There are many things we should and should not be doing in order to have strong personal relationships.
There are some common themes and behaviours that many couples experience that seem to fray the relationship, and sometimes cause irreparable harm. If you are able to think about them, and start to avoid them, your relationship will be stronger for it, and you will feel more connected as a couple. Bear these ideals in mind as things to avoid. You will prevent a great deal of turmoil and be sure to enjoy each other’s company more.
1. Do not take your partner for granted
I have couples do an exercise that they universally end up loving. I have them spend a week where every day they tell their partner something they appreciate about the other person. They can do it face to face, leave a note, or send an e-mail or text.
Most ask me to keep that particular assignment going, as it makes them feel so good. They were often unaware of the things that their partner appreciated about them, and it made them feel more connected.
2. Do not try and mind-read your partner
This is incredibly common in relationships. People take history, or what they think they “know” about how their partner will say or react to a situation, and they become upset with them before even asking the question. When I have them actually ask each other what they would have said or thought, the partner was normally off base. This shows how important simple, open communication is.
3. Do not insist that you settle a disagreement here and now
This is one of the greatest fallacies of our time. People insist that you cannot walk away from each other until something is resolved, or that you should never go to bed angry.
The truth is that sometimes you are each so mad, that nothing productive will be resolved in that moment. Agree to come back and revisit it when you have both calmed down, and keep this promise.
Take a breather and clear your head, or even sleep on it. Almost every time, things are not as dire as they seemed in the heat of the moment.
4. Do not forget what it means to have good communication
This means strong active talking and listening skills. Don’t forget that your partner cannot know what you are thinking and feeling unless you share it with them. Be open to telling your partner what is on your mind, ask them to hear you out without interruption, and then listen to what they have to say with the same respect.
5. Learn to approach issues in a way that makes your partner more willing to hear you
If you comes at them in a hostile manner, they will either match your level of hostility, or they will shut down. Make sure that you are calm, clear, and that you are willing to hear them out and put yourself in their shoes. When you approach your partner in this way, they are much more willing to hear you, and they are more open to work an issue out.
6. Don’t avoid the tough topics
It is essential that you are willing to tackle the tough topics, especially early on, so that they are cleared up and will not cause issues in the future.
There are heavy issues like faith, finances, and family involvement that will erode any relationship if you do not come to an agreement and understanding about how these issues will be dealt with in the relationship.
7. Do not live in the past
There are some things that are easier to get over than others. If something happened from which you have agreed to move, or you have agreed to stay in the relationship despite this issue, then leave it in the past. If you cannot live with it, don’t stay in the relationship.
However, if you genuinely want to work things out and be with this person, you need to move forward, and leave the issue in the past. You cannot say you forgive and want to be with the person, but pull out their mistakes every time you are upset, or it is convenient.
8. Do not fight dirty!
Attack the issue and not each other. If there is a problem, stay focused on it, and do not resort to personal attacks and character assassination. Instead, stay focused on the issue at hand. This will more often get to a resolution, with no one walking with hurt feelings, or having said or heard something that does permanent damage.
9. Do not refuse to compromise
We all have our own sets of beliefs, values, and morals. There is nothing wrong with having strength of our personal choices, but we cannot expect our partner to follow our path exactly. They have their own set of beliefs, values and morals. Sometimes the two are not the same, and the couple needs to find a common or mid-ground that they can each live with.
10. Do not have unrealistic expectations for your partner
We all have a “perfect” image in our minds of what a partnership is, and usually they is pretty far from reality. Adjust your expectations to be realistic and fair. If you do not take this hard look at yourself, and make this change, you are setting your relationship up for disappointment, and your partner for letting you down when they have done nothing wrong.
Are you really having good sex?
By Bessie Fox
Some people say men are looking for good sex in a relationship and women are looking for love. Some studies have shown that, no, actually it is the women looking for good sex while men are searching for some kind of connection. Well, I will have you know that at the end of the day, none of that matters – not the studies, not even what everyone else is thinking. We all desire a connection and if we connect through sex, it had better be a damn good sexual adventure. Don’t you agree? But then again, so many people care so much about opinions and how they will be perceived if they openly talk about sex.
Talking about sex is a taboo. Even when talking to our bros and sisters, some of us edit our conversations like pros, often times taking out the best parts and replacing them with generalised words or code words. We get that, sex is private, and yet sex is the most selling topic in movies, advertising, and books. So, if we are seeing it everywhere, why not talk about it? Why wait to learn the “hard” way? Why pretend like we don’t care and then secretly Google about it.
After all is said and done, we need to have good sex, responsibly of course. However, we all can’t have good sex if we fail to make good and meaningful connections with our partners and friends. The idea of good and safe sex gets distorted when we think of getting STI’s, pregnant and for many of us who are seeking a connection, the fear of getting “used” and left with a broken heart is real. We have heard about those married couples who fight everyday and sleep in different rooms. One can only imagine what kind of sex they are having, if they are getting any. Most failed marriages today are ruined by bad communication, lack of trust, secrets and unevolved expectations in gender roles. All these failings eventually trickle down to sex, hence bad sex and then no sex, and then somehow we hear that our perfect couples are cheating on each other or that they are holding on because of the kids. What gives? A frustrated relationship is equal to bad sex and once it gets to that point, we all act like the relationship is no more.
The importance of exploring all the dynamics of good sex isn’t classified but rather justified. NTV’s Chicken and Chips show is an example of taking this topic by the horns. Topics about sex and relationships are openly discussed on the show, and on their social media platforms.
