one of the best financial things to consider when either moving in or marrying.  The couples budget is everything and couples who are able to leverage their joint spending will come out on top in the long run.

2. Sharing Manpower.

They say two people are better than one.  And I would say that when it comes to domestic tasks, couples find that they are able to get more free time by splitting it up.

I’m not sure this is the biggest financial benefit to being married but it can definitely pinch a few pennies and save a lot of hours.  Having an extra pair of hands  for 1) laundry, 2) clean, 4) grocery shop, 5) cook meals for the week, 6) bargain shop can add up to a lot of savings.

A single person only has so many hours available them, they have to either do these tasks themselves and lose some free time or pay a 3rd party to handle these tasks like a housekeeper, or eating out/ordering in, wash/fold services, and food delivery like FreshDirect.  They can either keep their free time to themselves to do other endeavors or pay for these conveniences.

3. Spousal Employment Benefits.

One of the biggest is insurance.  You can’t really quantify how important insurance is until you don’t have a job that offers it to you.  Then you’re either paying hundreds out of pocket just to get simple blood work done or you’re paying $500+ premium for a private insurance for married couples that still has a large deductible or copay.

One benefit of being married is that health insurance for married couples is generally cheaper than paying health insurance for two single people.

Being able to add a spouse to your work insurance is amazing and something only allowed for immediate family members/dependents by most insurance carriers.

For K and I, we’ve always had insurance that covered us through work.  But there was this one year that we had to go without and that was the sketchiest year I ever went through.  We never went to see the doctor because it was too expensive and we prayed neither of us were ever involved in an accident because how could we ever pay?

My job also has some married life insurance benefits that if I die, K get’s X amount and if K dies I can get X amount.  It’s comforting to know that we’ll have some fall back if (God Forbid) either of us ever pass away.

Pittfalls

1) Spending habits

Sometimes people can get so caught up in the love and the connection they have for the other person, that looking at habits like spending can seem like a non-issue.

You might look at someone who never seems to wear the same piece of clothing twice and never wonder how they can afford to such a large wardrobe.

You might see someone drive an Audi and not realize that their car payments are near $500 a month and it’s a squeeze with all their other expenses.

It’s not until YOUR money is commingled with your partner’s that you start to realize how small spending habits can add up to big expenditures.

For a long time my husband liked to play poker with his friends. He became so good his friends stopped playing with him. It was always, “maybe next time.” They were scared to lose money to him.  Eventually he joined some poker clubs in the city and played there once or twice a year. Then he found some casinos near us that offered poker comps and he would go occasionally there too. He loved the game of poker but it was bleeding us $500-$1000 every time he lost.

Thankfully he doesn’t play anymore, we had a pretty serious conversation about his gambling and now I have complete control over the cash. But it just goes to show how a small insignificant habit can turn into a ravenous expense.

The same story could be told with shopping addicts or forever entrepreneurs who can never seem to get their business off the ground.

The solution is to think long range about how your finances with your partner would work and weeding out financially incompatible partners out. In my case, I nipped out early what was potentially a serious gambling addiction.

I would recommend financial planning for couples before getting married.  Sometimes when things feel out of control, it’s great to consider a financial planner for financial help with married couples.

Expensive Wedding and Even More Expensive Divorces

“My husband and I, fight over money.”

People spend an average of $27,000 on a wedding.  Those are pretty expensive parties.  I don’t have anything against big fancy parties to celebrate the joining of a couple but when we start to look at divorce rates, those big weddings start to look like a waste.  It’s estimated that nearly 40%-50% of marriages end in divorce.  According to an article written by CNN, couples that spent more than $20K had a divorce rate of 1.6X more than those who spent only $5K-$10K.

In some ways marriage is a crapshoot, you can never know if some devastating skeleton is going to come out of your partner’s closet and change your whole relationship with them.

It’s when you consider that the average divorce costs $15K, marriages have a risk of being a financial hole once everything is said and done.

Then Add Children and Divorce

If your divorce included children, then there will likely be one party that pays child support.  There will still be an increase in housing costs because the divorced couple will need separate places for themselves and for their children.

