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

Welcome to RelationSmarts!

A Dating, Mating and Relating E-Newsletter

March 27, 2007

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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.

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!



Intermittent Reinforcement

The Super Glue of the Relationship Universe

It’s an age-old question: “Just what does she see in him?!” or “How can he stay with her-- she treats him so badly!?” But, we see it all the time, nice people putting up with nasty behavior from their partners. It’s a painful, maddening, and perplexing dilemma.

So, why do we do it when we know we deserve better? There is a simple reason that affects us all: intermittent reinforcement. Remember that white mouse from your Psychology 101 class? When a mouse is trained to push a lever for a reward (such as food), he learns best if he gets the food only some of the time, not all of the time. It may be counterintuitive (and not very nice), but the best way to teach any behavior is to reward someone only randomly when he performs the action. Since the mouse never knows when the reward is coming, and he really wants that treat, he’ll keep pressing away at the lever all day long. When a behavior is learned this way, it becomes a strong habit and is highly resistant to extinction, that is, he’ll keep performing the behavior for a long time even without any reward. Kind of like super glue – once stuck, it just keeps on sticking.

Well that sucks for the mouse, but what does it have to do with dating? Unfortunately, these learning principles apply to people the same as mice. The power of intermittent reinforcement is a scientifically proven fact! If someone treats us well only part of the time,we are very likely to keep coming back for more. As long as our partner treats us nicely at least part of the time, we have the hope that they will treat us well more of the time. Their good behavior creates an expectation, an anxious anticipation, of the next time we’ll get positive attention. So we wait for the next “hit” of good behavior. It’s as addictive as cocaine!

Sadly, we all know how this story goes. You will put up with this up and down behavior for months, driving yourself crazy. The good news is, unlike poor Mr. Mouse who does not have higher thinking, YOU, as a more evolved species, have the power to recognize this negative pattern and the ability to exercise willpower to change it. You do not have to be a slave to learned habits. You have a choice.

Action Step: The next time you are in this situation, ask yourself one question: Do I really deserve to be treated well only one out of ten times? Of course not! You deserve to be treated well 9.9 times out of 10 (sometimes people slip up). Insist on being treated well and if your partner can't or simply won't's time to move on.

Relation Tip: Putting up with hot/cold behavior from anyone is dangerous for two reasons. One, when you allow others to treat you poorly, you are telling yourself: “I am not worthy of being treated well all of the time. I do not deserve more.” Do this very often and your self esteem will bottom out. Two, you get what you insist on. People will treat you however you allow them to treat you. If you don’t insist on good behavior, you probably won’t get it. Make your standards higher and be prepared to walk away. That's the only way to find your perfect partner.

Relation Tip: Intermittent reinforcement works in ALL of our interactions, including with our friends, co-workers, family, and kids. Be on the look out for it in all of your relationships and start setting boundaries that lead to happy relating!

Singles- Check out the Relating article below for an important discussion that can help you pick the right kind of partner!

Getting stuck in the vicious cycle of intermittent reinforcement? A single consultation session may be all you need to break out of the cycle. Email today for more info.



Getting to YES!

Jump Start Your Woman's Desire with the Three Keys to Connection

Part Three: Body

Ever wonder where your woman's desire disappeared to? Well, it's an often forgotten fact that women NEED to feel connected BEFORE they become interested in sex. So, if you'd like to boost your women's libido- your job is to meet her needs for three types of connection: body, heart, and mind. She needs to feel connected with you on all three levels on a consistent basis before you'll find her "in the mood."

This week, we'll focus on the body. First things first: Women think touch is for connection. They resent when it’s used primarily for sex. With that in mind, your woman wants to:

1. Be touched without ANY expectation of it becoming sexual
- So don’t only touch her when you want sex…touch her all of the time!
2. Be touched outside the bedroom
- When woman only feel “seen” by you in the bedroom, they turn off emotionally. So show that you notice them in the kitchen, in the grocery store, at the kids’ games, etc.
3. Have supportive touch
- Offer a supportive touch by holding hands, touching the small of her back, or her shoulder. Use these to connect with her silently in public or when she’s having a tough time.
4. Meeting and Parting
- Women need to reconnect before and after your absence- don’t forget a warm hug and lasting kiss right before you leave and when you return.
5. Have a slow build up sexually
- Notice how all of the other touch we’ve mentioned isn’t sexual? That’s the proportion of touch that should be sexual- 90% non-sexual-10% sexual. When it does come time for the sensual play- you must move slowly. On average, women’s bodies take MUCH longer to heat up. Foreplay should be your mantra- use teasing, gentle, slow touch in the erogenous zones (neck, lips, ears, belly, etc) BEFORE moving in for more direct touch. When her body is warmed up, she’ll be much more responsive! Which will make you feel studly.

Remember, a woman can smell a man angling for sex a mile away! To connect with her body most successfully, you need:
• To work all levels, all the time, starting from least intimate to most intimate
• To work at her pace
• To be sincere

Passion Perks Challenge: This time around, practice connecting with your woman's body. Then to keep the passion alive, work on connecting with her body, heart, and mind consistently. Passion requires effort...but it's not rocket science, put in the work (come on, it's not really work)- get the reward!

Passion is important to the continued vitality of your relationship! That's why Dr. Jenn is available to come to your men's group (business, church, organization) to give a talk on Getting to Yes! Email for more info.

