New research finds that checkups actually make couples stronger.
Posted Oct 07, 2015
What can couples do to improve the quality of their marriage? This question is worth asking for so many reasons. About 40% of Americans have been divorced at least once by their 50s (Kreider, 2005), and couples that stay married aren’t necessarily happily married. Marital strain is a chronic stressor that accelerates declines in physical health over time (Umberson et al., 2006). If you can turn the tide, longitudinal work suggests that a high-quality marriage has a profound positive effect on personal well-being (Proulx, Helms, & Buehler, 2007).
What can you do to make sure you and your partner are on the right track? Maybe it’s time to conduct a performance review.
As reported recently in the Wall Street Journal, scientific evidence is accumulating to suggest that periodic partnership reviews can be highly beneficial to a marriage. Researchers at Clark University are demonstrating that couples can improve their marital quality by carefully evaluating their marriage in a structured way, not unlike a traditional workplace performance review. These checkups, which once could also compare to an annual physical, are a chance for a couple to take stock of their relationship, set goals, and make any necessary adjustments.
What’s so special about checkups? Research shows they work.
Cordova and colleagues (2014) tested the efficacy of periodic marriage check-ups. They invited about 200 married couples to participate in their study. These couples had been married, on average, for 15 years, were largely Caucasian, and were somewhat more educated and wealthy than average. Some couples served as experimental controls and did not do checkups while half were randomly assigned to undergo two annual marriage checkups.
Over a two-year period, Cordova and colleagues monitored the couples, asking them to complete questionnaires about their relationship at periodic points in time. At the end of the two years, the researchers analyzed the health trajectories of these couples.
How do checkups help?
Feeling close, connected, and accepted is a wonderful part of a healthy marriage, and it appears that checkups help facilitate these qualities. Cordova and colleagues (2014) found that marriage checkups improved couples’ intimacy, relationship satisfaction, and perceived acceptance. Those couples who completed the checkups differed significantly from those who did not: The checkups made an important difference in their marital quality.
How do they work?
Marriage checkups use a technique known as motivational interviewing to induce change (Cordova et al., 2005). They are typically done in a guided context with the help of a trained professional. If you wish to engage in structured checkups outside a professional context, you could take a look at Cordova’s book as a first step. Doing this work with your partner may benefit your relationship: During a marriage checkup, spouses can exchange information and feedback about their relationship, identify areas of concern, and develop plans to work on those issues. (See more on Cordova’s lab page.)
When should you start?
Don’t wait: Checkups are for both healthy relationships and those with more serious underlying issues. Any relationship can be strengthened. If you’re even mildly concerned about yours, note that scholars believe that early intervention is the key to maintaining happy and healthy partnerships. Highly distressed marriages typically pass through an “at-risk” phase, marked by symptoms of distress that may not have been enough to motivate them to seek help or therapy. It is during this at-risk phase in which an early intervention, such as regular marriage checkups, might make the most difference (Cordova et al., 2005). While couples therapy is well-documented to be highly effective, most couples wait far too long before seeking help. Engaging in periodic checkups might be exactly the kind of conversation that could keep your relationship on track.
Cordova, J. V., Fleming, C. J., Morrill, M. I., Hawrilenko, M., Sollenberger, J. W., Harp, A. G., . & Wachs, K. (2014). The Marriage Checkup: A randomized controlled trial of annual relationship health checkups. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 82(4), 592.
Cordova, J. V., Scott, R. L., Dorian, M., Mirgain, S., Yaeger, D., & Groot, A. (2005). The marriage checkup: An indicated preventive intervention for treatment-avoidant couples at risk for marital deterioration. Behavior Therapy, 36(4), 301-309.
Kreider, R. M. (2005). Number, timing, and duration of marriages and divorces: 2001, current population reports, 70–97. Washington, DC:U.S. Census Bureau
Proulx, C. M., Helms, H. M., & Buehler, C. (2007). Marital quality and personal well‐being: A meta‐analysis. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69(3), 576-593.
