Here’s How to Keep the People You Are Cooped Up with from Getting on Your Nerves
Sue and Sam are both working from home (and their tiny home is feeling tinier by the minute). Alisha is bored out of her mind and has never felt so alone even though she rooms with Jordan. And then there is Luz who is losing her mind trying to entertain kids nonstop day in and day out.
You might be working from home or have children at home–all day long. Does it seem like every five minutes someone wants something? And do you find yourself sometimes snapping at those in your home or even those on the screen?
You probably have discovered that criticizing or trying to control the behavior of other people in your life just doesn’t work. So, what, then, can you do to not have frayed nerves?
First, set aside a personal space and a time of no interruptions for each person in your home. It’s the constant demands for attention that get on your nerves. Even in a small home, find a corner where you can set up a table and a chair, or if you have particularly pesky people around, you might even have to close a door or cordon your space off with a rope and hang and sign on it that says “shhh”. Some private space and a quiet moment can help everyone decompress. But don’t forget to also set aside a mutually agreed upon time to interact. After all, you don’t want to look like you are never approachable.
Perhaps you can’t avoid those taxing people (you may even be trying to homeschool them), but if you find yourself starting to snap at others, use this phrase instead of the snippy one to state your concern. Fill in the blanks in this phrase: “When you….I feel….and I want/need to…..” For example, “When you interrupt me, I feel harassed and I need to focus on what I’m doing for the next half hour.” A statement like this does not criticize nor try to control the other person, because there is no “you” in this statement. It simply states what you are feeling and what you need.
Another way to respond to triggering behavior is to monitor your rising tension or anger so you can do something to reduce it before giving a curt response. Stand up, stretch, and then take 3 slow, deep breaths. Periodically do this even if you are not tense or angry because it can head off those feelings. The deep breaths create a relaxation response as well as giving you a moment to re-group and re-focus. If all of this fails and you catch yourself starting to yell, take a walk outdoors (but do tell the people in your house when you will be back).
Sometimes writing your complaint down on paper instead of saying it can be helpful. The irritation is then on the paper instead of on your mind and you can even toss that irritation in the trash. Or you can stash it away for a time when you can voice the complaint more calmly.
A great way to break the cycle of irritation and keep the peace is to say something positive. Psychologists John Gottman and Robert Levenson found that it is not the amount of negative statements that dooms a relationship but the ratio of negative to positive statements. For a harmonious relationship there must be five positive communications for every one negative communication. If a complaint or criticism does slip out, follow it with telling the other person what you appreciate about them. It will keep them from feeling attacked and defensive, and may remind you why you choose to live with them in the first place.
It only takes one of you to follow these suggestions and improve your household vibe. Your choices can create the model for how to treat one another. Then the people you interact with will tend to follow your lead. An example of the other person following your lead is seen in empathetic communication. If you put aside your concerns and listen intently to the other person, you will be able to give that person empathetic feedback. When someone receives empathy, they are more likely to give you empathy. These minor changes can help to create a happier relationship with those at home with you during these trying times.
We’ve all been there. Someone compelling comes into view, and our heart rate speeds up and body temperature rises. Attraction comes over us like a wave, powerful and seemingly unstoppable. But is it? Can we control whom we’re attracted to?
Not surprisingly, sexual attraction is largely unconscious.
That’s because it’s galvanized by the limbic system, a primitive section of the brain responsible for regulating essential functions like hunger. When encountering a potential mate, a part of the brain called the hypothalamus spurs the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, causing the sensations of lust or love. Thanks to the efficiency of this loop, “people often make up their mind about someone within the first three minutes [of encountering them],” Helen Fisher, Ph.D., a biological anthropologist, senior research fellow with The Kinsey Institute, and author of Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray, tells mbg.
The limbic system is a powerful force, so sexual or romantic yearning tends to overpower thoughts from our higher-order prefrontal cortex. As Fisher points out, “We can overlook a great number of problems” in the object of our desire.
