Relationship Strategies

Relationship Benchmark #7: You Don’t Need Advice About Your Relationship

August 19, 2016
Relationship Benchmark #7: You Don’t Need Advice About Your Relationship

Of all the relationship benchmarks I’ve written about in this series of posts, this is probably the one that needs the most clarification. Who hasn’t confided in a close friend or family member about a new relationship? We often doubt our own perceptions and can benefit from seeking advice from those with experience. Running questions by […]

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Relationship Benchmark #6: Strong Positive Reinforcement and Emotional Support

August 16, 2016
Relationship Benchmark #6: Strong Positive Reinforcement and Emotional Support

Many of the benchmarks of successful relationships have to do with making one another feel secure in affection and commitment. Creating a foundation of trust and security will see you through inevitable challenges in the future. It requires considerable effort, time and energy from both of you. Two particular kinds of efforts are crucial: Positive Reinforcement Emotional Support […]

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Relationship Benchmark #5: No Subject Feels Too Scary to Discuss

August 12, 2016
Relationship Benchmark #5: No Subject Feels Too Scary to Discuss

Healthy relationships are characterized by openness, honesty and transparency. That’s because uncertainty – especially about matters of the heart – creates anxiety. Anxiety produces self-doubt, which is death to self-expression. Before long, you’re a prisoner of your own emotions, and you learn to fear them. The fear produces more anxiety, and the cycle continues. The best […]

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Relationship Benchmark #3: There Is a Strong Mutual Physical Attraction

July 21, 2016
Relationship Benchmark #3: There Is a Strong Mutual Physical Attraction

A note from Susan: I’m moving next week! After nearly 20 years, we’re leaving our big, old Victorian for a new adventure. It’s too big, it’s too old, and I feel like Tom on Downton Abbey. Our kids are well settled in their own lives, so we’re returning to Cambridge, where we started out in the […]

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Relationship Benchmark #2: There is No Drama or Mystery

July 19, 2016
Relationship Benchmark #2: There is No Drama or Mystery

Relationships characterized by drama or mystery are fraught with tension and conflict. Drama and mystery are separate but related concepts, and in the worst relationships you can often observe both at work. They may be initiated by one or both partners, creating dysfunction and often abuse. Successful relationships have ZERO drama or mystery. What is relationship drama? […]

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