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

Welcome to RelationSmarts!

A Dating, Mating and Relating E-Newsletter

June 27, 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

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.

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: Loving YOU

Here's a great quote from the TV show, Sex and the City:

"The most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you that you love, well, that's just fabulous."

Well, I contend that finding someone who loves what you love about you isn't just fabulous- it's absolutely essential! Your ideal partner will be someone who really gets you and thinks that your strengths and the things that make you unique- really ROCK! A great partnership is like a mirror, reflecting back all the wonder that is you- boosting your esteem, and helping you deepen all of your positive qualities.

Action Step: Get out a piece of paper and write down all of the things you really like about yourself. The qualities and characteristics that you admire or are proud of.

Relation Strategy: Now make sure whoever you seriously date appreciates those qualities. If they don't, you are missing out on a great piece of the equation: mutual respect and admiration.


Mating: Feeling sexy...

In the latest issue of Redbook there is an interview with actress Kate Beckinsale, who had this to say about maintaining a strong, passionate marriage: "Just because you are a mother doesn't mean you can't feel sexy. I'm blessed to have a husband who walks through the door and looks at me like every day's Christmas. Women feel sexy from feeling appreciated and attractive and desired. Men feel sexy from...having sex. If you can strike that balance where the man is having sex a whole bunch and the woman is feeling attractive and desired enough to have sex a whole bunch, then you've figured out the secret to a marriage that's totally alive."

Amen, sister! And she doesn't even have a degree in psychology, but she hit the nail on the head. Often, men and woman feel motivated to have sex from two different places. But, when you use these differences to build a passionate cycle upward- it's self-sustaining. But when either part is missing, the cycle can come to a screeching halt!

Passion Perks Challenge: Which part of the cycle is missing in your love life? If you are the man, are you working hard to make sure your woman is feeling appreciated, attractive and desired? If you are the woman, are you making sure your man feels like he gets what he needs at home? If not, you both know what you need to do!

Relation Tip: Sure, it's easy to feel attractive and be ogled when you look like Kate, but don't get down on yourself. Remember, your man is with you because he's attracted to you. You may have both forgotten that if you've taken each other for granted. What can you do to remind your mate that there was a time when they couldn't keep their hands off of you? Hint: What can you do to look more attractive? If you're a woman, put on something sexy- that great lingerie that he loved or that red dress you save for only special occasions. If you're a man- what outfit does your partner find you irresistible in? For me, it's a man in the perfect blue shirt!

Relation Tip: And if you need more compliments and affection from your partner to feel attracted and desired- don't hesitate to speak up for what you need. If it will help put you in the mood, your partner will be happy to oblige.


Relating: Slaying the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse! Part 3: Contempt

In the previous two issues, 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 month, you've been slaying Criticism and Defensiveness. This time, we're talking about Contempt, the most destructive force of all!

Researchers have found that the presence of contempt alone is a huge warning sign that a relationship is headed to divorce. Using contempt even only a little, is highly damaging and must be stopped.

So, what is contempt? Contempt is any verbal or nonverbal behavior that puts oneself on a higher plane than one's partner. It can take the tone of actual comments, or the contempt may be expressed more clearly thorough the tone of voice or facial expression. Mocking each other, using sarcasm, and throwing out put downs are all examples. They are hurtful, disrespectful, and insulting comments, but often they are cloaked in subtlety or even disguised in "humor". There is even a universal facial expression associated with contempt- a muscle in the side of the face pulls the lip over to the side and creates a dimple, then the person often rolls the eyes and looks upward, as if pleading to God to stop the insanity.


Person 1: I'm lost- I just can't seem to figure it out.

Contempt: Of course you can't. You and your whole family couldn't find their way out of a wet paper sack.

Person 1: Is dinner ready?

Contempt: Is eating all you ever think about anyway?

Person 1: I enjoyed your presentation today.

Contempt: Really? That's surprising, I didn't think you'd get the importance.

Action Step: Contempt has NO place in loving partnership. Be on the lookout and ban it from your behavior. There is never an excuse.

Relation Tip: On the receiving end of a contemptuous comment from your partner? Consistently set a limit that shows that you will not tolerate such behavior. "Jack, that was a mean comment meant to put me down. I will not speak with you when you talk like that. Let me know when you are ready to really discuss the issue." And leave the room. Remember- you are always training other people how to treat you, and you will continue to receive what you put up with. Do not allow others to treat you poorly.

* Are you noticing that your relationship has a few too many Horseman to be cozy? Relationship coaching can help you banish those Horseman and feel closer to your partner than ever before! We also offer the "Building a Strong Relationship House" Inventory based on Dr. Gottman's work. It will help pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses in your relationship so you can turn it from ordinary into extraordinary. Special in July: $65, for you and your partner!


NEWS: For Singles

Are you really serious about finding the One? Check out Katherine Woodward Thomas' book: Calling in the One: Seven weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life. Hands down the best dating book I've ever read!!

Check out my book review on the website: Calling In The One


Summer Lovin' Specials!

It's summer and now is the time to create the relationship of your dreams. Why not spark e a little summertime romance in your life? You deserve it!

Purchase a 6 pack of 45 min coaching calls and save! Normally priced at $270. Save $15 per call and pay only $180!

Complete the Relationship Readiness Inventory. Normally priced at $65. Save $20 and pay only $45.

Internet Dating Profile Creation. Save$$$.

Now through the end of August! Put some summer sizzle into your life!!


News: For Couples

Over Father's Day, Scott Haltzman, author of Secrets of Happily Married Men, had this advice to dads: "Keep your eye on the prize: After the vows are exchanged, many men shift the focus from courting their wives to more pragmatic things, like career development. Bad mistake. After the honeymoon, show you care by doing the same courting behaviors you did before you got married. She needs to know she's still # 1."


*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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