When You Reach a Crossroad In a Relationship….

AreYouAnOstrichOrEagleAtRelationshipCrossroadSometimes the future sneaks up on you sooner than you predicted. You really have two choices when a serendipitous opportunity is right at your fingertips. You can hide your head in the sand like an ostrich, too overwhelmed with anxiety over the unknown to look it in the face —or in reality, sprint away from the situation with fear. Or you can raise your head, unfurl your wings, and trust where the wind will take you after removing the safety net of the well-trodden ground beneath you. When you reach a crossroad in a relationship, are you an ostrich or eagle?

Find out what the Warrior Poet and I are when a big opportunity comes across our path in a new post on  Singles Warehouse.

Judge Judy shares grown-up guidelines for moving in together

src: shutterstock

src: shutterstock

I was lingering after dinner the other night, with Inside Edition in the background (don’t judge—my parents always have it on leftover from watching the news the couple hours before), when I heard that something actually relevant to current circumstances in my own, real, non-celebrity life was about to be discussed. Surprisingly, words of wisdom were about to be imparted by that infamous courtroom reality star, and because it spoke specifically to the next stage of life I was entering, I was curious enough to listen. Yep, when Judge Judy shares grown-up guidelines for moving in together, I’m all ears.

Last month, Judge Judy released her book, What Would Judy Say? A Grown-Up Guide to Living Together With Benefits. In it, she pairs no-nonsense advice with humor about the highs and lows of moving in with someone before marriage. While some of what she shared were common sense tips that were emphasized by my live-in experiences from the past, there were a few that gave me pause.

Man is handing a house key to a womanWhile the judge recognized couples don’t find it romantic to set guidelines, she stressed the importance of setting down rules before moving in. Before you start joining together your lives and possessions even more, it’s important to consider important questions like this biggie: What happens if it doesn’t work out—who stays in the apartment?

“Write it all out, just so that there’s no wiggle room,” she advises on CBS This Morning. “There are courts for people marry and it doesn’t work out, but there are no courts for just living together.”

Judge Judy, who has been married three times, twice to husband Jerry, had three big rules for Inside Edition:

1. Keep your property separate

While Judge Judy believes you should split expenses in half, she has strong feelings about not having joint property. And she doesn’t mean to simply keep your bank accounts separate; she goes one step further: “No joint anything!  No joint dog, no joint time share, no joint car.” A big part of me has to agree.

My college boyfriend, with whom I lived, and I took several of the same courses. To save money, often he would buy books and course readers for a class, and we would just share them. This was all fine and dandy for my bank account at the time, but when we broke up, I was left with only notes from some of my most beloved classes while our books got dusty in his parents’ basement, never to be looked at again.

Yet that’s nothing compared to the next serious boyfriend after him. When I moved out, I left our shared CDs and DVDs, which actually wasn’t that bad since I’d burned most of the CDs before I actually moved out.  I left behind a powerful vacuum cleaner given to me that did so well with animal fur and dust. I also left the Tempur-Pedic California King-Sized mattress and bed that I’d purchased for us primarily because my body was in pain 24/7. The dog he later welcomed into the home after I left wound up chewing up the mattress. Grr!

287119554_d88909ba45_oAnd last, but most important of all—what cut me to the core—was that he wouldn’t let me take our two cats with me, despite the fact that he got them for me and despite the fact that it was I who fed them, cleaned up their mess, played with them, took them to the vet and loved them up more than he ever had and ever would. Thinking it was suitable punishment for me leaving him (and I think also thinking I could never leave the cats behind, thus I could never leave him), my ex refused to let me bring them home with me. Now they spend most of their time half-feral in the basement. My beloved boy has developed an autoimmune disease (like mama, like cat son) that causes his fur to fall off, unless he gets shots.

So yes, I get Judge Judy’s point.

 2. Postpone having kids until you have a wedding ring.

“I’m old fashioned in that respect,” she said. And she will have no disagreement from me. Still not 100 percent that having kids is even in the cards for me, I have no problem waiting until I am absolutely sure that their father is someone who I truly want to be in our lives for the long haul, and I know will be.

AND

3. Set a time limit for how long you’ll live together

This is such a huge one that I find so often overlooked. When so many of people my generation and younger go into living together as a trial run, the attitude seems to be when it stops being fun and starts being miserable more than 75 percent (give or take) of the time, that’s when you book it out the door. So people are living together six months… or six years.

For people who believe in marriage, after an extended period happily living together, the mind starts to roll over that quaint phrase my close friend Sarah gave me for some time in another relationship life, “He has to shit, or get off the pot.”

Src:Engagementrings.lovetoknow.com

Src:Engagementrings.lovetoknow.com

The problem is Judge Judy doesn’t advise how long a time limit you should set. And that totally depends on the individuals that make up the relationship and the circumstances in which they find themselves. I know one ex’s true colors didn’t truly start to come out in full force until about six months after living together, but with others, it may take a year or more, all depending how open, honest and intimate the relationship is in the first place.

So while I personally don’t have answers for that, I would probably say that for me, if I have been with someone for three years, and at least a full year or more of that time has been living together, I would seriously hope my partner knew by then if he wanted to marry me or not—and at my age, that’s being generous, ha.

I’ll give Judge Judy the last word, of course. “”I would say it’s wise—live together, give it an old college try, if it doesn’t work, move on,” she said. “And if it does, get married.”

Can you successful carry out your sexual fantasies in real life?

