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Posts Tagged ‘love tips’

Top Ten: Make Your Relationship Stronger

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

By Aly Walansky

Terri Orbuch, PhD’s 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great maintains that good relationships shouldn’t be hard work. Here’s more good news for lovebirds: If you’re in a happy partnership, married or not, you can keep it that way or make it even better by introducing a few new behaviors and small changes into the relationship.

While many relationship experts say you need to focus on fixing what’s wrong, my research shows that adding positive behaviors to the relationship has a much greater impact on couples’ happiness.

Here are ten ways to deepen your relationship bond, and be a happier couple.

Accept your partner’s uniqueness.

We have all had moments when we wished our partner was thinner, wealthier, more romantic, and so on. Take a look at your expectations and ask yourself how realistic they are. Unrealistic expectations lead to chronic frustration, which my study found is the main reason relationships fail.

Do random acts of kindness–often.

Small gestures that say “I’m thinking of you” are essential to keep the relationship bond strong–e.g., he fills up her tank with gas, she brings him a steaming cup of coffee in bed. Hand holding, touching, or a midday love email are all small ways of showing affection. Research shows that the accumulation of small gestures has a bigger impact on couple happiness than grand, less frequent gestures.

Devote 10 minutes a day to connecting.

Most couples think they talk to each other all the time. But how often do you talk about things that really deepen your understanding of your mate? The happy couples in my study talked to each other frequently–not about their relationship, but about other things–and felt they knew a lot about their spouse in four key areas: friends, stressors, life dreams, and values. Set aside 10 minutes a day–I call it The 10-Minute Rule–to talk to your partner about anything other than work, family, the household, or the relationship. This simple change infuses relationships with new spirit and life.

Fall in love all over again–weekly.

Spontaneous dates are great, but the truth is that we’re busy and we often don’t make time for our lover. Keep your love relationship healthy with a once-a-week date–dinner out, a movie, dancing, an art show, couples yoga–whatever. Take turns planning it. Men: studies show that women are more passionate and their libido is stronger when they are out of their home setting–away from kids and chores. Watch what happens when you book a night at the local hotel, and get a friend or relative to watch the kids and pets.

Change and grow–together.

Your love relationship is a living thing that needs nourishment to grow and develop. The best way to nurture it is to infuse it with change. Much like fertilizer for a plant, introducing change into relationships has been shown to be a key ingredient to couple happiness. The changes can be small, but they have to upset the routine enough to make him or her sit up and take notice. Switch roles: If he always makes the dinner reservation, let her do it. Or interrupt routines: Play hooky from work and do something fun together, like visiting a museum or tourist spot nearby. Or try something new: Take a water-skiing class together, or go on a mediation retreat.

Get to know each other’s friends and family.

My research found that men, in particular, are happier when the female has a good relationship with his family. Also, couples who accept–not necessarily love–each other’s friends and make an effort to know them report being happier than couples who have separate friends and separate family lives.

Be a caregiver.

One of the three things couples need for a happy relationship is support (the other two needs are reassurance and intimacy). The happy couples in my study uniformly said that having a partner who was “there for them” was one of the most important aspects of their relationship. Men often like to give instrumental support–the kind of support that fixes or solves a problem. Women often like to give emotional support–empathetic listening and constructive feedback. Find out what type of help your partner really wants first, and then give it to him or her–often and consistently.

Keep it light–and full of light.

Laughter is a spiritual practice. In marriage, it acts as happiness medicine. To keep your relationship from slipping into a rut, you need to balance the rational aspects of your partnership with the fun parts. Yes, you need to do certain things to keep your life orderly and your partnership secure. But don’t forget to play. Try to rediscover the pure delight of playing a game, acting childish in the snow, watching a silly movie, dragging her onto the dance floor, and so on.

Let go and give it to a higher power.

When you have a disagreement, sometimes it’s best to just let it go and let the universe deal with it. Instead of bickering or getting angry, see if you can let the small things go by. Every partnership has conflict. Conflict is not what makes couples unhappy, but it’s the way they deal with it that brings stress into the relationship. Figure out which issues are really important to deal with–for example, those involving kids, money, and division of labor are usually the top three–and then let some of the smaller stuff go.

