1. Check yourself before you project yourself. When you start feeling upset or resentful, stop to ask yourself what's going on inside of yourself before taking it out on the other person. Seriously, 99% of the time your issue isn't even with your partner; you're just projecting something onto them. A little self-reflection goes a long way.
2. Schedule some alone time. Make sure both of you are getting a little time alone to relax and recharge: even 15 minutes can make a huge difference. Also, if you tend be really social as a couple, make sure to schedule alone time together (sounds like an oxymoron, but it's not!) as well, where you can just focus on each other without extra people around.
3. Wait til after dinner to turn the TV on. For awhile Nick and I got in the habit of eating dinner while watching TV, and then we'd keep watching TV after dinner, and it was possible to go a whole evening without really talking to each other. Sad, right? Now we eat dinner at the table and talk BEFORE heading to the living room to zone out with "Parks and Rec."
4. Shower together. If you're both busy (and who isn't?!), showering as a couple can give you extra time to connect without any distractions except some sexy soap lather.
5. Have all your important conversations face to face. Or on the phone if face-to-face is absolutely impossible. But never on IM or text or email. Communicating will be clearer, more respectful, and more positive if you do it in person. It also gives you the chance to touch or hold hands during intense moments, which can change the course of an entire interaction.
6. Never pass up the chance to cuddle. Physical affection is so, so important in any intimate relationship, and in this age of constant distractions, it sometimes takes a concerted effort to make sure it happens frequently and meaningfully. If your partner gives you a hug, take a second to lean into their chest and enjoy that moment. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier (or set your alarm 15 minutes earlier) to give yourselves time to cuddle before you fall asleep or when you first wake up. It's the best way to start and end the day.
7. Don't wait for special occasions like birthdays and Christmas to buy or make each other little gifts. If you see a little something that reminds you of your partner, get it for them. If you feel like making them a special dinner, do it. One of my favorite sayings is "Never resist a generous impulse," and that is doubly true in romantic relationships. It creates a feeling of spontaneity and generosity that lasts all year long.
8. Switch up your routine. If you always lay in bed on Sunday morning, go jogging instead. If you always go to happy hour on Thursdays, stay in and make cocktails instead. Take turns planning surprise dates. Switching up your routine keeps you on your toes as a couple and helps prevent the worst enemy of romance: stagnancy.
9. Don't ever put your partner down. This is so random, but I remember reading a Reba McEntire interview in a dentist office magazine many years ago and it kind of changed my life. She was explaining the demise of her first marriage and said something like, "We didn't respect each other. If you don't have respect, you have nothing." Preach, Reba! This advice is so simple, and so true. Relationships often take on a negative tinge as people get comfortable with each other. Playful teasing can turn cruel. Cute habits become pet peeves. But it's never too late to change the script: make a vow to never put your partner down–about the way they look, the way they live their lives, their little quirks, anything.
10. Spend a minute looking at each other before bed. At the end of yet another long, crazy day, it's tempting to start snoring as soon as you hit the pillow, but try to take a moment to face each other and look into your partner's eyes, really look. It's amazing how much closer this little exercise can make you feel.
You get a VERY limited amount of space on a plane these days, and a lot of what happens on your flight relies on other people being polite. So what do you do if they're NOT?
A new survey asked people how confrontational they get in different uncomfortable situations on a plane. Here are the results . . .
If you're in the middle seat and the people on both sides hog the armrests, 28% would confront them.
If the person in front of you reclines their seat so far back that you can't open your laptop or put down your tray table, 55% would confront them.
If the person in front of you leaves their seat reclined for takeoff or landing, 13% would confront them.
If someone had a screaming child and WASN'T trying to get them to STOP, 8% would confront them.
And finally, if you're sitting next to someone who wants to talk the entire flight, 12% would actually talk the whole time . . . 10% would tell them to stop talking . . . and everyone else would put on headphones or pretend to sleep.
