Anxious Attachment Style and Valentine’s Day

Just like the people that celebrate them, each holiday is unique. They have their own style, if you will.

For example, no holiday does family fun and seasonal cheer better than Christmas. With everyone decked out in diamonds and pearls, New Year’s Eve consistently steals the show as best dressed. With enough leprechauns and pints of beer, St. Patrick’s Day gets us to see green every year. While Easter’s bunny-shaped chocolates give it a run for its money, Thanksgiving takes the cake as the most food-friendly holiday on the calendar.

With their own individual charms, these holidays are something we can look forward to throughout the year. Although different, they are equally sweet, filling us with feelings of familiarity, fun, and security.

But, what about the holidays who’s trademark style makes us shiver with fear and anxiety? One of them is the most horrific of all.

No, it’s not Halloween.

For any of our insecurely attached readers out there, you’ll agree. The scariest holiday is, without a doubt, Valentine’s Day.

Unlike Halloween–a holiday in which you assume a mask and pretend to be somebody else–Valentine’s Day is all about vulnerability. There’s not much scarier than the idea of stripping your emotional soul naked to embrace the oceanic vastness of your partner’s essence.

No matter the attachment style, this can be tricky territory for most people. For insecurely attached folks, it feels tsunami-level impossible.

Need some help navigating the emotional storm that is Valentine’s Day? Here’s our go-to guide to getting through the annual holiday of love.

Breaking down Attachment Theory

Our attachment style, the way in which we interact with, and build relationships with others, can have a huge impact on our dating lives. Although psychologists are still studying the nuances of attachment theory, it’s widely agreed that attachment style is the result of learned behaviors picked up throughout our early formative years.

The main types of attachment styles are secure and insecure attachment. Insecure attachment can be broken down into three, more specific categories: anxious, avoidant, and disorganized. For this article, we’re focusing on our anxious amigos, but, more on that later.

To put it simply, children who grew up in consistent and emotionally supportive households tend to have secure attachment styles. This is not to say that their lives were without hardships, but that their caregivers were considered a safe haven growing up, and typically not a source of their stress to their children.

On the other hand, children that were raised by a caregiver that was either inconsistent or abusive tend to grow into adults with insecure attachment. The anxiety felt throughout their childhood made it difficult for them to learn how to self-regulate or trust others.

Adults who continue to struggle with insecure attachment are likely dealing with the same coping methods that they learned as young children and strengthened throughout adolescence.

Your Attachment Style on Valentine’s Day

If you grew up in constant survival mode, occasions like Valentine’s Day can definitely trigger your defenses.

To make matters worse, those with anxious attachment styles tend to attract romantic partners with who are avoidantly attached. While two is normally better than one, two partners with insecure attachments can be a source of emotional chaos in a relationship.

I know, all of this is sounding pretty grim.

The good news? No one is born with attachment style flowing through their bloodstream. That means with enough awareness and education, we each have the power to switch up our style.

If you’re noticing your attitude towards Valentine’s Day is particularly nervous or bitter, it might be time to examine how your attachment style might be coming into play.

Remember those three categories of insecure attachment mentioned earlier? Now that we understand how attachment is formed, let’s take a closer look at how the individual attachment styles manifest within our dating lives.

Anxious Attachment

Have romantic partners ever called you overly needy, jealous, or emotional?

When you’re in a relationship, do you find it difficult to focus on the other aspects in your life?

Do you feel insecure without the constant reassurance from your partners?

Is it difficult for you to trust?

Do you often ‘lose yourself’ in relationships? Or easily fall into codependency?

If you’ve answered yes, you might have an anxious attachment style.

But don’t worry–you’re not alone. Some studies estimate that, in the United States, nearly 40 percent of the population experiences some form of insecure attachment.

Low in avoidance and high in anxiety, anxiously attached partners can come across as clingy, or emotionally dependent, on their partners. So accustomed to the inconsistency of their childhoods, anxious-attachment styles manifest in adulthood through an attraction to dramatic, inconsistent, and sometimes toxic relationships.

Anxiously attached people sometimes find it difficult to trust their partners and experience intense feelings of jealousy. At their worst, this might lead to controlling behavior–like keeping tabs on their partner’s whereabouts or monitoring their texts.

More than anything, the anxiously attached partner fears being abandoned in the relationship. They will do almost anything to maintain their relationship. For them, the fear of losing their relationship outweighs the fear of losing themself.

Be my (securely-attached) Valentine?

Being in a relationship as an anxiously-attached partner is already scary enough–add in the holiday of love, and the stress can rise through the roof. What might seem like the perfect opportunity to express your unyielding affections for your partner, could quickly turn into a disastrous date of disappointment.

In order to feel secure, the anxiously-attached partner needs to sense that they are both emotionally and physically close with their partner. However, as mentioned earlier, if existing in a relationship as an anxiously attached person wasn’t tricky enough, there’s one more thing. They tend to find themselves in relationships with their insecurely-attached opposite–the avoidantly-attached.

The avoidant-dismissive attachment style is characterized by avoiding closeness in relationships. The complete antithesis of the anxiously attached, avoidantly attached partners prioritize independence, rejecting the idea of relying on others or having others rely on them.

If you’re anxiously attached and in a relationship with an avoidantly-attached partner, you might be feeling a heightened sense of pressure to connect as Valentine’s Day approaches.

