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Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

Find Yourself Stuck with Mr. Wrong?

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

By Aly Walansky

Amy Beth O’Brien’s friends think she watches a few too many movies, but she just may be on to something.

In her book Stuck with Mr. Wrong? Ten Steps to Starring in your own Life Story (www.amybethobrien.com), O’Brien shares her secret to avoiding bad relationships by looking at life from an audience’s perspective.

“Everyone loves the movies,” said O’Brien. “We get to lose ourselves in a story and live vicariously through the main character.  I encourage women to be the main character in their own life story by stepping into their starring role as leading lady and stop playing extra or best supporting actress to someone else.”

Her lessons are taught through movie analogies that help women take control of their lives, and help them avoid the mistakes that often lead to good women putting up with bad male behavior. Her tips include:

  • Embrace Your Inner Screenwriter – Every woman has some version of the story they want to live. We can write our script based on fears of what would happen if we made any changes or out of faith that taking control of our lives, and being our most authentic selves, is the best story we could ever write.
  • Listen to Your Director – While the screenwriter spins the yarn, the director delivers the vision to guide the story. When the players are acting out of character, or the story seems to take a wrong turn, the director guides us to make the best choices to put us back on track. Listening to your director means understanding that our intuition is our best friend and guide.
  • Become the Star – If we looked at our life as a movie, would we see ourselves as the leading role in our own movie, or an extra or supporting player in the lives of those around us? We all have family and friends we support, and for whom we make sacrifices. How much of our time is spent on those responsibilities and obligations, and how much is dedicated to living the scripts of our own lives? Many of us live with the guilt-ridden thesis that if we spend time on our own goals, we are somehow neglecting others. That’s patently false and we need to ensure that we don’t spend our lives playing roles in other people’s movies, to the extent that we’re unable to star in our own.

“Your dreams, values, passions and creativity are meant to be expressed,” O’Brien added. “Relationships may challenge us, but they should never turn us into people we are not, suppress our talents, or squelch our dreams and desires.  I encourage women to stop acting — to stop conforming to another person’s tastes, keeping silent when they have something to say, compromising their spirit, or staying in a bad situation out of fear.  Move forward with faith toward the life of your dreams.”


Saying “I Love You” For the First Time

Monday, June 20th, 2011

by: Yolanda Shoshana

When was the last time you said the three magic words, I love you, to your boo? I do not mean in an email, a text or in passing. When was the last time you said those words with intent and feeling.

Saying those three little words can be magic for your relationship. It is difficult for some people to say I love you due to their perspective of the words or how they grew up. Then there are people who throw the words around very easily to the degree that they “love everyone’. Some people love being in love, we all know someone like that.

If you really want “I love you” to take meaning between you and your partner, remember to say the words with intent and meaning. Look into their eyes when you say it. Pick up the phone and say it verbally instead of putting it in a text. Not only is it thoughtful but it slows you down to physically feel love as you say it. It is a win win situation for the both of you.

Besides saying those lovely words, show it. My mother always taught me that action speaks louder than words. You can also do something that shows love versus saying it if the words are hard for you to say.

Pay attention to your partners desires and give them what they crave. It is how you keep love brewing between the two of you, plus it does wonders for keeping it hot in the boudoir.

Make saying “I love you” have meaning and intent!


Yolanda Shoshana “Shoshi” is a lifestyle provocateur:  sex goddess, courtesan coach™, lifestyle guru, perfume creatrix, matchmaker, wedding officiant, and new thought speaker. She has a lifestyle show on Mingle Media TV called Courtesan Candy and a radio show Luscious Life on Women’s Radio. Follow her on Twitter @Shoshi

Emotional Infidelity: When a Friendship is More than a Friendship

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

By Aly Walansky

With the recent confession of US Rep. Anthony Weiner, the topic of emotional infidelity is once again being debated. Although Weiner did not physically cheat on his spouse, he was emotionally unfaithful. Or was he?

Paul A. Falzone is the CEO of eLove, one of the world’s largest professional matchmaking services. He’s been in the matchmaking book for 35 years and literally wrote the book of love, eLove: A Singles Guide. He has some distinct views on what constitutes cheating and how singles in a relationship can avoid the trappings of emotional infidelity.

An emotional affair, which often masquerades as a friendship, can happen whether you’re single, married or in a committed relationship.

According to Falzone, “The best way to explain emotional fidelity is to explain what constitutes emotional infidelity. Technically, this is when you choose not to or you’re unable to share your emotions, thoughts and feelings with your significant other, yet you share them with someone else of the opposite sex. Although you’re not having a physical affair, you are being emotionally intimate with someone other than your partner.”

