celibacy, dating site, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Online dating: swipe right

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Tim Harford, an economist and writer for the Financial Times, wrote an article about online dating, and how disappointing it is for people who meet online. “These services prosper if they  keep us coming back for more“, he said.

Yet, I’ve been to a wedding recently where the bride and groom met online three years ago. The bride is a friend of mine. She told me she searched for him with a list of do and don’t. Their first date was a bit strange, because as my friend hates silence, she kept on talking, while her husband was so shy he had a hard time speaking. But he asked her after the date if she would accept another date with him. And my friend said yes. There were up and downs in their relationship, to a point where she gave him an ultimatum: either he would commit to her, or their relationship would end. I rushed back to her side when she told me he disappeared after her ultimatum. But three days after, he came back and accepted to commit to her. The rest is history.

Online dating can be disappointing. Because when we meet the person we met online, reality can be really different from what you saw online. You don’t hear his/her voice online, and the pictures posted online may not be very recent. Yet, my friend did find her husband online and his pictures were very recent. My friend didn’t post any of her pictures, as she didn’t want to be recognized. So her husband took a big risk by meeting her, because he didn’t know what she was looking at that time.

The only lesson with online dating is to have a date with your online crush and then think if it’s worth or not to pursue a relationship with him/her, based on your feelings.

I’ve met three men on Tinder who asked me for a date. I have accepted all three. I don’t expect something special from two of them, while I have some great expectations for one. Maybe I would be disappointed by him, and positively surprised by one of the two I don’t expect much. I don’t know how it will evolve. I just know I will go to great bars and restaurants with all of them. That’s a good start:).

I chose them all and contacted them. They all liked me on Tinder. It has to start somewhere…

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The needed distance

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On the app Tinder, I’ve found quite a lot of men I know more or less, because they are either a public figure, or because they have common friends with me on Facebook, or even are friend with me on Facebook. As the app is based on our geolocation, it’s not a surprise to see some people we know who are either looking for a relationship or just looking for a hookup (married or not).

I tend to stop over profiles who have either some common likes with me, or who have common friends with me on Tinder. I can’t pick some random strangers out of luck and start a conversation with them. But I have swiped left all public figures and even the men I know personally. There were two of my former coworkers in that list, and a professional contact I call from time to time. I know I can always contact them on Facebook if I change my mind.

A friend of mine asked me if I can avoid them if a relationship comes and go, as it’s difficult to cope a breakup with our ex if he/she a coworker working in the same floor, same building than us.

As if these relationships are all ill-fated. Yes, relationships can turn sour and end. But some last a long time. In my office, there are three couples who met at work. All of them are married and it’s been a while since they started to date each other. Two former couples are over, but my coworkers didn’t have to avoid their ex, because their ex left the office when they were still together. Yet, they have children with them, and they are forced to remain friends with their ex. But they have moved over and married to other people so it’s not difficult for them.

The office is the number one place to find love. Because we can grow a strong bond with a coworker who is located very near to us and always available for a coffee. This kind of relationship takes time. So people are not taking it very lightly.  If there is a womanizer among your coworker, you will probably know about it before he can start his moves on you. Your other coworkers play an important role in your search for love, by silently validating your union.

Nothing lasts forever though. And some office couples do break up.  If you have the chance to work for a company that send you abroad or to multiple seminars, you can avoid seeing your ex. For other people , it’s best to stay away for some time, taking a long holiday, to move over.

Break up are sometimes hard to stomach. Especially if you were left for someone else. I went through that, and even if my ex wasn’t a coworker, I see him a lot because we are involved in the same professional circles. It’s painful, but I survived.

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The poison of jealousy

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We all can feel jealous for various reasons. It begins when we are very young, when we are left alone for our newborn sister or brother, or simply because our parents are busy with their work.

Jealousy is a very powerful feeling. It can kill us. But that energy can be turned into something creative if we are connected to that feeling. It’s called emotional intelligence.

But unfortunately, jealousy can turn against us. Especially with our friends and our significant other. We can lose them because they have enough with our toxic feeling. “My ex didn’t trust me. She was jealous for no reason. She thought I had a mistress and she regularly searched in my pockets or my car, desk,… for a proof of my infidelity. I was faithful to her. But eventually, I grew tired of her jealousy and I ended the relationship” a friend of mine said.

Sometimes, the best solution is to talk with our significant other about why we are so jealous. “I realized she was jealous because I didn’t spend my time with her but with my friends. She told me she felt jealous because she felt left out in our relationship. She added she didn’t want me to end my friendship but find a balance between my friends and her. We agree on a schedule where I could still see my friends, but I could also spend quality time with her. It wasn’t difficult for me. I just realized I spent too much  time being single and with my friends” a friend of mine said.

