When It’s Okay Not to Have Sex

Have you ever asked for a sex break?

How do you tell a married couple to abstain from sex when there is no health or physical challenge in the way? It sounds suicidal and so wrong, right? After all, sex is a key aspect of the beauty of the union.

In fact, marriage is the only place that sex is legally and morally allowed without the familiar backlash of society. So what could make anyone counsel a married couple to abstain from sex? It sounds like a ridiculous suggestion.

There are times when married couples practice impromptu abstinence due to health or spiritual reasons. Not having regular sex in marriage could also be caused by long distance, that is, when your spouse is away from home for a long period of time. This type of waiting game has its resultant effect -good or bad- on marriage depending on the duration.

As bizarre and ridiculous it sounds, the practice of abstinence in marriage in this sex-crazed world is important. It is important that couples stay away from under-the-sheets for a period. The Bible has already given spiritual reasons for abstinence from sex but more than that, abstinence helps to build a deeper intimacy with your spouse.

There is so much emphasis on sex in marriage that couples have relegated other forms of intimacy to the background. Sex is seen as the ultimate way of having a lasting relationship but this concept is so wrong. While sex is important, it is not the bedrock of relationship. Too much concentration on sex could leave cracks in a marriage.

For example, some people cannot communicate with their partner unless sex is involved. When this becomes a ritual in marriage, then the value of sex is abused. Instead of a bonding, there is bondage. Sex becomes a manipulative tool in the marriage, a bargaining chip to get your spouse to do as you desire.

An extreme fall-out of too much sex in marriage is when your partner is addicted to porn and uses you as his tool of release.
If you find yourself in such scenarios, then you need to practice abstinence in your marriage. Abstinence comes with its advantages and disadvantages but if well informed, it yields the desirable results. Before you embark on this journey, it is important to know the following facts:

1: Abstinence is a mutual agreement: Couples who intend to use the abstinence therapy must be willing to do it. The decision should not be one-sided. Both parties have to talk about it and see it as a means to a healthy relationship. If one party is in disagreement, then it is no longer abstinence. There must be clear understanding by both parties on the necessity for such a practice in their relationship.

Initiate Your Intimacy Needs

Are you looking for answers on how to spice up your love life? There are ways you can do to increase emotional intimacy in your relationship.

Here are 7 tips to help you relax with someone special

Increase Emotional Intimacy in Relationships

“It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.”Jane Austen

“He was as remote as the dark side of the moon. When he left, I returned his mail, having written on the envelopes ‘Never known at this address’. Because although we were married for nine years, I really do feel I never really knew him. And he didn’t know me at all.”

Strange one, this: how can we live with someone, see them every day, sleep with them (Biblically and otherwise), share all kinds of experiences, but still not feel emotionally intimate with them? Candice was telling me the reasons why she felt she’d had to divorce her husband.

“It wasn’t that he did anything wrong. It’s just that he doesn’t really do intimacy; looking back, we were never close.”

As she spoke, I pondered what ’emotional intimacy’ really means.

Getting emotionally intimate

Emotional intimacy is a sense of closeness to another person; a real sense of two-way empathy. When we’re emotionally intimate, we can share personal feelings, display affection, and not be dismissed or judged harshly but accepted ‘in the round’.

I love the idea that a real friend “is one who can see straight through you and still enjoy the view.” And some romantic partners describe their special person as their ‘best friend’ – a perfect combination of physical and emotional intimacy.

Emotional intimacy can exist between friends, family relations, and lovers. Some people even feel emotional intimacy with their pet. There’s no doubt that a sense of shared intimacy is important for both mental and physical health (1).

So you have intimacy when you feel spontaneous, natural, and trusting they feel as connected to you. But it goes deeper than that.

A sense of shared perception

I think emotional intimacy is also a sense of seeing life through the same eyes, sharing experiences in similar ways and feeling connected in knowing what one another would probably think about something, as in: “John would have loved this…”

Emotional intimacy is so important; but what if you find it difficult to let yourself feel close and intimate? Perhaps you find it difficult to relax and be intimate with people, even when you’ve known them for a long time. These emotional intimacy tips should help you to connect more deeply with people in your life.

Are You Unconsciously Sabotaging Your Relationship with Men?

If you’re doing these things, your man may already have one foot out the door.

Ladies, if you think you have relationships all figured out, prepare to have your world rocked.
In a previous article, “Dance With Her (And 9 More Ways To Earn Her Forever Love)“, I spoke to men about ways to increase their chances of sustaining a long-lasting and devoted partnership.

I often read about or hear women discussing the latest advice on how to keep a man, or how to rock his world in bed. Those types of articles have contributed to the continued divide between women and men regarding relationships. That advice has women believing there’s a magic formula to keeping a man interested in you.

But you can’t keep a man who won’t be kept, no matter what magic trick you perform in bed.
It’s your connection to your partner that makes it unique, not the techniques you’ve picked up in a magazine. After all, the next woman he meets probably read the same article.

Women do a few things that ensure a failed relationship, but before you fly off the handle, take a second to look at things from a man’s perspective. You might understand why you and your significant other have quit on each other.

1. You disclose the “dirty details” to your friends.

Women with girlfriends who know more about you than he does are less likely to have a devoted partner. And if you share details of your personal intimacies in your relationship, especially your bedroom activities, you don’t deserve his devotion in the first place.

How would you feel if you knew he was discussing the details of your body or skills with his friends? And please, don’t think we don’t know that you’re doing it. Any guy with a modicum of intelligence knows.

Plus, your friends aren’t really good at hiding the fact that they know more about us than we’d like them to. Interestingly enough, women who are in fabulous relationships tend not to share any details of their intimate relationship with their friends.

Men like to feel that they’re part of an exclusive team; don’t deprive them of that by letting others know what’s going on in the locker room. Instead, do right by your partner and talk to him about how you feel.

2. You think you can change/fix us.

Ladies, we will only modify our behavior if we’re convinced that doing so will make us happier, better men. Any modification to our behavior based on your insistence will not be sustained.

The reality is that you’ll see the best part of us when you start dating us. This is when we’re trying to impress you. From that point on, you’d better hang on because those little habits you sort of don’t care for will later generate a raging wave of resentment towards us.

So, when you consider making a life with a man, look to how his actions make you feel, then listen to his words to see what they make you think of him as a partner.

If his actions make you feel insignificant in his life, cut him loose. And if his words make you think he’s unkind or inconsiderate, head for the hills. Just don’t try to change or fix us — because you can’t. We aren’t broken; we’re just not for you.

How Low Self-Esteem Affects Your Relationship

Self esteem is a very important component within a healthy relationship. People who have low self esteem tend to wreck their relationships.