So, what do we find attractive?
The answer is part cultural and part biological, says Fisher.
First, we tend to be drawn to people who are similar to us. We’re commonly attracted to those who remind us of loved ones, such as parents, former significant others, or friends. “Subconsciously, hormones are activated because the other person has triggered some kind of similarity or resemblance,” says Beverly B. Palmer, Ph.D., a psychology professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and author of Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life, to mbg. One study found we may find ourselves less attracted to people who differ significantly from ourselves in terms of personality traits, and we’re more attracted to those who are complementary toward ourselves or perhaps “better versions” of ourselves.
That attraction to what’s similar likely explains why we also tend to date people who share our race, socioeconomic status, education level, and political affiliation. U.S. Census data shows just 10% of marriages in 2016 were interracial or interethnic, and a well-known2014 analysis about race and dating preferences conducted by OkCupid found that although a significant percentage of respondents indicated that they would date someone of a different race, they didn’t walk the walk when it actually came to swiping and connecting with matches. Similarly, 77% of Republicans and Democrats said their spouse or partner was in the same party in a Pew Research Center survey from 2016, and the importance of shared politics has gone so far as to lead to the rise of separate dating apps for conservatives.
Another factor frequently cited in pop culture is smell, sometimes in the context of pheromones. Some experts, like Fisher, say that the sense does not have significant bearing on whom we find attractive. (“It’s love at first sight, not love at first smell,” she says, explaining that the human sense of sight is much keener than smell.) That said, other experts do believe factors like deodorants, perfumes, and bodily smells can play a role in attraction. Research on this specific topic is inconclusive, with one study indicating that women preferred men whose genes displayed a different immune response from theirs, and another revealing that women were turned on by men who smelled similarly to them. Still another showed that women were drawn to men whose perspiration was similar to their father’s.
Attention to looks: is that biology or culture?
Even though many of us don’t want to admit it, good looks are the strongest factor influencing attraction. That’s according to Madeleine A. Fugère, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Eastern Connecticut State University and author of The Social Psychology of Attraction and Romantic Relationships.
“When we consciously state our preferences for an ideal long-term partner, most of us say that traits, such as kindness, mutual affection, and intelligence, are more important than physical attractiveness,” she tells mbg. (According to research, altruism, in particular, is a compelling trait, particularly for women.) But in actuality, “physical attractiveness has a stronger impact on our dating decisions than factors such as personality or education.”
This emphasis makes sense. After all, humans link “attractive” physical features with health, youth, and fertility. For men and women, symmetrical faces are appealing. Research has also shown straight men prefer women with a waist-to-hip ratio of about 70%. Why? “People who vary from that basic percentage are more likely to have miscarriages and are more susceptible to certain diseases and fertility challenges,” says Fisher. Similarly, straight men in one study responded to a specific spinal curvature in women, one linked with the ability to successfully birth children.
Importantly, many of the studies available on this subject are based on relatively small groups of primarily white people, meaning the findings may very well not be representative of people of other races or of the general population. This is an issue in many areas of scientific research, but it’s particularly important to point out in the case of attraction, much of which may be heavily influenced by factors such as race, socioeconomic status, or other aspects of identity. These factors play a large role in our cultural understanding of beauty, and so studies that don’t take them into account may not fully capture the truth about attraction.
Indeed, cultural body ideals play a sizable role in what people find attractive. For instance, the glorification of thin frames is a relatively recent, Western phenomenon. From the “Venus of Willendorf” figurines from tens of thousands of years ago to the voluptuous women portrayed in paintings by Rubens and Rembrandt, bigger and rounder figures have historically been idealized. In fact, “The scarcity of food throughout most of history had led to connotations that being fat was good, and that corpulence and increased ‘flesh’ were desirable as reflected in the arts, literature, and medical opinion of the times,” according to an analysis by Garabed Eknoyan, M.D., a nephrologist at the Baylor College of Medicine. “Only in the latter half of the nineteenth century did being fat begin to be stigmatized for aesthetic reasons,” he writes.
