How To Develop A Realistic View Of Love

Six tips to help those in pursuit of a relationship.

1) Act How You Feel (Within Reason):
We've all been around couples that bicker in public or make nasty passive aggressive jabs all the time. When we air out our dirty laundry too readily, we make others feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, pretending your relationship is flawless can come across as fake. We've all done it at times, we act like everything is fine and it's not. We fight in the car and hold hands throughout dinner, until we get back in the car and pick up right where we left off. If this sounds like your relationship, then it's time to be real. Tell other's how you are feeling, honestly, and expect them to understand. It will be a relief to know that your relationship has flaws and that others will understand.

2) Demand Realistic Portrayals of Relationships:
When you see a couple acting unrealistic, say so. Ask why they need to act like they are madly in love after being married for ten years, we all know that is not likely. Talk about a romantic comedy that you would like to see and comment on how much the film reflects the ups and downs of relationships. Laugh about how amazing it is that people in movies orgasm easily and at the exact same time.…

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Why Research About Relationships?

As many of you know, I have been trained to use the Gottman Method when I counsel couples. This is a well researched method. Dr. Gottman's have done 40 years of research in using this method. Sometimes, people wonder, 'why research relationships?' Believe, it or not, there is a science to relationships. After 40 years of research, Dr. Gottman's have discovered the 5 to 1 ratio, also known as the magic ratio in a relationship. This is where it will take five positive interactions to erase one negative interaction in a relationship. Dr. Gottman's have discovered that negative interactions have a greater impact on a relationship than positive interactions. What this means, is that your relationship doesn't have to be a war about negativity, that you can learn from the negative interactions in your relationship by having a dialogue about them. Dr. Gottman's research suggests, what really separates the happy couples from the miserable couples is a healthy balance between their positive and negative interactions. All couples have different styles of approaching conflict - some yell, while others retreat to separate corners of their home. Neither style is doomed when couples have what is called, the Positive Sentiment Override. Here are five tips to help improve the Positive Sentiment Override in your relationship:

  1. Smile. When greeting your partner for the first time of the day, meet them…

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Four Ways To Ruin A Perfectly Good Relationship

"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.

After practicing as a Marriage and Family Therapist for fourteen years and spending the last four years focusing on couples. I find these are the four ways to ruin a perfectly good relationship.

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

These are also known as The Four Horsemen. Remember, we are adults here and it may be time to change the way you communicate with your partner. Stop criticizing your partner. Use a softer tone when talking to your partner, and tell them how you are feeling. For example, that hurt my feelings, I'm feeling unappreciated or I'm getting worried.

Stop being defensive, learn to take responsibility for your behavior. For example, I really blew that one; I can see my part in this or let's try that one over again. Stop holding contempt for your partner and…

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How To Laugh With Your Partner You Take Seriously

Finding the right person can be difficult, but once it happens you've got to deal with the task of maintenance. This means keeping things fresh and finding time to spend with one another. This means prioritizing your relationship. When a couple enters a relationship, it's on the top of the list. This means having fun together. As time goes on, this changes. Work, the house and the children take priority. Having fun together is essential in a relationship. The two go together. If you aren't having fun together, then you are slowly killing your relationship. Here are ten tips to help you put fun back at the top of the list in your relationship:

  1. Put away all electronic gadgets. We have been conditioned to think we can't live without them, but we can. You really don't need to be plugged in all day or all night, for that matter.
  2. Talk to couples over 65 years old. Get relationship tips from other couples. See what you can take away for your relationship. Ask them how they have kept the love alive and how they have gotten through the difficult times?
  3. Stop and appreciate everything your relationship is right now. When you've been in a relationship for a while, it's easy to focus on the negative. Start focusing on the positive and tell your partner about it.…

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21 Ways To Create Rituals of Connection In Your Relationship

Rituals of Connection are core to a positive and happy relationship. They create shared meaning in the relationship. If you have shared meaning in the relationship, then there is a good chance the relationship is stable and happy. If you don't, then you might be asking yourself, 'Is that all there is?' Sure, date nights, weekend getaways and making love are all part of a relationship. But, people also want to connect at a deeper level. How is your spiritual connection? Do you feel you are creating an inner life together? This is a culture in the relationship, where symbols, rituals and an appreciation for your roles and goals, which also link you together. When you feel this connection, you will understand what if feels like to be part of the union you have joined.

One of the best ways to create shared meaning is to talk about your dreams with your partner. However, big or small they might be. You don't have to agree with your partner's dreams but you need to be respectful and supportive of one another's dreams. Another way to create shared meaning is to create traditions and rituals. Start by talking about the traditions and rituals that you had growing up. Tell your partner you best and worst memories. How could you make them better? What are these rituals…

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