It can be very costly and difficult to manage your time and finances when expenses increase and resources are nearly cut in half.

Unfortunately in some cases, divorce is the only option for two people who turn out to be incompatible to stay sane and happy.  But children can definitely make divorce messier and more expensive.

I’m not writing this section to make children sound like a burden but for the most part, nobody has children to make a profit.  They have children for the generational and personal wealth that it bring to a family.  We grow our family to keep tradition and create memories.

Nothing brings a family together like children, but nothing makes it harder to separate and divorce cheaply than children.


 

I would say marriage comes with a lot of different types of benefits but something we should never take our eye off of is the financial outcomes that can result from saying “I Do.”  Ignoring that important fact can lead to marriage troubles over money.

On the other hand, marriage can be a blessing that can pay itself back in ways that can’t even be accounted for.  For many, the risk is worth taking.

I hope you read this with hope in your heart and practicality in your mind.

Feel free to read my other relationship posts:

The Biggest Red Flags In A Relationship

Why Dating Culture Doesn’t Work Towards Marriage

Dear Single Friends, This Is Why You Are Still Single. Love, Your Married Friend.

What is Love?

Kissing couple in love

It’s the question I’ve been trying to answer since I can remember. I’m kinda drawn to these kind thoughts, to explore a concept as complex as love and understand it at its core.

Merriam-Webster defines love as: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.

But love, especially true romantic love is hard to grasp or even conceptualize. Is it like Jesus, a belief that comes from faith? How do we know love is real? How can we show our loved ones that we really DO love them?

I’m not just talking about romantic love, love can be experienced in a multitude of relationships including friendship and family relations.

So to help me understand this “emotion” and feeling, I’ve grouped love into 3 distinct categories that I’ve noticed in my life and in the lives of friends and family of how we experience the idea of “Love.”

False love

I had a friend that had a boyfriend every three months. Her relationships tended to be intense, full of hand holding, kissing, snuggling, and gifts.  I admit, younger me was very jealous. If only someone can love me like that.

But the thing was, that the love never lasted. Eventually there would be some irreconcilable flaw that caused her to break up with her boyfriends. Infatuation tends to look like this, that’s why it’s a false love. You’re kind of chasing an ideal. The person you’re dating initially seems to fit the ideal, they seem to fit what your ego says is a good partner. But people rarely are so two-dimensional. Eventually a persons flaws and shortcomings come together and cause the infatuation to end. And that’s when this type tends to “fall out of love.”

Then there are the people who are missing something desperately in their lives. Sometimes, they just didn’t get the kind of love they wanted from their parents or went through a breakup that broke them. There’s a lot of self-love that’s still needed for these people. As a result, their relationships are kind of on autopilot, without much thought.

We all know that one person that dates people to fill up their time. One date leads to another, then another. Suddenly, they are boyfriend and girlfriend. Months pass, even years but this couple has fallen into a routine of just filling each-others voids without really knowing or loving each other. Brunch on Sundays, Friday dinner dates with their phones, and silence in between.  Love is almost assumed and expected to be part of these relationships but whether love is truly felt is a different story.

You’d be surprised at how long these types of relationships can last. Relationships that are, in essence, toxic and mediocre. Comfort can be a strong substitute for love.

Conditional love, flawed love, broken love

Sometimes two people really love each other. It’s not just infatuation. They get to know each other and appreciate each other. They sacrifice and give for each other and appreciate the time they spend together. This is love! But how is this not perfect pure love?

The issue is, despite all that, there are strings attached to that love, there are roadblocks and obstacles, and there are indiscretions.

So it can’t be perfect.

A LOT of relationships fall in this category. Over time, life tends to bang us up, we get hurt and we start to put up walls that keep us from truly loving our partners.

I would describe my marriage as one of those conditional relationships. I absolutely adore K, for everything that he does for us and for his strengths. But would I still love him the same if for whatever reason, he couldn’t provide for our family? If he wasn’t able to be the person he’s always been?

If I had to be honest with myself, probably not. It would be a challenge.

