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6 Relationship bumps that healthy couples should avoid



The secret is to avoid drama in the first place!

Sometimes maintaining a strong, healthy and growing relationship feels easy and natural, seeming to take no effort at all. Other times, that same relationship requires intention, effort, focus and genuine hard work.

Happy, successful couples understand that BOTH states of being are a normal and necessary part of nurturing a long-term relationship. To help reduce the amount of struggle, they know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

As such, they mindfully keep their relationship on track by avoiding the following six traps that lead to relationship disaster:

1. They don’t break trust.

The ability to trust each other is the single most prominent predictor of relationship success according to research by John Gottman. He says trust is measured in ways such as: “Can I trust [my partner] to be here for me, listen to me, choose me first over others, take care of the family, not take drugs, help with the children, be faithful and respectful to me?”

Gottman’s research found that not only was a trusting relationship more likely to survive and be healthy; untrusting relationships actually negatively affect physical health. During the 20-year study, 58 percent of the husbands in the ‘untrusting’ group died compared to 20 percent of the husbands in the ‘trusting’ group.

Successful couples know how essential trust is to the health and happiness of their relationship, and so they do not break trust with each other.

2. They don’t let their anger get out of control.

While anger is a natural human emotion that warrants healthy expression, successful couples figure out how to avoid explosive, hurtful blowups. They also don’t hold grudges. In Ephesians 4:26, New International Version (NIV) we read: “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” This verse of scripture does not say don’t get angry, but rather … when you do feel angry, don’t store it up as a grudge for days and don’t blow up and hurt people with it.

Based on his research of thousands of couples, Gottman predicts, with 96 percent accuracy, a marriage’s survivability after watching a couple fight with each other. In relationships where one or both parties is highly critical, maintain contempt for their partner, and act overly defensive and/or continually stonewall the other; there is high likelihood of the marriage failing if there is no change.

Successful couples develop skills to channel their anger toward solving the problem rather than aiming it at each other through attacks or withdrawing.

3. They don’t avoid difficult decisions or conversations.

In every healthy relationship, there are times when we disagree. It can happen because we have different perspectives, we misunderstand each other, or our previous life experiences have programmed us to respond in certain ways.

Regardless of the reason, in a well-functioning relationship; both parties want to work together to resolve the issue in such a way that both feel they are functioning as a team. This process can take time to learn and may even involve outside intervention to learn new skills. Try reading good books on relationships, attending an occasional communication seminar, or even counseling.

4. They refuse to hit below the belt.

Successful couples do not avoid fights, even when the issues at hand are messy, painful and cause them to feel distant from one another. However, they do avoid ‘going too far’ in terms of the words, tone and gestures that use. They purposely avoid doing things that their partner has identified as ‘off limits’ or ‘below the belt.’

These couples still argue and disagree, but they avoid creating irreparable damage to their partner. They both work at repairing the relationship and moving toward a place of win/win compromise.

The truth is, we hurt one another in human relationships. There are times we inflict hurt on purpose, and there are times we have no idea what it was that caused our partner pain. Healthy couples are no different; they just work at processing what happened, repairing the damage, and moving on to resolve the incident.

5. They never use sex as a weapon.

Couples vary in the frequency of their sexual activity together. It’s not uncommon for one spouse to have a higher libido than the other, even in successful relationships. Studies show that changing sexual habits for a partner can benefit a relationship.

In successful relationships, couples find a rhythm to their sexual relationship that satisfiesboth partners. Sex is never used as a weapon to manipulate or punish their partner.

6. They don’t let emotional distance grow.  

It is normal in marriage to experience times when you both feeling exceptionally close and times you feel some distance or detachment. Feelings of closeness and longing for each other ebb and flow. In a healthy relationship, neither party will let the feeling of detachment go on for too long without addressing it and processing what’s happening.

If emotional distance continues for too long, one of the parties may begin to experience further detachment and possibly feel rejected, leading to resentment. Once one of the parties in a healthy marriage realizes the distancing feeling has gone on longer than normal, he/she will address it; find out if the other partner is experiencing the same feelings, and then, together, will make the necessary changes and adjustments to regain the sense of closeness they both need.


