Drifting Apart

drifting

Drifting Apart

It stuns you when you first realize that you and your sweetie, you seemed like the perfect couple, are drifting apart. Sometimes just as perfectly as you fell for each other, as if it were only natural an event like a natural disaster, an earth shattering union over which the two of you had no control. But just as powerfully so too can each party find forces pushing them apart, and these can occur just as naturally and as inexplicably.

Sometimes we end up in a comfortable relationship that has no future. This kind of relationship has dueling emotions inside you. On the one hand you have your life goals. On the other you love this person and perhaps fear being single again and facing a big, black who-knows-what. Sometimes the fear of the unknown makes us stay in an uncomfortable situation. But the problem with that is we die a little inside for we are born to seek out our dreams. Scientists have proven that parts of the brain showing good, sound judgment shutdown when we fall in love. As the relationship progresses more and more we get to learn about our partner and deal with their shortcomings, and our own.

Once you have that down, you think you’ve got it all figured out. And you’ll live happily ever after. Or not. More likely it will be like a series of hurtles you’ll have to jump over. You’ll dodge them and do okay. Once in a while you’ll have a victory to celebrate. At other times a defeat to mourn. But when people have different priorities or if their values change, as are natural to do over time you can find the couple naturally drifting apart. The question is how far is this drift going to go? Can you relate to one another anymore? Is there trust and respect? Can you build a deep bond of connection and intimacy despite these differences? Each couple has to decide for themselves. It takes a big conversation.

Some long term couples and married couples decide to live together despite their differences. They share what they can but each also enjoy their separate lives. Others seek out a partner who fulfills all of their needs. Then there are those who try to change their lover, or spurn them for not being the person they fell in love with to begin with. Instead, talk about it. Discuss the drift. See when it occurred and why it occurred. Figure out if it makes sense to stay together and share your life together or perhaps you’ve grown too different after all. For more advice read, Help! My Spouse and I Are Drifting Apart by Dr. Bill Maier and Mitch Temple.

First Date Questions to Be Prepared for

FIRST-DATE

First Date Questions to Be Prepared for

Are you going on a first date soon? The first date, as with a first impression, sets the tone for how you two will interact with each other. And this is the first crucial step to see if there is a mutual interest. They can be so scary and exciting, the butterflies, not knowing what to wear, how you should act and if you will feel the magic are all questions on your mind. Speaking of questions, it’s important to be prepared for what your date is most likely to ask you and how to respond. A first date is kind of like a job interview for love. You are seeing if they are the right fit for you and visa-versa. Of course you should be truthful in all of your answers. But you should be prepared for what they might ask you. You don’t want to be dumbfounded, fumble or be taken aback. Here are a few first date questions to be prepared for.

First, be prepared to talk about your career. If you aren’t working or you are in college, talk about what you’re passionate about. And let your interest shine through. People are attracted to others who share similar goals, passions and interests in life. And if you can let them see you radiate with what your passionate about it may deepen their interest in you, and spark a return of that same energy when they talk about what they’re interested in.

Whatever is asked, don’t take yourself too seriously. Keep everything light and positive. No one wants to hear a lot of complaining on a first date. Not that you have to steer clear of all negative subjects. But don’t dwell on them, and put a positive spin on it at the end. Be ready to talk about your achievement s, background and goals in life. Ask your date about theirs as well. People who are deeply spiritual or religious will ask about your own beliefs or faith. Try to find out as much as you can about their beliefs and faith beforehand and prepare your answers to be truthful. But make sure you are always respectful and interested in what someone else believes. That doesn’t mean you have to believe what they do. A good sign of a relationship’s ability to take root is the ability for a couple to agree to disagree on such matters as politics and religion, if you plan to stray past your own group or groups.

Be prepared to talk about any hobbies you may have. The person is looking for compatibility. These are great for conversations. See what’s in common. Can you see yourself watching movies on the couch with this person? Taking salsa dancing classes or going sky diving together? Prepare yourself for questions about kids, or wanting them. Some people will ask about past relationships. This is usually held to a subsequent date. However, if they feel comfortable or it comes up they may ask. If you or they are divorced it could be more likely to come up. Make sure to put a positive spin on it and don’t bad mouth your ex. Remember to relax and be yourself. Have fun on your first date. For more advice read, The First Date Survival Guide: What to Wear, Where to Go, How to Act by Ryan Magin.

