Thursday, January 07, 2016

Comparative Compromise, Coping with Change

Comparative Compromise, Coping with Change

This is the last article in a series of short posts about reflections on divorce. While I would not wish this on anyone for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the financial impact that such an event can have, I certainly feel excited to be working through this process and wanted to take just a few moments to share some of the insights that have really affected me.

One of the biggest skills that you need to cultivate as part of the divorce process is being comfortable with change an uncertainty. While this is a financial blog, there are several items that I found very helpful in this manner and these have had immense benefits for my entire life, not just my finances.

The Untethered Soul - By Michael Singer
Living Beautifully with Change and Uncertainty by Pema Chodron

Besides these books I also found three additional pieces of advice are extremely helpful:
1. Go easy on yourself. In a word: compassion. With all of the crazy that happens during the divorce it is very tempting to place blame and to also become a captive to these negative feelings. Feel your feelings and don't beat yourself up over how you feel. Feel them and express them appropriately.

2. Stick with your friends. Sometimes there can be an immense impact on your family during a divorce. It can be easy to continue to isolate. Resist this temptation. Work to reconnect and rekindle friendships. You will undoubtedly have days when you can really use friends around you. Avoid the temptation to spend all of your energy hunting for the next person and instead pour some of that energy into friendships which should stand the test of time. Friends will be less judgmental and often more accepting of the ups and downs of life than your family is.

3. Care for your health. While it is somewhat strange, it is important to note that your health is something that, like time, is precious and is difficult to salvage if it is wasted. So, if you have not handled your health previously, start now. Go to the gym. Go to the doctor. Start cooking and eating healthy food, in reasonable amounts! All of this will continue to improve your outlook and also your body so that you will be able to tackle all that the divorce process throws at you.

All of this is to say that you shouldn't give up on yourself! Find out ways to motivate yourself and then just move on and tackle those difficult challenges. All of this will be easier with your health in good shape, friends at your side, and a compassionate attitude. '

For me, in the rear view mirror, the divorce is just a detour in my life journey. And I wouldn't change my journey now for the world because I have learned so much about myself and how strong I truly am.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Dating with Data, Digging for Gold

Dating with Data, Digging for Gold

This article is part of a series on divorce which describes my experiences as part of going through a divorce. In short, I found that the dating world had changed somewhat by the time I returned to it as a result of my divorce. Now, the internet has changed dating, changed it even more than when I had originally met my spouse on America Online almost 20 years ago.

Now the internet bustles with all sorts of applications for smart phones related to dating. Many of them are related and part of larger conglomerates at this point. I wanted to take this post really to just give my own personal impressions of dating as a result of this experience. I personally used an app called OKCupid which I found to be very good and helpful.

Here are the things I liked:
1. It provided pictures and some opportunity to give a description.
2. It did not require for other people to know I was looking at their profile.
3. It allowed me to be able to answer questions about myself so that potential matches would know if we were similar enough.

Here are the things I disliked:
1. There was not much in the way of proofing/checking people.
2. It was difficult to be certain if people were being honest using that medium.
3. Many of the personality questions were similar/repeated.

Here are some tips if you want it to turn into a long-term relationship:
1. Tell the truth. If in doubt, just omit it; do not lie.
2. Don't use a ridiculous picture or one that is not within the past 24 months. If you don't have a good picture, get a friend to help you take one.
3. Spend some time talking to the person; see if you like them BEFORE you go an meet them.
4. Wait to have physical contact; go slow. Let the desire burn a little for you both. In this world of instant gratification, it is a good exercise to show some restraint.

These were things that worked for me. Online dating is fun and exciting; and there is a lot of opportunity to have either a long-term relationship OR a casual fling. Just make sure you know what you want and are honest with your dating partner about it and you'll have a great time.