How to Talk to Your Partner about Sex

January is the Month to Have More Open Conversations About Sex, so how do you start that conversation with your partner? Talking is a key to having great sex and improving your love life, but it can be difficult when you’ve never opened up about it before. You need not worry though, these five helpful tips will help both you and your partner get everything you want out of the bedroom and give you a great, sexy start to 2015!

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5 Ways to Get the Sexy Back in Your Marriage

There’s a commonly held belief that sex in marriage is boring and predictable, but the truth is, it can be as exciting as you want it to be! With Valentine’s Day fast approaching try these 5 tips for spicing up your normal routine and adding a little adventure in the bedroom!

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Are Smartphones Ruining Our Sex Lives?

The cause of our dissatisfying sex lives has been in our pockets all along, or so new research from Durham University suggests. People are more likely to be seduced by gadgets than by their partners.

According to the study commissioned by condom-maker Durex, smartphones are destroying sex lives.

The survey involved detailed interviews with 15 couples around the UK, 40 percent of whom confessed to delaying sex to use their smartphones or tablets.

Others revealed they had “raced through sex” in order to check their social media notifications or respond to messages.

One third of participants admitted to interrupting sex to answer incoming calls.

The study however revealed over a quarter of the couples had used their gadgets during sexual intercourse to film their encounters, while 40 percent had taken sexual pictures.

Dr. Mark McCormack, the researcher who carried out the interviews, claims taking gadgets into the bedroom has “potentially serious costs to relationships.”

Durex launched an online campaign on Wednesday, urging couples to avoid technology when with each other in the bedroom. Couples keen to know how their smartphones could make their sex lives more exciting were surprised to learn the answer is the ‘off’ button.

Businessman Ignores Sexy Woman Behind Him

I feel like my priorities are not in the right place,” one survey volunteer said.

You’re kind of cheating on me with Twitter,” one partner joked.

I’m guilty, I think I’m addicted to it and I wish I wasn’t,” another volunteer admitted.

Speaking to RT, sex and relationships blogger Emily Yates said “Being online can be quite dangerous when it comes to balancing relaxation and relationships.

“Technology is great for keeping us connected, but it encourages a disconnection with others,” she added.

Yates claims it is essential to find a balance between virtual life and relationships, adding “smartphones and laptops must be switched off to engage with those around us.”

She suggests it is “more than possible” to be cyber smart and have a great sex life.

“Technology is destroying intimacy in our relationships,” adding the tech invasion is becoming “the new normal, but it shouldn’t,” Paul Levy, senior researcher at the University of Brighton, told the Mail Online.

As the quality of physical connections dilute over time, “we adjust, expecting less,” Levy says. “We forget what real romance is.”

Researchers at the University of Missouri interviewed hundreds of Facebook addicts, aged 18 to 82, whose partners claim the social network has increased conflict in their relationship.

The study revealed a rise in jealously in tandem with increased usage, leading to break-ups, divorce and cheating.

An Oxford University study of 24,000 married European couples discovered a strong link between the uses of smartphones and social media, and marital dissatisfaction.

It found the more couples read about others’ exciting lives via their smartphones on social media, the more likely they would feel disappointment about their own.

True chemistry comes from intimacy,” suggesting technology can never replace human interaction, according the Siren dating app’ Susie Lee to the Mail Online.

We really need to learn how to focus on each other in the bedroom, rather than on our smartphones or tablets,” she added.

Curated by Erbe

Original Article


12 Special Qualities A Woman Has That Mean You Should Never Let Her Go

Every once in a while – on very rare occasions – we meet the woman of our dreams. It’s always unexpected and almost never at a convenient point in our lives, but she appears nonetheless and changes your life forever.

The dynamics between man and woman have been gradually changing for the past few decades, but the essence of the partnership basically remains the same.

We are designed by nature in a way that allows two such opposites to join and make a whole. Finding your other half is a journey of its own – usually a grueling one at that.