Clues He’s Serious about you

COUPLE-TALKING-HAPPY

Clues He’s Serious about you

The beginning of a relationship is like poker. You slowly get to know each other’s tells. Their particular signals become clearer as things progress. And suddenly you can read them, even know what they are going to do. Are you dating a guy and wondering what his intentions are? There are certain clues he’s serious about you. Even the most impenetrable guy can seem transparent when you consider these signs. First, does he ask specific questions to know more about you? If he’s asking about your past, your career, your family and friends, about your hobbies, hopes, dreams and your creative projects than he is serious about you. Men don’t show that much interest if they aren’t interested in you. When there’s missed communication does he call or text to clear it up? This kind of consideration is only applied to the ones he cares about. Does he offer to give you advice when you have a problem? How about offering to give you a hand? If you want to test the relationship, when you have a problem ask for his help. And when something is going wrong, seek his advice. If he cares about you, he’ll be right by your side to help, no matter what. When there is something to do around the house, if he’s handy ask for his help. If he isn’t don’t or else you’ll risk making him feel inadequate, as if he is unable to take care of you.

Do you two make plans together? If he is planning his weekend around yours, his summer vacation around yours or if he changes plans to be with you, he is way into you. There is nothing more important to someone than how to spend their free time. And planning getaways, vacations and other plans shows that you can plan other things together in the future. Does he try to help you in your career? Does he give you advice, cheer you on, celebrate your victories and help you get over your defeats? This is a sure sign that he is head over heels for you. He’s invested in you and what you do. And when a man is emotionally invested it means he’s way into a woman. Do you hear from his friends that he talks about you all the time? If so, he really likes you. He isn’t going to talk about you, or even brag about you if he isn’t interested in you. What about holding hands, cuddling and getting close? Some guys are and some aren’t cuddlers. But every guy will want to cuddle a little with his special lady when they are alone. Little things like a hand squeeze or the rubbing of a back or shoulder can indicate that he’s into you. Keep your eyes peeled and watch his behavior. His intentions will soon become clear. For more advice read, He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.

Should you take your Ex Back?

backtogether

Should you take your Ex Back?

No matter the situation, ending a relationship is one of the hardest things you can do. Somebody is getting hurt in one way or another, and probably both of you to some degree. But a harder decision still is whether or not you should get back together with someone you broke up with or even got divorced from. Sure, the situation plays a lot into it. Some couples break up in the heat of the moment only to get back together again, and joke about it later. Another throws dishes at each other one day, only to forgive the next via rapacious bedroom escapades. And we’ve all rolled our eyes at those who get back together after a once-upon-a-time protracted and painful divorce or breakup. You mean they’re back together again?! We screech. But the saner of us from time to time find relationships that are a lot more complex. It’s hard to sort through. So how do you decide whether or not to take your ex back, including your ex-spouse? Here are some important things to take into consideration.

First, it’s high time to evaluate the initial breakup. Remember there is no right or wrong when it comes to reasons for breaking up. But what elements of the relationship led to it? If there was physical or psychological abuse, you shouldn’t go back there. If their snoring was too loud and you’ve found comfortable earplugs, maybe give it a shot. Next, think about what circumstances have brought you back together. Does it have to do with the pressure of responsibility, to piece the family back together? Is it a sense of guilt? Is the other person pressuring you? Or does it just feel comfortable and right? If you two have fallen deeply in love all over again and the problems of the past are resolved, go for it. If you truly love this person and see a bright future together, realize that life doesn’t always give you second chances at happiness. Would everything be great if you got together again, or would the same problems keep creeping up? If you just want to be in a relationship, don’t do it. Learn how to be with yourself first. You can’t be with someone else, if you can’t deal with being with yourself.

