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Marriage: Told by Three Generations

Successful Marriage
In the midst of this 21st century world of dating in New York and marriages, it seems so common for people to break-up or get divorced. But why? I’ve been trying to figure out why this seems to happen so frequently now a days because 1. It’s interesting, and 2. I want to avoid it happening to me! So I thought it would be cool for the relationship experts over at Project Soulmate to see how three different generations would answer this simple question: What are five things that make a successful marriage?

I asked this question to my sister who has recently been married, to my mother who has been married to my dad for 27 years, and to my grandma who was married to my grandpa for 57 years until his passing. Now I’m not saying any of them are relationship experts, but they’ve definitely got some experience under their belt. I was not sure what kind of responses I would get, if they’d be identical or drastically different, but I thought that either way it could give some insight into the difficult world of marriage. So here are their answers, word for word. Check them out and see what you think; I mean I might’ve just hacked the secret for a long-lasting marriage

Successful Marriage

Celeste – 26 Years Old, Newlywed

  1. Communication
  2. Doing things together, but also having alone time
  3. Supporting one another’s goals
  4. Being able to make the other laugh, like singing “fireflies” by Owl City
  5. SEX

Tara – 54 Years Old, Married for 27 Years and Counting

  1. Take Care of yourself/stay in shape/exercise; and if you are a stay at home mom, still fix your hair and put on your makeup
  2. Send gifts/flowers etc. to his work or place of business, just because, not because you are apologizing for something
  3. Have time separate from each other – encourage guy trips/girl trips with friends
  4. When it comes to household finances get and stay on the same page
  5. Sit down to dinner together whenever possible… Even if it means eating at odd times
  6. Always have time for him, ask yourself; “If my best friend form high school walked in the door, would I be too tiredSuccesful Marriage to do something with her?”

Marietta – 79 Years Old, Married for 57 Years

  1. Have to be agreeable when raising your children, when you punish them and everything
  2. Considerate of each other, not selfish
  3. Have to love each other
  4. Willing to wait on them, to take care of them in sickness or in health
  5. Go to church together

 

After going through their answers, they did seem to be very different, but also had some general things that matched. For example, they all agree that communication is very important, whether it is about finances or raising kids, you and your hubby/wifey need to communicate and be on the same page. Another one that stuck out most to me, was how important it is to make time for one another, and to definitely not be selfish when it comes to your relationship. It might seem ridiculous, and there’s clearly no science behind it, but I think these tips could be really useful. If nothing else, I can assure you that these people, no matter how long it’s been, are still very in love; so that’s enough science for me!

The first thing on your agenda, though, is finding the guy/girl to even consider for marriage. And Project Soulmate knows just how to find them!!

 

Emily Stovall

Will he go the distance?

When embarking on a new relationship, the question is posed.. where should you meet? Relationship Experts Lori and Jenn suggest meeting at a location that is as close to an equal travel distance as possible. This will allow for a neutral location and start the date off on an even playing field. If you come all the way to him, it will eliminate the chase.

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Men love the chase. If a woman travels all the way to the man (especially for the first date) the man will not have to put in ANY work. This could lead to you being much more interested than he is. Does this sound like something you would do? Think about past relationships… were you the one making all the decisions and consistently in charge? It’s time to let this old habit go and let the man lead the way. This will set the stage for a healthy relationship.

If he comes all the way to you… congrats, this guy could be a keeper. It’s important to remember that you ARE worth their time and energy. If they are willing to travel an hour downtown to meet you, let them. This shows commitment right off the bat. It will set the tone for a good potential relationship. However, there is nothing wrong with returning the favor later on down the road. As I always say, relationships are a two way street. If you are blindly meeting someone online or unsure about this person, make sure you meet halfway so there is no option to come back with you.

So you’ve figured out the area… Now where should you meet?

Meet up for a quick drink! You will know on first sight if there is chemistry there. If it isn’t, this quick date will make it easy to leave if you aren’t feeling it.
Grab a bite to eat and have dinner together, go enjoy the changing of the seasons with a walk around the park! Anything that will allow for stimulating conversation is a good choice. Going to the movies or meeting to go to a friends party will not truly allow you to see if a connection is there.

     Dating in NYC can be hard, especially with subways, taxis, and traffic involved. However, keep in mind that if both people put in the effort to make a relationship work, there is a much greater chance that it will end in happiness! Who knows…. your next date could be your soulmate!

 

BY: LILY DOERFLER

Love yourself first.

Love yourself first.

When thinking about your day to day life, what comes to the forefront? Your workload? Meeting a business partner? Trekking to a different neighborhood to see a friend? No matter what you are doing, do other people come first? This is commonplace in today’s society and sometimes it’s hard to remember to think about yourself. The phrase “self love is the best love” is true, but once you love yourself you can be open to loving others, and loving them wholeheartedly with no reservations. New York’s Elite Matchmakers think that loving yourself first will lead to extremely healthy and successful relationships. The best way to do this is make sure that you take care of yourself mind, body, and spirit.