Chicken and Chips is not holding back to make anyone feel comfortable or to honour taboos, nope! Rather, it is disrupting the usual way of #KeepQuiet by asking all the questions we all want to ask but won’t.
You can watch the episodes for yourself every Sunday at 1:30pm or the replay on Friday at 4pm. They include “puppet reality TV” based on real conversations, and “talk of the town” filming people answering some deep questions on the streets of Kampala, plus music videos and “social experiments” that capture people on candid camera in funny situations. Maybe you’ll have better sex once you get a chance to really talk about it!
8 Dumb things to avoid on a date
Who hasn’t tossed and turned in bed the night before a big date trying to account for all the things that could go wrong?
There’s nothing you can do about those things — which makes it especially important to get a grip on factors you can control, the self-inflicted catastrophes that are avoidable with a little sensitivity and awareness.
Here are eight dumb things to avoid like the plague:
1. Waiting and waiting and…: Write this down: There’s no such thing as a perfect man or woman. While you wait for one to appear, lots of people cross your path with whom you could have a perfectly good time — and maybe even fall for.
2. Texting at the table: Imagine you’re looking forward to dinner alone with someone you find attractive. You show up at the agreed upon time, and he or she has invited 12 others to join you — parents, siblings, coworkers — and given them permission to interrupt your conversation at any time. Ridiculous, right? Put. The phone. Down.
3. Flirting with the waiter/waitress: If you’re in the market for romance, it’s natural to have your antennae up and alert for possibilities wherever you go. But when on a date, turn off the radar and focus your undivided attention on the person — and potential partner — right in front of you.
4. Taking “casual” too far: It’s probably a good thing that society has eased up on the strict formalities of dating when our great-grandparents were young. But relaxed standards are no excuse for laziness. Don’t just “hang out.” Use your imagination to plan something fun and different. Don’t dress like you just came from the gym — put some effort into looking (and feeling) sharp.
5. Ignoring common courtesy: Some of those “antiquated” rules for dating, however, deserve a second look. In rejecting concepts like “chivalry” and “decency,” we’ve robbed ourselves of potent romantic opportunity. Discover for yourself how attractive old-fashioned good manners can be.
6. Talking more than you listen: Some people treat a date as an opportunity to reveal — in great detail — how fascinating they are. Make it your mission to do the opposite, to discover your date’s hidden dreams, talents, and goals. Give them the gift of being the fascinating one for a change — and they’ll remember you for it.
7. Breaking the (dating) speed limit: While it’s possible to cause problems by going too slow, the most dramatic crashes happen because you’ve hit the gas too hard, too soon. That’s when you’re most likely to confuse sexual sizzle with true love, or to ignore warning signs that the road ahead may not be as smooth as you hoped. Slow down and (safely) enjoy the journey.
8. Getting too personal, too soon: In most cases, the person you are dating is — or was until recently — a complete stranger to you. They don’t need to know your secrets, phobias, childhood traumas, medical issues, and most embarrassing moments right out of the gate. Establish trust before you open up about everything.
15 Ways to be the person others want to date
You may want more dates … or you may want better dates. You probably want dates with people who have the potential to be the love of your life.
Whatever the case, it’s wise to pause and ask if you’re doing all you can to attract the best.
To be sure you’re the kind of person other people can’t wait to go out with and keep going out with— here are some things to think about…
1. Act “as if …”: If you knew you would meet someone amazing this week, you would probably dress a little nicer and smile more. So do it, because it just might happen.
2. Make yourself feel attractive: Read a self-improvement book, buy a new outfit, get out and exercise, update your look—when you feel attractive, others will find you more attractive, too.
3. Initiate a growth spurt: You will be far more captivating to the opposite sex by continually growing, developing, and moving your life toward a big goal.
4. Check your must-have and can’t-stand lists: Those lists you made to evaluate potential partners are a good place to evaluate your own attractiveness.
5. Love yourself—so you can receive love from someone else: Don’t roll your eyes, this is so true! Having a healthy self-regard, and feeling comfortable in your own skin, sends a powerful message that you are ready to give and receive love.
6. Live with purpose: Everyone wants to be around a person who loves life and lives it fully. Discover what inspires and energises you, and go for it.
7. Project confidence: Since self-confidence is contagious, you’ll boost your odds of finding a partner if you become convinced deep down that you have a lot to offer.
8. Detox your emotional life: Toxic emotions — bitterness, regrets, shame — have a way of leaking out into actions and attitudes. Do whatever you can to work through damaging feelings.
9. Tell it like it is: Everyone appreciates a straight shooter, with no hidden agendas or sales pitches.
10. Let your enthusiasm pour out: Which would you choose—a date who has low energy and seems indifferent, or someone who is upbeat and optimistic? So would your potential dates.
11. Skip the snarky banter: Modern humour leans heavily on sarcasm and cynicism, which may work for stand-up comics and late-night TV hosts, but not so much for potential lovers.
12. Maximise your God-given assets: Look for ways to develop and utilise your talents.
13. Know where you’re going: If you don’t have a solid direction for your life, work hard to develop one.
14. Show genuine interest: Everyone has a story to tell and a desire to be heard. Make the other person feel worthy of your undivided attention. (Put the phone away.)
15. Leave exes out of the conversation: You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating because it’s such a common complaint: No one wants to hear all the terrible details about your exes!
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