Relationships

Ep 7 – IRL – In Real Life

Episode description: Is dating in real life dead? In this episode we look into the the rise of online dating and discuss if dating in real life from start to finish is even a thing anymore. We welcome a special guest! Sophia joins us to give her perspective and strategies for dating from the perspective of someone that has been off the market for 10 years and is just getting back into the scene. For those of you that are over online dating, we provide tips for changing up your dating approach.

 

We start the episode by reviewing the history of online dating and the websites and apps that have shaped the future of dating. You can read the entire article here.

The milestones at a glance:

  • Match launched in 1995
  • AIM launched in 1997
  • eHarmony launched in 2000
  • OKCupid 2000s
  • Tinder’s arrival in 2012

Now that we have spent dating online for over 20 years, economists have looked into the impact online dating has made on society. These are the findings:

  • more than ⅓ of marriages start online
  • There is evidence that suggests that relationships that start from online dating lead to stronger and more diverse marriages
  • The economists examining the trends are Josué Ortega and Philipp Hergovich. They are looking at the data on how marriages and relationships are forming. The have found that online dating tools may actually be helping more people get together in new ways.

We talk about these findings and infuse our perspective of what we find interesting.

Sophia, Westley, Maddie, and Lina D all share their personal experiences with dating online and in real life. Sophia gives her perspective on the importance of having a dating strategy so that you don’t waste your time. We also talk through the pros and cons of dating in real life. You will want to listen to the entire episode, but here are some teasers:

  • My last relationship and most recent situationships started online but I feel like I’m a harsher judge with those guys on the onset and just expect bullshit. Since the connection happened online, I am more skeptical. -Maddie
  • I think the benefits of meeting in real life are more intangible. There is an element of security tied to meeting someone in person. You feel an instant attraction and know the chemistry is real. This makes you more driven to get to know that person. -Lina D
  • Meeting in real life is better because the catfish factor is non-existent. -Westley

And to wrap this episode Maddie provides her tips for getting off the apps and putting yourself out there to meet people in real life.  

Episode 3: The Move In: A Look at Cohabitation Trends

Episode Description: Are you thinking about taking the next step and moving in together? Listen to this episode to get all sides of the story. Cohabitation can be a scary step and it may not be for everyone. We talk about the pros and cons of cohabitation and look into the most recent trends.

 

What is cohabitation? It’s a situation in which a couple chooses to live together and have a sexual relationship. Cohabitation has been defined as “two unrelated persons of the opposite sex who share common living arrangements in a sexually intimate relationship without legal or religious sanction.”

Lina D opens up the episode by discussing how she was raised to think about cohabitation. Growing up in a Salvadoran household meant there were strong views against cohabitation. Her mom believed that marriage before sex was a requirement so living with the boyfriend was out of the question. She gives a recount of how her parents always talked negatively about cousins that were cohabiting and having kids. Interestingly enough, they were less concerned about people who were living together without kids but there was still an element of judgement. Lina D talks about the words (in Spanish) that are used to describe the partner: el marido or el mari-novio which was said in such a tone that showed a type of disdain and disapproval for the situation. What’s worse, is that women somehow lost their identity when they decided to move in with their significant other. All of the sudden they would be referred to as “la mujer.” Maddie and Westley explain how in Haitian culture they weren’t as judgemental but it was still preferred that couples get married before they decided to live together.

Maddie and Westley also share their views on cohabitation. Maddie would never do it because it would get in the way of her leading a celibate life. Westley agrees that his upbringing led him to believe that only married couples should live together, but when he was young he said he would only do it if he felt something special for the person. Westley and Lina D then discuss how they came about deciding to move in together.