To that end, we also tend to be influenced by the opinions of our friends, family, and society as a whole. When media narratives frequently show us images of thinner, light-skinned women as the beauty ideal, for example, we internalize them until they become a subconscious preference. Validating this, according to one study of white college students, men preferred women with lower BMIs than are actually healthy. “Cultural and family norms can have a big impact on the types of people we might choose to pursue or not pursue as potential romantic partners,” Fugère says.
All that said, sometimes looks aren’t everything. Palmer adds that “there is some interesting research showing that finding out that a potential partner has a good personality can broaden our acceptance of different body types.”
Interestingly, the qualities people seek out also differ depending on whether their goal is a fling or serious partnership.
“Research shows that when we ask women to think about having a short-term relationship like a one-night stand, they are more interested in men who are more physically attractive,” Fugère says. “In contrast, when we ask women to think about a long-term relationship, physical attractiveness is less important. These preferences may reflect the evolutionary trade-off of the importance of good genetic quality versus the importance of finding a partner who will stay over the long-term and potentially help to raise offspring.”
Beyond the cultural and biological, we’re also intrigued by another’s romantic and sexual interest in us, explains psychologist and researcher Arthur Aron. In fact, a recent study revealed that being the object of attraction is a predictor of sexual desire for women.
Another predictor is the ineluctable energy we experience with certain people. A recent study had prospective daters complete more than 100 surveys describing themselves and their mate preferences, but researchers still couldn’t predict who would hit it off at a speed dating event. “When we feel a spark when interacting with a potential date, our preferences and deal-breakers [such as education level or height] may not matter at all,” Fugère wrote in Psychology Today.
Selecting more intentionally.
At the end of the day, our attraction to others is largely instinctual and primitive, but according to Fisher, we can definitely “triumph over these basic feelings” to some extent. If we wish to adjust or be more open-minded about our attractions, it helps to understand the factors that influence our pull toward others. By remaining conscious of our innate preferences and qualities that trigger our attraction, we can engage our higher-order thinking if we choose to do so. The result: a more intentional process for finding potential mates.
Show me, don’t tell me.
JUL 26, 2019
If you want to know why you do the things you do, you might look to your zodiac sign. For intel about your social tendencies, maybe your Myers-Briggs personality. But for understanding what makes you feel special in a relationship? Well, that’s one for love languages.
If you’ve read up on anything related to relationships and romance, like, ever, there’s a good chance you’ve come across Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages at some point in your research (or, okay, at girls night).
A quick rundown: If compliments make you melt, your love language is probably Words of Affirmation. If you thrive on the thoughtfulness behind a present, Receiving Gifts is yours. Look forward to dinners for two all weeklong? That’s Quality Time. And if you’re all about holding hands or you feel most connected during sex, you speak the language of Physical Touch.
The language that tends to get a bad rap (aside from Receiving Gifts, which isn’t about materialism, btw), however, is Acts of Service. It describes people whose hearts swell at the thought of coming home to dinner on the table with the promise of an empty sink or a foot rub for dessert. If this sounds like you, you feel most loved when people do things for you, not just with you or to you.
But here’s the thing: The Acts of Service language doesn’t make you a high-maintenance or lazy nag. All it means is that, for you, actions truly speak louder than words.
Okay, tell me more—what does ‘Acts of Service’ say about me?
At its core, this language is about demonstrations of love.
Since saying “I love you” doesn’t actually guarantee that the speaker means it, some people respond better to seeing someone show their feelings, says Beverly Palmer, PhD, clinical psychologist, professor emeritus at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and author of Love Demystified.
That’s exactly what makes you respond to this language: If someone can recognize all that you do on your own and wants to step in to help make your life a little easier, that, to you, is real love.
