You’ll Cringe When You See What Happens When This Guy Ignores His Girlfriend’s Texts

Excitement, anticipation, wonder…the first kiss!

Have you ever heard the expression, “A little communication goes a long way”? Boy does it!

“No big deal,” you think… “I’ll talk to her when I get home.” Think again!

By the time you get there, there could be hell to pay. Of course it’s different from person-to-person, but if you know that your partner feels frustrated or insecure when they do not hear from you, it’s time to wake up and smell the ‘electronic communication devices’. It can happen to anyone, really.

A big part of creating and building a healthy relationship is making responsible choices. The choice to communicate consciously is a good one. It could mean the difference between coming home to a receptive, loving partner prepared for an evening of romance and passion, or, an angry bobcat fueling a fire on what was your kitchen table!

Your communication choices make a difference.


10 Surprising Things You Never Knew About Infidelity

Why do cheaters cheat? New research has uncovered some truths about infidelity that could surprise you. Did your partner cheat on you because her mother was a cheater? Is there really a most popular day to cheat? Read on to find the answers:

  1. You can be genetically predisposed to infidelity


If you’re the cheating kind, you may have your genes to blame: Researchers from Binghamton University found that about half of all people with the DRD4 gene — also known as the “thrill-seeking” gene — were more prone to promiscuity and unfaithfulness.

  1. Women think men with deep voices are more likely to cheat.

Bad news for men who sound anything like Barry White. A study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences showed that women perceive men with deep voices as being more likely to cheat. Researchers asked women to listen to men’s voices and determine which guys were prone to cheating. Researchers then asked which men women were most attracted to for long- and short-term flings. The verdict? Men with deep voices were seen as being more suitable for a fling and more likely to stray.

  1. Democrats are more tolerant of cheating than Republicans.

The way you react to being cheated on might be a result of your political beliefs. In a YouGov poll commissioned by The Huffington Post, 14 percent of Democrats versus 10 percent of Republicans surveyed said they would definitely give their partner a second chance if they discovered an affair.

  1. An affair may increase the risk of a broken penis.


Affairs don’t just break hearts, they might also break penises. Dr. Andrew Kramer, a urologist and assistant professor of surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center, studied 16 cases of penile fracture between 2007 and 2011 that required surgery. Half of those men admitted to fracturing their member during an extramarital affair. “I think the time you don’t see a lot of men fracturing their penises is in the bedroom with his wife that he’s been married to for a number of years,”Kramer explained to the Huffington Post

  1. Cheaters find their spouses more attractive than their affair partners.

When it comes to cheating, it’s not all about looks. Extra-marital dating site Victoria Milan polled over 4,000 of their members and found that most cheaters considered their significant others to be more attractive than their affair partners.

  1. Men who cheat are more likely to have heart attacks than non-cheaters.

And in another blow to cheating men everywhere, a study out of the University of Florence suggested that “sudden coital death” is more common when a man is getting it on with his mistress in an unfamiliar setting than when he’s having sex with his spouse at home.

  1. Women are more likely to cheat if their mothers were cheaters.


A survey by Illicit Encounters — an extra-marital dating site based in Britain — polled 2,000 members and found that 73 percent of women who admitted to having an affair had mothers who cheated as well. Apparently, the unfaithful apple doesn’t fall far from the unfaithful tree.

  1. Cheaters love taking their dates to Morton’s The Steakhouse.

Chain restaurants and steak houses came out on top when extramarital dating site Ashley Madison asked roughly 43,000 of their users where they take their dates to dinner. Morton’s The Steakhouse was the most popular choice. The Cheesecake Factory and Ruth’s Chris made the list, too.

  1. Most millennials consider flirting online to be a form of infidelity.

Be careful with those heart-eye and winky face emojis if you’re in a relationship. The website Fusion recently asked 1,000 18- to 34-year-olds if they thought “online flirtations or relationships” counted as cheating, and 82 percent said yes.

  1. Wednesday is the most popular day for people to cheat.

Abstract of an Analogue Alarm Clock Ringing its Bells Early in the Morning

They don’t call it “hump day” for nothing: Wednesday, between 5 and 7 p.m, is the most popular day and time for people to cheat, according to dating site Ashley Madison.