People with low self esteem have difficulty believing that they are unconditionally loved and accepted by their partners. They tend to hold back from fully committing themselves in their relationships or from making themselves vulnerable. They tend to engage in other types of behaviors that are unhelpful for relationships (e.g. testing their partners’ love)

The result of low self-esteem tends to be the prevelance of “Lower quality relationships” because their relationships have less love and trust, and more conflict and ambivalence. This is because they are unable to establish healthy boundaries or limits with people.

People with low self-esteem come to relationships with a variety of irrational thoughts, emotions and actions all of which lead people to lose themselves in relationships with others. This loss of self into others leads to a loss of personal internal control. They become victims to being controlled by how others think, feel about and act towards them.

Personal Value

In order to have a healthy relationship, it is required that both parties feel confident about their voice and their personal value. If those components are missing it can take a tremendous toll on ones emotional well-being.

Self-esteem and self-worth

In romantic relationships people often feel most comfortable around those who have a similar level of self esteem as their own. This means subconsciously people with low self-esteem will attract others with low self-esteem.

A person with a low self-esteem often also has low self-worth. Even if they don’t verbalize it, they do not act as if they feel they are good enough to be loved. This lack of self-worth is born from lack of self love. If you don’t truly love and accept yourself, then you cannot truly accept love and acceptance from others.

This lack of self love can lead to a state of emotional impoverishment. This occurs when you are unable to create feelings of love and acceptance within yourself. Instead you look to others as a source of approval. Lack of self love causes you to see people not for who they really are, but for what they can or cannot do for you. In this state, your ability to love will remain emotionally immature and undeveloped because what you have to give in return is not love, but rather your unfulfilled needs.

Low self-esteem creates lack of connection and trust

Low self-esteem destroys relationships because this kind of insecurity creates a disconnect between yourself and your partner. An example may be “Please call me every night at 10pm because other wise, I will worry.” The subtext to this is, “I’m worried that you are going to cheat on me!”

No adult should have to hold themselves accountable to that kind of disrespect. That sort of accountability is for children, not for adults in a relationship.

A person trying to have this type of “control” in a relationship is really suffering from low self-esteem. They need to control the situation because they need to control you. Their need to control you is because they don’t trust that you love them enough to control yourself.

(Which begs the question, if the only way to keep your partner from losing control is this level of hyper-vigilance, then maybe you are in the wrong relationship.)

There comes a point within a relationship that you need to believe that you are with someone who cares about you and respects you enough to not hurt you. When you trust someone, you open yourself up to the possibility that you might get hurt.

What about people who cheat?

Most people who are unfaithful do so because of low self-esteem. Very few people do it if the relationship at home is satisfying. Cheating is a sign that something isfundamental missing within the relationship.

Value and respect

The main reason people are unfaithful is due to a lack of feeling valued and respected by their primary partner. They genuinely believe they are not valued at home. Everyone wishes to be significant and valued, especially from the most important person in their life. When they don’t feel significant, and feel as though they are taken for granted, are being used for convenience or have little value to their partner, they are likely to find someone else who will value them.

Sex and affection

Another reason people cheat is because of lack of love and affection. Love and affection is often withheld by one or both partners when there are layers of resentment beneath the surface in a relationship. Feeling neglected takes over, especially when sex is sporadic. Nothing is worse than being in a relationship and feeling lonely. If one is single, one can always go on a date etc. But if one lives with a partner, yet feels loneliness, then it feels hopeless because there really is no hope without significant change. It affects one’s self esteem, because one feels unwanted, but can not do anything about it. This makes the partners more prone to seek that love and affirmation somewhere else.

Validation and attention

A very important part of being in a relationship is the need for validation and attention. If the closest person to you does not validate you, does not confirm what you mean to them, does not reinforce who you are and wish to be (not what your partner thinks you are and wishes you to be), it can precipitate a feeling of being abandoned and uncared for. Most cheaters do not feel validated or affirmed, neither do they get much attention. They often feel neglected, especially if there is also a lack of love and affection or any real conversation either, mainly accusations and blame. Once we are not validated by those who matter, we begin to seek it elsewhere.

When any of these elements mentioned are missing, self esteem plummets and the person is likely to feel like a failure. It erodes a person and effects everything they do because they are constantly unhappy, anxious and stressed. It is difficult to feel good about one’s self when there is an overwhelming number of unmet needs missing from one’s life.

Personal confidence

The unfaithful partner feels a tremendous loss of personal confidence. It has a domino effect on everything else. Many unfaithful partners suffer in silence for a while, feeling low and hurt, until they feel compelled to do something about it in order to boost their confidence and improve their esteem.

Relationship in a rutt

There are many relationships where partners have settled into a rut, taking their spouses for granted, living in resentment and hurt, withholding affirmation and attention, value and respect. Those are the kinds of relationship that are most vulnerable to infidelity because living with someone else should enhance our happiness, not make us feel worse.

People with low self-esteem need to have “perfect” relationships and compete for control in order to make their relationship be the way they think it should be. This results in healthy relationships deteriorating. Eventually the relationship partner finds themselves in empty, hallow, phony, relationships with deep resentments and hurts. The partners have given so much to the relationship, they have nothing left of themselves to keep the relationships alive.

Here are symptoms of low self-esteem:


