No matter your relationship status: single, dating, engaged, or married, these tips from experts will change your relationship for ever.
1.Stop trying to be each other’s “everything.”
“‘You are my everything’ is a lousy pop-song lyric and an even worse relationship plan. No one can be ‘everything’ to anyone. Create relationships outside The Relationship, or The Relationship isn’t going to work anymore.”
— Matt Lundquist, LCSW, couples therapist
2. Be More Positive Than Negative
There’s a more effective way to air
grievances than to file an angry complaint. Sandwich your negative comment between two positives. If you want to complain about how he’s always late, for example, try something like “You know, I love that you’re so laid-back and easygoing,
but it really bothers me when you show up so late.
I’m sure you can still be the fun guy I adore and also be
—Los Angeles psychologist Yvonne Thomas, PhD
3.Make sure you’re meeting your partner’s needs.
“The number one thing I have learned about love is that it is a trade and a social exchange, not just a feeling. Loving relationships are a process by which we get our needs met and meet the needs of our partners too. When that exchange is mutually satisfying, then good feelings continue to flow. When it is not, then things turn sour, and the relationship ends. That is why it is important to pay attention to what you and your partner actually do for each other as expressions of love… not just how you feel about each other in the moment.”
— Jeremy Nicholson, Ph.D., psychologist and dating expert
4.Forget trouble for a little while and laugh together.
A good laugh is like good sex: spontaneous and uninhibited and an act that unites two beings as one. It’s worth going out of your way to have a good laugh, especially if things have been rocky. Go to a place where you used to laugh or where there’s a good chance of laughter. That moment when you exchange a look and end up laughing, often over a shared memory, is the best way to understand each other again. It can be pretty sexy in bed too – as long as you’re laughing together.
Irma Kurtz is a writer and a journalist.
5. Remove the pressure on performance.
“The penis-vagina model of sex comes with pressures, such as having an orgasm at the same time or the idea that an orgasm should happen with penetration. With these strict expectations come a pressure on performance that ultimately leads many to feel a sense of failure and frustration. Instead, try to expand your concept of sex to include anything that involves close, intimate connection with your partner, such as sensual massages, taking a nice shower or bath together, reading an erotic story together, playing with some fun toys… the possibilities are endless. And if orgasm happens, great, and if not, that’s OK too. When you expand your definition of sex and lower the pressure on orgasm and penetration, the anxiety around performance dissipates and your satisfaction can escalate.”
— Chelsea Holland, DHS, MS, sex and relationship therapist at The Intimacy Institute
6. Grow Your Tolerance
Neither of you is perfect, and
the quirks you both have are
here to stay. So rather than
let those annoying traits work your last nerve, try to
get in touch with the upside of those particular flaws,
even if it’s not immediately recognizable. Instead of
getting annoyed when he starts screaming at the TV,
for example, remind yourself how much you love his
passion. Or if his shyness with new people bugs you,
think about how refreshing it is to be with a chill,
genuine guy rather than a blowhard who needs to chat
with everyone in the room.
—Denver psychologist Jennifer Oikle, PhD, dating coach for Coupling Connection