Tag Archives: relationship advice

Have More Than a Fling: How to find (and keep) the love of your life

With all the dating apps out there, how are you supposed to pick a partner? There are so many choices nowadays, how do you know he or she could be “The One”?

People date based on attraction and chemistry. You find someone attractive, you feel a spark, and you hope your relationship lasts. Unfortunately this approach doesn’t work in sustaining a healthy and happy relationship.

If you’re ready to find love, you can’t miss this event! In this three-hour workshop, you will learn Anita’s “Date to Find a Mate Method” that will teach you:

• The biggest mistakes singles make (and how to avoid them)
• How to create your “dating blueprint” to find your best match
• The must-haves for dating & relationship success (they’re not what you think)
• Online and offline dating tips & tricks – for both sexes

You will leave the workshop more prepared to create amazing opportunities for love. Finding your mate will be an important – if not the most important – decision in your life. Get it right the first time.

This event is open to women & men. Bring your friends! Limited space is available so be sure to get your ticket early to reserve your spot. Wine will be served.

10 Ways to Determine if You’re Settling or Just Being Realistic

When it comes to romance, we overthink everything.

10 Ways to Determine if You’re Settling

It’s a legit question. When the honeymoon phase ends, and realism sets in, it can be tempting to wonder: Wait, am I settling?

After all, with the seemingly endless supply of options nowadays (cue: swipe, swipe), it can be tough to discern if the person you’re with is a realistic, amazing fit—or just a sign you’ve given up the dating game and decided to settle for second best.  As my clients are terrified of making a mistake, they come to me questioning if the person they’re dating is actually the person they want to marry.

And it’s a good question.

That said: I am going to be honest with you. Marriage doesn’t come with a 100% guarantee, and the idea of soulmates is just plain unhelpful. But there are ten key areas I discuss with them that can give them more confidence that they are making a good choice—or setting themselves up for a tough road ahead.

So if you’re wondering if you are indeed settling—or just moving forward with eyes wide open, look at these ten areas and take a moment to honestly question where you stand.

01. Your Acceptance of Each Other

Settling: You’re in this relationship for his potential. You have notions that he’ll be different once you’re settled, or you think he just needs a little more time to be the man you want him to be.

Healthy: You accept him as he is. Although you can ask for behavior modifications, you admire and respect many of his qualities without thinking he needs an overhaul.

02. Your Mutual Respect for Each Other

Settling: You’re consistently disrespected. He sometimes belittles what’s important to you, has humiliated you on a number of occasions, or makes you feel crazy. When you want his attention he responds harshly or ignores you. Whatever his disrespectful behaviors are, you rationalize them in your mind by thinking, “He doesn’t really mean it.”

Healthy: You can say with confidence that he respects you. Even if you disagree or have different perspectives, he honors your opinions and feelings. He listens and makes you feel validated. He makes you feel like an equal.

03. Your Ability to Compromise

Settling: He doesn’t consider you in his actions. When you tell him something is important to you or you bring up how he can meet your needs, he brushes your concerns aside or completely ignores them. Sometimes he might initially say ‘yes’ to what you need but then infrequently follows through.

Healthy: He responds positively to what you need. He is genuinely curious about what’s important to you—and why—and takes on a “team” effort. He is flexible and willing to compromise. Although he might not follow through right away according to your timeline, he shows consistently that he takes action in the areas that are important to you.

04. Your Gut Instinct

Settling: You frequently feel anxious. You feel insecure in the relationship—where you stand, how he feels, etc. If you’re the type that wants a lot of closeness in a relationship, you might feel the need to lower your expectations. Something is off, and you simply, don’t feel fully loved.

Healthy: You feel a sense of peace. Feelings of infatuation don’t last forever, and instead, you now feel comfort and security. Sometimes people mistake this as there being something wrong or missing with the relationship, but this means you moved toward the attachment phase of your relationship.

05. Your Overall Interactions

Settling: You have intermittent great times. You frequently dream about wonderful moments in the past, where you saw how good it was between you, and you wish that is how it could be again.

Healthy: You consistently have good times together. You have built a deep friendship, and there’s an atmosphere of positivity. The positives of your relationship far outweigh the negative. (Consider maintaining at least a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions.)

06.  Your Social Circle

Settling: You frequently complain about him to family and friends—or they have verbally shared their concerns about your relationship.

Healthy: Your family and friends like him. They know that no one is perfect and that no relationship is without conflict—but most (if not all) of them support your relationship and actually like your guy.

