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{guest post} Shacking Up? 5 Signs You’re Ready to Move in Together

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On the scale of relationship biggies, shacking up together ranks right below engagement. You will finally see each other in your least glamorous states (like washing dishes, groggily waking up, and lazily watching TV in your sweats.) Since this is a total change in the dynamics of your partnership, and it will make it harder to call it quits should you decide to part ways, moving in together is not a decision to be made lightly. 

Before you take the plunge for the sake of halving your rent, check out these 5 signs you’re ready to move in together.

1) You’ve Had Arguments Before

You know the old saying “familiarity breeds contempt.” Well, the quickest way to get very familiar with someone is to share the same living space with them. Seeing someone day in and day out will increase your intimacy, but it will probably also increase the number of issues you fight about.  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having a lover’s spat now and then — as long as you both already know how to handle it. If you’ve gotten into a few heated arguments with your loved one and your relationship managed to survive, then you are ready for the new stress that living together will put on your bond.

2) You Know Each Other Very Well

Do you know each other outside the confines of fun dates? Lots of people dive into getting a place together assuming their partner is always the fun-loving, exciting person they are during nights on the town. However, people behave very differently when they are grocery shopping, unwinding after a long work day, or just generally going through the mundane day-to-day errands of life. If you know how somebody acts even when they aren’t working hard to impress you, then at least you won’t be shocked once you start spending a lot more time together.

3) You Already Spend Nights Together

If you frequently drive to work from your lover’s place already, then moving in together is just a formality. If seeing them at their least sexy hasn’t kept your relationship from flagging or given you second thoughts about putting both your names on a lease, you are probably ready to make it official.

4) You’ve Had a Vacation Together — And Liked It

While obviously living in a hotel room in an exotic locale for a week or two is very different than living in a apartment for months or years, it at least gives you a taste of seeing that person day in and day out. If you managed to take a joint vacation without getting irritated at your partner’s little habits (you know the ones), then you can be somewhat confident you won’t get any unpleasant surprises once you are living under the same roof. 

5) You Can Talk About These Signs

Honest and straightforward communication is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship. If you two are able to have an adult conversation about where you are in your partnership, and are able to be completely candid about whether or not you are really ready to take such a serious step, it’s a positive sign that you are mature enough to takes things to the next level if that’s what you decide. 

Of course, there is always a level of uncertainty with moving in (or making any advancement in your relationship). While you can never been 100% sure that living under the same roof is the best thing for you, carefully considering where you are and how you feel about your partner will increase your odds of happy cohabitation.

Logan Strain is a writer for Instant Checkmate, a simple and convenient way to examine anyone’s public records.

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{pursuit of greener pastures} What color is your grass?

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I am beyond geeked that my blogging trail has crossed with medical journalist, Emily Murray. Emily is a contributing writer for KwikMed, which is an online health care site that was recently appointed as the exclusive distributor of the new morning after pill (Ella) by Watson Pharmaceuticals. I’ve long been (and forever will be) a supporter of comprehensive sexual education, especially when it comes to the reproductive rights of women. Likewise, we’ve all heard the stories of not having access to particular prescriptions, as well of an overwhelming embarrassment for most women in obtaining such a product in person (Ella can be ordered online through KwikMed).

But, back to the fun (and your one day of man hatin’)… Emily has written the following guest post for my readers: A Woman’s Perspective on Why Men Always Think the Grass is Greener Elsewhere

Whomever came up with the saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” gave men an excuse. Something they can spout out at the most inopportune times in a relationship, for no reason whatsoever, save only for when commitment becomes an inconvenience. Now, this is not to say that women don’t ever get a case of wanderlust, but without a doubt men hold the record when it comes to throwing this little cliché into break-up speeches.

So where does this come from?
Think of it this way: we buy something new to wear out, see a fabulous new pair of shoes on someone else, and then we’re left feeling as though we could have something better. While relationships shouldn’t be held to the same standards as a shopping habit, both situations are similar: we want more. The bigger/better/shinier model of… anything.

