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

Welcome to RelationSmarts!

A Dating, Mating and Relating E-Newsletter

August 14, 2006

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Tips and Tools for an Extraordinary Relationship
 

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.

SINGLES! Lots of new exciting opportunities for upcoming programs and events! Don't Miss out!! See below for details...

Does an article strike a chord or remind you of a friend's situation? Please pass Relation Smarts on! Everyone deserves to have more love in their life!

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!

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Dating: Breaking Up and Making Up?

Have you seen this summer’s romantic comedy The Breakup? Despite all the hype because of Jennifer Aniston and her new beau Vince Vaughn, it’s memorable for only two scenes- a marvelous example of how to have a knockdown drag out fight and the movie’s ending.

Surprisingly, The Breakup managed to avoid the typical Hollywood happy ending when despite all of Vaughn’s pleas to return to him and live happily ever after, Jennifer’s character did one smart thing: she passed on his offer for a reconciliation. Perhaps not the warm fuzzy ending we’ve come to expect (or that she deserves after Brangelia!), but nevertheless, a wise decision. Why? Because relationships break up for a reason: they aren’t working. But breakups are hard. They are lonely, painful challenges for the spirit so it’s easy to see why a lot of people pine for the past, ignore all the bad by focusing on the good times, and start to believe that giving it another try sounds like a good idea. But that truly is the easy way out- not the smartest. Because here’s the deal- 2nd tries, 3rd chances, 4th efforts rarely, I repeat RARELY, end with happily ever after because the relationship had major flaws in the first place. Feelings of “love” are never, ever enough. You must have compatibility and compromise (and a gazillion other things!) too.

And while Vaughn’s character’s new found insights and attempts to change may be tempting- let’s be realistic here. Changing for another person hardly ever lasts- it’s just too hard. It’s an exceptional circumstance that a person finally sees the light AND is able to maintain the behavior change for the long haul. This is why Jennifer’s character was an excellent role model at the end of the film- she realized that it might feel great for a little while if they reunited, but that before long, things would most likely be back to the way it was before: clawing at each other’s throats. Lots of people waste tons of time, energy, and emotion breaking up and making up, over and over again. Vow not to be one of them. Trivial movie- but not a trivial take-home message!

Action Step: Learn to recognize when enough is enough. Learn to brave the breakup, assimilate the lessons presented, and let go. The sooner you can- the faster your soul mate can arrive!

Relation Strategy: At the peak of your break up (when anger rather than sadness has taken hold)- make a list of all of the things that weren’t healthy about the relationship or that drove you crazy about your ex. Keep it handy for when you’re feeling weak and sentimental, and about to pick up that phone for a 2am call.

Relation Tip: Remember, put down the phone. Now!

Relation Tip: If you know you have weak will power about breakups and makeups, a clean break- with a planned period of no-contact- may be your best bet for successfully letting go.

Have a hard time knowing when to let go? Need an outside perspective to assist you in your decision? Coupling Connection offers one-time and short-time consultations to help you make the best choice for you! Email for more info.

*Singles* Also check out the Relating section in this issue (below) for a very important discussion that can help you pick the right partner for you! Plus, there's a singles tip included just for you.


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Mating: It's In the Eyes

I remember the boyfriend who first taught me about the pleasures of keeping my eyes open during kissing and everything that comes afterward. It happened like this: in the middle of a smooch I uncharacteristically opened my eyes for a second and found him staring back at me. It kind of surprised me so I asked: "Why are your eyes open?" And his reply was, "Why wouldn't I keep my eyes open, I am kissing a beautiful girl." Awwhhhhh, that's terribly sweet, isn't it? But all of a sudden, a light bulb went off in my head- Gee, that makes sense. The more logical question is: why does everyone keep their eyes closed!

It's all about connection. When you are looking into each other's eyes, whether during a kiss or during sex, it increases the connection and intimacy- and isn't that one of the primary motivations for sexual activity anyway? It's easy to get stuck in a habit of closing your eyes for relaxation or maybe even to focus on some private fantasy to aid in arousal- but when that becomes your habit- you are automatically reducing the level of intimacy you can experience. And if you routinely use fantasy while you and your partner are engaged in lovemaking- you are taking yourself out of the moment ...creating distance between you- the opposite of what you truly desire.

Want the ultimate in intimate connection? Try keeping your eyes open during orgasm. It's not as easy as it sounds, because it is the human body's reflex to contract muscles during climax. But the effort is worth it- there is no time when you can be so at one with your partner. This is because during orgasm you actually lose yourself for a moment and all of the walls and masks and defenses you typically use fall away- so for a moment you can really connect deeply. If you haven't tried this- you are likely to need practice- not only to train your muscles, but also because most people find that they feel very vulnerable and have a difficult time trusting someone else enough to invite them into that moment.

