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.
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!
10 Tips on how to talk to a guy you like
Do you get all tongue twisted and shy when you talk to a guy you like? Do you find it hard to find the right words, and often come out with the wrong ones? Often, when we are trying to impress someone, we can get so nervous, that we forget all the things that we wanted to say. That’s why having a few tips on how to approach and talk to a guy that you like can be helpful. If you are prepared for what you are going to say, then it will be much easier to appear confident and you will be less likely to clam up, or gush out all the wrong things. Take a look at these tips on how to talk to a guy you like. They might help you start up a conversation, the next time you meet someone really nice.
1. Remember, men don’t really come from another planet
Despite all that you may have heard, men aren’t really all that different from women. Try not to think too much about the fact that it’s a man that you are talking to and try to forget some of those preconceived ideas you may have about what men are like. Men are just people, just like you, so relax and be natural, and you will find that they aren’t half as scary as you’d thought they were.
2. Mind your P’s and Q’s
Most guys prefer women who are polite and good natured, so lay off the bad language and try to be genuine. It might sound a bit old fashioned, but most men really do prefer a woman to be a lady and they don’t appreciate a girl who’s trying to be one of the lads.
3. Use your smile
Another great tip on how to talk to a guy you like is to use your beautiful smile. People naturally feel attracted to happy people, so use that smile of yours to get, and keep, his attention. Don’t grin manically him, that’ll just scare him off, but do laugh at his jokes and look like you are in a good mood. Men just can’t resist a girl with a beautiful smile.
4. Give him compliments
You are probably quite comfortable complimenting your female friends on their new dress or hairstyle, but have you ever complimented a man when you are talking to him? Men love to get a compliment too, but it’s usually better if you stick to complimenting on his sense of humour, or his sharp mind, than it is complementing him in appearance.
5. Make eye contact
This is one of the best tips on how to talk to a guy you like. When you do talk to a guy, look him in the eye when you speak to him. When you make eye contact with a person, it shows that you are being sincere and you have nothing to hide. Try not to let your shyness make you look away from him, because that could be read as a sign that you are bored and you want to get away.
6. Be a bit mysterious
Don’t reveal everything about you in one go because men like a little bit of a mystery and intrigue, it’s another great tip on how to talk to a guy you like and make him want to discover more. If he catches you smiling for no apparent reason, for example, he’s going to wonder what is amusing you. Leave him guessing and just say ‘oh nothing”, and his curiosity will get the better of him. The more questions you leave answered, without being annoying, the more he will want to hang around to learn more about you.
7. Don’t judge about other people
Men really don’t like to hear women talking badly about other people, so trying to start a conversation by criticising colleagues, or friends, is not a good move. If you are going to talk about other people, be positive, or, if you can’t do that, keep your thoughts to yourself. Not only don’t men like that kind of talk, you never know if the person you are being nasty about is a close friend of the guy you are talking to.
8. Touch him
The gentle, tender touch of a girl is something that few men can’t resist. Research has proven that men become very attracted to a girl that touches him, so the occasional light touch on his arm, or a hand on the shoulder, will go a long way toward melting the ice. Keep it casual and appropriate and you will soon find that his interest in you grows.
9. Don’t be afraid of short silences
Sometimes when you are talking to a man you will find that he pauses before he answers you. Don’t be worried by this and don’t but-in with more words. Guys do tend to think about what they are going to say more than women do, so he’s he probably just mulling over his response to your last comment.
10. Be yourself
The most important tip on how to talk to a guy you like, to bear in mind, is to be natural and be yourself. Relax, calm down, and try not to your nerves get the better of you. If you are genuine and honest, you will put the guy at ease and he will feel more comfortable talking to you too.
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