There is always something exciting about first dates. It’s like the feeling of anticipation before a rollercoaster ride – both thrilling and nerve-racking. Getting to know someone new can be a fun and exhilarating adventure, full of surprises and unexpected turns. The early days of a relationship are filled with excitement and optimism which can be both exhilarating and overwhelming, says Shivani.
There is also the pressure to make a good impression and the uncertainty of whether the relationship will last. But, ultimately, it can also be the start of something special and meaningful. With each new step, there is potential for both joy and disappointment, and it can be difficult to know what to expect.
Punctuality is very important for a positive first impression on your first date. It conveys that you are serious, responsible, and considerate of the other person’s time. Showing up late can make the other person feel unappreciated and can set a negative tone for the evening. Make sure to call or text your date in case you’re running late.
While it is imperative to dress nicely for your first date, there is no need to go overboard with it. Wearing something a bit more casual will help you relax and feel more comfortable, confident, and authentic. Dressing for a first date is like seasoning a dish – too much and it will be overwhelming, but the right amount will enhance the flavor and the experience. For example, if you’re going out for dinner, wear a nice pair of jeans with a dress shirt, or a dressy skirt with a casual top. Accessorize with subtle jewelry and stylish shoes to complete your look and make a lasting impression.
Be Polite, not Arrogant
On your first date, be polite, not arrogant. Arrogance can come off as too aggressive or demanding and can make the other person feel uncomfortable or intimidated. Being polite shows that you’re respectful and willing to listen to the other person and make them feel comfortable. For instance, when you first meet, greet the other person with a warm smile, eye contact, and a firm handshake.
Ditch your mobile phone
Ditch that mobile phone when you’re on your first date. Having a phone on the table besides being distracting can also show your disinterest in the conversation which can be off-putting for your date. Instead, put your gadgets on silent to make your evening meaningful.
Bragging is a huge turn-off on a first date. It can be interpreted as a sign of insecurity or arrogance, and it creates an imbalance in the conversation, making it one-sided and uncomfortable. Be humble and modest.
Now that you are aware of what to avoid, you can confidently embark on your dating journey!
Sometimes, there are little things that can make a real difference to the success of your relationship. Small gestures – from a hug to a kind word – can be the glue that binds two people together. Conversely, contempt or criticism can break that bond of togetherness forever.
Have you ever wondered why some relationships fail while others seem to thrive and last a lifetime? Relationships are complex – and even the strongest ones require hard work and dedication to maintain. Yet even with hard work and dedication, many relationships still fail to stand the test of time. Therefore, it is essential to understand the reasons why relationships don’t always last so that we can strive to make our last says, Shivani. Seeking couples counseling can be a great way to get help in finding solutions to the issues that may be causing tension in your relationship. Let’s explore the underlying causes of relationship breakdowns and discover ways to prevent them from happening from Delhi’s top marriage counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo.
Criticizing someone’s character involves making negative judgments and comments about them, their personality, or their beliefs. It can be damaging to a relationship because it can lead to feelings of resentment and insecurity. For example, when someone says “you’re so selfish” or “you don’t know how to do anything right”, it is considered criticism because it is attacking the person’s character and not a specific issue. It can erode trust and respect, and can also lead to a decrease in communication, which can make it difficult for the two people to work through their differences. It also can lead to negative self-perception, as the person being criticized may see themselves as inadequate or flawed in some way. This is similar to a virus that infects a computer, slowly undermining the system and causing various issues to arise. It can corrupt files and data, and if left unchecked, can result in permanent damage that can be difficult to repair. Instead of being critical and causing permanent damage, focus on being constructive and supportive in a relationship. This can help to foster positive self-perception and help avoid potential issues arising from negative criticism. For example, rather than saying “You should have done this differently,” try saying “Here’s an idea for a different approach.”
Don’t be contemptuous
There are times when couples treat each other with disrespect and sarcasm resulting in what is known as contempt between them. This can have a profound effect on their relationship as it erodes trust and creates a hostile environment. Contempt can be viewed as a form of emotional abuse, as it can lead to feelings of resentment, anger, and hurt. The partner that displays contempt can become increasingly overwhelmed by the negative emotions they are causing, leading to a vicious cycle of communication breakdown. Contempt is often shown through subtle gestures like rolling eyes, or through more obvious signs like pointing a finger or raising the voice. It is an expression of disdain and superiority that is not only emotionally painful but can also lead to damaging communication patterns in relationships. This is like pouring salt on an open wound; the pain it causes can never be forgotten and the damage it does is irreparable. It is not only destructive but also dangerous to any relationship, causing emotional trauma that is hard to forget. Such behavior should not be condoned but corrected, as it can lead to a breakdown in communication and trust, which can be extremely difficult to repair. For instance, being told you are “stupid” or “useless” by someone you love and trust can have long-term impacts on your self-esteem and emotional well-being. So, what should we do? To prevent such a painful experience, it is important to practice respectful communication, be mindful of one’s words, and approach conflict resolution with kindness and understanding. Instead of lashing out with hurtful words, try to remain calm and talk openly about your feelings and needs in a respectful and constructive way. For example, rather than saying “you’re wrong” or “you’re stupid,” one could choose to say “I don’t understand why you think that” or “let’s talk about it and try to understand each other better.”