Find a healthy way to communicate.

The happy couples from my long-term study of marriage all said that good communication skills were what kept them together and thriving. This means not only asking your partner what he or she needs, but telling your partner what you need. It means checking in regularly to find out what stressors are rearing their ugly head in your partner’s life, and it means learning how to fight fair–no name calling, shaming, or kitchen sinking (bringing up everything that’s bothered you for the last year).

Want some cool ideas for your next date? Check out 100s of date ideas >>

4 Tips: Creating a Successful Marriage

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

By Aly Walansky

1. Talk frequently and honestly to each other about your frustrations, about sex, about anger,about disappointment, about your appreciation of each other, about the meaning of life, about everything.

No topic should be off limits. Learn to listen and communicate instead of fighting.

Fighting is childish, and you want a grown-up relationship.

2. Strive to work together to solve anything that comes up:

Be a team, create a partnership. Don’t get stuck on who’s right or wrong, instead focus on what will solve the problem. Strive to work together so both of you can have what you want. When you build a successful working partnership, each of you will feel supported and respected by the other. When each of you feels that the other has your best interests at heart, problems are solved not “my way” or “your way” but so that both are happy with the solution. The mutuality of this type of partnership creates an environment of love where deep trust grows. When trust, respect, responsibility and love feel mutual, that’s when we feel secure in being loved.

3. Keep your connection going through communication, sex, affection, understanding and concern for one another.

Nothing insures that your relationship will remain faithful better than a good, warm connection with mutually enjoyable sex.

4. Have a sense of humor; give the benefit of the doubt, care about each other.

Store up plenty of good times in your relationship reservoir to draw on in the hard times. Treat your partner like your best friend.

Why Is Everyone Normal Except My Spouse?

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

By Aly Walansky

Why does it seem that all our friends are great and connect with us and get along with us – yet our spouse just doesn’t!?

Here is the secret: We tend to surround ourselves with the same personality type as us when it comes to friends, yet in a spouse we marry a DIFFERENT personality type!

We do this because we are “staffing our weaknesses.”

Things that we are not capable of doing is probably our spouse’s greatest strength. For example, maybe we are shy but our spouse makes friends easily. Naturally we adore people who have strengths that we don’t so we admire them, fall in love and marry them.

The funny thing is – after the ring goes on we spend our entire marriage trying to turn them in to us!

Instead of trying to change our spouse to be “us”, we should appreciate why we married them in the first place and focus on those strengths we adore instead of on our differences!

Do you notice yourself making this mistake — in dating and in marriage? Please comment below!

Do You Use Technology To Keep Tabs On Your Man?

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

By Jennifer Latkiewicz
Do you read his texts, check his Facebook profile or even hack into his online accounts? You may be snoopy but hey, you’re not alone.

couple computerAll you need is love… and a poorly encrypted password.

Nearly half of women know their partner’s passwords for their email and Facebook accounts with one in ten admitting they snoop behind their partner’s back, according to a recent poll.

In the survey of 3,000 British women 18 to 45 who are in a relationship, researchers also found that 38 percent check their partner’s web browser history whenever they use his PC, while a third confess to peeking at his mobile phone.

The U.K. study also found that one in six women has gone as far as setting a “honeytrap” — sending messages to their partner from a fake online account or mobile number in an attempt to catch them.

Other interesting tidbits:

-28% said they questioned calls from an unknown number on their partner’s phone
-One in 20 have caught their husbands or boyfriends sexting — exchanging racy text messages or pictures — with members of the opposite sex.

-A fifth have argued with their partner over putting kisses on text messages to another woman

-Nine in 10 consider any form of ‘sexting’ to be disrespectful and not harmless fun, with eight in ten saying they would end the relationship.

-Most women would confront their partner if they found anything on their phone but 45% said they would keep the information to themselves and let things play out before saying anything.

Do you keep digital tabs on your man? If so, has it ever blown up in your face? Let us know in the comments section!

