Month: January 2018

Ep 32 – All Balance

We start with recapping all the episodes in the wiser you toolkit:

  • Kicked off the year giving you advice on how you can change your approach to dating with Episode 29 Date to Win
  • A key for to establishing successful relationships which is hardly ever talked about, is being honest with your partner about expectations for the future. In Episode 30 Crash and Burn we talk about how to have a plan in the event your new partnership- cohabitation, domestic partnership, or marriage- goes south.
  • And last week we dedicated an episode to empower our community by giving them more actionable ways to manage their mental health in Episode 31 Woosah and Flow
  • If you haven’t checked these out yet make sure to do so!

 

Also have news to share which is directly tied to achieving balance.

 

We dive into our advice for achieving balance in your relationship

First things first- avoid compromising on the following: independence, other relationships, interests, self-esteem, and goals & aspirations.

Honesty is key. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I actually want to date (generally speaking or a specific person) or am I using my busy schedule as an excuse? We covered this in episode 29 so let’s assume this person already wants to date
  • If I have a regular 9-5 job am I okay with dating someone who works long days, weekends, and/or is on call so he/she doesn’t have lots of time to see me?
  • Vice versa, am I willing to put in the work to date someone with a much freer schedule than mine?
  • Is location important to me? I.e. different city/ boro, state, long distance

Be honest with your partner and make sure you:

  • Have a conversation around time and commitments
  • The amount of time you can/want to devote to ‘us’ time
  • The amount of time your partner wants for ‘us’ time
  • Agree on a general plan for the amount of ‘us’ time you two will commit to
  • Even more important when the relationship is long distance

 

Time management for couples is very important.  Here is our advice:

  • Adjust your schedule accordingly
  • Prioritize current responsibilities
  • Reduce or eliminate some
  • Have a stand-in date night(s)
  • Integrate group activities in your schedule every now and then since time is limited and balancing your new partner with your friends may seem hard. This will also help your loved ones get to know your new partner.
  • Travel together- lets you both unwind and disconnect from everyone else

Ep 31 – Woosah & Flow

In the Date to Win episode (ep. 29) we spent a lot of time talking about accessing your mental health before you decide to give time to dating and meeting other people.  We wanted to dig further into this topic and help you navigate your own mental health journey.  

 

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Our guest’s dedication to promoting mental health awareness, especially for communities of color
  • Recommendations for those who want to change how they manage their mental health
  • Tips for seeking out therapy
    • Stigmas
    • Psychologists versus Psychiatrists versus Social Workers
    • Thinking about prescribed medication
    • Going into therapy with intentions
  • Tech tools to help you manage your mental health
    • Insight timer
    • Gratitude
    • Wobot

Ep 30 – Crash And Burn

This week in the wiser you toolkit we talk about how you can protect yourself and your assets when you decide to enter into a partnership with your significant other. This partnership can come in different forms- cohabitating, domestic partnership, or marriage. The fact of the matter is that when your relationship reaches this level, you are merging your life and belongings with someone else’s so make sure that you set expectations and form agreements for when things go south. Here is a useful toolkit to protect yourself if shit crashes and burns.

If you listened to episode 26, The Barber Shop there was a part of the conversation where Westley touched on prenups. It was an interesting conversation and the rest of the co-hosts learned a lot about what prenups cover and what they don’t. We wanted to expand on the topic of prenups but in the context on how to be prepared if things crash and burn. We will dive in a bit deeper into prenups and talk about other things you should put in place when your relationship is going well in the event that one day you both decide to split ways.

What should you think about if you are living together but are not married?  We give you some areas to think about and decide if they are good solutions for your relationship. But first let’s look at some stats to understand how the numbers support you putting together a plan in case things crash and burn. Read More.

“A 2010 Census report put the unmarried-partner population at 7.7 million and 56.5 million for the married population.” If you are talking about moving in together, you should draft a cohabitation agreement before you move in together. Here are the things you should think about:

  • Have an agreement in place that details how you plan to share assets, debts and any property we have now or may accrue in the event of a split
  • If you are in a committed relationship consider a domestic partnership

 

Another type of agreement you can consider if you are cohabitating is a domestic partnership. “A domestic partnership is an interpersonal relationship between two individuals who live together and share a common domestic life but are not married (to each other or to anyone else).” The protections of a domestic partnership vary state to state, and city to city. 11 states that full recognize domestic partnerships are: California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Lina D provides a more in depth summary of how the domestic partnership agreement works in New York City and highly encourage that both parties of the partnership look into the terms, benefits, and understand the differences vs. being in a marriage.