Domestic Relief

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend sent me a message containing those magical words that every woman longs to hear: ‘don’t worry love, I’ve already got the milk.’

Simple words. Romantic words. Words akin to: ‘you just stay in bed’ and ‘but I love putting the seat down’ and ‘here’s an idea, why don’t I do both our tax returns’. (I’ve never had to do a tax return, but can imagine that someone offering to do it for me would feel like the most solicitous of marriage proposals.)

When I got this text I was driving home through London traffic having just completed a gruelling 12-hour shift. The thought of stopping to buy milk had been tormenting me ever since I noticed we were out first thing this morning. In the intervening hours I had decided that my boyfriend never bought milk, or bread, or did anything around the house for that matter, and that I might as well just end it (and him) (and me while I was at it) right now, because what future could we possibly have together?  In fact, he’d already got the milk. And so our relationship was saved.

We didn’t have any plans for Valentine’s Day, but as good fortune would have it, the boy chose this of all days to clean the bathroom (N.B. it was definitely his turn). I found him kneeling over the bathtub wearing nothing but marigolds and a pair of long johns, and was overcome with desire. Refreshed after a solid night’s sleep, I interrupted him mid-scrub and lured him back to bed, where we spent a lazy morning making each other feel 100% loved. Happy February 14!

Couple drinking champagne in bathtub.

Combined, these experiences made me feel as though I’d had the most romantic Valentine’s Day of my life. From this, you might infer that I have unusually low standards. Not so. In the past, I’ve been whisked off to Barcelona, punted down the River Cam (not a euphemism), and given the entire Sex and the City Box Set, a romantic gift if only for the personal sacrifice it represented. But to this tired midwife, my boyfriend’s lightening of the domestic load constituted the greatest gift of all.

I discussed this with my big sister who knows everything and is always right. She agreed it’s good to have a partner who is handy around the house. ‘But,’ she added, ‘if there are things they can’t do, you can always remove the issue altogether’. Here, she was talking about washing up; specifically, her husband’s inability to do it. Throughout the early, impoverished years of their relationship, his bad washing up was an endless sticking point. Then, they hit the big time (i.e. qualified as teachers) and could afford a dishwasher. Today, thanks to this common household appliance, happiness reigns: while terrible at washing up, the husband is a mean stacker. Vive la domestic revolution!

For the busy grown up, it is undoubtedly a treat to have one less thing to do. But, as far as those squishy love feelings go, it’s about so much more than that. In my experience, the nurturing love that – if we’re lucky – we receive from our parents comes along rarely in a romantic form. It is a great thing to be with someone who can put your needs before their own; it is joyous thing to be with someone who actually seems to enjoy doing it.

young couple painting baby nursery in new home pink

My boyfriend is far from perfect (he has an uncanny knack of getting rubber gloves wet on the inside), and he is more than capable of looking out for himself. But on a good day, through a multitude of gestures, he makes me feel infinitely cared for. This makes me want to care for him in return. In this way, we waste little energy on resentment.

In my 20s, love was an ego-fuelled rollercoaster ride of fulfilled then thwarted wants. In my 30s, it is a coffee pressed into my hand made with milk that I didn’t have to buy. And I’m fine with that.

Written by Midwife X


10 Lessons About Marriage You Can Learn From Divorce

Unfortunately, I know a thing or two about divorce. My parents divorced when I was in my twenties, and my first marriage ended in divorce after 13 years. Even my closest friends all have parents who are divorced.

So when my marriage ended, I thought that having a successful marriage wasn’t in the cards for me. But as luck would have it, I ended up meeting and marrying a man who is not just an amazing person, but a top-notch husband. My second marriage has been my version of Happily Ever After.

What I’ve learned from my experiences of divorce and remarriage, and from observing other couples, is that every couple has the ability to have a successful marriage. Marital success has nothing to do with education, economics or social status. In fact, if ever there was an even playing field, it is in this area.

Having a successful marriage is all about the choices we make every minute of every day. Marriages fail when spouses make poor choices as to how they are going to treat each other. It isn’t more complicated than that. So here are some of my insights about marriage (some learned the hard way) and how you can make good choices and have your own happily ever after…

Lesson #1: Remember that it isn’t your job to make your spouse happy. Your job is to help create an environment in which your spouse can be happy. That means get your act together and be a dependable partner. That means don’t create unnecessary stress or conflict in your marriage. That means genuinely love and encourage your spouse. After that, whether or not they are happy is up to them.

