Signs you are falling in Love

closeness

Signs you are falling in Love

You’re getting those feelings again. Butterflies in the stomach. Goose bumps. A buoyant, prickly feeling when a certain someone is around. You have the hots for them, that’s for sure. But how do you know when it’s love, lust or just infatuation? Here are some surefire signs you are falling in love. Are you always thinking about them? Clear your mind and then think of the word love. Do you picture their face as soon as the word comes to mind? If so, your psyche has already decided for you. It happens instantly. You have no control.

What happens when you hear that person’s voice? Pay careful attention the next time you hear their voice. When you first recognize it’s them, do you smile? If you can’t help but smile cupid may have punctured your heart with his arrow. Do you two experience the what-seems-like-forever goodbye? When you just can’t seem to go, and keep looking back even as you are leaving, you are definitely smitten with this person. Do you two take part in long bouts of playful teasing? Lovers love to tease one another. It’s oh-so-much fun you never want it to end. How frequently are you talking? If you just want to spend every waking moment with the person, and no matter how much time you spend with them, it never seems like enough, you are head-over-heels in love.

Some people feel awkward around a new love interest but can’t pinpoint the cause. You want to be with this person and yet when they are around, you close up. You feel shy even if you aren’t normally that way. Your heart can start racing and you feel scared. You are just being overwhelmed by your emotions for a moment, it will pass. Some people fall in love this strongly, some don’t. Lots of people when they go ga-ga for someone read their emails and texts over and over again, relishing every word. They make grand gestures, make a scene or just act not themselves around the object of their affection. Sometimes you change and everyone notices the change in behavior but you.

Sometimes when two lovers meet a heat and an energy is exchanged between them. Locking eyes, exchanging smiles and sighs inhabit the empty spaces of their conversations. You can tell when you are in love when the world seems brighter and more alive. You kiss and hug everyone, including your lover, with more spunk and passion. You are more patient, caring and understanding of others. You miss them when they are gone and it hurts deep. When you find someone irresistible it is because you are in love. Now that you know, it’s time to find out if they really love you back. To learn more about this phenomenon read, The Art of Falling in Love by Joe Beam.

Being Fully Present in Your Relationship

MINDFULNESS-RELATIONSHIPS

Being Fully Present in Your Relationship

When we get used to being with our partner we can sometimes take them for granted. We assume they’ll always be there. So we move on to our worries and stresses. We become so preoccupied with the kids or the challenges in our career that when we are eating dinner and trying to take part in meaningful dialogue, we aren’t even there. Then there is the constant distraction of our electronic devices that although convenient also become an obstacle to chitchat, discussion and intimate conversation. After a while without meaningful interaction we start to feel like roommates with our partner or spouse rather than lovers. The day-in, day-out decisions of running the household, parenting and paying the bills become the focus, and otherwise each person lives in their own separate bubble. When it comes time to interact, give your partner your undivided attention. When we aren’t fully present we aren’t showing them the love and respect they deserve. Instead, we are neglectful, albeit not on purpose. But the message we are inadvertently sending is that what is on my mind is more important than you. Misunderstandings arise when we don’t listen fully to our partner. This can lead to problems or even terrible fights. So how can we be more present with our partner?

First, make a conscious effort to focus on them and what they are saying. If there is something particularly important on your mind and you are distracted, tell them about it. Let them know how you feel and schedule another time to talk. Try and give them your undivided attention and expect the same in return. Make positive eye contact. Repeat back what they’ve said in your own words to show that you understand. When your partner or spouse seems distracted, don’t tell them or remind them of something. Wait until you have their full attention. If you are distracted and they told you something, don’t assume that they will remind you. It’s best to check with your partner in a positive manner whenever you are unsure. Regular running of the household exchanges are of course important. But they don’t help build intimacy. You two have to make time to talk on a deeper level. At the end of the day, we may be so exhausted that we just want to watch a couple of TV shows or surf the net, check our social media pages and go to bed. But that doesn’t bring you closer. Instead, clear out a little time each day to spend talking on a deeper level.  Not just, “How was your day?” But what really happened to you today? What were you thinking about? How did it make you feel?