So what are the stats around living together? We take a look at Pew Social Trends and find that one-in-four parents living with a child in the United States today are unmarried. “Driven by declines in marriage overall, as well as increases in births outside of marriage, this marks a dramatic change from a half-century ago, when fewer than one-in-ten parents living with their children were unmarried (7%).” Trends show that fewer Americans are getting married, and that it’s becoming more common for unmarried people to have babies. In 1970 there were 26 births per 1,000 unmarried women ages 15 to 44, while that rate in 2016 stood at 42 births per 1,000 unmarried women. Meanwhile, birthrates for married women have declined, from 121 births per 1,000 down to about 90. This one came as a shock to Lina D- you should listen to the banter between Maddie and Lina D. In 1997, the first year for which data on cohabitation are available, 20% of unmarried parents who lived with their children were also living with a partner, now that share has increased to 35%. Pew Research found some interesting trends tied to age. Roughly half of those living with an unmarried partner are younger than 35. Since 2007, the number of cohabiting adults ages 50 and older has grown by 75%.

 

We discuss our views on whether cohabitation is bad. Some studies have shown that living together prior to marriage most likely ends in divorce, but more recent studies show the opposite- cohabitation alone isn’t the culprit for divorce. According to this Time article living together doesn’t totally keep people from divorce, but it isn’t the marriage killer it was once thought to be. Here are some interesting facts surfaced by this article:

  • What leads to divorce is when people move in with someone – with or without a marriage license – if they aren’t mature and either choose incompatible partners or conduct themselves in ways that threaten the longevity of a relationship.
  • Economist Evelyn Lehrer (University of Illinois-Chicago) says the longer people wait past 23, the more likely a marriage is to stick. Her analysis shows that for every year a woman waits to get married, right up until her early 30s, she reduces her chances of divorce.
  • 70% of all women aged 30 to 34 have lived with a boyfriend and many are educated and wealthy.

Maddie talks about the reasons why she would never consider moving in with someone before marriage. Ladies if your priority is to get a ring put on it, then listen to the episode to help you sort out your stance on the issue. Maddie offers great advice. She also references an article from Probe and explains how those who live together before they get married are putting their future marriage in danger.

Obviously living together isn’t a one size fits all issue. Make sure you listen to this episode and inform yourself on the different points of view.

Ep 48 – Inglorious Infidelity

In this episode, the co-hosts share their plans for the future of No Free Drinks. Some exciting changes are coming, and we want to keep our listeners in the know so that you can continue to listen and contribute to the conversation. We value the loyalty of our listeners! Thinking about the concept of loyalty inspired us to cover infidelity. We talk about cheating trends, the different types of cheating, and our thoughts on whether there is coming back from infidelity in a relationship.

We open this episode with with giving listeners an update of where we are going with the direction of the podcast. Here is the sneak peek, we plan to release more information in the coming weeks starting with our next episode.

  • We will be shifting to a seasonal podcast model with biweekly episode releases.
    • Why: This will give us more time to engage with the community and push the conversation further
  • We will expand the breadth of topics we cover.
    • Why: We enjoy developing content for our listeners and our voices don’t want to stay contained to only cover topics that touch dating, relationships, and sex.
  • We will be renaming the podcast & will announce the new name in our episode releasing on May 30, 2018.
    • Why: The new name will bring to life how our brand is evolving and better capture the essence of the direction we want to go in the future.

We plan to share more information in next week’s episode but we did want to start having this conversation with our listeners now because we value you and your listenership. The last thing we want to do is surprise you in a way that makes you feel betrayed or that we didn’t bring you along our journey.

The topic of loyalty inspired this week’s episode topic: cheating

The definition of cheating according to Webster: to influence or lead by deceit, trick, or artifice; to be sexually unfaithful

infidelity

a : unfaithfulness to a moral obligation : disloyalty

b : the act or fact of having a romantic or sexual relationship with someone other than one’s husband, wife, or partner

The trends when it comes to cheating:

  1. Female infidelity has increased 50% and is rapidly approaching the rate of male infidelity.
  2. Internet-assisted infidelity is now responsible for ⅓ of all divorces
  3. Workplace infidelity is on the Rise.