  1. Not spending very much time living in the present: If you worry about the future or spend too much time reflecting on the past mistakes, the bottom line is that you are not living in the present.
  2. Always wanting something you don’t have or something that’s out of reach: When someone has a great dissatisfaction with the trajectory of their life, or their lifestyle and it seems that what they want is always just out of reach, and that situation doesn’t ever change, self-esteem is probably the cause.
  3. Avoiding real intimacy: People who have low self-esteem have problems opening to and connecting with others on a deep level. Some don’t even recognize that the bonds they share are shallow and superficial until they get involved with someone else, on a much deeper level. They feel that if the other person finds out who they truly are, all love will be lost. They are afraid that opening up will result in getting hurt. Some people have entire relationships built on walls and avoiding intimacy. If you are avoiding real intimacy for whatever reason, take it as a sign that you need to look at how you are feeling about yourself.
  4. Busyness: The business of being busy, always keeping busy so you don’t have to look honestly at your underlying problems. Often times people will keep themselves busy so that they don’t have deal with feelings that they keep hidden. If you are a “do-er” and are constantly busy but not truly happy, start looking at the areas of your life that aren’t quite together. That will give you a place to start in finding out what you are trying to suppress with your “busyness.”
  5. Acting destructively towards yourself and possibly to others such as being overly critical or self-sabotaging behaviors. People who are overly critical tend to project feelings about themselves falsely onto others. An overly critical attitude comes from their feelings of inadequacy and fear of making a mistake. Unaware that they are more critical than other people, they focus on the negative rather than the positive and give more weight to the negative in both themselves and others.
  6. Those with low self-esteem tend to choose the wrong partners, and remain in relationships that continue to be unsatisfying despite many red flags that it is time to end it. They fear change, they fear being alone, and they fear their own ability to make sound decisions.
  7. Motivated by fear of “doing something wrong” and receiving negative feedback, those who have low self esteem seemingly need to narrow their choices to be safe from erring. Consequently, they grab hold of the notion that there is only one right way to do things—usually the way they were taught. Once the “right” way is recognized, they feel they can then remain safe from ridicule, rejection, disapproval, or from making a mistake in judgment that might have other negative consequences. With only one “right” way every other position is then “wrong,” (black versus white). That means that in order to be right, their partner must always be wrong. Once they are convinced they are right, they become closed to considering a different viewpoints, unable to think objectively that any other way may be acceptable. They become rigid in their thinking and judgmental of others who think, feel, or act differently. They basically don’t develop the ability and freedom to look at issues and consider the varying merits before choosing a side.
  8. Doubting their ability to make good decisions, these low self esteem sufferers are often overly submissive to—and blindly follow others without sizing up the situation on their own. Such blind allegiance without studying or assessing the situation can lead people to give control of their lives to others who don’t have their best interest at heart, whose views are questionable, or whose views are radical in one direction or another. Through recovery, people become stronger and more confident in their own ability to make decisions and develop the freedom to feel they have the right to do so.
  9. People with low self-esteem can be very self-focused, only viewing and thinking of what goes on around them on the basis of their own needs and wants. They find it difficult to put themselves in the shoes of others or to recognize how their behavioraffects others. They are often aloof, appear to be very selfish, even narcissistic,though they are motivated out of feelings of inadequacy, selfishness and grandiosity.

To maintain healthy intimacy in your relationships, you need to establish healthy intellectual, emotional and physical boundaries with your partners.

Characteristics of a Healthy Intimate Relationship

The goal in an intimate relationship is to feel calm, centered and focused. The intimacy needs to be safe, supportive, respectful, nonpunitive and peaceful. You feel taken cared for and nurtured, unconditionally accepted and loved just for existing and being alive. You feel part of something. You are able to forgive and be forgiven without revenge or reminders of past offenses.

You experience being free to be who you are rather than who you think you need to be for the other. This relationship makes you free from “analysis paralysis” where you need to analyze every detail of what goes on in it. Healthy intimate relationships support your individuality and encourage personal growth. This relationship does not result in you or your relationship partner becoming emotionally, physically or intellectually dependent on one another.

You know you are in a healthy, intimate relationship when you have created an environment where:

  1. I can be me.
  2. You can be you.
  3. We can be us.
  4. I can grow.
  5. You can grow.
  6. We can grow together.


A healthy relationship frees you to be yourself while acquiring self-knowledge is a lifelong process. Even if you do not have a strong sense of who you are, you do know when you are NOT being allowed the freedom to be yourself. You know when you are feeling judged or when you are worried about making a mistake. The freedom to be yourself means that your partner will neither interfere with nor judge your process of being and becoming.

In return, you offer your partner the same freedom that you are ask for yourself. And you accept your partner as he is. You do not get caught up in your fantasy of who you want him to be. You focus on who that person really is.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

What Does It Mean When He Says He’s Not Ready?

We never had a conversation about this, casual or otherwise. Is he hallucinating?

I recently received two questions that had a good amount of crossover, so I’m going to publish them both and address them.

Lady 1 says:

Dear Virginia,

I’ve been seeing a man for six months, and recently I spent a holiday with his family.  We have never had a conversation about our relationship or where we were headed.  In the last few weeks, I noticed that he was frequently not returning my texts, and when I asked him about it and said it hurt my feelings not to hear from him, he said, well, I’m not ready to be a boyfriend, didn’t we agree that we could just stay casual?

We never had a conversation about this, casual or otherwise.  Is he hallucinating?  I am furious that I’m the last one to know that I’ve put six months into nothing.

Also, do I absolutely have to stop sleeping with him?  I’ve gotten used to him.

Lady 2 says:

Dear Virginia,

I’ve been dating a guy for five months, and when I had an accident on the streets of NYC last month, and broke my arm and was rushed to the hospital and called him, he wasn’t sure what I was talking about- the first time I needed anything from him at all, he shrugged and wandered off, telling a nurse that he wasn’t family, he was “just a friend” and he “wasn’t sure he could help.”

When was I supposed to find out I was sleeping with someone who regarded me as only slightly closer than a workmate?  I am furious.

Dear Ladies,

First of all, I am so sorry.  You ladies have been, either directly or indirectly, misled.  One thing about the hookup culture that these guys are missing is that: it is, by its nature, temporary.  To sleep with a nice person once to half a dozen times with no expectation of a future is sort of normal, but to drag it out over half a year and introduce her to family members in an attempt to look like an adult is kind of cruel.  I’ve been thinking for a while about drafting a list of things you can’t get in a super casual modern dating relationship:

  1. You don’t get exclusive claims to weekends
  2. You might not even get to sleep over
  3. You don’t get a date to weddings
  4. You don’t get input on important decisions such as: what to name the dog, what tattoo to get, or whether to go to grad school.
  5. You don’t get to take anyone home for Christmas
  6. Actually, most major holidays are out for you: Valentine’s day, Thanksgiving, New Year’s. You can go out with your casual hookup on Halloween, St. Patrick’s, and Cinco de Mayo: the drinking holidays.

But!  Neither of you get to continue dating without some communication.  If you have expectations in the relationship, you have to keep clear on what they are.  If you want more and they say they’re not ready, you might ask what that means.

Here are some possible things they mean when they say there’s not ready for a serious relationship:

  1. They’re not ready. When you leave, they’re going to go find another girl to annoy for six months or however long they put up with it, and then they’ll look for another one.
  2. They are ready, but not with you. They might be ready for the next girl they meet, which sucks and which is why it might be a good idea to drop them on social media.
  3. They (and this comes up more than you’d think) Will Never Be Ready. They will always be Single and Ready to Mingle.  I have met men in Los Angeles who’ve had longer relationships with a car lease than they have with a lady, and find this to be Super Normal.
  4. They’re ready, but they won’t know it until you leave them and they have a chance to think about what a special person you are and they’ll cry into their pillowcase and think about how nice your pillowcases smell and they’ll come running back, tripping over their untied shoelaces because they pretty much just woke up and came running over to your house.

I know that number 4 sounds very romantic, but it’s probably one of the other three.  I’m sorry.  I’d like it to be number 4.  Keep in mind that whatever the number is, it’s not your fault.  It’s not the way you wore your hair or how good you were in bed or how interested you pretended to be in fantasy football or garage rock.  You can’t make him ready, and you can’t trick him into being ready.  If after being with someone as quirky and wonderful as you are for half a year, if he says he’s not ready, 1. He’s an idiot and 2. He probably isn’t going to ready.

