Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Relationships 101 part Two and You

Yes, I've heard you. Those of you who are lovelorned, searching for love in all the wrong places and have become "bitter -party of one...! However, in all this chatter about why "I can't find nobody?....where are all the good single partnership material?.... and "Lordy, why me, am I destined to be alone for the rest of my fucking life? There's hope, advice, and some tools available for all of you and the rest of you who may be getting that itchy feely thingy about your current relationship. Now, you say, what do you know? as well as, what qualifies you to tell me bout my situation? I say that I've weathered the coming of age phase, land mines of "living the life," ranging from racism to reality check and last but not least my long term relationship that's in it's 13th year. So, there. I've qualifed myself and if you want pearls of widsom, then read on. Trust me, it will be worth it as we tackle relationship 101- part two and you....

Looking for Mr. Goodbar: There are so many scenarios that comprise the all to important "Looking for Mr. Goodbar," dating mash up. There's the "parting glances from across the room...I met her in church....I saw him at this party.... or I got fixed up on this blind date that was a mother of all dates!, all of this is a part of the big wheel of dating in the 21sts century not with standing the internet phenom. Unlike, the "bar years," when most 0r many of the hook ups sometimes manifested themselves from those one night stands. This was long before the "alternative" bars or the new sense of acceptance that's all the rage. Today, dating has become electrified with dating services such as Chemistry.com, chat sites, video dating, speed dating and a variety of other online matchmaking. If you decide to choose to find your mate in this manner, beware that all that glitter is not gold. Good luck!

Jumpin the Broom: Taking the plunge in developing a relationship can sometimes be compared to that Survival show or even the Amazing Race. It's all about the stratergy to outwit, outlast and yes, out play your choosen partner when it come to keeping the coupling growing and maturing. With all that in mind, especially if you've decided to co-habitate any time soon, then take a gander at the follow item that I wanted to included from QueerCents.com. So, before you decide to jump the broom into a relationship think about finance as you enter into romance!

Odd couple: When financial opposites attract
By Yuval Rosenberg and Queercents
Opposites attract, and Michael Roth and Robert Durkin prove the point - at least when it comes to their finances.
Michael works for a financial services firm and is a self-described hoarder. Robert is a lawyer and an impulsive and generous spender.
Michael despises debt. Roberts sleeps comfortably with $25,000 in credit-card balances.
“We’re night and day,” says Robert. Knowing full well that financial issues are a prime reason that partnerships fail, Michael, 32, and Robert, 43 - who met at a party in Miami Beach and have been dating since last July - want to bridge their differing views on money and figure out a way to marry their finances before making the decision to move in together.
Where they are now
Robert and Michael are starting their partnered life on solid enough footing. As a criminal defense attorney, Robert earned $209,000 last year while Michael, who works in IT, pulled in $80,000 plus a bonus.
Although Michael is younger, he’s off to a better start as a saver. He has already amassed $190,000 in investments and retirement savings. Plus, he has $50,000 stashed in money-market funds for emergencies.
Robert, on the other hand, has $62,000 in his SEP-IRA. And his rainy-day fund consists of $10,000 in cash and silver and gold coins.
What they should do
Get on the same page: Robert concedes that he’ll need to make some changes.
“I’m just going to acquiesce,” he says. But Ruth Hayden, a St. Paul financial educator who counsels gay and lesbian couples, warns that this approach won’t work in the long term because no one can alter his financial personality that easily.
Instead, Robert and Michael need to find a middle ground. For instance, Hayden says Michael might enjoy life more if he were a bit less cautious about money. And Michael admits that he admires Robert’s generosity, such as his willingness to pay for nights out with friends who earn less than he does.
One solution: The pair should keep individual and household accounts or what is called the “three-pot” money system. Robert can deposit several thousand dollars each month into a checking account earmarked for joint expenses. With what’s left he can pay down his debt and spend as he desires.
As for their investments, Ross Levin, a financial planner in Edina, Minn., says newly partnered couples shouldn’t rush to combine their portfolios. But Levin suggests a few changes.
Between them, Robert and Michael invest in 16 different funds managed by American Funds. Where there’s clear overlap - for instance, both own balanced funds run by the firm - they might want to pare that down.
Meanwhile, they should consider adding blue-chip funds run by other firms, such as Vanguard Dividend Growth (ticker symbol: VDIGX).
Another issue: Once the couple move in together, they will have near-term goals to consider, including buying a bigger home. And that means they’ll need some safe fixed-income investments to protect their down payment.
Levin says the couple needs to boost their bond allocation to about a quarter of their portfolio. He recommends adding a well-diversified, low-cost fund like Loomis Sayles Bond (LSBRX).
Deal with the debt: Robert, who worked his way through college and law school, feels strongly that Michael should not use his savings to wipe out his debts. Levin agrees. He says Robert’s income is more than adequate to attack his hefty credit-card balances, $30,000 in car and motorcycle loans and $76,000 law school debt.
Levin suggests paying off the smallest balances first. This should give Robert confidence that he’s making headway, while also freeing up future cash flow to pay down his credit-card debt.
Budget for a new home: The couple’s two condos are on the market (Robert’s one-bedroom is listed for $214,900; Michael’s two-bedroom is going for $279,900).
Once the condos are sold, they hope to find a larger house nearby. Michael is comfortable spending between $400,000 and $500,000, but Rory thinks they can go as high as $600,000.
Hayden says that these partners are putting the cart before the horse. Before wasting energy fighting over price tags, Robert and Michael need to hammer out a household budget to see what they can actually afford.
“I think that makes a lot of sense,” says Michael. And ever the long-term planner, he adds, “I’m excited to start talking about those things.”

Gay and Single forever: In case you may feel that "you've done that, got the T-shirt," attitude, then there's a book for you. Gay and Single... forever subtitled, "10 things every Gay guy looking for love( and not finding it) needs to know," authored by Steven Bereznai is a nice retreat into checking yourself. In reading some excerpts on Amazon.com, many of the tips should cause you to stop and smell the roses about how you approach relationships or whether you are sabatoging them as well. Yes, often times, many of you think you want to be involve then decide that doing that "give and take thing," isn't you. Opting to living the single life or either Bitter party of one. The book features interviews, historical prerspectives and societal analysis, as well as personal narratives. If that's not your cup of tea, then you can always try
the best-selling, 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives, which takes a turn at the burning question of love. According to a product description on Amazon the author cites, "There are few books for gay men on not only what to look for in Mr. Right but how to become Mr. Right. My book will address both. It is not just about finding him, it is what you do after you find him," says author Joe Kort. A certified Imago Relationship Therapist, Kort has employed the ideas put forth by Imago founder Harville Hendrix to transform the lives and relationships of the countless gay couples he has worked with in 20 years of private practice. In "Your Sexual Shadow," one of his new book's 10 life-altering chapters, Kort unveils a surprising and groundbreaking idea that explores how decoding sexual fantasies can often unlock the mystery to what gay men are looking for in a partner and why. This will be particularly elucidating to men who have been conditioned to believe their sexual fantasies are an obstacle to long-term relationships. How can the secret logic of "dark" sexual desires help you find Mr. Right? "So many of my clients say they have to get better before they find Mr. Right," reports Kort. "I think that is often a reason to avoid relationships and simply not true." His new book is a practical guide to set gay men on the path to true love today.

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