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Corenerstones of Relationship
Love is perhaps our most powerful emotion, and the need to be in a loving relationship may be one of the strongest needs we have. Being in an intimate relationship makes us feel connected, not only to our partner, but also to the world at large. When our hearts are filled with love, we feel profoundly content and satisfied. We become more patient, more empathetic, kinder, gentler. What's the key to successful relationships? Following are 25 simple things you can take to deepen your partnership and make your relationship work.
- Without quality time, your relationship will not survive. Carve out at least half an hour a night, and at least one day a month when you the two of you spend time exclusively together.
- You will both need security, comfort. A good relationship is built on compromise and a great deal of give and take on both sides.
- Keep your dependence and independence in balance. Tell and show your partner how much you need him, but don't cling, as that can make your partner feel trapped.
- Encourage your partner to listen to you, by showing appreciation when he/ she does. By the same token, show interest when your partner talks to you. Be aware that most men aren't mentally programmed for conversation in the way women are. They need more silence and internal time.
- Make your partner appreciate you. Don't wait for a spontaneous compliment, but say something good about yourself and ask for the agreement.
- Have Physical intimacy. Physical intimacy is a natural, and healthy, extension of a relationship. Our best sexual intentions are often put to rest, however, as we collapse into an exhausted heap at the end of the day. Instead, you and your partner need to consciously commit to turning up the heat. Leave the dishes in the sink, turn the laptop off, and just do it!
- Learn to do the one thing that is most likely to restore good feeling in your relationship - giving your partner a genuine, loving and approving smile.
- Often those subtle quirks that first attracted you to your partner can, with time, turn around and become toe-curlingly annoying habits. Learn to love him, warts and all.
- Hidden resentments poison a relationship; so if something bothers you, say it. Remember that while men are wary of emotional conversations, they love to find solutions. Express your problem and then ask your partner to help you find the answer.
- Learn that punishing your partner won't work. It may make you feel better to give him a hard time, but it will actually make him dig his heels in more. A better tactic is to reward the things you like and ignore what you don't like.
- Money is the number one cause of couple conflict. For a relationship to work, you need to address your finances and work out a budget.
- If the domestic work is not divided fairly between you, it will cause friction in your relationship. Make a list of the domestic tasks, talk it through with your partner and mobilize the whole family, your partner included, to share the work.
- If you have children, involve your partner as much as possible with the childcare - even if you feel he's not as good as it at you are. It's important to present a united front to your children.
- Sort out your sex life. The sex may ebb and flow over the years, but if sex starts going downhill, don't just accept it. As soon as you notice a slide, question why and then work at bringing the passion back.
- Don't assume you won't be tempted to have an affair as almost everyone is. You need to learn to resist. If you do stray, don't feel it spells the end of your relationship. Most couples recover, particularly from a one-night-stand, and often find that unrooting the cause of the affair helps them to get even closer. So, you need to learn to resist. But don't think that an affair is the end of everything.
- Remember that boredom typically covers up anger. If you feel bored with him, ask yourself what you're angry about.
- Be aware that men generally feel overwhelmed by emotion more than women do. If he's angry or tearful, half an hour's 'unflooding' time to himself will help get his balance back and make him more able to interact positively with you.
- Learn how to argue well. The trick is to never say anything that you wouldn't want to hear said to you.
- Research suggests you need five positive experiences to erase the memory of one negative experience. So give five kind words for each bitchy comment. Give five hugs for each cold shoulder.
- Learn how to negotiate. Each of you states what you want, then both of you work together to find a way forward.
- Accept the things that won't change. Some characteristics about your partner are there for life - and you have to face that.
- Learn to forgive. If you know you will never forgive your partner over something important, then give him - and yourself - a break and start again, with someone else.
- Realize that the two of you will shift and change over the years. So, even if you think you understand your partner, or believe you have agreements sorted, check regularly - at least once a year - to make sure that neither of you has changed your mind.
- Know when to leave. If your life aims are incompatible, there are heavy drugs or violence around, or if there is consistently more pain than pleasure, then walk before the relationship destroys you.
- Don't think that going to counseling equals failure. It can turn a bad relationship around. It can turn an average relationship into a brilliant one.
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