Archive for February, 2014

Four Ways to express Gratitude in your Relationship

February 20, 2014

Join us February 21-24 for our next Getting the Love you Want weekend couples workshop. Learn more and register on our website.

Just because Valentine’s Day is over, it doesn’t mean that you should stop expressing gratitude to your partner. Read what researcher Amie Gordon has  to say about the powerful impact gratitude has on our intimate relationships.

Re-posted from the University of California, Berkeley Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life.

It’s easy to take loved ones for granted. But my research says couples who are grateful to and for each other tend to be happier and are more likely to stay together.  Try these four science-based tips to make sure you get the most out of your acts of kindness.

1. Focus on giving, not getting

It is easy to think about all the nice things our partner will get and do for us on Valentine’s Day. But to make the most of the day, think of February 14th as a day to show your partner how much you care.

Studies have found that giving to others makes us happier than spending time and money on ourselves; my own research shows that giving as a way to express gratitude is likely to help your partner see how great you are and want to do something nice to express gratitude in return.

By focusing on giving and being grateful instead of on getting, you may find that both of you get more in the end.

2. Give them what they want

There is a disconnect between what we want as gift givers and what we want as recipients.

Research finds that when we set out to buy a gift or do something nice for someone else, we tend to think that the more money and time we spend, the better our gift will be. But when we think about what we want to receive as a gift, the price doesn’t matter as much—we are most happy just getting what we want.

Trying to surprise your partner with something she didn’t even know she wanted might feel more special to you, but to maximize gratitude, it is best to give a gift on Valentine’s Day that reflects your partner’s wishes. If you know that your partner loves the simple things like chocolates and flowers, give your partner chocolates and flowers, even if you think that’s silly and you should buy them something expensive instead.

The more your acts of kindness reflect your partner’s wishes and desires (even if they come off an Amazon wish list), the more thoughtful those gifts will be perceived to be—and thoughtful acts promote the most gratitude.

3. Do something unexpected

Expectations are the bane of gratitude. When people expect an act of kindness, such as on Valentine’s Day, they are less grateful for it.

To maximize gratitude on a day filled with high expectations, try doing something unexpected. If you never cook, then make your partner breakfast (if you know that is something he likes). If you don’t like to go out, plan a weekend away. Or surprise your partner with a sweet gift or act of kindness on another day, when expectations are low.

But beware: When people expect an act of kindness and don’t receive it, they tend to feel resentful. So if you know Valentine’s Day is important to your partner, it is best not to neglect it completely!

4. Say “thanks” for who they are

Expressing gratitude when your partner does something nice can go a long way toward boosting your relationship—but to really capitalize on the gratitude, it is best to express your thanks in a way that let’s your partner know you are as grateful for them as you are for their gift.

Sure you love those striped socks your partner got you. But rather than just gushing over how excited you are to try them on, mention how much you appreciate that your partner knows you well enough to pick out a great gift for you, and how he or she always seems to be so good at getting you exactly what you want.

The bottom line: Focusing on your partner—and not just their act of kindness—can help you remember how great they are and help them feel truly appreciated.

Dare ya:

Send your partner an email or text telling them one reason you are grateful to have them in your life. It covers all four categories!

Enjoy !

Tamara

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I’m Dating Someone Even Though I’m Married

February 6, 2014

Our latest guest blogger is Jarrid Wilson, husband, pastor, author, and blogger. He has made a confession that has everyone talking lately. You’ll see why in the post below.


I have a confession to make. I’m dating someone even though I’m married.

She’s an incredible girl. She’s beautiful, smart, cunning, strong, and has an immensely strong faith in God. I love to take her out to dinner, movies, local shows, and always tell her how beautiful she is. I can’t remember the last time I was mad at her for longer than five minutes, and her smile always seems to brighten up my day no matter the circumstances.

Sometimes she will visit me at work unannounced, make me an incredible lunch, or even surprise me with something she personally baked. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be dating someone even though I am married. I encourage you to try it and see what it can do for your life.

Oh! Did I mention the woman I am dating is my wife? What did you expect?

Just because you’re married, doesn’t mean your dating life should end.

I need to continue to date my wife even after I marry her. Pursuing my wife shouldn’t stop just because we both said, “I do.” Way too many times do I see relationships stop growing because people stop taking the initiative to pursue one another.

Dating is a time where you get to learn about someone in a special and unique way. Why would you want that to ever stop? It shouldn’t. Those butterflies you got on the first date shouldn’t stop just because the years have passed. Wake up each day and pursue your spouse as if you are still on your first few dates. You will see a drastic change for the better in your relationship.

When it comes to any relationship, communication and the action of constant pursuit is key. Nobody wants to be with someone who doesn’t want to pursue them whole-heartedly.

I encourage you to date your spouse, pursue them whole-heartedly, and understand that dating shouldn’t end just because you said, “I do.”

Dare ya:

See his website – http://jarridwilson.com/ for additional blogs.