Their actions are actually less about the deed itself and more about showing you that they are on your team.
If your partner goes out of their way to pick your sister up from the airport, or call the realtor so you don’t have to, you hear “I care about you enough to sacrifice my own time for your benefit.” And that’s not something you find every day.
Is Acts of Service ever a bad thing?
Okay, brace yourself: Acts of Service can be a little problematic if you’re not super self-aware.
While every relationship should be about balance, where both partners get their needs equally met, having this particular love language could make you more susceptible to letting expectations get in the way of an otherwise happy and healthy situation. In other words, if you think your partner should be doing X or Y for you, rather than letting them choose how to show their support, you could self-sabotage your bond.
“Unbalanced relationships where one person expects too much and thinks their partner must meet those expectations to prove that they love them” is when things get tricky, Palmer says. No one wants a relationship that comes with a list of chores.
Think about it: At work, you’d be put off by a new employee who feels like they’re entitled to certain things before they’ve even shown their commitment to the company. Similarly, your partner should feel like their demonstrations of love are reciprocated and their choice, at their will—not your demand.
Want a stronger relationship? Steal this couple’s secrets:
Gotcha. So if this is my love language, how do I make a relationship work?
Communication, communication, oh, and um, some more communication.
When acts of service are involved, there’s no room for assumptions, says Palmer. Assuming your S.O. knows which acts of service you value most and expecting them to perform them at all is a surefire way to make your partner feel taken advantage of.
So here’s how to be straightforward without demanding anything in return:
- Clearly tell your partner which acts of service you value.This way they can prioritize those actions, Palmer says. Frame it in a way that explains why their help means something to you, like: “I haven’t been getting much sleep lately—would you mind walking the dog in the morning so I can sleep in a little longer?”
If you have a hard time expressing your needs, talking to a therapist can help you feel more comfortable. Either way, if you prefer to be more subtle, try telling your partner about a time a friend or family member did something for you that meant a lot to you, suggests Palmer.
- Acknowledge what your partner’s doing—say thank you.It sounds duh, but especially in if you’ve been together for a while, you may not notice some of the things they’re doing to show you you’re their #1.
So to ensure they never feel taken for granted, after you talk through which acts of service are major for you, keep an eye out for when they actually do them (or something similar). Say: “Hey, I noticed you picked up the dry-cleaning today while I was stuck at work. I’m going to need those pants this week, so thank you so much for doing that.”
- Learn the ways your partner feels most loved.There’s a chance they “speak” a different love language than you do (they might need touch or feel extra special when you tell them how impressed you are by their brain), so do what you can to suss out their love language. Straight-up talk about it (Palmer promises the convo won’t be awkward as long as you keep things positive), or tune in to what makes them light up day to day.
Once you figure it out, keep that intel top of mind and create opportunities to speak their language (surprise them with a massage, bring home their favorite cookie…you get the idea). Otherwise, you’ll find these acts of service you crave become less and less frequent when your S.O. isn’t feeling the love from you.
- Expect your partner to read your mind.While, yeah, it’s the thought that counts, if certain actions will make you feel especially warm and fuzzy inside, speak up.
- Scoff at no. Remember, acts of service really lose their meaning if they’re not at your partner’s will. So be okay with hearing “Sorry, I can’t right now,” and trust that if they could, they would. If you feel like they’re always turning down your needs, it may be a good opp to visit a couples counselor. Communication is everything, after all.
- Fully rely on your partner to pick up your slack.Even if your partner has your back, keep up with your own responsibilities so they can live their life, too. Dumping your daily tasks on them, Palmer says, is a one-way ticket to Splitsville.
Bottom line: The Acts of Service love language is just as legit as all the others. Don’t let anyone (including yourself) shame you for it.
As long as you’re offering your partner the biggest service of all—speaking their love language in return—go on and enjoy that empty dishwasher, guilt-free.