It’s true that Valentine’s Day is portrayed to be a grandiose celebration of love. However, it’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, it's just another day. If your Valentine’s Day date does not turn out exactly as you imagined, that does not mean that your partner doesn’t love you. It’s important to keep perspective and not let any passing insecurities overwhelm you.

Feeling particularly anxious this Valentine’s Day? Here’s some tips to help you tap into your secure side and find some peace of mind:

Research: Learn about both you and your partner’s attachment styles. Ask your partner to join in the research, too. With enough knowledge, you two can better understand each other and work towards building a healthy bond.

Keep a journal: One of the best ways to clear your mind is write your thoughts down on paper. This exercise is extremely useful for regulating emotions and keeping track of your triggers.

Seek out partners with secure attachment: The anxiously and avoidantly attached have a thing for each other, it’s true. Down the line, however, their opposite dispositions tend to trigger toxic dynamics within their relationships. In order to grow as a partner, try to choose partners who exhibit traits of being securely attached. Their security and stability will be just what your nervous system needs to relax within the relationship.

Practice mindfulness: When you’re feeling stressed, try to take a moment to practice mindfulness. Sometimes it can be as simple as removing yourself from a heated conversation to take a few deep breaths. Regularly engaging in mindfulness exercises can help to manage both your emotions and your anxiety.

Relationship coaching: Working with a dating coach has been proven to increase the odds of successfully choosing and keeping the right partner. At Executive Matchmakers, our entire coaching philosophy is backed by science, based on 30 years of research on real life couples. Each of our coaches are certified by the “Love Doctor,” herself, ​​research scientist and therapist, Dr. Terry Orbuch. The coaches at Executive Matchmakers are trained to offer more in-depth, specialized support, helping you to break free from insecure attachment, develop positive dating habits, and, ultimately, reach your highest relationship potential.

The Road Ahead

For an anxiously-attached partner, heading down the road of relationships can be a bit of a bumpy ride. But, it doesn’t have to be. If you know or suspect you have an anxious attachment, why not use Valentine’s Day as a way to face your fears? Although growing out of insecure attachment might seem like a freighting task, with enough motivation, patience, and support, you will reach your relationship goals. By recognizing your attachment patterns and examining your feelings, Valentine’s Day just might be worth celebrating, after all.


Defining the Relationship for Valentine’s Day—Quiz!

February is here, love is in the air, and Valentine’s day is on its way.

Whether it be with a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of champagne, or a box of heart-shaped chocolates, this annual celebration of love presents the perfect opportunity to express your feelings for the special someone in your life.

But, what if you and that special someone are still unclear on your shared relationship status?

There comes a point in any long-term relationship that you and your partner must define the relationship (DTR). This conversation can mean making things exclusive between the two of you, continuing dating casually, or maybe just to keep hanging out just as friends—anything else that fits how you both feel.

What's important is that it's openly communicated between each partner and that the feelings are mutually shared.

Approaching the “What-Are-We?” topic is never a particularly fun conversation to have. In the back of your mind lurks the possibility of them feeling differently, wanting to take things slower, or rush things too soon.

rosesWhile just the idea of DTR can be a bit anxiety-inducing, openly expressing your feelings to your partner is one of the most important and necessary aspects in any relationship.

Just as important, however, is knowing when to do so.

If you DTR too soon, you risk looking overly eager. Too late, and you appear uninterested and commitment-avoidant.

Thankfully, for all those undefined daters out there, on the horizon comes a virtually risk-free opportunity to DTR.

Valentine’s Day is designed for lovers to share their feelings for each other, making it the perfect time to establish “What We Are.”

If you’re looking for the perfect opportunity to make things official between you and your boo, the holiday of love might just be it.

Yet, February 14th is coming up quick—so, time is of the essence.

If you and your partner have yet to have “the talk” before then, expect to find yourself in a situation even stickier than those caramel-filled candies you planned to share together.

Still figuring out your feelings for your Valentine? Take this simple quiz to find out whether or not to DTR this V Day!

 


Define Your Values for the New Year

Before the age of the internet, cell phones, and GPS, when lost explorers were in need of finding their way home, they turned to the compass.

Reliable, trustworthy, and ever-consistent, the compass still remains a vital navigation tool within any traveler’s journey.

In the journey of life and love, we are faced with many forks in the road. When making decisions, we must rely on our internal compass, our values, to show us the right way. Just like a compass leading a sailor safely to shore, when our lives feel like they’re going South, turning to our values will direct us back North.

What are values?

According to psychologist Barb Markway and Celia Ampel in The Self-Confidence Workbook, values “are the principles that give our lives meaning and allow us to persevere through adversity.”

Essentially, values are the things that we consider most important in our lives. Our values identify what kind of person we are, or at least, strive to be, while providing guidelines, or imperatives, for our actions.

All in all, values are the qualities that form the foundation for our decisions, and ultimately build the life of which we live.

However, actually honoring your values in everyday life is not always so easy–especially when entering into a relationship.

While we all naturally process intrinsic values—we learn them from our family, peers, and experiences—putting them into practice is a whole other thing.

As the new year comes upon us, now is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what we value most in our lives. Regularly questioning, defining, and redefining our values helps us to navigate the complications of love and dating, make decisions with ease, and accomplish our goals for the year ahead.

So, how do you know what your core values are? In honor of the new year and new resolutions, here are six steps to discover and practice your core values in life and in love.