Sometimes you have to leave the dishes in the sink or put off laundry and spend a little couple time together. Some experts say having more sex is the answer. But a recent study found that building intimacy is far more important. When miscommunication, unfulfilled expectations and misunderstandings occur they get in the way of real intimacy, and so not only block your connection but your ability to get physical. Hurt feelings get in the way. When we are fully present with our partner, the chances of miscommunication and misunderstandings are lower. Knowing what they expect will help meet or exceed expectations and vice-versa. Mindfulness is a touchstone nowadays. This is an ancient Buddhist practice that has become trendy lately in the West. This is the art of being fully present in the here and now and appreciating each moment in all its richness. If we could practice mindfulness in our relationships they would be so much more intimate. Couples would have a deeper sense of intimacy, better sex and superior communication too. To learn more pick up a copy of, The Mindful Couple: How Acceptance and Mindfulness Can Lead You to the Love You Want by Robyn D. Walser, Ph.D. and Darrah Westrup, Ph.D.

Silence is a Relationship Killer

silent

Silence is a Relationship Killer

Sometimes when something is wrong in a relationship one or both people will practice bouts of prolonged silence. This isn’t a moment of reflection or a collecting of thoughts. This is a wall put up. It speaks to an absence of emotional and verbal intimacy. The truth is, prolonged silences propagated by a strong emotion is a relationship killer. It speaks to an intense feeling just below the surface. Bottling feelings up inside does not relieve them. They tend to build like steam building inside a furnace. Sooner or later it’s going to explode. And the results will be ugly.

It’s better to communicate directly. Take some time to sort out your thoughts. Ask your partner for a particular time when you are calmer to discuss the issue. Talking about the issue with your partner will actually make you feel better, not cause you to act out. Another problem with silence is that it is a form of control or coercion. We usually think about loud, yelling people as controlling and coercive. But silence does the job just as thoroughly. It can even be seen as a form of bullying. Even though they aren’t being physically hurt you are controlling them through your silence. Instead of talking to them, explaining to them and persuading them of your point of view, in a respectful manner, you are asking for obedience and apologies merely by clamming up.

Sometimes silence is used for a particular offense. The aggrieved party then plays a film out in their head with them as the lead role and their lover doing and saying everything they want to make it right. They wait for their beloved to say and do these very things. And when the lover has no idea what they want, they get very agitated. This isn’t fair. No one is a mind reader. And if you respect the person you are going out with, you need to open up and talk about what is troubling you. At other times silence can be a punishment. But the problem is that instead of making the relationship stronger it actually starts to tear it down. There is no avenue of communication. Anger, sadness and depression can set in in one or both parties.

The relationship can’t move forward until the silence is broken, either by one party opening up or the other apologizing, or kowtowing and promising to make it up. The first situation is desirable as it will get the problem solved, though it may have hurt the relationship, showing one person that the other is very high maintenance and doesn’t have good communication skills. In the second one, one party is dominating the other. Sooner or later the dominated party will feel that they are being abused and seek greener pastures. Neither speaks well to the relationship. So speak up. Communicate. And if you are with someone that uses silence against you, evaluate if you want to stay with them at all. For more advice read, Why Can’t You Read My Mind?-Overcoming the 9 Toxic Thought Patterns that Get In the Way of a Loving Relationship by Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D. and Susan Magee.

Should you Date Inside your Social Circle?

social-circle

Should you Date Inside your Social Circle?

Your social circle is your social network. But generally speaking these are the people you see all the time at school, work or in your circle of friends. Some people say you should never date within your social circle. The reason, if things go south you’re going to endure at the very least a little awkwardness around each other. At worst, a relationship torn apart takes the circle of friends with it. New circles form out of the wreckage. But often things are never the same. At work there can be consequences to your career. In either case one should tread lightly, keep things casual and consider the ramifications before moving ahead. There also can be a lot of benefits should things work out. It’s likely you share common interests. You know people in common and you already know something about the other person, giving you insight into how they operate and what they might be like should you enter into a relationship with them.

