Top ten relationship wreckers

Jealousy, money, the need for space and excessive use of the Internet are just a few things that can cause relationship strife.

Relationships are changing faster than ever before — and so are the triggers for break-ups , says UK based counsellor Andrew Marshall. New issues not even dreamt about 20 years ago, such as chatroom romances and online pornography, have risen to prominence. Here is the authoritative guide to what’s going up and what’s going down in the argument charts — and how to stop your relationship being derailed:

1. Low expectations
We expect relationships to fail. The “all men are jerks” mind set and “all women are bunny boilers” mentality has spread from being a joke with our mates into a self-fulfilling prophecy. We wait for our new boyfriend or girlfriend to trip up and then zoom in on their mistakes. Today’s couples think they are being realistic, but often this is just cynicism in disguise. Twenty years ago, couples saw marriage as an end in itself and were prepared to compromise to sustain their relationship. Therefore, they were more trusting and ready to give their partner the benefit of the doubt.

Solve it:
When people ask how many of my clients’ relationships are beyond help, my answer always surprises them: less than five percent. I believe that we make fundamentally good choices. So why so much divorce and misery? Everybody’s childhood leaves them with relationship dilemmas inherited from watching their parents’ marriage. It might be ‘not showing feelings’, ‘how to cope with unfaithfulness’ ‘temper tantrums’ or ‘attitudes to loss’ — the list in endless. We are drawn to people not just because of their great sense of humour or looks, as we imagine, but because they have similar problems to our own.

2. Work/life balance
Today we are working longer hours, doing more shift work, commuting further and therefore spending less time together than twenty years ago. When we’re tired, communication is cut down to the bare essentials (‘What time will you be back?’) as you cross paths in the kitchen. Although this shorthand is very efficient, there is no time to explain the complexity of our feelings. Into the gap leap all sorts of assumptions and misunderstandings. For example Rahul, a forty year-old chartered accountant, did not realise the importance of attending his partner’s company social. He did not understand why she was so huffy the next morning and just put the atmosphere down to a hangover but was in too much of a hurry to ask. In the past, couples would stay up half the night fighting, and probably solve the argument; today they are too aware of that early meeting to want to waste precious sleep time. Instead we complain that our partner never listens.

Solve it:
Invest in your relationship by setting aside ‘sacred time’ that belongs to just the two of you. For example: make Thursday night your date night — even if you can’t go out, spend the time talking, listening to music or making love. Many couples in therapy find they benefit most from the concentrated, quality time they spend together, rather than the counselling. Secondly, don’t make assumptions but check out your hunches.

3. Jealousy
Stories of celebrity infidelity and the divorces of supposedly ideal couples (like Jennifer and Brad) reinforce just how many people stray. Twenty years ago, we had a much clearer idea of right and wrong. But what constitutes being unfaithful today? Is it looking too long at a pretty face in the street? What about a long lunch with an admirer that you don’t tell your partner about? Is it ok if you stop at just a kiss?

article source: timesofindia

Awkward sex encounters

When was the last time your boss walked in while you were all heated down under? Got scathing comments from your dad about your last night mushy talks with your beloved?

Or a curious auntyji caught you crossing limits under the staircase? Admit it, for it's something that's bound to happen. All of us have faced embarrassing sex moments that we would ideally like to forget.

"Don't fret about imperfect moments in your sex life; just rejoice and hold your lover tight. Your ability to deal with embarrassing situations reflects the strength of your relationship. Real understanding is about being able to feel at ease with each other in awkward circumstances as well. Emotional presence and trust is the biggest aphrodisiac and the thrill can last a lifetime," explains Renu Rai, a psychatrist.

We bring you a list of the most awkward sexual encounters and the ways you can avoid being caught...

Your mom cancels her trip and comes back home : Ravi Sharma, a student, shares his experience, "My ex and I had planned for a steamy night once my parents left for an official trip abroad for three days. I wanted to make her feel special. My parent's bedroom was the spacious one, so I lit it up with candles and scented oils to create the perfect ambience for sex. In the attached bathroom, I prepared for a hot bubble bath together. The afternoon my parents left, my ex and I were in an over-the-session. We were busy in the bathroom when my mom and my aunt walked in on us in a compromising position. We were caught in an embarrassing embrace. My ex ran out with whatever clothes she could find, but post the episode my parents did not speak to me for four months."