In any case, your only option is to set them free, back into the dating pool and out of your hair and, lady number one- DEFINITELY stop sleeping with him.

How to Deal With a Love Hate Relationship

Love hate relationships can be extremely painful if you insist on blaming the other person all the time. It takes maturity and humility to look at the root of the issues you’re having and discuss them in a calm, non-accusatory way.

The number one reason for love hate relationships is that both people are reactive and playing the victim. They still don’t have the tools to be and feel empowered and remain calm, which would allow them to see the root of the issues objectively, from a place of kindness and love.

How to spot a love hate relationship

Love beneath the I hate you words

Frequent blow-ups and makeups that happen multiple times a week are a sure sign of a love hate relationship. So, do you have a calm relationship? Or do you bicker, cry, yell and ‘lose it’ pretty often?

Even if you also have a lot of romance, kindness and sincerity in your relationship, it doesn’t mean you’re ready to put your feet up and act like you don’t have any work to do. Luckily, there is a way out of this vicious cycle. You can find the happiness you knew before the volatile reality you now experience as the norm.

Why relationships become explosive

Are you possibly in denial that you are in an explosive relationship? Relationships with a lot of love and arguing can create an illusion, and people can be verbally hurting each other and themselves thinking everything is ok and that their own behaviors are ok.

Here is why that happens: We live in a culture where emotional maturity is not the norm. Most of us have only been exposed to loving relationships with a lot of arguing so when we follow suit and end up in one just like that, we don’t think anything is wrong.

Our culture is, what I call, a baby culture. We are on one heck of a learning curve physically, economically, morally and emotionally. We are just starting to recognize that we created a huge obesity problem; we are still addicted to antidepressants because we are, without sugar coating it, emotionally stunted.

But that’s ok. If you look at other cultures that have a lower divorce rate, they also probably have been around for thousands of years and not just a couple hundred like America. Historically speaking, we are still kindergarteners in the age of our culture. Some things we are very good at and some things we are admittedly bad at.

From my research, these issues have stemmed from a lack of education about emotional health. We don’t have school classes about non-violent communication or in-depth courses about the ego and how detrimental it can be in relationships. We are lucky to get a few days of Sex Ed. It’s not our fault that our parents also may not be equipped with the proper tools to have an emotionally healthy relationship.

With the age of the internet, information is at our fingertips. We can grow as individuals and by working on ourselves, we can become empowered and choose kind words instead of words that sting.

I must draw attention to an important cultural aspect that creeps into love hate relationships: Low self-esteem. If you find yourself spending more than a few minutes getting dressed, asking for opinions often on how you look, thinking about what you’re going to wear a lot, or comparing yourself to others, this is an issue that can wreak havoc in your love relationship and you can nip it in the bud.

Check out my article about Imperfect Female Body Parts That Men Love to get some perspective on how warped our perception of what men like is. We have been marketed to by large companies in our culture to become insecure so we buy tons of nonsense.

Transformation of Jealousy into Deep Trust & Love

“I love to use jealousy as a way to create intimacy and turn on in the moment it’s happening.”

John Wineland on jealousy

“A common problem I run into with men is that they don’t know what to do with their jealousy.  Its such a primal, volatile and vulnerable emotion.  Most of us react one of two ways, we either get angry and accusatory, or we hide it and pretend we are cool…..Neither works!!  I love to use jealousy as a way to create intimacy and turn on in the moment it’s happening.”   ~ John Wineland

Doctor Who Taught Me 6 Things About Love

I live as the intersection of a hopeless romantic and die hard geek.  So as obsessed as I am with Doctor Who and as much as I tune into the long running British sci-fi series to watch an anachronistic man fight off salt shakers armed with plungers and egg beaters, sometimes I learn a thing or two.

Here’s just a few things I’ve learned about relationships from the travels of my favorite Time Lord.

  • You can survive your partner’s “regeneration.”

So just about fifty years ago, the partners that be at the BBC concocted a strategy to continue the massively successful series without William Hartnell, the actor portraying him.  His health had begun to interfere with his performance, and they were left with the issue of having to replace the main character.  Their genius move, later dubbed “regeneration,” was to give the character the ability to regenerate, taking on a completely different face and personality.  This move gave the show the ability to grow and change with eras, and is directly responsible for its longevity.

Now, there’s no scientific evidence that human beings can regenerate, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t change.  We grow, we evolve, we discover different things about the world.  We go through profound experiences that alter our personalities.  On the show, companions who witness the Doctor they knew change faces have difficulty adjusting to the new Doctor, unsure if he’s the man they once knew.  This is a pretty relatable sensation for anyone who has known or loved someone for a long time.  How many times have you heard the phrase “He’s not the man I married.”? But just like the characters on the show, we can actually survive the changes in our partner.  When we love and care for someone, we learn to love the way they grow as a person.  If we plan to enter a long term relationship, this is exactly what we’re signing up for, to grow together on a shared journey through time and space.

  • Bow ties are cool.

Every Doctor has his wardrobe eccentricities, and the Eleventh Doctor, portrayed by Matt Smith, had his bow tie. He felt they were cool and he made great effort to make sure we knew that at every opportunity. It was a silly little embellishment that may or may not have been well received by his companions.  Or his wife. Like the Doctor and his bow tie, we all have some little quirks, interests, and hobbies that drive our significant other absolutely bonkers. And our partner has some that do the same to us. But love isn’t about having someone who fits the absolute perfect package and hits every mark on some cosmic checklist. Love is about finding someone who may have a thing or two that doesn’t quite click with you and loving them anyway, or even because of those quirks.

  • The past isn’t always great but the future is in flux.

Anyone who has gone back and tried to watch the classic episodes of Doctor Who prior to the 2005 reboot may discover something: a lot of them are really, really hard to sit through. It can be tough talking to someone who grew up watching the series, because their memories are painted by the nostalgia of their childhood, while my viewing is hard to always reconcile with the modern show that I love. When we meet someone new and develop a relationship with them, sometimes we learn a thing or two about their past that gives us pause.  There may be some things about their history that they aren’t proud of or even regret.  It’s important to remember though that the past is exactly that.  We don’t have a time traveling police box that will let us change history. What’s important instead is to see the person you love now as a result of those old growing pains, and maybe eventually love them as the building blocks they are for who that person is today, and for the future you’ll have together.

  • I just want a mate.