Passion Perks Challenge: This week experiment with kissing your partner with your eyes open (although you may not want to keep them open- it's a little disorientating to be looking at someone who is so close) and then graduate to keeping your eyes open during lovemaking and orgasm. Notice the difference in feelings of closeness and intimacy. Of course for this to work best, both partners should try to keep their eyes open!

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Relating: Perpetual Problems

As promised, before we leave Dr. Gottman's venerable Love Lab-here's one last insight.

The difference between happy and unhappy couples isn't that unhappy couples have problems! ALL couples have problems. In fact, happy and unhappy couples tend to have about the same number of problems And it's not that happy couples solve their problems more than unhappy couples either! Gottman notes that there are two types of problems: solvable and perpetual (ones that keep coming up over and over again). Surprisingly, 69% of problems are perpetual- unsolvable. Ouch! That means that MOST of your problems are never going to go away.

So, the difference between happy and unhappy couples is that happy couples learn to create a dialogue surrounding these unsolvable issues rather than become gridlocked in negative emotion (remember those 4 Horseman of the Apocalypse?).

Why won't most of your problems go away? Because perpetual problems exist for two basically unchanging factors: different personality styles and different needs within relationships.

For example, you may be a big talker and he's not (personality) or he needs a lot of affection and you don't (relationship needs).

Fortunately, you don't have to solve perpetual problems to have a happy relationship. You just have to learn to handle them with humor and understanding and not let them overwhelm the relationship. In fact, trying to change your partner's mind is ultimately a waste of time, says Gottman. Instead, the keys are to explore, accept, and even honor each other's personal dreams and fundamental differences. Strangely, it's often these fundamental differences that originally attracted you to your mate- so try to get back in touch with what you found alluring or endearing about that characteristic in the first place.

Action Step: Not finding a way to dialogue about your perpetual problems will put you on the road toward divorce, so learning to communicate about them is paramount. This can be tricky- so seek help if you need it! Coupling Connection specializes in this.

Relation Tip: People often think that if they leave their partner- they can find a new relationship without "all these problems." That's a myth! As one psychologist said, when you choose a life partner "you will inevitably be choosing a particular set of unsolvable problems that you'll be grappling with for the next ten, twenty or fifty years." Sobering for sure. But use that realization to boost your commitment to your partner and work smarter on your perpetual issues!

Relation Tip for Singles: Yes- it's true that 69% of the issues you have with your partner are not going away and that's normal. BUT- you have the choice when you are picking your partner- to chose someone whose set of perpetual problems mesh well with yours so that you can live with those issues more easily. In reality, you can chose someone who is more or less different than you in areas that are more or less important to you. When you select someone who is more different from you in an area that is very important to you- it is going to be MUCH more difficult to cope than if you pick someone who is a little different from you on a less important area. So, as you are dating, take a careful look at the areas where issues routinely come up- they are unlikely to change much- can you live with that set of differences?

Not sure which type of difference is a big deal? The Relationship Readiness Inventory can help you assess the type of differences you can live with! Email for more info.

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NEWS: For Singles

Join us for Date Smart! Keys to Dating Smarter, Not Harder

The August topic:

The Three Dumbest Mistakes Even Smart Daters Make

Monday August 28th, 7pm, Mountain Time (9 pm eastern)

Once a month, Dr. Jenn is hosting a 1 hour, FREE Date Smart conference call. Each month, we'll explore another important dating topic that will inform and inspire you toward success! Plus, ask any dating dilemma question you've got!

RSVP by Email requested, but not required.

To participate, on Aug 28th at 7pm call: (712) 580-0600
Participant Access Code: 356899#

September Topic: Finding the Needle In a Haystack- Using the Most Underutilized Key For Meeting The One. Monday September 25th 7:30 pm, Mountain Time

Got a topic you'd like to see covered by Date Smart, drop a line and let me know!!

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NEW Coupling Connection Teleclass!!

Crafting the STAND OUT Internet Dating Profile:

Getting the Attention You Deserve

Wednesday September 6th,

7-8:15pm Mountain time

New to Internet dating and not sure how to get started? Been using Internet dating but not getting the response you deserve? Join us for a look at the most common profile mistakes and learn how to craft a profile that will get you noticed!

Ah, the power of words...with the right ones, you open up a world of possibilities and draw interesting, attractive prospects. With the wrong ones, you'll send people running for the hills even if you are Ms./Ms Wonderful. Or worse yet, you'll be attracting the wrong type of responses. This class will review plenty of real life examples of stand out profiles as well as red flag alerts. Don't fall prey to profile mistakes!

