skip to Main Content

Vines Intertwined

A number of friends and clients recently shared with me that, after learning that my partner and I go out on regular date nights, they began making date night part of their schedules as well. What a happy occurrence! It makes me smile to know that these couples are out chatting over dinner and enjoying each other instigated by my partner and I enjoying a regular date night.

With that said, I thought it worthy of taking this opportunity to share some food for thought about why fun habits like date night are not an indulgence, but a necessity.

Before we hone in on our personal experience as partners, a broad sociological perspective sheds some light on the state of committed partnerships as a whole. We regularly hear such phrases as the “decline of marriage” or “soaring divorce rates” on the news and in popular culture. As a coach, I am less interested in the institutional or political concerns and more interested in the individual’s experience of happiness and fulfillment in her or his chosen partnership. However, some studies do bear sharing.

According to a study published in 1998, only one-third of marriages were rated “happy” by the partners and intact after 16 years. Other longitudinal studies demonstrate that generally the longer we are married, the less happy we are in our marriage. Research on other types of committed partnerships beyond heterosexual marriage is sparse, but other sociological research, including that of Dr. Helen Fisher, points to a phenomenon of waning attraction between partners as time goes on. With the research about the happiness of individuals in long-term committed partnerships indicating a bleak future for those of us who are partnered or looking to be partnered long-term, what is a happiness-seeking, fun-loving dyad to do!?

At least part of the answer may be as simple as a regular date night. I can’t avoid saying it: “Couples who play together, stay together.” Who hasn’t yet heard this pop culture mantra? After a collective eye roll in response to the painful word crafting of said cliché, let’s take some time and explore why the phenomenon exists, the truth of the concept, and, if it does indeed exist, what keeps us from employing this ultimately fun strategy for keeping our relationship fresh?

For the factual foundation to this phenomenon and proposed solution, I again highlight Dr. Helen Fisher’s research. In her book, Why We Love, Dr. Fisher demonstrates the phenomenon that early in relationships we produce increased neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. This happy biochemical occurrence leads us to feel increased motivation along with a boost to our mood and libido. Over time, the level of production decreases and lends to the phenomenon of “settling down” comfortably into a rut.

Research shows, and continues to show, that couples that engage in active and new experiences together are happier over the long-term. It seems as though combating the urge to settle down and resisting falling into that rut are wise moves on the part of the motivated couple.

Now, let me be clear, that doesn’t mean that date night should be at the same restaurant, at the same time every week, ordering the same things and talking about the same subjects. The research suggests that we schedule time to enjoy activities as a couple that are new, novel, active and fun. This includes activities that you may each deem a bit risky. Risky in the sense that they land you out of your comfort zone into the place of growth. Activities that push your edge. Now I am not suggesting that you run right out and schedule your first skydiving tour, but you should explore some activities that broaden each of your horizons.

I propose the concept of collaborative evolution. Collaborative evolution has many facets and playing together addresses a number of them. As I have shared before, we are all constantly changing and evolving personally. With clients, I enjoy regularly singing the praises of curiosity and the importance of regularly looking within.

Collaborative evolution is the idea that we take each other along on our journeys of personal evolution. This doesn’t mean you have to do all the same things and love all of the same activities, but it does mean you are open to different experiences, especially the ones your partner is passionate about! As we remain curious about one another, we maximize the opportunity to grow together, to evolve collaboratively, like vines each growing separately yet intertwined.

You don’t have to call it anything special. You just have to do it! The reality is most of us don’t do it for the most avoidable reasons: lack of planning, the excuse of being overscheduled, simply not making your relationship a priority. Well, research has shown us a fun solution to increasing our happiness as couples, now it is up to you to make it happen!

Here are some practical tips:

Agree with your partner that regular dates are a priority.

Set at least three dates immediately.

Keep up with scheduling. Always have a date to anticipate!

Vary your activities. Perhaps you alternate between each other’s suggested activities.

Keep in mind there is no need to break the bank! Be creative. There are many activities that don’t cost a cent.

Visit Chicago life coaches and get a session in with one of the best life coaches around and transform your life and your partner’s life.

Be open-minded and have fun with it!

Cleaning Services

It is so hard to get good help these days!

Well, you would not be saying this if you are lucky enough to find reliable cleaning service professionals or contractors to get the cleaning job done for you!