Umberson, D., Williams, K., Powers, D. A., Liu, H., & Needham, B. (2006). You make me sick: Marital quality and health over the life course. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 47(1), 1-16.
Read our Text Chemistry review to find out how you can improve your relationship life by sending right text messages.
You could be undoubtedly one of a fortunate couple of in a healthy relationship, however as a result of burst customs, we often see almost everything by means of increased-coloured eyeglasses. Due to the unlikely requirements established by Love Truly as well as Bridget Jones’s Record, you could have arrived to discover that your relationship just is not living approximately.
We spoke to Sarah Calvert, psychosexual and also relationship specialist, as well as Annabelle Knight, sex as well as dating professional, to create you an easy guidebook on exactly how to improve your relationship.
As being a previous open public talking coach, I got the difficult activity of complimenting my individuals soon after they make 2-moment conversations in entrance of our own type. Through the student’s speech, I would hunt for something in their narrative that I appreciated, reputed, loved, or treasured. By purposely working with some other individual, I could give you an honest and also very-respected advice.
I’ve discovered that you may give truthful match in your own as well as skilled lifestyles equally as very easily as I did like an open public communicating fitness instructor. Allow me to share many methods to assist you to improve at providing and also getting enhances to ensure that you may start constructing powerful relationships with other individuals in your own life.
Fine-tune your plan
We understand – you are unbiased and also do not want halting your life for everyone (and also you should not need to). Although you have many other obligations outside your relationship, it is a typical action to compare and contrast both your agendas to ascertain if it is easy to spend more money with each other.
Perhaps your spouse can visit the health club a bit late to go the film you wished to go to, or even you can get up before to have your tasks completed in order that you will make it to the partner’s intramural game. Even though you should not give up your life-time to meet your spouse, your skill to undermine to be sufficient to help make him satisfied.
Exercise Healthy Undermine
Give up is an additional vital component that I have possessed to acquire more information related to with my fiancé. Even when you can connect properly, that does not imply you will usually go along with your spouse-the ability of effect must enter in to engage in the beginning also.
Naturally, there are also certain items which are not up for give up, as well as you will need to obtain frank discussions related to what those ideas are for you. I can not envision my relationship having the capability to develop without Eddy as well as I discussing our belief as well as our principles. I love that we do discuss these items as well as that we are each on the very same page.
Turn It Into A Open Match:
In the event the circumstance is suitable, you may want to make the match in the actual existence of other people. This may usually have a much more strong influence on the recipient of the supplement than by only displaying your gratitude in individual. When I am in an informal circumstance, I typically blend in opinion like, “I typically never say this sort of factor however….” I practice it this solution to assure the enhance is accepted without which makes it look like I am attempting to accept credit score to be this sort of good gentleman.
Increase Your Relationship by Calming
The vintage guidance specialists give single people searching for an ideal match: Be “usually the one” to draw in “usually the one.” Identical moves in long-term relationship. The more content you feel, the more joyful your relationship is going to be, as well as the simpler it will probably be to handle disputes. If 15 minutes of morning hours yoga and fitness, a change to decaf, or possibly a new interest assist you to loosen up, the excellent thoughts can not assist however result in happier, better times with each other.
At the same time, acknowledge it: You used to hassle more than your hair and also obsess on the hottest product to use to sleep. Now, it is tarnished sweats as well as a ratty older T-shirt. Days to beautify your personal style.
Spend Time With Buddies And Family Members
At times lovers turn into so focused on the relationship they neglect to spend in their relationships with pals and also household. Research workers Naomi Gerstel in the College of Massachusetts discovered that married people have a lot fewer ties to loved ones compared to unmarried. They can be not as likely to see, contact or assist out members of the family, as well as not as likely to interact socially with neighbourhood friends and also close friends.
The issue using this craze is it creates an irrational stress and also force on the relationship, states Stephanie Coontz, who educates background as well as loved ones research on the Time tested Condition School in Olympia, Washington. “We usually excess relationship by inquiring our companion to meet a lot more wants than just about any one person could quite possibly meet up with.” “And if our matrimony falters, we have very few psychological assistance solutions to fall back on.”