Lesson #2: It helps immensely if you and your spouse have a spiritual practice. Your choice of religion doesn’t really matter. Simply following any spiritual teaching that reinforces the importance of love, compassion and forgiveness, will inspire both of you to treat each other far better than you would otherwise.

Lesson #3: If you are married, that fact should be part of your public persona. Wear your wedding ring. Talk about your spouse in glowing terms to your colleagues and friends. Being married should be part of who you are.

Lesson #4: You can always find someone smarter, more attractive or more successful than your spouse. Remember: your spouse can do the same. “Affair proof” your marriage by telling your spouse regularly how highly you think of them. A daily dose of positive reinforcement goes a long way.

Bride and Groom, Kissing at Sunset on a Beautiful Tropical Beach

Lesson #5: Frequent physical intimacy is necessary for a happy marriage. Don’t make it complicated. You don’t need outfits, pornography, role playing, threesomes, spouse swapping, BDSM or anything else. You only need to give your spouse your undivided attention, caring and acceptance. It requires nothing more and nothing less.

Lesson #6: If your daily communications with your spouse are limited to the Costco list and your children’s soccer practice schedules, then you both are going to be looking elsewhere for a romantic charge. Flirt with your spouse, not your co-workers or the Starbucks barista.

Lesson #7: Dating does not end on your wedding day. When you go out with your spouse, act like it is your first date. Put on a great outfit, hold hands and make interesting conversation. Don’t save your best self for others. Give your best self to your spouse.

Lesson #8: If you are married, you have an obligation to take care of your appearance. You are the person who is most closely associated with your spouse, and you shouldn’t be an embarrassment to them. You don’t have to look like Kate Upton or Will Smith. You just have to look your best.

Lesson #9: There is no glory in remaining in a bad marriage. No one is going to give you a gold sticker or saint you. Worse yet, your kids ultimately may not thank you for it. So choose how and with whom you spend your time on this earth wisely.

Lesson #10: People stay in marriages for many reasons. For their children. For money. For convenience. For ambition, political or otherwise. But you will find no greater joy than being married solely for love.

Over the years, I’ve learned that marriage is not for the faint of heart. It requires a level of maturity and selflessness that most people don’t possess when they first say, “I do.” However, if you are patient and work hard at it, the rewards of a happy marriage are immeasurable.

Curated By Timothy

Original Article


Lubing Up Your Relationship: 5 Steps For Better Communication

We’ve all been there–unexpected friction, dryness, and chafing, preventing us and our significant other from reaching completion. We can try to push through, hoping that mere effort will win the day. We can give up, hoping that the same problem won’t plague us on our next attempt. Or we can take action by applying a restorative balm and rescuing ourselves from discomfort and failure.

While the above could certainly refer to the physical act of lovemaking, it also applies to the less salacious aspects of a relationship as well.  Communication is the non-sexual lubricant that every romantic partnership needs to flourish.

Naturally, not all communication is created equal. Just like sticky drugstore lube is no match for a designer water-based brand, some communication will set your relationship back rather than helping you and your partner to grow and flourish together.

Here are some tips to keep your communication–and your relationship–silky smooth.

Keep Communication Smooth

In our hyper-connected world, sometimes it can be tough to make sure you’re making time for high-quality, in-person communication with your partner. If your communication has dwindled to a few pleasantries over breakfast, an occasional flurry of daytime texts, and a couple of exhausted attempts to chat before bed, it may be time to reconsider your approach. Set aside a special “date night” every week and pledge not to look at your phone—you’ll be surprised how much you still have to talk about! Alternatively, set up a short weekly “check-in” with your partner to make sure you’re communicating about household issues, personal growth and work goals, and see how that impacts the amount of communication you have with each other throughout the day. If time is an issue, look for activities you can do together to maximize your opportunity to chat—exercise, cook a meal, take a class.

young man in leather jacket is whispering something to his lover

Honesty Lubrication

Whether you’re discussing pop culture, division of household duties, or finances, it’s always a good idea to be truthful. This establishes a baseline of trust and accountability between partners, and in addition, eliminates potential sources for conflict before they arise. If you and your other half have different communication styles, acknowledge this openly, and figure out ways you can both feel heard, but still comfortable.