If you are lucky enough to find that woman, that rare sunflower growing on a barren desert, then do right by yourself and hold on to her as tightly as you can – never, ever let her go.

Not all of us were so wise when we met the loves of our lives… and believe me when I say that we’re regretting it. If she has any combination of these 12 qualities then you should never let her go:

1. She’s smarter than you.

Every man needs a smarter woman to help him get through life in one piece. They say that behind every great man is a greater woman – they aren’t lying. Without woman, man is little more than an ego-trip.

Enter a smarter woman into his life and suddenly that ego has a purpose, a direction, and the wisdom not to screw everything up.

2. She’s beautiful.

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder – as long as you find her to be incredibly beautiful, according to your definition, then she is worth holding on to.

I feel that these days we have those that put too much emphasis on beauty and then those that are rebelling against the concept and giving little to no importance to beauty.

Beauty is something that has been reveled upon since humans had eyes; it’s not something that we should be ashamed of, but rather something we should learn to appreciate properly.

3. She’s kind and nurturing.

Good people are kind people. If she isn’t kind then she isn’t worthy of taking up a part of your life. Being a woman, being nurturing is very important as well. Some people may not want children.

In some relationships the man may be more nurturing than the woman. Nevertheless, women are born with/develop maternal instincts with age. If you wish to one day start a family then you want to be sure you found a woman who wants to be, and is suited to become, a mother.

Winter couple hugging

4. She’s vivacious.

Life gets difficult from time to time. It can get boring and monotonous just as well.

Women weren’t created to entertain men – if anything, it’s probably the other way around – but having a woman who is lively, energetic and hungry for adventure will add a dynamic to our life that will only make you happier.

5. She loves you with all her heart.

This is, by far, the most important quality any woman can have. When a woman loves you she loves you with her entire soul. It’s not the same sort of love that men experience – men always were and always will be more egocentric than women.

Women, on the other hand, have the uncanny ability to devote themselves entirely to the person(s) they love. If you find a woman that truly loves you then you found the greatest gift in the universe.

6. She’s willing to make compromises.

People are stubborn – both male and female alike. We like things the way that we like them and aren’t especially open to making changes we don’t deem necessary to make. However, relationships require making compromises.

It’s just the way things have to work if you want them to work. Finding a woman who will make compromises is only half the battle, however. You’re going to have to make them just as well.

7. She feels like home.

Being in love, deeply in love, is like finding your place in the world, your home, for the first time in your life. It’s knowing that you are exactly where you ought to be and that there is nowhere in the world you’d rather be.

If you look into her eyes and see your soul reflected in them, then you’re home. Don’t ever leave.

8. She is more than happy to tell you when you’re wrong.

Every man – and I mean every man – needs a woman who will call him out on his sh*t. Guys have an uncanny ability to make poor decisions and do stupid things.

Finding a woman who will keep you on track and tell you when you’re wrong can very well make or break your life.

9. She is strong, but feminine.

All people have a slightly different taste for the women they are attracted to – but they are all a combination of strength and femininity. A strong woman is a partner every man needs.

A feminine woman is… well, a woman. The two aren’t opposites. In fact, they are often one and the same – when found in a woman that knows how to hold her ground and be proud of who she is.

Summer couple holding hands at sunset on beach. Romantic young c

10. She’s passionate.

A life filled with passion is a life worth living. But living a life of passion alone is basically impossible. Passion exists between two living things – usually, in some way or another, between two individuals.

The beauty of passion is that it’s rather contagious. It’s the world’s most revered pathogen.

11. She’s driven.

I understand that some men want women to be stay-at-home wives. I also understand that there are plenty of women who want the very same. This sort of woman isn’t for me, but clearly some people are looking for just this.

Nevertheless, you still want a woman that is driven. If she wants to stay at home, cook, clean, and take care of the children, then make sure she’s the kind of woman that wants to be the best stay-at-home mom she could possibly be. Without drive, there is no purpose.

