Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine’s Day Love info….

Today's Post:  Thursday, 2-12-2013

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dark chocolate in moderation is good for your heart!

Every year in February is Heart Month because the symbol of Valentine’s day is a heart.

We did that post last Tuesday, 2-12-2013 on effective ways to protect your heart.

And, the best news is that 90% of what both men and women need to have their sex lives go well you get by doing the regular extremely slow repetitions strength training and interval or variable cardio with intense sections and following a heart protective way of eating.

It can help to replace youthful hormones. But that’s a big & complex subject for another time.

But that kind exercise and health OK lifestyle gets both men and women 90% of the way there.  Blood flows where it’s supposed to go; you’re fit and strong and tend to look good; and your nerves are in good shape so you feel what you are supposed to fee.

But the best way to make it better is to have a great relationship with your partner.

If you like and trust and care about each other it gives you great leverage on making everything in your life better.  And, it’s critical where a good love life is concerned.

So what works to do that??

The wonderful news is that there is a large and usable list of things that do work!

I’ll post them in 3 parts.

1.  People can tell when your emotions are positive.

a)  So, it can really help to remember first why you do like your lover.  Even if there are problems with your relationship at times, there are also reasons why you like them.  Just bring those reasons to mind.  Focus on one or two and then look intently at them and feel that liking.

b)  When you get to know someone well, you get to know what their legitimate strengths are.

And, even if your lover doesn’t do ALL you might like, they do some things you like and appreciate.

Bring those to mind too.  There are negatives in life and there certainly are in relationships.

But if you let your lover know you notice their strengths and things they do you like -- about three times as often as the negatives come up, your lover will feel liked and appreciated and be much happier.

The key way to do this is to notice these things when they happen! –
-- and let your lover know you did and you like that they did -- and that you appreciate them and noticed how well they did something when they do.

It seems simple. 

But it really is true. If people appreciate your good points and let you know when you please them and are usually glad to see you  --
YOU feel a lot better and it’s easier for you to like that person and even forgive that person for occasional hassles or disagreements that show up.

The same is true for your lover.  And most of the time, and the more you treat them that way, the better your relationship will be.

Simply knowing to do it and getting used to doing it most of the time, really helps!

Make sure to notice opportunities and do these things when they show up!

c)  It’s easy to notice great results and easy to show you like them. 

But in a relationship, it’s also critical to notice good intent even when the results are not so good.

My own Dad was really great at this. If you gave him something he couldn’t accept, or it wasn’t something he really, really liked  --  He was always gracious and showed how pleased he was with your intent, your desire to please him.

After seeing how well I felt when he did this with me and how he and my Mom stayed together when many couples don’t, I can’t say enough about how important this skill is!

When I see members of couples being nasty when they get gifts that weren’t to their taste or “perfect”, I wince!  This is a BAD idea!  Never, ever do it!

Do yourself a favor and be like my Dad and your relationship will be MUCH better!

2.  Show by your actions you are willing to please your lover.

Both of the two ways to do this have been PROVEN to make relationships better and last longer!

a)  There once was a great enthusiasm for listening well in relationships and to give feed back showing you did hear what your lover said.
Quoting them as exactly as you can and asking clarifying questions even works best

It IS a good idea.  But oddly, research found that doing it was only very modestly helpful for relationships if that.

But they found something that WAS dramatically effective.

What the researchers found was that what counted was doing what your lover asked you to do!

Is this always easy or even convenient to do?

Nope! In fact, it very often is totally inconvenient or extremely difficult to do!

This is NOT relevant unfortunately to the results you get.

This research found that the people who saw doing this is very high priority and did the things they could do right away even when it wasn’t convenient had much better relationships and much longer lasting relationships than people who didn’t.

The other things that worked were to:

Immediately say what parts of what your lover asked you could do right away and begin doing them –
and which parts you feel you have to do another time and asked if a definite commitment and follow up at a definite later time would be OK.

Then, the important thing is to deliver on what you promised.

What if you get asked to do something that simply doesn’t fit you are?

This one has two solutions:

Yes, you can’t stop being who you really are and you may not want to!

