Relationship Skills used by Happy Couples

Man And Woman Breathing

Relationship Skills used by Happy Couples

Have you ever looked at what you thought were the perfect couple and thought, “I want to be like them.” Well it isn’t fate or happenstance. Good relationships have certain qualities in them. They don’t come prepackaged. Anyone can practice them, and indeed should. Here are relationship skills used by happy couples. The first one is empathy.

Sympathy is knowing how someone else feels and showing compassion for them. Empathy is really feeling what they feel, knowing how they feel and showing compassion. Don’t assume you know how they feel outright. Our assumptions without the benefit of reflection are usually wrong and may anger or hurt our partner.  You don’t have to have lived through the same thing. Use your imagination and walk a mile in their moccasins. Close your eyes and feel what it is like to be in their position. What are their concerns, priorities, responsibilities and actions? What did they expect and what occurred instead? Once you understand their point of view intimately, from inside their head, then discuss things with them.

The next is called emotional validation. When your sweetie is upset or angry, let them know that you understand how they’re feeling, and that they have every right to feel that way. Give them your concern and sympathy. You may think that they will be even more upset with you. The truth is they will likely calm down and be able to discuss things with you rationally and calmly. That’s because you’ve validated their emotions. Emotional validation is something we all need. When we feel upset, angry or frustrated we want our partner to understand why we feel how we do, and sympathize with us. When this happens we experience an emotional release from the tension we were feeling.

Lastly, use civility and consideration in your relationship to make it healthy and happy. Little gestures such as letting someone sleep in, flowers, a small token, a handwritten note, a compliment or a big hug can change the tone instantly. These things can decrease the intensity of an argument and give room for talking and working things out. Often couples get caught in a cycle of negativity. One gesture won’t change that. But if you develop a routine of civility and consideration you can change that cycle. It’s particularly powerful if both partners become committed in breaking a cycle of negativity and replace it with a positive one. For more advice read, Changing Behavior: Immediately Transform Your Relationships with Easy to Learn, Proven Communication Skills by Georgianna Donadio.

What does it mean when Your Date had a Quick Marriage before?

date

What does it mean when Your Date had a Quick Marriage before?

Quickie marriages in celebritydom have become as cliché as the damsel in distress being saved by valiant heroes. But what about in real life? What does it mean when your date has had a quick marriage before? The truth is that most divorces occur after the first two years of marriage. And the social trend is being married over less time. So it may not mean much. Just like everything else, it’s far more complicated than just that. What you really want to do is find out the reason why the marriage ended, and the particulars before you toss this person into the discard pile.

There are many factors to consider. First, who was the one who broke it off, or was it a mutual thing? 75% of divorces happen when one person wants out of the marriage. And more often than not it’s the woman asking for a divorce. Many times people enter into marriage without knowing the responsibility, time and effort it takes to keep a marriage fresh and alive. Also, there are those who find it difficult to commit. They think they’re ready but once the marriage is in full swing it turns out that they aren’t.

Were they young when they got married? If you want to address this question a little more genteelly, ask if age was a factor. Young people are impulsive. They fall deliriously in love and rush off to get hitched, only to realize it isn’t built to last a short time later. But you shouldn’t hold someone’s youth against them, as long as they’ve tempered that impulsive passion with reason. Passion certainly isn’t a bad thing in a date. And impulsivity’s mature stage is spontaneity, another plus. It’s important that you ask your date for information over a period of time, and in a light or direct way. But make sure it doesn’t feel like an interrogation. Or else you may be pushing away a potential partner. Know that divorce is painful for most people. It may be hard to talk about, whether the person admits it or not. Get them comfortable with you. Ask them to share their story. If they don’t feel comfortable sharing the whole thing, or just want to sum it up for now, tell them that’s okay. Really listen. Don’t judge, at least not right away. Thank them for sharing it.

So it’s important that you keep an open mind, don’t jump to conclusions, really think about what the person said, and try to find what they may not be saying, but what they mean. They may not say nice things about their ex, depending upon the situation, but it just may be a defense to cover up the hurt. Be patient and figure out who this person really is, and what’s really going on before going to the next level with them, just as you should do with anyone. For more advice read, Dating the Divorced Man: Sort Through the Baggage to Decide if He’s Right for You by Christie Hartman.

When it’s Necessary to ask your Partner’s Permission

talking

When it’s Necessary to ask your Partner’s Permission

We all like to be independent. But when in a relationship, it can be hard to tell what we need to run by our partner and what a decision we should make on our own is. And it’s a balancing act. Asking their permission for everything can seem too needy, and that you export all of your power and authority to your romantic partner. When you make too many decisions without their input, you start looking like a tyrant with a callous and cold heart, who doesn’t care what they think, or about being considerate of their wants, wishes and feelings. A careful balance must be struck. But how do you know when it’s necessary to ask your partner’s permission? Here are some easy to follow guidelines for most situations.

If you are unsure, it’s always a good idea to sit down with your partner and figure out what works in your relationship, for the two of you. But here are some general ones that pop up in most relationships. One major situation which breeds arguments and hurt feelings is seeing your ex. Whether you are friends, or just catching up after years over a coffee, this has to be discussed with your current flame, at length. This isn’t controlling you, it’s merely a courtesy. And you are sending a message. You are letting your partner know that this relationship means more than catching up with an old flame. They shouldn’t mind. And if they do, they have jealousy issues, which have to be addressed.