12. She means the world to you.

Sometimes we love a person beyond imagination and we aren’t sure why. To be truthful, you don’t really need a reason. If you love her and can’t imagine your life without her, then don’t allow yourself to lose her.

If she means that much to you, then understand that she means that much to you. Too often people don’t realize what the other person means to them until they lose them. We always think that there will be another chance, that it’s possible that the two of you will one day reconnect.

Maybe. But the opposite is also true. You may have lost her forever. You may suffer for years and years because you let go of the most important thing in your life. Don’t take the risk.

Curated by Karinna

Original Article


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


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!

10 Ways to Get More Intimate With Your Partner

Honesty and communication make up the foundation for a healthy relationship. But, what exactly does it take to achieve these things? According to certified Sexologist Jaiya Hanauer, there are 10 important ways to build intimacy and make a deeper connection with your partner.


The eyes are the doorways to a connected sex life. Although it may feel a little funny at first, making eye contact during sex tells your partner that all your attention is on him. It builds trust, which ultimately leads to a stronger sexual and emotional bond.


Touching each other throughout the day builds longing for each other. Massaging, stroking, and caressing all produces oxytocin, which is the bonding chemical. To build a deeper connection, try touching each other without having sex. Build up the tension for a few days to make your next intimate an explosive encounter.


We do it automatically everyday but most of us don’t realize that breathing is a way to heighten pleasure and arousal. When you breathe deeper, you bring more oxygen into the body, which allows you to be aroused at greater heights. Alternating your breath as you breathe into each other’s mouths is an intimate exercise that has been used in ancient traditions as a way to share the soul.

Side view of passionate young couple embracing in bedroom


The simple act of sending a sweet text message or complimenting your lover can send blood rushing into the genitals. Not only does it build anticipation, but will also keep your partner thinking about you all day.


Nothing breaks the mood like cell phones blaring and clutter all over your bedroom. Set the scene for intimacy with sensual music, candles, clean sheets and a shift in environment. Don’t limit intimacy to the bedroom only, you can also create a stage for an encore performance in the living room or kitchen. Think of sex as a theatrical piece—you need the right lighting, right mood and sets. Stimulating your creativity as you prepare actually stimulates the sexual drive.


Taking the time out to do things for your lover that shows that you care and respect his feelings is very important. Plan to go to his favorite restaurant, run a simple errand for him or cook him an exquisite meal. Doing something for him out of the blue will surely increase the love he has for you.


Many couples get into patterns when it comes to sex. To break free of the bedroom doldrums, do something adventurous. Take a class together at a sex boutique, go skydiving or do something else that you have never done in bed before, but have always wanted to try.

Attractive Girls Petting


Creating a romantic dinner together with specific foods can actually form deeper bonds. Chocolate, for example, contains the chemical Phenethylamine (PEA) which is responsible for the feeling of being in love. Avocados boost both the male and female libido.


Using your imagination always gives a great boost to your sex life. If you consciously take on a fantasy role in the bedroom, the level of intimacy is heightened when you come back to your more traditional roles in the relationship. Try role-playing as an erotic masseuse and client or as a captor and captive.


In today’s world, women are becoming stronger than ever and it takes a lot to let down our guards, especially if we’ve been hurt before. But, letting the walls around you melt and allowing your partner to penetrate you emotionally and physically are some of the best things you can do in a relationship. Share your deepest feelings with him and allow him to get to know all the different facets of your personality.

Curated by Erbe

Original Article


Everyday Secrets of Happy Couples

Relationships take work…but also crazy fun. These secrets to maintaining a happy relationship will not only strengthen the bond between you and your partner, but you’ll have a little bit of fun to go with it!

5 Reasons Why You Need a Sex Playlist

There comes a time in a relationship when things get boring, predictable and stale in the bedroom. Love making, sex feels the same. The touches no longer ignite the flames of passion. Kisses no longer open up moist caves, and make body parts throb.