Learn to appreciate instead of being contemptuous. Appreciation fosters a sense of connection and understanding between people, which can lead to stronger relationships. When someone takes the time to tell you how much they appreciate something you have done, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride. It also encourages more positive interactions between individuals, as they are likely to remember the positive experience and be more likely to cooperate in the future. For example, a simple “thank you” or “I appreciate your help” can go a long way in improving relationships between people.
Don’t be defensive
When you get defensive, it’s like putting up a wall between you and the other person. This is similar to fighting fire with water: if you pour fuel on the fire, it will only get bigger and more intense, but if you pour water on it, it will help to contain and smother the flame. Using a calm and understanding approach to a situation is the most effective way to keep it from escalating. It can lead to a breakdown in communication, as well as feelings of mistrust and resentment on both sides. It’s better to take a step back, take a deep breath, and try to understand why the other person is feeling the way they are. Instead, try to be open to hearing the other person’s perspective without being judgemental. This will foster a deeper understanding and allow both sides to work through their differences in a healthier way. For instance, if your partner is expressing frustration with a situation, instead of reacting defensively, it may be helpful to ask questions such as “What concerns do you have?” or “How can we work together to address this?”
Instead of being defensive, be responsible in a relationship. Take ownership of the situation, and look for ways to resolve the issue, instead of being closed off or trying to deflect blame. This helps ensure that both parties have the opportunity to express their feelings and work together to find a solution. It also helps to prevent the issue from escalating into something more serious, and it can help to strengthen the relationship in the long run. For instance, if a couple is arguing about how to spend money, each partner can take responsibility for the conversation and suggest potential solutions to their financial issues, instead of just blaming each other.
Don’t stonewall your partner
Sometimes when the going gets tough, it can be helpful to take a step back and look at the problem from a different perspective. But, many people try to avoid such confrontations and conversations. Instead, they simply withdraw from the conversation and completely refuse to respond. This kind of behavior when one person is cognitively or emotionally inaccessible to another person and builds a wall between themselves is called stonewalling. This is similar to building a fortress around yourself when faced with a difficult situation. You retreat inside, away from the storm, but are unable to actually address and resolve the issue. For instance, a person who is stonewalling may refuse to answer their partner’s questions, may avoid eye contact, or may leave the conversation altogether. Stonewalling can be damaging to relationships, as it creates an emotional disconnect between the two people, leading to mistrust and resentment. This often leads to a deadlock in the conversation, where nobody is willing to budge and no progress is made.
To overcome stonewalling, it is important to try to approach the issue from a place of understanding and compassion. Making sure to respect the other person’s feelings and trying to empathize with their point of view can help to create an atmosphere that is conducive to resolving the issue. It is also important to take breaks if the conversation becomes too heated. In addition, it is necessary to express your feelings calmly and clearly so that the other person can understand your problem better. Doing so can help to bridge the gap between both partners, enabling them to come to a resolution more quickly and efficiently.
As people grow and change, so do their relationships. People are complex and have different wants and needs, and relationships can become strained as they learn to navigate these changes. With understanding and communication, couples can overcome these challenges and strengthen their bond. If you still face problems, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice.
According to India’s Top Marriage Counselor Shivani Sadhoo
Couples Therapist Shivani Sadhoo says all these years as a psychologist and marriage counselor, she has carefully observed the attitudes and behaviors of people who consistently succeeded in their long-term intimate relationships.
Several of those qualities are evident in a new relationship but are mostly much less vital in the long run. This blog from India’s leading marriage counsellor shares a few gender-free, common examples.
Shivani Sadhoo opines that although these are all essential requirements most people look for in new relationships, they are, in all truth, driven by the personal qualities that lie beneath them, and those characteristics are not always sustainable over time.