At least I recognize this in myself and I’m working on trying to be more understanding, giving and flexible.

Sometimes two people get together and they are SO different from each other. It’s amazing at first but it also causes misunderstandings and difficulties. Maybe they love spending time together and love each other for who they are and their background but its hard to communicate. The constant fighting in between due to differences can take its toll. This love is flawed because the communication isn’t there. These types of relationships need constant work.

Imagine two people. Aaron and Kim. Aaron’s love language is physical touch. He likes to cuddle, kiss and all that. That’s how he expresses his love and how he expects love in return. Kim, likes acts of love. She thinks it’s amazing when Aaron gets her soup when she’s sick, or when he helps her around the house when she’s overwhelmed. They might love each other but if they can’t express that love in a way that works for the other partner, there will always be discord and difficulty in the relationship.

Your relationship can be perfect. You can be happy and truly appreciate your partner and what they bring to the table. You can communicate perfectly and understand each other. Life is good. But then someone makes a mistake. They cheat either emotionally or physically. Skeletons might reveal themselves from the closets. Financial indiscretions. What do you do? You love this person, their perfect for you and you can’t imagine life without them. But these problems are breaking the love you have for them and it’s becoming clear that these hurdles and trust issues will ALWAYS need to be worked on.

Broken love is the hardest, because it really requires you to look beyond the obstacle and forgive/accept your partner.  Not everyone can do that.  Not everyone can forgive their partner if they cheat or reveal they have a shopping addiction they’ve hid for 3 years that’s causing debt.  It’s hard.

All of these types of relationships aren’t 100% bad but they’re not 100% good either. I do believe that these problems can be fixed with time, honesty, and commitment towards a better relationship.

It takes so much personal growth to be able to accomplish a relationship based on pure true love. So in a way, these relationships are good since they can help us grow in that direction by forcing us to overcome difficulty.

True pure love

Is the hardest to attain and maintain. The best way to describe it is Love without boundaries. Like the paternal or maternal love for a child. You accept the person 100% for who they are and care for them without expectation.

Very few relationships, be it friendships, partners or even family, can reach this level of love.

It requires that you put your ego aside, at times get less than you give, and be selfless, honest and genuine.

I think it’s the type of love I feel for my daughter, and my parents for me. Unconditional, unwavering and free.

The truth is, not all relationships can maintain this type of love nor should they.

We should aspire for it though, as hard as it is to attain, because this kind of love makes us better.

I wish I had more to say about true pure love other than it’s special and work pursuing.  Unfortunately, the world doesn’t make that easy for anyone to pursue or achieve.  I’ve seen false love ad broken love break people’s trust so that their no longer open to a REAL relationship.

I wish you all the best in love.  In love we want to win but only when we’re willing to lose can we truly attain the type of love we desire.

Other Posts:

Why Dating Culture Doesn’t Work Towards Marriage

My Favorite Dating Book: Why Men Love Bitches

Dating in Your 30s vs Dating In Your 20s

Why Dating Culture Doesn’t Work Towards Marriage

Double exposure of a young couple enjoying sunset on beach

I’m going to share my unpopular opinion. The opinion that’s going to leave some of you shaking your head saying, “she really had to go there.” I just can’t stay quiet about it anymore. Today’s dating world just doesn’t work towards marriage and all the dating advice that’s being thrown out there is just plain WRONG. It’s written by other single women who really just don’t know what men want or how to get what they want: marriage.

I’m not writing to the women who genuinely want to remain single and are happiest when alone. I’m writing this article for the women who have settled for the single life after years of dating but have always desired marriage.

Here are the reasons why engaging in today’s dating culture is not going to get you a ring.