All talk of friendzones aside, sometimes it actually is better to be friends with someone than to have a romantic relationship with them.  Doctor Who returned in 2005 with the early seeds of a romantic subplot between the Doctor and the first new companion, Rose.  As epic as that love story became, and as much as it tied back into the 50th Anniversary special that aired years later, there’s something to be said for the power of a great friendship.  Rose has her place in Doctor Who history, as does the unrequited pining Martha who replaced her, but when things got too dark for the Doctor, what he needed was “a mate,” and he got it in Donna Noble, the brash temp from Chiswick played by Catherine Tate.  The next few companions all moved along the same lines, Amy Pond flirted occasionally but her heart belonged to Rory, and Clara Oswald was shakily written as a romantic interest for Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor, not truly shining until she bonded as the closest trusted ally of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth.  Romantic love is amazing, but sometimes what we need is a friend who we can trust, and have unwavering faith in.

  • The Girl Who Waited and The Last Centurion, aka Patience, Patience, Patience.

“Okay kid, this is where it gets complicated.” Amy Pond was a little girl who met a mad man with a box called the Doctor, who she didn’t see again until she was an adult, making her “The Girl Who Waited.”  Adult Amy has a boyfriend, later husband, who was turned into a plastic double of himself and then also waited outside a box for her for over a thousand years dressed as a Roman Centurion, aka “The Last Centurion.”  What does all this mean? Simple: Patience.

Sometimes we feel an immediate need to rush into something or feel the intense desire for instant gratification.  But I know speaking from personal experience, I’ve ruined many a good thing by being too eager, or by being unable to wait patiently.  Love can’t be rushed.  Even if you had an actual time machine, you couldn’t skip right to the end because the journey, the anticipation, that’s all part of.

  • “The name you choose, it’s like a promise you make.”

The Doctor’s real name is not The Doctor.  The line above is what he tells his companion Clara during the season 7 finale episode “The Name of the Doctor.”  He talks about his name like it’s an ideal, a reminder of the person he’s supposed to be.  Many of the other things on this list have to do with external expectations and actions.  This one is all about ourselves.  For years when I was younger, I wanted a girlfriend.  I wanted to be in a relationship because the concept of that appealed to me.  But I was young, foolish and someone who was silly enough to let her ideas of romance be influenced by the movies and TV shows she watched.

Now I’m 33, probably still a bit foolish, but I know that love is not about having something.  Love is about being something.  It isn’t that I should want to have a girlfriend or a wife, it’s that I want to *be* a girlfriend or wife.  That I want to be the kind of person worthy of someone’s love, that I want to take on the responsibility of sharing their life, of joining it with mine. Being someone’s partner is a promise you make to them, but just as importantly, it’s a promise you make to yourself.

Tips for Couples to Achieve a Long-Lasting Intimate Relationship

“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” -~Sam Keen

Before I married my wonderful husband, I dated a lot of men. For most of my 20s (and even my early 30s) I had a perfect fairy-ideal of what romantic love was, probably because I was an actress and loved drama back then.

It took years for me to realize a relationship is not a romance movie.

At some point in our lives, we may believe that love should be like the kind of romance we see portrayed in films, television, and novels.

For some reason, I always thought my romantic relationships were less if I did not experience this kind of fairy-tale relationship. Maybe this is why I kept meeting frogs.

At times, I bought into the belief that if I had a relationship with the perfect prince, then all would be well in my life. I thought, Now, I will be safe forever.

In truth, I did marry a prince—but a prince who is also human, who has faults and issues just like every person, no matter how wonderful he is.

At some point I grew up and learned to let go of the crazy metaphor of romantic love in order to find true happiness. Yes, I was disappointed to realize that the knight riding through the night to save the damsel in distress is a fallacy. It’s a bummer.

But, let’s look at it in this light: We all saw Romeo and Juliet and Titanic. Why stories like these make our hearts sing is that the love is unrequited. Unavailability fuels the romantic expression.

This kind of romantic story can only work when there is an absence of the lover. Sometimes, they have to die in the end in order for their love to fit into this romantic view. Or, we eat handfuls of popcorn, waiting to see if they live happily ever after, and we rarely find out if they really do.

The romantic love fantasy is really a substitute for intimacy—real, connected, vulnerable intimacy.

So then, how do we make relationships work and stay happy?

We begin with the understanding of what pure love is, and then redefine and update the romantic fairytale into a healthier type of love.

Here are 10 ways to create true intimacy, find pure love, and be truly happy in your relationship:

1. Use relationships to teach you how to be whole within.

Relationships aren’t about having another person complete you, but coming to the relationship whole and sharing your life interdependently. By letting go of the romantic ideal of merging and becoming “one,” you learn as Rainer Maria Rilke says, to love the distances in relationship as much as the togetherness.

2. See your partner for who he or she really is.

The romantic tragedy occurs when you view the person you are in love with as a symbol of what they have come to represent, the idea of them. When you realize that more often than not you don’t really know your partner, you begin to discover who they are and how they change and evolve.

3. Be willing to learn from each other.

The key is to see the other as a mirror and learn from the reflection how you can be a better person. When you feel upset, rather than blame your partner and point fingers, remain awake to what has yet to be healed in yourself.

4. Get comfortable being alone.

In order to accept that love can’t rescue you from being alone, learn to spend time being with yourself. By feeling safe and secure to be on your own within the framework of relationship, you will feel more complete, happy, and whole.

5. Look closely at why a fight may begin.

Some couples create separateness by fighting and then making up over and over again. This allows you to continue the romantic trance, creating drama and avoiding real intimacy. If you become aware of what you fear about intimacy, you’ll have a better sense of why you’re fighting—and likely will fight far less.

6. Own who you are.

We generally grasp at romantic love because we’re yearning for something that is out of reach, something in another person that we don’t think we possess in ourselves. Unfortunately, when we finally get love, we discover that we didn’t get what we were looking for.

True love only exists by loving yourself first. You can only get from another person what you’re willing to give yourself.

7. Embrace ordinariness.

After the fairy-dust start of a relationship ends, we discover ordinariness, and we often do everything we can to avoid it. The trick is to see that ordinariness can become the real “juice” of intimacy. The day-to-day loveliness of sharing life with a partner can, and does, become extraordinary.

8. Expand your heart.

One thing that unites us is that we all long to be happy. This happiness usually includes the desire to be close to someone in a loving way. To create real intimacy, get in touch with the spaciousness of your heart and bring awareness to what is good within you.

It’s easier to recognize the good in your partner when you’re connected to the good in yourself.

9. Focus on giving love.

Genuine happiness is not about feeling good about ourselves because other people love us; it’s more about how well we have loved ourselves and others. The unintentional outcome of loving others more deeply is that we are loved more deeply.

10. Let go of expectations.

You may look to things such as romance and constant togetherness to fill a void in yourself. This will immediately cause suffering. If you unconsciously expect to receive love in certain ways to avoid giving that love to yourself, you put your sense of security in someone else.

