Tag Archives: healthy relationship

7 Ways to Boost Your Relationship

Boost Your Relationships

Relationships have their ups and downs. If yours could use some tweaking, here are 7 ways to boost your relationship:

  1. Show love the way your partner prefers. It’s one thing to know your partner loves you, but another to feel it on an emotional level. We all show love differently – some of us may prefer to spend as much time with our partner as we can, while others rely on physical touch to feel connected. Know your partner’s “love language” and give freely in that way.
  2. Keep your positive illusions. People who are happy in their relationships believe that their partner is better than anyone else out there. What matters is that you think your partner suits you the best (and this doesn’t mean that you won’t complain about your partner or ever have disagreements). Holding onto these positive illusions is key to making your relationship last!
  3. Show acceptance. It’s easier to be vulnerable in a relationship when you’re accepted for who you are. No doubt you can identify differences between you and your partner, whether big or small. Convey that you accept your partner and in necessary instances, you may just have to negotiate your differences.
  4. Speak up – and pay attention. Your partner is not your mind reader. If you want or need something in your relationship, gently ask your partner for it. You can also heighten your awareness – your partner probably lets you know what they want or need, you may just need to tune in better to pick up on it.
  5. Do novel things together. Romantic love fades, on average, around the 18-month mark. But this doesn’t mean it has to be dead forever. Doing new and different things can help trigger and sustain feelings of romance. Explore a different part of the city, have a surprise weekend outing or take a class together. Little things can invigorate your passion.
  6. Have sex, in and outside the bedroom. Oxytocin is known as the “cuddle hormone” and is associated with closeness, calm, attachment and trust. It is released during orgasm and physical affection. To elevate oxytocin levels in you and your partner, have sex (the more you have it, the more you’ll want it) and hold hands, kiss and hug frequently. Also talk about your sex life outside the bedroom – recount your favorite moments, keep flirting, discuss fantasies and what you’re looking forward to next.
  7. Give your relationship daily attention. One of the things I frequently hear from my clients is how disconnected they feel from their partner. Relationships won’t survive without meaningful attention. You don’t have to spend hours a day (that’s not realistic!) but engaging in even a few minutes of one-on-one time can make a huge difference. Recount your day, talk about your highs and lows, and set aside a consistent date night to keep the romance and connection alive.

With these 7 tips, you can boost your relationship starting today.

Rock out the New Year with Must-Have Relationship Resolutions

Rock out the New Year with Must-Have Relationship Resolutions

It’s that time of year again – to start thinking about making New Year’s resolutions. Your list may include losing weight, drinking less or saving more, but what about for your romantic relationship? Good ones don’t just happen naturally. They take time, effort and nurturing.

To kick off your 2017 right, here are 5 must-have resolutions for relationship success:

  1. Commit to connect – daily! The top reasons for divorce is not that couples argue too much, have money problems, or cheat: it’s that couples emotionally and physically drift apart from each other.

Between balancing work, raising children, technology distractions and daily life craziness, it’s tough to feel connected to your partner. A client once told me, “I feel like I’m fifth on the list, after the kids and dog.” This is a big warning sign! Many of my couples admit their conversations revolve around the weekly chore list or who will pick up the kids from practice. Focusing on logistics will not rock your relationship the right way!

It takes conscious effort on both sides to maintain the connection that drew you together in the first place and made you commit to each other. It doesn’t have to be large-scale events. In fact, it’s the daily little moments that add up. For example, when you text your partner during the day send him/her a compliment or reminisce about your favorite times together. Spend 10-15 minutes each morning or evening talking about topics that interest you, your goals and dreams. Whatever it is, make it count – do the things that make you feel closest to each other.

  1. Practice damage control. Have you ever said or done something in the heat of the moment, and after calming down, you regretted your words or actions? Do this enough times and it’ll erode the trust and love between you and your partner.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Every relationship has conflict, but happy couples approach it differently – they don’t allow their heated discussions to spiral out of control. You have a right to your emotions, but you have to be careful how those emotions get expressed. If you feel that you’re about to lose your cool or tune out of the conversation, call a time-out. Create a go-to list of activities that help you calm down, like going for a walk, listening to music, working out, etc., and resume the discussion when you’re both calm.

  1. Be positive – on purpose. The reality of being with someone is that at times they will disappoint you, annoy you and do something that drives you crazy.

This doesn’t mean you’re with the wrong person, it just means that you need some tools to buffer your relationship against the inevitable negativity that comes along with any relationship.

