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

Welcome to RelationSmarts!

A Dating, Mating and Relating E-Newsletter

April 3, 2006

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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:

To Juggle or Not to Juggle: That is the Question.

With the advent of internet dating, many singles are faced with the choice to date (or at least get to know) more than one person at once. When we used to meet in the grocery aisle, this issue came up less often, but now that we can select from hundreds of internet dating profiles, what are we to do?

For many singles, the answer is to learn to juggle (get to know more than one person at a time). Although some traditionalists bristle at the idea, in today's internet marketplace, it's almost a given. Why? Because your goal is to find "The One" and finding The One is, primarily, a numbers game. You've got to meet lots of people to find a partner worth pursuing. That means you've got to learn how to best manage your dating effort. And most often, the best strategy is juggling! First, as discussed in a previous newsletter, people "poof" all the time in the internet dating process! If you get to know only one person at a time, you're very vulnerable to disappointment when someone up and disappears. Worse than that, you've wasted precious time that could have been used to locate a more suitable candidate. Second, people are on different time tables when it comes to internet dating. You could be waiting around several weeks for someone to become comfortable enough to meet in person, only to learn there's no chemistry. If you have others in the "pipeline", this is no big deal. Third, by getting to know multiple potential partners, you reduce the emotional focus on any single person. This is beneficial because it slows the process down, helping you to avoid falling in infatuation before you really know someone and keeps you from being broken hearted when a new interest turns not so interesting after all.

The problem with juggling? Not everyone is comfortable with it to begin with. They may feel it's immoral or unethical. Or it may just be plain uncomfortable. Maybe it seems hurtful. Or worse yet, embarrassing because you just can't keep straight what you've told whom! But the truth of the matter is, that even if you are not doing it, it's almost certain that the people you are meeting are doing it, so you'll have to get use to it one way or another. You might as well learn to take advantage of the benefits!

There are two keys to successful juggling. The first is communicating clearly so that your dates have realistic expectations. There is nothing worse than thinking that you are dating someone exclusively only to discover that s/he's still checking out other profiles on the web. To avoid this sticky situation, always assume that potential partners are still playing the internet game, unless otherwise informed. And remember, that it is a normal and effective strategy, so try not to take it personally if it happens to you.

Next, take the initiative to be clear with your new dates. Let them know that your style is to get to know several people until it becomes clear who you'd like to get to know better. Be sure to say this in a way that won't turn off a potential partner, but in a way that simply communicates you're serious about meeting the right partner for you. You might try something like, "I'm looking forward to getting to know you. And just in case you were wondering, I am getting to know a couple of people, because I'm really looking for the right person for me." This opens up the door of communication so both people can be honest about how the process works for them. And of course, you can make it known that if you both decide you like each other enough, you'll be happy to focus your attention on each other. If you have this conversation early on, expectations are clear for everyone, which can save a lot of trouble. But go with your gut about the right time to have this conversation.

The second key is knowing when (and how) to stop juggling and focus in on a potential partner. We'll discuss this key in the next edition.

Action Step: Learn to juggle successfully. Figure out what makes you hesitant to juggle and address the underlying cause. Maybe you need to change your attitude, not take things so personally, or learn some new skills. If you already juggle, chances are you can sharpen one or more skills, most often the skill of communicating your intent and keeping expectations clear.

Want to learn more? MSN/Match.com has a recent article on dating around.

Link: Dating Around Article

 

Mating: Double Your Sex Life

How many of you have a TV set in your bedroom? These days many families have a TV in the living room, in the kitchen, and in every family members bedrooms. There are many reasons why all of these TV's are a bad idea, but here is the biggest: couples with a TV in their bedroom have sex HALF as often as couples who do not have a TV in the bedroom!!!! Yup, that's what new research shows.

And that's not all the bad news for TV lovers. Other research shows that couples who spend more than 2 hours a day watching TV report feeling less satisfied with the intimacy level of their relationship.