An ability to build rewarding relationships is crucial in any kind of work. It may include not only friendly relationship with your customers but also effective relationships with your coworkers.
- Robert is responsible for a number of useful working relationships with other departments.
- Gloria always has a positive attitude. Other employees like to be around her.
- Customers like Harry because he is a very charismatic person.
- Other employees look to Yvonne for plans, analysis and solutions.
- Patrick influences both clients and colleagues through communication to build consensus.
- Marta has a very friendly attitude. She is on good terms with all the other employees.
- Wesley demonstrates an excellent ability to listen actively, which makes him an outstanding negotiator.
- Sue is very sociable and approachable which helps her invite loyal customers to the company and sell much of the product every day.
- Sandra is a fabulous speaker. After business events, we often get many requests from future partners to have a joint project.
- Bill understands the needs of his peers and often offers a helping hand to them.
Exceeds Requirements/More than Satisfactory:
- Valerie is a highly effective representative of the department.
- Regina makes sure her subordinates are focused on the common goal.
- Lionel has established rapport with other employees in the department.
- Peter treats customers with great respect and always provides diligent services.
- Philipp manages relationships with most of the company’s partners.
- Andrew always analyses customers’ needs in order to provide them with an excellent service and make them truly loyal to the company.
- Susan does her best to understand her customers and their wishes, which helps her to choose the goods that they really need. Consequently, all clients are always happy after visiting the shop.
- Megan is friendly and easily creates good relationships with colleagues and clients.
- John has respect from employees for lending a patient ear to their problems and concerns.
- Tom builds a beneficial rapport with his colleagues and always makes them feel appreciated.
- Michael is a valuable member of the team but he does not trust employees from other departments.
- Bruce is willing to cooperate with colleagues but he acts condescending towards less experienced employees.
- Nathan had been trying to build a healthy workplace environment but his attempts have failed.
- Emma is a very talented employee but she rarely shares her ideas with the rest of the team.
- Sometimes Aaron makes good contributions towards the team’s projects but he does that very rarely.
- George would be a brilliant orator if he would not lose temper so easily.
- Samantha is befriended with most of the colleagues but she does not trust her supervisor.
- All co-workers respect Simon and listen to his tips because he is willing to share his knowledge and help others to improve their performance.
- Samuel does his best to develop mutual respect with his colleagues.
- John is a newbie in the company but everybody seems to already respect him because he chooses his words carefully and speaks positively.
- Abigail is an introverted person. She rarely communicates with other employees.
- Bruce cannot cope with the role of a team leader. He is too uncommunicative.
- Robert is reluctant to work together with some of the other employees.
- Arnold fails to maintain working relationships with some people.
- Patricia prefers to work alone even when the task is too difficult.
- Joshua prefers to work alone, even if it is required to work in groups for a project.
- Monica always promises future partners too much and they do not get all of it. That is why they feel disappointed and business plans often get crashed.
- Jim is not interested in building work relationships, which makes him seem isolated from everyone else.
- David almost never manages to persuade customers to buy something because he tells them much of useless information.
- Julie is very shy and insecure, which is why she is bad at building work relationships.
- David always tries to isolate himself from colleagues. He is not even trying to build working relationships.
- Abigail gossips about her supervisor and other co-workers. Her behavior damages the image of the entire department.
- Olivia does not respect less experienced employees. She needs to change her attitude.
- Hank refuses to take responsibilities when working on team projects. He always puts them off to someone else.
- Thomas hates dealing with unsatisfied clients. He gets overly nervous and caustic.
- Ronald is not effective at selling the company’s products. He fails to interest potential buyers.
- Kelvin does not understand what customers really need and often offers useless things for them. That is why customers do not want to stay any longer in the shop.
- Sheila does not tell all the benefits the other company would get. That is why they denied our offer to be partners.
- Claire is often in a bad mood. All customers avoid speaking to her, because she seems to be unable to give a good advice.
