healthy intimate relationships

Why showing appreciation is key – positive exchanges vrs negative exchanges

Research has long since shown that the most successful long term romantic relationships have, on average, five positive exchanges for every one negative exchange. It has literally been proven that those relationships where the negative exchanges are greater than one to every five positives are more than likely to dissolve quicker.

 

 

I remember when I first read this research. I was in a relationship with my ex at the time and we must have had 20 negative exchanges for every one positive! Although that definitely wasn’t the right relationship for me, perfectly happy couples can easily get into a rut of mentioning the negative and ignoring the positives. So if you want to ensure a longstanding intimate relationship make sure to compliment your partner and show appreciation for them, their contribution to the relationship and the thoughtful or kind things they do as often as possible.

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Romance central; How to cultivate healthy intimate relationships and get the most out of your love life Part One

Picture Courtesy of Shutterstock

 

It’s hard to believe but this year I will be thirty five. When I was just seventeen I entered into a destructive relationship which taught me that my thoughts, opinions, beliefs and feelings just didn’t count; the relationship had made me forget my inherent worth. When I finally made the break I was petrified of being alone. I didn’t like myself very much and being in my own company with no one or nothing to distract me scared me silly, I could think of nothing worse.

 

But something deep within me knew that being alone, truly alone, was exactly what I needed. I didn’t really know who I was anymore, my sense of identity lost itself as it was slowly but surely replaced by his. His opinions, his beliefs, his family, his life.

 

So I embarked on a journey, having no idea where it would lead. All I knew was that it was a journey I needed to go on, a journey comprised of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, one on one psychotherapy, Tony Robbins and faith. During this time my friends and family supported me through the inevitable ups and downs. The loneliness, the anger and the confusion. The letting go, the forgiveness, the elation at finding myself again and in the empowerment I experienced.

 

Once I worked on my self-esteem and liked myself again I crafted a life that brought me joy and happiness, a life that nurtured my creative spirit and celebrated those I loved. It was a six year journey, but it only took two years for me to be happy again. With every year I grew more and more in love with the life I had created. I had male friends again, my creativity flourished, I landed a managerial job and I even decided to start this blog so I could reach out to others that might be facing similar struggles.

 

Although I was the happiest I had ever been in my life I thought that it might be nice to share my happiness with someone, a partner, maybe even a soul mate. But this time my motivations were completely different, I didn’t need a partner out of fear of being alone, I simply wanted one.

 

So I joined eHarmony. I have to be honest, most of the guys on the site looked like either geeks, arrogant bankers or play boys looking for one thing. Just as I was about to cancel my subscription I saw a hunk of a guy. He had the most handsome smile I think I’ve ever seen. His eyes were intoxicating and looked so genuine I almost got lost in them. So we started talking, first on the site, then on WhatsApp, then on the phone. Soon after we had our first date; it was nine hours but it felt like three. Being in his company felt so effortless.

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August’s Hot Topic – Romance Central

Next month’s series is all about how to cultivate healthy intimate relationships and get the most out of your love life! I’ve designed the series so it’s just as applicable for singletons seeking relationships as for those already in relationships and I’m really excited to share some tips and tricks to keep the spark, deep connection and appreciation between you and your partner alive.

 

In this series we will explore:

 

 

  1. Warning signs to look out for that you are in a toxic or abusive relationship
  2. Unhealthy relationship models – the dynamics that foster unhealthy intimate relationships and why
  3. Unhealthy relationship behaviors and how to avoid them
  4. Healthy relationship model – the dynamic that fosters healthy fulfilling intimate relationships
  5. Healthy relationship behaviors; how and why they nurture your relationship (including the brownie points game)

 

I’m so excited to hear your thoughts on this series as they weeks pass by, please do comment! I have to say this was by far one of the most enjoyable series to write and I hope it will guide you towards a fun, loving and fulfilling intimate relationship or serve to strengthen your existing one.

 

Wishing you all a truly wonderful week!

 

x X x Jenny x X x