When Do You Reveal Something Major?

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Entertainment,Relationships,Single Life

Another episode of The Bachelor, and another post about dating. This time, a “final-three” contestant, Becca, waited until overnight dates to reveal that she’s a virgin. The Bachelor reacted in a respectful and classy way, and even kept her for the final two, but you could almost tell he did so because he didn’t want people to think he was a jerk for eliminating someone for their sexual experience (or lack thereof). Yet, the week before he eliminated the fourth-to-last contestant after she waited until he met her family to reveal that she had posed nude for Playboy.

The Bachelor

Chris and Becca on ABC’s The Bachelor

So, when is the right time to reveal something major? Is it anyone’s business if you’re a virgin, or posed nude, before you’re in a committed relationship? Yes.

You should give your prospect MAJOR information BEFORE you have “The Talk.” Would it suck if they used that information against you to decide not to want to be with you? Yes, but at least you know that now rather than later. You know what this major info is because you know there’s a chance you’ll get judged for it.

This is not the minor details about having dated someone you know they don’t like, or being one class short of earning your Bachelors even though you claim to have graduated, or having gotten hair plugs or a hair transplant, or anything that you wouldn’t really care about if roles were reversed.

But, if you have a latent yet permanent disease, or if you tested positive for the BRCA gene, or if you can’t have kids, or if you were previously married, then you should share this information after you’ve created momentum with several dates, but before you’re in a committed relationship.


Nature vs. Nurture

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships,Single Life

I studied “Nature vs. Nurture” a lot in college and debated what is biological, or not. One of the topics we never discussed, but I think about a lot lately, is if we are destined to become the same husbands and fathers, wives and mothers, that our own parents were. After all, they are generally the only role models we have as to what that looks like. If you are conscientious enough, then you may see a trait you didn’t like in your parent as a spouse or mother/father, and decide to try very hard not to become that way, or alternatively, admire a trait and choose to emulate it.

As singles who are dating and hoping to become someone’s partner, we have our own parents’ relationship as an example of a relationship dynamic… and even if we don’t agree with it, we will likely have a difficult time combatting it because it’s all we really know — that’s nature. Each relationship you yourself have can help you grow as a partner and shape you to become the husband or wife you want to be — that’s nurture. But nature still lingers.

If a man was raised in home where his parents had stereotypical gender roles, even if he wants a modern woman, he may have a difficult time adjusting his expectations. If a woman was raised in a female-centric home where Mom ruled the roost, then she may have a difficult time sharing power, even if she wants an egalitarian household.

But, it’s not impossible to combine the two. Ensuring you have a solid foundation will help as you grow together as a couple; and truly trusting each other will allow you to communicate openly without feeling criticized for traits you may have not even known you had or had not realized were undesirable.


Dating Differently

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

After a tough breakup a lot of people think they need to start looking for someone who is the opposite of the type of person who just hurt them. But, finding someone who is blonde instead of brunette, corporate instead of an entrepreneur, quiet rather than loud, an introvert vs an extrovert, and so on, does not mean that the next relationship is going to be successful. There’s no one thing that is going to change the fate of a relationship. There are going to be traits that you’re attracted to which will contribute to a relationship never working, and there are traits that you will need in another person in order to complement your own traits. It will take some introspection to figure out which traits are which.

Liking a strong and outgoing person, but not wanting someone who is controlling is a difficult balance to find. That doesn’t mean that you should look for someone who is shy and quiet. Wanting to laugh and have fun is not the same as being made fun of and hearing constant sarcasm. That doesn’t mean you should find someone who is boring and serious all the time.

What it does mean is that you need to take your time and get to know someone, and see who you are and how you are when you are together.


Live Your Lie

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

“Do what you did in the beginning of a relationship and there won’t be an end.” -unknown

“And we then are obligated to live up to the lies we told each other about who we are. We are then forced to be better people than we actually are, because it’s expected of us by each other.” – sex columnist Dan Savage

This morning I read two different quotes about continuing to be the person you are portraying in the beginning of a relationship in order to make the relationship last and, at the same time, make you a better person. In the beginning of a relationship we are on our best behavior, with impeccable manners, making sure our appearance is put together, keeping a clean house, trying to enjoy life and laugh often, trying not to talk badly about people or be judgmental, planning special dates, being romantic and affectionate, and so on. Some people will say that you are living a lie. I, however, think you are being the perfect version of you, and the version you know that is most attractive to others. And then once we get comfortable… that stops. Why?

Keep making the effort to be that best version of you and you will eventually become a better you. Make the commitment as a couple to be the person that each of you fell in love with.


No Relationship Is Easy or Perfect

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

You can look all you want, but you will never find a perfect relationship. It doesn’t exist. Every couple has problems. Scratch that. Every pair of people — be they siblings, roommates, best friends, business partners, or lovers, has problems. The trick is to find someone who deals with anxiety the same way you do. Stress is inevitable, but if you both are able to get through it together in a healthy manner, then it will make all the great times that much more amazing.

Don’t expect things to be easy, relationships are hard work and anyone who tells you different is lying. If you aren’t willing to do the work to make it work, then there’s no need to live with, work with, or be with, that person.