07. Your Reason

Settling: Be honest here. Do you think you ‘should’ get married to this person, or is it just the next step? Maybe you’ve been dating him for 5 years and you think it’s about time. Maybe you fear having wasted all of this time so you’re staying in the relationship. Or maybe the thought of getting back into the dating pool makes you want to vomit. Perhaps you think you’ve reached a certain age, or your friends are all married, and you think it’s just time.

Healthy: You want him for him. Not only do you deeply love this man, but you can rattle off all of his amazing traits. You’re specific about the things that you admire and respect about him. Even if you mention the behaviors that drive you crazy, you know you can both work through it.

08. Your Relationship Goals

Settling: He hints at marriage someday, but doesn’t seem to be actively working towards the idea. If he doesn’t have talks with you trying to figure out if you could build a life together, he might just be stringing you along.

Healthy: He wants marriage too. You have the same relationship goal and he’s engaged in conversations about what your life would look like if you two got married.

09. Your Toxic Behaviors

Settling: Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling—are the ‘4 Horseman’ of relationship doom, and according to the research of Dr. Gottman, lead to divorce. I joke with my clients, “You might as well sign the divorce papers along with the marriage license,” if these four traits proliferate already. Couples must take these toxic behaviors seriously—and find ways to work on them before they become engaged.

Healthy: The 4 Horsemen might show their faces at times, but not often. You may be critical or get defensive, but you move on—as it’s infrequent enough. You’ve learned to effectively repair any damage your behaviors have done.

10. Your Deal Breakers

Settling: You’re overlooking deal breakers and red flags. You believe he’ll change his mind or think, “Oh, we’ll figure it out later.” It might be scary, but not addressing issues these issues can make you waste even more of your time.

Healthy: You’ve talked through any possible deal breakers and red flags—and realize that some issues, are just personality quirks that will be perpetual—and it doesn’t spell out doom, just realism.

Letting go of someone you love—even if they’re a terrible fit—can still be terrifying. You don’t know if you’ll find anyone else, and you may fear that you’ll be single forever. On the flip side, if you’ve been dating your guy a while, you should know your partner isn’t perfect. Remember, you can view your unmarried state as one of power—the power to figure out if you’re with a good man, and the potential power to give yourself permission to find someone who is a better fit, for both of you.

*As seen in Verily

Want a Perfect Relationship? Try Actually Accepting Some Imperfections

When it comes to love, perfect is very much the enemy of the great.

Healthy Relationships Aren't Perfect

Do you have a friend who is always late, but you put up with it because she’s always there for you no matter what? Or what about that friend who constantly complains about her life and takes no action to improve it, but you accept that about her because you know she’s in a tough spot?

If you mentally scroll through your friend list, none of them are perfect. You take the good with the bad with your friends because you think they’re awesome, they add richness to your life, and they support you. Chances are when you see them, you have no plans on fixing them.

Do you do the same with your partner?

Well, if you’re like most of my clients: probably not. Perhaps you wish your partner was more organized. Or maybe better with money. Or more romantically expressive.

In my years as a relationship counselor, I’ve discovered that what makes happy couples successful is that they recognize the uniqueness of their partner, have no plans on changing each other, and learn to live with the inevitable differences that come with any relationship.

That’s right. Inevitable differences. Let me explain.

Not all “issues” can be solved—and that’s OK.

Research shows that 69 percent of relationship problems are perpetual. That means even in absolutely terrific relationships, couples deal with the same problems over and over again, triggered by differences in personality, lifestyle, values, dreams, needs, childhood, and life experiences.

Couples can easily get stuck because they criticize each other, make the other feel wrong, and overall convey a lack of acceptance of one another when dealing with these unsolvable issues. But the thing is: This only exasperates the problem. Even if they were to change partners, they would simply swap a different set of problems.

The good news is that having perpetual issues is entirely normal. These kinds of problems don’t have a solution; rather, they need to be managed and not solved. It’s how you handle them that makes all the difference in whether your relationship will be happy.

Honoring your partner and compromising is key. Here are six ways to handle perpetual issues:

01. Recognize that you’re dealing with a perpetual issue.

Consider the kinds of flaws or quirks you and your partner have always had. Perhaps he has the tendency to micromanage during stressful situations. Perhaps you’re not very good at cleaning up after yourself. Then ask: Did you or your partner have these inclinations while you were dating? Are these issues you’ve dealt with outside of your relationship? If the answer is yes, you’re most likely dealing with a perpetual issue.

