It Helps To Know That A Relationship Is No Small Thing
One of my favorite things to do during family sessions is to get Mom and Dad alone for some couples portraits. . I will admit It can be a little crazy to start off but once I recruit the kiddos and task them with the very important job of making mommy and daddy smile, we have a blast!. The kids LOVE this because they get to have fun and work out some silly’s behind me which always results in ALOT of laughter! . And images like this one of Erik and Shana are exactly why I do this! I mean could they be any cuter and in love!? 😍
Among our values that are constantly evolving with time is being in a relationship. It has now become an art and not just an unconscious part of our daily lives. Many of the little things that were once considered inconsequential are now the ones ruining many relationships today. Like you may have already observed, it takes more than just being in love to keep any relationship going. Whatever your relationship would eventually turn out to be, what you do or refuse to do has a lot to say about it. If you desire a happy relationship, a lot of effort has to be put into it, a conscious effort for that matter. And come to think of it, no human being can exist without being in one form of a relationship or the other. It may not be a romantic one but so long as you have something to do with your fellow human being, that is a relationship in itself. Again, even with the common thing that comes to our minds when the word "relationship" is mentioned, most human beings are going to be involved in one way or the other. It's either you are currently dating someone; you have once dated, or you are planning on dating someone soon. Any of this three scenarios can suit you. Whichever category and status you belong to whether married, single, or divorced, you would find the tips by experts who have been under each of these categories very helpful. After all, it is usually good to learn from other people's experiences and not from ours.
Now To The 20 Tips By Experts That Can Help Your Relationship
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What we shall be doing in the next 20 bullet points is to allow experts to speak on the subject of love and relationship and see how their views can help solve some of the common relationship problems today that often make partners fight or break up. Hopefully, you would find these tips helpful in addressing your problems and if perchance you don't have relationship problems or you are currently single, their sayings, which are born out of long years of experience would help prevent one from arising. Here they are.
1. Appreciation Helps A Lot; Show It Everyday
In the opinion of Terry Orbuch (Ph.D.) who is a leading professor at Oakland University, and the author of the Bestseller 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great, showing appreciation both by words and action every day, no matter how small, yields a bigger reward than we often think. He further stressed that everyone desires some form of recognition for who they are and what they have probably done for us and that when we give it to them, they are motivated to keep the light of our relationship with them burning bright. The appreciation mentioned here according to Orbuch does not always have to be gigantic. It can be as little as a thank you, a smile, a small gift, or even a simple hug. In fact, complimenting our dear ones can be a form of appreciation. To him, it solves a lot of problems which normally arise in marriage.
2. Experts Say Taking Breaks Help Relationships
It doesn't matter the amount of love you have for your partner or the number of years you have spent together, Amy Baglan who is the CEO of MeetMindful, opines that for a seamless relationship, partners must occasionally take breaks. This is perhaps a point that should not be too difficult for an economy-oriented person to grasp. It's a fact that anything that is too much in circulation loses its worth very easily. You should use absence to win more respect from your partner. If care is not taking, your relationship can assume a form of obsession in which case, you only think about yourself and partner alone while forgetting every other person, your parents inclusive. This unhealthy habit, instead of breeding more love, can actually be a reason you'll break up with your partner if you don't quickly address it. So, in Amy Baglan's view, it's good if you hang out with your girlfriends till evening and even travel from your partner for a week or to before returning to them. When you come back, he says that would give some form of life and refreshment to your relationship.
3. Stop Deceiving Yourself; You Cannot Be Their Everything
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Who hasn't spoken or reasoned this way before - that they want to be their partner's everything? Matt Lundquist, a couples therapist says that this is a very bad relationship plan. In his view, nobody can be anybody's everything. We just have to just have to keep creating a relationship out of the partnership otherwise it would cease to work. And come to think of it: doesn't that sound logical? How often do we strive to play a role that is outside our power to play! You will see a man wearing himself out because he wants to be his wife's everything. Unfortunately, it is after several failed efforts that he would now discover that he has been embarking on a mission that is impossible. The wasted effort and the fact that his partner may not have appreciated it accordingly can break his heart and where they have not gotten married, the man can decide to break up the relationship. To him, it seems that his girlfriend doesn't love him but he may not know he's the one biting off more than he can chew. This experience is true for females too. No one can be anyone's everything.
