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Country Singles April Newsletter  Harlan. Jacobsen
 Mar 31, 2010 09:30 PST 

Copyright 2010

I N   T H I S   I S S U E:

** Helping Your Child through Divorce
** Will Sex Ruin the Friendship?
** How Your Exs Social Security Can Boost Your Long-term Benefits

** National Singles News Briefs, including
      -- Hard times not keeping us together.
      -- What if their dog doesn't like me?
      -- Date idea: Play tourist.
      -- The one time you can text in company.
      -- Chocolate lowers stress!

Yes, this is a FREE newsletter, but remember the dues: helping us
spread the word. Please forward this free online publication to singles
you know! Invite them to sign up. Sharing is good.

Helping Your Child through Divorce

Joseph Nowinski, author of "The Divorced Child," offers several pointers
to help your child survive, and even thrive, following divorce. Quoted
in "USA Weekend," Nowinski says:

      "Don't explain why." (This invites the child to argue your
reasons, or to choose which side has the "best" reason.)

"Focus on the child's needs." They want to know how this will affect
them, including where they'll live, and if they'll change schools.

"Don't seek sympathy." You should not be attempting to recruit them as
allies, and your concerns (such as financial implications) should not be
shared with children. You're the adult here.

For archived articles with more tips on dating successfully, visit our
website at http://datingagain101.com.

A study of cross-sex friends

by Janet L. Jacobsen

Can men and women be friends, and if the relationship turns sexual, can
the friendship be preserved? That's what a team of researchers in
Athens, Greece, wanted to know.

The study, reported recently in the "Journal of Social and Personal
Relationships," was especially interesting because it interviewed adults
ages 25 to 44, rather than the college students usually favored in such

Having opposite-sex friends

Individual interviews were conducted with 162 women and 160 men on
their experience with cross-sex friendships.

Women were more likely than men to think such friendships were possible
(81% vs 69%) but the sexes were nearly equal in how many had experience
with having opposite sex friends (82% of men and 87% of women). Age had
no effect on views about such friendships.

Of those who had had cross-sex friends, over half reported that at some
point they experienced sexual attraction for the friend, and of those,
half had expressed the attract to their friend.

Most relationships survive

The researchers found that most people see sexual attraction as a
potential threat to the friendship. So how do people manage those
feelings when they happen?

About half never revealed their feelings.

Of those who did, the revelation resulted in the end of 16% of the
relationships. In another 17%, the feeling wasn't reciprocated, but the
friendship continued on as it had been.

Some friends experiment with the sexual element. About 20% tried a
sexual relationship together, which ultimately faded back into being a
friendship. Another 24% integrated some sexual interaction into the
relationship, which they continued to define as a friendship. (In the
U.S. such relationships are commonly labeled as "friends with

Finally, about 22% of the friendships transformed into long-term
romantic relationships after the sexual attraction was expressed.

Weighing the possibilities

If you're feeling physical sparks for your opposite sex friend, should
you speak up, or not? In this study, over 60% of those who spoke up
stayed friends, and 22% developed into a romance. But for another 16%,
it spelled the end of the friendship.

So you have to weigh the potential costs against the potential
benefits. You also have to be realistic about the friendship itself.
Can you be frank and open with each other? Do you have a history of
supporting each other in difficult situations?

If your friendship is primarily as skiing buddies (for example), it may
not have the strength to handle such a disclosure if the attraction
isn't mutual. But if you're confident both parties value the friendship
and would like to see it maintained, a little thing like someone not
finding you sexually attractive might be easy to overlook.


Hard times not keeping us together.
Speculation was that difficult economic times would reduce the number
of divorces, but that doesn't seem to be the case, at least not in
Arizona, where the Supreme Court Chief Justice recently reported an
annual increase in divorces and custody disputes.

Who gets your IRA? Fill out the form!
Singles (especially those newly single) can forget to regularly review
the beneficiaries on their financial documents. A recent article in the
AARP magazine noted that a common problem is failure to complete the
beneficiary form for IRAs. Not having specified a beneficiary
significantly slows down the access your loved ones will have to the
funds, and may increase their taxes.

What if their dog doesn't like me?
You're dating someone interesting, but their current main squeeze is
their faithful pooch. Do you have to bond with the pup too? "USA
Weekend" offers some tips: If there's a reason you've never been a pet
person, explain that up front. Ask how the dog likes to be approached.
Bring treats (think of it as a "doggy warming" gift). "Allow sniffing,
and dress for possible dog hair." Getting to know your date's dog also
tells you about the person. As one expert explains, the dog "is a
reflection on the owner's ability to give and receive love."