Glide into kindness

When you and your partner first started dating, it’s likely that you both let compliments fly fast and furious. However, it’s easy to forget how good it feels to give and receive compliments once the initial rush of a new relationship has worn off and both partners get caught up in the grind of daily life. A simple “hey, handsome” or comment about an attractive outfit can go a long way to injecting some fun back into the relationship, and praise for a job well-done, whether it’s mopping the floor or closing a deal at work, is always a boost.

Keep Language Smooth

What you may think of as a playful joke may come across to your partner as a thoughtless comment or worse, a harsh criticism. Keep an eye out for unexpected reactions and be proactive in asking whether or not you’ve said something to upset your partner. This is a two way street—if you’re on the receiving end of not-so-nice behavior, make sure your partner knows how you feel so you can work toward interactions that make everyone happy.

Couple beauty sexy lovers talk in bed isolated

Soothing the Rough Edges

All couples experience disagreements, arguments, and fights, but the couples who stay together approach these difficult times as opportunities for growth rather than a death knell for the relationship. If emotions are running high, don’t be afraid to ask for a temporary “cease fire” so everyone can calm down and think more rationally about how to solve the problem.  Find ways to balance negative feedback with positive and enter into any discussion willing to accept constructive criticism as well as dishing it out. If you can’t get on the same page as your partner on an important issue, consider seeking counseling—sometimes a neutral, third party can ease the way to a resolution.

When in doubt, just remind yourself: the couple that talks together stays together!

Relationship Bliss in 10

1. They go to bed at the same time.
Remember when you first started dating and you couldn’t wait to cuddle and sleep next to each other? Well, don’t forget that! Going to sleep at the same time is a necessity. When you go to bed together, you’re promoting healthy relationship patterns.

2. They find common interests.
It’s important to really enjoy spending time together. He doesn’t need to share your love of reality TV, and you obviously don’t need to understand his adoration for ESPN, but you should have activities that the two of you look forward to doing as a couple. Whether it’s picking a new recipe to try every weekend, going for a run, or simply watching The Blacklist, find something fun to do consistently together.

3. They touch.
Small gestures like holding hands or putting your arm around each other increases closeness, which is always a factor in the lives of happy couples. When you hold hands, you’re subconsciously reminding yourself that you care about each other.
Passion couple

4. They don’t pointlessly nag.
Happy couples emphasize the positive things that their partner does. This means that if something is bothering you, you have a real conversation about it. Nitpicking, nagging, or criticizing are not the way to someone’s heart.

5. They embrace affection, continuing to kiss each other hello and say “I love you.”
Before you leave for work in the morning, give your partner a really great goodbye kiss and say I love you. When you come home from a long day, do it again. Your morning and evening greeting should be something that you look forward to. Once you start kissing and sharing your feelings often, you’ll appreciate each other more. People forget that the small things make a difference. When you begin your day with a loving gesture, you’re starting on a great note.

It’s All Relative: Meeting the Parents

Whether you’ve been hot and heavy with your new main squeeze for a couple of months or a couple of years, meeting the parents is stressful for everyone. Your partner is hoping you get along with his entire network of relatives. His family is hoping you’re not too weird/crazy/mean to be dating him. You’re just trying to hold it all together. Luckily, with a little foresight and planning, you can ensure an easy introduction that works for everyone.

Do the homework.

If you’ve only been on a few dates with your honey, you might want to hold off on meeting Mom, Dad, and the rest of the gang until you get a sense of how he or she gets along with everyone. Do they talk and text everyday, or do they only get together at major holidays? Is there major drama with his older brother or her younger sister? Do they just not talk about long-lost Uncle Terry, or are conspiracy theories welcome? Also remember, if you’re being pressed to meet the family before you’re ready, be sure to let your partner know that you need time to get to know him or her better before you can meet everyone else.

Start small.

If your partner is set on you being his plus one at a big family wedding or this year’s multi-generational reunion, suggest that you meet a smaller group of his relatives to start out, especially if you’re shy or overwhelm easily in large groups. Meeting just your partner’s parents or siblings can give you a sense of their family dynamic without the added pressure of participating in a bouquet toss or three-legged race. Plus, you offer them the opportunity to really get to know you as a person, rather than as your date’s arm candy–it will make introductions at bigger family functions easier for everyone involved.