- Emma fails to maintain good work relations because of her negative attitude. She needs to become friendlier.
Self Evaluation Questions:
- Have you ever let personal problems affect your relationships with colleagues?
- How many frustrated customers have you managed to satisfy over the last month?
- Do you have any close friends at work?
- How often do you fail to find common ground with customers?
- What do you do to build a successful relationship with a new business partner?
- Is it hard for you to convince another person to change their mind?
- How do you make your subordinates trust you?
- What is your strategy for building rapport and trust with clients?
- How many purposeful workplace connections do you have?
- What do you do to improve your emotional intelligence?
The sample of performance review phrases for relationship building is a great/helpful tool for periodical/annual job performance appraisal. Note that, a relationship building review phrases can be positive or negative and your performance review can be effective or bad/poor activity for your staffs.
If no matching phrase is found, you can also see a general list of performance review phrases and choose a more appropriate skill.
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This is the third in a series on the excellent book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Drs. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves. The book segments emotional intelligence into four areas: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.
In this post, I will point out three specific tactics for improving relationship management. Relationship management is handy when it comes to dealing with conflict; by engaging and collaborating with others earlier than later, we prevent the inevitable blowup in the future.
1. Take Feedback Well
Receiving critical feedback is not easy for most of us. Resist the urge to get defensive or angry–remember that when you’re receiving feedback, it’s because the other person cares enough to say something and wants to see you improve for your own sake. They are not out to criticize.
While receiving the feedback, use social awareness skills to genuinely listen and understand the other’s perspective. Then, use self-management skills to internalize the feedback, sort through the aspects that are invalid, and come up with a plan for improvement. Lastly, by sharing your ideas for improvement, you clearly demonstrate to the other person that you’ve heard their feedback.
2. Acknowledge the Other Person’s Feelings
When you know someone is experiencing strong emotions, acknowledge their feelings in a positive way, and ask how you can help. Ask open-ended questions and listen intently; summarize back what you heard. As the book explains, “Simple acts like this one acknowledge emotions without making them a big deal, marginalizing them, or dismissing them.”
The best part? Recognizing the other’s feelings and employing empathetic listening will build trust and the relationship itself.
3. Offer a “Fix-it” Statement During a Broken Conversation
Conversations about conflict or other difficult situations have a bad tendency to turn into blame games, whining and griping, and overall negative and damaging situations. This isn’t good for anyone.
When one senses the conversation breaking down, a “fix-it” statement can help break the negative feedback loop. Are we here to win or to solve the problem? Acknowledge that we have a problem, and then offer one or two ideas for helping to fix it.
Fix-it statements work great because they are generally helpful, or at worst neutral, and they help us get out of a negative funk and into problem-solving mode.
Relationship management builds upon self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness skills. It takes a lot to do it well, and I hope these tips are a helpful start.
This is the third in a series on Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Drs. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.
- Improving Your Self-Management
- Improving Your Social Awareness
- Improving Your Relationship Management
- Improving Your Self-Awareness (coming soon)
Most of us in Supply Chain will at some point have to carry out a supplier business review but what separates the great business reviews from the bloodbaths (you know those ones where you and the supplier vow never to work together again!!)?
Supplier Business reviews are typically a routine and systematic process that business undertake with their supplier covering all salient elements of both the supplier relationship and their performance. These happen periodically (often monthly or quarterly).
These meetings are part of Supply Chain 101 and while it might seem obvious what to do it’s important to consider what you are trying to achieve with these reviews. While there is no single generic format for these meetings there is of course some tried and tested best practice.
The key thing to remember is that these sessions are not by their intent set out to be adversarial, they are not there to beat each other up, no matter how much you may feel like it, these sessions key purpose is to share information and improve both the relationship and performance.
