How Do I Tell My Friends I Can’t Afford To Hang Out With Them?

I’m generally happy with my life right now, but money makes it hard to feel free and spend time with them as we grow older. They can simply afford things—group dinners, group trips, concert tickets—that I can’t. Any advice on how to broach this subject with them, or focus our time together towards things in my budget instead of theirs? I don’t want to be a buzzkill.

Source: How Do I Tell My Friends I Can’t Afford To Hang Out With Them?

I’ve seen friendships ruined over this, particularly in regards to weddings. The bride or maid of honor are well off, so that means a Vegas bachelorette party, weekend spa for a shower, $300 shoes for bridesmaids. It can run in the thousands. This is planned without any regards to their friend’s finances. In fact, they are horrified and angry at even the slightest protest.

A Toast to All the Brave Kids Who Broke Up with Their Toxic Moms

You deserve recognition for completing the hardest break-up known to the human heart.

Whether it was because of an addiction, a compulsive need to put you down, an ex-communication, an inability to give and receive love, or just the turmoil of dealing with a broken woman, you did something that most people regard as taboo. And that takes courage.

Source: A Toast to All the Brave Kids Who Broke Up with Their Toxic Moms

For some of us, the decision to get out of a bad relationship is the healthiest choice we could ever make.

Menopause May Be the Evolutionary Origin of Romantic Relationships — And Cheating

Menopause is one of the oddest features of human reproductive biology. Not the hot flashes or the forgetfulness, but the fact that older women lose the ability to have babies. Now researchers say that once it appeared, menopause may have had a ripple effect on human mating that helped create the human pair-bond.

Source: Menopause May Be the Evolutionary Origin of Romantic Relationships — And Cheating

Interesting read, but I don’t buy into it.  There’s nothing to corroborate in primates or other animals.  I had believed that orcas (AKA killer whales, or my fav: sea pandas) were the only other case of menopause that we knew of.

I don’t think there was much if any “romance” when our ancestors coupled.  I imagine there was, but in the minority.  The rest was rape…  So where does the pair-bond come into play?  Stockholm syndrome would be a large part – there’s likely to be violence in addition to the rape (trauma) which might’ve left people without a support group and thus no choice for survival other than to acclimate.  Survival (and status) would also motivate to work for/protect “what was yours”.

Note that pair-bond is not monogamy 😉

If You’re Not Seeking Help, You’re Probably Not Challenging Yourself

Let’s be honest, patience is not a quality most of us are born with. As entrepreneurs, we want to grow our business, and we want progress quickly. One strategy that has been passed around for ages is to ask for advice from successful entrepreneurs. You may have seen this in action yourself from people asking you for advice.

It can range from the, “Let me pick your brain,” or “I have a quick question” email to someone trying to grab a few minutes at a conference or event. It seems harmless enough, and we’re told to be persistent, but asking could be hurting your chances of making a real connection with someone who could help your business.

Source: Your Mom Was Wrong. Sometimes It Does Hurt to Ask.

I included this because of a reflection on my training approach.

For swimming, my natural aptitude got me only so far.  Later, I lucked out to get actual swimming feedback and coaching.  It was a huge improvement, breathing bilaterally.  Otherwise, I’d go off course and snake my way through the length – anything but a straight line means wasted effort and more distance.  Later, I encountered people who were stronger swimmers.  It doesn’t pay to be first – you get a false sense of ability.  So it was great to be challenged to keep up, and to see that I could though stamina came to be an issue.  That’s a problem I like to have…

Cycling was a similar experience.  When I came back to my riding group, I was very cautious.  I got pleasantly surprised, and pushed to see my limit.  But I never did drills of any manner – I just used a semi-competitive group ride.  I didn’t have a power meter, so I made general judgement based on comparison with the people I rode with.  I was working on a decent sustained sprint until I broke a rib.

Running however, has largely escaped me.  I’m horribly slow.  I’ve been told my form is good, but my stride is terribly short.  My breathing has always been very taxed when running.  Now that I’m getting back into running, I’m thinking I’ll seek out a coach earlier than I had planned.  I’ve stumbled through trying to figure it out myself, so it’s time to seek help of someone more knowledgeable.

Another option to about knowing to challenge yourself lies with competition.  Sometimes you need perspective.