Set yourself up for success.

Encourage your partner to choose a meetup situation that works for everyone. After all, he knows everyone involved. Suggest avoiding passive activities, like attending a movie or sporting event, where conversation isn’t the focus. Sharing a meal, meeting for drinks, and other low-key social activities are best.

When the big day finally arrives, do everything you can to ensure a smooth introduction. Get a good night’s sleep, eat well, exercise–do whatever it is that helps you be your best self. Be polite and respectful, and follow your partner’s lead. Avoid discussing religion, politics, and other hot- button topics for the time being. Be sure to give everyone a basic picture of who you are. Tell them about your hometown, your work, and your hobbies. Keep it friendly and light–humor is your friend here.

Give honest feedback to your partner.

After you’ve both made it through the first meeting, take the time to check in with your partner. Let her know what you liked or didn’t like about the family, or ways that she behaved when she was with them that are red flags for you. If your relationship is getting serious, it’s important that decide together about what kind of family interactions are acceptable, and whether the two of you see eye-to-eye on how you fit into one another’s families. And don’t forget to emphasize the positives you experienced with his family–remembering the moments that worked alongside the moments that didn’t will go a long way toward figuring out the best way to build your relationships with family as a couple.

8 Simple, Powerful Ways To Create New, Better Intimacy In A Long-Term Relationship

These simple ways can change your relationship!

Being in a committed, long-term relationship is awesome for many reasons: You love someone who loves you back, you have absolute trust in that person, you don’t have to deal with the craziness and anxiety of dating, you have someone great to come home to everyday, you feel completely comfortable with that person—the list goes on and on. But being in an long-term relationship can also be really, really hard. When you’re with someone for the long-haul, it can be all too easy to take that person for granted, to assume that you both know everything about each other, that you both know how the other person is feeling, that your relationship will continue to work as long as it stays the same. People who have been with the same partner for a long time know that this kind of thinking can be a recipe for disaster: When we stop taking the time to nurture our relationships, regardless of how stable they might seem, distance can grow, small resentments can fester, and before we know it, all that intimacy that we used to have has evaporated.

I know from experience that maintaining an LTR is never easy. But I firmly believe that keeping, and increasing, your sense of intimacy with your long-term partner doesn’t have to be complicated. What it really takes is a commitment on both partners’ parts to spend time and effort nurturing the relationship. Read on for eight simple ways to deepen your connection.

1. Go on real dates

When you’re in a long-term relationship or married, it’s important to set aside time to spend together as a couple. The dates you set up with your S.O. or spouse can take whatever form you like—a fancy dinner out, a yummy meal cooked at home, a long walk around the park—but the important thing is that you clearly delineate that time from the rest of your daily life. Setting up real dates, even when they’re very simple, is an important act in itself because it implicitly states that you and your S.O. feel like nurturing your relationship is a priority.

2. Do this 36 Question thing

Back in January, the ­New York Times “Modern Love” column make waves when it ran an article by Mandy Len Catron titled, “To Fall In Love Do This.” The article explores the work of a study by Dr. Arthur Aron, which proposes that two strangers can fall in love by asking each other 36 questions, followed by a long, silent stare into each other’s eyes.

I tried this out with my husband, and it ended up being surprisingly cool. It didn’t necessarily make us fall in love all over again, but it did get us to have a real conversation about our hopes and fears, all while making dinner on a random Tuesday night! The end, when we had to look into each other’s eyes for four minutes, was also unexpectedly powerful. Staring that directly at someone can feel strange and exposing, even with a person with whom you’re very close.

If you’re not down with the 36 Questions (or you’ve already done them) challenge each other to come up with your own questions. Mix them up in a hat, pull them out at random, and talk. Look into each other’s eyes without speaking for four minutes at the end. (Then make out because it’s inevitable.)

3. Make something together

Set aside some time for you and your S.O. to make something together. It doesn’t really matter what: You could set aside a Saturday night to cook something labor intensive together. You could paint together, or do origami together. Seriously, it can be anything: Once my husband and I spent an evening putting together a LEGO set that someone gave us for Christmas, and it was super fun. As you both work on whatever your project is, you’ll find yourself bonding over the shared effort and talking about all sorts of things you might not have expected.