If this is happening to you currently, you’ve hit a dry patch. No need to worry, as there are ways to liven things up in the sack. One of the surest ways to get your lovemaking from lukewarm to larva is hot is by having a sex playlist.

What’s a sex playlist? It’s a list of songs you play while having sex with your partner. Below we’ve outlined five key reasons why a sex playlist is essential in spicing things up.

Sexy Girl Listening To Music At Home - Point Of View Photo

  1. Set The Mood – A sex playlist creates the mood needed for exciting and pleasurable sex. Think of it as theme music in a movie. With the right songs you can easily create the ambiance and mood needed for some lovemaking that will knock your socks off, and make neighbors know your name.

  2. Tempo – A sex playlist can help determine the pace, and tempo of sex. If you are not satisfied with your lover’s temp (whether its too slow or fast), the right kind of songs can help quicken or slow down things easily. Watch your lover move to the rhythm of the song blasting from the speakers. A song like Future’s ‘Turn On The Lights‘ should make things go slow and deep, while a track like Reminisce’s ‘Tesojue‘ should ensure a fast race to the climax.

    Portrait of loving sensuality couple in dark

  3. Enhances foreplay – Foreplay is an essential part of love making. Sadly it is often ignored. Foreplay greatly determines if sex ends with a big bang or have an anti-climatic. Every one desires to experience the great finish. A sure way to help you reach the finish triumphantly is with a sex playlist. Watch your wife or babe strip and tease while dancing to Rihanna’s ‘Pour It Up‘. For the ladies watch your man take off his clothes as he moves his waist seductively to Usher’s ‘Good Kisser‘.

  4. Timer- Some people have been known to time their lovemaking. This means the thrusting and grinding does not stop until the playlist gets to the end. This helps create intimacy and bonding between lovers. Having sex is not bang, bang. Kissing, cuddling, teasing, nibbling and stroking are all parts of the game. Create a sex playlist that lasts for an hour, and do not stop until the last song plays out. Doing this will help you go through all the 9 yards of sex.

  5. Creativity – Unfortunately a lot of people never get out of the dry patch. As we grow older some of us settle for less, and never try to recreate the fireworks in the bedroom. Don’t settle for less. Making love while sensual songs are playing in the background, will add the spice you need. Create that playlist now and watch your sex life go va va voom!


Curated by Erbe

Original Article

10 Things Men Wish Women Knew about Sex and Love

Get an inside look in to a Guy’s mind.

When the issue on sex and love comes up in relationships, many women think that men know everything there is to know about it.

But most men say women absolutely have no clue about the things they know and don’t know.

Krystle Crossman of Healthy Black Woman lists 10 things men wish women knew and how  they feel about certain things in the bedroom.

  1. Men are highly responsive to praise. They are self-conscious and have insecurities just like women about their bodies and about their skills. Compliment your man about what he does well and when he looks good.

  2. Men are afraid of intimacy, but only because it is so taboo for men! Until they reach school age they are very affectionate, but then societal pressure rears its ugly head and they feel that being intimate is something that only girls should be doing. They are also afraid of it because they want intimacy so much.

  3. They really do appreciate sex for what it is. Every now and then try to let him have a little fun and have his way with you. Let yourself be ravished. He will thank you for it.

  4. Men have many different erogenous zones, not just the penis. Touch his chest, or inside of his thighs. Kiss his neck. Explore…don’t just focus on one body part.

  5. They enjoy fantasies but are often afraid that they are going to be judged or scorned for theirs. Try one out with him to show him you have a wild side too.
    Marriage Having Erotic Moment

  6. They enjoy dirty talk. This one should be no surprise!

  7. Honesty is the best policy. They don’t want you to lie and say it was the best you ever had if it wasn’t. They want to know how to make things better so that you are satisfied.

  8. Men enjoy the chase before making it to the bedroom. Let them take you out for a night on the town. Let them be romantic. This will make things more intimate when you finally get down to it.

  9. Them watching pornography does not mean that they are a sex addict. Try discussing it with them seriously to find out what it is about porno that turns them on or off.