If you are in a new relationship, let them know when you are hanging out with a friend of the opposite sex, and that this person poses no threat. Again, this shouldn’t be a problem. One important part of dating is developing trust. And if they don’t trust you around friends of the opposite sex, huge red lights should be flashing in your head. Still, letting them know shows you are courteous and considerate of their feelings, a boon in any relationship. If you two are cohabitating and someone is coming to stay over, or even live there for a while, you definitely need to sit down with them and talk it out. You can’t just spring it on them. They will be so angry, and resent you for it. And what message are you sending, that they have no say in a place they live? The same goes for company. If you just bring people home without letting them know, it’s a lack of respect on your part and a shock on theirs.

If for whatever reason you aren’t coming home that night, send a quick call or text. You owe them that much. If you are too intoxicated have your friend do it. Your partner will thank you and be more understanding. But the shock of you not coming home and not being alerted will scare them, make them worry, and if you don’t call it means that you don’t care, or that their feelings aren’t important to you. If someone in your life needs a hand or support in something they are doing, don’t commit your partner without their say-so. You need to run it by them first. If you do, it means you are considerate of their time and opinion. If you don’t, it means that they are supposed to do what you say when you say it. Showing consideration for your partner will make your relationship stronger, and make it last. For more advice read, Love is Never Enough: How Couples can Overcome Misunderstandings, Resolve Conflicts, and Solve Relationship Problems through Cognitive Therapy by Aaron T. Beck, M.D.

Breaking Up with your Long Term Live in Boyfriend

stressed

Breaking Up with your Long Term Live in Boyfriend

Considering whether or not to break it off? What happened? Was it a slow growing apart? Did someone go astray? Or do you have some sort of irreconcilable differences? Whatever the reason, you are considering breaking up with your long term live in boyfriend. But how can you make a decision like that? If you move out or kick him out, whatever the case, it’s a decision that a relationship will have a pretty hard, if not impossible time bouncing back from. You have to be sure. But how can you be sure it’s the right decision?

First, consider your feelings for him. You may need to get away from him for a bit, and have some time to think. Make an excuse and stay over your friends for a couple of nights, or how about a relative for the excuse of a visit. Do it when he can’t accompany you. Or even spend a couple of nights at a motel, but tell him it’s a business trip. Give yourself a little time to relax and just forget about it. Then revisit the issue when you’re fresh. Do you still love him? Does he treat you the same as when things were fresh and new? Do you still tell him that you love him, or that you think he looks good?

Does he remember important dates in your relationship? How does he treat you now versus before? How do you treat him? Why do you think this is? Consider if there is a particular behavior that is driving a wedge between you two, or if it’s just a general malaise. If it’s just a rut there are plenty of things you can do to reignite the spark in your relationship. But if it’s a particular behavior, or a set of behaviors they have to be addressed, why not sit down and have a serious talk with him. Explain the behaviors that are driving a wedge between the two of you, and figure out a way to overcome them. Have some ideas in mind. Make sure you both have a chance to speak and be heard. Negotiate but don’t give up your core beliefs, or ask him to, or else one of you will resent the other. If one of you cheated, you have to see what the underlying factors are that caused the indiscretion. Those issues have to be addressed and the bond of trust has to be reestablished, not easy. Ask if this person is worth it? It may be easier to take the lessons you’ve learned and move on. Otherwise, work through your issues and seek couple’s therapy.

Think about what problems, issues or behaviors you bring to the relationship. It’s a two way street and most of the time one party isn’t completely innocent. Keep talking to each other and it will soon become abundantly clear whether to get out the suitcases and call the moving van, or decide to give it another go. Consider any financial and legal issues if it’s not going to work, do some research and have plans in place to circumvent anything that might arise. For more breakup advice read, The Single Woman’s Sassy Survival Guide: Letting Go and Moving On by Mandy Hale.

Financial Signs that your Date has Long Term Potential

finances

Financial Signs that your Date has Long Term Potential

TD Ameritrade and website Learnvest.com recently conducted a survey and found that most couples fight about money on average around five times per year. Other studies have shown that money is one of the most contentious issues for couples. It’s always the biggest issue in survey after survey that couples have to contend with. When dating someone if you happen to get to know how they handle their money and other financial issues, their dealings in these matters can exhibit character qualities that they possess. Someone who pays all of their bills on time for instance is conscientious, detail-oriented and responsible, whereas if they are irresponsible with money, or a total spendthrift, these qualities may weigh heavily on your relationship, of course depending upon who you are and what your financial situation and spending habits are. Certainly trustworthiness, chemistry, shared values and love all should inhabit a relationship. These are good qualities to have, especially for a long term romantic relationship. So what other financial signs should you look out for in your date to see if they have long term potential?

Many experts agree that it’s good for both of you to share in the financial decisions. It’s important that a couple act as a team. If you aren’t cohabitating yet, does the person you’re dating ask your opinion on things or are they more independent? The TD Ameritrade and Learnvest study found that generally with married and cohabitating couples, one person pays the bills and writes the budget. Really both people should know how to do these things on their own, particularly with how high the divorce rate is. However, if your love interest asks your opinion and is very considerate, there is a high chance they will be easy to talk to and negotiate with when financial matters come up. Of course you shouldn’t bring up personal subjects like money, savings, investments, retirement plan and so on, on the first date. Not if you want a second date. But as things start to get serious these are important issues.

How comfortable is this person talking about money? When someone is paranoid or testy about the subject, it can put a real damper on the relationship. But if your lover is comfortable discussing matters and opinions on all things financial, this person is a keeper. Is this person financially stable? What is there debt situation like? There are lots of people who are forgoing marriage due to their hesitancy in taking on their lover’s debt. Everyone must decide what is right for them. But having a life partner who has their financial situation under control, and is able to discuss financial matters with you are good signs of a strong relationship with long term possibilities. For more financial advice read, Money before Marriage: A Financial Workbook for Engaged Couples by Larry Burkett.