02. Look at the specific differences that are creating conflict.

If your partner is chronically late but you’ve accepted that and don’t pick a fight when he is late, it’s not really a problematic perpetual issue. However, if you are annoyed and a fight ensues every other week because your partner has made you late again, then it’s the kind of issue that will need to be addressed and is worth a conversation.

03. Convey acceptance.

During this conversation, use affection, humor, and an overall positive attitude when talking about these issues causing conflict. The way you talk to your partner about these issues can either lead to ongoing, positive dialogue or cause a chronic feeling of rejection and hurt. You want to show your partner that you accept him—preferences, values, and quirks—just the way he is. Not only is this step more loving, but by going this route your partner will actually be more likely to take initiative and make behavior modifications—simply because they feel liked and appreciated as they are.

04. Identify the underlying reasons for each other’s tendencies or stances.

Your partner has valid reasons for why he acts, thinks, and feels the way he does. So sit down and talk about where these beliefs come from. This will make it much, much easier to empathize and understand. You’ll soon discover these tendencies will be wrapped in your partner’s values, hopes, aspirations, dreams, and even experiences from his childhood or adulthood. Ultimately, they’ve become attributes tied to his identity and perhaps even what gives him a purpose to his life.

Keep in mind that what you think is not necessarily better than what your partner thinks: It’s just different. The goal here is to understand, not necessarily to agree.

05. Name your non-negotiables.

Talk to your partner about what you’re both unwilling to budge on. What do you really need to see from your partner? Does the toilet seat really need to be down? Or is there something more important? You’ll want to keep your non-negotiables to a minimum.  What can’t you live without? Or what behavior drives you so crazy that you want it to stop? Things can become rather touchy during this part of the conversation, so take breaks when you need them—and refer to #4 frequently, so you both understand where you’re coming from.

06. Recognize areas where you can be flexible.

If you want a loving relationship, you’re not going to get things your way all the time, so in what ways can you be flexible? Specifically, think about the when, where, and how. When doesn’t it matter if he’s exactly on time? Where is it OK for you to be a little messy? How will you handle things when you both disappoint each other when you’re too busy?

Compromise won’t always feel perfect, but it’s necessary for you both to be honored and for your relationship to always “win.”

You can’t get everything that you want in a significant other, just like you can’t get everything from your friends. Before you start swapping problems, jumping from one relationship to the next, accept there will be inevitable differences even with your most compatible match—and that you’ll just need to manage those differences with respect, humor, and affection.

*As seen on Verily

5 Tips to Handle a New Relationship During the Holidays

You started dating someone new. It’s only been a few weeks, and you may or may not be exclusive. If you’re anxious about what to do or worried that you’ll ruin things, here are 5 tips to handle the newness of a date or relationship during the holidays.

1. Relax. Don’t put pressure on a new relationship. “What are we?” doesn’t have to be defined by date 4. This also means don’t read into things or take things personally. Assume face value of what your significant other says and does. There are a lot of opportunities that can potentially lead to hurt feelings. People are busy during the holidays so if your date isn’t as responsive or as available, there’s no need to freak out.

2. Give an appropriate gift. Since you haven’t known each other long, you can discuss an amount limit for gifts. Get a small but thoughtful gift–something that shows you’ve been paying attention on your dates. They say their favorite food is Nutella so you get them a couple of Costco-sized jars…. Or they love wine so you get an inexpensive bottle. Your gift should convey that you’re interested in them, not that you’re head over heels for them.

3. Keep expectations about social events in check. Whether it’s a house party or the office party, go if you’re invited, but don’t get hurt if you’re not. Maybe a plus one isn’t allowed for the company party, they want to focus on networking or don’t want to get asked by coworkers how your relationship is going given it’s so new. Also, tell your date if you need to do any actual networking during your company party and might need to leave him or her alone for a few minutes. Or if initiating conversations is difficult for you, ask for some introductions to people he knows well so that you have people to talk to.

4. Hold off on meeting the family. The holidays might not be the best time to introduce a new love interest to the entire family. Instead, meet a couple of weeks before the holidays and have dinner or drinks with one or two family members. You can also do something special as a couple, like a fancy holiday dinner for just the two of you.

5. Do what works for the both of you. Don’t compare yourself to friends or get hung up on what you think you “should” be doing. There’s no need to rush. It’s easy to get caught up in the romance of the holidays, but it could set you for some unrealistic expectations.