  10. Men do tend to want sex all the time, but not for the reason you may think. Being intimate with a partner is a way to connect and escape the pressures of life.


Curated by Erbe
Original Article

How to Regain that Youthful Love With Your Spouse All Over Again

Long term relationships needs nurturing and care to keep the fire and passion burning bright like Day 1. We love these 5 tips to ignite the empowered love that drew you in to your spouse.

Last month my daughter got married. During the ceremony, she and her husband gazed at each other adoringly and joy seemed to exude from every pore in their bodies. I found myself wondering, Have any two people ever been so in love?

Even as I squeezed the hand of my darling husband of 32 years, I felt as if I could never have been as much in love with him as my daughter was with her man on their wedding day.

Or maybe, I mused, love just looks more radiant on young faces. Could love possibly have a shelf life? Does it have “planned obsolescence,” like modern technology?

So I did a little research.

What I learned boils down to this: Even a marriage that’s about to smash up against the rocks (barring physical or emotional abuse or criminal acts) can tack its way back into calm and pleasant waters.

We’re not just talking about doing damage control. “It’s almost never too late to start the process of falling in love all over again,” says James Córdova, Ph.D., chair of Clark University’s psychology department and head of Clark’s Center for Couples & Family Research.

Taking Too Much for Granted

“One of the things that happens in long-term marriages is that the demands of everyday life steal our attention away from our partners — and paying attention to the other is crucial for happy relationships,” Córdova says. This lack of focus on your spouse slowly unravels the fabric of a solid relationship.

Sometimes the disintegration happens over a number of years, during which the couple exist in a kind of emotional limbo. Córdova notes that, statistically, it takes couples up to six years to seek help or advice after they’ve reached a tipping point. And that, he says, only increases the impact on the marriage.

Fritz Galette, Ph.D., a family therapist who hosts the weekly “Ask Dr. Fritz” on New York City’s WWRL, agrees. “By the time I see couples, they’re often in crisis,” he says. “The discontent has been festering for years.”

And yet experts believe that even in cases where the discontent has been on a low boil, there are still ways to revive the old passion.

5 Ways to Restoke the Fires of Love

Beautiful young girl tenderly looks at her lover, isolated on white
Gallete and Córdova both recommend that couples in crisis seek professional help, whether from clergy or family/marriage therapists. On top of that, the following steps — first discussed and then put into practice — can help salvage a troubled marriage.

1. Act like you’re in a new relationship. Gallete recommends that couples ask each other the kinds of questions typical of new daters’ “getting to know each other” conversations.

Jill Kaplan*, whose 28-year-old marriage had been feeling flat, realized that she and her husband, Todd (names have been changed), had fallen so out of sync that the things she was doing to please him were actually annoying him. “I thought he wanted me to watch sports on TV with him,” she says. “I really didn’t always want to, but I kept it up for him.”

It took a close friend, who observed the tension in the family room, to get Jill to ask Todd if he really wanted her company. She got a surprising answer. “It turned out that he preferred not to have me there if I wasn’t into the game!” Jill says.

“That was just the first question,” she adds. “Now we’re on to which family we want to spend holidays with and what clothes the other wears that we really like. It’s like he’s my new boyfriend. It’s like I’ve discovered a favorite old outfit in my closet: Todd looks good to me and yet our relationship has the spark of something new and special.”

2. Pay attention to your spouse. One of the biggest complaints Gallete hears is that couples feel ignored by their mates. Spouses get used to one another and, over time, don’t really notice what they’re each going through.

“Sometimes people think they’re paying attention to their spouses but they really aren’t,” he says. “I advise couples to look into the other’s eyes when they’re having a conversation. It’s much easier to concentrate on someone’s words and share when your partner is looking right at you.”

