Relationship advice

Dating is an important part of life. But not everyone has what it takes to go up to someone else in person and ask them out on a date. This is why everyone now uses an on-line dating site and other mobile apps to chat with someone first, then talk on the phone and finally go out on a date.

This makes it possible to get to know the other person a little bit first, before catching up with them one on one. You get a chance to see their photos, read their self-description and ask them questions about what they like and don’t like. This makes you a lot more confident when you actually meet that person in real life.

Posting a Photo on an on-line dating site

You don’t need to post a lot of photos of yourself on an on-line dating site. Even just one great photo is fine. But make sure that it’s a good one.

  • Smile: Most people swipe right on photos where the other person is smiling.
  • Make an Effort: It helps if the photo is well-lit and you look well-groomed and well-dressed.
  • Gym Photos: Guys, please stay away from photos in the gym. Women can tell when you have a good body even if you’re wearing a shirt.
  • Car/Bike Photos: Guys, stay away from photos of your car or bike. Most women don’t care for bikes. And do you really want a woman who likes you for your car?
  • Adventure Photos: Just remember that no one looks great when they’re scuba-diving or parasailing. So you can leave those photos out.
  • Photos with Pets: These can be supercute. Plus, they show an affectionate side of you that will attract the other person.
  • Older/Thinner Photos: Many people post old photos of themselves from when they were younger or thinner. This might get the other person interested for now but they’re obviously going to lose interest once they meet you. So don’t do it.

Writing a Description for an on-line dating site

Many times, people just post a couple of photos of themselves on an on-line dating site but don’t write anything. Or they might just write a line or two. But remember that the other person wants to know what kind of person you are before they swipe right on you. In fact, if you don’t photograph well, then this is your chance to impress that person with your charm and wit.

  • Interests: Tell them what kinds of books you like to read and what kind of movies you love.
  • Passions: What’s your passion? What do you want to do in life?
  • Relationships: What are you looking for in a partner? What are you willing to bring to the equation?
  • Be Yourself: Make sure to consider the type of person that you’re looking for in your photos and your write up. Try to appeal to that person but be yourself at the same time.
  • Don’t Lie: It’s really not a good idea to make things up in order to sound smarter or funnier than you really are.

 

Couples and Relationships: 4 Things Couples Should Shape Up Their Mutual Finances

Handling your finances is one of the biggest metrics that determine when you’ve reached adulthood in the eyes of society, your parents, and potential romantic partners. Not having your finances in order is also something that can cause unwanted tension in a relationship, Living paycheck to paycheck has a sort of grunge appeal for those who like the starving artist lifestyle, but anyone who’s been on that diet for a while will recommend getting your act together in a big hurry.

So, whether you’re just starting a relationship, or you’re thinking about popping the question, here are 4 finance basics every couple needs to have on lockdown.

#1: Banking

Unless your wages are so low that you use check cashing services exclusively (which is a reality for a lot of people out there), you probably use a bank. And while you might think, “what’s the big deal? A bank is a bank,” they really aren’t all the same. For starters, ask if your bank requires a minimum balance to keep your account open. Look at the kinds of overdraft fees they charge, and ask if there’s an annual service fee. Lastly, if you have a money market account, or a savings account, look at what sort of interest your bank is giving you. You might be getting screwed without even thinking about it.

#2: Bills

We all know how bills work. They show up in the mail, you send them a check, and everyone’s happy. However, you might be paying a lot more for your bills simply because you’re not looking at them. For example, if you are paying a monthly car insurance or medical insurance bill, see how much money you’d save if you bought your insurance in 6 month intervals instead. That can take a chunk out of your savings for right now, but that hole will fill in pretty quickly over the next six months. Ask your power company if they give you a discount for enrolling in an automated bill paying plan, and see if your Internet provider can cut you a deal on your package. A lot of the time you can spend less just by asking.