But even if we feel honest with our jealousy, we can make our significant other miserable. “He was very honest with me every time he felt hurt by something I did. But eventually, I realized I didn’t feel free to do whatever I wanted, including seeing my friends, because he felt left out” a friend of mine said, who added she felt in a prison in her relationship because of that.

Jealous people are insecure. Some people do recognize they have a problem with jealousy, and go to therapy to save their relationship if they feel their partner is slowly going away because of their behavior.  But some people don’t.

If you feel dominated by the jealousy of your partner, and there’s no improvement, maybe your relationship is ill fated. Jealousy can be a poison for relationships.

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A plan B

 

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, gave recently a powerful speech about gratitude to thrive in adverse times. She mentioned that sometimes, we only have a plan B because the our first choice isn’t available to us anymore.

A plan B isn’t always available to us because we don’t make two plans every time. In our professional life, we do make two plans in case the first scenario doesn’t work. Sometimes, it’s just a buffer like a saving account or our regular work if we take a risk. Many writers do keep their regular job because their books are not well sold. But it’s a safety net for them, until they make it as a star.

In love, it’s a different story. Today, with apps like Tinder, Happn, Bumble, … we have the impression there’s always a better option if things don’t turn well with our significant other. But it’s just an impression, because we have to invest again in some dates before it can turn into a relationship. And dates don’t mean we will go into a relationship. I’ve been to many dates which didn’t turn into a more serious relationship afterward. `

Some people keep close friends with benefits or their ex’s in case their relationship with their significant other ends. But it can backfire. Because you can lose your friends with benefits once you begin to commit to your significant other. It’s the same with your ex’s. If you keep them in your life, you’re not very committing into your significant other, who can feel not very valuable.

One of my friends lost her friend with benefits when the man of her life eventually decided to come back in her life, after many indecisions. “I didn’t want to lose him” she said. “My friend with benefits understood. I didn’t see him again after” she said.

Eventually, your friends with benefits, and even your ex’s can fall in love with someone else, and commit in a relationship. And they won’t be available for you. Especially if they have children with their new significant other.

A good plan B for ill relationships is real friends (without benefits) you have kept close and who will be there for you in difficult times. That’s what real friends are for.

Some money too, is a good plan B for ill relationships, especially for painful divorces. Because you’ll have to pay for your lawyer, and it can cost a lot.  Plus, if you owned a house with your significant other, you’ll be relieved if you can buy the part he/she owned or can jump back quickly on your feet to find a new place to live. A friend of mine, who recently got divorced, lost a lot of money with the procedure, and was forced to sell their house, without making any profit out of it. Luckily for her, she has a good job, but it’s difficult for her to start back again a new life.

Money won’t ease the pain of a breakup. Only time heals a broken heart.

 

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Fusional couples

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A former friend of mine who I met while I was in College  disappeared from my life after she started to date a guy whom I didn’t like very much. He was very mean with her friends including me, always gunning me down every time I said something, even when I was only talking to my friend. Slowly, I began to take my distance with her, because she was always with him, and it was impossible to see her without him anymore. He kept her very close by his side.

Years later, thanks to Facebook, I saw her again. I heard from a friend of her then boyfriend they broke up several years ago. She got married to another man, she met three years after her boyfriend from College and her ended their relationship. Another friend we had in common in College also found me on Facebook, and she told me she stopped speaking to her shortly after I cut contact with her too. She apologized because she believed her ex back then saying I was betraying them,… “He did manage to clear all of her friends around her. Her best friend got ditched  too after us” my former friend told me. During our College years, I didn’t see her that much after I decided to take my distance with me. She was always with him.

She didn’t say a word about her ex when I connected with her again on Facebook. She just told me she got married five years ago, and has had since then two adorable daughters. She also told me she left her job to pursue her dreams. She wanted to be a florist. I sometimes see her work at flower shows. She seems to be more independent now, because her husband doesn’t work with her.

I guess when we’re younger, we just listen to our heart, and follow the one we love, even if it’s not a good advice.

Are we fusional in love when we’re young, only to realize our mistake years later and becoming more independent? It’s not that simple. It is said lovers who can’t live away from each other are sensitive to abandonment and find in their couple the love they don’t feel for themselves. So, this kind of people, even if they broke up and start a new relationship, will go back to their old ways. It’s not a question of age.

Besides, at the start of every long term relationship, there is a phase where we’re just attached at the hip with our significant other. All we want is to be next to him or her. Nothing else matters. But then, the feeling changes, because we go back to our personality, and have to adjust to our significant other. This phase doesn’t last very long.