Step 1: Brainstorm

Before defining a list of core qualities, it’s important to meditate and reflect on your actions in the real world.

Big or small—everyday we are faced with decisions. Without thinking, our intrinsic values tend to lead us one way or another.

A great way to hone in on your values is to reflect back on experiences when you felt happy, sad, or angry.

For example, think of the last time a romantic partner said something that really upset you. What did they say? What about it felt wrong? What was your reaction?

When have you felt disappointed in yourself or like you were a fraud? What behaviour led up to that?

What do you want to change about the world or about yourself?

Now, think of the things in your life that make you feel happiest.

When do you feel your best? With who? What are you most proud of? What’s important to you in life?

If you could have any career, without worrying about money or other practical constraints, what would you do?

These are just a few questions to get you started. Be sure to write your answers on a sheet of paper so you can look back on them and reflect. Your answers reveal the unique qualities that make you special, and show what you value most in your life.

Step 2: Create a list

Now, it’s time to take all that you’ve gathered from brainstorming and compile it into a simple list.

Review what you have written and see if any particular qualities stand out. For example, if finding a romantic partner is the most important thing in your life at the moment, you might mention “companionship” as one of your core values.

To make things simpler, here is a list of possible personal values from which you can choose. Try to be as specific as possible, and only choose the values that feel most authentic to you.

  • Achievement
  • Adventure
  • Beauty
  • Compassion
  • Connection
  • Courage
  • Creativity
  • Dependability
  • Health/Fitness
  • Honesty
  • Independence
  • Integrity
  • Intelligence
  • Justice
  • Kindness
  • Learning
  • Love
  • Loyalty
  • Peace
  • Security
  • Self-discipline
  • Simplicity
  • Sincerity
  • Spontaneity
  • Success
  • Wealth

Try to limit your list to only the values that truly resonate with you. If you’re having trouble, think about someone whose opinion you highly value. How do you hope they would describe you? Write those qualities down.

Step 3: Prioritize your personal values

After compiling a list, it’s important to order them by level of importance to you.

Why? Because ordering them will help to define what values are of highest priority to you.

A general list is a great start, but at some points in life, we will be faced with choosing one value over the other. For example, if your values include success, connection, kindness, and beauty, but your number one priority is connection, there may be times when beauty and success have to take a backseat.

By placing one quality at the very top of your list, you establish it as the most important value in your life. With it as your core value, you can build a routine designed for its success.

If you put ‘connection’ as a top value, you’ll know that carving out quality time for you and your partner should be your top priority–even if it means disconnecting from work sometimes. On the other hand, if ‘adventure’ is at the top, it might be a good idea to prioritize planning an exciting vacation in a country you’ve yet to explore.

Step 4: Put it to practice

Now that you’ve defined and prioritized your values, it’s time to put them into action. The first step is by letting your values design your goals.

If you were to zoom out and look at your life as it is now, could you say that you are living in harmony with the values you’ve defined for yourself now?

If not, don’t worry–you’re not alone. For a number of reasons, life has a way of diverging us from our values. What’s important is that you’re making the changes to get back on course.

Perhaps parts of your life are more in line with your values than others. For example, maybe your professional life aligns excellently with core values like success, wealth, or achievement.

But, what about outside of work? When it comes to your romantic or personal life, are you spending time on the things that matter most to you?

Now, it’s time to make a plan. Go back to your list and, for each value, write a small step you could take to honor that value within your life.

For example, if ‘beauty’ is important to you, some simple steps could be booking regular salon appointments, joining a gym, or making sure to get enough hours of sleep each night.

After writing action plans next to each value, the next step is to break them down into small, attainable goals. Start by setting daily objectives, then expand to weekly and monthly targets. By starting small and making gradual changes, you will be able to look back at the end of the year and see how far you’ve come.

Step 5: Set daily reminders

In order to reach your long-term goals, it’s important to dedicate a portion of each day to reflect on your values.

Although they seem small at the moment, the day-to-day decisions are what eventually define our personalities, futures, and ideals.

In order to stay on track, set daily reminders for yourself. Whether it be a sticky note on the fridge, a push notification on your phone, or a text from a supportive friend, make sure that everyday you are reminded of the reasons why you started this journey in the first place. Living within your value system means disconnecting from life on autopilot and taking ownership for the decisions you make. It’s not always easy—but, it’s worth it. By incorporating your values into your daily life, you will start living with intention, focus, and peace of mind.

So, stay on track with constant reminders. Every time that you express and incorporate your core values into your daily life, you will be actively working towards your goals.

Step 6: Remember to redefine

Whether your aim is to define your values professionally or personally, with enough time and dedication, you will see yourself, your relationships, and your life transform.

As you continue to continue to grow and incorporate your values, eventually you will accomplish the goal you originally set out to achieve.

When this happens, remember to reassess.

For example, maybe at the beginning of the year, your top values relate mostly towards your professional goals, prioritizing values like ‘work,’ ‘achievement,’ and ‘success.’ Then, after months of hard work, dedication, and living in harmony with your values, you achieved your professional goals.

After accomplishing milestones in your life, it’s time to reflect and reassess your current values.

While you will probably always value more or less the same qualities, it’s common that some values change in priority as we progress in life.

So, if after achieving all the professional success of which you’d ever dreamed of having, it’s possible you start to consider having someone with whom to share it all.

In that case, values like ‘work’ or ‘wealth’ might go lower in priority as values like ‘companionship’ and ‘love’ start to move up.

