Coupling Connection - Dr. Jenn Oikle
Coupling Connection - Dr. Jenn Oikle

Welcome to RelationSmarts!

A Dating, Mating and Relating E-Newsletter

March 20, 2006

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Coupling Connection - Ask Dr. Jenn
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Tips and Tools for an Extraordinary Relationship
Coupling Connetion - Relationship Quizzes
Coupling Connetion - Successful Relating
Coupling Connetion - Romantic Rituals
Coupling Connetion - Passion Perks
Coupling Connetion - Reading List
Coupling Connetion - Book Reviews

Every other week, we'll be delivering smart and fresh relating tips. We know you are busy, so let these quick ideas inspire you to create your ideal relationship! Each edition will include helpful information in these three categories:

  • Dating – tips on finding and keeping the perfect partner
  • Mating – take the Passion Perks challenge and perk up your love life!
  • Relating – tips on making your connection Extraordinary

We'll also be including news of note for singles and couples, from Coupling Connection and all around the US, keeping you abreast of relationship happenings you may find useful.

RelationTip: Remember, information is only good if you USE it. Research shows that if you don't use a new piece of information within two weeks, you won't ever use it! So if you want an extraordinary relationship, try something new today!


Dating: Know Thyself

The very first step to finding the perfect partner for you is to have a really good sense of WHO you are and what you NEED to be happy. To get an improved view of your top values and strengths, I suggest that you take the VIA (Values in Action) Signature Strengths Survey. It's free and it will tell you what your top five character strengths are (as well as your score on 24 character strengths). This survey helps you clarify what your highest values are, as well as how you tend to operate most effectively in the world. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can help your search for the right partner in two ways. First, it gives you a sense of what is most important to you, so that you can find a partner who holds similar values. Or, so you can find one who has complementary strengths (someone who can make up for one of your weaknesses with their strengths, as long as you can work together on it!). Second, knowing your strengths can give you ideas about how to make your dating strategy consistent with who you are as a person, which can make it even more successful.

Action Step: Increase your knowledge of your strengths and values by taking the VIA. When you are done- be sure to press the button that says "Show All 24" at the bottom. This will enable you to know where you fall on all 24 character strengths- giving you a picture of both your strengths and weaknesses. Also, just ignore the fancy looking graphs that come with each score (they compare you to other people in a variety of groups and are, essentially, meaningless).

Click here to go to the Test: VIA Survey

You'll see a box in the middle of the page that says "Featured Questionnaire." Click there, create a login, and take the test.

Dating Stat: New research suggests that single people take only seconds to decide whether a member of the opposite sex appeals to them, by taking into account factors such as age, height, and attractiveness.

Dating Strategy: Although humans may be hard-wired biologically to immediately decide who we are attracted to, we do ourselves a disservice by prematurely ruling out candidates who don't make us tingle right away. Tingles fade with time, real love lasts only when it's based on all the things you learn about a person after the first 3 minutes.

Mating: Stress Kills Sex

For both men and women, feeling stressed out can kill the mood. Want to know why? Well, first, stress lowers testosterone for both sexes, making you less interested in sex. Second, when you've got a lot on your mind, it's difficult to clear out the clutter and focus on the pleasurable sensations. This makes it hard to feel aroused and maybe even impossible to achieve an orgasm. Since sex is more mental for women than for men, worries and distractions can pose more of an obstacle for women. But, as many of you can attest to, having good sex can be a great way to really relax after a tense day. So what can you do to get back in the mood?

Try one of these proven stress reducers: exercise (getting your heart rate up is most helpful, but even a walk around the block can help), meditation, yoga (or gentle stretching), listening to your favorite music, cuddling or touching your partner, talking to a friend, journaling (get out all those nagging worries), taking a bath, getting out into nature, taking a nap, reading, petting or playing with your pet, making a to-do list and then forgetting about it.

Passion Perks Challenge: Since the average level of stress is approaching an all time high, it's important for you to find ways to alleviate those uptight feelings. Experiment until you find what works for you. Your sex-life will thank you.

RelationTip: Know your partner is too stressed out to be in the mood? Ask what you can do to help out. Or better yet, suggest a relaxing activity that you can enjoy together. Couples massage anyone?

Relating: Reconnecting

Feeling a little distant from your partner lately? Maybe your busy lives have left you with barely time for hello and goodbye. Or maybe when you’re finally alone together, you’re both too tired for fun. But a little distance can grow into an ocean of space in barely a blink of the eye. So the next time it’s just the two of you, make the most of it by reminiscing about one of the following easy topics. They are virtually guaranteed to increase your intimacy and recapture a little bit of that magic spark that originally made your hearts warm for each other. The key is in the details: Try to recall as many specific details as you can!

The Time You Met
What were your very first impressions? What captured your interest, making you want to see each other again?

Your First “I Love You”
How did you know you were in love and what made you decide to say it then? How did it feel to hear it?

The First Time You Made Love
How did you know it was the right time? Remember how it unfolded. Recall how your partner looked and how they made you feel. What was the best part about it?

Your Last Great Time Together
What made it so fun? What did you appreciate about your partner that day?

Your Most Enjoyable Vacation
What was most relaxing, most exciting? How did you feel about each other without all of the everyday stresses? What did you learn about your partner during the trip?

Your Future Dreams
Think ahead five years, what do you envision for your life together? How do you want to grow as a couple? What do you want to experience together that you haven’t yet?

Reminiscing about your past and dreaming about your future are the quickest ways to reignite your passion. Got ten minutes? Give it a try! Your relationship will thank you for it.

Action Step: Don't let your busy life get in the way of feeling close to your partner. Tonight, try reminiscing about one or more of the above topics to increase your closeness. You've got 10 minutes! Try it!

NEWS: For Singles

Want to hear what the media has to say about relationship education? Read the latest article, which discusses the How To Avoid Marrying a Jerk(ette) program (offered through Coupling Connection) at Singles Going Steady Article

*Class this week* at Singles University in Denver, CO!

Wed March 23, 6:30-9:30 They Are Just Not That Into You! Why You Put Up With Bad Behavior and How to Never Tolerate It Again.

Tired of wasting time in bad relationships? Fed up with feeling hurt, rejected, or lonely? Know you deserve better but just can’t seem to move on? You are not alone! Learn about the early warning signs of an unrewarding partnership and the two major reasons people get stuck in dissatisfying relationships. Armed with this insight, learn how to avoid getting sucked into negative patterns and become empowered to find the partner you deserve!

Enroll at Singles University.

Sick of being single and ready to get started on your path to the perfect partner?

Take advantage of two exciting opportunities.

Relationship Readiness Inventory

For a limited time, Inventories are half off! Clarify the characteristics of your perfect partner and learn how to get out of your relationship ruts. A powerful step toward an extraordinary relationship. Cost: $40.

*NEW* E-course: They Are Just Not That Into You

Now offered as a Email Course! You get six weekly lessons emailed to you to read at your leisure, including a weekly homework assignment that will help you gain personal insight and apply the information to your own situation. Once completed, you email each assignment back for personalized feedback. Cost: $45.

See the website for more information on either of these opportunities or email if you are interested!

News For Couples

Want another good reason to make time for your partner? New research from England shows that the reasons for divorce have been changing over the decades. These days, the biggest reason for divorce is lack of emotional satisfaction which comes about from the old problem of "all work and no play." Excessive working hours, over-focusing on the children, and lack of quality couple time all lead to the demise of love. Don't let your relationship be the next victim!


Know someone who could use a little RelationSmarts? Feel free to forward the newsletter to family and friends!

May your relationships bring you happiness,

Jennifer Oikle, Ph.D.

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