Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Firefighter vs The Flamethrower

 

 

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Are you the firefighter or the flamethrower in your relationship?  The beginning of most relationships start with a “spark”. Over time, the frequent date nights, the endless conversations, and everything so exciting at the beginning of the relationship slightly vanishes. Often times, one or both partners become bored, things become too predictable, and quality time becomes quantity time. You and your partner may spend a lot of time together but are disengaged with one another and your attention is elsewhere. When fuel is not being added to the fire in a relationship, the fire will eventually diminish.

The firefighter in a relationship is predictable, complacent, and lacks creativity. When you become too routined, too comfortable, and not doing anything to spice up the relationship, you are simultaneously extinguishing your fire. Lacking creativity affects romance, dates, gift ideas, communication, and even sex life. When you become too boring it increases the likelihood of  your partner’s interest in other things and people. In a relationship, we have responsibilities to fulfill the desires of our partner. These responsibilities include but are not limited to, entertainment, support, sexual desires, and intimacy. “I don’t have time” is not a viable excuse. We make time for things that are important to us. How many times have you made special arrangements to watch a new episode  for your favorite television show? How many hair appointments have you missed? Don’t allow the challenges of every day life to water down your flames. Let’s state the facts, certain things about our relationship eventually become routined but it is important to keep it exciting and throw a few flames from time to time.

Can you still keep the fire burning after years of being together? Of course you can, relationships require hard work and dedication. We still spice it up from time to time and you can too! When excitement is rarely occurring, we grow bored and our partner’s weaknesses overshadow their strengths.  When you are constantly reinventing yourself, spontaneous, and value intimacy you demonstrate the qualities of a flamethrower. By reinventing yourself, your focus is not on becoming a different person but improving your attributes and drawing your partner closer to you.  When adding that extra fire, it adds excitement and optimism from your spouse. For example, “You are so romantic!” or “You keep me happy.” In a “flamethrowing” relationship, you both keep dating each other and doing the things that brought you two together. You both do different things, go different places, and try new hobbies together. By throwing flames, it intensifies spontaneity, spices things up, and keeps it interesting.

Noone wants a dull, boring, and predictable relationship. If you do, you should probably seek counseling immediately. It takes constant work to keep any fire burning and that includes fire in your relationship. Keep feeding your fire with open communication, creative dates, and seduction. Enjoy time together but don’t lose yourself in the process. “Me time” is essential, give each other space from time to time, it makes your time together more valuable.  Flames only need to be thrown periodically. It is impossible for someone to throw flames and spontaneity all the time. A flame here and there is enough to keep your relationship burning with passion. So let’s not extinguish and water down our fire by becoming complacent and taken our partner for granted.  Keep the “spark” that brought you and your partner together. Continue to grow together and allow your love to blaze in all aspects!

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Personalized Gift Basket

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A personalized romantic gift is a one-of-a-kind keepsake that will always be cherished.  It can be given on a special holiday or just because! The picture above is a a gift that I made for my husband. Jonathan enjoys reading so I included spiritual books, a mini notebook, bookmarks, sticky notes, and a bible cover in his basket. To make it even more personal, I added his favorite candy and love notes we’ve written one another from 8th grade until now in the basket.

The bow, plastic wrapping, and a few other items I used to make the basket were bought from a store called Hobby Lobby. This is a gift idea for anyone that wants to make a unique and thoughtful gift. Include items in the basket that your partner enjoys or likes. It will make your partner feel loved like no other!

A Simple Recipe

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       Ingredients
    Regroup “cool down”                Positive Approach
   Mutual agreement                    Active  Listening

So let’s indicate what we are whipping up with the ingredients. These  are the key components to help build the foundation for effective communication when topics arise that are difficult for couples to discuss. By learning to really listen  to each other and using effective ways to communicate will allow couples to manage conflict. All couples will experience conflict but knowing how to handle conflict is one of the key ingredients for a successful relationship. Let’s discuss the ingredients needed to mix thoroughly, blend until smooth, and to serve on a daily basis.