Take time to regularly reflect on the state of your life, and whether reassessing your values would be worthwhile. Doing so helps you stay on tract, allowing you to accomplish your goals quickly and with ease.

Know thy values, know thyself

By living in line with your core values, you communicate to others that you are confident in both yourself and the decisions you make. There is nothing more attractive than a partner who knows what they want.

If your goal for the new year is to find love, defining your values will make the process remarkably easier. Defining your values requires self-awareness—an important quality that, unfortunately, is not possessed by everybody. By knowing who you are, you will likewise know what you want in a partner, creating a clear vision of the relationship you want and deserve. Not only will you save time by dropping dates with incompatible suitors, but you’ll protect yourself from falling victim to becoming overpowered within a relationship.

Often, those who don’t have their values clearly defined end up looking to others for direction. Even with a perfect partner, this can be dangerous and lead to loss of self and codependency. However, this becomes dangerous when falling into a relationship with a narcissistic partner. There is nothing that a narcissist loves more than a partner who can’t stand up for themselves. Those that cannot define their values subconsciously let others define them for them. In the hands of a narcissist, someone guided by negative values, this makes easy grounds for manipulation and toxic behaviors.

Strong values, strong relationship

As we settle into the new year, it’s important to keep a clear focus on our goals, values, and how to live in harmony with them both. By defining our values and being mindful of them in our everyday life, we can make the changes to set this year apart from all the rest.

No matter your values, goals, or circumstances, building self-awareness and reflecting on your life will make you both a better partner and person.

Remember, if you ever feel lost in the journey of love or life, rely on your values like a compass. Focusing on your core values will always lead you the right way.


The 2022 Holiday Gift Guide

What to Get Someone Who Already Has it All

Every winter, Christmas comes and goes. But, for those dating in December, there’s one pesky question that stays evergreen: What should I get for the one most special to me?

Gift-giving is never easy. But, if your significant other seems to already have all they could ever wish for, the pressure to impress can feel downright impossible.

Those who “have it all” tend to agree that their most meaningful presents usually weren’t the most expensive. They were great, however, because they were given with love.

Worried you’ll need a Christmas miracle to pull off the perfect gift for your partner? Here’s our guide for giving to someone who already has it all.

The Thought That Counts

When done thoughtfully, a good gift can express your affection, what your partner means to you, and how you hope for their happiness--not just during the holidays--but all year long.

That, and a test on how well you know the receiver’s tastes and desires.

Don’t let this overwhelm you. But, if you really want your gift to wow your partner, it’s important to put some extra thought into it.

Before buying, ask yourself:

  • What are their interests, hobbies, or passions?
  • How have they been feeling lately? 
  • What feelings about our relationship do I want to express to them?

Think of your gift as a symbol to communicate both your character and your care to your partner. Imagine how your honey will feel when they recieve and experience your gift. Subconsciously or not, they will associate those feelings with you. So, before buying a gift, consider what it could say about you and your relationship.

Gifts That Keep On Giving

Still not sure what to put under the Christmas tree for your special someone this year?

Let this be your little helper. To get in the giving mood, we’ve come up with some ideas that would make even the most adorned holiday-honey happy. Check out these three gift categories and what giving from them would mean for your relationship.

Something Collectable

Is your cutie a collector? Find out what your love interest loves and contribute. Whether it’s as niche as adding another rare coin to their collection, or simply finding another fine wine to add to their cellar, your special someone is sure to appreciate the gesture.

What this gift means for your relationship: You pay attention to the details, genuinely care about your partner's interests, and love them for their authentic selves. You acknowledge all the time, money, and energy they’ve put into growing their collection. By adding to it, you prove that you value their passions, even when others might not. They will feel seen, validated, and confident that you’re someone who understands them like no one else before.

Love Actually meets Breakfast at Tiffany’s! If you’re looking for a sparkling collector’s item with Hollywood-level romance, go for fine jewelry. Make the experience extraordinary by going together to pick out their special piece. Along with saving you from the headache of a gemstone guessing game, it will attach a romantic memory to the piece that your partner will remember forever!

 

Fellas, if you’ve found yourself a fashionista, you already know she’s got a soft spot for a good designer handbag.

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If you want to help her step out in style, and cement you as the best boyfriend of all time, look no further than the iconic Hermès Birkin bag. With this legendary leather luxury as your gift, your leading lady is sure to love both it and you.

 

If you’re in the market for something more heartfelt, it might be time to put pen to paper. Wiggle your way into the heart of your favorite literature-lover by contributing to their favorite collection:

 

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Find an original edition of their favorite fiction or, if you’re feeling creative, write your own! Pour out your heart to them in poem and prose. By retelling your relationship’s epic love story from your perspective, you’ll get to express your feelings for them in a way that truly touches their heart. Filled with love from front to back, there’s no way they’ll be able to put it down.

Something for Sleeping

After a long, hard day, there’s nothing better than slipping into a set of cozy pajamas and snuggling up in bed. For a gift that’s comforting, sensuous, and just a bit luxurious, bedtime accessories are the way to go.

What this gift means for your relationship: Secure, sensitive, and fluent in body language, your presence in your lover’s life is like a plush pillow after a long day’s work. Even if you can’t be snuggled up with your sweetie each night, you love to imagine them enjoying your gift and thinking about you as they turn off the lights.