This past weekend, the boyfriend and I celebrated our one-year anniversary. He whisked me away to a beautiful bed & SuccessfullyCarryOutSexualFantasies 300x168 Can you successfully carry out your sexual fantasies in real life? by @SoloAt30breakfast in scenic New Hampshire, where we had a spacious room looking out onto the stars. While there was plenty of opportunities for excellent dining, breathtaking hikes and scintillating conversation, The Warrior Poet and I also took advantage of the extended weekend away from it all to indulge in some of our bedroom fantasies. But can you successfully carry out your sexual fantasies in real life?

Find out what I have to say on the topic over at Singles Warehouse: http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/05/can-you-successfully-carry-out-your-sexual-fantasies-in-real-life-by-soloat30/

When You Reunite After a Breakup, How Do You Celebrate an Anniversary?

WhenYouReuniteAfterABreakupHowDoYouCelebrateAnAnniversaryThe beginning of May is momentous in the story of the Warrior Poet and I. Last year, on April 28, we exchanged our first emails, full of promise and heady excitement. We had our first date on Sunday, May 6, just four days after my first round of chemo—risky move on my part, right? We sat for more than six hours deep in fascinating conversation about anything and everything, hating to part, and that trend continues to this day. That date and the vast majority of the last year are definitely worthy of great celebration.

Yet the timing has certainly brought up an important question: How do you celebrate an anniversary after a breakup?

Check out Singles Warehouse for my latest post questioning:

Does Time Apart Negate An Anniversary?

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/05/when-you-reunite-after-a-breakup-how-do-you-celebrate-an-anniversary/

Is There One Secret Formula for a Successful Relationship?

IsThereASecretFormulaForRomanceHer eyes were filled with tears when we got into the car with them to go for our hike. She hid behind big sunglasses and the front passenger seat. The Warrior Poet and I had seen the two of them sitting in a different parking lot than the one we shortly met them at. We instinctively knew that they were having a fight. When we joined them in the car, the tension was blistering. It wasn’t the first time we’ve been in the midst of their conflict, and I daresay it would not be the last.

The Warrior Poet and I often wondered why they continued to weather the strain of such frequent friction. It was obvious they had intensely strong affection and attraction for one another, yet they seemed to be in constant strife. Just because we saw one vision for a happy relationship, did that mean that they weren’t equally satisfied with their one? Is there one formula for a successful relationship?

Read more about what I have to say on the topic at Singles Warehouse here:

Is there one formula for a successful relationship?

 

The Effect of Being More Independent in Your Relationship

moreindependentmeFor three years, I have navigated the dating and relationship world without a license. I know, at the age of 35, it shocks me that I’ve been able to endure it for so long too! It has tested my independence (and patience), as I’ve had to rely on my dates or my parents to transport me, which means that someone else has largely dictated when, where and how long I will spend time in someone else’s company. So how will my life and my relationship change now that I am getting my license back?

Being more independent in your relationship makes you a better, more complete you!

Read more about The Effect of Being More Independent in Your Relationship in my column for Singles Warehouse.

 

 

How Accurately Do You Describe Yourself In Your Online Dating Profile

DatingWithaKissWhile reading a bestselling thriller the other night, I came across the concept of the Cool Girl. The book Gone Girl describes a Cool Girl as the embodiment of the ideal women to certain men: Hot, intelligent, funny, sexually adventurous, not afraid to enjoy her food yet stays fit and slender, and feminine while still able to handle herself in a typical guy environment with beer, sports, poker and dirty jokes. A Cool Girl is understanding, never gets truly angry, and gives her man the freedom to do what he wants. The concept resonated with me so deeply because of all the online dating profiles, including mine, where women wind up describing themselves in some shape or another as a Cool Girl. It has me wondering: How accurately do you describe yourself in your online dating profile?

Find out if you’re getting it right in your online dating profile in my article at Singles Warehouse:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/03/how-accurately-do-you-describe-yourself-in-your-online-dating-profile-by-soloat30/

With a Conflicted Heart, Can You Date Multiple People at Once

two_men_one_womanSome of you remember my theory about old flames being one of many things that comes into your life in threes. Most of you probably also know firsthand that you appear most attractive to others when basking in the glow and confidence of blossoming love or a budding romance. At some point or another, old loves wanting to reunite are bound to cross your path just when you are perky with excitement about the potential of a new romantic interest. Is it a simple and easy decision to keep moving forward with someone new? Or with a conflicted heart, can you date multiple people at once?

Read more in my post for Singles Warehouse: http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/03/can-you-date-multiple-people-at-once-by-soloat30/

Given a Second Chance at Love, When is it Worth the Risk?

second-chanceI know I’m not really fooling anyone. At my core, behind certain walls erected to better protect me, underneath the heartbreaks and bruises, I am an incurable romantic. I believe in the trans-formative power of love; both to the receiver and the giver. And yes, I suppose there is a part of me that still believes that true love is worth fighting and waiting for, that it reigns supreme in the end. Yet I recently was put in the position to question myself: Given a second chance at love, when is it worth the risk?

Read more about how I fouled up the first time, what I think about do-overs in life, and whether I think second chances are really worth the risk over at Singles Warehouse: http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/03/given-a-second-chance-at-love-when-is-it-worth-the-riski/

What if Your Ex Had Been Your Best Friend—Can You Still Be Friendly

BeingFriendsWithEx-300x219Once the anger and frustration after the break-up dimmed, I was starting to actually feel good again. I was getting my groove back, dating again. One guy I had been on several dates with was starting to spark with potential. I was feeling happy and regaining confidence. So when the ex began showing signs of mildly reaching out in friendship again, I was up for it. In this one case, I thought I knew the answer to that age-old question: What if your ex was your best friend, can you still be friendly?

Find out what I have to say about the topic on Singles Warehouse:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/03/what-if-your-ex-was-your-best-friend-can-you-still-be-friendly-by-soloat30/