 5 Tips For Finding Out Where Your Relationship is Going

How to talk about marriage

 

I won’t beat around the bush. As a licensed marriage and family therapist, I’ve seen it time and time again. Some men keep a woman in a relationship for years, hinting at marriage as a “someday” thing when really they have no intention of following through.

This is why it’s important that you know where you stand, so you don’t waste your time. Even if it doesn’t go the way you expect, you can’t beat yourself up by saying “I should have waited” or “Now I’ve ruined everything.” If a guy makes you feel crazy, stupid, or needy for bringing up the marriage talk, or if he freaks out, then he probably would have kept stringing you along.

Your needs and goals are valid. So if you’ve been with your guy for a while, and you’re wondering if the relationship has potential for the long term, here are five tips to keep in mind when you want to discover how he feels.

01. Talk to him in a relaxed setting.

If your guy gets uncomfortable with heavy intimacy talk, start a conversation while engaging in another activity together where you can still talk to each other. While making dinner at home, bring up your life goals over appetizers and talk about “us” while prepping the entrée. It might feel more natural to him, and he’ll be more open to tell you what’s on his mind and in his heart if the conversation doesn’t feel like an interrogation.

02. Keep it short, but stay focused.

Deciding your future isn’t going to happen in just one conversation. You’ll need to have multiple conversations where you talk about specific topics, such as what you both think marriage looks like and means to you; how you should handle finances; what your expectations are around sex, children, and housework, etc. Tell him you want to open the dialogue for future talks—that you don’t have to figure things out right away. At the same time, be direct. Ultimately, let him know that you want to make sure he’s a willing participant in actively deciding if you have a future together.

03. Make sure he knows you love him.

When it comes to marriage, many men are terrified that they’ll just be filling a role. If a woman comes across as too future-oriented, he may fear that she’s not all that interested in him for who he is—rather she just wants to check the marriage box, and any man will do. So if you’re curious about where he sees your future, make sure he knows it’s not just about getting your “MRS” but about finding someone who can be a life partner. Tell him why you respect him, what you’ve learned from him, and that you’re excited about continuing to get to know him. This will put him at ease and encourage him to open up.

04. Don’t give him an ultimatum.

How you bring it up makes a difference in it being taken as an ultimatum versus simply expressing your needs and desires. Don’t say, “You need to marry me, otherwise I’m going to find someone else.” This is an ultimatum that will most likely backfire. No guy wants to feel like he’s backed into a corner. You can let him know getting married is a goal of yours, but if he doesn’t see you in his future, you’d rather know so that you can both find people who can give you what you want.

05. Support him in taking action over time.

People have fears of marriage for a number of reasons—their parents had a nasty divorce, they don’t see many happily married couples, or they’re not 100 percent confident that they are picking the right person. It’s OK to give him a timeline of when you would like him to know whether he’s ready to take the next step. However, depending on how long you’ve been together, just “more time” won’t necessarily give your guy the answer. He needs to take some kind of action during this time, such as reading articles or books, talking to happily married friends, or seeing a relationship therapist. I’ve worked with both individuals and couples in helping them decide whether they should get engaged—as well as the skills and knowledge needed for a marriage to work. I’ve noticed that for many guys, discovering this kind of knowledge is power and can help a guy calm his fears and give him clarity.

*As originally published on verilymag.com

10 Questions Happy Couples Are Constantly Asking One Another

10 Questions Happy Couples Ask

Newlyweds vow that this will never be them. But too many couples become emotionally disconnected and they never saw it coming.

This doesn’t have to be your story. When I was writing my book, First Comes Us: The Busy Couple’s Guide to Lasting Love it became clear that couples who managed to feel connected did things differently. They were deliberate about maintaining and engaging real dialogue with each other (sorry, conversations about the dishwasher don’t count). Notably, their methods didn’t involve grand displays of affection or an inordinate amount of time. In fact, the little things often pack more punch than the few, infrequent grand gestures.

One of the easiest ways to reconnect—that doesn’t even cost a dime or that much time—is to ask meaningful questions and be fully present in conversations.

I’ve rounded up some of the best questions, but before you begin, two things. One: be intentional. Set aside time (start with 20 minutes) where you can focus on your partner without any distractions and shut off the TV and put the cell phones in another room. Two: Let yourself be vulnerable. It’s a pathway to intimacy and it helps you build and maintain trust.

Here are 10 questions that will help you to deepen your relationship. Once you get started, don’t be surprised if your 20-minute conversations turn into an hour!