But there are a few personal qualities that are guaranteed to sustain and deepen love and commitment amongst the couple over time that is mostly not as evident early in new relationships. They crop up over time and are driven by the core beliefs and personal philosophies of those who are determined to lead and live a meaningful life in whatever endeavours they participate in. These are some of the qualities.
Quite a wise person once said that the roots of humility and humiliation are the same: being on your knees. If you are being pushed into that position, you will feel humiliated. It is so much simpler to comfortably stay humble, and deeply grateful for the capacity to be in amazement and wonderment of the experiences that keep everyone worshipping the blessings of life.
Agreements and the rules that define those are mutually opted by both individuals in an intimate relationship. Fairness is the commitment to either live by those sacred alliances or to go for renegotiation if they no longer assist the relationship’s ideals and principles. When there is mutual fairness, score-keeping never exists.
It is most scary to take the risks required to challenge oneself and others in a long-term relationship when the outcomes might be difficult to bear. Yet, your thoughts, beliefs, and actions withheld to maintain a questionable harmony mostly backfire when those pent-up behaviors erupt. When a couple supports one another to stay present and real, they can better face the truth of what is.
Honesty, authenticity, and transparency are the foundations of trust. They predict whether your partners will be who they say they are or not. Gaslighting and ghosting never exist in these relationships. The people in these partnerships make mutual decisions formed based on reality rather than assumptions formed in confusion and conflict.
There will always be hurdles in every relationship, both from within and without, and certain couples have more than their share of losses. Yet, remaining broken and buried by those legitimate heartbreaks probably steals time and energy from recuperation. Though a few people are simply born with more capacity to rebound, resilience can also be learned. The past is for lessons, not for rehashing or reasons to helplessly fall down again in defeat. The present is for debriefing what went on, what was learned, and what could be done differently in the coming time.
Interested and Interesting
Long-term relationships quite often fall prey to the same-old predictable interactions. Though it is most comforting and more secure to know what your spouse might or might not do, it is never as compelling as new thoughts and personal transformations. Couples who balance commitment to their relationship with constant personal transformation are the most probably to keep each other engaged.
No relationship is able to survive an unequal responsibility for the things that go wrong. Nor can it tolerate promises for transformation that never materialize. Accountability will only serve its purpose if behavior alteration follows the recognition of contribution. Certain behaviors are much more difficult to change and attachments could get in the way, but being aware, open, and honest about one’s own frailties goes a long way when repairing is mandatory.
Seeing the lightness in things while they get too heavy. Relieving tension in self and others. Laughing at yourself. Making others feel good. Shaking off your own sadness. These are critical reasons for humor being a wonderful quality that mostly helps a situation heal. But it is also true that humor can also be used as a tool for wounding. When humor is used as sarcasm, mocking, or teasing, or an effort to get out of accountability, it is not healthy relationship conduct.
Almost every relationship is, for the most part, transactional. You all strive to keep your commitments but, certainly, reasonably expect reciprocity when you need it in return. But the fairness that forces those agreements sometimes should be upended by an unexpected crisis that needs giving beyond the fairness that is generally present. Chivalry is an act of selfless motive that comes from a different part of the self. It is a non-conflicted work of giving without any expectation of getting.
You are always all the ages you have ever been, and there are times when the child in you desperately requires a safe haven to feel, to cry, to complain, and even to yell powerlessly. The nurturing that is needed for any intimate relationship to thrive is the simple comfort of a pseudo-parent-child interaction sans judgment. Being able to crawl into the haven of loving arms not just can heal the moment but also heal the trauma that might have driven it.
Ease with self
Those lucky souls who know who they are, what they can give, what they require in return, and who live life equivalent to what they expect of others are individuals who have suffered their losses and rejoiced in their joys. They have found methods to integrate the completeness of their life experiences in a composite of quiet confidence. They are at ease with believing what they presently know and are still open to altering their perspective as new experiences enter their lives.
When you hit the like button on your bestie’s ‘picture perfect relationship’ posts with her husband on social media and feel envious, just remember that those ‘oh-so-cute’ photos have been carefully curated, edited, and filtered just to garner attention and appreciation from friends, relatives, strangers, and acquaintances. However, in real life, there are no filters. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Relationships undergo a series of trials and tribulations. In any relationship, conflict is inevitable, but it is critical to recognize when it is a red flag. However, it is not the end of the world. Just like we consult a doctor when we fall sick, couples too can take help from relationship counsellors to save their relationship from falling apart.
Many times, couples feel embarrassed by the idea of seeking help and avoid seeing a therapist. But, believe it or not, couples counseling really helps. Even a healthy relationship can benefit from it. So, how do you know that your relationship needs counseling? Here are a few signs to look out for according to New Delhi’s leading marriage counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo.