4. Have sex

Physical intimacy and emotional intimacy are, of course, not the same. But sex can play an important role in maintaining a long-term couple’s emotional bond, making them feel more connected, more attracted to each other, and generally happier. If you need any more motivation to hit the sheets (but why would you?), sex has also been shown to have all sorts of mental and physical health benefits.

5. Laugh together

Psychologist Jeffrey Bernstein writes in Psychology Today that “Laughter is a potent love medicine. It is an intimacy builder for couples.” Laughter can help to relieve the tension in difficult situations, and it can impart a sense of fun to relationships that are feeling staid. Make an effort to bring more laughter in your relationship: watch comedies together, tell each other jokes, and let yourselves be really, really silly.

6. Discuss the State of the Union

Discussing the state of your relationship might not be the most fun thing to do, but it is necessary. Take time here and there to talk seriously with your S.O. about how you’re both feeling and what you want. These discussions are important even if you feel like your relationship is in good shape; you might discover that, when you press the issue, there are underlying tensions just below the surface. Better to deal with these things now, when they’re small irritations, than later, when they bloom into huge problems.

7. Be uncomfortable together

As a couple, make an effort to try new things together, and to allow yourself to be in uncomfortable situations. These situations could be big events like visiting a country where you don’t speak the language, or small instances, like forcing yourselves to sing a duet at a karaoke bar in front of other people. Dealing with the new and unexpected in these situations as a team will bring you closer together in the other parts of your life.

8. Be physically affectionate

Sex is important, but so is simple, non-sexual touching. Studies have shown that physical affection decreases stress, and it’s been associated with lower blood pressure and increased satisfaction in relationships. Like sex, physical affection causes the body to release Oxytocin, often called the “love hormone.” Oxytocin has a variety of effects; studies have shown that the hormone can make us more likely to be monogamous, more extroverted, and more generous and trustworthy. A study recently published in Natureeven suggests that Oxytocin might be useful in treating mental disorders.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

8 Surprising Facts About Loving a Highly Sensitive Person

Energy takes on a different level with highly sensitive people. Learn ways to be loving and supportive to your partner and their needs with sex, bedtime, and alone time.

I’ve often wondered if I am some kind of freak.

I hated my job as a nurse for the smallest of reasons — the smell in the elevator before my shift would start, the physical exhaustion that would overtake me after 12 hours on my feet, the lack of any kind of privacy in the onslaught of the artificial, fluorescent lighting that buzzed even at 3 o’clock in the morning.

What’s more … any sort of violence makes me physically ill — I will never watch horror movies and I have to divert my attention even from road kill. Environment is super important to me — I prefer my house to be picked up, the lights to be dimmed, and a candle lit before I sit down to work, and wearing the wrong type of clothes can ruin my whole day.

In my marriage, I am often frustrated when my husband won’t have deep, philosophical discussions with me. I’m burning the midnight oil contemplating the meaning of life and he’s all like, “Eh, what does it matter? We’re all going to die anyways — I’m going to go watch TV.”

Turns out, there’s nothing really wrong with me and there’s nothing really wrong with him — I just might be a highly sensitive person.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Dr. Aron, a self-professed highly sensitive person and author of The Highly Sensitive Person In Love, and her social psychologist husband Arthur, who identifies as a non-highly sensitive person, about the topic as they spent a quiet afternoon at home working on holiday cards.

According to them, about 20% of the population can be classified as “highly sensitive,” a genetic trait that affects how information is processed in the brain — and can also highly affect relationships.

Here are 8 important things I took away from the conversation:

1. Highly sensitive spouses may not know that they are highly sensitive.

One of the biggest sources of frustration for highly sensitive people, notes Dr. Aron, is that they are often times not even aware that they are highly sensitive — which can cause issues to arise, particularly in marriage. But there are clues that spouses can look for to help discern if his or her partner is highly sensitive, using the acronym DOES — Depth of Processing, Over stimulated, Empathy and Emotional Responsiveness, and Subtle Stimuli.