The feeling we have during this phase can be compared to the one we have if we take cocaine.  Then, we find a new equilibrium in the couple. If not, there may be a problem. People with insecurities will stay in this phase of fusion but will remain dependent on each  other, at the risk of cutting themselves from their friends and relatives.

This kind of relationship usually ends because one of the partners eventually feels suffocated.

Is there a way to avoid ending in that kind of relationships? The best answer, I guess, is to avoid sacrificing your hobbies, your friends, your job, your passions, and even your values, for being with the one you love. There is a balance to find.  Don’t forget who you are.

 

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Does your career depends on your spouse?

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A year ago, Harvard Business Review  published the results of a study  of more than 4,000 people by Brittany C. Solomon and Joshua J. Jackson of Washington University, about how the spouse’s personality can influence someone’s success.

Of course, this study only focused on married people. There are many examples of single people who found success before meeting their significant other, the most obvious one is J.K. Rowling.

The study mentioned that for both men and women, a conscientious spouse has a positive impact on income, promotions, job satisfaction,…A conscientious spouse will bring you serenity, confidence and a satisfying home life. So you don’t have to worry about everything in your private life.

That makes sense, because if you do all the household chores by yourself, or if you worry a lot because your spouse is impredicable, you may feel distracted at work. As a result, you don’t pay attention to the opportunities your company can offer.  There’s another factor playing in this distraction. If you feel diminished or powerless because of your spouse, you will sell yourself short everywhere else.This doesn’t help you to feel confident enough to take a promotion at work, for example.

A friend of mine told me recently her ex was really a burden in his life. “She called me at least 5 times a day to remind me of doing this or that or because she needed help for something, ranging from the least important thing to do to more serious ones” he said. “Needless to say, I was often distracted at work. And I saw an important promotion passing by me because my chief thought I was a bit of an absentee” he said.

I had a burnout during my previous job. Yes, the job was very demanding and I had to work a lot, but I wasn’t help at all by my ex, who didn’t bring me a peaceful relationship because he was always criticizing me for various reasons. He would even shout at me in front of our children because he wasn’t satisfied with the meals I cooked. Nothing I did was good enough for him” another friend of mine said.

If you keep on fighting with your significant other, you may feel like shit afterwards. That doesn’t help you to have peace of mind and to do your job properly.

Besides, your spouse can feel jealous of your success, and may put some hurdles in your wheel, even if it’s not done on purpose.

But a nasty divorce can also eat all your energy. Paul Tudor Jones, a hedge funds manager, caused a stir in 2013 when he said he redeems every of his managers who goes through a divorce. The distraction coming from that difficult period is overwhelming, he says, especially when there are children involved.

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Good at resolving conflicts

Quarreling is inevitable in a long term relationship. We can be upset by something our significant other did. It can even happen with our friends, and our coworkers, as we spend a lot of time at work.

The degree of arguments can vary. We can argue over our finance, the children, or simply because we feel rejected in our relationship with our significant other. There are many reasons why we can quarrel. But the way we resolve those quarrels can be a good indicator of the strength  of our relationship.

My parents used to shout at each other, accusing each other of their supposed fault, and after a little silence, they used to offer each other a gift in sign of their peace. But it was a bad strategy, because they divorced when I was 15″ says one of my friends. “My father was mad at my mother for being too spendthrift, while my mother was mad at him for always forgetting events, including her birthday” she added. “But they never managed to get over their bitterness for each other, despite the artificial patch that are the gifts“.

Unfortunately for us, our parents are a guide, good or not, for our own fights with our significant other. Fortunately, we are not alone in the quarrels with our partner, as it takes two to tango.

If your partner is mature enough, resolving conflicts can be easier over time. The first times can be difficult because you have to adjust to your new significant other. But over time, we can even predict why our partner is upset. And try to avoid this. For conflicts, they know what to say, with kindness for each other,  thanks to their experience.

Anger is not always a good advice when we quarrel with our partner, or with our friend. Some people decide to take some hours after being upset, even days,  before trying to resolve their conflict with other people.

But there are special cases. “I lost one of my friends just like that. She refused to talk to me without telling me why. She cut all her contacts with me, and refuse to answer my calls. I even went to her house several times, but she never replied. I should have known she would be doing that with me, as she cut contact with her parents, then with her husband, and another friend of her” one my friends says.

My ex used to disappear every time I was mad at him. I guess he hoped  I would forget about why I was mad at him after some time away” another friend of mine says.

According to the psychologist John Gottman, the way you resolve conflicts with your significant other can predict if your relationship can last. It also depends on how you care for your partner, and how he/she cares for you.

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