The Literally Broken Hearts of Divorce

Scientifically, relationships have been shown to affect everything from your cardiovascular health to your mental well-being; anecdotally, it can mess with everything from your brand of toothpaste to control of your DVR. So it should come as no surprise that marriage, divorce, and widowhood come with their own health-related complications.

…Divorce is associated with a greater risk of heart attack, but researchers aren’t sure why.

Source: The Literally Broken Hearts of Divorce

Umm… stress?  Complete upheaval of your life, especially if you are the one who got blindsided…

The Best Way To Recover From A Break-Up, According To Science

A break-up can feel like the end of the world. And almost everybody goes through these jarring transitions at some point in their romantic lives, experiencing unbearable loss, confusion and despair. Luckily, a growing number of evidence-based strategies can help you cope. We talked to the experts to find out more.

The truth is, our individual reactions to the end of a romantic relationship vary. They’re often shaped by such factors as age, gender, level of emotional involvement, and even our attachment style.

Source: The Best Way To Recover From A Break-Up — According To Science

Sometimes, the healthiest decision you will ever make is to leave a bad relationship.

Craigslist Personals Associated with 16% Boost in HIV Infections

A new study focused on the role of something that’s a bit of a hybrid between old and new school: Craigslist classifieds, which have also become a popular way of arranging hookups. By comparing areas before and after the arrival of a local Craigslist, Jason Chan and Anindya Ghose found that the availability of these classifieds are associated with a 16 percent increase in new HIV infections.

The study was prompted by a couple of well-described phenomena. One is that people are using the convenience and relative anonymity of the Internet to find partners; interviews with users of various services show that they post ads not only for what the authors term “no-strings-attached relationships,” but they’re also looking for more diverse sexual experiences, and part of that includes having multiple partners (not necessarily at once).

The other thing that intrigued the authors is the fact that HIV rates in most of the US had either been steady or falling through the early part of this century. But starting in 2005, that trend reversed, and rates have continued to climb since. This trend has often been attributed to the development of effective viral control strategies, which have reduced the fear of infection.

Source: Craigslist personals associated with 16 percent boost in HIV infections

While lab test shows that the latex barrier can stop all the virus, other test results about the uncontrolled real life usage of condoms demonstrates that a sock made of a delicate barrier, placed by an operator under not quite cool headed conditions, after being stored for who knows how long, in unsuitable conditions (think the car glovebox)…  The estimates for actual efficacy goes down to about 70%…  If the condoms are new, having been in proper storage and checked to be properly in place – they work much closer to the theoretical effectiveness.  That’s still 70% better than no condom…

Seesaw Table: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Want to see just how unbalanced your relationship is?

The table is the (only slightly crazy) brainchild of Dutch designer Marleen Jansen. Rather than being a product you can actually buy (although, for the record, I would Kickstart the shit out of this), it was part of her dissertation. Called the Courtesy Table, it’s designed to ‘voluntarily force’ good manners on the subjects — if you get up halfway through dinner, the seesaw dumps your partner on the floor, rather than just being mildly offensive.

Source: A Seesaw Table Means You’ll Never Eat Alone

How do you navigate bathroom breaks?  And passing cutlery and food might be more problematic…

It’s perfect for dating – who got dumped?  If you are alone, you can get some mileage out of the sex doll if you fill it with sand.

The Hidden Health Risks of a Bad Relationship

A 2009 study from the University of Utah showed women in strained relationships are more likely to be depressed, have a higher risk of obesity, and show more signs of metabolic syndrome, which includes conditions like high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. Research published last month in the Journal of Epidemiology showed couples reporting more negativity in their relationship saw more problems with memory and faster cognitive decline. And this month, a study out of Michigan State University showed spouses in bad marriages, particularly women, are at higher risk of heart disease than couples in good marriages.

…If you can’t empathize, can’t work through conflict, or no longer bring out the best in each other, Ochoa says it’s often time to part ways. And although the heart may want what it wants, the stress surrounding that driving force may tear you apart from the inside out — not just your relationship.

Source: Sniffles, Anxiety, Even Stomach Pain: The Hidden Health Risks of a Bad Relationship

It’s nothing new.  Therapists, counselors, etc will ask if work and personal life are degrading when having to deal with a bad relationship.  The toll it takes on you is real.  Either you recognize that, and either things work or you have to walk away.  It’s not an easy decision to make, but it can be the most healthy decision you will ever make.