What are the best bedtime accessories for your babe? Glad you asked.

Keep things flirty yet cool with washable silk pajamas.

 

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If you’re buying a gift for a new partner, you can’t go wrong with this one. Unlike other gifts that only appeal to particular interests, everyone appreciates a good set of comfy clothes--making it a great gift for someone whose tastes you’re still getting to know. Plus, the smooth silk fabric makes for a subtly sexy twist to this classic holiday gift.

Feeling a bit naughty? For sentimentality’s sake, avoid giving your partner something overtly sexual (save that for Valentine’s). However, if you’d like to give a gift that’s nice with just a dash of spice, look no further than between the sheets.

Temperature regulated and proven to be cooler than other fabrics like cotton or silk, bamboo bedding is perfect for when things heat up between you and your lover.

 

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Does your holiday honey find it hard to take a break? A sleep kit is the perfect gift for your workaholic partner. Sleep kits have a little bit of everything--typically including items like essential oils, bath bubbles, and eye masks.

 

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Whether they’re an on-the-go jet-setter, or a parent pulled in all directions, this gift will show that someone as special and in-demand as they are still deserves a little TLC.

Something to Experience

Just like love, experiences are intangible, at times, life-changing, and very real. If you’re shopping for someone who truly has it all, an experience might be the best bet for a mind-blowing holiday .

What it says about your relationship: Making memories with your partner is more valuable than any material thing money could buy. Depending on the nature of the experience, your partner could view you as thoughtful, exciting, or spontaneous. Gifts come and go, but the way the experience made them feel will remain in their hearts forever.

If you’re dating a live-show lover, you’ve got to go big or go home. For the football fanatic, snatch some 50 yard line tickets for their favorite team. Pull some strings to let your cutie meet the players after the big game. Not possible? Make it special by booking a suite and inviting their favorite fellow fans to cheer along with their favorite couple.

If music is more your partner’s thing, find out their favorite band or artist and book the best seats in the house. If they’re not currently touring in your town, don’t worry--book ahead to a venue in a city that your partner loves and make a special vacation out of it. Bonus points if you can grab some backstage passes.

 

When your gift is an experience, make sure that the experience you choose is truly special. Don’t decide on something that you would probably do otherwise. It’s best to add a dose of adventure.

If you’re looking for something incredibly romantic and unforgettable, hosting your partner on a hot air balloon ride is hard to beat. With a bit of wine, cuddles, and some stunning sunset views, this gift is sure to put your partner on cloud nine.

 

 

For those with a need for speed and seeking more of an adrenaline rush, find a local rental car service for vintage, luxury, or race cars and go hit the road. With the wind in their hair and you in the passenger seat, you’ll turn a racer’s dream into a romantic reality they could have never imagined!

 

 

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Presentation Is Everything

Whether it’s a set of silk pajamas or a pair of backstage passes, make sure you present your gift with some special flair.

Part of the joy in both gift giving and receiving is the physical nature of it—the anticipation while slowly unwrapping, and the surprised smile upon seeing what’s within.

So, don’t be afraid to be bold with your delivery! If you’re nervous, remember that your partner is probably feeling the same. As long as your gift comes from the heart, it really is the thought that counts.


Prenuptial Agreements – What are they?

Why knowing the details can help save your relationship

What truly is a prenup?

When asked to sign a prenup, it can cause a hurricane of emotions. It often causes people to feel as if their fiancée doesn't trust them or know them. We understand that many thoughts and feelings are connected with prenups, so we will help you maneuver through this complex concept.

We found through our research that prenups do not need to imply a lack of trust or lack of confidence that the marriage will last. Therefore, we want to help couples face this crucial conversation about their finances and their future.

We've created a guide to answer questions about navigating your prenup.

Prenup – What is it?

A prenup, formally known as a prenuptial agreement, is a contract between an engaged couple. The contract outlines the couple's rights and responsibilities regarding any premarital and marital assets and debts. More importantly, why do so many couples argue about prenups? What will happen should the marriage end in death or divorce.

The main talking point that a prenup arises is goals about finances, attitudes about money, accrued debts, and spending and saving habits. Sandy Roxas, a Family Law Litigator and Mediator, highlights the importance of financial conversations before marriage because “money issues are one of the leading causes of divorce.” That means that having conversations like these before the wedding “can help build the foundation for a stronger and long-lasting union.”

Postnup vs. Prenup

Let’s begin by opening up the options outside of a pre-marriage contract. A postnup agreement is very similar to a prenup. A postnuptial agreement is signed during or after the tying of the knots. They are just as enforceable as each other.

The reason for signing a postnuptial agreement can lie in similar grounds for a prenuptial agreement. However, it is more common for unexpected changes in finances. These unpredictable finances can include forthcoming inheritance, sale of a company, or large liquidation. Another option is that the couple did not finish negotiating their prenup and chose to finish it post marriage.

What is the cost of a prenup?

The range of prenups is vast, anywhere between $1,200 to $15,000. It should be noted that if the estate is complicated, then the price can rise. Canterbury Law Group lets couples know that some lawyers “will charge hourly fees and others will work on a flat fee," it all depends.

Postnups are more costly than prenups because the marital property must now be considered for the couple. Elizabeth Green Lindsay, Esq., ensures that "a well-drafted agreement can be worth its weight in gold” if there is a divorce.

When should you begin the prenup process?