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What makes a relationship work, according to men who know




Being married can be a tough gig at times, even when you’re part of a family which has been divinely selected to rule over the United Kingdom in perpetuity and is worth roughly £65 billion.

So ahead of ‘that wedding’, we’ve collected some of the most helpful pieces of wisdom ever shared with Esquire when we’ve asked the simple question: what makes a relationship work?

Van Data and white lover

From Oscar winning actors to businessmen to designers, this is what they’ve had to say. Thank us later, Harry.

“It’s about learning to give and take, learning to be interested, and interesting, learning to not just talk about yourself, listening to how their day has been, as well as your day. It’s just keeping your feet on the ground. Do the washing up. Wipe the tops. I love that. It’s so therapeutic.”

“All marriages have ups and downs. If you fight through whatever the problem is and solve it then you’ll end up staying together. If you’d rather be bitter and not communicate then you create chasms that can’t be crossed.”

– Samuel L Jackson

“The reason I think I’m in a happy relationship now is because I manage my expectations. I don’t see my partner as a carer or someone who’s meant to generate joy for me, but as an independent person that I share my life with. The problem is that we don’t recognise the parameters of consumerism. I don’t think we see how entrenched it has become in our mentality, that we look at all experience as something we can somehow devour or use.”

– Russell Brand
“Honesty is important in a relationship. One time in the early days of us dating, Susanne made us a fish pie, and it was rank. So I told her. It still crops up now and again, 20 years later. But I had to tell her or she’d make it again, I’d still be eating it. That’s the problem with people – they tip-toe around each other. She’s had haircuts and I’ve gone: ‘Why have you done that? What a horrible style’. And I want her to be honest with me.”

– Karl Pilkington
Source: Esquire

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How long should sex last? Study reveals the average duration of a sex session




You’d be forgiven for thinking that we humans do nothing but talk about sex.

But even when us amorous apes actually stop doing the jaw-jaw and get down to business, there’s still one question haunting our horny brains: just how long should sex last?

If you’re Sting or Puff Daddy, you’d probably say sex should go on for at least the length of a bank holiday weekend.

Whilst if you’re an inexperienced spotty teenager, you’ll probably be delighted if the time taken to complete a dirty deed matches the duration of an average Ariana Grande tune.

Now science has weighed in (again) to tell the world exactly how much time they should be spending in the act of physical love: 5.4 minutes.

“If you’re a non-scientist, you might have once asked yourself, propped against the bedhead after disappointingly quick intercourse, how long does sex ‘normally’ last?” Dr Brendan Zietsch from the University of Queensland wrote in The Conversation.

“A scientist, though, would phrase the same question in an almost comically obscure way: What is the mean intravaginal ejaculation latency time?

“I know there’s a lot more to sex than putting the penis into the vagina and ejaculating, but the rest is not always easy to define (kissing? rubbing? grinding?).

“To keep things simple and specific, we’ll just focus on the time to ejaculation.”

Dr Brendan Zietsch recounted a study in which 500 couples were armed with a stopwatch and asked to press the button (of the clock) when the unspeakable act begun and then tap it again when the man experiences his magical moment.

“That is as practically awkward as it sounds: participants pressed ‘start’ at penile penetration and ‘stop’ at ejaculation,” he added.

“You may note this could affect the mood somewhat, and might perhaps not exactly reflect the natural flow of things.

“But science is rarely perfect, and this is the best we’ve got.”

This study found that sexy time lasts anywhere between 33 seconds and 44 minutes, with the median time coming in at 5.4 minutes.

Interestingly, the research also explores “conventional wisdom regarding penile sensitivity and its relationship to staying power in the sack”.

Older men weren’t able to last longer than young ones, while wearing a condom or being circumcised didn’t boost chaps’ performance either.

“Another surprising finding was that the older the couple, the shorter the sex, contrary to the prevailing wisdom (probably peddled by older men),” Zietsch continued.

Obese men last longer in bed

A study by researchers at Erciyes University in Turkey have found one surprising ‘plus’ to being severely overweight – and it’s your sex life which reaps the benefits.

Titled “Insight on pathogenesis of lifelong premature ejaculation: inverse relationship between lifelong premature ejaculation and obesity,” the study’s findings seem to point at a correlation between being overweight and stamina.

