Nobody gets me like you do

Certainly there can not be a girl that hasn’t heard this line or a guy who hasn’t uttered it.  Unfortunately, it’s complete bullshit.  It’s a line designed to flatter your ego and ease their way into your panties.  It is a very effective means to an end.

The line works because it makes you feel special; as though you are the only person in the world with this magical connection to this other person.  It attempts to establish an immediate familiarity, a fast forward button to intimacy.  It turns that guy you barely know into “the one.”  I’m not saying that people don’t connect in unique ways, they most certainly do and you will connect with lots of people over your lifetime.

When a guy is throwing down a line like this too quickly, you would be correct to feel suspicious, not closer to him.  Consider his intentions for saying it.  He may want sex (okay, they *all* want sex) but he might also be a love junkie (addicted to the high that comes with the flirt and not in it for the long-term, even if he’s unaware of his status himself).

So don’t confuse that rush of hormones with knowledge of or experience with the other person.  Make sure you know them, not just their lines.

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Striking a balance on holiday commitments

Holiday invitations are starting to roll in and quickly your free time will be taken over with social commitments.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even easier to feel disconnected with your partner.  Here’s how to handle it:

  • Keep an online calendar that both of you can check remotely (work, smartphone, etc.).  Check before you book anything and put anything you commit to on the calendar.
  • Establish a mandatory transition time if you have two events schedule for the same day.  A good calculation is one hour plus preparation time/transportation time.  This will keep you from feeling stressed out and sniping at each other.
  • Determine an arrival time and a departure time.  Stick to your schedule even if you’re having fun.  It’s better to leave them wanting more.
  • Learn to distinguish between a mandatory commitment and an optional commitment.  Family commitments are mandatory.  Work commitments may seem optional but be careful – a lot of socializing with the higher-ups occurs at company and department holiday parties.
  • Stock your kitchen with easy-to-prepare meals and healthy snacks you can eat on the go.  Don’t let your blood sugar get the better of your emotions.
  • Where possible, carpool only with your significant other and use the time in the car as your opportunity to connect, not just exchange small talk or information.
  • Stick to your sleep schedule.  Sleep-deprivation can lead to forgetfulness and short-tempers, neither of which is conducive to a healthy relationship.

Your children are not your relationship

Some people have made the mistake of choosing their children over their relationship.  Worse, they don’t even know that they’re doing it.  Parenting can be exhausting.  It can really test your endurance and while you may want it all, it can be difficult to have it all.  Choices need to be made and priorities assigned.

Do not make the mistake of focusing more on your children than on your relationship.  Yes, children are precious little minds that you are responsible for molding into productive citizens.  However, in eighteen years, they’re going to be moving out of your house and you’ll be left with a complete stranger for a spouse and nothing to say because the main topic of conversation is gone.

Your children are important but so is your significant other.  Continue to make time to check in with them on a daily basis.  Have date night – yes it’s cheesy but it’s also important.  Stay connected to your partner through common interests (no, the children do not qualify as a common interest).  Remain a couple, even within a family.

All your stolen moments

Time in relationships tends to go very quickly.  As your life gets more complicated (jobs, house, kids), you have less time to spend with your partner and you will spend more of that time talking about the logistics of life rather than connecting with each other.

My suggestion?  Steal time.

That few minutes in the morning when the coffee is brewing.  That thirty minutes while dinner is cooking.  Even the commercials between your favorite programs (press the mute button).  These are all moments that can be put to better use.  Re-purpose that time to connect with your partner and be aware that men respond best to a physical demonstration of connection rather than words.  Relax.  Have fun.  Concentrate solely on your relationship as though nothing else exists.

Time that can also be stolen – when your plans fall through.  An emergency arose and your plans got canceled?  Be happy that you now have several uninterrupted hours with your partner.  Do not fall into the trap of immediately scheduling something else that needs to be done.  It has gone this long without your attention, will another hour make a difference?  That hour may make a difference in your relationship.

Direct from my desk – week 32

Advances from generation to generation are not necessarily a benefit to your relationship.  We are absolutely drowning in devices these days and there is an expectation that we’re to be available 24/7 to whomever wishes to contact us.  Not only is this false, it’s harmful to us and our relationships.  In the past, we had downtime built into our schedule, today we have to create that same downtime.

  • Decide on a time every night after which phone calls are not accepted. Let people know when its acceptable to contact you and be consistent.  Only emergencies are allowed after this time (and emergency needs to include one of the following words:  accident, injury, hospital, body, disaster).
  • Cell phones (calls and text messages) should also have on- and off-hours.  Unless you’re “on call” for your job, nothing is so important that it can’t wait until tomorrow.  Do not answer your phone for a non-emergency when you’re face-to-face with someone.
  • No laptops in the bedroom.  Computers need to be turned off at a certain point at night.  People are not sending urgent messages via email or messaging programs.
  • Tablets – face it, it’s a computer.  See above.
  • Entertainment devices (television, stereo, etc.) don’t belong in your bedroom.  Your bedroom is for activities related to your bed, not for entertaining.

My mailbox is open:  girldontbestupid@gmail.com