Emotional infidelity is not simple flirting. But, it can begin with flirting, as that is how many relationships develop. That casual banter with a co-worker may turn in to flirting and something more serious and emotionally involved as time goes on.

To be emotionally faithful is to not betray your partner. You know your partner better than anyone else; what his or her needs are and how he or she feels about everything. If you’re sharing special thoughts, feelings, ambitions or dreams with someone other than him or her, then you are knowingly being emotionally unfaithful and trust has been broken.

Here are a few examples of emotional fidelity that will help keep you in check:

You receive good (or bad) news, whether it relates to work, health, finances, friends or family and you’re excited to share it with your significant other (as opposed to someone else of the opposite sex).

You have a problem with your partner and you want to discuss it with your partner (and not someone else of the opposite sex).

You have a new idea or dream or you’re considering making a change in your life and the only person you discuss it with is the one whose got your back – your partner.

“To be cognizant of what is and isn’t emotional fidelity is half the battle. If you feel you can talk with, or that you are closer to, that ‘friend’ than you are to your significant other, then that’s a sure sign that your relationship needs attention,” noted Falzone.


One in Four People Are Bored In Their Relationship!

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

By Aly Walansky

According to a new study conducted by Good in Bed and Kristen Mark of Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute, the biggest threat to long-term relationship satisfaction may come in form of boredom.

In a survey of 3,341 people in monogamous relationships (1,418 men and 1,923 women), the study found that a full quarter of respondents were bored in their current relationship. Beyond that, another 25% reported being on the brink of becoming bored. That’s nearly 50% of all couples surveyed.

“Boredom is basically like an attack on a relationship’s immunity system – once weakened, it’s all the more susceptible to a cascade of ailments,” explains Ian Kerner, PhD and renowned sex and relationship expert and founder of Good in Bed.  “It’s not a coincidence that a fifth of respondents admitted to being unfaithful to their partner as a result of being bored.”

According to the study, certain milestones exacerbate relationship boredom. Top factors cited include:

  • Moving in together (15.6%)
  • Marriage (13.8%)
  • Getting pregnant (8%)
  • Having kids (32.2%)
  • Getting older (38.5%)

This study, which was made possible by the support of KY-Brand, was conducted in collaboration with Kristen Mark, a PhD student at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, to further understand relationship boredom within the context of committed relationships.  A nationwide sample of 3,341 U.S. adults in relationships at the time responded to the survey.

What about you? Have you experienced relationship boredom? How did you get past it?

Shape Up Your Sex Life

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

By Aly Walansky

Lose the weight or give up sex? Why choose?

Leading relationship experts Tamsen Fadal and Matt Titus, co-founders of The Love Connection and authors of two top-selling books on the topic, believe you can lose the weight and have more sex….with a summer shape-up sure to result in a more satisfying life.

While Memorial Day traditionally kicks off summer…for women everywhere, it’s the start of getting in shape and ready for bathing suit season. While there are a myriad of diet and workout strategies to improve one’s physical appearance…why shouldn’t women also concentrate on toning-up their sexual side to be totally alluring and irresistible on the beach and beneath the sheets?

Here are some easy to execute sexual strategies to ignite Summer pleasures:

*Shape-up Your Sex Life Plan*

Consult your physician: When starting any exercise program, it is imperative to consult with your physician …and a sexy shape-up is no exception! Surprisingly, 9 out of 10 women fail to talk to their doctor about sexual dissatisfaction. Meantime, studies now indicate that it may be easier to talk to your physician about sexual issues if you bring your partner along!

Sexy Diet Tips: Increase your libido by adding the following to your diet:

· Phenylethamine-rich chocolate… (just eat sensibly as not to increase your new waistline).

· Summer fresh, lycopene-rich tomatoes

· Antioxidant-rich fresh figs and luscious papayas bountiful and in season

· Zinc-rich, healthy halibut and cod

Sexercise: Engaging in sexual intercourse helps consume extra calories, which can engage your weight reduction plan.

Sex-ventures: Summer is a season of spontaneity so kick predictability to the curb. Move outside and engage in new and risky activities that can help spike positive brain chemicals and boost your sexual energy. These neuro-transmitting chemicals, dopamine and norepinephrine, can make it feel like first-time sex.

Sexually Stalled to Sexually Satisfied: While men have had help with sexual dysfunction through prescribed medicines…now women can boost lagging libidos and heighten sexual pleasure by applying

Zestra Essential Arousal Oils. This safe and effective topically applied OTC gel is a patented blend of botanical extracts clinically proven to improve sexual satisfaction and make GREAT SEX effortless all summer.


What Can We Learn From Celebrity Divorce?