Draw upon your own inner-resources to offer love, attention, and nurturance to yourself when you need it. Then you can let love come to you instead of putting expectations on what it needs to look like.

These are only a few ways to explore real intimacy. How do you create a loving connection in your relationship?

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Couples Advice: How to Avoid the Worst Fights

What’s the worst fight couples have?

Depending on your history with fights in relationships, the question might send a shiver up your spine. I solicited relationship experts of all stripes to reveal the most harrowing fight they commonly hear couples have — that argument that ends the relationship, or at least damages it nearly beyond repair. One conclusion: People say horrible things to each other in fights. Another: There are ways to avoid ever having such destructive fights to begin with. In terms of subject matter, the experts didn’t cite one particular awful fight as most typical, but rather each expert related a different spat they’d heard over and over that clients wish they’d never had. However, though the topic may have varied, the theme was the same: These brawls were down-and-dirty, rough, inconsiderate — and brutal.

None of these squabbles were of the ilk I’d file under “healthy fights,” but rather came from places of mutual disrespect, anger, fear, resentment and genuine lack of support for one another, rife with insults, judgment and attempts to control one’s partner. It doesn’t take a brain scientist to know that a quarrel like that isn’t going to end well.

The fights couples have that they wish they could go back in time and take back — the doozies, the ones that cause near-irrevocable fissures or linger in the relationship indefinitely — are the ones we’d all like to avoid in our romantic relationships. The good news: They are avoidable, as long as you stay on top of issues and don’t let your relationship spiral out of control to begin with.

My favorite response was short and sweet, from Joan Fradella, a Florida Supreme Court certified family mediator: “The one fight couples wish they never had is the one that preceded the appointment with either an attorney or with me.” Preach.

1. The Sex Fight

This one should be a no-brainer, but it turns out that couples who fight during or immediately after sex come to regret it (and yes, as usual, pun intended). “Avoid all arguments, and never say anything even vaguely critical during or immediately after lovemaking,” say authors Patricia Johnson and Mark Michaels. The married couple have written several books about sex and love, including Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships, and are adamant about barring fights from the bedroom. “Most people are in a highly vulnerable state when they’re turned on and after a sexual encounter,” they say. As such, a little tact and gentleness go a long way.

“If something is not working for you in the moment, and certainly if an activity is causing you any discomfort, it is good to speak out,” they advise. That said, steer clear from any language that implies blame or judgment. Don’t say, “Why are you doing that? It feels awful,” Michaels and Johnson recommend. Instead, try something more effective, such as, “I’m not sure I love that. Could you try this instead?” Unless there is an immediate need to say something, though, it’s best to put a pin in it and address your concern at a later date. “If something happens during sex and you feel the need to discuss it, kindness (not to mention enlightened self-interest) often dictates that you should save the conversation for later,” Johnson and Michaels say. It’s kind to bring up hard things, especially sex-related issues, outside of the bedroom; and it’s in one’s own best interest to do so, as there’s a better chance it’ll lead to a rational discussion — not a fight.

Michaels and Johnson put a spin on the old adage of “Don’t go to bed angry”: They suggest that you take it literally, and never have an argument in bed. Putting fights to sleep before you put yourself to sleep “is a somewhat controversial bit of conventional wisdom, though some recent research tends to support the idea,” they say. If you have to have a difficult conversation with your partner, try to do so at a time and in a place that “will minimize their potential for disrupting your connection” — not just before it’s time to snuggle. “While it may not be humanly possible to avoid ever going to bed angry, doing your best to minimize conflict in advance of sleep is kindness in action,” they say. So try not to have a fight just before bedtime, and “dedicate a space for your disagreements,” they say.

How To Avoid It:

I’m just going to quote Johnson and Michaels here, because what they have to say on this is so brilliant.

“If you’re getting ready for bed and are having an argument or feel one brewing, choose to take the discussion into that dedicated space and wait until things have cooled down before calling it a night. Most couples have most of their sex in bed, and it’s difficult enough to eroticize your shared sleeping space. Thus, it’s a good idea to refrain from creating an association between your bed and conflict. Being kind is not an abstraction; it’s all about making choices that demonstrate your esteem for your partner and send the message that, even if you’re furious about something, your anger in no way diminishes your regard.”

Mic down, Michaels and Johnson.

2. The Fiscal Infidelity Fight

“Money is … the number one topic that couples fight over (with sex coming in second),” says relationship coach and psychic medium Cindi Sansone-Braff, author of Why Good People Can’t Leave Bad Relationships. Money fights, or what Sansone-Braff calls “fiscal infidelity,” happens when “one partner learns the other partner has cheated on them in monetary matters.” The cause changes, but the problem is always the same: “Whether this person is guilty of lying about how much money he or she makes, claiming he or she can’t find work, gambling, spending too much, abusing drugs or helping out other family members without his or her partner’s consent doesn’t matter,” says Sansone-Braff. “The bottom line is that fiscal infidelity causes people to feel that they have been deceived and betrayed.”

How To Avoid It:

It all depends on how deep the fiscal betrayal goes. “The extent of financial ruin, and the amount of lying and manipulation employed to cover up the financial sinkhole, can and will determine whether these actions become a deal breaker,” Sansone-Braff says. “Additionally, If money had been a major issue in either or both of the partners’ parents’ marriages or relationships, then this can really trigger a ‘War of the Roses’ scenario that can either destroy a relationship — or rebuild it back up from a more honest and stable foundation of pecuniary transparency and trust.”

In other words, this fight offers a chance for healing if it’s played right. If it’s an ongoing fight that gets dragged out for a ride every month or two, it’s obviously not healthy and will lead nowhere. But if you and your partner see this conflict as an opportunity to work on fundamental financial issues and invite each other to have more truthful conversations as a result, the fight could lead to harmony in the end.

When You Haven’t Had Sex with Your Partner in a Long Time

I’m attracted to him, but I haven’t been able to get closer.

My husband and I have not had sex in a year and a half. We’ve had sex maybe 10 times in the last five years. I am a sexual trauma survivor. These two things are directly related, but it’s taken me years to make the connection.

Our sex life wasn’t always like this. For the first six months of our relationship, we had sex all the time. Passionate, mind-blowing sex, in fact. Knock-your-socks off sex. So you can imagine my husband’s confusion when I suddenly seemed to lose interest.

It was around the time we moved in together, and I didn’t know what was wrong. We thought it was hormonal, and I switched birth control. We thought it was related to some major life changes, so we waited it out. We thought it was a difference in libido, so we tried things like taking sex off the table for a month. We tried hooking up but not having intercourse. I started going to therapy. The problem only got worse.

