How To Make Love Last Long
It’s time to take a look at the lowdown on how
to handle long lasting love. Here are some pointers on how to deal
with some of the top issues that when mishandled, can separate the
men from the boys, as they say, or rather the successful couples from
the less-successful ones.
The key here is to realize that most couples do not
solve every issue. In fact, reports show that couples don’t
solve most of their problems. So if you think your girlfriends or
buddies are winning more frequent battles than you, forget about it.
It’s not happening.
Next realize that statistics still reflect about a
50 percent survival rate for married couples long-term. (I.E. the
other half divorce). And for those who do make it, it’s not
so much about whether or not they “love” each other more
than the divorced people did.
It’s generally more about that fact that they
developed better communication skills and learned to understand each
other better. And developed and learning - -these are action verbs.
As you develop and learn your own job skills for advancement,
so can you and should you do the same for relationship advancement.
There is no shame in reaching out and improving in this area.
Tips for developing better communication skills and
learning to understand your mate better; i.e. improve conflict management,
are as follows:
1. Take turns speaking and listening to each other.
As a speaker, speak only for yourself and keep your comments brief.
The stop and invite the listener to sum up what you said (to make
sure he or she understood).
2. Then allow the other person to take over and follow
the same format.
3. Share back and forth in this same manner, jotting
down conflict management notes as needed for following up later and
establishing new boundaries in your relationship.
Some tips for handling conflict resolutions are:
A. Start with the person presenting his or her complaint
in a general format, without blame. For example, instead of saying,
“You keep leaving dirty dishes out on the counter all night,”
say “I don’t like it when dirty dishes are left out on
the counter. During my college days, that attracted cockroaches.”
B. Encourage each other to come to an agreement in
a calm, friendly manner. Negotiate. Give and take. Maybe the dishes
from late night snacks don’t have to be washed with soap and
hot water, but can simply be rinsed off instead and stacked in the
sink’s dishpan or strainer, for instance.
C. If negativity starts, stop it ASAP. In the above
example, maybe the mate wants all sinks clear and free for emptying
coffee cups and other snack and breakfast dishes. So this person starts
swearing, calling the other person a lazy idiot or something…STOP.
D. Calm things back down. Use hand signals like coaches
do in sports, if necessary. Men can often relate to this. Do a “time
out” mode. And take a breather or break for a few minutes.
E. Then go back to where things were fine, just before
step “C.” Inject some humor and try to resolve the conflict
again. Maybe joke about how you pay much more for your residence now
and don’t have cockroach problems. And that OK, one sink can
be left clear, the other will hold a strainer of rinsed-off items.
Any dirty ones can be placed / stacked on one side of the strainer;
rinsed items on the other. Done deal!
Some counselors say that money handling is the number
one priority issue of conflict among couples. Problems arise with
how money is viewed, how it should be save, spent and even earned.
So here are some general guidelines to money management to help iron
out some financial issues for couples.
1. Decide to set aside some time for discussing your
financial matters in peace and quiet. Doing this quarterly (or monthly,
if time and patience allow) is a good idea. Then you can make sure
your budget is on track and allow a glance ahead at possible items
coming up that may have been missed (like renewal of driver’s
licenses) and look back to see how you are doing.
2. Gather all of your budgeting materials in one place;
notebook paper, 3-prong folder with pockets for storing bills as they
arrive in the mail, stamps, calculator, envelopes, check book, savings
book, pencil, pen. When it’s time to work on your finances,
bring everything out at once (maybe store in a special drawer or box
for handy pick-up-and-go.)
3. On a sheet of notebook paper (or a sheet from a
budget planning guidebook or software print out), list each monthly
expense; rent / house payment, each utility, charities / tithing,
grocery money, misc. funds (to allow for medicines, snacks, CD rental,
etc.), car payments, insurance, credit card payments, etc.
For guidelines, there are several things you can do;
check with your local bank for budget planning help, ask a librarian
for help finding budget books, check your computer’s software
(Microsoft Word has some business / budgeting sheets that could be
altered to fit your family planning needs, for instance), visit local
office supply stores to see which types of budget planner notebooks
and guide they may have available, surf online or use the following
one enclosed and revise it to suit your needs.
Hint: visit www.digital-women.com/daily-planner for
lots of planner pages to choose from (for men and women!)
4. Fill in the blanks on your budget planner page.
List how much each monthly payment is in #3 above. Then total the
list to see how much income you need to cover all your expenses.
5. Note your incomes in a separate column off to the
side. Does your income exceed your expense total? If so, great. Simply
have fun choosing what you’d like to both do with your extra
income, with long-term and short-term goals that are compatible with
both of you. If not, if income does not exceed expenses, and this
is the area where discourse usually strikes, it’s time to whittle
down your expenses and / or earn extra income.
Here are tips on whittling down income and being
more budget-conscious with your available funds:
A. Use coupons, even cyber-ones like from www.valpak.com
B. Check with your insurance about higher deductibles
and any special rate savings programs they may have (like good driving
C. Visit second hand stores for used books and clothing.
D. Donate time and volunteer work instead of tithing
E. Buy no-name foods, toiletry and household items
(shampoos, deodorants, light bulbs, etc.) instead of brand names.
F. Cook at home more as entertainment and invite your
neighbors and friends over. And skip eating out so much, renting CD
/ DVDs and going to movies.
G. Track and monitor your spending. Jot purchases
in a notebook and keep handy with your checkbook for quick reference.
Review and see how you do weekly. Improve!
H. Plan ahead. For example, save a little each month
for Christmas so that in December, you’ll already have what
you need for gifts already saved up. Likewise for annual insurance
billings (like for the house) or for any other annual billings.
I. See if you can trade services with others. For
example, if you have a computer and can toss up a decent web page
maybe you can create web pages for small business in the area in exchange
for gift cards to use in their stores.
J. Sell some of your stuff – try online auctions,
garage sales, cheap classifieds, bulletin boards around town…
K. Resist the urge to “immediately” fulfill
a want. Instead, keep a list going of “wants.” If an item
has been on there for a year, for example, then begin shopping for
it. Look for bargains, try to trade for it, negotiate for a better
deal. Waiting generally means you’ll really want it more (or
not, and cross it off your list) and will actually USE it when you
get it and not just toss it in a pile with other unopened or hardly
used things that you just HAD to have.
L. Check out library books like:
The Cheapskate Monthly Money Makeover, by Mary Hunt;
St. Martin's Press; Reissue edition (March 1, 1995).
Miserly Moms: Living on One Income in a Two-Income
Economy, by Jonni McCoy; Bethany House Publishers; 3rd edition (October
The Complete Cheapskate: How to Get Out of Debt, Stay
Out, and Break Free from Money Worries Forever, by Mary E. Hunt, Mary
Hunt; St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (August 1, 2003).