So, whether that TV is in your living room or your bedroom, chances are that it's causing your sex life to fizzle rather than sizzle.

Passion Perks Challenge: Serious about having more sex? Simple solution here: go move that TV out of your bedroom today! And make an agreement with your partner to reduce the amount of time you spend watching TV when you are both home in the evening. Got a favorite program? Great- watch it together. Got 5 favorite programs? Give some up and go have sex!

RelationTip: Yeah, I know that a lot of people crash on the couch in front of the TV after a long day of work because they feel too tired to do anything else. But doing this, REALLY does erode the intimacy in your marriage. Too tired? Turn off the TV, go to your bedroom together, and cuddle. If that inspires you for more, great. If not, you've already increased your intimacy quotient.

RelationTip: Too tired to even talk? Here's a simple exercise that requires almost no energy that can really increase your connection. It's called Electric Sex and it comes from Jonathan Robinson's little book, Communication Miracles for Couples (a very handy little book, highly recommended). Instructions: "sit facing your partner so you can hold both of their hands. Look into your partner's eyes and breathe in unison. It's best if the woman breathes normally and the man matches her breathing. By noticing when the woman's shoulders rise and fall, it's possible to tell when you inhale and exhale. After a few minutes, you'll both be in the same rhythm and it won't take any effort to breathe together. Continue looking into each other's eyes and breathing together for at least five minutes."

Sound hokey? It's not! People spend very little time really looking at their partner. Give it a try- I bet it will be harder than it seems! It can make you feel very vulnerable. Hence, the potential for increased connection. But no cheating! You can't talk during this exercise.

Relating: Commitment Conquers

There are times in all relationships when you don't feel "in love" anymore. Maybe you think to yourself, "I love him or her, but I am not in love". Heck, maybe you don't even like them, for a time. These periods can last hours, weeks, or even months for some couples. So what happens when you no longer feel like it? Many couples drift apart and eventually divorce. But other couples stay together, live through the tough times, and come out closer in the end. What makes the difference? Commitment. Commitment is the glue that binds you through the good AND the bad. Commitment is what enables a person to remember that love is a VERB. You don't have to FEEL loving in order to ACT loving. In fact, oftentimes the fastest way to reignite your feeling of love is to behave in a loving manner. Too often, this is forgotten. For a relationship to last for a lifetime, it requires a commitment to commitment. That's right. When things are going well, it's easy to say, "I am committed to YOU." When things aren't going so well, many people can still say, "I am committed to the marriage." But when the going gets really tough, you've got to be able to say, "I am committed to the IDEA of commitment." Because that may be the only thing that gets you through. And get through is what you want to do because:

Relation Fact: Research shows that two-thirds of people who said that they were very unhappy in their marriage, but stayed together anyway, were happy again five years later!

Action Step: Be committed to commitment. The next time you don't FEEL loving, do something to ACT loving anyway.

Need more convincing? How about this fact?

Relation Fact: In a recent study of divorced persons, "lack of commitment" was the number one reason given for things that lead to the divorce. It was endorsed by 85% of participants. The next reason, "too much conflict", was endorsed by only 61%!

Commitment is so important, that we'll be discussing it further in future editions.

NEWS: For Singles

*Coupling Connection is all about helping you avoid the dangers of rushing into love. Check out this informative MSN.com article that discusses important principles that we stand by. If you struggle with implementing these principles, coaching can help!

Link: Fool for Love Article

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*Coupling Connection has been invited to present a workshop at the 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."

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*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.

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*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!

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News For Couples

Think that relationship classes aren't for you? Learn more about marriage education from the editor of Tango magazine who recently tried several herself!

Link: Marriage Ed article

Coupling Connection offers PREP, one of the most researched and wide-spread of the marriage education courses. Email for details.

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* 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.

www.couplingconnection.com

coupling@couplingconnection.com

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