1. Online dating is very limiting and takes a lot of time.

Let’s face it: good quality men are hard to find. We’re talking about family oriented, working men who are reasonably attractive. If there were an equal number of quality men to women, more women would be married. Right now there are millions of online profiles, these are nothing short of personal ads promoting oneself. Beautiful pictures and perfect profile blurbs. “Mr Right needs to know exactly what he must bring to the table vs what I bring along as Mrs Right.” The truth is that it’s very time consuming to look through all the profiles and respond to everyone or even go on all the dates with men who you find reasonable. Because of this and all the likes and attention online dating provides women, women are overestimating their value in the dating pool.  We think there are more eligible bachelors truly interested than there really are.  Not all men online are marriage minded or even looking for a relationship.  Many women are investing their time with wrong short term minded men, incompatible men or men who are not looking at women as a long term partner.  What we need to realize is that there will be many window shoppers but only one buyer.   If you set the expectation too high many will be curious as to what makes you a great value but won’t buy.  Set the bar too low and you’re overwhelmed with low quality options, while the best and highest quality match is searching elsewhere.  It’s about hitting that sweet spot.   I recommend dating people within your social circle or while you are at school.  Anywhere that will let you get a better read on someone’s reputation.

There’s also the issue of being catfished online, misled, and lied to.  Profiles are limiting and short with people putting only their best foot forward.  How do you get to the real person without investing a significant amount of time meeting people?  You can’t.

2. Hookup culture has gotten out of control.

I’m sorry, in 100 years we’ve gone from a culture that severely frowned upon premarital sex to a culture where sex is on the table before a 4th date. Where “we’re talking” has replaced “going steady,” and “Netflix and chill” is code for hang out and sex. It’s all good and fun in your 20s, but suddenly in your 30s you hear your dad in your head saying, “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.” At least my dad would tell me that.  And why should men want to invest their lives into women? They can just open Tinder, send out 50 messages and pick up a girl before the end of the day without ever getting out their seat. We’ve made it too easy and too cheap. Apparently we haven’t realized that too much of a good thing is bad, even sex. The truth is women have so much more to offer than just sex. We are kind, compassionate, warm, intelligent and much more. Yet women are selling themselves short with just sex, why?

3. We’ve stopped asking men what they want.

To me this is the saddest part of today’s culture. Men don’t matter. Many good men are silently backing out of the dating scene because they just aren’t being included in the conversation. They’d rather be alone. Yes, men are allowed to have preferences. They are allowed to have wants and needs. They are just as much willing participators in any relationship they choose to take part in.  But women don’t want to hear it, we assume we are the complete package as is, that there is no room for improvement. That’s wrong. Men want women who can be team players and not just put the brunt of the work on the man. If he is a high earner, he might want a wife who can care for him and his future children, keep a home, (gasp) cook a meal, and maintain their looks or at least try and age gracefully. He might want this because he works 100+ hours a week and needs someone to be his other half.  Of course there are compromises everyone must make in a relationship.  But how many compromises will any one person make?  You might find this to be anti feminist, backwards and even misogynistic, but why should women have preferences while men can’t? The status quo required by women are that men at least work and hold a job. Women would prefer men to be handsome and maybe tall. We’d like them to hold doors and be a gentleman. We gossip that we want men that are good lovers and masculine. So why shouldn’t men be allowed preferences? Aside from the men having a field day on Tinder, a lot of quality men are just not finding the kind of women they want, are tired of looking and are opting out. For them, it is better to be alone than to be unhappily married to women who don’t get it.

4. Women are waiting too long.

We’re told 30 is the new 20. That we can extent this dating phase past our teens and 20s and play the field into our 30s. Please stop with this jargon. That’s just not how female anatomy works, that phrase works for men, not for women. Because by 35, women have only a fraction of the fertility they would have had at 20. The issue is that many marriage minded men WANT children. Considering that it takes time to date and get to know someone, become engaged, plan a wedding and make a baby, many eligible men find it too impractical to date women in their thirties. From a a purely statistical standpoint, it would be easier to start dating a 25 year old and conceive at 30 than it would be to start dating a 30 year old and conceive at 35. Or even a 35 year old to conceive at 40.  Yes there are women who are conceiving at 40 but often it requires medical intervention to even conceive and is considered a riskier pregnancy.