According to the study, the larger men with more stomach fat and a higher BMI could last for an average of 7.3 minutes in bed.

Source: Mirror UK

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How to tell someone you only want to hook up




Anita Fabiola and Meddie SSentongoEvery woman who has dated men has at some point said something to the tune of: “If only he had just let me know up front that he wasn’t looking for anything serious.” Sometimes it’s the opposite: “I didn’t realize he was so into me; I thought we were just hooking up.” There’s a reason “what is your intention with my daughter” is the first question all movie dads ask. Knowing the answer prevents later heartbreak.

All relationships—even one night-long relationships—involve a delicate dance of trying to ascertain the other person’s intentions. Sometimes this dance lasts minutes, and sometimes it lasts months or years. Of course, we try to make our intentions known, but we often fail. Leaving someone’s house immediately after sex, for example, doesn’t count as communicating your expectations for the relationship. Neither does never being the one to text first, or liking other girls’ Insta pics, or bringing up your ex constantly (although that is definitely an effective way to prevent serious relationships).

I once had a friends with benefits whom I never kissed on the mouth. I think it was a subconscious effect of Pretty Woman. I just figured it would be obvious that we were only there to have sex if all we ever did was have sex (also, I don’t really like making out). Luckily for me, he texted me after the first time we hooked up and let me know that he still saw us as platonic friends, despite the hookup—which was fine with me—and we had a vaguely mature talk about it and then we never had to talk about it again, since we both knew each others’ expectations.

If I understand correctly, men are terrified of women being upset with them. If you watch men end things with women—which I do frequently as a viewer of The Bachelor franchise—you’ll notice how they try to get the women to say the five magic words: “I’m not mad at you.” So why, when the fear of disappointing, enraging, or otherwise upsetting women is so strong, don’t men just make their expectations clear from the get-go?

Contrary to popular (male) opinion, women are not desperately trying to trap men in long-term commitments. Actually, now that we’re no longer economically reliant on you guys, on the whole we’re a lot less motivated to trick you into marriage. A relationship really is so much more rewarding when both parties want to be in it. Many male friends of mine have worried to me about how much they might upset a woman by turning her down, or by telling her that they don’t want to get serious. To them (and to you) I say: You aren’t that special. I mean I’m sure there are ways in which you are special, and I’m sure you have a lot to give to a partnership, but you aren’t so special that a woman will fall to pieces if you tell her you don’t want to be in a committed relationship.

All said, a woman might reasonably fall to pieces if you wait to tell her you’re just looking to fool around until you’ve shared eight months of loosely-hooking-up-and-also-doing-lots-of-date-like-activities. Just like disclosing a lethal food allergy, the sooner and more clearly you alert her, the better. You don’t need to shout MY NAME IS ANTONIO AND I’M NOT LOOKING FOR ANYTHING SERIOUS over the music the night you meet a girl on the dance floor, or in the Lyft on the way back to her place to hook up. But if you guys are texting the day after said sexy times, that’s a good time to lay down what you’re interested in. Or, more accurately, what you’re not interested in. (If you are genuinely open to something more happening beyond the bedroom, but wouldn’t be bothered if this went no further than a couple meetings on your still-on-the-floor mattress, then you don’t need to spell that out.) If you can, talk about it before you start to go on date-like activities with her—”date-like” meaning anything that involves leaving your houses, or anything or that starts before 9 P.M.

If, however, you are opposed to/not ready for/otherwise uninterested in putting any effort into dating a person, let them know. Don’t treat it as a favor to her that you’re giving her a heads up. It’s not a favor; it’s simply the right thing to do. You don’t get extra points for being clear about what you want just because the rest of society’s daters are out there pulling bare minimum bullshit. Don’t start your sentence with anything resembling “Just to be fair to you…” or “I just thought you would want to know…” This isn’t about her, it’s about you. “I want to be upfront with you that I’m not looking to date right now,” is a good start. You can also follow up with something along the lines of “if you are looking for a relationship, and are no longer interested in hanging out, I understand, but I’m having a great time and would love to see you again.” Unfortunately “I’m just not looking to date right now” has been appropriated by people who are just trying to weasel their way out of a tense breakup talk, so that little addendum just lets her know that it’s not her, it really is you.


Source: Go

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