Communication gap: Communication is the key to all successful relationships. In order to understand each other, couples need to communicate well. And always remember that communication is a two-way process. If you want yourself to be heard, you too must lend your ear whenever your partner wants to share their feelings and emotions. So, if you really feel that your partner constantly withdraws from an interaction or simply avoids confronting the issues, then this is a classic case of stonewalling. This is where a counselor may be able to break down the wall between you two and help with proper communication.
Lack of intimacy: Do you suddenly feel that your relationship has lost its spark? Although the honeymoon phase may not last forever, the feeling of togetherness must not fade away. Lack of physical and emotional intimacy can affect your relationship badly. Talking to a relationship counselor might help.
Too many arguments: As mentioned earlier in this article, arguments are an inevitable part of any relationship. Arguments are not necessarily bad. It is the way people handle them that makes a difference. Sometimes conflicts blow out of proportion. Couples must ‘agree to disagree’ to resolve a conflict in a healthy way. Relationship counselors can help you diffuse disagreements in a calm and composed way and make sure you respect and love each other.
Lack of trust: Trust is the cornerstone of a strong and successful relationship. Once broken, it is difficult to rebuild. Many times, couples fail to comprehend the real reason for this lack of trust. And that’s where a relationship expert comes into the picture. A counselor can help couples decode the real reasons for mistrust and help them rebuild it.
An Affair: No relationship is ever without flaws. But, if you or your partner are thinking of having or already having an affair, then there’s something seriously wrong with your relationship. The very thought of having an affair is a clear indication that you are seeking something your partner or better half cannot provide you with. This is regardless of whether it is an emotional or physical desire. If you have had an affair already or are planning to have one, then it is high time you consider taking help from a relationship counselor. This will help repair that breach of trust.
Transition: Even though change is the only constant in this life, any significant change in your life, whether it is getting married, having a child, buying a house, getting sick, or even changing careers, can create friction in relationships. Getting help from a counselor may be the best way to help you deal with change effectively.
Let us assume a scenario, a couple sitting down at opposite ends of their sofa, and glaring at each other. Actually, this couple in their 40s had yet another fight. It is a continuation of something that started last night, but the reality was they had variations of the same row for the previous three years.
The complaints go on like “I have asked you to be kinder, but you speak to me with such contempt,” the husband says.
“But you are also doing things that upset me,” the wife counter-claimed. “What am I supposed to do?”
Shivani Sadhoo says, they are in gridlock and falling into three common mistakes made by couples with perpetual problems.
It is quite easy to have a long list of what your partner could do differently and a short list of your own. Probably yours is completely blank or full of hopeless ideas such as “give up.” Sadly, pointing out your partner’s shortcomings does not encourage change—merely defensiveness and counter-attack. Usually, it is encouraged that couples step into each other’s shoes and look at the world from there. However, once you reach gridlock, you are quite angry to make this leap of imagination.
Mistake 2: Protesting louder
If you cannot get through to your partner, you might wonder, why not raise the stakes? Probably they will finally understand and take you seriously. So, you shout louder, throw a bigger tantrum, or move from sniping to sarcasm and on to quite nasty name-calling. Other versions involve bringing in the opinions of other people to back you up and punishing your partner by refusing intimacy. Unfortunately, couples debate alternative narratives, forming a case against their partner.
Mistake 3: Flee and purse
At a certain point, one partner will check out. It might be walking away, internally shutting down, or people-pleasing (by which it means agreeing to anything for a quiet life but being filled with resentment or giving an empty apology to close down the argument). There are couples who simply beg their partners to stop. Not surprisingly, the other partner does not feel heard and fears nothing will ever transform. So they prevent the fleeing partner from leaving, following them to the next room or they rekindle the row a few moments later.
How to break the gridlock
Consider that both of you are correct. It is quite easy to fall into black-and-white concepts of right and wrong, win and defeat. Instead of this comparative approach, embrace something called contemplative thinking. In place of “yes but,” switch to “yes and,” which does not negate your spouse’s position. Once you accept that both are correct, you open up to creative solutions: “What can we do distinctly?”
Look deeper into the problem. Ask yourself, “What is this argument actually about?” If you both feel so strongly, it should be something important and that usually goes back to your childhood. So, tell each other what past trauma has been reactivated. If you require help with this, find a Gottman-trained therapist Shivani Misri Sadhoo.
Stay in the cauldron of conflict longer. It is natural to look to exit conflict as equally as possible but it takes some time to go through. Do not put pressure on yourselves. It will generally take several discussions, perhaps, over several days. So learn to feel more comfortable having uncertainty and agree to keep talking.
