Relationship counseling

Online Dating and Relationship Expectations

Online datingOnline dating has changed how people value romantic relationships and potential partners. There are so many apps for your smart phone and dating websites that it seems your options are almost unlimited. This is the problematic approach that so many people take with dating in today’s technological climate of finding that perfect companion. If you sign-up for one or more of these apps or websites you’re bombarded with a plethora of online profiles. Depending on what app or website you use depends on how much information you need or want to put in your profile for potential partners to look through.

Apps like Tinder, let you put in a brief description of what you’re looking for, upload a few pictures, and then you are ready to start browsing. There is a very limited amount of information given in these profiles, so it’s hard to know who you are really talking to. Most people who use apps like these want something casual over something serious. Commitment is generally not something that either party is looking for with these apps. They are free to use and do not require much of a time commitment so meeting your ideal partner will be challenging.

Websites/apps like OkCupid, are primarily free to use but have pay-to-use features. These websites allow you to fill out a profile, answer questions, and browse potential matches based on the percentage of how highly they matched what you are looking for. This expectation that if someone is not a certain match percentage they are not a good fit for you, this is not necessarily true. If you met someone out at a bar and dated for years how likely is it that they would be a 95% match to your dating profile? Not very. This method will eliminate a variety of people who could be a great fit for you.

Websites/apps like Match, have much more extensive profiles and questionnaires and requires a subscription to use it. These websites have you fill out characteristics about yourself and what you are looking for in a potential partner to help with the matching process. Some websites have personality questionnaires to better understand your outlook and belief system to match you with someone similar. These pay-to-use websites are the best type to use because someone who is paying to use the website is likely looking for a serious commitment.

While many people do find a partner through these dating websites and apps, it is also easier for people to walk away and find someone else. The expression “there are plenty of fish in the sea” has never been more accurate. If you don’t like one thing about that person you met online, you can forget about them and move on to the next candidate. The problem is, with this variety of people who you wouldn’t have met otherwise, there is always the idea that there could be someone better out there. People think they can find someone who will match their idea of the perfect partner. There are thousands of options in front of you so there is one person who ticks off every box, right? For some, love isn’t worth the work anymore. People are more willing to walk away from a relationship then work on an issue. They expect they can find someone who will be everything they ever wanted.

Discussing Shared Expenses

shared expensesToday, more and more couples are choosing to move in together before marriage and often, before combining their finances. And while it may seem like bliss is around the corner, shared expenses can be a rude wake up call. When deciding to co-habitate, couples should consider all of the shared expenses they’re about to incur, including rent, utilities, groceries, and more.

Here are three tips to make that transition a little easier.

  1. Discuss shared expenses BEFORE moving in

You’ve worked together to determine where you’re moving, but have you talked about bills? Before picking out paint colors and figuring out how to get that couch through the door, you and your significant other need to discuss who’s paying for what. You may choose to divide everything 50/50. One person may make significantly more than the other, so you choose to divide things more 60/40. No matter how you decide to divide your shared expenses, make sure the two of you have a plan before you move in.

  1. Check in with each other one month in

Even the best laid plans can go awry. This is why it’s crucial you check in with one another after your first month of sharing expenses. Are you both still living comfortably within your means? Or did one of you misjudge your budget? This is the time to assess and decide if you should continue with the original plan or update it to reflect the reality of living together.

  1. Maintain open communication

You’ve heard this before. All good relationships maintain open and honest communication. When it comes to your financial situation, this is especially good advice. Unexpected expenses – car trouble, ER visits – can quickly throw your monthly budget for a loop. As long as you and your significant other continue to be open with your financial situation, you’ll be able to work through this unexpected expenses in the most efficient way possible.

Now, go pick out those paint swatches!

5 Ways to Keep a Relationship Strong

Relationship StrongAt the beginning of every relationship is the honey moon stage. Everything is perfect. However over time this seems to fade and can sometime lead to arguments and break ups. Here are some tips on how to keep a relationship strong.

1) Texting – Remember when you used to text all the time at the beginning of the relationship? Since this isn’t realistic over a long period of time, texting often fades to the background. However sending a cute text in the middle of the day might be exactly what your relationship needs. It shows your significant other that you were thinking about them.

2) Plan a Surprise Date – This is like the secret weapon of strong relationship. Sometimes things can get dull when your dates just consist of nights at home together or going to the movies. Spicing it up shows how much you care and it doesn’t even have to break the bank. Just try something new together if you think your relationship could use a boost.

3) Make Time for Each Other – Sometimes this can be a #1 killer. Making time for one another is just respectful. Life is busy and sometimes things get put on the back burner but be sure to make time for your SO anyways. It shows how important they are, even when you are busy.

4) Gifts – Giving something is the warmest feeling, and receiving a gift is even warmer when it comes from someone special. Leave a note on their car or make breakfast in bed for them. Buy them that one thing they won’t buy for themselves. It can be small or big but it shows you pay attention to what they like and or need.

5) Sex – Sometimes sex gets put on the back burner when kids come along or when life gets busy. Clear a night off your schedule, light some candles, or check in at a hotel and romance it up. Even if it’s just an old-fashioned make-out. Sometimes it can be that little boost you need to rekindle your relationship.

The key to maintaining a strong relationship is to show your partner that you care and think about them. Tell them you love them, give them a kiss, and plan some dates.

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