When your partner does something that annoys you, give them the benefit of the doubt – they probably didn’t do it on purpose. Think about it – would your partner continue to do things to deliberately hurt you knowing they’d have hell to pay for it? I coach my couples to check their assumptions with their partner and guess what? They overwhelmingly report back that their partner didn’t intend anything negative. And if something still bothers you, then go ahead and speak up – but be calm when you do.

A critical aspect of long-term happy couples is that they continue to see each other in a positive way and notice the good things. You have to actively and purposely build a culture of appreciation in your relationship. When your partner falls short of a task, be thankful for what they did do. Look for the good intention and spend some time thinking of your partner’s best traits instead of dwelling on their shortcomings.

  1. Touch more. When you touch your partner, oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone,” flows through your body.

Twenty seconds from a hug is enough for the cuddle chemical to get released. Oxytocin has many benefits: mood booster, feeling more relaxed and less stressed, and increases feelings of connection to your partner. Challenge yourself to make touch part of your daily environment, not just when you want some nookie. Alternate massages, have sporadic daily 20-second hugs or go dancing (even if it’s in your living room!). It’s a great buffer and connector in your daily hectic schedules.

  1. Hold yourself accountable. One way to deal with relationship dissatisfaction is to blame your partner: “If only he or she were…” or “If only they stopped doing….” This rarely, if ever, leads to a happy relationship.

Instead, focus on yourself first and what your role is. When your partner shuts down, you’re accountable to look at how you bring things up. Are you accusatory and critical? When your partner flies off the handle, are you dismissing their feelings or minimizing their experiences as “no big deal”? I’m sure you can find something you can do to make a positive difference in your relationship.

Besides looking at your own part in problems, you are also responsible for speaking up about what you need. Be as specific as possible. Common things I hear from my clients are, “I thought he would ‘get it’ and assumed he would do something” and “I figured she could tell when I was in the mood.” My couples frequently have different definitions of important relationship needs like romance, thoughtfulness, connection, partnership and passion. Without open communication, these differences can lead to disconnection, conflict and negativity. Don’t assume. People are not mind readers – identify what you want, and then ask nicely for it, and help make it a reality for your relationship.

Put these resolutions into practice, and you can create relationship happiness and success in 2017!

Ok ladies, ‘fess up. Have you been on a great date with a nice guy but he just didn’t do anything for you emotionally? He called when he said he would, confirmed plans, was a gentleman…but nothing in the feelings department. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

 

So you dump the nice guy and move on. You meet someone else, but this new guy gives you mixed signals. He calls, but takes his time doing so. He shows you that he’s interested in you, but you’re not exclusive since he’s still playing the field. You start to doubt his attraction to you, and you wonder if your relationship is even going anywhere.

 

But then he takes you on a date or compliments you, and you get butterflies. Your heart races and you’re happy, telling yourself that he’s interested and there’s a chance at a future together after all. But these feelings don’t last very long. He pulls back, he’s unpredictable with contact, but gives you just enough attention to keep you hooked. You may think, “If he just sees how awesome I am, he’ll want to be with me.” The uncertainty keeps you thinking about the guy all of the time, and your mood fluctuates based on whether you’ve heard from him or if he’s given you attention. You feel like you overanalyze everything.

 

If you’ve been on this emotional roller coaster often, chances are that you’ve mistaken your anxiety and uncertainty about the relationship as butterflies and chemistry (or for some, even love). This can be risky because you may be with a partner who’s not well suited for you. If you have a lot of anxiety, feeling calm with your date (like with a nice guy) may not be a bad thing. You seek closeness, want to be reassured and to know where you stand in a relationship. You may think you’re needy or clingy for wanting intimacy and reassurance, but in fact these are healthy for a relationship.

 

Intimacy and connection happen in a lot of ways, but one of them is by being vulnerable with our partner. In order to be able to share your hopes and dreams and fears openly, you need to feel secure with your partner. A nice guy who is consistent with his attention to you is much more likely to create and provide this security than the guys who leave you guessing about their interest in you.

 

As you date, pay attention if you find yourself feeling insecure and analyzing your date’s every action, and feeling bliss every once in awhile. Be aware that this may be your anxiety acting up because of his inconsistent actions, and not chemistry or passion.

 

So give the nice guy a chance, and you may get what you’re looking for and need to have a happy and fulfilling relationship.