Become vulnerable with each other. In place of showing your armored exterior, speak about what you find hard. Remember to use “I” statements. For instance: “I feel anxious” instead of “You make me feel anxious.”
Look for similarities and build on those. It is helpful to remind each one of what you agree on. For instance: “We both want the best for the children” or “We are both feeling quite overwhelmed.” If you address the better part of your spouse rather than attack their flaws, it is simpler to build cooperation.
Going through. Once you stop pushing your specific solution, another way will slowly arise. If you are still stuck, it might be that you need to return to the earlier steps and do some more talking and plenty of listening. When you both feel really understood, you will be ready to march forward.
Modern life has become so hectic that even 24 hours is not enough. Our brains are busier than ever before. Finding time for each other sounds like an impossible task. But, sometimes we need to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in order to reconnect with our significant other. The need of the hour is to spend some quality time together as a couple. And what could be more blissful than a romantic getaway far from the madding crowd? Let’s find out from Shivani Misri Sadhoo, India’s top marriage counsellor, how a romantic getaway can add magic to your relationship.
Makes your relationship stronger: Besides rejuvenating your soul, a romantic getaway makes you stronger as a couple. From hiking to scuba diving, and spa treatments to candlelit dinners, you spend time together from sunrise to sunset. This constant togetherness rekindles the spark and strengthens your relationship further.
Stress buster: Travelling together takes away all your worries. The change in environment makes you feel happier and healthier. With beautiful surroundings, your mind remains calm and composed. As a couple, you can savor these moments of peace and comfort. Studies reveal that regular romantic getaways improve your quality of life. The stress of your stressful days can be left behind, albeit temporarily.
Renews intimacy: Romantic vacations bring two people closer. The bond of love and trust deepens. They get more comfortable with each other. This allows couples to confide in one another and become good friends. Spending time together in a romantic ambiance enhances emotional and physical intimacy in a relationship. It gives them the strength to handle tough situations together.
Know each other better: While traveling together you discover another side of your partner. You see your partner in a different light. Getting out of your comfort zone and exploring new places together simply helps you to know each other better. It develops mutual understanding, trust, and confidence.
Reduces conflicts: Travelling broadens your perspective. Romantic vacations give you the opportunity to accept and adjust to new circumstances where you learn the art of cooperation and coordination. This helps you to become a better problem solver. It reduces conflicts and disagreements.
Become happier: Taking time off from your busy schedule and traveling together helps to recharge your mood. By stepping away from their daily grind, their mind becomes stress-free. The mere act of planning a vacation together creates an environment of anticipation and excitement. This feeling of something to look forward to itself gives you a positive vibe. You feel happier as a couple.
Rekindles love: Sometimes romantic feelings fade away as life takes a roller coaster ride. Romantic trips can help you fall in love with each other once again by creating beautiful memories that you will cherish for a long time.
So, what are you waiting for? Stop making excuses and pack your bags for that much-awaited romantic vacation to come back home relaxed, recharged, and rejuvenated.
Studies confirm the truth that in romance, the end is mostly predictable. The evidence indicates that the strongest sign that a romance is over is certainly not what a partner says or does, but how he makes the other one feel.
In simple words, Shivani Sadhoo says, if you sense your partner has moved on emotionally, he/she probably has. Although he/she might still perform the relational bare minimum, like dutifully calling every day, a partner’s “quiet quitting” might be obvious in other ways, like through the choice to increasingly make plans alone or with others. While it is tempting to wonder if you are “simply too sensitive,” or assume you should have done something to prompt your partner to pull away, actions speak louder than words—and a partner’s behavior speaks high volumes.
Lack of intimacy predicts a breakup
A top university investigated the connection between a lack of intimacy and the likelihood of relationship dissolution. They found that partners who perceived lower levels of reward in their relationship were more prone to head for a breakup. They found this effect was significant even post-controlling for relationship satisfaction and attachment insecurity.
Operationalizing reward in a manner that captures various features of intimacy like connection, love, and self-disclosure, the findings of the study validate the importance of intimacy within a romantic relationship, confirming previous findings that intimate connection is one of the core reasons people stay in a relationship. They also noticed that because there might be a difference in the extent to which a person values intimacy or considers it a “reward,” there might also be a difference in the reward’s predictive power for a breakup. They report that their exploratory analyses yielded assistance for this possibility by showcasing that reward did not predict breakup as strongly for those people who place less value on intimacy.
Taking note of the presence or absence of the features of intimacy noted in the study like connection, love, and self-disclosure, could make it easier to observe when your partner is disengaging. Here are a few signs to look for.