My husband began to feel like I wasn’t attracted to him anymore. He stopped trying to initiate things. He grew resentful. We talked about options like opening our marriage. We had a lot of conversations about the fact that this wasn’t fair or what he wanted in a relationship. Since I have also been interested in women, he questioned whether I was attracted to men at all.

Meanwhile, I felt despondent. I felt detached and numb. I knew I was attracted to my husband, because I felt it. But I didn’t want to have sex. I wanted to kiss and cuddle without it leading to anything else. Sometimes I’d give into some form of sexual activity, but I always felt empty and used afterwards. There was always an elephant in the room. It felt like it was between us when we got into bed at night.

What’s funny is that I’m a certified rape crisis counselor. I can talk about the effects of sexual trauma on sex until I’m blue in the face. But I couldn’t internalize it and apply it to my own life. I was sure that there was a different problem. I swore that my trauma hadn’t affected me to that level. And for years, I used sex as a coping mechanism.

In the years leading up to meeting my husband, I found myself joining the “sex positive” movement. I wore it like a badge of liberation. I was determined to take back my body. I found BDSM and kink, and I jumped in with abandon. I thought I was free. It’s only now, with clear vision, that I can look back and see that I was not in an emotionally healthy place to be making these kinds of decisions. At the time, I viewed a lot of these activities as consensual but I recognize now that I was not emotionally healthy enough to be consenting. It is absolutely possible to participate in fully consensual BDSM. But for me, at that time, I wasn’t capable of it and I didn’t realize it. And the result of this is that it traumatized me more.

That all came to a head for me when my husband and I moved in. What I know now, that I didn’t know then, is that all of this is normal. What I know now, that I couldn’t internalize then, is that I was coping in the best way I knew how. And it’s because of the safety that I finally felt with my husband and in our relationship that the symptoms of my trauma finally shone through. And now I’m left undoing not only the harm that other people have done to me, but the harm I caused myself under the guise of sexual liberation.

Today, my husband and I are seeing a wonderful counselor. What we’ve learned, together, is that it’s normal for sex to be great at the beginning and to taper off when the survivor begins to feel “safe.” My dissociation and numbness around sex are also normal. It was hard for him to understand at first, because dissociation doesn’t look traumatic to someone witnessing it; it just looks like lack of enthusiasm. Which is why, for so long, my husband thought I just wasn’t into sex with him. As we, and I, start to work through this stuff, I get triggered. It gets hard. It gets uncomfortable. But I choose to think of it as progress, as a sign that I’m beginning to move through the numbing phase and onto the healing phase.

We both know that we have a long road ahead of us. We know that we won’t go back to having wonderful, consistent sex tomorrow, or even next week. But now that we’re both on the same page and the problem is clear, we feel a freedom and a closeness that we haven’t felt in a long time. The fact that we’re tackling this together brings us an intimacy that we lost when we stopped having sex. And while having regular date nights and finding activities to do together doesn’t bring quite the same intimacy that sex does, we’re taking steps in the direction of healing and we both finally feel hopeful that one day, we’ll have sex again.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Our Guilt and How It Can Ruin Relationships


noun \ˈgilt\

: Responsibility for a crime or for doing something bad or wrong

: A bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong

Full Definition of GUILT


:  The fact of having committed a breach of conduct especially violating law and involving a penalty; broadly :  guilty conduct


a :  the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously

b :  feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy:  self-reproach


:  a feeling of culpability for offenses

Guilt. Above is Merriam Webster’s definition of this complex emotion but no dictionary can truly encapsulate how the guilt experience affects our lives or relationships. Psychologists have been picking it apart for decades, with our old pal Sigmund Freud leading the pack. Guilt can create immense internal conflict, whether it’s the result of repressed childhood sexual desire for your parents (thanks Freud, you lunatic), religion (thanks God, you judgmental mystery), or a strongly disciplined childhood (thanks parents, you fear mongers). Triggered by a real event, an imagined event, the fear of a possible event, the event of an event, WHATEVER, I think that all this guilt we’re feeling is actually making us selfish. The bad kind of selfish, not the new and improved healthy sage burning self-love kinda selfish.

One of the more popular of human emotions, the high school quarterback of cognitive experiences, we’ve been taught to rely on guilt to serve as our conscience, our barometer of goodness as a person. In its purest form, it’s credited for things like stopping us from murdering people in traffic all day long. In a less pure form, we credit it for preventing us from doing things like cheat on your sweetheart, or your math test, or your taxes.

But I have an issue with what I perceive as the religion of guilt and here’s why; because rather than it being something that you let hold you accountable for actual mistakes or inspires communication around perceived mistakes, guilt tends to topple you instead with an even worse thing. Self-absorption.

Because your guilt is about you, you and oh, also more you. It breeds a climate of self-loathing, and when you’re floating in that dirty bathwater, you’re unlikely to get out in time to focus on the reality of the other person’s experience before drowning in your own feelings of inadequacy. Much more fun to poor-me yourself right out of taking personal responsibility and directly into an enclave of selfishness.

So often guilt doesn’t do what it should, like force you reach out to apologize, or take action to fix a situation you created. Instead, it tends to shut us down or worse, lash out and blame them for “making you” feel guilty. Is this a side effect of our gruesome quest towards perfection? Do you think you’re perfect? Why else would you think you’re not entitled to make mistakes?

Recently a friend was going through a really hard time. I’m a proud member of the procrastination party, so I kept pushing off the phone call that I genuinely wanted to make. The more days that passed, the guiltier I felt. Then more days. More guilt. More me feeling shitty. Less her feeling special. I was too busy worrying about my guilt that my friend’s needs melted into my personal narrative. I finally called. When she asked me why I had waited so long, I told her that I was sorry, that I had felt guilty for two weeks. I don’t understand, she said. If you felt so guilty, why didn’t you call?? Because guilt MAKES ME A SELFISH JERKFACE DON’T YOU GET IT WEIRDO?

Gratitude: Can It Save Your Relationship?

One of the first life lessons little kids are taught is to always say, “thank you.”

When someone does something nice for you, you thank them. It’s a concept that is drummed into our heads starting at the age of about two. But you’ll notice that saying thanks doesn’t come easy. Very rarely does a kid remember to say it – it usually follows a prompt by a parent…now what do you say? And it never gets easier.

Gratitude doesn’t come easily or naturally to most of us; rather, it’s a skill that needs to be honed and crafted. But when you get it down, it can literally change your life. Countless studies have demonstrated that expressing gratitude can vastly increase our physical and emotional well-being.
Gratitude can also have enormous implications for your relationship…and your ability to find love if you aren’t currently in a relationship. When both partners see the good in one another and feel appreciative, the relationship is filled with love, connection, and harmony. When both partners focus on what the other isn’t doing and take each other for granted, the relationship is filled with resentment, frustration, and bitterness.