Coming up with a suitable agenda can sometimes be tricky. You may not treat all of your suppliers the same – you might choose to treat key suppliers (or those with the most critical issues differently from smaller ones). There can be a multitude of factors that influence
• Periodicity of review
• Attendance at reviews
• Depth of reviews
Ultimately you need to figure out what is appropriate and what works best for you and your supplier. Ensure you have an objective for the review that you can both attain and review. For example – your principle objective might be to share performance data and establish improvement targets. The meeting should serve a purpose and NOT just be a chit-chat.
Perhaps the most crucial thing, more than anything is to get your agenda right. Agenda’s help meetings hugely, they act as a prompt for the meeting lead and provide a route to navigate through the various issues/objectives. It’s never surprises me how a tweak in the running order can change an outcome and change the dynamic of your review. So if your looking to spruce up your supplier reviews with a fresh agenda then here’s our list of must haves that make a supplier development review rock.
1/ Performance review / Look at the metrics – you have targets right? How are you doing against them?
2/ Forecast review – what’s the forecast looking like, what business do you have coming up? How does that stack up against capacity?
3/ Review of existing orderbook
4/ Benchmarking – what’s happening in this supplier’s sector? How are they performing, how’s their product offering, what do you want from them?
5/ Compliance – how is the supplier working with your processes, everything running smoothly? Any supplier onboarding issues that need addressing?
6/ Innovation/Change – what can be done differently to improve things
7/ Actions review – you captured actions at the last meeting right?
8/ Relationship review – how does your supplier see things? Same as you?
So there our input for a rocking agenda – have your own thoughts? Something to contribute? Fire is up on the comments section below.
Natural competition between work groups, driven by narrowly focused departmental goals and strengthened by reward systems that promote silos, make it tough for employees to develop good ?peer level relationships.
Career coaches and veteran CEOs alike understand and constantly stress on the importance of managing peer level relationships at work. In fact, this is one of the toughest competencies for an individual to build.Teams take pride in out-performing each other, resulting in messy political turf battles rather than strong, conducive work relationships.This phenomenon is exposed in all its unwholesome, ugly counter-productiveness when companies do a 360-degree review and discover that peer-level relationship scores are the lowest of all.
Many of us receive feedback on our poor rating on this front but prefer to forget or ignore them.
We may do this for two reasons ? one, it reflects negatively on us as persons and two, we have no clue what to do about it. Here are some quick tips which may work for you.
Look In The Mirror
See yourself through your own eyes, and ask yourself what the first item on your priority list is. How often do you dig in your heels as opposed to accommodating others?
- Mentally review the worst situations that you have to encounter while dealing with your peers, and project them into future encounters.
- Anticipate how the other party will respond when you go about protecting your turf, time or resources in your accustomed manner.
- Now decide whether you like what you see, or if you would ask such a person to change.
In the day-to-day life of a corporate denizen, peers do not always play by the book. If you consider yourself a straight hitter, you will undoubtedly disapprove. What most peopletend to do in such situations is avoid direct confrontation and snipe from the trenches instead. This step often boomerangs.
If you feel it is warranted, confront your peer directly and explain why you feel that a certain action was not appropriate. If you feel that it is not serious enough for direct confrontation (or if you simply lack the nerve for it), suspend judgment and get on with your own tasks.
Allow Your Peers To Save Face
If you do decide to confront a peer over a perceived transgression, do so privately and allow him or her to save face. Also make sure you tell your peer that you value the relationship, and that this is not a judgement call. If you make a public issue out of it, two things can happen ? one, the matter may snowball into a full-fledged inter-departmental battle with each side looking to score. Two, you lay yourself wide open for inevitable future attack.
Don?t Strive To Always Win
Organizations are not sprint races wherein you have to win every time. If you win all inter-departmental debates and all issues are always settled in your favour, you will be generally despised and mistrusted. At times losing diminishes anyone?s self-esteem, and it is rare for someone who has lost self-esteem because of you , will cooperate with you in the future.
Balance winning and losing, and keep the game fluid. Also, never fail to map the implication of your winning – did your triumph make someone look foolish or impact their appraisal?If yes, tone down your victory bugle. You still need everyone?s goodwill and cooperation.
