How do you define what a healthy relationship looks like?

 

In our new blog series, we want to invite you to dive into the practicals, the do’s and don’ts, and some real life stories that will give you tools and tips to thriving in healthy relationships! You’re worth it and we want to see you succeed.

2 Secrets to Being Crazy Attractive

If you were going to run the biggest race of your life you wouldn’t start physical training the day before – you’d start months or years in advance. The question is, why do we see our relationships any differently? Singleness can be the best time to grow and become the healthiest you can be.


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Just Pop the Question!

There is opportunity to share your voice to the masses more than ever before in the history of our world. Almost everyone in America has access to a platform where they can connect their voice with an audience through social media and smartphones. But what society is quickly learning is that it’s not enough to just speak. From a baby’s first cry, every human has a desire to be heard. Even with all of modern medicine, proof of life remains in the sound of a heartbeat and our ability to hear it.

Have you ever been talking with someone and then tuned out mid-conversation because what they said spurred a thought? Worse, you were simply not interested anymore? If you’re like me at all, tuning out has created some very awkward moments when you snap back into reality and don’t have a clue of where the conversation is. I’ve often tried to solve problems that didn’t even exist…if only I’d kept my ears open to hear the whole story!

Healthy relationships always involve sharing and listening. So here are three practical tips on how to be the best boss listener in your relationship, friend circle and workplace. People will notice…and your significant other will feel the difference!

Live in the moment

Here’s the bottom line – Your friend may have mentioned a problem just one minute in, but if you tune out now to try to solve the problem in your head, you’re going to miss their whole explanation, their emotions and some crucial facts that will help you build a solution together. You’re actually sending a message that says, “Me having the right answer is more important than you right now!” Staying fully present during a conversation means choosing courage and humility. You might have to pause at the end of their explanation to think of an appropriate response instead of launching in or cutting them off. But in the end, they will feel more heard, valued and loved, because you took the time to not jump to any conclusions.

Take a lesson from Water

Just like a pool of water reflects the nature around it, an easy way to practice active listening is to reflect back to your friend what you thought they said or felt. For example, “I’m hearing you say….insert brief summary” or “I’m wondering if you’re feeling ….insert emotion.” This little tool can save you a boatload of pain and help someone feel valued. I’ve used this tool in the middle of a stressful conversation and quickly realized I had completely misunderstand the other person. If we had just kept talking, we would have most likely ended up in a huge miscommunication. This tool will also help someone feel understood when you correctly reflect what they are trying to say.

Love lifts others higher

This last practical tip is pretty simple – choose to be interested in what someone is saying and choose to care about them. This looks like asking them a question to find out more or giving them a quick encouragement about what they just shared. Actual listening means paying more attention to them and less about yourself in the moment. A fun way to do this is to dare yourself to only reply with a “tell me more” instead of launching into your own story or insight. Or just try asking them some open ended questions to show you care about what they are sharing. Open ended questions aren’t a yes or no response question and usually involve words like – how, what or where.

If you find yourself always needing to have the last word, constantly adding your own expertise, interrupting a lot or taking 80% of the talking time in your conversations…it might be time to pop the question. No..not THAT question…just a question that shows you actually care and are engaged with who they are and what they are saying. You might be surprised what diamonds you find in someone’s life when you stop to listen…


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It's OK to Laugh

It’s OK to Laugh…

It's OK to Laugh

The average 4 year old laughs 300 times a day, but the average 40 year old laughs only 4 times a day…What if we took life a lot more seriously and laughed more? Just to make sure we realize this is no joking matter, did you know that laughter decreases blood pressure, lowers stress, improves your immune system, relieves pain and helps you cope with difficult situations? We promise we’re not making this up!

Let’s face it, relationships can put us in some pretty awkward and challenging situations. Whether it’s on a first or one hundredth date, we are often presented with two choices: to laugh or to cry. Sometimes it doesn’t really feel like a choice until years later and we look back with a chuckle. But what if laughter really is a choice in the moment?

My boyfriend and I decided to make a standard of always laughing together after a disagreement – yep, it can be as hard as it sounds! Since laughter is proven to reduce stress and relieve pain, it makes it awfully hard to hold onto a grudge or stay angry or bitter when you laugh together. Sometimes all we’ve managed is a little “ha ha” but even that has helped us get back to connection instead of huffing away hurt and bitter. Laughter always involves release and helps you see life with a fresh perspective. Sounds silly I know, but as I said, this is no joking manner!