Jennifer Latkiewicz is a Love/Sex blogger for LovingYou.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JenniferLat.

Is the Happiest Life a Married Life?

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

By Jennifer Latkiewicz

As it turns out, the way to a better life is by taking the plunge.

Tax breaks, a Williams-Sonoma registry and a guaranteed date to social functions aren’t the only perks of getting married. From benefits such as a longer, healthier life, more friends and better sex, researchers say the cure for what ails you could be as simple as saying “I do.”

Married people lead healthier, longer lives.

A blissful union leads to a longer life, more friends, and better mental and physical health, say researchers. According to a recent report, the happier the marriage, the more likely you are to eat healthily, have more friends and take better care of each other.

Additionally, marriage can also reduce work-related stress, fatigue and depression, thanks to the added support from spouses at home to help talk away the problems of the day. And let’s not forget about the discounted healthcare plans for spouses!

But how much of an effect does marriage really have? According to a UCLA study, people in generally excellent health were still 88 percent more likely to die over the 8-year study period if they were single (presumably eaten by cats).

Married people are paid more… and work less.

Believe it or not, that band of gold is more than a symbol of eternal love — it’s a guaranteed pay raise and ‘free pass’ for time off. Balancing family and work can but tough but fortunately, the system has been set up to help accommodate spousal and/or parental obligations. And even when single and married men have done the same job at the same level of competence for the same number of years, bachelors are paid about 26 percent less, says Dr. Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., a Harvard-educated social psychologist and author of Singled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After.

Accurate or not, the perception is that a married man’s paycheck goes towards supporting his family — not bar tabs and cat food, or whatever it is the boss assumes single people spend their money on. Perhaps that’s why married men receive higher performance ratings and faster promotions than bachelors, as reported in a 2005 study.

Married people have more satisfying sex, more often.

Despite the countless sitcoms suggesting otherwise, married people enjoy better, more satisfying sex, say Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher in their book The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better off Financially. After examining hundreds of published studies and statistics, the authors found that about over 40% of married women said their sex life was emotionally and physically satisfying, compared to about 30% of single women. Not only that, but 40% of married people reported to have sex twice a week, compared to 20-25% of single and cohabitating men and women.

What about the Cohabitators?

Cohabiting couples looking to reap the same benefits may have to take the plunge, as the key seems to lie within the deeper commitment and permanency of marriage. Says John Gallacher, a Cardiff University academic who reviewed the aforementioned European studies regarding marriage and health for the British Medical Journal, ”Commitment seems to provide networks of supportive and helpful relationships, beginning with the spouse or partner, leading to more healthy lifestyles and better emotional and physical health.”

However, marriage isn’t always the answer — according to Gallacher, being single is far less harmful to your health than being in a strained relationship. Though he did note that despite the risks of failure, “On balance, it [pursuing a relationship] is probably worth making the effort.”

Marriage — the key to happiness. Who knew?

Jennifer Latkiewicz is a Love/Sex blogger for LovingYou.com. She is one half of a cohabiting couple hoping to be the exception to the rule. Follow her on Twitter at @JenniferLat.

Want some cool ideas for your next date? Check out 100s of date ideas >>

Extramaritial Affairs a Growing Trend

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Is having an extramarital affair as taboo as it use to be? This trendy topic seems to be getting a lot of attention in the past few weeks thanks to Steve Harvey and Ashley Madison.

Actor/Comedian turned love guru Steve Harvey, who recently released his second book  Straight Talk, No Chaser is being called out on YouTube by his ex- wife, Mary Harvey. She is blowing up his spot by saying Steve is not the man he claims to be because he cheated on her, took their son, and left her homeless. What makes it even more of a hot mess is she is shares a letter that she received from a mistress. Harvey has admitted that was no angel in the past and that he has changed with is current marriage. It should be noted that Harvey’s current wife was one of his mistresses when he was married.

When one thinks of having an affair, Ashley Madison is the online dating service to check out. The website claims to have over 7.8 million around the world ready, willing, and able to cheat on their partners. Ashley Madison recently had a commercial ad for the Superbowl rejected.  As if a commercial with porn star, Savanna Samson, taking off her clothes telling people have an affair would have aired on Fox or any other network? The rejected video is now a hit on YouTube, which may have been a part of their master plan all along.