Part of this phenomenon is human nature, but while some of us soon realize that the “grass being greener” is simply an illusion, we fall for its tricks. Yet, others seem to take far longer to reach this conclusion. For men, perhaps it is a spillover from the simple days of finding a suitable mate. Even in the animal kingdom, the qualities that attract a male to a female — and vice versa — are purely meant for survival of the species. If another mate comes along who is more appealing, the pursuit of procreation seems to override loyalty. While we have an overload of technology to show for our evolution from those early days, our internal wiring is not so quick to evolve. And the majority of those in the animal world are NOT monogamous. Yet, humans are expected to break this mold.

So, if your boyfriend or girlfriend gave into this impulse, do you allow them the mistake? If your significant other (or former) realized they were wrong, do you allow them back into your life?

Why this can be a problem
Ensuring you always have the best job, the largest circle of friends, the fastest car and likewise emotional triggers seemingly puts you on a positive life course. But there certainly needs to be a line drawn somewhere. Do you draw that invisible line at relationships? Or the car? While Disney movies and fairy tales paint quite a picture of beautiful princesses being “rescued” by a handsome prince (and I’m sure there’s likely some “riding off into the sunset”), those of us who have lived-and-learned realize that this is not reality… and those who haven’t, are still in search of the greenest grass out there.

If this all sounds depressing, it’s really not. There is this little thing called “settling,” but finally accepting that the grass will always look greener – no matter what – might be just cause to give up the eternal bachelor battle. Most of us have a tendency to ponder what else is out there — and are faced with that internal monologue: “is this the right situation for me?” For some, it takes a while of bouncing back and forth from relationship to bachelor/bachelorette hood to find eventually that they are chasing an incomprehensible dream. Some still may equate settling down to be like “settling” for less than perfection; still, others come to the realization that the dream they are chasing is farfetched, and what is truly needed is right in front of them.

No matter what end of the “grass is always greener” scenario you have been (the dumpee or the dumper), it’s an age-old battle that is really no fun to decipher. Especially with a younger bolder generation, more so inclined to wait to settle down or internally wired for instant gratification. It’s seemingly worse for those who expect a certain unattainable ideal. The traditional roles of men and women in our society have changed drastically since our grandparents’ days of early courtship, and many 20- and 30-somethings are left in uncomfortable limbo.

If this all sounds familiar — and you or your partner are experiencing the pangs of the am-I-missing-something-better syndrome — as much as it hurts, sometimes the green-grass-seeker needs to discover again his mistake by taking advantage of certain “freedoms.” Some learn the error of their ways. If not, then it’s time to move on and explore the “greener grass” yourself!

While it would be so much easier to take a dating equivalent of the morning after pill to erase the damage of a horrible breakup, the old adage that time heals all stands as true as that grassy knoll. While this is obviously frustrating, remember as evolved as we may seem, our animal instincts for survival, procreation… and, ahem, “greener pastures” are deeply rooted.

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Guest Blog Post: ‘Burgh Living (Second in a Series)

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In my second article of my Rookie of the Year series at ‘Burgh Living, I answer the Big Questions. You know, about living in downtown Pittsburgh.

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‘Burgh Living: Rookie of the Year!

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I was looking for an appropriate online “place” to collaborate with someone about my Pittsburgh experiences, and I found that great relationship with ‘Burgh Living (out of Pittsburgh PodCamp, of all places). I really look forward to writing this series about being a newbie in this city, and I hope you will as well.

Check out ‘Burgh Living’s so sweet introduction to my series.

THEN, read my first impressions of the ‘Burgh.

Your comments and feedback (here and/or at ‘Burgh Living) are much appreciated.

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Rookie of the Year!

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This was a my goal when I was in roller derby — to be named Rookie of the Year. In this “figuring out my athletic career” phase (and acting as Interim Lamest at Making a Decision), being labeled with such high regard for my guest posts to ‘Burgh Living is sincerely just as sweet. I really look forward to this collaboration, and I hope you enjoy as well!

Check out ‘Burgh Living’s so sweet introduction to my series.

THEN, read my first impressions of the ‘Burgh.

Your comments and feedback about my experiences thus far are much appreciated.

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