Escape The Routine And Add Some Play Into Your Relationship

We all know the feeling of being in a rut in your relationship with your partner. All your time is consumed with going to work, taking care of family and maintaining the household. But if you can’t remember the last time you felt excited or curious with your partner about something that is going to happen then you need to add some play and adventure into your life. 

  • When was the last time you felt excited and shared that with your partner?
  • When was the last time you did something new together?

Play and adventure are critical to the success of your relationship yet it is usually at the bottom of our to-do list. When we experience something new and exciting it brings a pleasurable rush to the relationship and creates trust, intimacy and a deeper connection. 

A couple that tries something new together can bring a new interest to the relationship. Now you and your partner may have very different ideas of what is fun to do. One of you may be extremely daring and want to go river rafting or dirt bike riding when the other would prefer a cooking class or a nature walk. 

 According to Dr. John Gottman “It’s okay if you and your partner have different ideas about what constitutes play and adventure.The key is for you to respect each other’s sense of adventure and what it means to that partner”

There may be times when you experience the play separately and other times when it is something you choose to do together. If it is separate than it is wise to still make time to talk to your partner and let them share about their play, support them and encourage them because the joy that they get from that experience and knowing that you are encouraging them will create a trust and deeper connection.

It is important to also find a place where your different styles of play can connect. An activity that is new, challenging, fun and safe for both of you. The experience doesn’t have to be extreme, it simply has to be new and different, anything that pushes you outside the normal and stimulates you in a new way. There is something about facing the new challenge together, supporting each other, sharing a new experience and connecting in a new way. It could be trying a new restaurant, traveling to a new place, playing a board game or making new friends. Newness is the key, shake up the everyday with something new. We all need a spice of humor, laughter, fun and even silliness in our everyday life. 

Don’t allow your life to fall into a stagnant routine. We all need something to look forward to and to take our mind off the everyday responsibilities. I challenge you to be creative and make play a priority for the two of you. You will find it is worth it.

Written by Lisa Strong

5 Deadly Sins of Body Language

When the silent movies came out during the early part of the 19th century, actors conveyed love, anger, sadness and respect through body language. We do the same in our everyday life. There is aggressive body language, uninterested body language, closed body language and annoyed body language that can encapsulate other poor behaviors. Since communication is 50 percent nonverbal, we might want to be more cognizant of the use of body language to prevent friction. Here are 5 deadly sins of negative body language. 

Crossed Arms
The crossed arms across the chest are standard worldwide as being defensive. You are simply blocking out others and what they have to say. This is the opposite of what you want to do.  Until you unfold your arms or get the other person to unfold theirs, no one is listening. This invisible barrier is your signal to change the direction of the conversation as you will get nowhere. If you are notorious for crossing your arms, let your arms fall to the sides. This will feel uncomfortable but so what. And with some practice, you will master it. 

Avoiding Eye Contact
When someone avoids eye contact, it could mean that they fear rejection, are ashamed or they are hiding something. If someone is blinking more than normal, they could be apprehensive about something that they want to talk about. As difficult and awkward as it may feel, use direct eye contact.  This builds trust and shows true engagement in the conversation.

Finger Pointing and Arms Waving
You know when you’re enjoying a nice time with someone then one comment is made and boom…unsettling voices start to rise and it escalates to another level with finger wagging, finger pointing and a scowl. If there is lot of movement like a sweeping motion with the arms, it is clear that the person is being aggressive is more than just a little upset. It’s important to remain calm because if you feed into this anger, it will only become worse. Use empathy, as this can deescalate most heated conversations.  Always respect personal space and if needed take a time out.

Looking at Your Phone
This has to be the most aggravating thing on the planet when you are in a conversation. I’ve been known to just stop talking until the person puts the phone away. When we are having a conversation and the other person is looking at their phone it is dismissive and aggravating–all in one. “Tinkering with a mobile phone – however innocent your intention – whilst someone else is speaking gives the impression that you are both rude and disinterested,” reported Maguire Training. If you are engaged in a discussion or spending time with someone, please for the love of Pete–keep your phone out of reach. If you do, understand that you are conveying that you don’t care.

Resting Your Head
I’m guilty! If the person you are talking to is resting their head in their hands, it is a sign that they are bored, not interested or too tired to have the conversation. They want to be somewhere else and they are not engaged with you at the moment. This is always a bad sign since we all want to be paid attention to. I’m often tired so I often rest my head.  I’ve been made aware this makes other feel dismissed.  Be intentional about keeping your head up and eyes focused.

There are so many other examples of negative body language… snickering, eye rolling, walking away, and so on.  Body language is an interesting subject and a good way to gauge where people’s heads and hearts are. We all play a part in negative body language. However, it is up to us to counter these actions with positive forms of communication to prevent angst in our relationships.

I understand that this sounds simple but it’s not easy.  I am always here to help.  Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions!  Give us a call at (562) 537-2947.  

Written by Lisa Smith