Building up boundaries
Some partners start to withdraw by forming walls instead of bridges. This might occur physically, like when a partner seeks to spend more time in a different room, or emotionally, through reduced information sharing. However, it is manifest, forming boundaries is a roadblock to relational development, showcasing the beginning of a future apart.
If your partner has lost interest in getting intimate and doing romance, you most probably want to know why. Barring significant life alterations like a cancer diagnosis, or the loss of a job or loved one, which could be associated with withdrawal and depression, withdrawing affection is mostly a sign that the relationship is faltering.
Looking for socialization
A partner who is cascading towards meeting new people or attending events solo might be showing a preference for singlehood. You can respectfully seek the queries into the reasons or rationale for the change in preference, but consider whether there would ever be an acceptable answer to the desire to spend time socializing without you.
Starting a new chapter
If your relationship does come to an end, bear in mind that a failed relationship is not the end of the world; rather, it might be the beginning of a fresh chapter in your life. There is nothing about romantic rejection that defines you; breakups happen to several people at some point, and various breakups have more to do with the partner who prompts the dissolution. If a breakup was actually, provoked by your behavior, you can learn from it and march on, stronger and wiser.
Shares India’s Leading Couples Therapist and Marriage Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo
If marriages are truly made in heaven, then why are divorce rates increasing globally? Is it because of the pandemic or should we blame the 7-year itch? Whatever the reason, divorce is not a solution because problems do not disappear after a divorce. Nowadays, people have become accustomed to everything being disposable. We keep changing our gadgets, our jobs, and even our life partners. Many couples feel divorce is the only way of getting out of the routine. However, that is not true because even if you feel that your marriage is on the edge of collapsing, it is within the realm of repair.
Expectations must be realistic: We feel upset when our expectations remain unfulfilled. Usually, marriages fail when partners cannot fulfil one another’s needs, leading to disappointments and disagreements, and in most cases, divorce. Learn to burn your resentments. Instead, sit and discuss which of the expectations are realistic enough to be fulfilled and what kind of adjustments can make things better.
Communicate daily: Proper communication will foster emotional intimacy that will strengthen the relationship further.
No secrets: Transparency is the best policy when it comes to any relationship. Let your better half know all about you—your ambitions and aspirations, your deep concerns, and your deep fears without invading your privacy. Being transparent builds trust and fosters intimacy and a sense of security in a relationship.
Laugh with each other: Love can keep a couple together, but shared laughter strengthens the bond between the two. Laughing and giggling with your partner helps to overcome stress and conflicts in a relationship thereby making it stronger. Laughter is indeed the best medicine.
Money matters: While it is true that money isn’t everything, yet one of the main reasons for divorce today, is related to finance. Couples must share their financial expectations to strengthen their marriage. Whether it is sharing your debt and credit status or combining of finances, you must be aware of each other’s financial goals.
Show kindness and respect: Mutual respect is one of the cornerstones of all successful marriages. Be kind and considerate towards each other. Marriage is all about the little things. Small gestures of love and appreciation add a whole new dimension to your relationship. Consider picking up her favorite coffee table book or flowers from the store. Use the golden words—please, sorry, and thank you frequently.
Marriage is all about sharing and caring. A marriage is built day by day and brick by brick, just as Rome was not built in a day. A lot of work goes into living “happily ever after”. So, keep investing in your relationship and make the right changes that will bring sunshine to your life.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the plethora of “quick fix” relationship advice offered by various books, magazines, blogs, and daytime TV talk shows? Though there is no doubt it is presented with good intent, much of this advice is terribly contradictory. Such as a quick-fix weight loss program, it abandons any effort to support hypotheses with research, basing guidance rather on personal opinion and anecdotal evidence.
Probably, the most prominent quick-fix advice is that communication – and more categorically, learning to resolve your conflicts – is the key to romance and an enduring, happy relationship. This notion is a myth, and it is hardly the only misconception out there. Myths are destructive to your relationship because they can lead couples down the wrong way, or worse, convince them that their relationship is a hopeless scenario, says Shivani Sadhoo.
Communicating and employing active listening skills in trying to reach conflict resolution will save your relationship
While active listening is surely a useful skill, it alone cannot save your relationship. As Dr. Gottman points out, “even happily married couples can have screaming matches – loud arguments don’t necessarily doom a marriage.” We all have our disagreements, in a range of different ways. So go ahead, break all those active listening rules! Bear in mind your affection and respect for each other, and remember that using a softened startup when bringing up a problem can override natural variations in conflict style.
