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
Be sure to scroll down and
check out news of note and announcements for singles and couples!
We'll be keeping you abreast of relationship happenings
you may find useful.
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!
you Got Mental Space For Me?
It's 9am and my partner just left the house for work,
after a good bye hug and kiss. Maybe 10 minutes later, the
phone rings- it's him. He's calling to tell me that he just
heard on the radio that Nicole Kidman got engaged to country
music star Keith Urban. Does he care about this? Not a drop.
But he calls because he knows I like country music and I get
sort of amused about the rise and demise of celebrity couples.
But do I really care about Keith and Nicole's big announcement
either? Nah, not really. Still, I hang up the phone with a
fuzzy, warm smile. Not because Nic and Keith have found bliss-
but because I have. Here's the thing- when he calls to tell
me something he think I might be interested in, or emails
me an Internet link about a story that may help me, he's telling
me one VERY important thing- he's got mental space for me!
In other words, me, my interests, and my well being are on
his mind. In fact, for both of us, we never have our partner
far from our minds. And we like it that way- it makes us feel
more connected, cherished, and adored than we knew possible.
Does this story sound like something you'd like to
have in your life or does it make you slightly nauseous with
all of the sentimentality? Because, when picking a partner,
it's important to know what kind of mental space you have
for someone else, and at what level you'd like that to be
reciprocated. Once, I was in a long term relationship with
a guy who could go all day, probably all week, without thinking
about me! You can imagine how hurt that made me feel! So,
mental space is one component of compatability and it is part
of a larger factor I call Comfort with Closeness. Relationship
satisfaction is largely based on closeness compatibility,
so keep an eye on it when you are getting to know someone.
Take measure of how much mental space you have and how much
you need in a partner. Then make certain that whomever you
get serious about has enough mental space for YOU!
Tip: Not sure what kind of mental space you have or how
much comfort with closeness you need? Email
me to take a quiz!
more guidance on finding the right partner for you?
Last chance to join a dating success group- starting
in July! Email
for more info.
position goes on vacation!
Once the newness of a relationship
wears off, couples often slide into a habit of using the same
one or two positions that seem to work for them. But even
if they do work, well, they get kind of boring. Variety is
the spice of life baby and no where is this more true than
in the bedroom. So break out of the routine and surprise your
partner with a little creativity.
Challenge: At least once this week, try a brand new position,
or at least one you haven't tried in a long time! Need some
inspiration? Check out the online version of Cosmopolitan
magazine- they have a new weekly sex position added every
week. Now you have no excuses! Or check out the tons of books
and online resources that will stir your imagination.
Position of the Week
Relation Tip: Bonus
for women who take on the challenge, because men love a woman
who takes the initiative to try something new!
Double bonus for trying a new position, in a new
location!! Get outta bed already! That's so ho-hum.
Slaying the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse!
Last time, we began a discussion of the four behaviors
that will most damage your relationship. Engage in any of
these four on a regular basis and I can guarantee you are
unhappy and may be on the path toward divorce!
I hope that in the past two weeks, you took the time
to weed out any Criticism in
your relationship and replace it with Complaint.
This week, let's talk about how defensiveness is destructive.
Defensiveness is any attempt to defend oneself from
a perceived attack. Usually when couples argue- it involves
a series of volleys, going back and forth: complaint, counter-complaint,
compliant, counter-complaint. And before long, the conversation
is in the tank, with no solution to be found. I am sure you
know it well because it is our natural reflex when feeling
blamed. Deflect, divert, attack, defend. Or even the poor
me victim stance. All of them deny responsibility for the
problem and scream to your partner, loud and clear, "I
am not interested in how YOU feel!"
Let's see some examples.
You ask your partner to stop after work and pick
up a gallon of milk. He agrees. When he comes home, he is
milk-less! You say, "What no milk? I can't believe you
didn't remember the milk. You never remember what I ask you
to do. Do you even care about me?" (Notice the harmful
criticism from last week's discussion).
You respond defensively in one of several types:
Defensive Deflect: Honey,
we don't need milk tonight. Why are you getting so upset?
Defensive Divert: Is
the steak ready? I am really hungry.
Defensive Attack: Is
that all you have to say? You forget things all the time.
Last week you even forgot about our anniversary. You never
Defensive Defend: How
can you say that? Of course I care about you. I show you all
the time. I was super busy at work and totally forget. Last
week I remembered that shopping list of 12 items.
Defensive Victim: Do
I care about YOU? I think you don't care about me. I mean
just last week you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning and
you never ironed the shirt I needed for that important meeting.
As you can see, defensiveness has many faces, some
more hurtful than others, but all corrode your love and respect
for each other. And they all have something in common: no
acceptance of responsibility or validation of your partner's
point of view. You may find you have a favorite type of defensiveness
or maybe you use all types! You may think you aren't defensive
at all! But often defensiveness hides in "explanations
So what isn't a defensive response? Try something
"I can see you are upset.
I would be too. I am sorry I forgot the milk, it bugs me too
when I forget things. Next time, I'll tape a note to my forehead
to remember it (a little humor can go a long way to easing
Avoid defensiveness when your partner
complains, criticizes, or blames you. Since defensiveness
is our automatic reaction, you may have to work hard to override
this response, but it can stop an argument in it's tracks.
Remember, just because your partner is behaving badly doesn't
mean you have to too!!! Returning your partner's attack will
only cause a fight. Your love is more important than being
Have a hard time not responding reflexively with something
negative of your own? Practice pausing and taking a deep breathe
before you reply. The best rule of thumb is to
always, always ask your partner to say
some more about how they feel. Then listen and see
their point of view, whether or not you agree. Feelings aren't
right or wrong, they are just real and you are both entitled
** See News for Couples below for an additionally
Are you using
internet dating, but not getting the results you want?
MSN recently had
a great article about how to find your dream partner using
internet dating. If you've been reading Relation Smarts- some
of the ideas will be familiar- but it's an inspiring refresher
course on how to make the most of this technology.
Link to article:
Fact: The author of the above article went on more than 100
dates over a period of 6 months before she found her true
love! Persistence is key! Don't get discouraged, just press
on. Meeting 10, even 15 people is likely not going to be enough.
You've got to stay in the game to win. I must have gone on
over 50 dates myself before finding my Prince!
**Need some help
creating an internet profile that gets you noticed? Coupling
Connection provides afforable profile creation services that
help you write, edit, and select pictures that will get you
the attention you deserve!
Not sure how to
proceed once you get started on the internet? Let coaching
help you navigate the internet dating sea of choices with
confidence and competence!
for more info on either service.
Dating Success Groups
starting in early July!
Effective, informative, and fun! 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.
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
Words of Wisdom:
In a recent book filled with advice from long-married
couples a wife said: "There are three words that save
a marriage, and they're not, 'I love you.' They're, 'Maybe
Boy was she smart!
*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.
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