Prenup negotiations can take months of back-and-forth changes. So, the experts advise couples to begin the process as soon as possible to give themselves enough time to feel happy with their final product pre-marriage. The best advice we can offer is to finalize one at least 30 days before the wedding date.

The party that retains the attorney is usually the party that earns the most income. The party whose attorney has not drafted the prenup needs to receive the contract at least a week before signing. This time allows for negotiations and possible edit suggestions. Once the draft is finalized, it must have proof that both parties chose to enter the agreement and were not entered into it under duress or undue influence.

Do you need separate lawyers?

In our previous section, we discuss the roles of attorneys, so should each person get their own lawyer? Our advice? Yes! A lawyer who represents both parties has a conflict of interest. When only one party has a lawyer, it can cause the other person to be at a considerable disadvantage. Separate lawyers guarantee equal chances for fair negotiations in the prenup process.

Can you create your own prenuptial agreement?

The simple answer is yes. However, there are many specifics to be wary of when creating your own prenup agreement. As couples do not always understand legal ambiguities, online forms are available for use. The main concern is making sure your form complies with all state laws to guarantee its legality. The easiest way of securing a legal DIY prenup is to hire a lawyer to review the form.

The overarching risks about creating your own prenup are really about the specifics of state laws. Suppose you feel confident about creating your own prenup and finalize the legal document with a lawyer at the end of the process. In that case, it is ultimately your right to follow that path. We advise that you are careful with the process.

Can you add custody and child support terms to a prenup?

It doesn't hurt to add terms and conditions involving child custody. However, the courts will decide what is in the child's best interest at the time of the court date. If the child's interest does not follow the terms set in the prenup, the courts outweigh the prenup. This means that it genuinely doesn't matter what you put on your prenup, as the court rule will be the final decision. All it does will help guide expectation, not guarantee actions, post-divorce.

In recent years, it has become more common to add clauses about pets within prenups. Many states across the country recognize pet custody when it comes to divorce. Even in amicable separations, it is often seen that pet custody causes a lot of emotions to fly. So, adding a pet clause can help keep the break smooth.

Someone won’t sign the prenup – What now?

If one party refuses to sign a prenup, then your first step is accruing proof of premarital property. It's always a solid idea to keep records of your assets before marriage to provide a layer of protection in case of separation. This includes inheritance. Experts also advise that you keep your own copies in a safe and secure location as many financial institutions only keep records for a certain number of years, therefore, making it difficult to collect them after so long.

We hope this guide to prenups was helpful! If you are interested in more advice revolving around prenups or postnups, let us know. We can post the pros and cons of prenups and advise how to ask your partner to sign a prenup.


Couple discusses love and politics over red wine in the kitchen

All is Fair in Love and Politics: Dating Across the Aisle

I think we can all agree we are living through one of the most politically charged moments in recent history, regardless of which side you align with at the polls. Like all great social changes, this has led to a shift in the way people view deal breakers and dating. All is fair in love and politics.

"It appears as if in the contemporary period political orientations directly affect the social relationships people seek to form, which results in increased political homogeneity in formed relationships. This has the potential to amplify polarization through the creation of homogenous social networks and households. Now when you say you're a Democrat or Republican, that is associated not just with a bundle of policy views but also a lot of identity and world views that are a strong signal of your values."

-Niel Malhotra, Political Science Professor at Stanford University

Bumble has a feature which allows users to filter potential matches by their political affiliation, but after the January 6th Insurrection, this feature was reportedly disabled temporarily due to an increase in negative political activity. It’s Just Lunch conducted their own poll and found the following:

  • 33% felt their first date was ruined when politics were brought up in conversation 
    • 18% refused a second date because of this
  • 50% said they would date someone with different views casually, but not long-term
  • 63% said that they only date people who have similar political opinions and beliefs

Do Love and Politics Have to Mesh?

When COVID was at its worst, research showed that democrats were more likely to wear masks than republicans. So, for those who wanted to be extra cautious of the virus, love and politics clashed more than ever. Even now, some clients are unwilling to meet anyone who isn’t vaccinated.

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues after the Pandemic or if people will be more open to dating across the aisle. 

For some, it’s less about which side you’re on, and more about being informed and involved. Many people report that they won’t date someone who describes themselves as apolitical or doesn’t exercise their right to vote.

It’s important to follow current events and have at least a basic political foundation. You don’t need to be a history buff or know every candidates’ policies. You don’t even need an opinion on hot-button topics or issues. All you need is a broad understanding of what you stand for, and a willingness to learn more about things you don’t understand.

It's Okay to Disagree

Therapists suggest the following tips for navigating political discussions with your partner:

When you disagree with a stranger or an acquaintance, it’s easy to just write them off as wrong in your mind and make assumptions about their malevolent intentions. Chances are, it was a one-time occurrence and you will never have to face that issue with them head-on again.

That’s not the case when you and your partner have differing political opinions. You can’t just assume she’s evil because she thinks differently about a social issue.

Find a way to discuss your differences without getting too passionate or heated. Try to get to the core reason of why the other person feels the way they do. I would be willing to bet both of your conflicting beliefs stem from a place of hope for a better world.

After all, isn’t that what we all want? We may have varying ideas for how to achieve a better world, or even what a better world looks like, but I like to believe we all have a similar endgame. 