Neuroses or personality issues ruin a marriage
Everyone has issues they are not totally rational about, but they do not necessarily interfere with our relationships. The secret to a happy relationship is not having a “normal” personality but finding someone with whom you mesh. For instance, a person has a problem dealing with authority – he hates having a boss. If he were in a relationship having an authoritarian partner who tended to give commands and looked to tell him what to do, the outcome would be disastrous. The point is that neuroses do not have to ruin a relationship. What matters is the way you deal with them. If you can accommodate each other’s strange aspects with care, affection, and respect, your relationship can thrive.
Common interests bind you together
It depends on the way you can interact while pursuing those interests. Imagine that you and your partner are walking hand in hand inside your favorite used book store, smelling that old book smell, coffee in hand, headed for the “Literature” section. Romance is in the air. But wait! Just around the corner in “Politics,” a couple seems to be having an argument! Books are flying and tempers are flaring. “You stupid! He will never get sufficient electoral votes!” Clearly, enjoying the same activities could create an incredibly strong bonding between you and your partner, but these activities could also be a source of tension, depending on the way you interact while pursuing your common interests.
You scratch my back and…
It looks to make sense that deals must be made in order to maintain a sense of fairness and balance and that in romance a kiss must meet a kiss and a smile meet a smile. In reality, deal-making and contracts, quid pro quo, mostly are done in unhappy marriages. Do not keep score. Build bonding and strengthen your relationship by freely providing each other with positive overtures and support.
Dodging conflict will ruin your marriage
Everyone has separate methods of dealing with disagreements. A continuous barrage of honest criticism, for instance, might not be the best policy. An example here is when you head to the living room to watch the game, rather than getting in a tiff with you about the noise and constant TV watching, your wife goes for a run and comes back feeling better. When you are upset with your wife, you go into the backyard to play catch with your kids. Each of you finds a way to self-soothe, and both of you go on as if nothing happened. Finding a middle path that you both can agree on can let you talk things out when you truly need to while averting clashes over every trivial matter.
Affairs are the primary cause of divorce
In several cases, it is the other way around. According to a project it was found that around 80% of divorced men and women cited growing apart and loss of a sense of closeness to their partner as reasons for divorce, as opposed to just 20-27% blaming their separation on an extramarital affair. The reality is that most affairs are not started in an attempt to quench an unfulfilled desire for physical intimacy, but rather in an attempt to find friendship, support, attention, caring, concern, and respect beyond a relationship that feels lacking in these qualities.
Men are not biologically, “created” for marriage
Specific, theorists call upon natural evolutionary differences between males and females to argue that men have always been predisposed to have as many offspring as they can and follow successful reproduction with one female with a fast sprint to the next available, while women are inclined to nurture their young and look to keep the father close for protection. The conclusion they had is that men are just biologically more likely to have affairs. This is, in modern times, not a particularly worthy or accurate observation. It has been found out that affairs have to do with the availability of potential partners. According to one theorist, since women have entered the workplace in huge numbers, the number of extramarital affairs of young women now slightly exceeds that of men.
Men and women hail from different planets
You have all heard that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. This specific notion you may dispose of easily. Here is math for you. Dr. Gottman says that “the deciding factor in whether wives feel satisfied with the physical intimacy, romance, and passion in their marriage is, by around 70%, the quality of the couple’s friendship… and for men, the deciding factor is, by 70%, the quality of the couple’s friendship, so men and women come from the same planet after all.”
Nowadays, people use the word “relationship” so much that it is mostly assumed to have one universal definition. In reality, though, the word encompasses such a huge variety of kinds of human connections, both romantic and non-romantic, and it is likely that no two people share the exact same kind of understanding of what defines a relationship. So, here’s a cheat sheet of the basics.
A relationship is any sort of association or bond between people, whether intimate, platonic, positive, or negative, says Shivani Sadhoo. Generally, when people talk about “being in a relationship,” the term is referencing a particular type of romantic relationship involving both emotional and physical intimacy, some level of ongoing commitment, and monogamy (i.e., romantic and sexual exclusivity, wherein members do not have this sort of relationship with anyone else). That said, romantic relationships can take several different forms, from marriage to casual dating to ethical non-monogamy.
There are 4 basic forms of relationships, they are family, friendships, acquaintanceships and romantic. Few more forms of relationships are work, teacher/pupil, and community or group relationships. A few of them may overlap and coincide with each one. For instance, two individuals can be both colleagues as well as close friends.
Dating is the act of intentionally spending time with a person to get to know them better, have fun together, and enjoy being romantic. Dating could sometimes be about seeing if there’s probability of a more long-term relationship, or it can merely be about having fun without expectations for the future, which is at times called casual dating.