Gallete also promotes an effective technique called active listening. “When one person speaks, the other can’t interrupt. He must listen completely before he says anything — and then he has to respond.”
3. Share new experiences. For years, relationship experts (and every women’s magazine) have been advising couples to set aside time for “date night.” Córdova says that going out and doing things together on a regular basis and creating romantic rituals is good for a relationship. But it’s even better to try something out of the ordinary. Get creative and step outside your comfort zone.

Gallete agrees. “Doing something new and different together, like taking tennis lessons — which is what my wife and I did recently — enhances your sense of intimacy.”

Karen and Bob Callahan, a couple who had thought their next step was divorce, breathed new life into their marriage when they reluctantly took a kayaking course together. “Neither one of us is particularly athletic, so when our pastor [whom they had seen for counseling] showed us a brochure, we both thought, Why not?” Bob says.

“Actually,” Karen adds with a laugh, “my first thought was, ‘If we both drown, it couldn’t feel as bad as how miserable I am now.’”

It turned out that kayaking didn’t take too much athletic prowess, and the two had a terrific time paddling around a local lake. “We started making up stories about the fancy houses we saw and soon we were laughing so hard we almost tipped,” Karen says. The weekend after they received their “certificate,” they booked a B&B on the lake, where they spent less time kayaking and more time just enjoying being together.

4. Be affectionate — physically and verbally. Research has established thattouch communicates a wider range of emotions than mere gestures. “The science of touch suggests that a pat on the back, a squeeze of the hand, a hug or an arm around the shoulder can save a so-so marriage,” writes Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. “Introducing more (nonsexual) touching and affection on a daily basis will go a long way in rekindling the warmth and tenderness.”

According to Córdova, however, this prescription for tenderness must also include loving language — and it needs to be heartfelt. “I love you” should be more than a reflexive recitation of syllables at the end of a phone call. Instead, say something affectionate and sweet at unexpected times.

Loving phrases can — and should — be sprinkled generously throughout your interactions. Tell your spouse he’s amazing while you’re eating dinner. Compliment your wife’s problem-solving abilities while trouble-shooting a plumbing problem.

5. Always be kind. “It’s not important whether your partner is ‘succeeding’ or ‘failing’ when your goal is to have a genuinely loving relationship,” says Córdova. “If your partner shows up late, no matter how annoyed you are, you can still respond with kindness.”

“When Bob and I began paying true attention to how we were communicating,” says Karen, “we realized that we were [venting] when we could have easily let the issue roll off our backs.”

So they tried an experiment. One Saturday they left a recorder running. “We were shocked when we listened to it later,” says Bob. “The way we were responding to each other made us cringe. It was exactly the kind of negative communication that makes people uncomfortable when they see it in others.”

To find a remedy for that habitual behavior, Bob and Karen made lists of 10 things the other did that bugged them and wrote down their usual responses. “Then we looked at each other’s lists and discussed how we could communicate our feelings without being hurtful,” says Karen.

Once you start being intentionally kind, says Córdova, “the interaction goes to a new place — the kind you would prefer in a happy marriage.”

But, he cautions, “Being kind when you’re not feeling that way takes practice. It doesn’t come naturally at first, but it can turn into a habit.”

What’s Old Is New Again

While we can’t realistically expect our long-term partner to be the exact same person we married, Córdova says, that may be a positive thing. “It’s like you have a whole new person there beside you — someone you can date, with all the benefits of already being married.” Ultimately, he adds, it’s not so much about going back to what you had before. It’s more about going forward and building something new and better suited to who you’ve each become.


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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.

Breaking Up Without Breaking Down

Breaking up is the worst. Adjusting to life after you’ve ended a relationship you’ve emotionally, sexually, and financially invested in, is effing terrible, even if you’re the one who broke things off. Trust me, I break up a lot, and it never gets any easier. And while I can’t promise that I always follow my own advice to a tee every time a relationship goes belly-up, I can tell you that this simple roadmap will make adjusting to newly single life a lot less difficult.