ARYELLE SICLAIT Assistant EditorAryelle Siclait is an assistant editor at Women’s Health.
Does the upcoming Valentine’s Day make you wish you had someone to love (and to love you)? Do you miss a loved one? Or do you just feel lonely?
Don’t despair—there are ways to feel less lonely during all the Valentine’s Day hype.
Perhaps you have tried interacting with others on your smartphone or even with an online group. But recent studies have shown that we become even lonelier during screen time because it does not provide the meaningful, deep connection with others that we long for.
To dispel loneliness get out of your house and get involved with an activity you like. Besides having an enjoyable time, you might even find a new acquaintance, friend, lover. Don’t wait for someone to find you—smile and start talking with someone nearby while engaged in the following activities.
Think about who you would get the most satisfaction from helping. Would it be children, teenagers, adults in special circumstances, senior citizens? Then do an online search for where you might be most needed. The search terms would be the name of your city and the word, “volunteer”. Or, you can make the search more specific, by adding the name of the group you would like to help (e.g. homeless, migrants, special needs, hospitalized). VolunteerMatch.com and CreateTheGood.com are two sites that list volunteer opportunities in your local community. Not only would you be making a positive change in your community, you would be meeting people who are also volunteering.
Foster or Adopt a Pet
You may find a loving pet to be a loving companion. A cat can give you warm, soft comfort as it curls up on your lap. A dog might even get you out of your house on a daily basis, where you might meet some of your neighbors. Or you and your dog might meet other doggie lovers at a doggie park. Contact your local pet adoption group to foster or adopt a pet.
Join a Special Interest Group
If you have a hobby or special area of interest, you could join a group of people who share that interest. Every city has an abundance of special interest groups. Find one at meetup.com. Some of the meetups in your city involve hiking, cooking, developing a new skill, discussing a topic, and participating in a sport.
Sign up for a Course or a Fitness Center’s Program
If you have a regularly scheduled event where you are with other people, you already have a way not to be lonely during the upcoming Valentine’s Day. Find classes at your local adult schools or universities that might interest you. Join a fitness center. And don’t forget to reach out to others by maybe asking for help with something.
Read a Good Book
Visit your local library or bookstore. Selecting a book from browsing the shelves will give you an opportunity to interact with others before going home to read that book. Escape to another world through an engrossing fiction book. Learn something new through a helpful nonfiction book. One nonfiction book, Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life, will give you even more suggestions on how to dispel the Valentine’s Day blues.
“I want us to be more intimate,“ she says. “Intimate,” he thinks, “that must mean she wants more sex.”
Men and women often mean very different things when they think about intimacy. Women often are asking for more emotional closeness when they ask for more intimacy. Men, on the other hand, sometimes confuse sexual and emotional closeness. Some men might even admit that they have no clue what a woman is asking for when she asks for more intimacy. And some men and women can use sexual intimacy as a substitute for emotional closeness.
What, then, is intimacy?
Intimacy is the ability to engage in close and reciprocal relationships, to engage in cooperative behavior for mutual benefit, and to flexibly respond to the range of others’ ideas, emotions, and behaviors. Engaging in cooperative behavior for mutual benefit is a good description of sexual intimacy as well as emotional intimacy.
Intimacy strengthens close relationships and fosters mutual growth. Intimacy is needed even in platonic relationships because it promotes positive interactions in dyads and teams working towards a mutual goal.
What interferes with creating intimacy?
Intimacy involves giving and receiving understanding and support. Some people tend to receive but not give. What can hold you back from giving fully of yourself in a relationship is a need to defend against hurt. Or you may be so judgmental and defensive that you do not respond flexibly to other’s ideas.
How does a couple create emotional intimacy?
In order to create emotional intimacy, you have to let go of your defensiveness. You need to listen to the other person with a non-judgmental ear. And you need to be willing to be non-defensively open in what you share with the other person. When you are together, talking and listening with these attitudes increases emotional intimacy.