Then there’s also the consideration that in your 20s there are more eligible men. When I was 20-26 I remember getting so much attention I just didn’t know what to do with it all. It was actually really flattering, but I always knew it wouldn’t stay.  Men were available in my age group and enough were unattached so I could find a partner easily. Men were just finishing college and starting jobs, if I had wanted someone more secure I could have also dated a little older. Getting interest wasn’t a big problem. At 29, I don’t really have that kind of attention, and I don’t miss it much. My job requires I put a lot of time and attention into my appearance but I’ll still never be prettier than I was at the age of 20-25. That’s just a reality. Nothing can quite take the place of youth. So why women aren’t searching for a partner seriously In those prime years is beyond me. These are your most beautiful, alluring, and innocently charming years! After 30 your age starts to show, the eligible bachelors have become jaded due to frustration or been scooped up, some are divorced with kids. And the hunt for a good quality man becomes more competitive because men your age are also looking at women 5-8 years your junior.

My issue is that the conversation that women are hearing from a young age is that:

1. Online dating makes it easier to meet people and find the “perfect” partner.

2. Hookup culture is OK, empowering and will get you what you want.

3. That preferences that men have for women don’t matter as much as the preferences women have for men

4. That we can extend women’s dating life for decades. From her teens to her 30s.

This is just all around bad advice. And I don’t say this from my lofty pedestal of being already married. I’m saying this for my sisters and my friends who followed the whims of popular opinion and were short changed because of it. I’m saying this for the men that are opting out of the dating scene with frustration because the women they wanted in their 20s were just playing the field and keeping them as “friends.”

I write this with the warmest intentions. I want everyone to live an intentional fulfilled life and part of that is making choices EARLY that are right for your future. Not all women want marriage but SO MANY women do and they want children, some just find they’ve missed their boat for the right opportunity.

I hope you found this post useful. I know I’m writing some opinions that might stir the pot. Feel free to comment below and join in on the conversation.

My Favorite Dating Book: Why Men Love Bitches

bitches-900x672

Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov is my number one dating book recommendation for women who feel like their not getting what they want out of their dating experience.

I will give this recommendation with a caveat. Essentially it is a book that talks about how to get a very specific type of man and keep him interested. The book doesn’t talk to much about the type of men that like bitches. But after reading, I got the vibe that this book is talking about men who are objectively attractive, somewhat respectful, intelligent, and has his shit together. Pretty much the man every woman wants when she says she wants a decent man.

When I picked up this book at 23 years old I was going through a lot of guy problems.   I was asking, “Where are all the good men?”   I just didn’t understand why guys would show interest in me and then not follow through.  Like, I was pretty, interesting and educated. What was I doing wrong? The thing was, I was also too agreeable, too available and too naggy. I wasn’t setting boundaries or setting standards. I didn’t know how.  I often wondered why some women got everything without even an effort.  And why men found certain, more assertive and confident, women attractive.   Meanwhile, I was bending over backwards to impress guys and keep them wanting more.  I wanted to learn how to attract a good man and also keep him.  I wanted to find a man who was husband material.

What I especially like about this dating book was the stories. There are some really relatable stories. There was Crystal who, after her date told her that he wanted to stay friends, stood him up when he tried to get him to booty call her. She said, sure, just wait for me outside with an umbrella so I won’t get wet when I get there. 3 hours later after thinking she was 5 mins away, he gets a brick to the face of cold, hard reality. She was never gonna come over and be that booty call.

There was also Jen who, though very pretty and confident, thought she should exercise her sexuality freely and early.  Jen gave the juju bean too early, usually within 1-2 dates and was shocked when a guy she really liked asked her, “how often she had sex on a first date.”  Sherry makes it clear, you’ve got to be perceptive about the different ways you can be perceived.  Even if it’s a one off type of one night stand, be prepared for the assumptions that could be made.

I like how Sherry just tells it how it is.  She’s not exactly politically correct, she takes a more traditional stand on when a woman should have sex.  Sex is available to women fairly easily, so using it to get a guy to spend time with you isn’t anything special.  Rather, how a a guy treats you after he’s been satisfied will tell a lot about what he thinks.