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

By Aly Walansky

Here are the facts about three celebrities who were blindsided by their spouse with divorce:

—Actress Laura Dern was totally blindsided when her hubby, Grammy winner Ben Harper, filed for a divorce. The two had been married since 2005 and had two kids together. Meanwhile, Harper claimed in the legal documents that they’d been separated since January, but friends of the couple said they’d been traveling together all year and were intimate maybe as recently as last week. How hard is it to have a sit-down before filing divorce papers?
—Usher and his now ex-wife Tameka Foster had allegedly been separated for a year when Usher filed for divorce, but Tameka claimed they’d been intimate within the week and court documents said she had every reason to believe her marriage was intact.
—Tiki Barber was allegedly “floored” that his pregnant wife Ginny filed for divorce, because she was supposed to do it a month later. Ginny was eight months pregnant with twins and the two had agreed they wouldn’t “file divorce papers until after their babies were born.” The two had been separated since talk of Tiki’s alleged affair had begun a few weeks before.

In each of these cases one partner was shocked and surprised by their partner’s move to file divorce. Clearly there was a communication shortfall but could it have been avoided? What can we learn from these examples?

Mary Pender Greene, noted psychotherapist and relationship expert has this to say: “Many of us share the unrealistic expectations of celebrities and do and will not put the necessary effort into our marriages. This can be traced to the pretty pictures presented by movies, television and other entertainment sources–creating false expectations. This becomes deadly when coupled with the high divorce rate in America.

We learn from the example of our parents and their behavior.

Couples often fall victim to difficult family histories. It is instructive that in the case of celebrities, too many of them are surrounded by adoring fans and equally adoring friends and associatesmost who care for them based on their fame and fortune. Is it surprising these “stars” would have difficulty with the sometimes hard truths of marriage? But no matter what the situation is or who you are, there is no getting around the fact that marriage takes work. Being “lazy in love”  will almost always spell disaster in a marriage. It leads to communication difficulties and skewed perceptions.

“In the case of these blindsided men and woman, it is clear that a lack of communication between them was the main culprit in their break-ups,” Pender says.

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 >>

Top 10 Best and Worst Things to Say to Someone Grieving

Monday, February 28th, 2011

By Aly Walansky

In the wake of the shootings in Arizona, our nation is struggling with grief – and struggling with what to say to someone who is grieving.

“People are very uncomfortable when they try to comfort someone who is grieving. If you say the wrong thing, you can actually make matters worse,” said Aurora Winter, Founder of the Grief Coach Academy, and author of “From Heartbreak to Happiness.”

Here are some tips on what to say at a funeral or wake to comfort people in bereavement:

Do say:

  • You’re not alone – I’m here.
  • I can’t imagine how painful this must be for you.
  • My heart goes out to you.
  • What specifically can I do to support you?
  • Grief is a normal and natural reaction to loss.

Don’t say:

  • Don’t feel bad.
  • Be grateful you had her so long.
  • At least you have other children.
  • You’re young. You can get another husband/wife/child.
  • It just takes time.

“Time alone does not heal,” says Winter, who founded the Grief Coach Academy after the death of her husband. She is passionate about helping grieving people. “The right actions heal. Get support and talk to someone, such as a certified grief coach.”

It is a relief to a grieving person to talk about their loss. Here are 3 steps to supporting someone who is in bereavement:

  1. Acknowledge (their feelings and the situation)
  2. Listen without fixing
  3. Give hope and encouragement

If you are at a loss for words, there is nothing wrong with being authentic and simply stating, “I don’t know what to say.”

“Healing is a process, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” says Aurora.

Aurora’s book “From Heartbreak to Happiness” is her intimate diary of healing after her husband died suddenly at the age of 33, leaving her widowed with a 4-year-old son. “If I can go from heartbreak to happiness, you can, too,” says Aurora.

Is Your Relationship Over?

Friday, February 25th, 2011

By Aly Walansky

Mary Pender Greene, NYC psychotherapist and relationship expert advises, “The presence of any one of these signs shouldn’t cause you to run out and call the whole thing off. But if any of these situations sound familiar, ask yourself if you’re really into this guy. Or are you dragging out a bad relationship?”

Good question…read on. Do any of these things exist in your own relationship?

* The relationship feels more like a friendship.
* He says, “I love you” and you can’t imagine saying it back…ever.
* You have nothing to say to each other.
* You cheat on him or he cheats on you.
* There’s a general feeling of disconnect that doesn’t go away.
* The drama is more exciting than the relationship.
* You have so many “talks about us,” there’s no “us” anymore.
* You fight more than you actually have fun.
* You have sex only because you want him to want to have sex with.
* He isn’t supportive of your work or your interests outside the relationship.
* You find yourself constantly looking at other guys, and everyone seems more attractive than your boyfriend.
* The sex is consistently bad or sad.

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.

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