Communicating effectively isn’t always an easy task. We are still learning how to effectively communicate with one another and have learned that our styles of communication are different.  Two people have different personalities and come from different backgrounds so communication may be expressed differently. One person may be more emotional or expressive when talking than the other.  It is important to learn your partner’s communication style. Our voice tone, facial expressions, or body language can inhibit a message from being apprehended.  So often we judge body language, facial expressions, or the tone of voice versus the message itself. To diminish negative responses it is important to pick the right time to convey an important message. Many times we think we need to be heard the minute we have a thought or feeling when the other person is wrapped into something else.By allowing a person to “check in” before you deliver your message will help prevent a negative response.  Both partners should pick a time to communicate about an issue when there are no distractions so that both partners can give their full attention and approach it positively. It takes two and both partners have to be willing to take turns as the speaker and listener.

Just think, how many conversations have drifted off into an argument due to the presentation of the message. When a message is submitted to someone when that person is not interested it can lead to negative body language, voice tone, and/or facial expressions. It is also important not to “attack” your partner when presenting a message. For example, “You are always messing up the kitchen!”  When we constantly repeat “you” and are giving negative statements of what the other partner is doing or does, it can lead to a heated argument. Using “I” and “me” when delivering a message won’t allow your partner to feel attacked or blamed. For example, “I get aggravated when the kitchen is a mess and not cleaned up.” We have to “cool down” and pick the right time and place to present a message so that both partners can tune in and manage the issue together. Learning effective ways to communicate won’t help us avoid conflict in our relationship but will help prevent the conflict we do have from demolishing our relationship.

How should we communicate? One of the  most important steps of effective communication is to listen attentively without interruption. Listening and allowing the other person to get his or her message delivered is vital in a relationship. A positive approach and having a positive regard to your partner’s thoughts and feelings is one of the first steps for effective communication. In our relationship, one person has the dominant personality so the other person feels like they hardly ever get their point across; therefore when the next topic approaches the person that isn’t as dominant is venting. So to solve an issue in this situation, it is important to allow one another to get each point across so that both partners can feel confident in their role in the relationship. We have to learn to accept ones feelings and differences and to verbally acknowledge compliance to what the other person is saying. In many cases, we have to accept that we will not always agree with our partner on every issue and agree to disagree. We hear this statement used very often but agreeing to disagree on sensitive issues can be done by two people who are willing to compromise and this will determine the strength of a relationship. Successful long-term relationships involve ongoing effort and compromise by both partners.

So a simple recipe for effective communication in the midst of issues and conflict that will arise can be prepared by couples who are willing to use the key ingredients and not rely on selfish actions to ruin the “meal” that is designed to nourish the relationship that you have built and are continuing to build!

I want a Divorce

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What do we want to divorce? We want to divorce selfishness, pessimism, and impassiveness. Divorce means to separate;detach from. We have to detach ourselves from negative thinking and accept that every couple has speed bumps but we WILL get over them.

Our mindset determines our mood, relationship, and our well-being.  So often, we allow our self-centeredness to disengage us from our spouse, our coworkers, our families, or friends. It’s important to consider the impact of our actions and how it has an affect on others. Self-centeredness transcends to not allowing emotions to spill out and be intimate which leads to a lost of expressing affection towards your partner. When someone is self-centered everything is all about his or her desires.”Your not making me happy.”  “Your not doing what I want!” Selfish ways generally leads to a pessimistic attitude.

When we are pessimistic, we tend to view things so negatively that it overshadows the positives in our relationship. Pessimism allows someone to no longer focus on the love, friendship, and camaraderie. The very foundation in which your relationship was built on.  Combat this thinking because often things are not as bad as they seem and you are only a few adjustments away from the love you deserve.

When we are so selfish and allow negative thoughts to overtake our mind we become impassive. Impassiveness is when someone shows no emotion and is uncommunicative. It’s important to express our emotions to allow our chemistry  to flow.  We have to take down the barrier that prohibits God’s idea of love for us.
So let’s divorce negative demeanors and unite with a positive perspective towards our relationship. “Now divorce that!”

How to Choose a Partner

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If we are in the market of house shopping, of course we’re going to have a few houses that attracts us more than others. However, we would not make that purchase without the approval of an inspector. The inspector will tell us about the foundation of the house (the moral makeup of the person).  We may want to inspect the moral goals of a person, the person’s view on spirituality, commitment, family values, character, and hobbies.

Our point is, choose a partner based off traits that won’t fade over time. Physical appearance may diminish with age, weight gain, or health. A pure heart, generous spirit, a loyal soul will blossom with time. It is always wise to choose a partner beyond just the things that meet the eye for a long lasting relationship.