Privacy vs. Secrecy – Where Is the Line?

Privacy vs. SecrecyLet’s start off with a quick mental exercise.

Think of three things your man doesn’t know about you. Even if you’ve been together for years, that should be easy.

Now for the hard part.

Ask yourself WHY he doesn’t know these three things. Is it because this stuff has just never come up? Or is it because you’re keeping details about your life from him?

The answer matters. Let me explain.

The issue of privacy comes up a lot in the modern world. You hear about it all the time as it relates to things like Facebook and internet use. Privacy has its place online… and in dating relationships.

Privacy is about those moments when no one is observing you. When something is private, it just means it happened where others couldn’t see. Privacy isn’t bad.

However, if there are things you’re keeping from him because you fear he will be upset, angry, or hurt, that’s not privacy. That’s keeping a secret.[i]

And here’s the problem with secrets in dating relationships. They destroy trust.

So, there’s this tension in every romance between privacy and secrecy. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just come home from your first date or you’ve been together for 20 years. The tension is real.

When is it better to just leave a skeleton in the closet?  When is privacy a good thing?

The following tips will help you decide.

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The “Dating After 40” Fix

Dating After 40Women in their 40s and 50s often tell me it’s hard to date.

I know it can be tough putting yourself out there and finding someone. Especially if you’re newly divorced or coming out of another long-term relationship.

But here are some of the specific complaints I hear:

“There aren’t any good men.”
“No one is worth my time.”
“Guys don’t want to commit.”

Yes, many older men are either jaded, too stubborn, or uninterested in starting over and building something beautiful with you. But there are good men out there too. There are good 50-year-old guys out there. Just like there are good 20-year-old guys.

Here’s what I think the difference is.

As we get older, we tend to lose patience. We’re more rigid in our likes and dislikes. More demanding.

Dating stops being “dating.” It’s not about getting to know someone. About having fun. About forging a connection.

In effect, it becomes a job interview. Does this person possess the necessary qualifications?

Some women tell me they know if a man is “right” for them within a minute or two.

If he’s not “right,” they tune out. They start thinking about setting up a date with the next guy.

These women are not trying to date – they’re trying to close a deal. Trying to reach a finish line.

The desire is understandable. Some may feel like they don’t have time to waste. Others may barely remember what it’s like not to be in a committed relationship.

But there’s a big problem with “dating” like this: It’s exhausting! Demoralizing! Boring!

Dating is supposed to be fun. Interviewing is the opposite of fun. So, of course, dating becomes a slog. And many older women give up on it.

Don’t fall into this trap. Dating after forty can be amazing. You just have to reframe how you look at it.

It’s a mistake to arrive with a checklist of mandatory qualities. Don’t immediately try to determine if a man “fits” you. Take a deep breath.

Look at it as just a fun night out. An opportunity to get to know a new man. To see if he’s interesting as a person.

This is what most of us did when we were younger. You hung out with guys and got to know them. Sometimes a relationship would naturally flow out of that. Sometimes it didn’t.

That kind of dating is a lot more satisfying.

Because you focus on having fun. On simple companionship. On getting to know someone.

This is far better than trying to find someone to match the imaginary ideal in your head. Because you get to discover real people. And you feel less stressed when you leave your list of ideal attributes behind.

And it’s a lot easier to fall for a person over time.  You discover depths you never would have noticed with a checklist-style of mate selection.

Are you ready to embrace this advice?  Then let’s talk about how to make this mindset a reality as you search for relaxed enjoyment…and just maybe discover a partner in the process.

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Taking Relationship Risks Makes You Smarter?

Taking Relationship RisksWhich kind of person are you?

The kind to charge in when something scares you? Or the kind to back away from risky situations?

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess. You’re BOTH.

Most of us are. There are times when we embrace risk, and times when we run from it.

My friend, Kendra, is a great example. She was insanely courageous when her mom was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. At a time when most would freak out, she rose to the challenge, supporting her mom with fierce strength. To this day, she still runs races to raise money for research.

But the very same friend panicked when her boyfriend started talking about the future. Marriage, kids, and buying a home – they all seemed like such big steps! She spent weeks avoiding those topics because she just couldn’t handle them.

Not an ideal response.

Running from something that scares you isn’t a great strategy. I’ll give you one reason that may surprise you.

Embracing risk makes you smarter.[i]

When you tackle an uncertain situation, it forces you to learn. You learn things you would’ve missed if you waited anxiously, trying to figure out the right answer before actually diving in.

When you tackle something risky in your relationship, the only way to reduce uncertainty is to increase your “relational intelligence.”

What’s relational intelligence? It’s the kind of wisdom and insight you use to make your relationships stronger.

Embracing risk improves your relational intelligence. Let me show you how.

Increasing your relational intelligence isn’t complicated. You just have to be willing to do a few things that sound intimidating.  Here are the three steps…

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What You Should Know Before Dating Someone from Work

What You Should Know Before Dating Someone from WorkWe’ve all heard the warnings.

Do not date someone from work. It’s not worth putting your career at risk or wrecking your reputation. You’ll regret it.

But how true is it?

Not at all, according to the 1 in 10 Americans[1] who met their future spouse at work.

Since the 1960s, work has consistently been one of the top venues for meeting romantic prospects. No wonder: we spend about a third of our adult lives at work.[2] We don’t have time to meet anyone elsewhere.

As the boundaries between work and personal life have grown more and more blurred, office romances have become more acceptable. One in two people has had an office fling. Some companies even encourage dating for the sake of office moral.[3] If you’re going to encourage employees to mix and mingle at staff get-togethers and drinks after work, then whose fault is it when friendly camaraderie turns to romance?

At a glance, the people we meet at work seem ideally suited to us. They’re interested in similar topics. They’re educated to a similar level. They live close by. They may even share a similar personality type.

The propinquity effect states that people who see one another often tend to grow close emotionally. Students tend to date other students. People who attend the same church or workout at the same gym often date one another.

Nowhere is the propinquity effect stronger than in the workplace.

Helaine Olen, co-author of Office Mate: Your Employee Handbook for Finding and Managing Romance on the Job, claims that working together fosters the ideal conditions for romance, in no small part because it pushes together people who’d otherwise have nothing else in common.

She met her husband at work. Had she met him at a bar, she would have given him no more than a passing glance. He wasn’t her type.

Olen and co-author Stephanie Losee also claim that the workplace is a more honest venue to meet members of the opposite sex. You know who you’re getting, unlike the guy you met online or at a club. Thanks to ubiquitous office gossip, everyone knows everyone else’s back story. You can find whether the guy you’re interested in is a cad or a decent sort, simply by asking around.

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