We discuss the 3 types of cheating. We referenced this article to get a sense of what actions are captured in the different types of cheating.

  1. Emotional cheating refers to a situation where one of the individuals in a relationship has a friendship where the nature of that friendship is inappropriate. Although they may “just friends” there is sexual tension involved. You consider this friend to be a confidant and will discuss intimate and confidential information about your relationship and seek advice and support from them.
    • Characteristics of emotional cheating:
      • Falling in love with someone else
      • Looking forward to spend more time with the friend than the person you are in a relationship with
      • You seek them out so they can distract you from the issues you are having in your relationship
      • You start to think of the friend as someone that you can’t live without
  2. Physical cheating: becoming physically involved with another person
    • Characteristics of physical cheating:
      • Touching, kissing, sex with someone that isn’t your partner
  3. Energetic Cheating: Is also called micro-cheating and Lina D calls this White Cheating- most people would say this isn’t cheating but then would be embarrassed to admit to their partner that it has happened. Think of how you feel when you tell a white lie. We also found this article that talks more about the micro-cheating trend.
    • Characteristics of energetic cheating:
      • Having Inappropriate thoughts about being with other people
      • Fantasizing about other people as you are sleeping with your partner.
      • Going to places, knowing that the other person you are sexually attracted to, will be there.
      • Stalking someone that you have a sexual interest in on social media and liking their posts
      • Sliding in someone’s DM with the intent to flirt and push to see if they are interested in you as well
      • Purposely trying to fill an emotional void with someone else’s presence
    • Some items that people consider energetic cheating but we disagree with:
      • Watching porn (especially if you’re partner doesn’t know about it)
      • Masturbating about someone other than your partner

The co-hosts share their points of view and some of their other experiences with cheating. They wrap up the episode by discussing situations where cheating can be forgiven in a relationship and when it is a dealbreaker.

Ep 42 – Its a Numbers Game

In this episode we have fun with numbers and share our points of view on various topics in dating, relationships, and sex that touch an arithmetic. Math wasn’t your favorite subject? No problem! We still want you to listen and share what you think.

Do you think dating is a numbers game? The co-hosts have a conversation on their points of view. Lina D talks about how dating apps have made it super easy to connect with people and makes it so much easier to fall into a trap of just going on dates to go on dates. Maddie talks about how to hack online dating, a TED talk that highlights how dating is a numbers game.

Are there any rules you have for yourself that are tied to a magic number? The co-hosts talk about their own rules, and we would love to hear yours.

Do you have any number related topics that are off limits to discussion with a partner? We talk about body count, number of exes, and length of relationships.

Lastly we talk about how numbers shouldn’t be used to determine someone’s value.

Ep 36 – Black Love

We open this episode talking about our views on why black love is such a big deal to the black community. Representation matters and we can celebrate black love without putting down other relationships.

Role models are important and every community needs role models that can relate to their experience.  Unfortunately, political and social events have impacted the trends we see with black marriage and families. According to a Your Black World article, “only 45% of African-American households have a married couple, a contrast to 70% among Hispanics and 80% for Whites.” They also point out that in 1890, 80% of black households were comprised of both parents.  Over a century down the line, only 40% of African-American children stay in married-couple families.” Who is to blame?

Some perspectives out there are quick to blame the deterioration of black families on black communities themselves. However, we know that there are larger forces at play. The war on drugs and mass incarceration are major culprits.

We also debunk a couple of the myths concerning black marriage.  There is hope ladies! We have often heard, and Maddie has experienced that educated black women have it harder when it comes to finding a spouse. However, the facts show us that if you are educated, then your chances of finding a spouse are higher. According to this article, “among black women, 70% of college graduates are married by 40, whereas only about 60 percent of black high school graduates are married by that age.” The same trend is true for black men. “In 2008, 76% of black men with a college degree married by age 40, but only 63% of black men with just a high school diploma were married.” This data shows that education increases the likelihood of marriage for both African American men and women.