Want more ideas on reigniting the passion? Check out this article on Dr. Jenn was quoted at the end of the piece: Reignite Your Passion



Being There for Each Other Through Thick and Thin: Why One Country "Love" song Isn't Really About Love At All

The Dangerous Love Myth Advocated By The Media

There's a popular new country "love" song out now. Maybe you've heard it. It's called I'll Wait For You by Joe Nichols (scroll down to see lyrics here) . It's being heralded as one of the most beautiful love songs, making people cry their eyes out all over the country. It made me cry all right- but for a very different reason than everyone else. Then it made me mad and that's why I'm writing about it.

Here's the gist of the lyrics: There's this husband and wife who supposedly love each other tremendously. Only problem? He's never around for the important occasions (sounds like he might be a traveling rodeo cowboy). So what tact has his wife taken? Don't worry, I'll wait for you, honey. Well, she waits for him for decades, during which time he misses untold number of Christmas dinners, the birth of their first child, and now for the kicker....she even dies alone...WAITING for him.

But what does she have to say about it:

"Oh, this ain' nothin' new
Sweetheart, I'll wait for you"

So now she's stuck waiting at heaven's gate for a "sweetheart" who apparently made everything else a higher priority the entire time they were married. Hardly sounds like true love to me! Sounds like a martyr of a woman who put up with a lifetime of being alone when it mattered. Are you telling me that it never really bothered her, when time after time, he didn't keep his word about being home when it counted?? When she, their kids, and the entire family were given the "gift" of his absence more often than his presence? THAT is NOT the description of what true love looks like.

Yet- if you watch TV, go to the movies, read novels, and especially if you listen to music- you'll get this lopsided picture of relationships presented as real love all the time ....lulling us into a belief that unrequited love, unreliable love, uncommitted love is what LOVE is all about. Oh, the highs, the lows- the addiction to the drama of it all- it sure is exciting, but it isn't love.

And it makes me angry that we hold up this broken vision of what love should be ...because we're becoming brainwashed about the type of love we should be striving for. It means we are teaching ourselves and our children to accept love that hurts over love that heals and grows.

Of course, it is YOUR choice to be in a relationship where you are clearly priority number 2, 3,or 4. Perhaps that's enough for some people. Clearly it was for the woman in this song. Perhaps she was used to pining away for a partner who was always out of reach because she had that in childhood so this felt like love to her. But make that choice at your own peril, knowing that you are missing out on what full, healthy, mature love is all about. And PLEASE- DON'T hold up that image of love as IDEAL.

So, yeah, this song made me cry. But I was crying because it was such a sad story, of one woman waiting her whole life for the man she "loved"...who couldn't even be there for her when she died. And what about all those people out there crying because it's such a touching love song, because they long for that kind of love? Well, I cry for them too, because I want more for them then the broken American "dream of love" that our media currently espouses.

Action Step: Are you in a relationship like the one depicted in this song? Is it what you really want? What you deserve? Set boundaries now that reflect your true needs and if your partner can't or won't step up to the plate...then seek some help to determine if this is really the right relationship for you. After all, you don't really want to die alone do you!!??

Relation Tip: From a young age, begin a dialogue with your kids about the images of love they see in the media. Challenge them to see beyond the misrepresentations and have frank discussions about the nature of true love. Does your child really like some media (show, song, game, etc) with a distorted view of love? Talk with them about why they like it, see how they identify with the characters, help them reach for real love.



Forming now:

New 4 week Finding the One Dating Support Groups

Dates: early April, Lakewood

Learn more: Group


Dr. Jenn In the News X2!

Dr. Jenn appeared on Denver's Channel 7 ABC morning news to talk about Dump Your Significant Jerk Week and how her workshop can help singles finally break free from the patterns of the past. See the video here: Dump Your Significant Jerk Week

Or check out the article that ran in the Longmont FYI newspaper about how her unique approach to dating and relating can help singles and couples.

Read it: here

Join us for the above featured workshop next up on Tuesday April 24th, 6:30-9pm, Colorado Free University. Enroll for Soulmate or Stalemate? here.



*NEW* Singles Resource

An online resource guide for Colorado Singles!Includes an event calendar (you can also sign up to receive it via email), referrals for area singles services, and tip of the week. Brought to you by Beth Anderson, of Cotton Wood Connection.

Learn more:

Singlocity will also be printing a hard cover version of their resources! Know any good businesses that serve singles that should be listed? Or maybe even your own business!? Contact Beth for more info: email


The Soulmate Revolution 2007!

Are you serious about finding a life partner? Then join Coupling Connection and other like-minded singles in *NEW* fun, effective, and life changing programs designed to make 2007 the year you find your soulmate! Now is the time! The relationship you've been waiting for IS out there. Are you ready???

There's a program or service for every stage of dating and budget: Soulmate Revolution



Powerful Short Cuts To Connection

Staring January 2007, Coupling Connection is offering personalized, small group programs for couples who are ready to ignite their love and keep the passion alive. Focused on shortcuts to real connection for busy couples- get a group of your friends together and support each other in building a lifetime of love! More info coming soon!

After the honeymoon phase of a relationship, with kids, careers, and stress, women often lose touch with their inner vixen. Dr. Jenn is available to come speak to your women's group about reigniting your inner vixen! Learn how bringing out your passion can suddenly turn your man into Prince Charming: talking more, taking out the garbage, and putting the kids to bed! 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,

Dr. Jenn

Jennifer Oikle, Ph.D.


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