Intimacy is an essential skill in loving relationships and Dr. Beverly Palmer shows how intimacy can be developed in her recently released book, Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life.
Presenting the Scientific Basis of Love
By Beverly B. Palmer, PhD
The article below was just published today (July 30) in the Association for Women in Science Magazine, Summer 2018
Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life began in 1985, on my one-semester sabbatical, because I wanted to present the scientific basis of loving relationships.
There had been an explosion of research articles on loving relationships in journals until 1975, when U.S. Senator William Proxmire gave a Golden Fleece Award to the National Science Foundation for spending $84,000 on a study about love, He reasoned:
I object to this not only because no one—not even the National Science Foundation—can argue that falling in love is a science; not only because I’m sure that even if they spend $84 million or $84 billion they wouldn’t get an answer that anyone would believe. I’m also against it because I don’t want the answer,
I believe that 200 million other Americans want to leave some things in life a mystery, and right on top of the things we don’t want to know is why a man falls in love with a woman and vice versa.
This just spurred me on to bring the latest scientific research to the public. Furthermore, I wanted to present this research in a user-friendly format.
After I finished the book, which I initially titled, Love Life, an agent began working to find a publisher for it. However, he died suddenly, and then let life (work, child-care, aging parent care) interfere. I stuffed the manuscript into a box, which eventually landed in my garage.
Fast-forward thirty years: Standing in my garage, looking up at all the boxes piled high on shelves, I realized that when I’m gone, my son will come in and throw everything in the dumpster. So, i began a campaign to clean out the garage.
Among Christmas cards from long ago and lecture notes that were hopelessly outdated, found the lost manuscript. As I skimmed through its 185 pages my thirty-year-older and more experienced brain realized that this manuscript was not the best. Yet, my editorial self could not let it go.
I realized I had been continuing to read journal articles and books that presented research on love and that I had even been using some of this material in my lectures. So, I began rewriting the manuscript, bringing it up-to-date with the latest scientific evidence. And then I rewrote it and rewrote it, finding my voice and the best way to relate to my audience along the way,
I again was spurred on by current events. A book on love hit the nonfiction bestseller list But this book was written by a pastor, and it presented opinions not science. Similarly, most of the websites giving relationship advice contained only opinions. A book on scientific evidence about love was very much needed
Besides presenting advice based on scientific findings, I wanted to include the entire experience of adult love—from how people meet, fall in love. create love, and fat} out of love to how they come to love again. I wanted young adults to read this book before they got into a serious relationship. In that way, they might become aware of the red flags to watch out for. Newlyweds could read this book so, when the excitement of passionate and romantic love started to fade, they would know how to build a love that lasts, Couples in a long-term relationship could discover how to cope with negative feelings of anger and hate, as well as how to resolve conflicts satisfactorily. I also wanted to reach people who have lost a love, so that they could more deeply understand their feelings and even love again.
The challenge was to make reading this book relatable and entertaining for a general audience. To flesh out the scientific findings, I included lively case studies from my private practice. To increase reader involvement, I included many self-assessments that could also be shared with one’s partner, In the preface, I even encouraged readers to leave the book open to a page they want their partner to notice.
Scientific research provides powerful and practical tools that you can use to solve your love life I want to share some of these tools, described in my recently released book, Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life, which you can use to make your love last.
Science says there are three attitudes essential for a love that lasts—empathy, acceptance, and appreciation—ail crucial not only for a maturing and lasting adult partnership but also for parent-child relationships. Empathizing and telling each other that you do understand the partner’s perspective prevents and even resolves many conflicts. John Gottman has shown that it is the proportion of negative to positive statements that predicts an unhappy relationship and even one that leads to dissolution, Similarly, a 1 to 5 proportion of positive to negative statements can preempt or even de-escalate negative interactions during a conflict. Empathetic statements are intensely positive statements, and empathetic statements can even help resolve conflicts in one’s professional life.