We believe the healthiest relationships always involve laughter. It benefits your personal health and it helps in letting go of offense. Here are some true stories from a few couples we know who have had some real adventures – don’t worry, everyone lived to tell…and laugh (even if it took a few years!)

 

  • It’s the Thought that Counts” Date

“After a few busy weeks, my boyfriend was really excited to take me out for a nice dinner. We had a lot of fun, but when it came time for the bill, he realized that he hadn’t calculated his bank balance right.  He couldn’t afford the total. We had an awkward moment of realization and then I handed him my credit card so that he could at least pretend he was covering it…it sorta made him feel better..for a second at least haha!”

  • The “Almost” Date

“I was friends with a guy I had liked on and off for a few years. One day I got a text from him out of the blue asking me out on a date. Since the txt seemed so random, I timidly responded with something simple, “Are you sure this is for me?” He replied right away that he had made a terrible mistake and had meant to send that text to one of my friends…That was a fun day. Yes, yes, it was.”

  • “Café Interruption Date”

We had arranged to meet at a fun café with an outdoor deck with a view. We were sitting side by side at our table looking out over the bay, and our lunches had just been served.  Mine was a fried fish platter.  I turned to talk to my date and at that moment a huge seagull swooped in and snatched the fish from my plate! After we got over the shock, we nearly fell over laughing! Then we reordered!”

  • The “I’m Hooked On You” Date

“One boyfriend I had was teaching me how to cast a fishing line. After a few tries, I was ready to fish. I threw back my pole to make a long cast. All of a sudden I heard a yelp behind me and my pole would not go forward! Yep, I hooked my boyfriend right behind his ear!! The poor guy was okay, but I felt terrible! He still liked me even after all this! What a guy! Lol!!”

  • Another “Cafe Interruption” Date

“We were eating lunch outside at a café when a bird flew right over my head and yes, you guessed it, left a calling card….”

  • The “Mini, Mini Movie” Date

“The date for me was a movie night. It was a first date at my house but the DVD player didn’t work.  I desperately tried to plug in my wifi and Xbox to see if that would work but to no avail. Finally we awkwardly watched it on my very small laptop.  Before the film really got started I was so nervous I knocked over my glass and it crashed onto the floor… What an evening!”

       

Laughter Facts Resources:

*https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456

 
 

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Live Free & In Love

In a world that idolizes airbrushed pictures and fairytale social media posts, it can be easy to feel the pressures of perfectionism. Today, we want to remind you that a *healthy relationship always takes two people knowing when to forgive! In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget that forgiveness is always a choice. So what does that choice actually look like?
 

1. Every time you forgive, you choose to be brave. The brave soul is often the one that decides to eat the humble pie first. Forgiveness doesn’t just happen after an apology – sometimes it needs to happen before or even without an apology. Have you ever done something wrong and not realized it till later? Or have you ever done something and not wanted to apologize? We’ve all been there and the good news is, forgiveness isn’t dependent upon the other person – it’s just dependent on you! 30 seconds of courage to forgive can set you free. Thank you for being brave!

2. Forgiveness means that you won’t hold onto the mistake and build a case. It doesn’t mean that what the person did was right. Have you ever written a story against someone in your head? That story can turn into a 100 page medieval war drama if you’re not careful! The problem is, building a case against someone never brings peace or resolution – it only prolongs the effects of bitterness in your heart. In other words, it just might be time to throw out those old case files and let go!

3. Forgiveness says, you’re worth more and I’m worth more than this mistake.

Have you ever had a third wheel interrupt your date? I remember going out for lunch once only to discover that the majority of the time spent together was spent with a third wheel: his iphone! It’s easy to see how giving your attention to a phone on a date is wrong, but it’s important to understand that we can just as easily do that by holding onto resentment. What are you giving your attention to when you’re together? Are you holding on to every mistake? Next time you are tempted to include that third wheel of holding on to a grudge, stop and and remind yourself – you’re both worth more!

4. Forgiveness sets you free to respond in love instead of react out of fear. Choosing to forgive honors your value and worth and sets you free to keep on loving. So friends, dare to be brave this week and make the healthy, courageous choice to forgive and thrive together!
 
 
*If you feel you are in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, we urge you to get help and get out. Be safe first!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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