Avoid Full Face-off Situations
You can never fully anticipate how another person will react to confrontation. If a peer over-reacts and gets abusive, you must be able to walk away and not be dragged to the down-and-dirty stage. Thereafter, let the dust settle for a couple of days. If your peer does not refer to the matter again and it remains unresolved, put it to your manager minus the emotions.
When you address such matters in an adult manner, your peers at large will acknowledge your maturity and deal with you on such a level in the future. Believe it or not, but people are always looking for good role models, and grateful to find someone worthy of emulation in their midst. Likewise, your seniors will also take note of such displays of emotional evolution, and may mark you up for a leadership role.
Find Ways To Reciprocate
Peers do not report to each other, and are further divided bytheir own departmental goals. The only tool at your disposal iscooperation, so don?t just ask for things to be done – find ways in which you can provide help, too. There are always opportunities to help others without compromising our own interests.The idea here is not to sacrifice but to achieve synchronicity.
Following these tips will not only help you in improving your peer-level relationship. It will also result in a more efficient utilization of your organization?s resources, and lay the foundation for your own growth within it.
Please share your experiences in dealing with your peers at work and what has helped you in improving / maintaining your relationship with them.
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Fall in love with your significant other again and again with these expert relationship tips.
Love that lasts is the result of partners embedding themselves in each other’s brains in a positive way. Memory circuits and pleasure get all wound up together so that the other person becomes integral to the very structure of your brain, and you become part of the structure of theirs. (Here’s more on what happens to your brain when you’re in love.)
Here are some steps toward making your love last:
1. Take your partner’s breath away.
Do something amazingly thoughtful and out of the ordinary and try to incorporate an element of surprise to it: a loving note tucked into a pocket. A special dinner on an otherwise ordinary night. A playlist made up with his favorite songs. These thoughtful acts will embed you in your partner’s memory.
2. Do something special on a regular basis.
Call them every day just to touch base for a few minutes. Make their favorite meal once a week. Once they begin to expect these things, you will always be close to their awareness.
3. Engage in lots of eye contact.
New couples seem to do this naturally, but don’t drop this strong bonding behavior just because the relationship has progressed. This is one way to keep the “romance alive”, as they say, and is especially powerful when making love. (Need inspo? These hot-and-heavy sex positions could spark joy in your sex life.)
4. Learn what pleases your partner sexually.
Make it clear that their pleasure is your pleasure, and you want to discover everything about what turns them on. They’ll be happy to have you experiment with them while making love.
5. Teach your partner what you like.
Likewise, making you happy will make your partner feel good. And research shows that the sexual pleasure of one partner increases the pleasure of the other partner. (Figure out what you like using these 13 tips for a mind-blowing masturbation session.)
6. Boost lasting love with sexual novelty.
When things get humdrum and routine, there is not going to be as much of a hormonal/neurotransmitter reaction, and arousal is lessened. While you don’t have to break out the whips and chains, a little novelty while you’re making love can increase anticipation, which means that more hormones are secreted. The result? Hotter, more thrilling sex for both of you. (You can start with one of these vibrators.)
7. Do something edgy.
If you get your partner’s heart rate up, they may associate the feeling of excitement with you and may develop more powerful feelings for you. Going on a roller-coaster ride, taking a balloon trip, shooting the rapids-anything with a touch of danger to it-can make them fall more deeply in love with you. (This couple tried learning trapeze together.)
8. Do something great for someone your partner loves.
If you show kindness and love for someone they love, you’ll earn major points. When you enter a relationship, you also enter a relationship with all their family and friends. Show them that the people who are important to them are important to you.
9. Summarize and immortalize loving moments.
Don’t be afraid to give voice to your love. Tell them how you feel. Write a loving note or poem. Lovers have been doing this from the beginning of time because it works.
10. Boost the love chemicals.
There are many brain chemicals that go into the feeling of love and attachment. Oxytocin is known as the bonding, trust, and cuddle hormone. Oxytocin is enhanced by watching romantic movies together, holding hands, cuddling, and long, loving eye contact. (And kissing, which has a bunch of other health benefits!) Women usually have more oxytocin than men, but according to one study, a man’s level of oxytocin goes up 500 percent after making love. Being too busy to make love pushes couples apart.
