Tag Archives: Relationships

Eye Contact is the Morse Code of Love

15 Nov
Author: Bagande

Image via Wikipedia

I’m a people watcher.  I love going into restaurants and watching couples interact. It’s often a telltale sign of the type of relationship they have.  For instance couples that hardly speak a word to each other during the entire time that they are eating, I often wonder how long they’ve been married.  Or when I see a couple that when seated at a booth, choose to sit next to each other rather than across from each other, I wonder if they just started dating.  One of Dr. B’s favorite sayings is, “that’s an outward sign of an inward condition.”  Which I truly believe holds true for married couples.  Have you ever been at a party or social gathering and know that a couple came together, but they limited interaction doing the entire event?  Do you pick up on those types of signs?  I often wonder if as time goes by, do most couples lose the fire, or do the sparks begin to fade?  Maybe they just aren’t in love with each other anymore…

A study that was published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 1970 titled: Measurement of Romantic Love determined that the way to tell if a couple is in love is to watch their eye contact.  It was stated that:

Normally two people in conversation give each other eye contact anywhere from 30-60% of the time, but couples who are in love look at each other 75% of the time during conversation and are slower to break their look away from each other when interrupted.

Speaking from past experience, it makes perfect sense. If you don’t like someone, much less love them, you surely don’t want to be around that person and you’re not going to staring into their eyes.  Things like eye contact, holding hands, packs on the cheek, pats on the butt… those little things hold a lot of meaning in a relationship.  Each couple has their own little’ intimates’, which is what I call those physical interactions that keep you feeling connected to your loved one.  Your own Morse code of sorts.

What signs or ‘intimates’ have you witnessed in a short-lived or lasting relationship?  Do you and your loved one have a Morse code?

Natasha

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5 Steps To Avoid A Holiday Blowup

9 Nov

The holidays are fast approaching.  In 14 days Thanksgiving will be upon us. As most of us experience, especially Newlyweds, the holidays can cause stress and strain on any

A metaphorical visualization of the word Anger.

relationship.  Whether it’s an old family dispute, inviting in-laws into your home, or cooking for a house-full of people holiday stress is sometimes inevitable.  Unfortunately, stress doesn’t come and go unnoticed, with stress comes anger, blow ups, and hurt feelings. Most women are masters of holding back from their loved ones when they are hurt, angry, or irritated.  But, it has been scientifically proven that it can be harder for men to calm down than it is for women.  Which may cause a person to explode at the wrong time, such as sitting around the Thanksgiving table. The key to avoiding this holiday horror is to not let those feelings fester, by telling your loved one how you feel.

Dr. Nancy Zapolski, a psychologist states that the key to telling a loved one you angry is to remember that “The intention is not to get something off your chest or to dump something on the other person,” she says. “The intention is to restore the affinity and the love in the relationship.”

So how does one go about doing that? Back in April I read an article on Wall Street Journal.com, Friendly Fight: A Smarter Way to Say ‘I’m Angry’.  I thought the steps outlined in the article would be the perfect approach to take in order to avoid a holiday blowup.  Here are 5 steps:

1. Calm down. Take a walk, or get some sleep, to get perspective and allow your emotions to cool. Think about exactly what disappointed you. Ask the other person to talk. Say, ‘When is a convenient time?’

2. Acknowledge the difficulty of having this conversation. ‘This is hard for me to say, and it may be hard for you to hear.’ Saying this out loud will make your words less threatening and defuse the other person’s anger and their possibly defensive reaction.

3. Say ‘I,’ not ‘you.’ Don’t say, ‘You did ___ wrong.’ Say, ‘I felt hurt when you did___.’ ‘When you accuse someone, they have to fight back,’When you share what you feel underneath, it gives the other person some room.’

4. Find out why. Ask for the other person’s point of view. Say, ‘I know you probably didn’t mean to hurt me. Why did you do it?’ Really listen to the answer.

5. Say everything. This is your chance to put it all on the table and talk about how you can change the situation in the future. ‘Could you please do this differently next time?’ A hug wouldn’t hurt.

Enhanced by ZemantaWhat do you think, will they work?  How do you express stress or anger?
Natasha

The Power of Gratitude in Relationships

18 Oct

A four-year research study found that gratitude contributes to a mutual process of relationship maintenance, in which each partner’s maintenance behaviors, perceptions of responsiveness, and feelings of gratitude feed back on and influence the other partner’s behaviors, perceptions, and feelings.  In other words when a spouse felt gratitude towards the other, and they expressed that gratitude in some external way, this outward expression produced and influenced the other spouse’s feelings and behaviors of gratitude.  This process between the two spouses was like a continuous feedback loop because gratitude motivates partners to engage in relationship maintenance.