In NYC you have to register with the City Clerk’s Office and according to the office requirements are: Read more.

  • Under city law, both partners must be New York City residents, or at least one half of the couple must be a city employee at the time of registration. Both partners must be a minimum of 18 years old and live together at the same residence. Neither partner may be legally married or registered in a domestic partnership with a third party. Acceptable identification for registration purposes include original birth certificates, driver’s licenses, passports, U.S. immigration cards or official education records.
  • Benefits:
  • New York City employees receive the same availability of benefits whether legally married or registered in a domestic partnership. Among these rights are health benefits, child care and bereavement leave. Surviving domestic partners of New York City police or firefighters killed in the line of duty may continue to receive health insurance coverage.
  • Visitation Rights
  • Housing benefits
  • What isn’t included:
  • Domestic partners in New York City are not eligible for state income tax benefits permitted for spouses and cannot take out the equivalent of spousal insurance policies.

 

So what happens if you didn’t prepare for the split? Here are our list of suggestions on what you need to do.

  • Make sure you can pay the monthly obligations(s) in its entirety in the case of a break-up before you take on legal responsibility to pay the above
  • Have both names on all of the above to ensure you’re made whole down the line if your significant other moves out and doesn’t contribute his/her half while the dispute is being settled
  • Sublet/AirBnb/Break Lease/Sell House/Get a Roommate
  • Legal Action, small claims court or civil court

 

  • Understand your options if you lose your health insurance
  • Know how you split the high end assets
    • Ideally, you and your ex can divide big-ticket household items amicably, based on who bought—or most uses—a particular item
    • If both want an item and the item was purchased together then figure out a buyout price
    • If you can’t, and he or she absconds with something valuable, consider legal action…small-claims court or civil court
  • Talk about who gets to keep each pet

 

Lastly, Westley talks about the definition of marriage and the different types of divorce. Marriage is not only a romantic relationship, but also a business relationship. This dual nature and purpose of marriage has led to the increased acknowledgment that a prenuptial agreement (also called a premarital agreement or prenup, for short) can be useful to protect each spouse’s financial interests.

These are the pros of a prenup:

  • A premarital agreement can protect the inheritance rights of children and grandchildren from a previous marriage.If you have your own business or professional practice, a premarital agreement can protect that interest so that the business or practice is not divided and subject to the control or involvement of your former spouse upon divorce.
  • If you plan to give up a lucrative career after the marriage, a premarital agreement can ensure that you will be compensated for that sacrifice if the marriage does not last.
  • A premarital agreement can limit the amount of spousal support that one spouse will have to pay the other upon divorce.

These are the cons of a prenup:

  • The agreement may require you to give up your right to inherit from your spouse’s estate when he or she dies. Under the law, you are entitled to a portion of the estate even if your spouse does not include such a provision in his or her will.
  • If you contribute to the continuing success and growth of your spouse’s business or professional practice by entertaining clients or taking care of the home, you may not be entitled to claim a share of the increase in value if you agree otherwise in a premarital agreement. Under the laws of many states, this increase in value would be considered divisible marital property.
  • A low- or non-wage-earning spouse may not be able to sustain the lifestyle to which he or she has become accustomed during the marriage if the agreement substantially limits the amount of spousal support to which that spouse is entitled.

What happens when you decide divorce is the best option? There are different types of divorce to think about:

  • No-fault divorce does not assign the fault of the divorce on one spouse, and cites no grounds for divorce other than a breakdown of the marriage. Spouses filing a no-fault divorce usually complete the divorce in an uncontested manner.
  • A collaborative divorce is similar to a mediated divorce, with one major difference. In a mediated divorce, the spouses hire one, unbiased mediator to solve the terms of the divorce. In a collaborative divorce, each spouse hires their own attorney to solve the terms of the divorce. The spouses usually meet with their lawyers privately to discuss the spouse’s wants and needs. Then, all four parties meet to negotiate the terms of the divorce. This process continues until an agreement is reached.
  • In an uncontested divorce, the couple reaches an agreement to settle the divorce issues, such as marital property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. Because the couple has collaborated on their divorce settlement, they do not need divorce lawyers or a divorce court hearing.
  • Alimony – A grant of spousal support depends on the facts of the case, such as the disparity between the income of the parties, the duration of the marriage, the health of the parties, and the presence of very young children. In New York, spousal support is rarely granted on a permanent basis, except in cases of physical or mental disability or when the parties are elderly (about 60 years old or older). Generally, it is granted for a set period of time so the other party can get back on their feet after the termination of the marriage. The length of time depends on the facts of the case as the judge sees fit to award.

