When It’s Time for a Romantic Upgrade

When It’s Time for a Romantic UpgradeI don’t know about you, but the last month before I upgrade my phone is painful. By then, my old phone feels outdated and sluggish.

It doesn’t have enough storage, can’t really handle the apps I use daily, and, maybe worst of all, it’s just not exciting anymore. More than once, I’ve thought it would be really convenient if I happened to drop it in a lake or run over it with my car…just so I can go ahead and get a new one NOW.

I’m not the only one.

According to a recent study, people tend to embrace more reckless behavior with their phones when they’re looking for an excuse to buy the latest model.[i]

You won’t even risk putting a small scratch on your new phone. But your old phone? Eh, you’ll toss it across the pool so a friend can take your picture. Why not?

Which makes me think of something else. Sometimes we do the same thing with relationships.

I’m sure you’ve experienced this. You’re dating someone, things have gone from good, to stale, to not-that-great. But you’re not quite ready to break up.

So maybe you pick a fight or two. Maybe you’re not as supportive as you’d be otherwise. Maybe you get a little careless with the relationship itself because you’re ready for an upgrade.

While this behavior makes perfect sense, it’s not the best way to handle a dying relationship. It just makes the worst part of dating last longer.

If your relationship is in that not-so-great place, there’s a better way. First, you have to answer a critical question (that I’m about to show you). Then, based on your answer, you should take one of two actions.

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Restore the Closeness with Repair Attempts

Restore the Closeness with Repair Attempts - repair your relationshipYou’re hanging out with someone you really care about when it happens…

You say the wrong thing.

He goes silent. His jaw tightens. Tension floods the room.

You’re desperately trying to think of a way to take it back when he stands up. “I gotta go. Catch you later.”

He’s gone without a goodbye kiss.

You’re alone, ashamed and angry at yourself. Why did you do that? Just when it was going so well?

It can happen to anyone. Even if you make a point of being the kindest, most thoughtful person on the planet, you can still end up upsetting the man you want to be with.

The words you said meant one thing to you but something completely different to him. Instead of asking you to clarify, he took it the wrong way. His feelings were hurt, you had no idea what you did to cause it, and it’s all a big mess.

This happens in all kinds of relationships, from romantic relationships to professional ones. So, it pays to take a closer look at what we can do when we upset each other.  Let’s talk about how to feel close again.

The Dance of Intimacy

The perfect relationship should be a harmonious dance. He puts his hand around your waist, you gaze into his eyes, and you swirl around the dance floor with sweet music guiding your steps.

A wonderful fantasy, but nowhere close to reality.

The reality of relationships isn’t easy to watch. You move together in step for a short while, then break away. The music comes in snatches, and you’re not always hearing the same rhythm. It’s easier to step back, because moving as one is too much work.

What do you do when you find yourselves on opposite sides of the dance floor? How do you find your lost rhythm and restore the closeness?

The answer is what psychologists call repair attempts.

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The Weekend-Trigger: Renew Your Romance

The Weekend-Trigger: Renew Your RomanceYou know how it feels when you first start dating someone? Every detail about them is exciting. The process of getting to know them can be spell-binding.

That’s why you’ll stay on the phone for HOURS, even if you’re not really a long-phone-call kind of person. The beginning is just so charged.

And then things slow down. Which is good, even though it’s not nearly as exciting.

But what if you could reclaim that initial excitement? What if you could return to that level of passion, even after you’ve been with someone for a while?

You can.

Think about the last time you bought a new car. For a while, every time you slid into the driver’s seat you were elated. Everything was so fresh and different. And who doesn’t love that new car smell?!

But the new car smell faded.

You got used to the controls, the fresh layout, and even the bells and whistles you freaked out over on the test drive. You probably didn’t even realize it was happening, but your new car became just “the car.”

Anything we encounter every day can become dull, simply because we’re used to it. Even romance.

But there’s a way to reboot the excitement, super-charging your relationship all over again. And the solution is probably the opposite of what you’d expect.

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How to Make the Most of Weekends with Your Man

How to Make the Most of Weekends with Your ManDo you ever feel like you have two full-time jobs?

First, you’ve got your 40-hour gig. That’s the job that ensures food and shelter. And then there’s the time you have to invest to keep a good relationship going.

Recently, I was talking to my friend, Julia. She and her boyfriend, Chad, are an active couple. They’ve always got something going on.

A couple of weekends back, they toured a local vineyard, attended a music festival, and ran a 5K together. All in the same weekend!

While that sounds like fun, there’s a potential downside. The minute your relationship starts to feel like a second full-time job, POOF! There goes the romance.

A recent study confirms what Julia already knows.

Researchers from Ohio State University conducted a series of 13 experiments. (Apparently, they’re thorough in Ohio.) Their findings were consistent. Packing your weekends full, even with fun stuff, makes Saturday and Sunday feel like another job.[i]

Of course, the opposite’s no better. Sitting around in your sleep pants eating pizza and binge-watching Netflix may be fun for one weekend, but that gets old fast.

So, how do you strike a balance? How do you make plans…without making plans?

I know this is shocking, but I have a strategy for you. There’s an easy way to ensure that your weekends are fun AND carefree.

You just have to follow two rules.

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