Monday, March 7, 2011

4 Tips for Communicating in a Relationship

Good communication is important in a relationship. We hear this advice so often that it can feel like a cliché. However, the most annoying thing about clichés is that they are usually true. A fulfilling relationship requires productive communication on a regular basis. Here are a few tips to keep you and your partner on the same page.

1. Make time to talk.

So many couples drift apart because they don’t make an effort to stay connected. As often as you can, have a real conversation with your partner without any distractions. This means turn off the television, people. Talk about what’s going on with each other and the world around you.

2. Ask for what you want.

Life would be so much easier if our partner could just know what we want without us having to tell them. Until we all learn to read minds, you need to speak up. If you wish the two of you spent less of your time together surrounded by his friends, tell him in a nice way that you crave more alone time with him. If you really like your feet massaged after a long day, tell your partner that you’d love a foot rub now and then. You deserve to have your needs met in a relationship.

3. Listen.

The most important aspect of communication in my opinion is to listen. Everyone just wants to be heard. When your partner is talking to you, understand and think about what they are saying without interrupting or formulating your response. If you sit back and let your loved one talk about what’s on their mind, they will appreciate you and your bond will stay strong.

4. Sync up your preferred methods and frequency of communication.

Some of us don’t feel like talking before our first cup of coffee in the morning, or as soon as we get home from work. You may feel smothered if your partner calls you three times a day, while others like to be in frequent contact when they are away from their loved one. You may not like to have more than a quick conversation using text messaging, or you might prefer texting to talking on the phone. Talk to each other about your preferences, and figure out a good balance that works for both of you.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

5 Topics to Avoid on a First Date

First dates are meant for getting to know someone enough to decide if you want to see them again, not for uncovering all the good, bad, and ugly things about each other right from the start. Your date is just trying to see if you two might be compatible and if there is chemistry between you, so keep conversation relatively light. Avoid the following 5 topics on a first date or your first message to someone on Set For Marriage, and you may well be on your way to a second date or getting a reply.

1. Your ex

Do not bring up your ex. If your date brings up the subject, it’s best to gloss over the relationship without divulging all the sordid details. Keep in mind that your date does not want to hear the whole story of your relationship and why it didn’t work out. A date is not a therapy session! Furthermore, resist the urge to speak negatively of your ex, even if they were positively heinous. This just makes you seem bitter and is a big turn-off. On the other hand, don’t gush about how great your ex was, because this gives the impression that you have not moved on. They may also wonder if they could ever live up to the ex in your mind.

2. Health issues

Unless you have a condition that is absolutely necessary for you to share right away with your date, do not talk about your medical problems on a first date. People want to have uplifting conversation on a first date, and a rundown of your physical or even mental ailments do not fit into that category.

3. Financial Difficulties

In our current economy, many people are experiencing financial hardships. However, a first date is not the time to discuss any financial difficulties you may be facing. It’s best to display a positive attitude about your situation and not get into detail about this subject.

4. Sex

Do not bring up this topic with someone you don’t know that well. The conversation has the potential to be awkward, and does not send the message that you are looking for a serious relationship. Zip it.

5. Politics and Religion

Your mother always told you that it’s bad manners to talk about religion or politics at the dinner table. As a general rule, this applies to first dates too.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

4 Ways to Approach a Woman Without Using a Cheesy Pick-Up Line

This one’s for you, gentlemen. How many times has a woman caught your eye, but you didn’t go talk to her because you weren’t sure how to approach her? As amusing as lines like “Hey angel, what time do you have to be back in heaven?” can be, they will most often result in either an evil glare or a chuckle as she walks away. Here are a few more realistic tips to approaching that pretty lady who just might be your next date.

  • Keep it simple. Walk up to her and introduce yourself, then ask her a question. “Hi, I’m David. Are you having a good time?”

  • Observe something funny or interesting happening nearby, and then make a comment to her. “Hey, I just saw that guy double dip in the salsa, so might want to steer clear of it.”

  • Find common ground with her. When at a party or some kind of event, ask her how she knows the host or if she has been to this type of function before.

  • Ask her opinion. For example, if you are at the produce section in the grocery store, ask her the best way to pick out a cantaloupe. If you are at a shoe store, ask her what she thinks of a pair of shoes you are trying on. Women love to give their opinions!

Once you have broken the ice, ask her a few questions about herself if she seems open to talking further.

Remember, a confident man is an attractive man, so act confident in your approach (even if you aren’t). Be careful not to come across as cocky, though. She doesn’t want to hear you brag about how wealthy or successful you are.

Do you have any icebreakers that have worked for you? Share them with us!

Monday, February 7, 2011

How to Find Your Next Date

Ok, so you’re ready to meet the love of your life and you know what you’re looking for. Now you have to go out and find that wonderful person! Of course, is a fabulous way to find your partner in life. However, it’s a good idea to supplement this method with looking for a mate in your day-to-day life.

A great way to meet someone you will be compatible with is to get out and do things you enjoy. Like playing sports? Try a co-ed sports league like softball or kickball. Do you have a favorite good cause? Join a volunteer group for that cause. You can even leverage your profession by attending associations and social groups affiliated with your industry. By doing a little research, you can find groups that get together to do just about anything you can think of, from book clubs to investment groups to supper clubs. At the very least, by getting involved in your community you will make friends and become an even more interesting person to attract an equally interesting mate!

Another idea to find romance is to pay attention to your surroundings as you go through your day, and to alter your routine often so that you will come across different people all the time. We are all busy people, and many of us tend to walk through our days on auto-pilot without noticing all the people around us. As you ride the rail to work, grab lunch at your favorite restaurant, or walk your dog through the park, pay attention to the possibilities that surround you. There are potential dates everywhere! Also, if you take a break from the same old burger joint or neighborhood bar and try somewhere new, you might be surprised by who you meet there.

What are some interesting places or ways that you have met someone in the past?