Ep 29 – Date to Win

It’s a new year and everyone has their list of new year’s resolutions. But it’s not enough to say you are going to do something different, you have to be committed and have a plan on how you are going to change your habits. This month, NFD brings you “the wiser you” toolkit. Every week we will release a new episode with a focus on how we can help you be wiser this year.

The first topic we tackle, forming healthy dating and relationship habits. Even with dating, you can’t just say you want something to happen but not be ready to put the work in. Although we don’t often think about finding or keeping a relationship as a lot of work it is! So we wanted to give you a useful toolkit for winning in your dating life in the new year.

The first step is to start with yourself! There are three major buckets to consider and we will give your our advice on how to approach each. As a summary, here are the 3 areas: emotional & mental health, checking your unhealthy relationship habits, and setting attainable expectations.

 

Emotional & mental health is important as you need to make sure you are in a position to take on a relationship.  These are the benefits to you if you focus on your emotional and mental health first, and then shift to getting to know other people.

  • You will be a healthier, more available partner if you feel good about yourself and you are able to take care of your own needs
  • Respect for time and taking time for yourself
  • If you are emotionally depleted, you will struggle to give to others or if you do, it will be at the expense of yourself
  • Make sure you are incorporating self-care practices into your dating life and gaining confidence by taking control of your life in the present
  • Don’t wait for a partner to make you happy or get your life together. Instead be sure to invest in yourself starting now
  • You should have your own hobbies and own friends before dating someone

 

Checking your unhealthy relationship habits is important because you become more self aware. The goal is to Identify the unhealthy habits you have been practicing, limit them, and ultimately  eliminate them. The following are examples of unhealthy relationship habits:

  • Keeping score (of who’s done what, who’s messed up the most, who cares more, etc.)
  • Being passive aggressive
  • Lying
  • Impatient
  • Putting up walls
  • Expecting your partner to read your mind (not speaking up for what you want and then getting upset at your partner for not knowing)
  • Trying to punish or inflict pain on your partner (either intentionally or unconsciously)
  • Unsupportive toward your partner’s goals
  • Name-calling
  • Acting jealous or possessive
  • Disrespecting your partner’s privacy or independence
  • Cheating
  • Physical or emotional abuse

In addition to identifying the habits you practice, you also need to take note of any patterns or triggers in your behavior. Many unhealthy habits may appear to keep you safe in the moment, but they prevent you from connecting with your partner and could represent lost opportunities.

If there is an unhealthy behavior that negatively impacted your relationships and you are having trouble identifying how to limit or eliminate- talk it out with your partner

 

You want to set attainable expectations for your growing relationship based on your experiences. Remember it starts with you and you need to be honest about what you really want. For example if you feel drained after thinking through everything we talked about in the first 2 buckets then don’t force it. Take the time you need and stay single- this is about you!

  • Start with what you have learned from previous relationships. Understand what those experiences taught you and consider what you are going to do differently. Make sure you have learned, otherwise you can be setting yourself up to make the same mistakes that can lead to bad relationships.
  • Don’t let your past haunt you, use it as a learning experience that can set up your new relationship for success. Access and reflect anything in your relationship past that continues to cause hurt, pain, anger, sadness, anxiety or poor self-image and find the silver lining. Turn a negative experience into an opportunity for positive interactions. Learning what not to do or better understanding your needs and values are powerful takeaways from the past.
  • Make sure you are defining what you are looking for in a partner and be realistic.

 

We also talk about common traps and misconceptions you want to avoid on your journey to date to win. Stop thinking that your ideal partner will magically appear without much effort on your part. Yes you need to go out, and you need to go to new places and try new things.  Don’t think that bomb sex = love. Don’t settle for less because you believe there are no worthy single people left. If you follow the first tip of taking care of yourself then you should be able to avoid falling into this trap. Stop thinking you can change people, its like you convincing yourself that you will be happy with someone who exhibits your major deal breakers or red flags.

Here are the things you will want to do to set your dating life up for success:

  • Step out of your comfort zone
  • Find new ways to date: apps aren’t everything.
  • You can still find dates IRL:speed dating, friends of friends, be open to approaching people i.e. the attractive person at the bar or bookstore, try new things and find hobbies, you never know who you might meet, going out during the day in social settings.
  • Don’t be afraid to redefine your approach.  For example, rely on chemistry if you usually are the type of person to build lists, tests, and need multiple dates to make a decision or take your time if you are the type of person that rushes into things.

The co-hosts close the episode with their top tip for finding love and the right relationship this year.