How many of us have learned how to build loving relationships? Where did we learn? At home? At school? There is an art and science to building strong relationships. These indispensable tips were written with romantic relationships in mind, but with a little modification you can apply them to your friendships, family and even work.
1. Create a safe environment where you can trust and share openly without being afraid.
Don’t interrupt, even if you need to put your hand over your mouth to stop yourself. Learn to fight fairly. No name calling. Don’t make threats. Apologize when you know you should. If you’re too angry to really listen, stop! Go into another room, take space for yourself, breathe and “calm down”. Remember: your partner is not the enemy.
2. Separate the facts from the feelings.
What beliefs and feelings get triggered in you during conflicts? Ask yourself: Is there something from my past that is influencing how I'm seeing the situation now? The critical question you want to ask: Is this about him or her, or is it really about me? What's the real truth?
Once you're able to differentiate facts from feelings, you'll see your partner more clearly and be able to resolve conflicts from clarity.
3. Connect with the different parts of yourself.
Each of us is not a solo instrument. We're more like a choir or an orchestra with several voices. What is your mind saying? What is your heart saying? What is your body saying? What is your "gut" saying?
For example: My mind is saying "definitely leave her," but my heart says "I really love her."
Let these different voices or parts of you co-exist and speak to one another. In this way, you will find an answer that comes from your whole self.
4. Develop and cultivate compassion.
Practice observing yourself and your partner without judging. Part of you might judge, but you don’t have to identify with it. Judging closes a door. The opposite of judging is compassion. When you are compassionate, you are open, connected, and more available to dialoging respectfully with your partner. As you increasingly learn to see your partner compassionately, you will have more power to choose your response rather than just reacting.
5. Create a “we” that can house two “I’s”.
The foundation for a thriving, growing, mutually-supportive relationship is to be separate and connected. In co-dependent relationships, each person sacrifices part of him or her self, compromising the relationship as a whole. When you are separate and connected, each individual “I” contributes to the creation of a “we” that is stronger than the sum of its parts.
The differences between you and your partner are not negatives. You don’t need to be with someone who shares all of your interests and views. We may sometimes fear that these differences are incompatibilities, but in fact, they’re often what keeps a relationship exciting and full of good fire.
6. Partner, heal thyself.
Don’t expect your partner to fill your emotional holes, and don’t try to fill theirs. Ultimately, each of us can only heal ourselves. Your partner, however, can be supportive as you work with yourself, and vice versa. In fact, living in a loving relationship is healing in and of itself.
7. Ask questions when you’re unsure or are making assumptions.
All too often, we make up our own stories or interpretations about what our partners’ behavior means. For example: “She doesn’t want to cuddle; she must not really love me anymore.” We can never err on the side of asking too many questions, and then listen to the answers from your whole self — heart, gut, mind and body. Equally important is to hear what’s not being said — the facts and feeling that you sense might be unspoken.
8. Make time for your relationship.
No matter who you are or what your work is, you need to nurture your relationship. Make sure you schedule time for the well-being of your relationship. That includes making “playdates” and also taking downtime together. Frequently create a sacred space together by shutting off all things technological and digital. Like a garden, the more you tend to your relationship, the more it will grow.
9. Say the “hard things” from love.
Become aware of the hard things that you’re not talking about. How does that feel? No matter what you’re feeling in a situation, channel the energy of your emotions so that you say what you need to say in a constructive manner.
There you have it. Be kind to yourselves. Remember: change takes time and every step counts.
10 . Relish the differences between you.
The differences between you and your partner are not negatives. You don't need a relationship with someone who shares all of your interests and views. We may sometimes fear that these differences are incompatibilities, but in fact, they're often what keeps a relationship exciting and full of good fire.
There are lots of reasons why your partner might by shying away from sex, despite your best efforts.
• He doesn’t like your belly. This isn’t about him thinking you're fat or unattractive; it’s about the belly itself. Some guys think it’s like having sex with the baby in the bed. Some guys feel (especially if you're carrying a girl) that it’s weirdly close to incest. When the baby kicks in the middle of getting it on? Weirds them out. When you orgasm and your entire belly tightens up? Weirds them out.
• He’s scared. No, seriously. Explain it to them all you want, with charts and graphs and experts, and sometimes your dude is just going to be convinced that he’s going to hurt the baby if you two have sex. And sometimes he’s afraid of hurting you.
• He’s disengaged. Especially if this is your first child, chances are good that he's sooo consumed with his own fears, anxieties, and stresses that sex isn’t even on his radar. Strange, I know, but it does happen.
• He’s clueless. He thinks his semen will send you into labor. He doesn’t know you’re going to have the best orgasm like, EVER, if only he would get over himself. (Or that you’re going to get there, with or without him!) He's just completely in the dark, and if this is the case, he'd better be with you on the next trip to the baby doc.