Words are powerful. They can cut you, heal you, inspire you, and stop you from certain actions. Learning the language of marriage takes time and diligence, but saying some words regularly may cause irreparable damage. Here are five words that are destined to cause damage to your marriage:
"Never." "Never" implies a sense of hopelessness and finality. When you use "never," you're telling your spouse that they are no good, will never be any good and that there's no hope for change. It's an all-or-nothing phrase that does not lend itself to listening, compromising and creating good will.
"Always." "Always" implies a sense of rigidity and righteousness. When you use "always," you're telling your spouse that they are wrong, you are right, and that there's nothing that can be done about it. It's also an all-or-nothing phrase, and it does not lend itself to understanding, learning, or healing.
"But." "But" implies a sense of manipulation and a lack of integrity. When you use "but," you negate whatever was said before. It invalidates your message and turns a positive statement into a negative one. It's a conjunction that does not lend itself to building trust, credibility and intimacy. Similar words to avoid include "however" and "although."
"*#%&." Use your imagination and fill in the blanks and what you're left with is a vulgar, obscenity-laced attack. Any way you look at it, attacking your spouse by name-calling will cause irreparable damage. Doing this regularly will surely destroy your spouse's soul and kill the marriage. Outright contempt has no place in a marriage.
"Divorce." Threatening to divorce, suggesting divorce as an option, or accusing your spouse of destroying the marriage will lead to just that. A divorce is a very serious decision, and using it as a weapon or method of control creates anxiety and despair. It's not conducive for effective communication, conflict resolution, problem solving, or intimacy.
According to a new survey, these are the 10 best ways to pamper yourself:
1. Eating a nice dessert.
2. Going out for dinner instead of cooking.
3. Eating chocolate.
4. Taking a day off to do nothing.
5. Drinking a bottle of wine at home.
6. Buying yourself flowers.
7. Reading a book.
8. Buying an expensive brand instead of the cheap store brand.
9. Getting a massage.
10. Reading a magazine.
Bubble baths finished 11th . . . buying a lottery ticket was 14th . . . binge-watching a TV show was 16th . . . lighting a scented candle was 21st . . . and getting thick, fluffy toilet paper was 27th.
According to a new survey, 70% of adults do NOT want either one of their parents to move in with them when they get older. But if they HAD to pick one, two thirds say they'd pick MOM. Here are the eight reasons why:
1. Mom would help more with cooking and cleaning.
2. Mom would be better with the kids.
3. Dad has worse hygiene than Mom.
4. Dad is more likely to say inappropriate things.
According to a study at Wilkes University, nothing boosts your immunity quite like a nice hot cup of sex. The study showed that college students who got it on 1-2 times a week produced higher levels of immunoglobulin A, which, besides sounding like a Spider-Man villain, is also an antibody that strengthens your immune system. So yeah, you can think of sex as your nightly flu shot.
2. It increases your happiness.
Researchers at Dartmouth College found that having sex weekly instead of monthly can increase your happiness. By how much? The equivalent of receiving a $50,000 raise! We're not so sure about these researchers' money math, but the point is clear: banging makes you happier.
3. It improves your heart health.
The act of sex increases blood flow and heart rate, two total wins for your cardiovascular system. Furthermore, in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers discovered that people who have sex two or more times per week reduce their risk of a fatal heart attack by 50%! Which means you might not be lying when you tell a girl, "If you don't have sex with me, I'll die."
4. It reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
As men, we always have to worry about prostate cancer. So, what can we do about it? Ejaculate. A study in The British Journal of Urology International found that ejaculating five or more times per week reduces the chance of developing prostate cancer by a full third. Better stock up on lotion…
5. It'll improve your teeth...
… assuming you do a little kissing before you start in with the wild monkey sex, anyway. Kissing stimulates salivation, which cleans between your teeth and lowers the acidity in your mouth—the main cause of both tooth decay and bad breath. Which is maybe the best reason we've ever heard for extended foreplay.
6. It helps you sleep.
Having trouble falling asleep at night? Forget childhood remedies like counting sheep or drinking a warm glass of milk. You just need to achieve a sweet "O" with your loved one. When you have an orgasm, you release oxytocin, which produces endorphins that de-stress your mind and body. Orgasms also release prolactin, a hormone associated with sleep. Translation: sex is basically stronger than NyQuil.