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
- Mating – take the Passion Perks challenge
and perk up your love life!
- Relating – tips on making your connection
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
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!
Are You Winking at Me?
I was recently speaking with a single women in her
50’s who uses internet dating. She was telling me how
she doesn’t respond to men who simply “wink”
at her, rather than writing a note. I used to agree with that
strategy, believing that if a man was really interested, he’d
bother to write a few sentences. But not any more. Here’s
why. I’ve heard from lots of kind, sweet men who have
grown tired of composing thoughtful introductory emails only
to be ignored. After spending tons of time getting absolutely
no response from many women who can’t be bothered to
write back and say, “no thank you,” they have
understandably decided to try a safer, less time burdensome
course- the wink.
I am not sure why the internet dating folks instituted
the wink, but let’s say it’s purpose is quick
and dirty: I am interested in you, are you interested in me?
Seems fair enough- simple and to the point. Although it’s
really nice for people to write more, the typical lack of
response in internet dating really doesn’t reward that,
So, here’s my recommendations.
For men: Realize that many women are turned off by your use
of the wink. They think you must not be that interested if
you can’t write a few personalized sentences based on
what you read in their profile. So, rather than risk a premature
“no” from someone who may have been interested
if you had shown more effort, why not compromise and write
a very brief, couple sentence note that shows you READ her
profile and found something intriguing enough to write her.
I agree, it’s not worth a dissertation, since the prevailing
etiquette is to ignore people.
For women: Realize it’s tough on men to constantly
be putting themselves at risk for rejection. Recognize that
they often try, with no response. You’d get tired of
trying if you weren’t often rewarded too! See the wink
for what it is: a hello with an invitation for more. So, if
you find the man at all interesting, just give a wink back
and open that door for him to walk through. Then let him follow
up with a real email.
And feel free to initiate contact with a wink yourself.
It’s akin to batting your eyelashes, smiling, and twirling
your hair! There are lots and lots of profiles online and
there is no way to know if he’s even seen yours. I’ve
used a brief email or wink to let someone know I am interested
and I’ve met many wonderful men that way.
What if you are not interested? Well, I have found
that many men (and I am sure women too) really appreciate
a quick note back just kindly stating that fact, especially
if they wrote a note, but even if they winked. Try something
like “Thanks for the wink/email. I bet you’re
a great guy/gal with lots to offer, but I don’t think
we’d make the best match. Good luck finding the right
partner!” I was shocked to find how many men were actually
grateful for any response, even a negative one, simply because
they are so used to deafening silence. So you know they must
For All: Let’s remember that we are dealing
with people’s hopes and feelings here. The anonymity
of the internet makes it easy for people to forget that. Rather
than all the silence, ignoring, and poofing going around,
let’s change the prevailing etiquette to something more
along the likes of “Thanks, but no thank you.”
Why not go back to common human decency and courtesy. The
dating world will be better for everyone.
Action Step: Do your
part to make the internet dating world a kinder, gentler,
more honest place to interact by making an effort to kindly
respond to anyone who has the courage to knock on your door.
Remember, we all have the same goal, to find true love, and
it can be a heck of a rough world out there if we don’t
New to Relation Smarts? Check out the related article
on dating etiquette in the first edition here.
We were so young and in love...."
Ok, here's the thing. Relationships lose their sparkle
and passion because we stop doing the things that we used
to do when we were falling in love. Simple as that!
So this week, I want you to think about what kinds
of things you did when you were dating that you don't do anymore.
My favorite recommendations? Light some candles, put on some
sappy, romantic music you like, and slow dance in your living
room. Sing those sentimental lyrics to each other if you want.
Or when was the last time you kissed in the car? You know,
really made out?! Surprise your partner by kissing them passionately
at the next red light, or better yet, park in the driveway
or some scenic location and get the windows steamy.
Challenge: At least once this week, surprise your partner
by doing something passionate that you used to enjoy when
you were dating but haven't done in a really long time.
Bids for Attention
Love is sustained or drained by all of the little
moments of interaction every day. And every
interaction is begun by a "bid for attention" by
either you or your partner. It can be an obvious bid, like
a question, "Honey, what are we having for dinner?"
or a more subtle, nonverbal bid, like reaching out for your
hand or smiling at your partner. Every bid for attention is
answered by the other partner in one of three ways.
You can turn toward.
For our examples:
"Oh, I am making your favorite meatloaf";
Taking your partner's hand; Returning
You can turn away. For
Just ignore your partners question about dinner;
Pretend your partner didn't reach for your
hand, and run your hand through your hair instead.;
Don't smile back, either staring blankly back or turning your
Or you can turn against.
For our examples:
You can say in an irritated voice, "I've made
dinner all week, why don't you get off the couch and help
for once."; You jerk your hand away;
Rather than smile back, you return a look
of annoyance, frustration, or contempt.