Extramarital affairs are becoming common with 80% of married couples having had at least one partner in an affair at one time or another. Don’t act surprised because if you haven’t strayed, chances are one of your friends (if not more) have stepped outside of their marriage. Not to mention that studies continue to show that single women find attached men more attractive.

While people still look at marital affairs as immoral, more women are having affairs today. There are various reasons for this such as personal gratification, lack of romance, feeling lonely, and feeling sexier with age.

Yolanda Shoshana “Shoshi” is a multi-platform media personality: courtesan coach™, lifestyle guru, love maker, wedding officiant, and new thought speaker. Follow her on Twitter @Shoshi

Hollywood Couple of the Year

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

by: Yolanda Shoshana

For some reason Hollywood couples continue to get put on a pedestal even though they continue  to prove they have the same relationships issues as everyone else. Being rich and famous does not guarantee that you will love happily ever after.

While the media continues to focus on Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, there are other Hollywood couples who deserve the same hype if not more. It would be safe to say that being famous adds a whole other layer to being married. Some marriages end quickly, painfully, and expensively. While other couples flourish and remain strong.  Consider any of these couples for couple of the year:

Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon- One of the cutest and most down to earth couples in Hollywood, Sedgwick and Bacon have been married since 1988. While Sedgwick is off in LA filming her hit show the Closer, Bacon holds down the fort with the kids in New York. According to Bacon, “In my opinion, I got the hottest babe there is; I would never do anything to jeopardize that.”

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith- They should have first been onscreen boyfriend and girlfriend on Fresh Prince of Bell Air, but the producers thought Jada was to short for Will. Looks like the producers were way wrong. After thirteen years of marriage this sexy couple still manages to have fun and show their respect for each other. They are even raising little mini versions of themselves, Willow and Jaden Smith, who are now blooming in the entertainment business.

Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn- Still not legally married, yet still going strong after 25 years together. They have always said that they didn’t want to ruin their relationship with marriage. Hawn also says “I wake up every day knowing I can walk out at any moment”, she said. “It is that knowledge that keeps things fresh.” Russell not being hard on the eyes is another plus.

Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis – Did you actually believe the Angelina and Johnny rumors, as if he is going anywhere. Depp loves his quite France farm life living with partner Vanessa Paradis whom he has been with over twelve years. Depp has stated that when he met Paradis he was drifting, but being with her has just blown him away. He loves the simple things in life just being with his woman and their two kids.

Warren Beatty and Annette Benning- After years of being one of Hollywood’s most eligible players, Benning brought one of the most wanted men in Hollywood into her net. It has been said that Beatty knew Benning was “the one” the first time they met over pizza to talk about the movie “Bugsy”. Beatty was looking for a woman to make him good, after 20 years of marriage it is safe to say he made the right choice.

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw- The beautiful couple met on a tour in 1996, where they immediately fell in love. Their fans enjoy the fact that the duo perform and tour together. Hill has stated that when she is on the road from McGraw she will wear one of his shirts. The secret sauce in their relationship is that Hill is the boss and McGraw is more than fine with that.

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas- People wondered if Zeta-Jones and Douglas, would last. Between him being a former sex addict and her love of older men with money, it appeared it would be a quick union. Ten years and two kids later, they are still going strong. A fun fact about this couple is that they share the same birthday, though Douglas is fifteen years older.

Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton- This talented quirky couple not only makes good films together, but have been a relationship since 2001.Deciding that they could not live together, they purchased neighboring houses in London. They have two children together, and Johnny Depp is the godfather to their son.

Yolanda Shoshana “Shoshi” is a multi-platform media personality: courtesan coach™, lifestyle guru, love maker, wedding officiant, and new thought speaker. Follow her on Twitter @Shoshi

Screw Chemistry; It’s All About Tongue

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

by Stephanie G.