Why Men Love Bitches also did it’s homework.   She did an extensive amount of interviews with men and women to get what they thought on a lot of topics.  She discovered a lot of secrets about men through their testimonials

One of the men she interviewed admitted that men are addicted to the thrill of the chase.  Sherry uses a lot of comparisons but I think the best one is that the chase is comparable to watching a close football game.  If the score is 47-3 it’s not really exciting but if we’re talking 24-24, suddenly it’s the best game he’s ever seen.

I think her section on sex answered a lot of questions I had.  “How long is too soon to have sex?  What if he decides he doesn’t want to wait?  Am I being a tease?”  Hearing someone answer these questions for me, really helped me be confident in my choices.

Every man has an ego and Sherry teaches you how to gracefully handle the male ego while staying feminine.  She explains that men and women have masculine and feminine energy and that they kind of work as a sort of ying and yang that complete each other.  The issue most women have is that they try to use masculine energy to keep up with their men and impress them.   He likes football?   Make sure he knows that you know every single stat going on in the season.  Hoot louder than he does at the games.  Curse obscenities dirtier than him when the team loses.  Sure…that’s the way to his heart.  Not!  With feminine energy, you can get men to work with you, not against you, for a common goal.

Why Men Love Bitches also talks about walking away and having that power. She has what she calls “From Doorman To Dreamgirl Rules.”  You always need to have a sense of independence.  Don’t talk about the relationship.  Don’t talk about fixing the relationship. Don’t talk about how to make the relationship better. She basically says that your actions will speak for the direction you want the relationship to go.  Words are empty and not worth the effort.  Your actions and what you’ll put up with will say more than words ever could.

Some of my favorite Sherry Argov quotes are:

“Being a bitch isn’t about exuding a certain kind of arrogance.  Contrary to what the media would have us believe, it doesn’t matter how hip, cool or cocky you appear to be.  Power is the control you have over yourself.”

“When a man treats a woman with disrespect and she takes it, he begins tools respect for her.”

“And if you feel like you’re going to resent something after you give it, don’t give it. Give only what feels comfortable to give.”

There are so many great quotes and great ideas here   I could talk more about it, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.  Let’s just say that this is a book I recommend to all my girlfriends, it will help a lot with your dating life.  I’ve read it a few times and have gathered so many gems.

I do wish there was an updated book on how to deal with this whole online dating/ hookup culture that is now prevalent in our society.  The book was written in 2009 but things are so much different now with Tinder, OKCupid, Instagram and all the other ways that have made dating a pain.

Overall, this is the best dating book for those who want to understand the behavioral differences between women and men.  Also a great read for those who are marriage minded and want to find their life partners.

Hope you liked this post. Please like, share, and follow!

Check out my other posts:

Dear Single Friends, This Is Why You Are Still Single. Love, Your Married Friend.

and

Dating in Your 30s vs Dating In Your 20s

What Does It Take To Be Charismatic and Likeable?

I had a request about how to be more confident and I thought why not, let’s talk confidence, charisma and magnetism. And it’s honestly a hard topic to write about or even grasp. Confidence is such an intangible quality that is so allusive to most people. But we are all drawn to it. You might even ask yourself, “Am I Charismatic?” and “How to be Charismatic?”

I’m a natural introvert. In high school I was like a wallflower; I was quiet, soft spoken, trying to fall under the wings of my more extroverted friends and did not possess natural charisma. I always associated confidence with being outgoing, popular, attractive, friendly and extroverted. I painfully tried to fit in with my friends by displaying these characteristics. At the end of it all, I still wasn’t confident. I was negative and jealous with a victim mentality. I had social anxiety; I would scroll through my newsfeed with a feeling of missing out… I was unhappy during high school and college because I was constantly comparing myself to everyone around me.

Fast forward to 2018 I’m now the most confident version of myself. I’m magnetic, charismatic and likeable. I can talk to pretty much anybody and have accomplished most of my life goals. Last year I went to my 10 year high school reunion. I was hoping to see some friends I fell out of touch with. I wasn’t afraid to go up to people and mingle, I also wasn’t second guessing myself when I felt like sitting on my own and observing. I was happy and content to just be there, unapologetically.