Expert talk : Pschologist, Poornima Sahni advises, "It's natural for young lovers to indulge in such activities in the heat of the moment. However, if you are caught, it is difficult to get over the shock. What is important is to keep in mind that when you are caught by your parents, they experience the same kind of disillusionment as you. So it is important to talk it out with your family in a free and frank manner. Initially there would be a lot of anger, but your persistence would pay off after sometime."

Dad overhears your phone sex : Sandhya Singh, a call centre executive, speaks about the time when she was caught getting hot and dirty over the phone by her father. "I thought everyone at my home was asleep. So when my boyfriend called, I started talking to him and we were actually being quite explicit. Unfortunately my dad chose that moment to get up for a drink of water. And I never realised that he was overhearing our candid conversation, until he made some sound to alert me about his presence. I just wanted to die that very moment."

Expert talk : According to Sahni, phone sex isn't a good idea. "Having phone sex can be quite thrilling, but you are making yourself vulnerable to a lot of things. It's not just about your parents, but about your dignity. The guy/girl you are talking to may just record the conversation and circulate it amongst their peers. So in that case it's just not about you, but also about your family. And most likely your parents are bothered about that more. So, its best to use a little thought before doing these things."

article source: timesofindia

9 ways to meet 'Mr Right'

If hitting all the so-called single spots isn’t helping you find your dream match, rethink your routine with some out-of-the-box guy-meeting tactics.

1. Find your friends’ friends : Combine your love of online shopping with the best way to meet eligible men —through friends, recommends Rachel Greenwald, author of Why He Didn't Call You Back:1,000 Guys Reveal What They REALLY Thought About You After Your Date. Scroll through your friends’ friends on social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook and play a game Greenwald calls, “I Spy a Cute Guy.” Find someone intriguing who’s also single (check with your mutual friend if his profile is private)? Ask to be introduced. “Because Facebook isn’t an official online dating site, the pressure is off,” she says. “You can get to know each other first as friends and go from there.”

2. Brush up on current affairs : It’s a good idea to make info-gathering an everyday part of your life—and not to impress guys (even though it’s a fact that they like smart, well informed babes), but for your own IQ and confidence. Make news channels like Times Now, CNN or BBC your Internet home page, subscribe to political and news magazine that gives you each week’s news stories. You’ll be able to strike up a conversation in no time.

3. Twitter for love : Everyone seems to have been bitten by the Twitter bug. Now use Twitter for more than getting the lowdown of your friends’ lives. Send a tweet on Friday afternoon that you’re meeting friends at your favorite watering hole for an impromptu happy hour. Tell your followers to bring their friends. You’re bound to meet new people, and even if they’re not single, they might know someone to fix you up with later.”

4. Go Solo : It can feel odd to watch a movie by yourself or sit solo at a coffee shop, but many happily attached women know that spending some time by yourself is a surefire way to meet someone great, says Karrine Steffans, author of The Vixen Manual. So chill at a Barista with your laptop and a latte, take your dog for a long walk or treat yourself to lunch at an outdoor cafĂ©—solo!

5. Say Yes More Often : It can be tempting to cancel on a party invite if you’re feeling pooped or dying to catch the new episode of your favourite show, but accepting an invite or two each month that you’d otherwise turn down can give your love life a life, says Brenda Della Casa, author of Cinderella Was A liar: The Real Reason You Cannot Find (Or Keep) A Prince. Asked out by a guy who doesn’t fit your dream definition? Just say yes!

6. Recycle the single guys you know : Everyone knows interesting guys who aren’t right for them (think your single best male pal, coworker or a former date who’s now just a friend) but who might be right for someone else. Go ahead and guy-cycle. Organise a low-key get-together and recycle those 'great-but-not-for-you' guys by inviting single women to the party. Set a one-single-guy minimum, encouraging female guests to bring at least one guy they’d recommend to other girls. Then watch the sparks fly!

7. Get sweaty !: Local sports clubs let you get in shape by playing softball, swimming, karate, tennis or any other sport you enjoy, and they’re full of athletic, fun-loving guys.

8. Learn how his stomach thinks : The best place to meet guys is at a busy restaurant at lunch. So head out more often for that lunch break at a popular eatery as there is always a line of cute guys around the corner. Apart from a heart meal, men feel these are perfect places to strike up a conversation.

9. Make more female friends : The next time you walk into a party, don’t scan the room for handsome men only, but rather seek out the most social, outgoing woman you can find. Get to know her and invite her for coffee. Chances are, if you were drawn to her, she’ll have a lot of other friends—including male ones—who were drawn to the same qualities as you.

article source: timesofindia