Not everyone agrees on what stage of commitment is implied when two individuals say they’re “dating.” Some people just use the term when there is already a defined, committed relationship in place, while others use the term to mean they are just exploring to see if there’s relationship potential.
In the context of couples, the terms “in a relationship” generally means being in a committed, long-term romantic relationship. A committed relationship is one where two people agree to continue being in a relationship for the foreseeable future. There is an understanding that the two will continue to spend time together, work on enhancing their relationship with each other, and continue nurturing their bond. People in committed relationships might choose to use identifiers such as a boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner to signify their relationship to others.
In traditional monogamous relationships, being in a relationship also means that a couple will be romantically and sexually exclusive—that is, they would not have any other romantic or sexual partners other than each other. In non-monogamous relationships, exclusivity isn’t needed
Marriage is one form of committed relationship wherein a couple publicly vows to live together and forms a legally binding union.
A casual relationship is the one where two individuals may be dating, regularly spending time together, and engaging in romantic or sexual activities—but sans any expectations for the relationship to last into the future. These sorts of relationships are generally, more situational and short-term, and they might or might not be exclusive.
People in casual relationships generally do like each other and are attracted to each other, though there might not be an intense emotional bond or desire to deepen the connection. Whereas people in committed relationships might see each other as life partners, people in casual relationships might not be as integrated into each other’s lives. They typically will not use terms like boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner.
Casual intimate relationship
This relationship is one where two individuals spend time together majorly to have physical intimacy with each other. They may see each other regularly getting physically intimate, or they might get physically intimate once and never see each other again. They perhaps like each other and enjoy each other’s company, but they are not interested in a romantic union with each other. Usually, there is no emotional connection, or the connection is distinctly platonic or friendly, like in a “friends with benefits” situation.
A situationship is a romantic relationship that has not been explicitly defined, normally by omission. The relationship might have several of the same qualities as a committed relationship, a casual relationship, or dating, but the people involved have merely not put labels on it—usually intentionally, whether that is to avoid making things complicated, because they are still figuring out what they want from each other, or because they are too afraid to bring up the “DTR talk” (conversation defining the relationship).
Normally, situationships usually have more emotional involvement than a friends-with-benefits scenario but not the explicit romantic feelings and commitment of a committed relationship.
While relationships sans labels work great for some people, situationships can mostly happen because the two people are not on the same page about what they want or because there is an assumption that the relationship would be short-term enough for it not to matter.
Ethical non-monogamy is a wide umbrella term for any relationship where individuals can have multiple romantic and sexual partners at the same time. It includes polyamory, open relationships, relationship anarchy, and several other types of relationships between more than two individuals. Ethically non-monogamous relationships can be casual, committed, open, exclusive, dating or sex-only, or some combination of these categories, and people in these sort of relationships might or may not use terms such as boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner to describe each other.
However according to psychology there are 7 kinds of relationships
Infatuation: just passion
Friendship: only intimacy
Empty love: commitment solely
Romantic love: passion and intimacy
Fatuous love: passion and commitment
Companionate love: intimacy with commitment
Consummate love: passion, intimacy with commitment
How to define your relationship
When it comes to dating, romantic relationships, and sex, it is essential for partners to be transparent about what form of relationship they want and to ensure they are on the same page.
Here are a few things to ask each other to define the relationship:
a) What do you want from this relationship? Something casual, in-the-moment? Something more future-based? Not certain yet and simply want to explore for now?
b) Are you looking for a long-term relationship? If yes, do you see potential here?
c) Are you seeing another person?
d) Are there any romantic feelings here? Are both interested in exploring those feelings, or just want to keep things more casual?
e) How frequently do you both want to talk and see each other?
Well, these questions could feel intimidating or too serious, looking to avoid these questions means you’re simply choosing to make assumptions rather than seeking the truth.
People form commitments and expectations even sans labels. Not talking about the terms of your relationship does truly not mean you don’t have one.
And bear in mind, that defining the relationship does not mandatorily mean you need to enter into a serious or committed relationship. Defining the relationship is just about clarity.
Some people might choose not to label their relationship because they are afraid of being tied down too early or in a place where they feel trapped. However, one needs to understand that you maintain complete autonomy of yourself in every relationship you are in, and you are the one who is responsible for communicating what you require, what you want, and what you do not want. So, if you feel you are at a place where you cannot do not wish to date one person exclusively, that must be communicated to your partner so that he/she can make a decision about whether that works for them or not.