It’s not all secret Snaps and hate stalking. Here’s how to use social media as a positive influence on your relationship.
Social media gets a lot of heat for complicating the business of romantic relationships-and for bringing out the most insecure, jealous tendencies in us all. Some of it’s totally fair. Yes, having hot guys slide into your DM or your ex add you on Snapchat can up the temptation. And there’s no worse feeling than being blindsided by the guy you just broke up with popping up in another girl’s Instastory. (And for single folks, dating apps can bring on a whole host of mental health issues. See: Dating Apps Aren’t Great for Your Self-Esteem)
“There is no denying that social media has changed the way we meet, have sex, fall in love, and fall out of love, but my take on it is that social media has become the scapegoat for our human problems,” says Atlanta-based relationship therapist Brian Jory, Ph.D., author of Cupid on Trial. “Relationships fail for a lot of reasons, and we shouldn’t blame social media for problems we have created for ourselves.” Touché.
Every time there’s a new technological innovation-cars, e-mail, vibrators-we have to learn how to adapt to the way they change dating, relationships, and intimacy, he highlights. Jory points to a 2014 Pew Research Center poll that found most people-72 percent-don’t feel like social media or the internet have any real effect on their relationship. And of those who do, most say it is a positive impact.
So yes, social media can certainly make it harder to have a healthy relationship in 2019. But there are also a ton of upsides that can make your bond even stronger. Here are five-plus some helpful dos and don’ts, according to relationship pros.
1. It can help you feel more secure-especially early on.
The DTR convo definitely helps you feel like you’re on the same page as your new S.O., but extra reassurance can still go a long way. “In the beginning of a relationship, sharing a picture of you together can make a statement that you’re serious about this one,” points out New York–based relationship coach Donna Barnes.
“Making a commitment to being a couple isn’t something that happens secretly between two people-it is a social event as well that puts a boundary around their intimacy and lets others know that there is a connection between them that is more than casual,” Jory says, adding it’s an essential leg of the triangle of passion, intimacy, and commitment.
FYI, both experts agree this is something you should talk about first-posting a pic of someone or changing your relationship status on Facebook without talking about it first can just create conflict between you.
2. It makes it easy to show appreciation for your S.O.
Social media makes it easy for you to share things you’re proud of your partner for-completing projects, earning a promotion, anything they’ve worked hard for, says Barnes. “Acknowledging your partner positively is a great way to keep your loving connection, and social platforms make it easy to show them how much you appreciate them,” she says. (Related: Apparently, Just Thinking About Someone You Love Can Help You Deal with Stressful Situations)
Again, just be sure you’re on the same page about what you’re each comfortable with the world knowing. Posting publicly can benefit the relationship, but you need to set rules about what you’re going to share online-and that rule should probably be to keep the roller coaster of emotions to real life. “Make an agreement that your feelings for one another belong to you-not the whole world-and those feelings will be stronger when they are private,” Jory says.
If it’s too early in a relationship to have that conversation, stick to the rule of not oversharing: Posting intimate or negative things decreases the social attractiveness of the person revealing, says a study in Computers in Human Behavior.
3. Celebrating milestones publicly can help build intimacy.
“Creating a scrapbook of your relationship online and celebrating milestones-your first trip together, your one-year anniversary-is good for building intimacy, especially in a new relationship,” Barnes says. And while you can definitely share too much, documenting big firsts can also help your friends and family get to know your new S.O. and provide reassurance that they’re a good fit for you, she adds.
“Deciding which pictures or videos to post, which story to tell, what’s funny and what’s not is a game for many couples,” Jory says. Playing around with how you share information and milestones as a couple can add to that shared experience.
