vetted dating

Going the distance: How feasible is long-distance love?

 

iStock-1027701870 copy.jpgMaybe you met someone abroad. Maybe someone from abroad met you. Either way, you’re wondering if those romantic feelings can lead anywhere at all because of the distance. Of course distance can pose some unique challenges compared to dating a local single, but you might be surprised to learn those extra miles could be the fastest track into your next serious relationship.

Does distance make the heart grow fonder? The short answer: Yes.

 Two scientists, Crystal Jiang, City University of Hong Kong and Jeffrey Hancock, Cornell University, compared intimacy levels among couples in LDRs and local relationships. Surprisingly, the distance couples reported much higher levels of intimacy.

Researchers attributed the additional closeness to two unique characteristics. Firstly, the people in the LDR disclose more about themselves—more details, more vulnerability—that promote a higher rating of closeness versus the everyday chit chat from couples who live together. Secondly, distance couples tend to idealize their partners. Without opportunities to see their partner’s off days, people in LDR’s can hold on to that idealized version of their love interest longer.

In theory, my heart might grow fonder, but in reality won’t there be communication issues?

Ironically, couples communicating across distance enjoyed a greater sense of closeness than local couples. In one study published in the Journal of Communication, researchers found that although couples in LDRs weren’t always in constant communication, the overall quality of the communication was rated highly. After analyzing the diaries, texts, calls, and video chats, researchers learned that couples in long distance relationships shared more personal details.

Additionally, The Journal of Communication reports that the communication style between distance couples was rated less “problematic” than couples living closer—probably attributed to the fact that distance forces time between an emotional response and a reaction.

So, how much does the distance really matter?

Apparently, not that much. One study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy reported that couples living apart were just as happy as couples living in the same city. Even before the realities of distance set in, distance couples “perceived a lower likelihood of breaking up with their partner” when researchers wanted to measure commitment compared to locally-based relationships.

Ultimately, when these same participants were polled four months later about their relationship status, the break up rates between distance and local couples were the same.

Perhaps, we’re spending too much time wondering how the distance will make things harder rather than how it can help us get more intentional about connecting. If the chances of making love last are the same, why not see where those loving feelings take you?

 

Man’s Best Friend or Competition? How to Date Someone with a Dog

 

iStock-615075394 copy.jpgForget the mother-in-law. Sometimes the most difficult family member is the four-legged hairball who drinks out of the toilet. Managing an obnoxious animal can be difficult, but the real difficulty lies in dating someone whose priorities are out of order.

 

If you’re feeling like a powerless third wheel, there are ways to get your relationship in a better place. Below, we’ve outlined the most common problems that arise when dating a pet owner and how to approach them.

 

Problem: The dog sleeps in a bed—with both of you.

Solution: Tell your SO (significant other) that you’d like to keep the bed on hold for sleeping and other “special activities”. Between the pet hair and the lack of space, this request shouldn’t come as a surprise. Snag a dog bed and keep it in the corner of the bedroom to accommodate the new arrangement. If you’d prefer to keep the dog outside of the bedroom entirely, vets suggest putting the dog bed in a warm enclosed area away from heavy traffic areas (i.e., hallway, family room, home office, etc).

 

Problem: The dog is poorly trained, and your significant other isn’t doing anything about it.

Solution: Explain how the pet’s behavior makes you feel. For example, you could say, “Rover went crazy and tried to bite the mailman. It was really stressful, and I was worried about liability issues.” Then, pivot to the solution: “I think we need to enroll in some obedience classes. Here’s one that has rave reviews.” If your partner pushes back on the formal classes, suggest some in-house training that includes crating the dog after bad behavior.

 

Problem: You are allergic to your partner’s dog or cat.

Solution: This is tricky. Aside from suggesting some antihistamines, there isn’t much you can do. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the best way to keep allergies at bay is to:

  1. Keep animals away from the bedroom
  2. Vacuum often with a HEPA filter
  3. Wash your hands after handling your pet
  4. Try to bathe your pet once a week or you can hire a doggy concierge to arrive to your home and clean the furry loved one in a mobile van in the driveway.