If you find yourself hearing the phrase “treat yourself” and don’t know what that means… Here are a few tips to help you finding and accepting your best self.

treat yo self

1. Add some personal time to your schedule. If you work everyday and are constantly booked with friends on the weekends, try penciling yourself in instead. Sundays are great days to relax and unwind. Grab a book or try a new hobby like writing a blog, running, or even knitting. It important to maintain your interests so that you don’t end up feeling burnt out.

2. Follow the aforementioned phrase and treat yourself. If you’ve has a long week and want Shake Shack for dinner instead of cooking… do it! Sometimes even diets need to be broken to feel full. There is no point in going through life constantly wanting more. Life is all about choices and it’s best not to overthink small things like this. If you want it, go get it.

3. Enjoy some ‘tech-free time’. Studies say that we should unplug at least one hour before going to bed to maximize the effectiveness of sleep. This seems almost impossible in today’s age where emails are flooding your inbox every minute and social media is more prevalent than ever. Make a conscious effort to put your phone down before bed and you will be grateful, so will your cell phone bill.

4. Find ways to destress. It can be as simple as looking out of your window, taking a 5 minute stretch at work, or working out. Try drinking tea before you go to bed, chamomile been proven to decrease mild anxiety! No matter what it is that you do, do it because you want to, not because you have to.

5. Start a gratitude jar! Everyday (or whenever you remember) write down something on a slip of paper that you are grateful for, or a positive thing that happened that day. At the end of the year you will have a collection of little happy things to remind you how great life can be everyday.

Relationship Experts Lori and Jenn feel that it is important love yourself before you can open up to others and find your potential soulmate. Accepting yourself as you are is the best way to live your happiest life.

BY: LILY DOERFLER

New York's Top Matchmakers

Girl Code. Synonymous with Guy Code. Urban dictionary defines this as: “the code of guidelines that are girls most obey in order not to get kicked out of the community”. Ideals are often mentioned by the cast of the well- known MTV show. Whether you believe in these guidelines or not, you are bound to run into people who do. Codes like this can foster a sense of community or tear people apart. New York’s Top Matchmakers agree that following this code will lead to better friendships and relationships. Here are some scenarios to help navigate the crazy world of being a woman.

girl code

1. You and your friend are at a bar talking with a guy you just met. You think the one your friend is interested in is cute too. You…

A. Pretend like you don’t notice your friend is into him, you make your move.
B. Ask the cute guy to introduce you to some of his friends, why can’t you both have it all?
C. Go out on your own to find some new friends and give them some alone time.

The breakdown:If you answered A, good luck keeping that friend. Think more along the lines of ‘treat others the way you want to be treated’. If you chose B, you’re a good friend who is going to make the most out of this situation. There is nothing wrong with trying to make your night a little better, as long as you don’t ruin your friend’s fun. Picked C? You’re on the right track to making a good friend and finding a new guy.

 

2. You are looking to date again. It just so happens that the person of interest is the ex of your friend. You…
A. Pursue him, disregard that he has a history with your friend.
B. Find someone new to date!
C. Ask your friend if she would be okay with you getting to know him.

The breakdown:
Chose A? You’ve got some re-evaluating to do. If you choose the guy, especially without asking, you are guaranteed to be terminating your friendship and any level of respect that was once there. If you answered B, congratulations! You are a decent person. You’ve taken into account all of the potential issues and made the right choice. If C was your answer, I hope that you are not close friends. This is a sticky situation, if you feel like they really wouldn’t care, go ask. But, be wary that this may cause some problems down the line, whether they say it or not.

 

3. Your friend and her boyfriend broke up awhile ago and you would like to reach out as friends, he was always so fun to be around! You…
A. Realize this could have some negative consequences and leave it be.
B. Reach out, what’s the harm?
C. Ask your friend if she is comfortable with you reconnecting.

The breakdown:
If you chose A, you are very smart. No friend wants to be confronted about an ex when they are trying to move on. Picked B? Think again, friends will value you asking, it means you respect them. Some people do not show how much a breakup has affected them, and if you aren’t aware of this a bridge is likely to be burned in the process. You answered C… prepare for some potential awkwardness. Depending on how bad the breakup was, you could be landing yourself in some hot water for even asking.

 

Bottom line:
When in doubt, always ask. Mutual respect is the building block for any great friendship and breaking that down will have a negative affect on your relationshipNew York Dating can be hard, we get that but don’t mess with ex’s if you want to keep your friendship intact. Good friendships will lead to better intimate relationships. Above all, treat others the way you want to be treated and life will be a breeze.

