Examining the economic downturn's effects on how we find and show love. With strapped wallets, tightened belts and the national unemployment rate nearing double-digits, we can only hope that rumors of the recession's demise prove true—and soon. Here at YourTango, we wanted to know how the economic downturn in the U.S. has changed dating, marriage, sex and family already, and which of these changes will stick when the recession's over.
Couples who have experienced job losses often suffer relationship strains as existing marital tensions are exacerbated and financial stresses spark new challenges. "It tends to flare up any problems that are just under the surface," says one expert. Inside, how to weather unemployment with your spouse.
We took the Gatwick train out of London and made our way southwest 25 miles. The day before we were ducking out of all-you-can-eat buffets in Chinatown, still waiting to see if the position, any position, would come through. We had met in Prague: him, the Australian backpacker, and me, the American English teacher. Now in the UK, he was employable and I not. Then the word came: Positions available, couples preferred. Bar and server experience a must. All pay under the table, room and board inclusive. Start tomorrow. Watching from the window, my eyes followed the changing panorama: industrial cityscape; baguette stalls lining the commuter stops; row houses, all identical except for the garbage littered gardens, but even then, that too, took on a cloak of uniformity. We passed bleak urban villages now indistinguishable amongst the city’s sprawling grasp, yet still managing distinction if but in name only: Chiddingfold, Effingham, Limpsfield, Titsey, Leatherhead…
When my husband of almost four years asked me if I thought we should divorce, I opened my laptop, pulled up my GQueues account and drew up a to-do list. I titled it My Crumbling Marriage, and tried to get to the bottom of things. Did we still love each other? Did we still want the same things? Why were we so unhappy lately?
Ask any civilized man, and he'll tell you that when a woman asks, "Do I look fat in this?" there's only one answer: "No!" For extra points, he can add something incredulously supportive, like, "You? Never!" or, "Are you kidding me?" But what if the answer is "yes," and what if that "yes" is affecting your relationship? Whether you’re a man or woman on the giving or receiving end, it’s a conversation no one wants to have. Most people are familiar with the concept of “letting yourself go” in a long-term relationship, and most would agree that it’s not a good thing. Yet the idea of criticizing a partner’s physical appearance is a touchy subject.
According to the 22,000 people who took the Power of Attraction survey, men and women have pretty similar view on how to reignite attraction in a relationship. Both genders say talking about the relationship and going on a date are the top methods or rekindling the spark. But as we continued to analyze the results, we found that there were some significant differences in what guys and gals thought would turn up the heat. “I can’t imagine ever being like that with you,” John said. He meant it... for the first few months. The new couple went to concerts, museums and took long walks around the city. But less than a year into the relationship, a familiar pattern emerged. “Our relationship had become the dreaded ‘dinner and sex,’” says Amy. “Well, no. Dinner and watching a mind-numbing amount of TV and sex.” And fighting about how they “never did anything anymore.” So what happened? Was John growing boring, because he was already bored?
When my husband requested a trial separation, his reasoning was that we weren't a good match anymore. He felt that we shouldn't have to compromise in order to find happiness, and that love should be easy. I briefly considered the fact that I might be married to a delusional maniac, then rejected the thought and explained to him that marriage was all about compromise. People change over time and, as a result, relationships must shift in order to accommodate that change. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. According to the results of YourTango's Power of Attraction survey, 33 percent of people feel that "getting [their] partner to change" is a good way to reignite attraction. But should you even be together if you need your partner to change in order to be happy?
If you feel like you're dating your financial opposite, you're probably right. It turns out we gravitate towards romantic partners with conflicting money attitudes to help balance our own tendencies.
Imagine hearing some guy you'd like to sleep with talk about his ex: she has this STD, she got it from him, there's no test for it, and there's a chance that being physical with him—even with all other safety precautions—may lead to a whole terrifying smorgasbord of side effects, and that he'd like you to know all this before going any further. It can be a bit of a mood killer.
It's exciting to move in together, but once you're under the same roof and spending every single night together, will your sex life land in the dumps? Will the proximity take the heat out of the relationship and breed boredom? Will illusions be shattered when you've seen each other in your least attractive moments?
Everyone who's been in a long-term relationship knows that sex goes from sizzle to fizzle after a couple years. In this interview we talk with Trista Sutter about her and Ryan's participation in The K-Y® Brand Intimacy Experiment, and how they keep their marriage sexy after kids.
It can be difficult to stay connected to our loved ones in today's hectic world. We struggle to keep friendships strong with coffee dates and quick emails, and we diligently pencil in phone calls to our grandparents even when we're swamped. But our romantic relationships rarely receive the same type of attention that our friends and families do, and the results can be devastating. Imagine looking across the kitchen table at the familiar contours of your husband's face… and realizing that the man you married now feels like a total stranger.
Are you satisfied with your love life? Any areas that need improvement? This January, YourTango is launching a 31-Day Love Life Makeover to help couples enhance their relationship and help singles find the person of their dreams. With that in mind, we want to know how you feel about your love life. Please tell us!
"When are you going to give me grandchildren? What ever happened to Paul? He was such a nice guy. So, are you seeing someone?" If you've ever heard a question like this and not known what to say, you're not alone. "I have so many clients who freeze when they get asked these types of questions," says dating and relationship coach and YourTango Expert Marni Battista. Your life is your own, and you should only talk about things you're comfortable sharing. Here's how you can steer clear of these potential social landmines.
Between selecting the perfect gift for his parents, booking last-minute flights and spending hours in a cramped car, most people get frustrated at some point during the winter holidays. Unfortunately, the closest target for those frustrations often happens to be one's partner. After asking the YourTango Experts how to alleviate the season's stresses, we've compiled six tips to help you safeguard your love life from the pressures of holiday celebrations.