If cohabitation is in jeopardy because of your partner’s pet allergies, you have to figure out which relationship you value more: the one with your partner or the one with your pet.

 

Problem: You can’t go on vacation, because the pet “has anxiety” without his owner.

Solution: Before traveling, set up some time to interview pet sitters. Give your partner (and pet) some time to get comfortable with the idea of a new caretaker. Once you’ve picked the right pet sitter, you can leave for vacation worry free. If your SO is still hedging with the pet sitter, frame the situation from a cost perspective. One-way flights with a pet in tow can cost $100-150 or, as much as $1000 for a long stint in cargo. Hotel fees can also add up to $100 per night.

 

 

Problem: Your partner co-parents the pet with a crazy ex.

Solution: Establish some boundaries. Encourage your partner to come up with a set schedule for pet care and get it confirmed well in advance. Last minute changes or pet sitting requests can add unnecessary emotional reactivity.

 

The best way to approach any issue is to have a solution in mind. A new plan might not be the perfect answer, but it’s a start. For many people, the pet is family, and family is forever. If your partner isn’t prioritizing your needs over the pet, you will need to decide if you can handle being #2 in your partner’s life.

 

Signs that You’re Dating a Man, Not a Boy

 

iStock-500303866 copy.jpgAlthough the exterior looks great, your partner might just be a boy in a grown man’s body. Although we’d like to think age communicates a certain level of maturity, we all know it’s just a number; there will be 50-year old boys and 20-year old men. Maturity and self awareness—gifts that come with life experiences—separate the men from the boys. Here’s how to tell if you’ve found yourself dating a mature adult, or a boy who hasn’t reached full maturity.

 

Boys want to hook up, men want to invest in a real physical and emotional connection.

At some point, the thrill of the chase is just not that thrilling anymore when there isn’t a future. He may have been a playboy in the past, but if he’s ready for one woman, he’s stopped communicating with exes and flings. If he’s still chasing tail at the bars or toggling between dating apps, he’s not ready to commit.

 

Boys slink away, men spearhead difficult conversations.

If someone gets angry, is there silent treatment involved? If so, perhaps your partner hasn’t fully grasped the necessity of effective communication. Whereas boys might become passive aggressive or distant after problems arise, men will spearhead the issues directly. If you’re with someone who can accept criticism, apologize, and tell you if something bothers him, then you are dating a man with serious communication skills.

 

Boys need constant guidance, men handle their business.

If you’re dating a guy who needs you to carry him home after a night out or someone to make him apologize for losing his temper, you’re probably dating someone who isn’t fully self aware. A few wild nights are acceptable, a few wild nights that reveal your partner’s complete lack of self control or poor judgment indicate a lack of maturity.

 

Boys don’t think about their environment, men fine tune their living space.

This point might seem harsh and overly obvious, but how your partner lives reveals a lot about his personal habits. Grown men take pride in surrounding themselves with an environment that supports a healthy lifestyle. He might not live alone or have a lavish place, but you can tell he has invested in his surroundings.

 

Boys live in the moment, men are focused on the future.

A man who is ready to settle down will build a firm foundation—a way to support himself and take care of the people he loves. Although he’s living in the present, men tend to act with a nod to the future. Boys are more interested in the fleeting moments that have no real staying power.

 

Boys tear you down, men genuinely compliment you.

When boys feel insecure, they might resort to teasing or back-handed compliments to chip away at your confidence. Men, however, understand that a woman with self-esteem won’t respond to such behavior. If a boy finds himself overwhelmed by his overachiever girlfriend, he might want to downplay her accomplishments, whereas a man will not only embrace the success, but want to share her achievements with everyone.

 

After a string of unsuccessful dates, it can feel like you have a knack for attracting boys exclusively. Keep going; the right man is waiting for you and if he’s still not showing up, get in touch. We’d be happy to help.

