Monthly Archives: October 2016

7 Essential Relationship Skills

We’ve all seen the movie: boy meets girl, sparks fly, and they live happily ever after. But is that REALLY the way love works?

Actually, no. The truth is that you can and must IMPROVE your relationship skills – to help you find and build happiness in a long-term relationship.

Here are the 7 essential relationship skills (Source: Dr. Robert Epstein, PH.D.):

1. Communication:  This category involves critically important skills: knowing how to listen, sharing your thoughts and feelings honestly, refraining from criticizing and encouraging your partner to share his or her feelings.

2. Conflict Resolution:  Conflict-resolution skills include techniques such as staying focused on the topic, staying focused on the present, being ready to forgive or apologize, knowing when to take a break.

3. Knowledge of Partner:  What’s his shirt size? What’s his favorite food? After communication, simply knowing a lot about your partner is a powerful way of showing that you care, and makes you better equipped to tend to his or her ongoing needs.

4. Life Skills:  Do you plan for emergencies? Do you exercise and stay fit? Studies show that people usually want their partners to contribute a degree of security to a long-term relationship. People also want their partners to take good care of themselves.

5. Self-Management:  This is not the same as life skills. People who are skilled at self-management take inventories of their strengths and weaknesses and always strive for improvement. They know how to interpret disturbing events in positive ways and they work hard to reach their goals.

6. Sex and Romance:  People with strong skills in these areas inquire and care about how to please their partner sexually, set aside time for intimacy, refrain from blaming their partner when sex doesn’t go smoothly, and try to stay physically attractive for their partner.

7. Stress management:  Do you know how to use breathing, meditation, or imagery techniques to help you fight stress? If you know how to avoid or fight stress, you’ll be better able to love and support your partner.

The Simple, 3-Step Formula To Dating Success

So, you’re ready for a relationship but tired of “dating” – what now?

You’d be surprised to learn that in today’s “online dating app” world, dating fatigue is at an all time high.

In today’s world, more than ever, the key is to date less, but better. Here’s how:

  1. Break free:  If you’ve been trying the same ole dating methods for a while, with little or no success – its time to try something new. Visit some new neighborhoods, join some activity clubs, take some salsa classes, hire a Matchmaker! Albert Einstein said it best: the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result.
  2. Be ready, really ready:  its sometimes easy to start dating with the hope that the right person will simply appear. Truth is, likes attract likes – if you’re looking to meet someone who’s “relationship material”, your chances will be far higher if you’re truly relationship ready yourself.
  3. Look beyond the superficial:  looks matter, who are we kidding. But your perfect match may not be the most superficially attractive person you meet, so if that’s all you’re focused on you may miss your mark. In fact, Matchmakers will tell you to proceed with caution when you’ve met someone you’re REALLY attracted to as you may be blind to the really important relationship criteria they’re lacking. Adopt a ‘2nd-date mindset’ – unless you’ve met someone that you have absolutely zero interest in (or vice-versa), commit to seeing them a second or a third time. Relationships, like all good things in life, take time, patience & follow through.

How To Have An Amazing First Date In 10 Seconds Or Less

They say a bad first impression may be your last. In fact, in today’s hyper-connected world that’s even more true.

But what if we told you that a good first impression, particularly on a first date, is also more important today than ever? Well it is, and making a good first impression will likely lead you from a first date to a second date before you know it:

  1. First come first served: arriving on time on your date, or even a little bit early, is an essential first step to first date success. Find a nice spot where its not too noisy or quiet, and order some water (save the drinks for when your date arrives)  for the table before your date arrives.
  2. Nature’s aphrodisiac: a warm and friendly smile sends the message that you are relaxed and excited all at the same time. This will relax your date and create a ‘virtuous cycle’ of first date success.
  3. Dress for dating success: you don’t need a tuxedo or ball gown (in fact, avoid both on a first date!), but making an effort to look your best is an important part of making a good first impression on your date.
  4. Keep it simple: a simple ‘Hello, its so nice to see you!’ or ‘Hi, you look fantastic!’ is a great way to start a first date. Avoid being overly witty or sarcastic, or launching into complex conversational topics at the start… those will go over better later in your first or second date once you know each other better.
  5. Compliment, sincerely: if you like the way your date looks, or a particular clothing item they’re wearing (or how they’re wearing it), tell them so when you meet. This makes your date feel good, and shows that you’re paying attention to them. But don’t go overboard, telling them they’re incredible before you really know them will come across as insincere and have the opposite effect.

Yes, ‘Cultural Fit’ Matters In Dating — But It May Not Mean What You Think

Vancouver, like most great cities in the world, is as multicultural as they come. But what does this actually mean for YOUR love life?

It actually means less than you think – in both a good & bad way. Here’s what it means for you:

  1. The superficial:  the most immediate impact of dating outside your own culture are the obvious things – different mannerisms, accents, food preferences, tastes. Fortunately, rarely are any of these things central to long term relationship success.
  2. The essential:  the things that truly connect you with someone are often not easily seen on the surface – personality, intelligence, sense of humor, family values, sense of adventure, openness to change. Focus more on these elements, and less on the superficial differences, and you may discover you’re more alike than you ever imagined.
  3. Free your mind and the rest will follow:  its natural to have dating criteria – and there’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to date someone with a similar background. Having said that, if you live in Vancouver, being open to meeting people from different backgrounds can have a ‘multiplier’ effect: an expanded dating pool, more connections (love & friendship), a greater awareness of the world outside your doorstep and, ultimately, an increased chance of finding your special someone.
  4. Communication trumps language:  a language barrier doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker if you don’t make it one. Communication can happen at multiple levels – verbal and non-verbal. Finding an open communication style that works for both of you is key – in fact, this will likely determine whether you make it as a couple long-term or not.