4. Each Relationship Is Of Value No Matter How It Ends
Of course, you may have to break up some relationships but in the submission of April Beyer who is an expert at matchmaking and dating, there is no relationship that doesn't have its own value even if you eventually break up. His take is that one should only be smart to identify which relationship is for a season and which is for a reason and then treat accordingly. When it's time to let go, pick up the lessons you have learned and let go. This is particularly important for those who think every relationship they enter into must always work. These people see themselves as failures if they have to break up from a partner forgetting that not all relationships are meant to be. If you realize you have to leave, Beyer says you should not hesitate. That doesn't mean you are a failure or that your partner is bad; you probably were in the relationship in the first place to learn something.
5. Thou Shall Not Take Your Partner For Granted
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It is common to hear people say that no relationship is perfect. However true this statement may be, an Individual an Couples Therapist, Irina Firstein has cautioned that it should not be used as a basis for complacency. The fact that you can take nonsense should not give you the impetus to give the same to your partner. Irina Firstein applied the physics law of elasticity to say that each of us has our own elastic limit as well as our breaking point and that if a partner is stretched to their limits, as a result of another's negligence, that partner may have no other option than to seek respite somewhere else. One way partners take each other for granted according to Firstein is waiting till the last trace of love in their relationship is about to be wiped off before they seek help. All of the times that they have been experiencing conflicts and lack of communication, they would not seek the help of a counselor or therapist then until issues get out of hand. Does that not represent what happens in most relationships and marriages? You'll see Couples seeking help when it cannot be found. So, if anything at all, Irina Firstein is saying that there is a right time for doing even the right thing. Get help as soon as you sense the need for help and pay attention to the complaints or displeasure of your partner before issues get out of hand.
6. Be Mindful Of How You Fight
An assistant Professor of communication at Texas State University, Sean M. Horan, (Ph.D.) has brought out a research finding that highlights what he calls the "Four Horsemen of Divorce." These, according to him are conflict messages that often tell whether a couple would remain together or eventually part ways. These are defensiveness, contempt, stonewalling or withdrawal, and criticism. Instead of towing any of these four lines, it is advised that couples look for grounds to identify and settle their differences. There is no way fight would not happen amidst partners but it is not so much the fight that would determine the continuity of the couple but how the fight is fought and handled. Put in another words, what we're saying is this: fight with sense.
7. Place Less Emphasis On The Big "O"
While achieving orgasm is every couple's sexual goal, sex experts like Kat Van Kirk, (Ph.D.) have argued that sex between couples is actually more than just achieving orgasm. According to Kirk, other benefits of sex are no less important in a relationship. These other benefits of sex which can cement a relationship include emotional and sensational intimacy; improved health; improved immunity; stress relief, and many more. Rather than making attaining orgasm as the only achievement of sex, these other benefits should be looked into as well.
8. Communication Should Begin With "I" And Not "You"
At the heart of every healthy relationship is a healthy communication. Where communication is impaired or lost, the relationship is only sitting on a time bomb. During communication, experts have advised that the personal pronoun "I" should come first instead of "You." The reason for this is that with "You" beginning a communication between any partners, the good intention may be confused with judgment. That is, your significant other may take it that you are judging them when you are always beginning your discussion with them with them with the pronoun "You."
9. Keep The Tempo High
Sari Cooper, a licensed individual and couples sex therapist advise that couples should not allow their love for each other to grow old. The temptation is that with the passage of time, partners in a romantic relationship stop making efforts to turn each other on perhaps because of marital assurance. In Cooper's opinion, couples' day should be every day. Partners should still mind their appearance and character just as they did while still trying to get each other's consent or approval for the relationship. Where the tempo is no longer sustained, Cooper posits that such relationships may eventually crash.
10. Don't Forget To Take Care Of Yourself
According to Margaret Paul, (Ph.D.) who is a co-creator of "Inner Bonding" and a relationship expert, it is common to see couples have problems when either of them or even both start neglecting their physical upkeep. These neglect in Margaret's view can range from organizational (where a person is messy), emotional (ignoring one's feelings or judging them), financial (unwise spending) to physical which is the refusal to exercise and eat well. The basis for Margaret Paul's submission is that it is impossible to take care of another person without first of all taking care of oneself. That, of course, makes sense. Why would I be concerned about my partner's well-being when I don't even value mine?
