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

Welcome to RelationSmarts!

A Dating, Mating and Relating E-Newsletter

April 25, 2007

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Tips and Tools for an Extraordinary Relationship
 

Every other week, we'll be delivering fresh relating tips. Let these quick ideas inspire you to create your ideal relationship! Find smart tips in these three categories:

  • Dating - Ideas 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!

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Dating

New Relationship Transition Spots: What Two "Can I be me?" Tests Tell You About Your True Compatibility Potential

Part One: Exposing Your "Weak" Side

Ah, the heady bliss of those beginning weeks of a love relationship. You're perfect. He's perfect. Well, maybe not so much, but you sure are working to put your best side forward...so far, your flaws have remained hidden.

Then one week, it happens. You have a totally sucky day and you can't hide it. Maybe you don't want to hide it anymore. Good for you. Now is the perfect testing time: how will my new partner handle it when I show my vulnerability and need support?

After all, if you choose to be with this person, they need to be able to accept you through the ups and downs, and you need to accept them. Until you get to this phase- your real comparability hasn't even begun to be tested. And we are often led astray by the more superficial similarities we've seen thus far. But without an ability to accept, tolerate, and support each other's habitual way of coping with emotions- your connection can't and shouldn't last.

So, pay very close attention to your partner's response the first time you let more of your not-so-confident, not-so-happy self hang out.

Let's see an example. A while back I was dating a guy I thought could be "The One." Then a horrible day came when I got some really bad news from my training program that affected my future plans. I was devastated, and really crying. And rightly so, according to me, but not according to my new partner, who promptly said "I can't be with someone who's going to be so negative!"

Hold on a minute, I thought- "Isn't a girl entitled to blow through one box of tissues before having to pull it together? After all, I just got this news today- not three weeks ago." But to him, my display of negative emotion was threatening, so he perceived that as weak, and lost some respect for me. And to me, his judgmental attitude and lack of support was almost as upsetting as the bad news itself.

So what did I learn: A big WHOA! He can't accept ME. We don't have the same beliefs about emotions and how to cope. If you are missing that type of compatibility, can you imagine how impossible it would be to face the everyday world together?

Now fast forward to my fiance and the first time he found me crying in my soup. I had just received some heartbreaking news: I had to give away my injured horse. I was sobbing like a baby, and a bit embarrassed about making this display of emotion- after all- could he accept me the way I am? Know what he said? "Of course you are crying. Anyone would be upset in that situation," then he moved over and held me until I had used up my box of tissues. I felt a huge sigh of relief. Then I felt better and together we faced the problem.

So what did I learn? Here is a man who can accept my negative emotions, who is comfortable with the way I express them, and is willing to support me through them. When you have a partner like that by your side, together you can conquer anything! That's the power of being accepted the way you are- warts and all.

Action Step: After an initial period of being on your "best behavior" don't be afraid to show your vulnerable side and ask for the support you need. Your partner's response will give you a lot of useful information about whether your relationship has the power to stand the test of time.

Relation Tip: If your partner "fails" the initial "test," give them the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes people need to be educated about how to be most helpful when we are upset. We are all different and often there is a learning curve in a new relationship. So, after the emotions have passed, talk to them about what you need from them in moments like that. However, if after several incidents, you are still not getting the acceptance and support you need, DON'T IGNORE this critical information. This is a sign that your previous experiences with emotions, your family histories, your beliefs, and expectations do not mesh well. Without compatibility in this area, a relationship will not succeed. Take a careful inventory and decide if you need to move on.

Next time: Part Two- Moving from Formal Dates to Couple "Me and We" Time

Not sure if your new partner's beliefs about coping and emotions are compatible with yours? A single consultation session may be all you need to break out of the cycle. Email today for more info.

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Mating


Passion Perks Challenge: Imagine Your Way to Pleasure

Not in the mood but know it would be a good idea to reconnect with your partner physically? Then get started thinking some sexy thoughts! Research shows that the brain responds to thinking about sex almost identically as engaging in sex.

Challenge: Next time you wish you were in the mood- use your imagination to jump start desire by thinking about your favorite steamy scene. It'll heighten your arousal, help get you in the mood, and make the real experience more pleasurable!

Relation Tip: Want to surprise your man when he comes home? Do this exercise before he arrives and win him over with your inner vixen!

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

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Relating

Be a Little Selfish!!

Being selfish is usually considered a no-no in relationships. But here's a little twist on it that can really help transform tension into connection!

You KNOW that being angry and resentful towards each other isn't helping anything, but you just can't seem to let go? Here's a strategy to help transform your negative emotions into positive momentum.

Get selfish!

That's right. Your emotional pain isn't a punishment, it's a signal to take corrective action- to make YOURSELF FEEL BETTER!

You can't feel better if all you do is focus on your partner's bad behavior. But you can feel better if you start focusing on YOU. In their new book, Dr.'s Pat Love and Stephen Stosny suggest the following.

*First, look beneath those hot, angry emotions and ask yourself what more vulnerable feeling you are experiencing...is it sad, scared, lonely, rejected?*

Then take responsibility for feeling better by placing your focus on what's best for YOU. To transform anger, the authors suggest you move through acknowledging the following statements:

My emotional well-being is important to me. (i.e. Thus holding onto resentment won't help me)

My emotional well-being is more important than everything I resent. (i.e. You'd rather be happy than right, wouldn't you?)

My emotional well-being is more important than anyone else's bad behavior. (i.e. When you affirm this- you take the power back- you don't let other people's behavior control you)

My relationship is more important than everything I resent and worthy of appreciation, time, energy, effort, and sacrifice. (Since love is so important to my happiness, working on making this relationship *better* is what will help me feel better)

Now that you've gotten selfish- you're clear about what YOU need to feel better: to let go of the anger and move toward connection. Do this putting yourself in your partner's shoes and now asking the first question about your partner: Beneath those hot, angry emotions what more vulnerable feeling are they likely experiencing...is it sad, scared, lonely, rejected?

Now, respond to your partner with compassion for the vulnerability that they are really showing you.

Action Step: When there's anger, hurt, and resentment, someone's got to go first in letting it go. Use this technique to move beyond the angry emotions and reconnect- after all- that's what will make you feel better!

Relation Tip: Read Love and Stosny's How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It for more details!

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NEWS FOR SINGLES

Join us next month for Savvy Singles Book Club

Wed May 30th, Scooter Joes Coffee, Denver 7-9pm

Janice Hoffman, the local author of Relationship Rules, an extension of Mars/Venus philosophy, will be joining us to provide his and her tools for your relationship tool box! Get your signed copy at the meeting!

Learn more: http://bookclub.meetup.com/537/

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*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: www.singleocity.com

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

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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

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NEWS FOR COUPLES

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!

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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,

Dr. Jenn

Jennifer Oikle, Ph.D.

www.couplingconnection.com

720-284-8502

coupling@couplingconnection.com

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