Acceptance means valuing a partner’s uniqueness, both their strengths and weaknesses, rather than judging or criticizing them, Your partner’s behavior might irritate you, but you dont have to direct your upset at your partner as a person. You can, instead, let your partner know you are just commenting on the behavior and that you still value your partner as a person.
The third ingredient is letting each other know, every day in many different ways, how much you appreciate each other, There are many ways to show appreciation. Noticing what your partner is saying or doing and commenting favorably on it is one way. Hugs, smiles, and saying, “Thank you,” show that you value having your partner in your life. Take a moment right now to show your partner some appreciation—today and every day.
A personal note I would like to add is that my husband and I recently celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary. I guess some of the evidence-based advice I wrote about was tested in our relationship to see if it really worked.
Algoe, S. B., Haidt, L, & Gable, S. L. (2008), Beyond reciprocity:
Gratitude and relationships in everyday life. Emotion, 8, 425—429. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC2692821/
Hatfield, E., and Walster, G. W. (1978). A New Look at Love. University Press of America. p. viii. https•flbit.ly/2rWRMgW
Gottman, and Levenson R, W. (1992). Marital processes predictive of later dissolution: Behavior, physiology, and health. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 63, 221-233.
Rogers, C. R. (1961) On becoming a person. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, pp. 342-344.
Starting June 29 and continuing through July 3 you can get the Kindle version of this workbook FREE. Just click on this link: Free Love Demystified Workbook
This workbook contains more than a dozen questionnaires to assess your current love life. Respond to these questionnaires to find out where you are now and what you are needing. You can discover how intimate your current relationship is, how resilient you are, how romantic you are, and how empathetic you are.
Ask your partner to also complete these questionnaires to discover new things about your partner. You and your loved one might then want to share your responses, which can create a deeper intimacy.
From your and your partner’s responses you may find that there are some areas in your love life you want to improve. Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life is a companion to the workbook and gives you tips and techniques to enhance your relationship. You can purchase it on Amazon as either a Kindle edition or a paperback: Love Demystified Strategies
The beautiful princess (or duchess) and charming prince (or duke) may live in a castle but they will also have to face issues that you do on the way to happily ever after. Here’s three tips for making love last.
Present as a Team. People and events may try to pull you apart. Family and friends will give you advice about what you should or should not do. But, in trying to follow this advice you may find yourself at odds with your partner. Major and minor events such as the birth of a child or even celebrations with in-laws can put a strain on your togetherness. Later, as your child grows there are even more challenges to not having that child play one of you off the other.
Show everyone that you are a team, not just two individuals who can be pulled away from each other. Disclose and discuss looming issues. Then use “we” instead of “I” when responding to others. In that way, others will see you are presenting a united front, one that is stronger than each of you separately.
Resolve Conflicts Successfully. You will have disagreements that you can’t avoid. Solving these disagreements in a way that you both win is necessary for a happy relationship. If there is only one tool that will help you resolve conflicts successfully, it is empathetic communication.
Empathetic communication involves listening closely to your partner, taking a breath before replying, and then stating the essence of what you heard your partner say. In this way you show you understand your partner’s position. Feeling understood decreases defensiveness and increases cooperation. If both of you do this when trying to resolve a conflict, it can lead to a winning solution for both of you.
Show you Appreciate your Partner— Every Day. Yes, you are so in love now that you can’t even imagine lapsing into days of not connecting with each other at all. Yet those days will come, perhaps sooner than you expected. And then you will begin to feel the bloom of romance has withered, or maybe even died. Yet, if you say or do something every day to show appreciation for your partner, the romance that is there now will be there throughout the years.
There are many ways to show appreciation. Noticing what your partner is saying or doing and commenting favorably on it is one way. Hugs, smiles, and saying thank you shows you value having your partner in your life. Take a moment right now to show your partner some appreciation.
Click on this link to see a short video about some surprising scientific findings: