POSTS WITH TAG: commitment

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    When you start all over after a divorce you get a lot of misinformation about what's out there -- and what you deserve. After I split with my husband of 16 years I was almost certain I'd just spend the rest of my life single. I was ready for that. And it's because of everything I was hearing about dating and relationships after divorce. I have to say, the landscape looked treacherous from where I stood. But maybe I was listening to the wrong voices? It turns out, when it comes to finding love again after divorce, it's not as complicated or difficult as you'd think. Forget the unhelpful noise you hear -- like these 5 bits of popular wisdom.

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    When it comes to relationship mistakes, there's one biggie almost guaranteed to end it all. The mother of all dealbreakers. The worst thing possible: Cheating. As some of us know, it's extremely difficult to repair the damage of infidelity. What do you do if you've made that horrible, regrettable mistake because of your own personal foolishness, not because you wanted out of your marriage? What if you actually want to save your marriage, despite this painful betrayal?

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    Do you ever wake up and immediately share your dreams with your significant other? If not, you may want to start making that a regular part of your morning routine. It turns out that men and women have very different nightmares. A study of nearly 10,000 dreams reported by 500 subjects reveal that women have nightmares about interpersonal conflict (fights and disagreements). Men most often have nightmares about natural disasters. Even more interesting, women usually have someone dealing with that conflict with them in their dreams. Men, on the other hand, are usually dealing with those fires and volcanoes alone.

    Of course, these are generalizations. Your nightmares, or your husband's, may be totally different. Still, these two kinds of nightmares say a lot about how differently men and women deal with stress -- and we can use that. Talking about those dreams could get you talking as a couple about difficult issues you'd otherwise have a hard time discussing.

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    How confused are we when it comes to our relationships? Well, according to this infographic on Americans' Weird Habits, we're more in love with our phones than each other, we're sleeping with cats and dogs, and we don't know when we're on a date. Oh wait -- I forgot the part about how we all have assigned seating in our homes. Are we really this messed up about our love lives?

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    It's crazy how being in a relationship with a person we don't trust can turn us into a low-rent version of Sherlock Holmes. Micro expressions could be the key to figuring out if your man is cheating. The only problem? They are almost impossible to detect. But you can find them -- I certainly did.

    On the surface, my ex-boyfriend was a dream. He was the kind of guy your dad would clap on the shoulder upon meeting, liking him instantly. He made my mom giggle like a schoolgirl. And my mom? So not the giggly type. Even my girlfriends were in his thrall. Me? Well, for the first year we were together, I just felt so lucky that this charismatic, secure, hunky dude picked me that I never thought to second guess his intentions.

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    You've found your soul mate, you've been together for a while, and you feel like you're ready to take it to the next level. Maybe even marriage -- eek! Is he the prefect life-long partner for you? Wouldn't we all love a crystal ball to show us exactly what to expect from a man in the future. I've known women who fretted over doubts all the way up to the altar who went on to enjoy long, fulfilling marriages. And I've known women who were 100 percent sure of their man only to find out they'd ignored some pretty important red flags along the way.

    The thing is, sometimes a red flag looks a little, well, gray. And chances are there might be something about your man that makes you wonder a little. But you kind of want to just give him a pass because you don't want to be hypercritical -- and because you really love him, dammit! Sometimes those little things can turn into a big deal later on. Here are 3 red flags you're better off facing right now, before you let things go any further.

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    You're engaged -- congratulations! And you can't wait to share your exciting news with everyone. But how? With a hilariously brilliant video, or a beautifully engraved announcement, or writing it in the sky with an airplane? There are so many creative possibilities! Or you could just post a photo of your engagement ring on Facebook -- because that's what everyone's dying to see. 

    But before you make the big announcement, there's one thing you need to do. We talked with two wedding experts about the best way to announce your engagement, and they both gave the same advice for their number-one tip. This, ladies, is the most important thing you need to do when you announce your engagement.

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    Relationships are better off when the man is older. With a certain few exceptions -- notably, every Real Housewives star ever -- he is usually the less intelligent and mature one at the same age. He is probably better able to provide at an older age, too, if that's important to her. (Luckily for me, it's not very important to my wife!)

    The reason it happens anyway is because we will always find our biggest dating successes with younger women. In our early 30s, they're like mail-order brides just grateful to have escaped Eastern Europe. There's no talk about children or how we intend to provide. All we need to do to impress them is not live with our parents.

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    You've been dating someone special for a while now, and it's definitely going somewhere. In fact, it's going so well you've lost interest in the other guys you were maybe dating. You're telling your girlfriends about him and you stop just short of calling him your boyfriend because ... is he your boyfriend yet? And if you've stopped dating other guys, has he stopped dating other women, too? Lady, it's time to Define The Relationship -- also known as the "what are we" talk. And it's not as hard as it seems.

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    I haven't always been a huge fan of long road trips. To be honest, it was just an incredibly intimidating thought. I couldn't imagine spending endless hours in a car with anyone as an adult. Perhaps it was all those family car trips in the '70s that left me a bit traumatized. My mother had this insane fear of rest stops so we traveled with a bucket. Yes, a bucket.

    So when my boyfriend and I decided to take a road trip to Miami, Florida (from Washington, DC), there was a mix of excitement and panic. I LOVED the idea of going on vacation with him. I loathed the thought of getting there. This would really be a test of our relationship. If all didn't go well, I might come back a single, albeit sun-kissed, woman.

    Despite those fears, we planned our 20-hour trek. I didn't know it at the time, but that trip essentially sealed the deal on our romance. Here's how.

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