The truth is, a good relationship starts with you. When you bring positivity and happiness into the relationship, your partner will rise up to match and then your relationship will flourish. I’m not saying the responsibility is on the woman – it goes both ways. But the only person you can control is yourself.

If you want your life and your relationship to improve, you can’t blame circumstances or your partner. Instead, you need to take responsibility and make internal changes that lead to external ones. And the most important lesson is that of giving thanks.

Read on to find out how it’s done and why it’s so important.

Why Is It So Hard?

Life can tear a lot of us down. As the years go by, bitter experiences pile up and our hearts become shrouded with hurt and pain. The more jaded we become, the harder it is to see beyond the darkness and feel thankful for anything. A lot of us become the victims of our own lives and we feel justified in it. We blame our parents, our upbringing, the boy who broke our heart, the bad economy. I’m not saying none of it is valid, but when you dwell on all the bad hands you’ve been dealt, you fuel the fire of anger and resentment and this only makes for an even more miserable experience.

When it comes to relationships, expressing gratitude can be even more challenging because the stakes are so much higher. Romantic relationships can cause many emotions to rise to the surface…some are good and exhilarating, and some are bad and rooted in pain from the past. All of us look at life through a lens that is colored by our own experiences and we form certain expectations as a result. When you measure a guy against this code of expected behavior, he will always fall short and you will always feel disappointed. The reason he’ll fall short is because no one can get it right every single time. He isn’t a mind reader and he has been shaped by a whole different set of experiences.

When you think a guy should do something, and if he doesn’t it means he doesn’t care, then you ignore all the things he does that show he does care and get all riled up because of a few things that you (or rather, your unconscious mind) think a man should do when he loves a woman. You feel hurt and unloved and might start blaming him for “making” you feel a certain way. When you’re in this head space, you will not be able to appreciate anything he does and will silently resent him for not doing more. He can text you back promptly every single time and you will still get upset the one time he takes a little longer to get back to you.

How to Have a Quality Relationship When You Work All the Time

Working can be intense!

It’s not easy to switch off, is it?

How often do you come home at the end of the day and you’re still feeling the weight of it from earlier?

Sunday blues ahead of Monday – do you recognise those in yourself or your partner?

Have you ever thought to yourself, “They just don’t understand,” when you’re feeling your work pressures and your partner isn’t “getting it”?

At the Champion Academy we teach you how to communicate with yourself and others so that you and your partner can support one another through each day more effectively, resulting in a better work and home environment, and all the benefits that those bring.

1. Learn empathy and compassion

In a relationship, empathy and compassion are key.

Empathy is being able to share and understand someone else’s emotions. Compassion is being able to see the suffering of others, combined with the natural desire to help.

These are the best gifts we can offer to those closest to us, or to anyone for that matter: compassion and empathy.

To practice compassion and empathy, try this: ask yourself how you would feel in your partner’s shoes after their day.

2. Recognise the challenges

Whether you want to admit it or not, we can all be needy. We often come home emotionally drained from a long day at work.

Both you and your partner should recognise the difficulties of each other’s working days.

We often see our own job as being the hardest job in the world. Remember that your partner’s job can be difficult and time-consuming too. Share together.

3. Be supportive

We all, at times, have a tendency to bottle things up when we are at work and then when we are at home. To a degree, this is a lack of an appropriate emotional response to our situation – we internalise our feelings, and this often gives them more negative meanings.

It requires awareness to notice that you or your partner are overly harsh with yourselves. Why hold yourselves up to an impossibly high standard that no one can meet?

We are often expected to be perfect at work, and we expect the same from ourselves all the time. However, mistakes can and do happen.

When mistakes do happen, be compassionate. Recognise that one of you is in pain and simply be there for the other.

Finally, celebrate one another’s victories and successes at work. We are often motivated by the stick rather than the carrot. When something good happens, like closing a sale or completing a deal, give the “victor” a carrot and celebrate these wins. Tell them they did a great job. Offer genuine words of praise and support.

4. Looking after yourself is your responsibility

Of course, these tips must be mutual – but you can only look after others as well as you are able to look after yourself.

Examples of looking after yourself obviously include exercise, mindfulness, sleep, nutrition, rest and holidays. However, the key component to looking after yourself is setting boundaries between work and home.

Treat yourself to the small things that bring you pleasure, and schedule time each day for you.

Remember that looking after yourself is something that only you can do for yourself.

Absolutely encourage one another by doing things as a couple that help each of you. However, you can’t force your partner to exercise, eat right or get enough sleep.

I remember reading once, “Work can be a possessive mistress.”

Our careers are fulfilling and financially important, but we are replaceable at work. We’re not replaceable at home.

It’s about priorities.

Ultimately, if there are difficulties in your relationship, approach them with curiosity and gentleness.

Recognise the problems that you bring to the relationship, and when things get tough, remind yourself that these moments will pass.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Get Closer by Mixing It Up in and Out of the Bedroom

If you feel that daily sex will make you both happier, read on. According to fascinating research, the action between the sheets once a week is enough to reignite and keep the passion and love alive between the two souls.

Although more frequent sex is associated with greater happiness, this link was no longer significant at a frequency of more than once a week, the team revealed.

“Our findings suggest that it’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but you do not need to have sex everyday as long as you are maintaining that connection,” said lead researcher Amy Muise, social psychologist and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto-Mississauga.

The results, based on surveys of more than 30,000 Americans collected over four decades, reveal that happiness quotient is not there after couples report having sex more than once a week on average.

In one study, researchers analysed survey responses conducted by the University of Chicago about sexual frequency and general happiness from more than 25,000 Americans (11,285 men, 14,225 women).

For couples, happiness tended to increase with more frequent sex but this is no longer true after couples report engaging in sex more than once a week.

Despite common stereotypes that men want more sex and older people have less sex, there was no difference in the findings based on gender, age or length of relationship.

“Our findings were consistent for men and women, younger and older people, and couples who had been married for a few years or decades,” Muise noted.

Sex may be more strongly associated with happiness than is money. To find this, the researchers also conducted an online survey with 335 people (138 men, 197 women) who were in long-term relationships and found similar results as the first study.

These participants were also asked about their annual income, and there was a larger difference in happiness between people who had sex less than once a month compared to people who had sex once a week than between people who had an income of $15,000-$25,000 compared to people who had an income of $50,000-$75,000 per year.

“People often think that more money and more sex equal more happiness, but this is only true up to a point,” Muise pointed out.

The findings don’t necessarily mean that couples should engage in more or less sex to reach the weekly average but partners should discuss whether their sexual needs are being met.

“It’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner without putting too much pressure on engaging in sex as frequently as possible,” Muise advised.

However, the findings were specific to people in romantic relationships and there was no association between sexual frequency and well being for single people.

The findings were published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article