Elderly Couple On a Boat at Sunset - Love After Loss

Love After Loss: A Widower’s Guide

According to the Holmes and Rahe Scale of major stressful life events, the death of a spouse is rated as the most stressful thing someone can experience, followed closely by divorce. When you’re in the midst of such a life-altering shift, the last thing you’re thinking about is finding love after loss.

But when you’re ready to start dating again, this guide is for you.

The people who care about you will try to give you the best advice they can. They mean well, but only you will know if and when you’re ready to get back out there. It’s hard not to think about everyone else and their needs. But you have to focus on yourself as well.

  • How will the kids feel?
  • What will your wife’s friends and family think?
  • Is this a betrayal of your marriage? 

I can tell you the answer to that last one is a resounding no. And while it’s important to be conscious of other people’s feelings, ultimately you have to decide for yourself if you want to find love again.

Is It Too Soon for Love After Loss?

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. The length and depth of your suffering does not have a bearing on how much you loved your wife.

My mom was widowed at the age of 40. My dad died in March after a battle with cancer in which she became a caregiver rather than a wife. By June, she had met the man who has now been my step-dad for over a decade. I grew up in a small town, and a lot of people weren’t shy about letting her know that was way too fast. But the truth is, she had already been grieving for over two years.

My parents were married for 18 years. If she can find love again, so can you. 

Everyone mourns in their own way. You may respond to the death of your spouse in a very different way than you did to losing a parent or close friend. That’s completely normal. Every heartbreak is uniquely painful. Follow your heart and your own pattern of mourning. Don’t let the fear of judgment hold you back.

Some people may decide that one epic love story was enough for them. But I would suspect since you’re here reading a blog about finding love after loss you’re not one of those people.

The number one reason people start to look for love after loss is loneliness. Once the soul-crushing pain dulls and some time has gone by, the house starts to feel really empty without your partner.

Grief & Guilt

Guilt is a common feeling among widowers who are dipping their toe back in the dating pool. Even those who had extensive discussions with their spouse about this very scenario still can’t seem to shake their sense of guilt.

We had a client whose wife encouraged him, on her deathbed, to start dating right away and still he struggled to agree to be matched a year later. 

It’s human nature to assign blame to ourselves for situations with which we had no control. Because of that we experience feelings for guilt that have no basis in reality. You’re not to blame for your wife’s death. Because if you are, this would be a much different conversation.

Since you’re not a murderer and you loved your wife dearly, there’s nothing you wouldn’t do to bring her back. So truly ask yourself, where is this guilt coming from? Chances are, it stems from you blaming yourself for something you have no business taking credit for.

Statistically speaking, men are much more likely to remarry after their spouse dies than women. You will never get over your late wife, but you can get on with your life.

If you’re a widower who is ready to find love after loss, we want to help you!


Couple Looks Out Over City - Make Time For a Relationship

How to Make Time for a Relationship

They say time is the best gift you could ever give someone because you are essentially sharing a piece of your life with them that you can never get back. Seeing as how my primary Love Language is Quality Time, I tend to agree. So, how do you make time for a relationship when you’re being pulled in a hundred different directions?

One of the most common complaints among couples is that their partner doesn’t put enough time or effort into the relationship to the point that it has become completely one-sided

We find time for the things that matter most to us in life. If you want to prioritize your relationship, you have to start finding time to focus on your partner. 

Organize Regular Outings

We’re all busy with work, travel, and family responsibilities; if you can’t fit a date into your calendar every week, then make up for it by whisking her off for a weekend getaway.

We all experience ruts in our relationships from time to time. Things start to feel monotonous and boring. Sound familiar? Try getting out of your routine. Instead of going to the same places all the time, try that spicy new spot that just opened up. Attend a pop-up art exhibit. Learn a new sport or skill together. 

The point is, if being in love is important to you, then you have to make time for a relationship in your life. If you need to delegate some projects to ensure you’re out of the office on time every Friday night, then do it. 

A good way to encourage more date nights is to buy season tickets somewhere. If it’s already paid for, and you know you have an empty box waiting on you, you’re more likely to find time to go.

And yes, if necessary...pencil in intimacy. It’s not sexy to put it on the calendar, but if that’s the only way to guarantee it happens, then write it in big letters and underline it in red. 

Forget Your Phones

The keyword of Quality Time is quality. It’s impossible to feel in tune with someone who is more focused on itunes.

We’re addicted to our devices enough as it is

From sleep to sex, studies show there are countless reasons why leaving your phone outside of the bedroom at night is a good idea. You should also ban them from the dinner table and date night. In the early stages of a relationship, you don’t always get to spend the amount of time with your significant other that you want, so you have to make the most of the time you do get. 

Carve Out Time for Communication

Whenever possible, go to bed together at the same time and include communication as part of your nightly routine. While you’re getting ready for bed and snuggling in for the night, use that time to connect.

Even if you’re in different parts of the world, take a few moments in the evening to check in with one another emotionally. Facetime is a beautiful invention, but phone calls are nice too.

Ask one another the following questions each night before bed.

  1. Is there anything on your heart you want to talk about?
  2. Did I do anything today that upset you?
  3. What was your highlight and lowlight of today?
  4. Are you looking forward to and/or dreading anything about tomorrow?
  5. What do you need from me to make tomorrow a good day?

Time is our most valuable resource. It’s finite and we never know how much of it we have left. How do you want to spend it? If falling in love and building a partnership is important to you, then you have to make time for a relationship in your world.

