10 Ways To Love Someone (Without Giving Yourself Away In The Process)


"It's Love That Makes The World Go Round." W.S. Gilbert

So, you've found love. Now, how do you make it last? In the beginning love is grand. It's just you and your partner. You can't seem to get enough of each other. Then, you buy a house, have children, and get a promotion at work. Slowly over time, your relationship becomes less important and you begin to drift away. It used to be so easy to go out on a date, but now you can't seem to find the time to fit each other in. 

If this sounds like your relationship, you are not alone. Many couples go through this. Relationships are work. Love is a splendid thing and it does make the world go round, but if you want to stay together, then be prepared to work at it. Here are 10 tips to keep the love alive in your relationship:

  1. Six second kiss. You read that right. In our busy world most of the time we give our partner a peck. You need to stop and kiss on the lips for six seconds. It's not really that long and the physiological effects are great.
  2. Know one important thing about your partner's day. This is also known as departing. Before your partner leaves for the day make it a point to know one…

Read more: 10 Ways To Love Someone (Without Giving Yourself Away In The Process)

Relationships Are All About The Friendship.


"No friendship is an accident." -O. Henry, Heart of the West

Marriage doesn't have to be complicated or even difficult, what couples need to make a marriage last is friendship - says Dr. John Gottman. Friendship is at the core of a strong marriage. Friendship in a relationship means couples know each other intimately. They know each other's likes, dislikes, personality quirks, dreams and hopes

After 40 years of research Dr. John Gottman found that relationships don't have to be complicated. Happy couples aren't smarter, prettier or healthier than other couples. They've learned to let their positive feelings for one another override their negative feelings for one another. They not only honor and respect one another, they understand one another. Believe it or not, what Dr. John Gottmans research has found is that happy marriages are based on friendship. It actually is simple. Here are eight tips to help get to know your spouse better:

  1. Have a friendly conversation. Set time aside, regularly, to talk as friends. Take turns picking a topic. For example, your goals and dreams, a recent book or movie, your family of origin or current event.
  2. Attend to the little things that show love and affection. Regularly do things that build love and friendship in the relationship. This doesn't mean keeping score. Give gifts to one another, offer encouragement, spend time together and…

Read more: Relationships Are All About The Friendship.

10 Common Cognitive Distortions In Relationships


We all have an internal dialogue and at one time or another we have misread our partner. You can't always believe what your mind tells you. Here are ten cognitive distortions you want to stay away from in your relationship:




  1. Negative predictions.Overestimating the likelihood that an action will have a negative outcome. Maybe, your partner doesn't do things exactly like you, that doesn't mean it is negative or wrong.
  2. Underestimating coping ability. You are capable of self-soothing when you are in a relationship. It's nice when your partner helps soothe you but it's alright for you to soothe yourself. For example, take a bath, read a book or write in your journal.
  3. Thinking an absence of effusiveness means something is wrong. Believing an absence of a smiley-face in an email means there is a problem. Interpreting, "You did a good job" as negative if you were expecting "You did a great job." This is not the same as being taken for granted. Sometimes, the small things really are small things.
  4. Entitlement beliefs. Believing the same rules that apply to others don't apply to you is a recipe for disaster. For example, believing that because your worked all day means you can come home and make a mess in the kitchen, and leave it for your spouse to clean up is alright.
  5. Belief in a…

Read more: 10 Common Cognitive Distortions In Relationships

Tired Of Being Called Defensive, Here Are 5 Strategies To Work On It.

"A pure and lasting relationship, has fights, has trust, has faith, has tears, has hurt, has laughter and has weird stupid and unnecessary arguments." Kemmy Nola

"You are so stubborn!"
"Whenever there is a problem you always blame me!"
"I've never been able to pursue my career it's always your career first!"
"I just can't stand to look at you!"

Have you ever said any of these things to your partner or has your partner ever said any of these things to you? If your answer is yes, then, you are not alone. These are also known as The Four Horsemen:

  1. Criticize (Attack)
  2. Defensive
  3. Contempt
  4. Stonewalling

Defensive behavior is ruining your relationship. The four horsemen are the biggest predictor of divorce in a relationship, and they also aren't good for the children. Communication is important in a relationship, but how you communicate is really what is important. Not only can your words be defensive, but your tone and body language can also be defensive. Remember, it's not what you say but how you say it. Here are five strategies to help change your defensive behavior:

  1. Complain without blame. When you start a conflict discussion with your partner by using "you" statements, and blaming your partner for the problems in the relationship, this will put them on the defense. Try rephrasing your words. Use "I" statements. Start the conversation by stating…

Read more: Tired Of Being Called Defensive, Here Are 5 Strategies To Work On It.

10 Deposits You Can Make To Your Emotional Bank Account


"Catch your partner doing something right." The Gottman Institute

I'm sure you are familiar with a savings account. You start a savings account by making a deposit. If you continue to make deposits, then your savings account grows. If you only make one deposit, then your savings account doesn't grow. Apply that concept to your relationship. This doesn't mean keep score, this means work towards building a positive perspective in your relationship. The Gottman Institute research suggests this is a great way to build a reasonably happy relationship. Here are ten helpful tips to help build your emotional bank account in your relationship:

  1. Sliding glass door moments. These are just a couple of minutes in a relationship and this is where trust is built and how it is kept. For example, you come home after a long day at work and your partner wants to talk to you about the children. You can simply say I am tired and walk away or you can stay and listen to your partner. This may not make a huge difference at the time but in the long run it will.
  2. Contribute regularly to your emotional bank account. The small things can make a big difference. Your partner will notice. And, contribute with a smile. Remember, it's not what you say it's how you say it.
  3. Complain don't blame. This…

Read more: 10 Deposits You Can Make To Your Emotional Bank Account

Contact Information

Office Location 
Lianne Avila, MFT
1510 Fashion Island Blvd.
Suite 110
San Mateo, CA 94404

Phone Number
(650) 892-0357

Map & Directions


Contact Us  Get Directions