3 Dating Deal-Breakers: How to Know if He or She is the One

Bad Relationship Signs in Oprah.com has an article titled “Dating Deal Breakers: 8 signs We All Overlook.” The author, psychologist Terri Orbuch, wrote a book called “5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great.” While I don’t agree with all her eight signs as being deal-breakers, I do agree with one.

2015-09-28-1443402645-1352840-imgres3-thumbIn my over 30 years working as a marriage and family therapist with couples, I have found that if couples don’t listen to each other, and really hear what their partner is saying, it is a prelude for disaster.

Many men will hear a woman complain about some problem she’s having, perhaps at work, and rather than showing empathy for how she’s feeling about it, they just want to quickly come up with a solution to fix it. While well-meaning, this is not helpful and not a good pattern to start off with in a relationship. If a guy is doing this on the first few dates, it’s probably not going to get better.

Continue reading here via The Huffington Post

He Said, She Said…What’s More Important, Being Right or Being Happy?

All of us like to be right.  It seems to be a built-in instinct in humans, this strong need for affirmation of our rightness.  With couples in relationships, it often takes the form of discussions that dissolve into arguments starting … Continue reading

To Talk Dirt or Not to Talk Dirt, That is the Question…

To Talk Dirt or Not to Talk Dirt, That is the Question –

There’s an article in the current issue of Cosmo about how it seems that once you are in a serious relationship, it’s not ok to talk to your girlfriends about your SO if you have bad things to say.  The writer mentions that when in her twenties, she would gladly listen to friends complain about their current boyfriends, and she would quickly suggest they “dump the guy”.  But now that she’s been in love herself, she has a different viewpoint. She thinks that a girlfriend can help you sort things out when they’re not going well, but that they often don’t want to.  

I both agree and disagree with this.  Yes, friends can be a blessing when you really need someone to talk to, just to have them listen while you try and sort things through.  But all too frequently, friends chime in with their advice, which can be useful sometimes but can also often be wrong.  While they certainly have your best interests at heart, their advice is colored by their own experiences, and they may not be the same as yours at all.

imgres-1Also, because you love your friends and trust them, you may end up taking their advice and doing something that you end up regretting.  If you decide to end a relationship, you should be the one making the decision, not your friend.

More importantly, women often will complain to a girlfriend and not say anything to their partner about what’s bothering them.  The problem with this is it creates distance between you and doesn’t allow for your partner to make any changes.  It’s like that old saying that so many women have used about not wanting flowers from their man if they have to tell him they want them.  Of course, it’s obvious that if you don’t tell him, how is he supposed to know that that’s what you want?

In the situation with things you don’t like about him, or a specific problem you have with something he’s doing or not doing, the same thing applies.  Maybe he does know that you’re unhappy about whatever it is, but maybe he doesn’t.  If you complain to your girlfriend you may get it off your chest, and feel better at that moment, but this doesn’t fix the problem.  

The most important thing two people can develop to help have a solid, positive, and long-lasting relationship is good, open, honest communication.  Obviously it’s easier to just bitch and complain to sympathetic friends than to have to confront your partner and work through something difficult.  It’s only through that kind of work together that you grow as a couple and move closer to each other.  

This is doubly true in the bedroom, where any leftovers from earlier hurts or anger will work their way between the sheets.  By not talking about these together, they become a barrier and close you off from each other.  That makes for really bad sex.

So while letting off steam with a friend about a problem with your man is ok sometimes, be sure to starts by tackling the issue head on with your guy.  When you’ve cleared the air, you’ll both be feeling much more affectionate, and the bedroom will look much more appealing.