Think about what your previous relationship was like overall. Consider different aspects. Was it really a fight over something frivolous, or were there deeper issues at work? If they were controlling, had an anger management problem, a substance abuse problem or something else that’s serious, it’s important to consider who they are now. You may be walking right back into the same booby-trap with open arms. If the person tells you they want to change, be skeptical. If they tell you they have changed, look for proof. If they can prove to you they have changed, move ahead slowly. There’s no problem in being friends first, going slow and watching how things progress. It’s easier to extricate yourself that way. People can tell you all kinds of beautiful words. Remember their actions don’t lie. It is in these you can solemnly trust. Don’t let your guard down at first. Watch carefully. But be open to the possibility. Don’t deny yourself a second chance at love. Your heart is a sacred jewel. Protect it as such, and only give it to those who will treasure it. For a better chance the second time around read, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary D. Chapman.

Talk about Sex before you Get Married

young-couple-in-bed

Talk about Sex before you Get Married

Planning a wedding can be a whirlwind that scoops you up and carries you along. There are so many things to plan and do. But one of the most critical parts of a marriage, your sex life, is often swept aside. Yet, it plays a crucial role. Not only is your sex life important, but the intimacy that stems from it can fuel your relationship and keep it intact for the long haul. But a lack of intimacy can sap your marriage.  Most people expect their married sex life to be phenomenal throughout. Though married people often register higher numbers on sexual satisfaction surveys, the truth is one’s sex life ebbs and flows throughout a marriage. Psychotherapist and sex specialist Vanessa Marin says that those couples who do talk about sex before they get married are more successful overall. It is important for any couple that wants decades upon decades of happy sex ahead of them to discuss it, and come to an understanding about the matter with their partner. Schedule a time to sit down together. It doesn’t have to be stuffy. You can set a romantic mood, get wine and light candles. Or you can just sit down on the couch together and start talking about sex. It’s really up to you, and what style you have as a couple.

The first thing to consider is to ask what your sexual strengths and weaknesses are. Talk about your favorite memories together. Share what the best sex you ever had was. What was it about that time? How did it make you feel? What about it made you feel that way? Ask what theirs was and why. What do you both really enjoy doing together or to one another? What really works for you? Over time, usually couples get better. They get to know each other’s likes and dislikes, and trust builds. Each person should ultimately feel free to open up and express their needs, wants and desires. This will build a great sex life together. It will help build your relationship, as it provides immense intimacy to be able to shed guilt or shame, open up, be understood and accepted, and ultimately be fulfilled by your partner. Ask yourselves how to make intimacy a priority. Marin writes in an article in Psychology Today that she always shares this with clients. They need to set aside time for intimacy. Those clients usually respond by saying, “we didn’t know we had to do that…” Having a fantastic married sex life requires a little bit of care and effort. Schedule date nights, get a sitter and get some special alone time together each week.

Talk about how you feel about the inevitable changes in your sex life throughout your marriage. Are you planning on having kids? You can’t imagine how that will change your time in the bedroom. Menopause and lots of other things will change it too. Discuss how you plan to keep the spark a towering inferno of passion throughout your life together. You don’t want things to get boring. Talk about interests and fantasies together. Marin suggests each person making a list using red, yellow and green lights. “Reds are the things you know you don’t want to try, yellow are the ones you’re unsure about, and greens are the things you feel perfectly comfortable with. Making these lists can be a fun way to keep the chemistry going,” she writes. Talk about what you will do if you ever have a fight about sex. Marin says it is inevitable. Do you have a communication strategy in place? Will you decide to see a marriage counselor or sex therapist if you have to? Know each other’s feelings on these sorts of things. Think about how each of you can nurture your individual sexualities. Lastly, talk about your honeymoon with your soon-to-be spouse. What are the expectations? What will you experiment with? Does the sex take precedence or other honeymoon activities? For more on how to have great sex with your now or soon-to-be spouse, pick up a copy of Marriage And Sex: Marriage Advice On Spicing Up Your Marriage And Marriage Tips About Sex For Married Couples by Suzie Holmes.