I’m going on a tangent about my own self growth but the point of the topic is that self growth and confidence doesn’t come to everyone overnight. For some people it comes easier, but everyone is capable of being confident, charismatic and magnetic.

Work on the life you want for yourself.

I want you to close your eyes and envision the confident image you’ve always had for yourself. I want you to really think about that person. What they look like and what they are doing with their life. Are they with a career and family? Is that person traveling? Are they living in the big city? Are they the rock for their immediate family? Then I want you to think about why you came up with that image. What are your values that are creating that image? These are your core desires and not fulfilling them are what is causing that feeling of dissatisfaction/ lack of confidence.

On a side note: these values might change over time. You might get to where you were going and realize, “hey, this isn’t really where I wanted to be. Let me tweak this a little.” That’s ok too.

Once you realize what your values are and what you want from your life, you’ll be able to set real goals or accomplish them. I’m not talking about “oh, I want to be a entrepreneur and be my own boss in a few years or I’m going to be dating the love of my life soon” type goals.

I’m talking concrete goals with a tentative completion date. Actual steps to make that a reality.

Confidence, Charisma and Magnetism is hard work. People who display these kind of characteristics tend to invest A LOT into themselves. They get these qualities from genuinely loving and appreciating the life they worked hard to achieve. There’s no shortcut for building a great self-esteem and sense of self.

I know for the past 10 years I’ve been pushing this image of myself. Little ole’ 19 year old me wanted to be a career woman, a reliable outgoing personable personality and be with my man of my dreams who truly loved and cared for me. For the past 10 years every choice and decision I made has been to grow in those areas. And now I’m finally comfortable in my own skin knowing that the person I always knew I was capable of being is truly who I am now.

This post is just an introduction on what changes you’ll need to take to get there but feel free to read my other post on personal growth, The Power Of Positivity and The Power Of Change.

Also check out these posts on CHARISMA

Be Charismatic By Mastering Small Talk

What Does Your Body Language Say About You?

Dear Single Friends, This Is Why You Are Still Single. Love, Your Married Friend.

This post is not meant to be a personal attack on single people or say marriage is better than being single. This post is for single people that want to be married and want advice from a married person.

I don’t know if this post will be popular or if I will get a lot of backlashed comments but here we go…

1. You are unrealistic: I hate to put it this way but the dating scene is a market like any other. We all come with strengths and weaknesses. Pluses and minuses. We can’t all get prince charming or the hottest babe at the beach. You really get what you bring to the table. And you need to be honest with yourself with what it is and manage your expectations. Declaring yourself a “bad bitch” and “all that” is great talk. But are you independent? Are you compassionate? A good cook? Caring? Genuine? Breakups usually happen when one or two people in a relationship realize that there was a misrepresentation somewhere and there isn’t any true compatibility.

FeedMe

2. You’re selfish: I have single friends who are this type. Demand, demand, demand. They make their partners jump through hoops, complain about everything their partner does wrong. Does not share time with their partner but expects their partners to drop everything for them. These selfish types are usually lots of fun but leave a string of heartbreak and disappointment behind them.

3. White nights/Florence Nightingales: they love to make people people better, even at their own expense. They are the opposite of the selfish type. They enable but eventually resentment slips in for all the “sacrifices” they made in the relationship. Most of all they need to be with partners they can accept, not change.

4. Peter Pans: they are never going to grow up. Time is not on their mind and they think they have all the time in the world to find a partner. They are not mature enough and they know it. They are afraid of making the wrong decision so they avoid making decisions in their life that have long term meaning

5. No self love: this is probably the most important and underlying problem. This probably underlies problems 1-4. Self love is so important. Not loving yourself, understanding yourself, accepting yourself and working on yourself can cause a whole set of behavioral problems. Accept your own faults and then work on them. We aren’t perfect but we need to accept ourselves and grow.

I think the key to a life partner is self love, genuine love and care for your partner and the right expectations. It’s easier said than done but relationships are a lot of work. It can be easy to some and harder to others. Long term relationships can be so rewarding, but they often don’t come easy.

This post is meant to inspire and create conversation. As my first post on relationships, feedback is most appreciated