“A highly sensitive person thinks deeply … they think about the meaning of life more, they are the ones in the family who make sure they get their health check-ups,” Dr. Aron rattles off. “If you have children, they are the ones who run out of the room first. With husbands — they are often in their offices, for mothers, they look like they going crazy.”

 2. Highly sensitive spouses need alone time.

Highly sensitive people, like introverts (although the two are not interchangeable), often have a deep need for alone time, to allow their brain ample time to process, a situation that can cause frustration among married partners. When a highly sensitive spouse feels the need for downtime, Dr. Aron suggests making one’s needs known — and being very clear about it. “You can just say, ‘I’m taking some down time, this is how long I will be gone,” she says.

And Arthur chimes in with the importance of making it clear that you are not wanting time away from your spouse — but just time away from, well, everyone. The couple also advises exploring ways to get down time together through quiet activities, such as hiking or sitting together reading.

 3. Men are just as likely to be highly sensitive as women.

“As many men as women are born sensitive, but the stereotype is that women are sensitive, ‘real’ men are not,” Dr. Aron explains on her website. Arthur also points out that cultural norms influence how we view sensitive males, referencing a study that showed that in Canada, highly sensitive boys were ranked as the least popular, while in China, the most sensitive young males were also the most popular.

4. Highly sensitive people view sex differently.

“HSPs are more likely to find sex to be mysterious and powerful, to be turned on by subtle rather than explicit sexual cues, to be easily distracted or physically hurt during sex, and to find it difficult to go right back to normal life afterwards,” says Dr. Aron on her site. Keeping an open communication going in — and out — of the bedroom can help explore some of those different needs.

5. Bedtime might be a particular crisis.

In her book, Dr. Aron uses an anecdote of bedtime to illustrate the differences between a HS and non-HS spouse — she climbs into bed only to find her brain is too overly-stimulated to sleep, while her husband is quietly snoring within minutes. I found myself nodding along vigorously because that is my life. For example, my husband loves unwinding with TV before bed, but I find it way too stimulating. This always places me in the dilemma of whether to spend time with my husband before bed or take my own down time away from screens? I usually go back and forth, but more often than not, I just can’t shut down my own brain without a nice, dark room and no screens in my presence.

Great Sex with My Best Friend

I met Sean when I was running a small magazine I created when I was 15 and not interested in my high school’s curriculum. Sean was a kid with big curly hair and braces at one of the nearby booths selling merchandise. He gave me a t-shirt or something and I gave him one of mine and we became sort of carnie high school sweethearts. We made out in the bleachers and in between some tour busses but it never went past that. Of all the people I met both summers, he was the one who stuck as the years passed. I started visiting him in Los Angeles, where he lived, as a means of getting out of my hometown in Canada where I felt like I was in brain jail and he was always there. He was often several hours late. But he’d be there.

I felt safe with him, our courtship had faded as soon as the tour had ended and he felt like my most trusted friend away from home. I began to see him as a brother-figure. He was protective of me and I loved his family. My mom loved him. Over time, the thought of anything ever happening between us felt like a weird Brady Bunch move. Over a period of several years, we would fall in and out of touch as we went about our lives, but we always circled back to check in and the welcome was always warm.

One day when we were both going through a breakup and sought comfort in one another. My boyfriend had been really hard on me about money, work and my body. It suddenly dawned on me that Sean had always looked at me like the sun shone out of my butt. I kept Sean at an arm’s distance because it felt good to have a friend I trusted and felt close to without sexualizing it. In my sudden realization at how good Sean made me feel when I talked to him, I actually saw him as a fully grown up adult, attractive male, and not the goofy teenager with braces and fluffy hair that I remembered (to be fair, both of us matched that description exactly) Somehow organically, we started talking about getting together.

Sean was coming through town, still working for the festival where we had met. I grew nervous and wondered if it would feel like making out with my brother. We talked through those feelings and decided we would deal with whatever happened. We had known each other long enough to know we loved each other as friends first. So I felt safe pulling the plug if it felt icky.

I met him at the festival and chatted with his co-workers while he finished up. We were so happy to see one another and I didn’t even think about the sexy part of it. I was just happy to see my friend and it was his first time in my town, so excitement bulldozed through any underlying anxiety. Once we made it to the cab over to my new place, it became clear that this very much did NOT feel like making out with a brother.

