- Spending time as a family
- Cooking together
- Watching a late night movie in bed
- Doing a project together (e.g. a project in the house or at church or in kids' school or a charity event)
So our team got together and tried to identify what are some fun vacation ideas for couples. This is our list:
Sunday, September 19, 2004
So it is nice to hear from young people who are thinking of marriage very responsibly and want to get it right. In response to our article on the Right Age for Marriage, Jayme writes, "I am eighteen years of age and so is my fiancee. We are both in college we know exactly what we both want. We didn't want to get married until the age of 23 because that way we would be in our jobs for a year and stable. We have been together since we were sixteen. Does this seem like a reasonable age? 23?"
In their book, Marriage and the Family, researchers Marcia and Tom Lasswell conclude: "Divorce rates are lowest for men and women who marry for the first time at age 28 or later. The chances for a stable marriage increase as both partners reach the age of 30 and then the rates level off." However, if there are people like Jayme, the age 28 is not written in stone. What is important is that is the attitude - the fact that you both understand what marriage means and what responsibilities it entails. In reality if you have this appreciation, even at 18, it does not matter if you marry now but still it is a good idea to give yourself several years to fully appreciate the responsibility that marriage brings.
We have always believed that one should only marry when one is absolutely (or close to 100%) convinced that this is the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with, no matter what. If you have even an iota of doubt, don't marry. Don't hope that things will get better if you get married or your partner will change after marriage. Don't also hope that problems will go away after marriage. And never marry because you have someone pressuring you to marry for whatever reason. All these cases are actually seeds planted for divorce. We are actually convinced that divorce does more damage to our way of life in America than anything else. It pulls families apart, it hurts children, and it changes (in a negative way) people who go through divorce.
Related article: Divorces hurt kids. Parents, please don't divorce!
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Let us take a look at Samantha's situation. She is 33 and a single parent with three children: ages 16, 10 and 6. She says, "I'm finding myself attracted to a 21 year old. We have talked and he said that age didn't matter to him. My oldest is a boy and there is only a difference of 5 years between them. Is this going to be a bad thing? I am confused; please help."
This is what we see in your case:
- Such situation is very common when it is a mature man dating a younger girl. So as we found in another article (Related article: Mature woman dating younger man are quite happy), you should not worry as most other men and increasingly women out there in similar situations don't.
- Is your son going to feel awkward? Probably. But at this age he will feel awkward even if your boyfriend was 33. Teenage years are difficult and there are too many uncomfortable situations. Hopefully with the support from both of you, he will learn to deal with it.
- Another issue that you need to think about is why is this man interested in you. Since he knows that you are a single parent with three kids, he probably knows what he is getting into but you must still be careful if you think he is simply exploiting the situation. (Related article: Younger men increasingly support the choices of their older partners) If you are convinced that his feelings for you are genuine and he will be there for you long term, then go ahead. Otherwise, you better make sure that he understands the enormous responsibility that he is about to undertake (unless you guys want to date only casually and do not wish to get serious).
Recommended articles: Should you date a person much older than you?Dating younger men
Find younger man
Mature woman with a younger man
Older woman dating younger guy
Challenges of dating a young man
Story of loving a younger man
When you love someone ten years younger
Rules for relationships with younger men
Mature women are great relationship partners
Thursday, September 09, 2004
It is indeed true that shy people have a very difficult time mingling with people. They have problems not only with members of the opposite gender; in fact many of them do not even mix freely with their own gender. Naturally this affects their chances of going ahead in life (and that is why many of them enter areas like programming where they can go ahead without the need to overcome their shyness). Shyness also makes it difficult for them to date and enter strong relationships because they never share their innermost thoughts. We recently helped Melissa who had a similar problem (Related article: How to overcome shyness?)
April Masini, the expert on romance and relationships, has written extensively on the topic of shyness for both men and women and here is her article on how to conquer shyness.
What we would suggest is that since you are the "bold" one, you should make the first move but do not suggest a date right away. You might want to first gain his trust and become his friend. Only when you have that bond established, you should suggest something more romantic.
Related article: Don't let shyness stop you from dating
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
"Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling; not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being drawn toward. Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually beneficial relation with one's friends and enemies. Love creates righteousness, or justice, here on earth. To make love is to make justice. As advocates and activists for justice know, loving involves struggle, resistance, risk. People working today on behalf of women, blacks, lesbians/gays, the aging, the poor in this country and elsewhere know that making justice is not a warm, fuzzy experience. I think also that lovers and good friends know that the most compelling relationships demand hard work, patience, and a willingness to endure tensions and anxiety in creating mutually empowering bonds.
For this reason loving involves commitment. We are not automatic lovers of self, others, world, or God. Love does not just happen. We are not love machines, puppets on the strings of a deity called "love". Love is a choice -not simply, or necessarily, a rational choice, but rather a willingness to be present to others without pretense or guile. Love is a conversion to humanity - a willingness to participate with others in the healing of a broken world and broken lives. Love is the choice to experience life as a member of the human family, a partner in the dance of life, rather than as an alien in the world or as a deity above the world, aloof and apart from human flesh."
What is your definition of love? Can you describe your feelings about love based on your experience? Tell us what love means for you.
Related article: Let's talk about love!
Friday, September 03, 2004
From time to time we try to highlight stories of couples in such relationships. So here is our latest story which we thought we was truly beautiful story of passionate love among two people of rather different backgrounds. Arianna is in her early 20s and lives in New York City.
"I have a boyfriend who is half Japanese and half Chinese. I live in New York. We met in our school, which has a very diverse population, about 30% Asian. When we first met, it didn't go anywhere, but then by an accident, through a common acquaintance, we were re-introduced online, and whoaaa did we click well! We ended up talking for 10 hours straight, yes 10 hours straight! We literally became friends in 20 minutes. He was born and raised in New York City, so there might have not been as much differences between us, as there would be if he were not born here.
I, myself an immigrant, come from Ukraine. I've been living in the US for only 5-6 years. The racial groups in our school form cliques, and it is not common to see interracial couples especially between Asians and Whites, as one would expect from New York City. We've seen about two White guy-Asian girl couples, but we're the only White girl-Asian guy couple in our school so far. Some Asian people in our school are not very comfortable with us, and think it's strange that we're together, but not all think so. In fact some Asians actually envy us and have come to us and openly wished that they would like to do the same.
Every time we see a white girl with an Asian guy somewhere in public, we always point them out to each other, "Look, they're like us!" Between us, we don't really notice our racial differences, but when we do, we appreciate them. His parents aren't objecting that he is with me, but they would rather I were Asian. I never thought that I would have an Asian boyfriend; it's something that just happened. I even remember distinctly talking to my friend, asking each other if we'd date an Asian guy, and I remember saying, very doubting, "Oh, I don't know....". Me and him are soooo close; we always wonder if there's a couple who are as open to each other as we are."
Related articles: Interracial dating among African Americans
Dating African Americans
Japanese women dating