While the tongue literally has a lot to do with the success rate of a relationship, I’m talking linguistically– if your speech patterns match up with your mate’s, you may have a leg up on relationships based on common interests.

A team of researchers from the University of Texas evaluated the language of 40 men and 40 women during a speed dating event– the more similar their dialogue, the more frequently the pair requested to see each other again.

Another test group of 19-year-old college students turned over their IM conversations with their significant others. If their communication seemed uniform, the couple was 50% more likely to be together three months later.

How do you use this to your advantage? Be yourself. Sometimes an attracted party can (unknowingly) manipulate their speech to mimic the person they like, but it only means they’re paying attention and is almost expected in a budding relationship.

Stephanie is a NYC lifer who enjoys new-age dating, sharp-dressed men, and occasionally acting as big spoon. Follow her on Twitter!

In Marriage, Money Matters: Money Mix Up: How Will Prince William and Kate’s Finances Impact Their Marriage?

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

By Aly Walansky
In just a few months, the wedding the world is waiting for will finally take place.

(OK, maybe not the WHOLE world. But my world, and that’s ultimately what matters to me.)

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However, some experts are saying that, as with many people from different worlds getting married, there may be some trouble in the castle because Prince William is royalty and, well, his fiancée Kate Middleton is not.

Kate is from the middle class. (The horror!) She never had servants or limos or vacation homes. So can this couple with vastly different views of money make it? Most experts agree Prince William and Kate’s varying financial backgrounds could impact their marriage. Here’s how.

Kate May Feel Like an Outsider - Some financial experts say it’s common in a situation like this for the less-wealthy partner to feel like they have to win the approval of the rich person’s family. Kate may struggle with feeling like she’s not completely accepted by the Queen and the rest of the royal bunch.

They May Not Share Financial Philosophies – Kate may understand the importance of working for a living, while Prince William may not. There’s no telling how different their financial philosophies could be which will mean added challenges when setting priorities and raising children. The good news is this couple has already known each other for nearly a decade so there’s a good chance that they’ve talked these issues over.

Raising Kids Could be Tough - It’s important for parents to be on the same page when it comes to teaching certain life lessons to little ones. Kate and William may have a difficult time finding common ground when it comes time to raise children.

Then again, it’s going to be life in the castle with the tiara on her head…I think they will probably get used to it pretty quickly!

Bathroom Blunders To Avoid

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

by Stephanie G.

According to a study conducted by betterbathrooms.com, cohabiting couples fight 312 times yearly over each other’s bad household habits. If you’d like to live in peace with your partner more frequently than the national average of 53 days, read on.

I don’t live with my boyfriend, but having recently returned from our first vacation together, I can honestly say I attempted to be on my best behavior. I mention this because at home, I am rarely, if ever, a glowing example of a tidy woman. And while my boyfriend has experienced this as a third party and guest, my male roommate is subject to hair in the shower and tampons under the bathroom sink on the daily. And it’s not pretty.

If you’re new to the cohabiting game, a survey conducted in Britain by betterbathrooms.com breaks down ten domestic dealbreakers that are easily avoidable if you’re looking to live with your lover.

Top Ten Dealbreakers for Men:

1. Taking too long to get ready

2. Nagging about chores

3. Leaving lights on

4. Hair in the drain

5. Hoarding

6. Overfilling bins

7. Leaving tissues around the house

8. Leaving dirty cups around the house

9. Flicking TV channels

10. Watching soaps

Top Ten Dealbreakers for Women

1. Stubble in the sink

2. Dirty marks in the toilet

3. Flicking TV channels

4. Not replacing the toilet roll

5. Leaving the seat up

6. Leaving lights on

7. Leaving dirty cups around the house

8. Leaving wet towels on the floor/bed

9. Hoarding stuff

10. Not flushing the toilet

While both sexes are guilty of unsightly behavior, 1/4 of those who participated admitted that their partner’s nagging lead them to change their ways. Keep fightin’ the good fight against those toilet skid marks, ladies.

[via Daily Mail]

Stephanie is a NYC lifer who enjoys new-age dating, sharp-dressed men, and occasionally acting as big spoon. Follow her on Twitter!

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