Date idea: Play tourist.
No matter where you live, there's probably something or someplace
nearby that you haven't gotten around to visiting, or haven't been to in
a long time. Playing "tourist for a day" can be a great date -- short
day trips and visiting new/different places usually gives you plenty to
talk about. Throw in an "off-the-beaten-path,
heard-about-but-never-been-there" restaurant for lunch and you've got a
mini-vacation and plenty of chance to get acquainted. Caution: Don't
try this with someone you barely know. If they turn out to be
boring/uninteresting, you're stuck with them for the day.

The one time you can text in company.
"Wired" magazine reports that the only time it's ok to be texting
someone while you're talking or dining with friends is when it's a way
to include a mutual friend who couldn't be there. However, if your
motive for texting is to shut out people you're with, you are rude,
rude, rude.

Chocolate lowers stress!
According to a study published in the "Journal of Proteome Research,"
eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate a day for two weeks lowered stress
hormones for people who had been highly stressed.

"Learning how to live is much more important than learning how to make
a living." Investor Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the U.S.


HELP FOR THE NEWLY SINGLE! Our singles' Internet information is
maintained solely to help newly divorced and widowed people. Newly
singled people find out about it and get help only if readers like YOU
tell them about the sites and newsletters. Next time you attend a
support group, class, seminar, singles event etc. please do both us and
them a favor by recommending and telling them about these sites,
newsletters, and courses. Remember, these services are all totally FREE.


Divorced, Single, and Retirement-Age?
How your Exs Social Security can boost your long-term benefits

by Harlan L. Jacobsen

Heres a surprise from Social Security. No matter how long ago it was,
if your marriage lasted 10 years or more, you may be able to use your
Ex's benefits briefly in a way that can boost your Social Security 32%
for life.

This could mean as much as a $125,000 gain if you live to 85.   

Your Ex may or may not be still working but must be 62 or over and
qualified to draw Social Security.   

The formula

Many people hold off on drawing their own Social Security until age 70
for the increased benefits for life.   This is smart (if you expect to
live past 75) because it increases your benefits 32% for life.

Provided you were married 10 years and you have not been married to
anyone now for two years, you can draw on your Exs half benefit
temporarily. Check, but it appears that your working and earning an
income while drawing on theirs is not a factor either.    

Your Ex wont even know it, and it has no effect on your Ex or their
Social Security. All you need to know is your Exs social security

Either spouse is entitled to draw on half their best-paid peak Ex's
Social Security record (provided you were married to them ten years or
more). Drawing on theirs can help you hold out until age 70 to draw
your own (assuming it will be higher than what you receive from your
Exs account.)

The standard Social Security rules apply on your qualified starting
date, like you need to be at least 62 also, and can start with reduced
benefits.   When you get to 66 it goes to half benefit, etc.

As we said, there is not any reason not to do this. Your Ex will know
nothing about it. Its between you and Social Security.

The key is ten years married (and currently single for two years
minimum) qualifies you, and what the Ex is doing is not involved in any

Warning: If you remarry, you cant continue to draw on an Exs Social
Security. But if you get divorced again, you can pick up again.

To qualify for you to draw this, you must have been divorced for two
years (from the last one, not necessarily the one drawing from) before
it can start.

Verify this all of course with the Social Security Administration.
Rules change, after all.

Switching to your own account

The trick here is that no matter how little or how much your Ex earned,
you are able to draw something on the Ex's SS, which may help you hold
off and not draw on yours until you reach 70.   

Not starting to draw yours until your 70th birthday (you stop drawing on
your Ex's at that point) will increase your benefits 32% for life. If
you would normally have drawn $1200 a month, now you will be in the
$1800 area.

That drawing an extra $6,000 a year between 70 and 85 would net you
$90,000 additional income. (The actual amount will depend on your own
base benefit.)

Tell your married friends to hang in there with the paper work until ten
years of marriage.

Remember, you will get the extra 30% on your own account by holding off
until 70, with no "Ex" involved, of course. It is just helpful to be
able to draw some income from SS while youre waiting.

We thought you should know that you may yet get some added benefit from
that evaporated long-term relationship.

Happy Easter!
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