Tag Archives: relationship

Times are changing – women afraid to get married, men more open to it

Times have changed and women are changing them. From Jezebel:

A new study has found a possible reason for the much-vaunted decline in marriage: people are afraid of having to go through a divorce. And women are more likely than men to fear getting “trapped” in a relationship they can’t easily exit.

And exiting is the new factor. Now that women can leave marriages and have the financial stability to do so – everything is changing. They are even avoiding getting married in the first place. Preferring to stay single longer and closely evaluating the men in their lives. While men seem more open to marriage than ever before.

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China doubles loans to Africa, now $20 billion, and agrees to operate responsibly

China said Thursday it would offer $20 billion in new loans to Africa, underscoring the relationship’s growing importance, as Chinese companies agreed to operate more responsibly on the resource-rich continent.

Beijing has poured money into Africa over the last 15 years, seeking to tap into its vast natural resources, and China became the continent’s largest trading partner in 2009.

But its aggressive move into the continent has at times caused friction with local people, with some complaining Chinese companies import their own workers, flout labour laws and mistreat local employees.

Addressing African leaders including South African President Jacob Zuma and Kenya Premier Raila Odinga, President Hu Jintao said the loans would focus on supporting infrastructure, manufacturing and the development of small businesses.

 

Source: Yahoo! News - China doubles loans to Africa to $20 billion

 

 

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Unemployment is not as important as we think, when it comes to predicting the next President

Make no mistake: the higher the unemployment rate in November 2012, the less likely President Obama is to win a second term.

But we should be careful about asserting that there is any particular threshold at which Mr. Obama would go from favorite to underdog, or any magic number at which his re-election would either become impossible or a fait accompli. Historically, the relationship between the unemployment rate and a president’s performance on Election Day is complicated and tenuous.

…historically, the correlation between the unemployment rate and a president’s electoral performance has been essentially zero.

Unemployment increased by 1.9 percentage points over the course of Richard M. Nixon’s first term, but he won re-election easily. It also increased in George W. Bush’s and Dwight D. Eisenhower’s first terms, and their re-election bids were also successful. The unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent from 5.3 percent, meanwhile, in Bill Clinton’s second term — but his vice president, Al Gore, could not beat Mr. Bush in the Electoral College.

There are also cases in which the data behaved more intuitively: Jimmy Carter and the elder George Bush all faced high unemployment rates when they lost their re-election bids, as did Gerald R. Ford in 1976, and that was surely a factor in their defeats.

 

Keep reading: On the Maddeningly Inexact Relationship Between Unemployment and Re-Election

 

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Depression: keep in mind that they can't "snap out of it"

Keep in mind that they can’t “snap out of it.” Remember that the other person has a real illness. Like someone with cancer, they can’t simply “get over it.” Try not to express your frustration or anger in ways you’ll regret, but don’t suppress your own feelings either. You can say for example, “I know that you can’t help feeling down, but I feel frustrated.”

If the person is an unrelenting pessimist, as so many people with depression are, try to point out the positive things that are happening. The negative childhood programming–the “inner saboteur”–will probably prevent them from seeing these for himself. The depressive illness has a vested interest in the lie that nothing will go right.

via Dr. Bob

The depressed mind…is curable, needs boundaries, and is often involved in a relationship
 
 
// photo by D Sharon Pruitt

Depression: keep in mind that they can’t “snap out of it”

Keep in mind that they can’t “snap out of it.” Remember that the other person has a real illness. Like someone with cancer, they can’t simply “get over it.” Try not to express your frustration or anger in ways you’ll regret, but don’t suppress your own feelings either. You can say for example, “I know that you can’t help feeling down, but I feel frustrated.”

If the person is an unrelenting pessimist, as so many people with depression are, try to point out the positive things that are happening. The negative childhood programming–the “inner saboteur”–will probably prevent them from seeing these for himself. The depressive illness has a vested interest in the lie that nothing will go right.

via Dr. Bob

The depressed mind…is curable, needs boundaries, and is often involved in a relationship
 
 
// photo by D Sharon Pruitt

How I spent my summer, by Steven Mandzik

Yesterday was the first day of Fall and Summer is officially over, which means it’s time to write my follow-up to Amy’s back to school letter…How I Spent My Summer.