Feeling gratitude without expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

After reading this article, I started thinking about my relationship with my husband.  I examined my acts of gratitude and relationship maintenance.  I believe I am consistent and sincere when I express how much I appreciate him and everything he does for me.  I am conscious of my behavior simply because my husband constantly shows me gratitude and I want to do the same to him.  Actually he is good at showing everyone (who deserves it) gratitude.  Anyone that knows him will attest to that. Based on this research, I’m sure that I conscientiously show him gratitude in many ways, because it is a natural response to his gratuitous behavior towards me.

So, the next time someone does something nice for you, don’t forget express your gratitude…it’s as easy as saying Thank You!

This Weekend, A Wedding, and A New Blog

19 Aug

I’m so glad it’s Friday!  Granted, I don’t work in the traditional sense, but I structure my week as if it were.  So, by the time Friday rolls around, I’m ready to relax with Dr. B.  As I type, I’m sitting under the hairdryer, which I absolutely cannot stand!  Do you know how long it takes locs to dry.  I normally let them air dry throughout the day, but I have a lot of things to get done today, and the last thing I want to think about is a head full of damp hair.   It want it look really nice for my brother-in-laws wedding!

He and his fiance are Buddhist, so the wedding will be a traditional Buddhist ceremony.  I’m expecting it to be visually picturesque, hopefully something like this

and this

Lastly, I started a new blog called The UpTown Atelier!  I wanted a home where I could share my off-the-grid home decorating ideas, inspiration, and DIY.  Atelier is pronounced At-Ti-Ya…it kinds rhymes with ALL Day :-)  An Atelier is a French term for an artist’s studio or workshop. We live uptown of Downtown Orlando…hence the name The UpTown Atelier.  I was reaching huh? :-)  Anyhoo, stop over and say hi!  Today I posted some before and after pics of my Dorothy Draper inspired entertainment center.

How are you going to enjoy this weekend?

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A Childfree Marriage is Still Complete Without Kids

12 Jan

Francesa at Newlyweds.About.com posted a great Q and A article with author Ellen L. Walker based on her new book “Complete without Kids“.  As you know having a childfree, as opposed to childless, marriage was a decision Dr. B and I made early on in our relationship. After we were married I was often confronted  with the dreaded question, “when are you having children?”  :-(  I was even told that I our decision was weird.  So, it’s nice to see someone confronting this sensitive topic, and it was great to read the encouraging comments from Francesca’s readers.  I’m definitely going to buy this book which Amazon sells for only $10.17, for my childfree arsenal :-)

Childless Marriage – Q and A with Complete without Kids Author Ellen L. Walker.

 

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Happy Birthday Dr. B! … But I Got the Gift!

7 Jan
Gabe-birthday-part

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

I Got the Gift

It’s your birthday,
but I’m the lucky woman
who got to be with you for another year.
It’s your birthday, and the older you get,
the more wonderful you become.

It’s your birthday,
and I’m privileged to share the years with you.
It’s your birthday, and each year
I find the depth of my love for you growing.

It’s your birthday, and I look forward with joy
to each day we spend together.
It’s your birthday, and I wonder how I got along
for all the birthdays I didn’t know you.

It’s your birthday, and it’s amazing
how easy and enjoyable it is to be with you each day.
It’s your birthday, and no matter what fate has in store for us,
I know it will be a pleasure to spend life with you.

It’s your birthday, but I got the gift–
You in my life for another year.

Love

Your Wife,

Natasha

(Poem by Karl Fuchs)
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My Sustainable Marriage

4 Jan

The NY Times website has an article titled “Sustainable Love”.  In it the author Tara Parker discusses the concept of self-expansion.  Self-expansion is a “process in which  individuals use a relationship to accumulate knowledge and experiences.”  The article sates that research shows that the more self-expansion people experience from their partner, the more committed and satisfied they are in the relationship.

I can definitely say that in the year and half that I’ve known Dr. B I have definitely experienced new experiences, learned many new things from him, and continue to grow as a person.  In my single years, I preferred to date guys that had experienced more things than I had so that I could learn a thing or two from them, but whom I could also teach them a few things.  Dr. B and I have that continuous flow of learning and teaching to and from each other.

You can read the article in it’s entirety here, but here is an excert:

If you’re seeking self-growth and obtain it from your partner, then that puts your partner in a pretty important position. And being able to help your partner’s self-expansion would be pretty pleasing to yourself.

Partners involved in novel and interesting experiences together were more likely to pick one of the overlapping circles and less likely to report boredom. People have a fundamental motivation to improve the self and add to who they are as a person.  If your partner is helping you become a better person, you become happier and more satisfied in the relationship.

To learn more about your own relationship, take the quiz to measure how much it expands your knowledge and makes you feel good about yourself. The quiz was developed by Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., associate psychology professor at Monmouth University in New Jersey.

I scored a 67, and a 60 or above means:

60 and above — Highly Expansive. You are gaining a lot of new experiences and reaching new goals as a result of your relationship. Chances are you have a happier, more sustainable relationship as a result.

How sustainable is your marriage or relationship?  Do you look at it as a self-serving union?  Take the quiz and let me know what you score.


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