Why a balloon ride beats a
new pair of shoes
Want to indulge yourself in a way
that brings long-term emotional
benefits? Invest in experiences,
not stuff. Springing for a massage,
tickets to a game, or some other
experiential purchase brings
more happiness than buying new
objects, according to a study at
San Francisco State University
involving 154 people. “Buying a new
shirt, pair of shoes, or electronic
device may give you a tempo-
rary lift, but you’ll adapt to
it pretty quickly,” says study
author Ryan Howell, Ph. D.
“Once you do, it won’t be as
uplifting anymore.” Spending
on experiences, however, creates a
kind of “memory capital”—an emo-
tional reserve of happy memories
you can call on again and again.
FROM LEF T: ILLUSTRATION BY SERGE BLOCH; ILLUS TRATION B Y CHRIS TOPH NIEMANN
You learn your partner has lied
WHAT I T USUALL Y MEANS White lies
such as saying a new gadget was on
sale when it wasn’t are common. Do
they harm the relationship? Rarely.
WHEN TO WORR Y If your partner lied
about something big—such as losing
a job—or because he or she was sincerely afraid of your reaction, your
relationship has ceased to be intimate, understanding, or supportive.
You want to run away
WHAT I T USUALL Y MEANS
Daydreaming about escaping your life (and
spouse) could mean you need a new
job, more exercise, help with a money
mess, or a fix for a stymied friendship.
WHEN TO WORR Y If you are taking
steps toward leaving, or just threatening to do it, things are seriously
awry. You need to find out what is at
the root of your fantasy—and what
can make life better for both of you. ;
Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., is AARP’s Sex
and Relationships ambassador.
OF YOUR LIFE
By Peggy Post
Most people hate
to say no. But setting
limits in a relationship
isn’t rude, so long as
it’s done gracefully.
Count to three
Pause to remember
that you can’t give
what you don’t have,
whether it’s time,
money, or energy.
You’ll be more confident with your no.
Soften the blow
such as “I can’t help
right now, but you’re
kind to think of me”—
show that you value
Don’t waffle Say-
ing maybe when you
mean no only stretch-
es out the discomfort.
Pass the buck Offer
an alternative if it’s
viable. “Your aunt has
been dying to babysit.
Why don’t you see if
Try it. You may find
it’s easier than you