Monday, September 26, 2011

Tip of the Week, September 25, 2011

Change the time of day or the location when having a disagreement or fight. If you usually fight at night, get your partner to agree to only disagree during the daytime … and actually schedule a time for the conflict. If you generally fight in the bedroom (one of the worst places to fight) then agree to move all of your fights to the kitchen … or out to the back deck. If you have fought in every room in the house, then agree that all disagreements must be taken outside.

Changing the location and time can change the flavor and feel of the disagreement and help keep partners from falling into the bad patterns that caused problems in the past.

Counseling Relationships

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stages of Dating

Dating relationships go show common patterns. At each stage during the dating process, each half of a couple often makes a decision (sometimes more thoughtfully arrived at than others) to move forward or to end the dating relationship.

Some dating stages take longer than others to go through and some people take much longer at each stage. Unfortunately, some people don’t fully experience and process each dating stage as an opportunity for personal growth or to make a healthy evaluation about the relationship or about themselves. Others are more open and aware to learn about themselves and their choices during each stage of the dating relationship.

Dating Stage 1: Initial Meeting/Attraction

Dating relationships have to start somewhere. The initial meeting may take place over the internet, through friends, in a church or social group, at a party or bar or any one of a myriad of many different places.

Different arenas for meeting potential dating partners allow for different opportunities to get to know each other and see if there is enough curiosity or interest to take it to the next level which would involve arranging a second or third meeting.

Dating Stage 2: Curiosity, Interest, and Infatuation

During the second stage of dating, attraction and infatuation are most pronounced.

Early attraction often involves the physical attributes of the partner and include things like outward appearance, body type, interests and personality traits. At this stage, the attraction may not be too “deep” and each half of a couple is generally putting his or her best foot forward. Differences are not noticed or are dismissed with thoughts like “not a big deal” or “she will change”.

Couples generally do not have much conflict at this stage of the cycle as each is really trying hard to impress the other person. Often (not always) during this stage of dating, there is not enough “is this the right person for me” but rather more “what can I do to make this person like me?”

This dating stage may last for 3 or 4 months depending on the individuals and their maturity, experience and self-understanding. Towards the end of this stage, and hopefully at other times throughout it, it is not unusual for questions of “is this the right person for me” to emerge. For women especially there may also be a desire to figure out where the relationship is headed.

Going slowly in making any decisions about a relationship are more likely to be better ones than moving quickly (unless it is clear that the relationship is not a good fit).

We will share Dating Stages 3 and 4 next week.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tip of the Week, September 11, 2011


This is my song, oh God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine
My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
This is my song, thou God of all the nations;
a song of peace for their land and for mine.
This is my prayer, O Lord of all earth's kingdoms:
Thy kingdom come on earth thy will be done.
Let Christ be lifted up till all shall serve him,
And hearts united learn to live as one.
Oh hear my prayer, thou God of all the nations;
Myself I give thee; let thy will be done.

From the United Methodists (Stanzas 1 & 2 by Lloyd Stone, Stanza 3 by Georgia Harkness)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Becoming a Couple: Common Issues that Couples Experience, Part 2

New couples also face a lot of other issues as they form a bond and a committed relationship. Here are two others.

Other friendships
, even those that have not been romantic ones, can pose areas of conflict in dating relationships. Making time for the relationship while holding on to friendships and rituals with other singles, co-workers and old friends might get in the way of a developing intimacy and connection in the new relationship.

There can be many reasons why this can be an issue. It might have to do with information about the relationship that is shared with other friends. Sometimes friends are not supportive of the new partner and will overtly or covertly cause problems.

Other times, it is about how much time a partner devotes to the other relationships. Some people really like to spend a lot of time together while others value their independence. Meeting each other’s needs for connection as well as time alone and apart, especially when it includes other friendships and excludes a new significant other, may require a lot of conversation and negotiation.

Future plans for the relationship.
Many often want to know where the relationship is headed. This may not be a priority for others who tend to make commitments more slowly.

Some want “clarity” or have a goal in mind for themselves and may feel an urge to move things along at a faster pace than others. Those who want to figure out where the relationship is headed also often want to talk about it a lot … and that is the last thing that their partner wants to do. The planning half of the couple may want deadlines or decisions before the other half of the couple really knows what he or she wants.

Whatever issues faced in a relationship, how each person handles the differences provides more information about the viability of the relationship than whatever their position may be. Each person should do their part in being half of a healthy dialogue and decision-making process as well as observing what happens with their partner.

Click here to read more of our articles about dating and becoming a couple.

Sunday, September 4, 2011