There are a few ways to approach the problem:
• Have a talk. If you need sex, tell him. Don’t be afraid to express your needs, but be sure to give him time to respond. He might need to ease into it if he’s scared.
• Come on to him. Every guy I've ever known has gotten instantly hot the second you start coming on to him. Don't massage your belly in his face, if he's a little freaked about it, but your new giant boobs and luscious butt? Fair game. Nibble those ears, and don't be afraid to kneel down in front of him and grant him the gift of a fabulous BJ. I bet he'll get over the belly thing.
• Have Sex Lite. If he’s just freaked out, maybe sex “lite” will satisfy both of you -- oral sex and other forms of stimulation can be lots of fun, for both of you!
If all else fails (or you just need more), take matters into your own hands! You don’t need him to operate that vibe, right?
Do you have to bribe your man into having sex with you during pregnancy?
If you have never had sex in your life, you are a virgin. However, there are different views about what "sex" actually is. Some people are of the view that you lose virginity only when a woman has a vaginal intercourse with a man. The truth is that you need to consider other types of sex as well when defining virginity. People are concerned about what happens when you lose your virginity. Keep reading to find out more about it.
What Happens When You Lose Virginity?
Most people have their first sex by the time they reach 17 years of age. Many avoid it because they have no clue about what happens when one loses virginity.
For women, it is important to understand that they lose virginity only when their hymen, a thin, fleshy tissue inside the vagina, breaks during vaginal sex.
During your first sex, your hymen may stretch open and even cause some pain and bleeding as well. Some women end up breaking the hymen while fingering. Bear in mind that once broken, your hymen will never grow back again. In some cases, your hymen does not break during sex if penetration is not deep enough.
On the other hand, men usually do not find vaginal sex painful unless there is very little lubrication. If you experience pain during vaginal sex, you may want to talk to your doctor to determine the underlying cause of trouble.
A very important thing to always keep in mind is that you can always get pregnant when you lose your virginity. Understand that semen or even pre-cum in the vagina may be enough to make you pregnant. It does not matter if you are having your first sex or have had several times in the past. It is therefore a good idea to use condoms and birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancies, as well as to prevent infections.
How Can You Relieve the Pain?
Many women who ask about what happens when you lose your virginity actually ask about how painful it feels during and after sex. You may feel some pain during your first time, but you can make things right by spending more time in foreplay. The more lubricated you get, the less painful the intercourse is.
If you are stressed out during your first time, you are going to experience more pain. You need to relax and stop fearing about what happens to avoid feeling pain during sex. When you are under stress, you will not have enough lubrication down there, which in turn will make penetration painful is what other women have experienced.
Things to Keep in Mind for Your First Time
There are so many misconceptions about having your first sex or losing your virginity. Here are a few things to bear in mind.
• It may not be as exciting or enjoyable as you might think. You may have so many things going on your mind, which will take attention away from sex and make things a bit painful. Do not expect much from your first sexual encounter, especially if it is also the first time for your partner.
• The experience you have during your first sex is not going to shape your sexual life after that. There are no hard and fast rules and you can always change things in your future encounters to make it more exciting, enjoyable, and memorable. Be ready to experiment.
• You may not even have an orgasm during your first sex. If you get it, you are among the lucky few. Do not set your expectations high.
• Always select a stress-free location before engaging in sex. If you constantly need to worry about what you will do if someone catches you, you are never going to enjoy your first encounter. The best thing is to look for a safe location where you do have to worry about others catching you in the act. This will relax your nerves and make sex more pleasurable.
• Do not feel guilty. Many young girls want to know about what happens when you lose your virginity, and you will even hear from many who feel guilty for losing it. What you should understand is that you can always engage in sex to explore your sexuality, so long as you practice safe sex. You do not want to deal with unwanted pregnancies, do you? So, do not beat yourself up for having sex – it is your life and no one should make you feel embarrassed about what you do.
• Be ready for something weird to happen. When both partners are inexperienced, something awkward is bound to happen. Never let anything bring you down. If something weird happens like you fart or say something your partner does not like, do not take it that seriously and move on.
Deal with the Discomfort after Losing Virginity
While you can try so many things to make first-time sex less painful, you may always end up dealing with some discomfort. The good thing is that you can try OTC pain relievers to deal with pain and bleeding after your first sexual encounter. Avoid taking aspirin if you are under 19 years of age. It is also a good idea to wear a light pad for a few days if you experience bleeding. Do not hesitate to talk to a healthcare provider if you experience severe pain after sex.
In the weeks following a breakup, it is normal to wonder whether you did the right thing. Regardless of which partner initiated the breakup and what the circumstances were, you might think about giving the relationship another chance. Reconciling with your ex can work, but it requires both partners to take a leap of faith and rebuild the relationship from the ground up.