Sometimes someone within your immediate circle isn’t such a good idea, unless there is a strong mutual attraction. You don’t want to just practice within your immediate circle. You need to feel confident. If the other person is too afraid of the consequences, you need the gift of gab to persuade them and a devil-may-care attitude, just in case you get rejected. When you are trying to attract someone in your immediate circle, you kind of have to be “on” a little bit more. For a woman this may be showing more interest, and subtly playing with him to keep him interested and elicit the chase. For a man this could mean working the room, being the center of attention and being active in trying to impress her. It can be a little nerve wracking when all you want to do is kick back with your friends. Sometimes chemistry and fate just make it happen all by itself and you get sucked in like a tornado. At those times, it’s pointless to fight it, unless the person has some sort of serious issue. Otherwise, enjoy the ride.

To make it work, you need to convince this person that it won’t ruin the friendship or your working relationship. Be sure that your friends or colleagues are endorsing you in front of this person, not embarrassing you.  In fact, see if you can recruit your friends to help you. You can even have a “spy,” a go–between who is getting the inside scoop of what your love interest thinks. They can also lead the person toward giving you a chance. Don’t make the hard sell. Instead, focus on mission creep. Slowly get them used to the idea. If you don’t want to be put in the friend zone, never to escape, turn up a little sexual tension. A touch of the arm or shoulder, leaning in while talking, a well-placed smile, mirroring or making the same move as they do, sitting close and other body language techniques can help. For women body pressing, the borrowing of a jacket and cuddling to stay warm are often simple, sweet ways to get a little closer. Don’t go for the hard press, go light. If you get labeled as a player or heart breaker, show them specifically that you care about them. Do a little gesture that shows you know who they are and you’ve been listening when they talk. Slow but steady wins the race. Just slowly turn up the head. But don’t get frozen in inaction or friend zoned you will be. For more advice that is sure to change your dating life read, Make the Move: Love, Sex, and Dating Advice by Greg Figueroa and Emily Feliciano.

Small, Simple ways to improve your Marriage

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Small, Simple ways to improve your Marriage

It isn’t easy staying married, as today’s divorce rate can attest. But it isn’t always big problems that break up a married couple. Often it’s a buildup of little things that turn into a tidal wave of problems which ultimately wash away the couple’s married future. Fight back against the tide of tiny destroyers. Here are some small, simple ways to improve your marriage right now and move forward from this instant on. Follow these and the road ahead will be much smoother.

If you want to stay close, when you are wrong, apologize. Don’t insist you are right for pride’s sake. Your pride will get between you and your spouse. When you are in an argument, don’t only view it from your perspective. Try and see things from their point of view. Use your imagination. How would you feel? What would your reaction be? Putting yourself in their shoes will calm your anger, give you a little sympathy and help to organize the negotiation phase, conjuring up a plan on how to satisfy both of you without harming either. Laugh when you two are together. It is far more important to enjoy each other’s company. It will make your bond strong and resilient.

Pencil sex in if you two are so busy and don’t have time for a long, drawn out romantic encounter. A marriage without physical intimacy gets dull and fades. But being intimate together, even if it’s just a quickie a couple of times a week, will make you closer, release tension and help keep the spark alive. It’s important to make sure that you attack life as a team. That’s why a weekly meeting is important. Instead of killing the relationship with nagging and arguments, schedule a time each week to tackle important issues and solve them. Make a running list throughout the week on what is to be covered. Solve your problems at that time and spend some other alone time during the week enjoying each other’s company. Talk about the little things in life, good and bad. Talk about everything. Keep the lines of communication open and free.

Make sure you schedule some time for your own hobbies, friends, interests, and so on. Don’t yell. It doesn’t solve anything. It only makes matters worse. If you want to yell excuse yourself and go yell in another room, in a pillow or in your car while it’s parked. Then when you calm down schedule a time to revisit the issue, discussing how it makes you feel and possible solutions. Show gratitude. Thank the other person for what they do. And expect gratitude in return too. For some fun relationship advice read, Advice for a Happy Marriage: From Miss Dietz’s Third-Grade Class by Debi Dietz Crawford and Friends.