This may sound harsh, but it’s all true. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. You need someone who is going to be on your team with the same strategy to win at the game of life. So if you meet someone and issues arise (and they will), don’t fret, just wait and see how you deal with those issues together… or not.


Giving Up on Giving a Guy a Chance

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Relationships,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

There’s this guy I met on JDate about a year ago and we went out for a while; even though he definitely saw a future with me, I never felt there was a future, so I broke it off. I dated a few guys since then, and although there was more chemistry, they didn’t treat me as well and there were lots of other issues. I keep thinking back to that first guy, and wonder if I should give him a second chance to see if the attraction grows. What do you think?

-Give a Guy a Chance?

__________________________________________________________________

Dear Give a Guy a Chance,

You can’t force attraction, but you should allow yourself to open up to things that feel different. That initial attraction is often lust, which can dissipate over time. Being treated well and having a relationship grow based on respect and commonalities can create a much deeper bond and attraction. But, if you’ve given it a fair shake and there’s just something missing, then it’s only fair to the both of you to break it off again.

Be honest and be kind — this man has now been vulnerable with you twice.


My Friends Don’t Approve

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

What happens when your friends don’t like the person you’re dating? Some people believe that a good friend should support you and your decisions whether they agree with them or not. Others believe that if you’re a good friend, then you should speak up and let your opinion be known because it is coming from a trusted source who has your best intentions at heart. Which is correct? Neither.

The best approach is somewhere in between. Let your friend know you are protective of them because you love them and are going to be extra wary of anyone new in their life, and if they ever need someone to turn to who won’t be judgmental… then you will be there. And if they do turn to you with complaints about their significant other, then don’t say “I told you so” or “I tried to warn you,” or anything of the sort. Sometimes being a good friend is saying nothing and just being there.


Find Your Relationship Balance

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Everyone is different; we were all raised differently, and prefer a different type of balance in our relationships. Some people want equality, whereas others prefer to let the woman run the show, and still others want men to wear the pants in the family. For many this is due to what their parents relationship looked like growing up. Even if you didn’t like your parent’s balance, it is difficult to break the cycle. Some of it is cultural, some of it is considered old school, and a lot of today’s egalitarian relationships are attributed to modern times with women working outside the home and earning as much as, or more, than their counterparts.

Every relationship is different, and how your relationship is balanced shouldn’t be of anyone else’s concern as long as you are happy with it. That said, you might find yourself in a male-dominated relationship and be perfectly content to move on to a more egalitarian balance in your next relationship. Each relationship balance is going to be different. All that matters is that you feel happy and respected in yours!


Poly-dating Dilemma

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Recently, a friend called me with a question and gave me permission to share his story:

“Ryan” is poly-dating (as I recommend) and is in the early stages of dating “Rebecca,” whom he met on JDate, and also communicating with “Rachel,” a woman he recently connected with on JDate as well. Ryan and Rachel have been trading instant messages, emails, texts, and chatting on the phone — all before their first date. Ryan and Rebecca, on the other hand, have spent time in person, talking until the wee hours of the morning and sharing a few kisses on a few occasions now.

Ryan knows that poly-dating is a smart idea so he doesn’t get too serious about any girl too quickly… but things with Rebecca are progressing naturally and he already really likes her. Now he feels guilty about his upcoming date with Rachel, and he also likes Rachel and feels guilty that he’s spent so much time getting to know her and building up expectations. Should he go out with her?

Interestingly, in this case, I said no, he shouldn’t. He has already spent time with Rebecca and likes her, and wouldn’t be giving Rachel a fair shake because he would be distracted by feeling he’s betraying Rebecca. As unfair as it is to Rachel, his communicating with her while dating Rebecca was the poly-dating that kept a good pace for their relationship to unfold. Now he can commit to dating only Rebecca and see where it leads. Meanwhile, he should be honest with Rachel and let her know that he met someone else and wants to see where it goes out of respect for her and his new relationship. He should end the conversation with a compliment, of course, noting how great he thinks she is since it was only timing that prevented them from exploring more, and nothing personal about her.

Side note: this is another example of why too much communicating before a first date is not beneficial and, in fact, is detrimental by creating unrealistic expectations.


Timeline to Fall in Love

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

A couple of my friends have recently asked my opinion about their respective relationships, which are all in the same general phase: things were moving along smoothly for several months but both my friends felt they should be emotionally further along than they are. They wonder if they should break-up with their significant other because something is perhaps missing, or if they should continue seeing each other and hope it progresses?

Is there a timeline for when you should be in love?

For one of my friends I supported her decision to break-up with the guy. He already had incredibly strong feelings for her and she was only finding reasons not to fall in love with him. It would be inconsiderate of her to continue dating him because she would be basically leading him on since she didn’t have anywhere near the same feelings.

For my other friend, I supported his decision to stay with his girlfriend and give it more time. Although she felt stronger towards him, she was also aware that he wasn’t in the same place yet. He likes her just fine and is having fun and doesn’t want to put pressure on the relationship to move any faster, and she says she is okay with that. I told him to make sure she wasn’t saying that to him just to placate him because she is hoping he will fall in love with how easygoing she is.

There’s no right time for when you should have the feelings of love, but you do need to know the difference between love and lust, and understand when someone is unfairly feeling far more into you. Don’t waste your time or someone else’s, especially when feelings are involved.