• Examine the Situation
Before you decide to reconcile, take a hard look at yourself, your ex and the reasons you broke up. In “8 Simple Rules for Dating Your Ex,” relationship coach Yangki Christine Akiteng stresses that fear, anger, guilt and other strong emotions are normal in the wake of a breakup but spell disaster for starting over. If either or both of you are still in turmoil, give each other some time to heal before reconciling. Before you begin any relationship, including one with your ex, you must feel confident and emotionally healthy. Likewise, you must both be willing to honestly examine your behavior in the relationship. Take responsibility for the things that were your fault, apologize and see if your ex does the same.
• Institute Honest Communication
In an article for the Huffington Post, bestselling relationship author Diane Kirschner notes that a new emphasis on deep, meaningful conversation is a sign that your ex is ready to try again. For your new relationship to work, you must both be able to discuss what went wrong, vocalize the changes you want and talk about the roadblocks that come your way. Make it a policy to talk things out rather than suppressing bad feelings or allowing resentment to build.
• Build on the Positive
Every contact you have with your ex is a chance to create new bonds of trust and emotional closeness. It is impossible to build those bonds, however, if the two of you revert to old patterns of arguing or criticizing. Instead, work together to focus on the things you like about each other. Go out of your way to validate each other’s point of view and make each other feel heard and respected. Make a pact to work out the big issues and let small things slide.
• Create a Dynamic
In “Giving Relationships a Second Chance” on "Psychology Today," psychologist Guy Winch stresses that the best time to change the relationship dynamics is right after you get back together. Otherwise, even if you have been apart for months or years, you are likely to fall back into old habits. Akiteng concurs, noting that both of you were fundamentally changed by the breakup, and therefore the relationship that you knew is dead. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk about what is important to both of you. Tell each other what you liked most about the old relationship, and strive to keep those things intact, but focus on building a new, healthier relationship. For example, you might return to your standing Sunday afternoon ice cream date, but set a new rule not to talk on Friday night when you are both stressed. Avoid the urge to jump back in as deeply as you were before. Instead, take your time and get to know each other all over again.
• Rebuilding Inner Trust
In order to build a stable foundation of trust with another person, you need to first become trustworthy of yourself and your feelings — that whispering inner voice that tries to alert you when something feels misaligned with your needs.
If you can recall a time that trust was broken in your relationship, think back on what happened leading up to the betrayal. Did your inner voice whisper something to you which you ignored?
I can't tell you how often I work with clients who felt betrayed but decided to ignored their instincts, brushing the issue under the rug. I've had multiple clients specifically tell me that they were aware of a financial betrayal in their relationship, but that their partners overcompensated by acting extra-charming. Often, the disloyal person in the dynamic will preemptively try to "make up" for his or her behavior, as it makes it more difficult for the other person to really see it and deal with the conflict.
Other clients who have faced sexual infidelity in their relationship have expressed regret about having been in denial, saying things like, "I could feel the change when she started her affair, but I didn't want to believe it ... so I didn't."
Regardless of the situation, there is one commonality among my clients who have had to deal with broken trust in their relationship: They did not sufficiently trust their own instincts and ended up sublimating their needs.
Before you can even begin to trust your partner again, you first need to trust yourself — your inner knowledge of what's right and wrong for you. We have all been blessed with two sources of knowing — our feelings and the wisdom that pops into our mind from our higher guidance. When you learn to trust your feelings about your partner and learn to trust the wisdom that is always here for you, then you become truly trustworthy of yourself. This means that you stop ignoring that inner whisper and start listening to what you know in your heart and soul.
Then and only then will you be able to discern what is true and what isn't about your partner and the relationship. With self-trust, you will be able to feel — and believe — when he or she is lying or trying to take advantage of you in a way that erodes trust.
• Rebuilding Relationship Trust
When trust has been broken in your relationship, both partners need to direct real therapeutic attention to the relationship to rebuild it. There is a two-sided dynamic at play, and the reasons behind the betrayal need to be addressed and healed collaboratively. The betrayal is an opportunity for each person to look within and heal their part of the relationship-system in order to understand why it resulted in broken trust.
Broken trust can definitely be healed, but it takes deep work. Don't kid yourself into thinking that you can repair broken trust with a quick statement of forgiveness and a warm embrace. The underlying causes for betrayal need to be identified, examined and worked on in order for betrayal not to resurface again.
Both partners need to learn to love (and trust) themselves enough to be able to approach the relationship from individual places of self-respect and personal integrity. When you make a commitment to treat yourself with love and compassion and authentically trust your needs, you will not harm yourself or your partner by lying or cheating. You will listen properly to yourself so that you can welcome honest communication into the relationship with open arms.