#3: Budgeting

If you had economics in school, you know how budgeting works. You sit down, figure out how much money you make a month, and then figure out how much you spend. If you know your gym membership is $19.99 a month, you put that in your budget. If you know your Internet is $39.99 a month, you put that in your budget. Fill out all the things that are a solid fee every month first.

Once you have your known values, you assign the variables. For example, sometimes your power bill is $25, and sometimes it’s $50. You’re better off assuming that it will be $50, because that way you have money left over at the end if it’s low. The same goes for your fuel costs, and any other costs that are central to your life. After that’s figured out, you assign a value to everything else. That’s food, clothes, savings, entertainment, etc.

A word to the wise; don’t budget down to the penny if you don’t have to. A flexible budget is a forgiving budget, and you should be able to cover costs as you need to. Small costs, like a hike in gas prices or needing to get a new pair of shoes for work, anyway. Bigger costs will have to come out of savings.

#4: Plan Long-Term

This one doesn’t start with a B, but it’s no less useful. One of the keys to financial success is being able to plan for long-term goals in your life. For example, rather than buying a cheap $20 pair of work shoes every two months, buy a $60 pair of work shoes that will last for several years. Rather than buying fast food for lunch every day, buy bulk food you can eat for weeks.

A lot of this seems like common sense, but it’s surprising how much money we save once we start knuckling down on our in-the-moment pleasures, and keep our eyes on the long-term prize.

Getting Serious? Be Sure to Discuss These 5 Topics Before Taking the Leap

Dating in a “swipe right” world is much different than how your parents dated. Courtship has evolved into speed dating, dating apps, and inflated profiles. The good news is one aspect of dating hasn’t changed. Discussing life-changing deal breakers before making ultimate commitments is still a best practice. If you find yourself in a semi-serious relationship and are contemplating a commitment, be sure to address these common social topics, and their financial implications before moving forward.

Having Children

Wanting or not wanting children can make or break a relationship instantly. Know your preferences and don’t be afraid to engage in this conversation. Whether or not to have children can be a dynamic, life-changing decision. It also comes with a financial commitment of child-rearing costs, daycare, and tuitions. Make sure your partner shares your views.

Where to Live

If you’ve dreamt of country living and imagine yourself raising a family in a rural setting, you need to share this with your partner to make sure you’re not committing to someone who feels just as strongly about living in the city. Where you plan to establish your family will also have financial implications. Be sure to discuss your expectations so you can prepare together how best to manage the cost of living in your dream location.

Religious Beliefs

We often avoid discussing religion when we’re starting off a new relationship. However, if you’re considering a long-term commitment, it’s probably best to have these discussions. Aligning your moral compass with someone may be simple but adhering to a series of spiritual requirements or adopting a new faith altogether might be a deal breaker. Be candid and honest about what you expect. Religion can play a part in every aspect of life together including ceremonies, child-rearing, and obligations.

Division of Finances

Be clear about your spending decisions, setting up finances and investments. If you’re adamant about maintaining your own accounts, discuss it with your partner. Maybe you both agree to make all of these financial decisions together and jointly. Don’t be afraid to discuss credit scores, outstanding debts and plans for long-term savings. The more you’re able to address up front, the easier the transition will be into a committed partnership.

Career Goals

Maybe your dream is to be an entrepreneur. Maybe you want to climb the corporate ladder with your firm. Maybe you don’t want to work at all. Talking about your career goals and understanding your partner’s career goals can uncover potential deal breakers. Career choices will also directly affect your income as a household.

Disagreeing on any of these topics doesn’t necessarily constitute a breakup. It will, however, be a good indicator of shared beliefs and relationship compromise. Stick to your guns on those most important to you, but don’t be afraid to negotiate others. Compromising and settling are very different. Be willing to compromise, but don’t settle for someone who challenges your core beliefs. Discussing these before walking down the aisle can help eliminate a lifetime of resentment or costly separation later.

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