So with that good news, we talk about what black love looks like as depicted by some of our favorite shows growing up. We discuss our favorite memories and scenes from The Cosby Show and Family Matters, and even talk about Black-ish’s Bo and Dre. When it comes to iconic Black Couples we talk Will and Jada, Whitney and Bobby, and Oprah and Stedman. Each of these couples is iconic in their own way and we discuss what their image means for the culture. Of course we couldn’t help ourselves and we also talk black love in the context of the movie Black Panther. Spoiler alert is on deck, but don’t worry, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, we warn you when to stop listening!

Ep 35 – A Side Piece Has No Name

 

We wanted to talk about side pieces because we all hear stories of people not knowing where they stand with the person they are seeing. Most times it is because they are a side piece, but they just don’t know it. As glorified as the side piece culture has grown, many are still oblivious to the rules that come with stepping into that situationship. Part of what we want to achieve with this episode is to outline the red flags that come up when someone is caught in a side piece type of relationship.

We start the episode by sharing the rules of the side piece agreement. We found this article via Huffington Post written by Zondra Hughes, The Sidepiece Agreement: 10 Rules for The Other Woman. It is a rule book of what to expect as the side piece in a situationship. Although it is originally written as rules for the woman, it can apply to anyone regardless of gender. These are the rules:

  1. You are the other person. This does not mean that you are the only other person. Act accordingly.
  2. Please focus on the stolen moments that we spend together. Do not concern yourself with my whereabouts when we are apart. Frankly speaking, my life outside of our time together is not your concern.
  3. Be comfortable with who you are to me; do not mention my significant other, as that person is not your concern. Do NOT compare yourself to my main partner in any way and do not attempt to contact them — to do so would be a breach of our agreement.
  4. Anticipate frequent changes in our plans; for the most part, a spur of the moment escape is the best that I can do.
  5. You must understand that maintaining a positive vibe while we are in each other’s company is vital to the success of our situationship. No bickering or nagging about promises that I didn’t keep.
  6. We are secret lovers; we can’t blast our situationship to the world. Please don’t tag me on Facebook, and don’t send me invitations to your work/family functions or events. Major holidays — more likely than not — will be missed.
  7. No discussions about “where this situationship is headed.” We are where we will be; together, in this moment. Enjoy it.
  8. Yes, I am still sleeping with my significant other, and we do not use condoms. Again, focus on our time together, and not what I do while we are apart.
  9. I am not interested in bringing a child into our situationship. By the way, an unplanned pregnancy will not force a relationship commitment of any kind from me nor will it guarantee a promotion to main status for you.
  10. There are no guarantees about the outcome of our situationship save one: I am a cheater at heart, and that won’t change unless I want it to. Until that happens, if you are promoted to the main, please know that yet another side piece will fill the vacancy that you’ve left behind.

Maddie, Lina D, and Westley share their points of view on side pieces and discuss the pros and cons of being a side piece. The most frustrating piece for Lina D is that certain people get into these situationships without acknowledging the consequences of the actions.  There is also an assumption that the nature of the relationship with morph into something that it is not.

Maddie talks about the misogyny of the side piece culture, and how “the definition of the side chick is usually dependent on the man’s control – she is the side chick because he has said she is. However, why do his terms and his terms alone get to define the relationship?” There are some interesting points made in this article. We also discuss how men are applauded for getting the girl while only having to deal with her part-time while her main deals with all the “hard” stuff. However, women are criticized for having a side piece.

Make sure you listen to this episode for this juicy conversation piece.

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 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 11 – The Open Reveal (Part 2)

In the second part of the 2 part series, the NFD crew discusses the importance of setting rules in an open relationship and share contrasting opinions on non-monogamy.

Ep 10 – The Open Reveal (Part 1)

In the first part of a 2 part series, the NFD crew takes a look at open relationships and a plot twist ensues.