 

BY: LILY DOERFLER

First Date Do’s & Dont’s

Embarking on a first date can be can be scary sometimes, regardless of if it’s a blind date or one that’s been set up by relationship experts. It can mean something as small as grabbing drinks or as extensive as a five course meal. Whatever the date may be, following these steps are a surefire way to make a great first impression.

 

Do:

Listen. As my grandfather used to say, “you’ve got 2 ears and one mouth for a reason”. This applies to everything in life, especially first dates. People love to talk about themselves and asking the right questions can really open a person up and start a great conversation. No one wants to be interrupted or feel like that can’t get a word in. Relationships are a two way street, give and take. The same goes for conversation.

Put your phone away. Whether you are texting, calling, or simply checking your phone for the time, you’ll make your date feel unimportant. So instead, wear a watch to keep track of time and let your friends know that you can’t be reached during those couple of hours so you wont be tempted to answer.

Wear something comfortable. And no, this does not mean jeans and a t-shirt. Make sure that the outfit you pick out is one that you’ve tested out before. Wearing 6 inch heels that make it impossible to walk are probably not the best choice.

Get excited. It’s not everyday that you get to dress up a bit, take advantage. When you see them, make sure to smile so they know you are happy to be there. Nothing makes a man feel great like a beautiful woman who is interested in him.

Bring your manners. Hopefully they’ll also bring theirs and open doors for you. Please and thank you’s can go a long way in life.

 

Don’t:

Assume that they are buying. Never forget your wallet at home. Even if they do pick up the tab (and in my opinion they should) not bringing a wallet could leave a bad impression. Also, if they want to split the bill and you have no money, things could get awkward, fast.

Get drunk. Sloppy first dates rarely lead to second ones. Know your limits so that you don’t end up drunk. Drinks are fun to have so you loosen up a bit, just don’t come unraveled.

Ask about exes. The reason you are on a date is to get know someone new, not to talk about your past. Exes can bring up bad experiences and can leave your date thinking that you are stuck in the past.

 

Above all, be yourself. Confidence is the most attractive quality a woman (or man) can possess.

BY: LILY DOERFLER

Thinking of Giving an Ultimatum? Think Again.

According to Beyoncé’s Single Ladies hit, “if you like it then you should have put a ring on it”- and she is right.
Waiting for your long-term partner to give an imminent proposal can be unbearable. No matter how many obvious hints that you may drop; if your relationship status remains at a standstill, the idea of speeding up the proposal process with an ultimatum or deadline probably seems like the most efficient option. However, the risk of forcing the love of your life into choosing all-or-nothing – when it comes to your relationship – instigates the dangers of scaring them away or coercing them into propose before they are ready to fully commit.
It is no secret that men are skittish when it comes to “till’ death do us part,” so when it comes to talking about marriage, you may have to take the reins. Instead of shoving marriage down your partner’s throat, clear the air with an open discussion about marriage. Open communication is key to any relationship, so arranging a conversation with your partner about marriage is a healthy, efficient alternative to an ultimatum that will allow you both to better express your individual opinions. Once you have The Talk, it is up to your partner to decide whether they want to propose or not and then, it is up to you to decide whether you are able to wait or move on. When it comes to making these life-changing decisions, it is important to follow your heart, but remember to always remain true to yourself and fulfilling the goals that you strive to achieve.

BY: SAMANTHA COHEN

Do Couples Who Workout Together… Work Out?

Group of friends enjoying walk in park

Originally written for the Dasha Wellness NYC blog October 11, 2012

Fitness couples. You know ’em.  The hot couple working out together at the gym, prepping for a marathon in Central Park, or going mountain climbing or hiking as their weekend activity. However, sometimes these “fitness couples” get a bad rap. Why is this? Maybe it makes everyone else bitter/jealous that more often than not we spend time eating, having cocktails, and sitting on the couch with our significant other and secretly wishing we were more active together? I’d say that whatever a couple likes to do together is a good thing. Outsiders should MYOB :).

Whether or not a couple works out together really depends on the couple- there is no need to keep this aspect of life separate! If fitness is something that you both enjoy, then of course, do it together! One of my favorite ways to spend time with my husband is when I roller blade and he runs! However, when giving advice to someone planning a first date, I never suggest planning anything too active or outdoorsy. It is way too much pressure on daters to prove themselves right off the bat! A first date should be relaxed where the couple can make eye contact.

After couples have been dating for a while, a situation that can cause the relationship to run into trouble is when one person pressures the other to work out or tone up. Clearly fitness is important for good health, but I think pressure of any kind isn’t a good thing. A person will become resentful, and chances are, your request will backfire. Everyone is the boss of his or her own body, so don’t project your insecurity onto your partner. However, if your partner is complaining about wanting to tone up or get in shape, then by all means offer ideas!

Until next time,

xoxo Lori Zaslow
Matchmaker & Co-Founder
Project Soulmate