These bids for attention happen in big and small
ways all day, every day. Do you
know how famous marital researchers, like John Gottman at
the University of Washington, tell the difference between
happy couples and unhappy couples who eventually divorce?
One of their methods is to count how many times partners answer
bids by turning toward versus the other two more negative
behaviors, turning away or against.
Seem like relationship building is too daunting of
a process? It's not! You can start with answering the next
bid by turning toward.
Every time your partner makes a bid for attention,
YOU have the opportunity to either strengthen your love, or
weaken it. The choice is yours. Practice
becoming more aware of how you typically return bids for attention.
Purposely choose to turn toward
your partner one time today when you might normally turn away
Although we usually know when we are turning against our partner
because of the negative emotion involved, sometimes we simply
aren't aware when we are turning away-
as it usually entails ignoring or not paying attention to
our partner. It will take special attention to become more
aware of this behavior.
For example, a couple is out for drive, the man at
the wheel. Looking out the window, the woman states, "What
a lovely sunset." The man makes no comment. Despite it's
innocent appearance, this interaction is turning
away. She is making a statement that shares her experience.
By ignoring her, even unintentionally, he is saying "your
experience is not important to me, I do not value it."
Over time, this erodes your love. When he instead says "Wow,
you're right, that's beautiful," she immediately feels
a sense of connection, of being understood, validated, and
valued. Even if he simply, says, "Mmmmm, yeah,"
she feels acknowledged.
Love is in the details. Small, but powerful. And
you have another opportunity now...now...and now!
Not sure whether you just turned toward, away, or
against? You can tell by your partner's reaction. If they
just turned pissy or pouty, you can guarantee it was away
or against. Stop and use the tip from last week: "You
seem upset, was that not the reaction you were hoping for?"
Did your partner just ignore your bid
for attention? Give them the benefit of the doubt, they may
be completely oblivious. Make your bid more obvious, "Honey,
can you give me your attention for a second..." Or, let
them know what reaction you were looking for, "I was
really hoping to get one of those sweet big smiles of yours."
Is it lust or
love? Here's what a recent MSN article has to say about
"If you’re swooning over your new sweetie, you
may think you’re deeply in love. Friends, however, may
say, “You’re just in lust.” Who’s
right? Researchers have recently found evidence that people
can distinguish between true romance and plain old sexual
attraction. For the study, scientists performed MRIs on men
and women as they looked upon photos of the person they were
in love with and photos of acquaintances (both attractive
and less attractive ones). The results showed that the two
sets of photos affected the brain very differently: Photos
of loved ones triggered more activity on the right side of
the brain (an area associated with romantic emotions) than
did the other photos; photos of extremely attractive people
triggered more activity on the left side of the brain (a hotbed
for sexual urges) than did the photos of subjects’ beloveds.
What this suggests, says study author Arthur Aron,
Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the State University of
New York-Stony Brook, is that the emotions of love and lust
are more distinct than we think, and that people can indeed
discriminate between the two. Tell that to your cynical friends!"
Still, it can be difficult not to be blinded by love or lust-
so use your head with your heart when in the throes of new
attraction. If you have trouble with that, join us for the
free call below!
*FREE* Virtual Group
Wed May 17th, 5pm Mountain
Time, 7pm Eastern
How To Avoid
Dating and Marrying a Jerk:
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! Email
for more info and bridge line phone number.
*NEW* Singles Workshop
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.
for course outline or for info on E-course.
New Spring Workshop Dates at Singles
Thur May 25, 6:30-9 How
to Avoid Dating and Marrying a Jerk(ette)
Email for more info.
Sick of being single and ready
to get started on your path to the perfect partner?
Take advantage of two exciting opportunities.
Clarify the characteristics of your perfect partner
and learn how to get out of your relationship ruts. A powerful
step toward an extraordinary relationship.
*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
if youare interested!
News For Couples
home? Have you checked out the new TV show Shalom
in the Home on TLC? A Rabbi goes into people's homes
where the marriage is in danger and the kids are out of control.
With creativity and straight talk, he transforms thier relationships.
Check it out and get inspired! Mondays, 10 pm Eastern time.
Too much anger
and resentment? Here's
a great opportuntity to learn from one of our nation's experts
on taming your temper.
STEVEN STOSNY'S "YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE IT ANYMORE'
MAY 24, 8-9pm EDT
As featured on OPRAH - how to turn resentful, angry,
or emotionally abusive
relationships into a compassionate, loving ones. For professionals
public. The session will consist of one half hour of comments
by Dr. Stosny followed
by questions from participants. If you can't make the live
you can listen to it at anytime for a week after the session.
Learn more and register at http://www.compassionpower.com.
*NEW* Couples Workshop
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
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
Jennifer Oikle, Ph.D.
Not interested in receiving RelationSmarts?
Send us an Email
with unsubscribe in the body of the message.