Set Boundaries for Contact

Breakups can flatten you emotionally, but you’re going to have to keep it together enough to handle the practical parts of separating. Even if you and your ex-sweetie didn’t combine finances or cohabitate, chances are you’ll need to coordinate the return of a few personal items, fill out some paperwork, or negotiate who gets custody of the Netflix and HBO Go passwords. Be very clear about your needs in terms of scheduling, and be honest with yourself about whether or not you can handle seeing your ex face to face. Text messages and email are great ways to communicate effectively while still preserving some privacy if that’s what you need. If you’re dealing with big stuff like mortgages or vehicles, be sure to have a lawyer handle that. For the little things, see if a friend can help out by picking up those books you left at his apartment or dropping off that spare key you’re holding onto.

Go Easy on Mutual Friends

Speaking of friends, don’t be a jerk to the ones who know both of you! While “friendship custody” can definitely be a thing, don’t pressure your friends to cut ties with your former partner. If they want to talk about the breakup or what she’s up to now and you’re not in the mood, gently remind them that you’re hurting and that you’d prefer to steer clear of those topics. Do your best not to take out any residual anger, jealousy, or grief you have for your partner out on your pals, and be sure to check in before you launch into an unscheduled vent session. If you find that some friends are keeping their distance from you while staying buddy-buddy with your ex, respect their choice, but find a way to let them know if you’re feeling hurt by the loss of their friendship. In most cases, clearing up this awkwardness will get that relationship back on solid ground.

Indulge in Self-Care

Processing the end of a romance on top of your everyday obligations is tough. Schedule time out from your job, family obligations, and social life to pamper yourself. That can mean different things for different people–athletes might schedule in extra time at the gym or prepping for a half-marathon, foodies might take a day to tour a local farm and cook a gourmet meal, and fashionistas might start the day at the spa and finish up with a shopping spree. Also be sure to pamper yourself daily, taking time to reflect in your own way by meditating, journaling, or calling a friend to take emotional inventory and keep yourself in balance

I Survived: A Run-in with my Ex

Despite being someone whose list of romantic partners is probably on the lower than average side of the spectrum, I still do find myself running into the occasional ex.  Moving across the country a few years ago really lowered the chances of bumping into the vast majority of them. And not to brag too much, but for the most part I think my exes and I are happy enough to see each other.   But there’s always that one, isn’t there?

Somehow, despite the fact that my “that one,” I’ll call her Sara, lives around the block from two of my friends, and despite the fact that we’ve often gotten pie and all day breakfast at the greasy spoon that is within sight of her front door, it didn’t happen for almost three years.  And it didn’t even happen near their place or at that diner, but rather an ice cream shop several blocks away.   Which frankly is pretty rude of her — like I know she absolutely didn’t plan to see me any more than I planned to see her but still, ice cream was involved. Let’s not initiate sadness please.  This is a safe place.

I desperately hoped she hadn’t seen me when she walked in, and I diverted my eyes away from her and towards my friend while muttering, “Oh God, my ex is here.” I was unsuccessful in that, as we both made accidental eye contact while she diverted her eyes away from me and towards her friend (date?) that she’d seen me.  This became increasingly clear when she decided to be the bigger person and come towards me.  It technically was in violation of the “please never speak to me again” request I had made of her the last time we’d texted, but I suppose no statute of limitation had been defined. That’s on me; important rule to remember for next time.

I don’t want to dwell too much on the history of our relationship, which admittedly was hardly even worth the “R” word. Not long after we parted ways a friend of mine and I were talking about the film 500 Days of Summer, and how in that movie the only real ‘sin’ that Zooey Deschanel’s character commits is that she continued to stay with someone that she didn’t really have feelings for, despite his seemingly strong feelings for her.  That’s really all Sara did with me.  She just chose the worst time in my life to do that.

Why is Confidence so sexy?

Confidence can be the sexiest accessory!

We are naturally drawn to confidence in due to biology. In the animal kingdom, animals choose a leader largely due to confidence portrayed.


How can animals that act on instinct decide which one of them should be the leader?

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