Compared to the days when only a few had access to the Internet and only a number of businesses were utilizing the World Wide Web to promote their products and expertise, it is actually easier to find good help these days!

All you have to do is sit in front of your computer, connect to the Internet and let your fingers get to work, on the keyboard, that is.

Type in “Cleaning Services” on a search engine like Google Search, for instance. You may want to add the name of your country, city or locality so as to narrow down the search. Actually, you may even want to search for “Good Cleaning Services” just to be exact.

Of course, a thousand or more websites or pages enlisted in online directories will probably claim that they are the best cleaning service professionals in your area and you would most definitely be hard up at choosing which provider to hire. So how would you know if they are really what they claim to be?

Thank the heavens for forums! Because there is no limit to what you can post online, some disgruntled customers would most certainly give their feedback regarding unsatisfactory service of a certain provider or contractor at one point or another. Again, use the search engine to find this. Or if it is the other way around, then you could easily search for another site which is dedicated to customer satisfaction regarding the provider or contractor in any search engine as well.

A good cleaning service provider or contractor will also be honest to its customers when asked to cite at least a few of its handled customers in the past. Reputation is a key term in keeping all businesses, including that of cleaning services, alive and kicking.

Ever heard of the term, by word-of-mouth? You get to know about a certain business by word-of-mouth which is equivalent to its reputation. The truth is, it does not really matter if it has a good or a bad reputation because either way, it will be well-talked about.

Of course, will you hire the cleaning service provider if you have heard bad things about it? Actually, if they are indeed professionals and are confident and efficient in performing their services, they will not even wait for you to ask them to cite references. They will promote their business by sharing their experiences with former customers who were satisfied with their service!

Just remember to do at least a little research regarding the cleaning service provider or contractor and the cleaning services that they provide before hiring them to do all the dirty work for you. It will save you money as well as help spare you from regret and dissatisfaction in the long run.

Why should I do Yoga?

There are so many reasons to practice Yoga. Some come for the flexibility, others for the stress relief, still others to find relief from physical pain, and there are many more reasons to unroll your mat and practice. Yoga, which comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” means to yoke, join or unite. This implies joining or integrating all aspects of the individual to lead a balanced and useful life. Most importantly, Yoga teaches us to tune in to our “Self” by peeling off layers of expectations and conditioning. And then, in Yoga, we learn to really listen to ourselves and begin to understand. It is because of this tuning in, this listening, that Yoga can help us to become better communicators. So, maybe you did not come to your mat to become a better communicator, and that’s okay. But as you tune in, it is likely that you will, and here are just a few reasons why, from practical physical reasons to the more philosophical:

Yoga brings awareness to the breath. According to the Bergerac company, when we are nervous, speaking energy becomes trapped in our abdomen, the place most of us instinctively tighten when we feel threatened or under stress. As soon as we tighten the belly, the diaphragm cannot move properly. In our restoring fertility Yoga practice, over time, we intrinsically understand the ebb and flow of the breath, and will have the awareness, as well as many Pranayama techniques to guide us.

Yoga encourages Self acceptance. This acceptance, built over time in our practice, allows us to find equanimity in every situation so that we are confident in our Selves. We will not therefore, be as tempted to say something just to appease someone else, we will be able to use our authentic voice which will lead to more calm, clear and focused communication.

In Yoga, we learn not to judge control, force, coerce, or even expect. As far as how this can enhance your communication, this one speaks for itself!! Think about how much more effectively you can communicate if you let go of the control of every outcome and simply focus on sharing what you have to say and listening.

Yoga encourages you to listen. When you spend time in practice listening to yourself, and that means, really listening to yourself, you begin to understand what it means to be present and listen to what is there, not what you think is there, or what you have always thought . As you become more skilled at listening, this naturally transcends your practice on the mat and you are able to be fully present and listen to others as well.

Yoga encourages peaceful conflict resolution. So you are in class, standing on one foot, and lifting the other leg and wrapping it around your standing leg, and then you are wrapping your arms around each other, right? Sounds like the body is way out of its comfort zone. So what do you do? Become angry? Yell at the teacher? Withdraw and give up? Nope. You BREATHE. Now, if you can simply breathe into this challenge in class, surely you will approach conflicts off the mat with a little more tranquility.

Yoga encourages you to treat yourself with love, kindness and respect. And, thus, you can open to others in the same fashion.

Back To Top
×Close search
Search