 

 

Call Me….Maybe?

The timing of when a man calls to ask you out can indicate so much about how he feels about seeing you, and where he thinks the two of you are potentially headed. I am a big believer that carefully managing the early stages of dating is critical in establishing a pathway towards the relationship you have dreamt of.

I recall having many highs and lows during my single years while looking for my match; in my constant struggle to understand “boy world,” I noticed a familiar pattern surface around when guys I was dating would call me. This new awareness led to great clarity and insight that really helped me figure out my confusing dating life.

Every woman – regardless of age – should strive to be part of a man’s coveted A List… aka his “Dream Team” bucket. Being on this “it” list means a man is in hot pursuit of you, and it can be incredibly empowering and reassuring to know he’s so interested. A guy this engaged might actually call you on Monday to ask you out for a proper Saturday date. In doing so he is making the effort to plan, to think ahead, to get on your calendar, and to recognize that you have a busy life and are a girl in demand! Saturday dates signal something more serious- especially those that are reserved in advance! Ask yourself, are you on his dream team? iStock_000042037726Small

Another scenario is when a man calls (or texts…let’s hope he is not texting to ask you out) on a Thursday for a Friday or Saturday date. This guy has most likely a) been clocking long hours at work and is living in a state of delirium so it is unclear if he has legitimate time for a relationship, or b) is dating multiple girls and his A-Lister just cancelled on him, so you are simply on his back-up B, C, or D-List. We all know B-list, C-list, and D-list actors…those who have never made it to the top of the heap. If you were an actor in Hollywood, would you be ok being placed on the same level as “that guy” or “that girl” whose name you can’t really place but know you’ve seen in some film? Wouldn’t you want to aim to do what it takes to be a bankable star? The same principle applies to dating.

Ladies, wake up and check yourself. I want you to put yourself on the A-List today and believe that you should and can be on any man’s dream team and hot list.

If a man calls you on a Thurs for a Friday or Saturday date, remember my advice and make a hard decision about whether or not you want to go out. You can take a bold stand and turn him down and politely share that you’d prefer the following Saturday. If he is serious about you, he will listen and comply. If he is wading around in the kiddie pool and is not serious with his intentions, move on. Remember to not reprimand him for not calling sooner or being so unavailable; that always turns a man off. Follow your intuition, but be courteous and lady-like when you do.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that at some point we have all agreed to the offer above, and have compounded that mistake by clearing our schedules way too soon in the hope that this guy could be Mr. Right. No no no! Stop in your tracks. Do not go there! Most men (especially Linx guys) find it incredibly desirable to find a woman who has an active and busy schedule filled with many activities, hobbies, friends, travel, and fun. This signals she has a great, happy life… the sort of life that he might eventually like to share one day! call-me-maybe-gif

One final scenario to which I don’t want you to fall victim is (I admit I might have given in one or two times to this “play” bucket) the “booty call.” You know what this is like… you know all about the sneaky guys who text you after you’ve come home for the night with some cute little emoticon and a “hey girl… watcha up to?” Or maybe “would heart to see you.” You and I both know nothing good comes from this other than some fun play and romping around in the sheets. I suppose… if you’re needing a little something-something… then go ahead. But just know that chances are very slim that he’s ever going to be kneeling down in the future and asking for your hand in marriage. Instead, you might be doing the solo walk-o-shame down Chestnut Street in smeared make-up and his baggy sweatshirt (if you’re lucky). We’ve all seen that person. Do you want to be that person? Do you want to be the C- or D-list actress who probably isn’t going to get the starring role? NO! You do NOT!

So ladies, I implore you to start tuning in to when a man calls, and become extra aware of the motivations for this. And for any men who are reading, we do appreciate when you call! And ultimately (despite some of the mixed signals you’ve probably gotten from us girls) we love it when you court us and behave like gentlemen. We applaud and value that sort of courtesy and chivalry… and we look forward to your next call.