The good news is, with Executive Matchmakers, we take most of the time-consuming work out of dating. You don’t have to weed through dating apps or attend every (un)Happy Hour in town. We introduce you directly to exceptional, like-minded, relationship-ready women


Couple in Successful Relationship on Beach

Four Key Components of a Successful Relationship

Our founder Charlee, wrote a piece for a magazine in 2008. Her advice was so timeless, we decided to bring it back in 2021. The four key components of a successful relationship are—play, participate, prioritize, and plan. 

1. Play

Couples who play together, stay together.

There’s a reason so many people say a sense of humor is an important factor when looking for a potential mate. According to Dr. Jeffrey Hall, being able to laugh at the same things, and create inside jokes is the key to a successful relationship

Laughter is nature’s medicine. Try visiting a comedy club on your next date and see if it doesn’t help seal the bond. 

Does your partner prefer physical activities? Try a trampoline park. Maybe she’s more on the competitive side? Host a game night. Does she enjoy embarrassing herself at Karaoke?

Plan something together you know she will enjoy, something that allows you to play together and get out of your day-to-day lives. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, get out of your own comfort zone and try something new! She will appreciate your effort and your level of discomfort during Don’t Stop Believing and Sweet Caroline.

2. Participate

Speaking of effort. How much effort are you putting into the relationship compared to your partner? Are things pretty even or could one of you seriously pick up some slack?

It’s common for relationships to fluctuate, but if there is a constant imbalance, it’s time to reexamine things

Get out those participation trophies because relationships are not passive. To succeed, they require active participation from both parties.

3. Prioritize

We make time in our lives for the things that mean the most to us.

Now, you don’t necessarily need to write down your priorities and rate them, but if it helps, why not? Does finding a relationship rate up there with your career?

Then it’s time to start acting like it.

I would wager you put more than 40 hours into your job every week. But let me ask you, how many hours are you spending really making your love life a priority? If you’re in a relationship—how much work do you do to achieve and maintain a successful relationship?

Good news! With Executive Matchmakers, you don’t have to put hours of time and energy into your love life to make it a top priority. There’s no endless swiping or meaningless texting. Your Matchmaker does all the behind-the-scenes work to root out any potential deal-breakers. We sort through all of the candidates to find those best suited to you, then we introduce you!

4. Plan

In the Rom-Coms, there’s always a spontaneous meet-cute. On reality TV, the couple just happens upon a romantic flash mob while strolling through the park.

But those things don’t happen IRL.

A team of writers came up with that scenario, and some poor Production Assistants had to learn the dance, because there weren’t enough bodies in the flash mob. You didn’t see The Bachelorette signing a waiver before floating away in a hot air balloon. 

My point is, a successful relationship takes a whole lot of planning. Spontaneity often requires forethought, as oxymoronic as that may sound.

You don’t have to commission a yacht to plan a great date. A little goes a long way. What is her Love Language? Try organizing a day around filling her love tank. 

Love is an actionable verb. You have to wake up every single day and choose to love your partner. Make her laugh. Plan things to make her feel appreciated. Make her a priority in your life. 


Couple Traveling Together on Private Jet

Traveling Together For the First Time

Experiencing new things together—places, food, art, culture, anything can help solidify the bond you have already created. Traveling together, sharing experiences, romantic moments, getting away from the daily grind—all of these things cause your brain to release the happy hormones.

But we’ve all heard disaster stories of couples who broke up in every country on their European trip or fought their way across the Caribbean islands. How do you keep your romantic rendezvous from being a trip of terror?

Set Your Expectations

Everyone envisions a romantic vacation with magical sunsets and earth-shattering sex, but setting expectations unrealistically high, leads to definite disappointment.

Together, discuss the plans of your trip and what you both want to get out of it. Compromise where you can, and carve out alone time where you can’t. 

  • You prefer the snowy mountains, but your partner wants a tropical paradise.
  • You like to plan out the itinerary, but your partner prefers to wander.
  • Your partner wants to relax, but you want to pack as many activities in as possible.
  • You want to wake up early and see the sights, but your partner is still hungover.
  • Your partner wants to get to the airport 3 hours early, but you’re TSA PreCheck.

How will you communicate with each other and navigate these challenges? Like most good things, if you do a little bit of work up-front before packing your bags, your trip is likely to go a lot smoother. 

You Can Learn a Lot by Traveling Together

When researching and preparing for this blog I read an article that said traveling together gives you a glimpse into what it would be like to live with the other person. This can be true to an extent, but I caution you to use this as your main frame of reference.

I know personally, I’m a neat freak. But when I’m on vacation, I’m an entirely different person. People often modify their behavior when they’re on vacation. They try new activities, eat exotic foods, drink more than usual, and some of us allow our suitcases to explode throughout the room. 

Traveling together is stressful, so think of this as an opportunity to see how your partner deals with discomfort and anxiety.

  • How does she handle it when things don’t go according to plan?
  • What does she do when the airline loses her luggage or you miss a flight?
  • How does she treat hotel staff, airline personnel, locals, etc.?
  • Does she get grumpy when she’s jet lagged and hungry?
  • How does she handle language barriers?
  • Is she flexible and patient or unmoving and demanding?

You can also learn things like what her routines look like; is she a morning or night person? How long does she take to get ready? Do you agree on the temperature in the room? These may sound like silly things, but ask any couple who has been married for decades and they’ll tell you the small things add up!