Bonuses! All participants receive a handout to help you get started writing a terrific profile. In addition, all who attend get a FREE Red Flag Profile assessment- make sure your profile doesn't contain any of the lethal errors! All participants are also entitled to a 15% discount on future profile editing or creation services!

Introductory Cost: $15, payable by check or credit card on Pay Pal

Email for more info or to register!

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*NEW* Sassy Singles Book Club!

Coupling Connection is now hosting a dating book club for single women in Denver. Join a group of women every month to get inspired and informed to create an extraordinary relationship! Each month, we'll discuss the principles of a new dating or relationship book. Best part? You don't even need to read the book! Our meetings will provide an overview of the book for all to discuss. Become empowered to find the love you deserve!

September meeting: Monday September 18th, 7pm. Location TBA. Cost $8

Book: Why You're Still Single by Evan Marc Katz and Linda Holmes- an insightful, amusing book loaded with wisdom.

Want to join in on the fun? The Sassy Singles Book Club is being cyber hosted by Meetup.com. To join or learn more visit: Sassy Singles Book Club.

PS. You don't have to attend every meeting to join!

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My New Singles University Workshop Dates!

Singles University has gone national! They now offer classes in web cast and teleclass formats for added convenience!! Learn all you need to know to create the love you deserve without ever leaving home!

See Singles U website for the latest dates for the following workshops:

How to Avoid Dating and Marrying a Jerk(ette) Part 1 and 2

Attraction Traps: Reclaiming Your Love Life From the Patterns of the Past

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

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Harvest Moon Ball

Denver's Grandest Black Tie Single's Ball of the year!
(Singles 38 and over - limited to 400 women and 400 men)

Saturday, October 21st

7:00 pm to 12:30 am

The Denver Marriott City Center Colorado Ballroom
1701 California Street, (corner of 18th & California)
Denver, CO. 80202 - 303-297-1300.

Tickets are $48.00 in advance. Make your check or money order out to Marty Pickert. Mail to Susan Martin, 8117 S. Humboldt Circle, Centennial, CO. 80222-2974. We MUST HAVE the name, gender and phone number for each ticket purchased! Your name is on the guest list the night of the dance. We do not send you a ticket.

Tickets at the door are $58.00 (cash or check).

Your ticket includes hors d' oeuvres catered by the Marriott this year and served at 7:30 and 8:30, dessert, DJ, door prizes, dance lessons and mixers, and a mixer game. The cash bar has reduced prices with a $5.00 well drink and a $5.50 wine.

This is a black tie event. Women wear long gowns, short dresses, whatever they feel is "formal" attire. Men, please wear a tux!

Mister Neat's Formalwear is offering a $20.00 discount on a basic tux for $39.95 (shoes are $10.00 extra). Plus, all designer tux's are 40% off! Mister Neat's has 20 locations. Call 1-888-642-3889, or 303-706-0001 for the location nearest you. Mention the Harvest Moon Ball for your discount!

We keep the ratio of men to women 50-50 so that everyone can enjoy dancing and meeting people of the opposite sex! Please everyone, purchase your ticket early! We may need to cut off the number of advanced women's tickets sold towards the end. Or we may ask the later women ticket buyers to guarantee a male attendee. We intend to be quite diligent in this regard for 2006!

For more information contact Marty Pickert, 303-649-9125, martypickert@aol.com, partiesbymarty.com.

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Life Without Limits

Single and wishing you had more financial resources?

I hear from lots of singles who are not flourishing financially, especially after a divorce. If you are ready to become more prosperous, consider joining a group of like minded people to assist you on your journey to more financial independence. Meets the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in Littleton to study the Science of Getting Rich. Free. Led by life/business coach Carole Cross. Learn more about her: wisewomen.org

Check out the Life Without Limits Team on Meetup.com- a Denver based group. Link here:LWLT Meetup

Next meeting: Tue, Sep 5, 2006 at 7:00 PM

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Only 2weeks left to take advantage of

Summer Sizzle 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!!

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News: For Couples

Cruising for Love

Considering your next vacation? Always wanted to take a cruise? Several relationship enrichment programs are now offered during a cruise vacation- what better way to relax, have fun, learn skills, and reconnect with your partner!!

See the Smart Marriages website for program info. Cruise for Love

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*NEW* Couples Inventory: Bulletproof Your Love

Whether or not your relationship is currently in trouble, it can help to identify your love's strengths and weaknesses. Doing this can prevent trouble down the road by addressing small issues before they become large. Or if things are less than ideal now, it can help you tackle the big problems so you can bring passion, romance, and connection back into your life.

Cost: $75 per couple, $60 during the Summer Sizzle Special! $60 for Individual, $45 during Special.

Email for more info.

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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

720-284-8502

coupling@couplingconnection.com

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