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

Welcome to RelationSmarts!

A Dating, Mating and Relating E-Newsletter

April 17, 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: Juggling- Part Two

Last time we talked about using juggling as the most efficient way to maximize your use of Internet dating. Once you become more comfortable with the process, the second key is knowing when (and how) to stop juggling and focus in on a potential partner.

Actually, knowing when usually takes care of itself! You'll know that YOU are ready when you become more interested in really getting to know someone. You've met at least a few times, there is some chemistry and a sense of compatibility. You start to think more about them, and you get a solid sense that this might be a person with future potential. Usually at this point, you realize that you are more interested in spending time with this person, than some of the other people you're meeting. You'll know the time is right because you'll feel like focusing only on them.

But here's the thing, just because YOU are ready doesn't mean your potential partner is ready! And honestly, it doesn't make to much sense to focus in on a person unless they are willing and ready to focus in on you too. Otherwise you run the risk of the problems we spoke of previously: wasting time, energy, effort, and emotion. And since you're serious about meeting a great partner, which means a partner who is into you as much as you are into them, you really don't want to put more into a potential relationship than the other person is. So, when you're ready to focus, it's time for a conversation with Mr. or Ms. Maybe More.

How should that go? Pretty low key really. Just let the person know that you are really enjoying getting to know them and that you sense a real possibility of a meaningful connection. And to fully explore that connection, you'd like to focus in one dating only each other, without other distractions. It's not a heavy commitment to a "future together," but it is a commitment to seeing each other exclusively for a period of time to give the relationship a chance for blossoming. It's difficult for people to really open up and become vulnerable when they know that there are other suitors in the wings, so exclusivity is an important evolutionary step in a potential partnership.

If you are really anxious about having this conversation, chances are it's premature. Usually when it's right, both people are feeling this around the same time. Although, it's not uncommon for people to be on different time tables, but it's important to have an understanding of this time table and of the other's intentions. Do they just need more time to ascertain their level of interest or do they kind of already know that this won't move past a friendly fling? This conversation can help you clarify expectations and help avoid wasted time and heartbreak. So, while you don't want to have this conversation too soon (you may seem overzealous or needy), you don't want to put it off too long either.

And not to complicate matters further- but there's one more touchy subject to consider when juggling: When to become sexually involved. We'll cover that next time!

Action Step: Learn to become more aware of when exclusivity is right for you and work toward becoming comfortable having that conversation when the time is ripe.

Relation Strategy: It often happens that one person is interested in moving a relationship forward while the other is not. You'll need to become astute in deciphering when it's the right time to move on. It's one thing to give a person another month or so to see if their feelings for you grow to match yours. But if someone isn't willing to stop seeing other people after another month or two at most, it usually means that they are just not that into you. No matter how great you think they are- if they don't return the sentiment- it's time to move on! Your real prince or princess is waiting!

Mating: Please Dear, Not Tonight!

So what's up with all those "headaches" women claim to have? Do they really have them or is something else standing in the way of women fully enjoying their sex life? This is the topic addressed by a friend of mine, Mary Jo Fay, in her recently published third book, "Please Dear, Not Tonight: The truth about women and sex. What they want, what they are not getting, and why." This book is full of practical information (for men and women) on the obstacles women face when attempting to get pleasure out of sex- from poor body image and lack of sexual knowledge, to low self esteem and poor communication skills.

Let's take that last topic, poor communication, because it stands in the way an awful lot of the time. So many women (and a lot of men too!) are afraid to let their partner know what would truly please them in bed. Maybe they don't feel worthy to assert their needs, maybe they think it is their job to please him instead, maybe they are embarrassed to talk about it, or maybe they fear a negative reaction from their partner if they do speak up. No matter what the cause, you do yourself AND your partner a disservice by NOT being up front. You deserve to enjoy your sex life as much as possible and chances are that your partner really wants you to enjoy yourself too. Most men feel good when they know they've made their women feel great. So think of speaking up as a gift to yourself AND to him, because it will improve the outcome of your sexual experiences for BOTH of you.

Take a minute to stop and really consider what YOU need to enjoy sex more fully. Maybe you need your partner to do something different to put you in the mood, maybe you need more foreplay, maybe you'd like them to try a different technique, or maybe you need more post-action cuddles. And men, stop and do the same, PLUS, consider broaching the topic yourself by asking her what would enhance her experience.

Passion Perks Challenge: Today, ask your partner for one thing that would boost your interest, desire, arousal, sensation, or satisfaction in the bedroom.

Bonus Challenge: Ask your partner for one thing that they would like for you to do.

RelationTip: Do the asking and telling OUTSIDE of the bedroom, during a non-erotic time. Many people are more comfortable talking about sex when not in the middle of it!

RelationTip: And make your request using only positive statements: "I'd love it if you'd...or It really gets me going when you..." Leave out the part about what they aren't doing enough of or aren't doing correctly! And when your partner gives your suggestion a try- remember to thank them and let them know how good it felt. That will increase the likelihood of it happening again.