01. What is your best and worst memory of your childhood?

Talking about your childhood experiences, both the positive and the things that hurt you can give your partner insight into what has shaped you as an adult. Knowing his beliefs can bring more understanding and appreciation of your husband’s beliefs, ways of being, and differences.

02. List your three biggest needs, and how can I fulfill them?

One of the best ways to make sure your spouse feels satisfied and connected is to fulfill his needs. Think about the things that are essential to feeling happy in your relationship, and give your guy specific ways that he can meet your needs. This doesn’t mean he is at your beck-and-call, but when he does things that are important to you, how could you not feel even closer?

03. Of your friends and family, who do you think has the best relationship and why?

Sometimes people have a hard time articulating what they want or need in a relationship, but they can recognize it when they see it in another couple.

04. What is the best part about being together?

As time passes, you grow together as a couple. You’ll continue to experience new things as a couple and your answers may change as the years go by. Revisit this one frequently.

05. What kinds of things do I do that annoy you,  and what kinds of behaviors do you think I should stop or modify?

You can hope that your partner is honest with you about your behaviors that bother them. This isn’t always so. Some people are conflict avoidant and they ignore these actions, only to have feelings come out in resentment or a rage later. It might hurt our feminine ego, but it’s not realistic to believe that we won’t annoy our husband, even unintentionally. Being proactive can help minimize unnecessary negativity.

06. Does anything keep you awake at night that you haven’t shared with me?

Sometimes your partner may keep something from you because they don’t want to burden you with their troubles, knowing you have enough stress of your own. When you know each other’s stressors, you can provide support, understanding, and empathy.

07. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing but haven’t yet? What’s prevented you from doing this?

Your husband may have different dreams than when you first met him. That’s okay. Asking this question gives you insight into what he wants and what’s blocks him from achieving his dreams. You want to be your spouse’s biggest supporter in reaching his goals.

08. Why do you love me? And when did you feel most loved by me?

It’s easy to say the three words, thinking that might be enough. But knowing why reminds your partner that you recognize their unique qualities. Also, people love differently and thus they feel loved differently. Differences are inevitable, but it’s important to have ongoing communication about what you both need to feel the most loved by each other.

09. What would you consider unforgivable and why?

It’s not surprising for couples to make brief statements like, “If you cheated I would leave you” or “If you blew our savings I would get a divorce.” They don’t talk in-depth about the pain that they would feel and why. Knowing in greater detail what would deeply hurt your husband can bring a dose of reality and help protect your relationship.

10. How can we make our sex life better?

One of the most vulnerable areas in most marriages, if not the most, is physical intimacy. When a repeated rejection to sex is taken as a personal rejection, disconnection can easily set in. Talking about sex is an important part of having a great sex life. Be gentle and positive, and focus on the things you need and want (as opposed to what your partner is doing “wrong” or not enough of).

Intimacy suffers when people stay focused on the things that aren’t going well or take the good things for granted. Asking questions and constantly pointing out what you love will help you stay focused on these good things and will help your relationship soar. It’s no secret, but it’s how happy couples stay happy.

*As originally posted on Verily 

Have More Than a Fling: How to find (and keep) the love of your life

With all the dating apps out there, how are you supposed to pick a partner? There are so many choices nowadays, how do you know he or she could be “The One”?

People date based on attraction and chemistry. You find someone attractive, you feel a spark, and you hope your relationship lasts. Unfortunately this approach doesn’t work in sustaining a healthy and happy relationship.

If you’re ready to find love, you can’t miss this event! In this three-hour workshop, you will learn Anita’s “Date to Find a Mate Method” that will teach you:

• The biggest mistakes singles make (and how to avoid them)
• How to create your “dating blueprint” to find your best match
• The must-haves for dating & relationship success (they’re not what you think)
• Online and offline dating tips & tricks – for both sexes

You will leave the workshop more prepared to create amazing opportunities for love. Finding your mate will be an important – if not the most important – decision in your life. Get it right the first time.

This event is open to women & men. Bring your friends! Limited space is available so be sure to get your ticket early to reserve your spot. Wine will be served.

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.

Is Cupid Day a Stupid Day?

Cupid Day

Yes and No.

Yes

Yes if you see Cupid Day as a mandatory time to express love . This is when you go through the motions because you feel obligated but don’t honor or feel the emotional significance.

No

No if you use February 14th to make a big splash in your relationship and create an extra special connection. Then it can be worthwhile and memorable!