11. Get To Know Your "Good Conflicts" And Manage It Together
Ken Page is the proponent of the Good Conflict theory which says that partners in a long-term relationship often feel that the thing they need most is what their partner has the least capacity to provide. Stated differently, the theory is saying something like this: My greatest need in this relationship is attention but your weakness or the least thing you are capable of offering is this attention that I so much need. Page who is a psychotherapist advise couples not to shy away from this problem because it is natural. In his opinion, identifying such "Good Conflicts" and even talking about them is capable of bringing more joy and stability to a relationship. When you, however, approach these "Good Conflicts" with resentments or bitterness, Ken Page says your relationship is bound to become toxic.
12. Endeavor To Keep Meeting Your Partner's Needs
A psychologist and dating expert, Jeremy Nicholson, (Ph.D.) claims to have learned a great lesson about love and relationships which he would love couples to emulate. According to him, the lesson is that love isn't just a feeling but a give-and-take affair. Partners should treat their relationship as a trade where as your need is met, you also meet the needs of others. In elementary biology, this is called symbiosis. It can really be annoying being in a one-sided, parasitic relationship. Here the exchange is not mutual and only one person is satisfied and in most cases, to the detriment of the other. Dr. Jeremy counsels that each person must study what appeals to the other most in the relationship and then try to meet it.
13. Change Your Tactics
Most times goals present more than one way of achieving them just as most problems we encounter too can be tackled in a number of ways. Carrie Cole (M.Ed.) opines that instead of using the predictable criticism approach to tackle most problems that surface in a relationship, it would help to show some patient and gentleness. For instance, instead of lashing out at your partner for always keeping the dishes in the room, you can change your approach to letting them know how such habit makes them feel. You see the difference? It has changed from criticism to making them know your emotional needs.
14. Find Time To Go Out
Your outdoor movement does not always have to be a long distance one. But sometimes, there's nothing bad about going on a long distance journey. A psychotherapist who also doubles as an author, Jenn Mann, (Ph.D.) has said that such outing has a great potential to fix relationships that are already developing tensions but he also cautions that the outing may have to be pre-planned so that its aim would not be disappointed.
15. Watch Where You Sit While Negotiating
This may sound funny but it's not because it has been found out through a research study. Professors at Yale, MIT, and Harvard claim to have found out in a research study that if you sit on "a hard wooden chair," when negotiating, you are likely going to be more inflexible in your decisions. However, if it's on a cushioned chair (or let's say a bed), you're better set and the chances are that your decisions would be more accommodating. So, when there's a matter between you and your partner that needs a mutual resolution, you guys should watch where you sit.
16. Be Swift To Hear, Slow To Respond
Sometimes, your partner would say something that hurts deeply and you would feel like fighting back with your tongue, Fitzpatrick says that in such situations, it helps to first rehearse what you would say to yourself first before uttering them out. In other words, don't respond immediately to a provocation.
17. Choose A Partner With A Like Mind
In the submission of Kelly Campbell, who is an associate professor of psychology at California State University, San Bernardino, the disparity in values between two partners in a relationship should not be too wide. Things like age, hobbies, education, and even intelligence should be close between partners in a relationship. Every other difference, if it has nothing to do with these values, can still be accommodated.
18. Get Them A Nickname
If you don't have a nickname you call your partner, go get one. An expert, Gottlieb says that when you call your spouse or partner by their full name, you create an invisible long distance between both of you and it makes the relationship appear too formal and less affectionate.
19. Before Having A Serious Talk, Hold Your Partner's Hands
When partners hold hands, a hormone called oxytocin responsible for pleasure is released and according to a relationship expert, Lori Gottlieb, it would be pretty "hard to raise your voice on someone whose hand you're holding."
20. If You Can, Avoid Long Distance Relationships
Experts have continued to express skepticism over long distance relationships owing to its many challenges. If your partner is at a long distance, how do you get to know each other and share each other's feelings? Jeremy Nicholson strongly affirms that partners must meet each other's emotional needs if their relationship must stand. This can hardly be achieved in a long distance relationship. How do you kiss a long distance partner?
Now That The Experts Have Spoken
When men and women of experience speak, it helps and pays to listen. Now you have before you thoughts of intellectuals and experts on the subject of love. The ball is in your court. Sometimes, when we can't help ourselves, we may have to seek the help from others especially from trusted persons. Seeking help from others may come at a cost but this probably costs you nothing, so make use of them well.