4. It helps you stay connected with busy schedules.
If you’ve ever sent your S.O. an Instagram DM of a funny meme that totally reminded you of them, or a Snapchat of the cute dog you saw on the sidewalk, then you know that social media can be a fun way to stay connected with each other’s lives, even if you can’t be together physically.
The Pew study backed that up: Long-term couples said texting keeps them in touch when they’re separated-at work or off on a business trip-and others report that seeing their partners out with friends in photos brought them closer. “Some couples also [use texting and social media] to build sexual passion with innuendos or explicit sexual talk-it can be fun and inspirational,” says Jory. (You can also try these 10 different sex positions to spice it up tonight.)
5. It can offer you a shared experience.
“Shared experiences are the foundation to creating a relationship that’s good for the long haul,” Jory says. These are the things that keep you from “growing apart” or losing interest in one another. One part of an intimate relationship is what you share between the two of you-face-to-face conversations, sexual exploration-but the larger part of intimacy is “hand-in-hand” interaction-the common interests you share together where the focus isn’t on one another but instead on a shared interest, goal, or outside person.
Case in point: “When you post a photo of your baby, it’s a shared parenting experience,” Jory says. Sure, maybe it’s for Grandma, too, but it can also bring you and your partner closer. (Same goes for a pet!)
Relationships between teenagers and parents can be fraught and challenging
Paul McGee offers 7 tips to help parents keep the relationship on track
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Every parent of teenagers knows how difficult it can be to maintain an open, honest and loving relationship with young people going through one of the most challenging periods of their lives.
Professor Paul McGee is the author of YESSS! The SUMO Secrets to Being a Positive, Confident Teenager. An expert in his field, and the father of two children who have navigated the choppy waters of their teenage years, he offers seven pieces of advice to parents eager to support their kids through this most awkward time.
1. Understand how their brain works
Not only are adolescent teenagers experiencing outward physical changes, there’s also plenty going on inwardly as well – especially in their brains. There’s a major reconstruction taking place.
As a result, their emotions are ramped up significantly and they also require more sleep on average than adults. The rational part of their brain might not fully mature until their mid-twenties. So be slow to criticise their over-reactions and long lie-ins – show some compassion and understanding instead.
2. Give them time and space
Teenagers are in a tricky transitional phase. They’re not quite a child, but still not quite an adult. Their moods are changing, and so are their mates.
While some are still comfortable spending time with you, many young people prefer their own space and time with their peers.
Accept that they still need you, but you’re no longer the centre of their world. Get used to it.
3. Don’t complain about being a taxi service
Treasure the time you have travelling together, no matter how brief. These “taxi times” could provide opportunities for casual conversations that might not normally take place.
4. Affirm, but don’t expect anything in return
All children need to feel loved, valued and appreciated. However, choose your moments and make sure you don’t embarrass them. Maybe write something in a card, or message them. They might not acknowledge the message but they will definitely value it.
5. Listen to understand, not to interrupt
Conflict with teenagers is inevitable – but remember, you’re the adult. It doesn’t have to escalate to all-out war.
One of the ways to avoid this is to give young people “a good listening-to”.
Try to understand their perspective, even if you don’t agree with it. A teenager will begin to resent you if they never feel listened to.
6. Remember you’re a role model
A young person’s biggest role models are not celebrities, they’re parents. If you’re always on your phone, don’t expect your teenager to be any different. If you always eat dinner in front of the telly, so will they.
Teenagers might not always listen to what you say, but they will take note of how you behave. Your attitudes and emotions are contagious – make sure yours are worth catching.
7. Encourage progress, not perfection
We’re all a work in progress. None of us is perfect. But in the Instagram age, teenagers can feel under incredible pressure to be so.
Other people’s successes are paraded in public for the world to see. It’s easy for young people to be caught up in the comparison trap and become miserable for not meeting the unrealistically high standards they feel are expected of them.
Be their CEO – Chief Encouragement Officer. Make sure you encourage hard work and the fact they tried something – but it has to be given for a genuine reason, otherwise it’s patronising.
Paul McGee is the author of YESSS! The SUMO Secrets to Being a Positive, Confident Teenager