In fact, there are three levels of connection that you can use in your relationship, each a particular ritual. A ritual is a repeated and intentional action which can help you feel closer to your partner in both little and big ways:

  1. Attention Rituals – These are the daily rituals where you give your partner your time and focus. They don’t require much effort and are pretty low-key. Try a hello kiss in the evening when you come home, or a nightly chat in bed. You can also pack a love note in your partner’s bag before they travel or text them flirty messages during their workday.
  2. Affection Rituals – These rituals require more effort and increase the intimacy between you both. You show your affection and passion for each other, basically conveying, “I love you and you are important to me.” You let your partner know how much you treasure them and recognize their own uniqueness. Cook your partner’s favorite dish, go out on a weekly or monthly date, or have a weekend breakfast in bed. Back rubs after a long week, cuddling on the couch, or even sexy bath/shower times can show both affection and keep things spicy in and out of the bedroom.
  3. Anniversary Rituals – These rituals include celebrating the days that come once a year: Wedding, birthday, holidays and special romantic days like Valentine’s Day. It’s the time for meaningful gifts or activities, and because they only come once a year it adds that extra element of “special.” The goal is to make these days personal rather than forcing the motions out of a sense of obligation. Cupid day doesn’t have to be a stupid day: you can give each other a card with a thoughtful message, or make dinner but add more romance by using candles, your fine china, considerate gifts, etc. You can take a trip to a memorable place or even celebrate the 14 days leading up to Valentine’s Day in little ways.

Incorporating these three rituals will help make you feel more connected to your partner. When the attention and affection rituals work in your relationship, days like Valentine’s Day won’t be stupid at all.

 

Sex Tips for Exhausted Parents 

Sex Tips for Exhausted Parents

While exhausted parents, especially those with demanding lives, families, etc., can feel as though sex is just one more thing on their proverbial to do list, it doesn’t have to be. Remember, once upon a time, sex was fun? That’s how you ending up with those never-ending bundles of energy you call children… having great sex.

Well, you can still have great sex as a tired, overworked parent.

How Sex Gets Relegated in the Relationship:

Part of how sex gets relegated to the back of the closet and forgotten about is because you’re tired. Time since exciting sex may have blurred that memory, and innovation got lost in transition.

How to Fix It:

However, trying something different and sneaking it in while the kids are busy/sleeping/away can reinvigorate some of the excitement that sex once held for you. Treat sex as special time for you as a couple by creating time for it like a date; call for a sitter, send the kids to grandma, or even just wait for them to be occupied/in bed can give you just enough time to get back to each other. I also recommend to my clients [sometimes] to plan for it like a vacation, and use it as something to look forward to. While planned sex doesn’t always sound exciting, if you think of it more like a trip you’re getting ready for, it might remove some of the stigma. When all is said, and done, you might not be so tired once you’re finished.

Here Are 6 Sex Tips for Exhausted Parents:

  1. Spoon position – A great position for when one or both of you is tired! You both lie on your side, with him entering from behind. This still allows access for one of you to reach her clitoris. The overall position does not require a huge amount of energy to pull off, once he is in. That part can provide a bit of work, depending, since it’s rear entry on your side. It is a great way to just be close, to feel each other. With a bit of tweaking, it is also a great rear entry position for deep penetration.
  2. Scissor – Another positon to be done with both partners lying down. She lies on her back, him on his side for entry. With one of his legs between her legs, it can provide friction for her clitoris. The position still allows access for either partner to provide clitoral stimulation.
  3. The T – If she is the really tired partner, she can lie on the bed with her butt at the edge of the bed. He stands in front of her to penetrate. This works great if the bed height and his height aren’t at odds. If he is much taller, try bolstering her butt up with pillows. It’s also great for a different sensation/angles of penetration, based on his height and her feet/leg positioning. If she needs external stimulation for orgasm, she will have to manually stimulate or grab a toy to help out.
  4. Reverse Spoon – Similar to the spoon, but from opposite ends. You both lie on your sides, but with his feet behind her head. Another good way to lay down for sex, but still be able to touch each other. If there is a foot fetish involved, this provides access to the feet during sex as well.
  5. Lazy doggie – Traditional doggy style, but for those with less energy. He enters from behind, but rests his (some, most?) weight on top of her during sex. Great angle for deep penetration. She may need a bolster under her hips for best results, and less energy spent.
  6. Face to face on the couch – Straddle your man while he’s on the couch, or sitting upright in some variety. Think cowgirl position, with him sitting up instead of laying down. If he is more tired, this allows her to do more of the work while they both still enjoy. Also gives him access to play while she handles the ride.