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What All Successful Couples Have In Common

Do you have these traits in your relationship? 

Want an iron-clad marriage? Take note of these universal relationship techniques.

Marriage is hard work, whether you’ve been together for just two months or 20 years. No couple jumps the broom, breaks the glass or ties the knot without genuine hopes for happily ever after, right? But every couple inevitably has issues beneath the surface—it’s how they handle these obstacles that are the telltale signs of success. We tapped a few top marriage therapists to help us identify the common denominators among couples with healthy, enduring relationships. After all, what are the ingredients for long-lasting love?

They argue.

Occasional disagreements and “fighting fair” are not necessarily signs that a relationship is falling apart. “There is good data showing arguments are OK,” says psychologist Kristen Carpenter, PhD, Director of Women’s Behavioral Health at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. “As long as you have positive interactions to offset them, you’re fine. These might include good discussions, date nights, affection or gratitude. Every couple is different, but arguments are definitely OK.”

In fact, arguments can actually be effective if they’re productive. By simply bottling up feelings, you’re creating a recipe for resentment and hostility, which can destroy a marriage.

So, how do you fight right? “Couples need to be able to identify and communicate their needs,” Dr. Carpenter says. “The minute one thinks, ‘He should know what I need,’ you’re setting yourself up for failure and disappointment.” No. One. Reads. Minds. Don’t lose sight of that.

They listen.

Just as much as you want to vocalize your own wants and needs, it’s imperative to hear the other person out, says marriage therapist Carin Goldstein, LMFT. “One of the biggest things that gets in the way of problem-solving is when a couple does not want to listen to each other,” she explains. “They do not hear each other, and they do not want to understand.”

If you’re struggling with this, Goldstein says the following re-framing exercise will help. “You effectively listen by repeating back what you’re taking away,” she says. “So, say to your partner, ‘What I’m hearing you say is that, when I do X, Y or Z, you feel attacked.‘” That way, you get temperature checks along the way, rather than barreling down a course of misunderstanding. If you want to be heard, you have to listen to your partner’s needs as well.

They absorb emotions without negativity.

If two partners are both negative nellies, Goldstein admits she wonders if they’ll be able to make it through the tough times. “Successful couples use positive language; couples that I really struggle with generally have a lot of criticism [in conversation],” says Goldstein. “It comes from such a deep place of contempt, where the other person does not feel valued or heard.”

To counter negativity, Goldstein has these couples consistently practice using positive language. “I have them start a conversation by saying what they genuinely appreciate about each other,” she says. “They also need to learn to listen to their spouse’s feelings without getting defensive. Emotions aren’t necessarily there to be rationalized. Sometimes, they just need to be expressed without interruption.”

They compromise.

Goldstein says, ultimately, the couples that succeed long-term are extremely adaptable. “I’ll have couples come into my office, and they are unwilling to compromise,” she says. “Sometimes I’ll tell them, if they’re not willing to compromise, they shouldn’t come back. It is impossible to be in any relationship without the ability to change and accommodate your partner.”

Remember, no one person is right or wrong, Goldstein says. It’s never black and white; there’s always a middle ground, and lasting couples put in the time to find that place where both can coexist comfortably.

They savor their time together (and apart).

Relationships take work—and more importantly, perhaps, they take time, says Carpenter. “This means staying in touch and protecting your time together,” she explains. “It looks different for every couple. For some, it’s texting throughout the day; for others, it’s a quick phone call at lunch. It might be a week-long getaway once a year, one movie night a week, a date night every so often or just 15 minutes of cuddling a day.”

No doubt you’re being pulled in a hundred different directions, thanks to work, family and friends. But value your time with your partner by making sure your time together doesn’t keep slipping down the totem pole.

Carpenter adds that you need to find what works for you—and “if you’re feeling off, maybe it’s not enough time together and you should address it,” she says. “Or maybe you’re not taking enough time for you. It’s impossible to be your best self in a relationship if you’re not your best self on your own. Sometimes, it makes sense to take a step back and look inward.”

So if it’s getting a little too close for comfort: take that solo spa trip, or make dates to decompress with your girls. Your marriage will probably be a whole lot healthier (and you’ll both be happier) when you rejoin forces.

By Jenna Birch

Curated by Timothy
Original Article