But everyone has a range of ways to be.  And at the extreme end of that range, you may be able to do something similar to what you got asked to do.  Do that! Or ask if doing that would help.

The other one is more strategic.  Ask why they want you to do it and be very warm and easy to talk to when you ask AND be absolutely silent until they answer.  Once they say why, show you are very pleased! 

And, you should be!  Without doing the thing you can’t do or simply won’t do, quite often you CAN do and would be happy to do something or several things that give them what they actually want!

Then do those immediately or give a definite commitment of when you will.

b)  A closely related way to make your relationship work is to fix something that’s broken about how you do things or that your lover finds aversive.

That, I just discovered, has been shown by actual research, is as effective in making relationships go well and last as doing what your lover asks and is a variation of it.

You have real flaws.  Everyone does.  But if one IS real, there likely IS a way you can learn to fix it.

When you know or find out quickly that there is a fix you CAN do, DO it and make sure your lover knows and keep working on it until it’s no longer broken.

Other times, you can’t find out how to fix it or you can’t do it or you can but it will take 10 years. 

The trick with this one is to fix the parts of it you can fix AND find out HOW it is unpleasant for your lover and find ways to stop that part of it.

Here’s a recent personal example.

I’ve had truly dreadful posture but found this was because my back had somewhat frozen in the position it was in most often since for many years I spent a LOT of time hunched over and reading.  I wanted to please my wife but despaired of ever being able to with this one. I tried what I thought up to do but found it had no effect.

Then I went to a chiropractor to see if he could do a procedure for me that I’d found in a medical research article that reduced high blood pressure by 14 over 8 on the average which is a HUGE drop.

I was astounded to find that 95% of the way to get the effect I wanted was to practice the corrective posture exercises he has found effective.

I’ve been even more astounded to find they work!  And, my wife is delighted.

The other one for me is that my mouth works like an echo chamber and when I eat something super crunchy it can be like I’m amplifying the noise.

This really irritates my wife at times.  Nope I’ve not fixed it.  But I have found two ways to avoid it bothering her.

One way is to keep taking smaller chews and breaking down the surface that’s too crunchy for quite a bit.  Then when it finally breaks up into pieces, it’s nowhere near as noisy when I chew it.  (It’s also safer for my teeth for some foods like fat raw carrots.)

I also eat Brazil nuts a few times a week.  It can sound like cannon shots when I do.  So I do two things.  I eat them at work where it can’t bother her; and when I eat them at home, I step outside until I’ve chewed enough it’s no longer that loud and come back in.

Is it worth it?

I think she is. 

But more than that, the research was extremely clear that people who do this have stable relationships despite their other flaws and the times they really piss off their lover.

Does this happen for people who fail to make this extra effort?  Nope.

To me that shows this IS that important!

3.  Learn to do optimistic thinking by the definition found by Martin Seligman, the master social psychologist. 

People who do this see good things as permanent and have hope and take confident actions even when most people would think it hopeless – sometimes to almost extreme levels -- are optimistic by this definition.  And, as long as they take action prudently and test before they dive in, this gets dramatically more done, achieved, and fixed.

Oddly, the skill for when bad things happen is total rationality and analysis almost at the Nobel Prize winning researcher level.

Optimistic people believe when bad things happen, they are limited in their effects, have very specific causes, and are often temporary.  They do NOT jump to false conclusions that unfixable characteristics are present.  This is actually quite accurate and much more sane than thinking the reverse.

And, of course, the two parts work together when bad things happen.  Optimistic people see the specific causes or find them.  They do NOT jump to false conclusions or label things as always the case when in actual fact they are NOT.

Then they use this accurate knowledge to fix what went wrong or prevent it effectively next time with their hopeful and proactive side.

For relationships, the better you learn to use these skills in ALL of your life, the better your relationships will be.

For example, you don’t jump to the conclusion that your lover is always nasty when it isn’t the case.  The difference between, my lover is hateful and right now my lover is unusually crabby and hard to please is as wide as the Grand Canyon.

In fact, this kind of optimism empowers and makes easier all the steps I listed first!

I commend it to you!   

Hope too that your Valentine’s goes well or went well!   

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