What to check out the book? Here's the link: Please Dear

Relating: What's Your Temperature?

As we've been speaking about, often the biggest challenge to couples these days is finding the time and energy to stay connected. To help boost your connection, I recommend getting into the habit of using the Daily Temperature Reading, a tool created by a famous family therapist and taught by the Pairs Relationship Education Program. Here's how it works. Set aside about 15-30 minutes to complete the Reading, preferably every day, but at least once a week, at a couple meeting! Sit across from one another so you can look at each other and remove all distractions (TV, phone, screaming children). Take turns proceeding through the five steps:

1. Appreciation: Everyone needs to hear compliments, thank you's, and recognition for our good deeds on a frequent basis. Appreciation often gets lost in the shuffle. Let your partner know what you appreciate about them. They don't have to be big things. In fact, some times it's even more touching to know that your partner noticed and appreciated a small thing. And if there is something you'd like recognition for, speak up and let your partner know!

2. New Information: To stay connected, partners need to know what's going on in each others lives. So, share what happened today at work, at play, with the kids. Stay informed.

3. Puzzles: Sometimes we have questions or concerns that we are wondering about our partner, but that we haven't brought up yet. Misunderstandings, assumptions, and mind-reading often wreck havoc on a relationship. So, here's your chance to ask: what's going on about X? How are you feeling about Y?

4. Complaints with Request for Change: Differences are always going to come up in relationships. When they do, don't let them fester inside, share them using this technique:

"When you _______________, I feel _______________, and what I'd like instead is _____________."

It's critical to learn to share and hear this type of request without becoming defensive. Instead, when on the receiving end of such a "complaint/request", become curious about it! Ask for more information, more detail. Let your partner know you care about what they need. That's the biggest gift you can give each other.

5. Wishes, Hopes, and Dreams: Helping each other's wishes and dreams come true is part of what bonds couples for a lifetime. So share your hopes and dreams for today, this weekend, next month, five years from now. Support each other in striving toward these goals.

Action Step: Commit to using the Daily Temperature reading AT LEAST once a week.


NEWS: For Singles

Relation Quote: "Think of your life as a canoe and your decisions and actions as your paddle. You'll get where you're going one stroke at a time with the decisions and actions you make." ~DJ Vanas

Dating Strategy: Consider this- everything you do either moves you closer toward or away from the relationship you deserve. Where are your attitudes, beliefs, decisions, and actions taking you? You have the power to choose to move toward your ideal relationship every day. Are you making that choice? Increase your awareness of the power of your choices.


*NEW* Singles Workshop and E-course!

Sensational Singles:

How to Maximize Your Happiness and Create the Life That You Desire

Learn to empower yourself to create the happiness you deserve! In this course, you'll learn the benefits of happiness, the nine choices you can make to live a more joyful, satisfied life, and three tools to help you get there.

Dates for Singles University course to be announced soon. Email for course outline or for info on E-course.


*FREE* Virtual Group Call

How To Avoid Dating and Marrying a Jerk:

An Introduction to Selecting Your Perfect Partner

Haven't yet had an opportunity to learn about this program? Now is the perfect opportunity to get an introduction to the most important principles- free! Join a one-hour group call. Date and time to be announced soon.


One time Workshop Opportunity

Mile Hi Church YES Group Friday Night Enrichment Series.

May 12, 7-9:30pm. Lakewood, CO
Attraction Traps: Reclaiming Your Love Life from the Patterns of the Past

This is an excellent opportunity to learn everything you need to know to break out of your habits of the past, at a reduced cost from the normal workshop! Cost for members of the YES Group $10, non-members $15
Tickets will be sold at the door.

Note: This is the same seminar as "They Are Just Not That Into You."


New Spring Workshop Dates at Singles University

Mon May 1, 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.

Thur May 25, 6:30-9 How to Avoid Dating and Marrying a Jerk(ette)

See website for more info or 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 an 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 a great tool to increase your relationship connection AND have fun? Try out the book: 10 Great Dates to Energize Your Marriage by David and Claudia Arp. It won one of three 2005 Smart Marriage Awards for Programs with the Most Impact. This book walks you through 10 evenings out with your honey, doing a brief relationship enhancing exercise.


*NEW* Couples Workshop

Hot Monogamy

It can be tough to keep the love alive over time, especially with busy schedules, work and financial stress, and children! But with the right attitudes and skills, everyone can keep the passion burning. Come learn how to deepen your connection, increase your intimate passion, and protect your commitment from infidelity. Leave with tools to revitalize your love. Email for more info.


* Have you tried a tip or tool from the Relation Smarts E-newsletter? We want to hear about it!? Let us know what your experience was like. Did it improve your connection? Or no? Email us! *

Do you have a topic, idea, question, or concern you'd like to have addressed in an upcoming newsletter? Email us!

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

May your relationships bring you the happiness you deserve,

Jennifer Oikle, Ph.D.

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