An act in two parts.

Part I – The Taming of the Bear

[box type="shadow"]Forward, I pray, since we have come so far,

And be it moon, or sun, or what you please. And if you please to call it a rush candle, Henceforth I vow it shall be so for me.

- The Taming of the Shrew, William Shakespeare[/box]

The quote is from the final moments where Petruchio finally tames Katharina. Which is what I spent greatest amount of effort on this summer. Except, instead of taming the Bear I set her free.

Perhaps, I should call it by its modern name, 10 Things I Hate About You. Where Heath Ledger prompts Julia Stiles to let go of her hurt and smile again.

This summer Amy started smiling again. She is surfing and writing and feeling proud. Ready to love me and move our relationship to the next level.

While details of this struggle are personal let’s just say I was nearly killed in the process.

Part II – The Blogger

I’ve never been a good writer. All through my high school and college years I rarely got higher than an B. In fact, those years were a slapstick comedy of errors, with everything from a state-wide English teacher strike to a series of corrupt substitute teachers.

After I left school is when I learned how to write. It turns out that part of the problem is my nonconformist streak. Even when the teachers taught me how to do it the right way, I would do the opposite. I simply refused to write a boring essay.

Then blogging came on the scene and being unique with poor grammar was/is all the rage. Ever since I have been writing and writing, often getting paid to do it by big corporations. You could say that I have been a corporate blogger for 5 years.

During those years I dreamed of leaving everything behind, moving to paradise, and trying my own hand at writing. That is done. Amy and I moved out of DC, into a tranquil Southern California life, and I’m blogging my heart out.

So far I have been able to post something new, and interesting, every day and our growth is good, from 300 to 40,000 views/month.

In many ways this lifestyle is ideal. We get to set our own schedule, avoid the working crowds, and even pick-up long-lost hobbies (surfing). In other ways it is the scariest thing we’ve ever done. I say ‘we’ because Amy is also taking up writing, as a screenwriter.

The thing about being a writer is that you’re nothing until you have a name. It takes forever to build up that audience and, in the meantime, makes you a “struggling writer”. Once you do build up the name you have to be a hit machine. There are no consistent paychecks only your own ability to write something that works and keep doing it.

This summer served as our starting point. The beginning of our path toward our dreams. It was not all peaches and cream, but what they say is true. When you do what you love, it’s not work.

photo by Rajeev Nair

Age in Relationships

I’m dating a woman a few years older than me. She is beautiful and perfect but in the world of male machismo this is a problem. I’m supposed to be older and wiser, instead I’m the puny non-breadwinner.

To fully understand this dilemma we have to explore sexism, in all it’s glory. Traditional relationships involve a male who is a few years older than the female. This leaves the lady to enjoy the benefits of a higher income and a mature man. The dude gets the younger lady and the ego boost of being wiser.

This totally leaves out gay couples, couples of the same age, and most likely a majority of the country. Which is kind of sad because this is our culture. So instead of gaining all this wisdom and help, it only serves to hamper and confuse us. Simply put, the U.S. culture is not made for me and I think we should amp it up and modernize it.

Particularly because I’m in the relationship of my life and I have no idea what to do. The lady has a few years on me and is at a different stage physically. For kids, her biology says it’s now or never, while I’ve got a few years to dilly-dally. Should I make her wait or pony-up early?

What about money, the ultimate relationship killer. I’m just coming out of my debt years thanks to college, a car, and haphazardly getting a mortgage. I’m doing fine now with all that paid off or turned into equity builders, but it still puts a strain on the relationship.

Studies say that even having debt in a relationship is a big deal. It creates an imbalance that hurts future money decisions.

Top it all off, I’m a few years behind in my career. I have less experience, less income earning years, and less opportunity. Not because of ineptitude but simply less time on target.

So there it is the crux of age in relationships: kids, debt, and income. I could also say maturity but often couples in relationships love each other for their personalities. It’s these other factors – life factors – that get in the way.  Add in a dose of ineffectual culture and nascent sexism and you have a confusing mixture that definitely puts a strain on the ego.