Tag Archives: Happy Couples

5 Things Done Differently in Healthy Relationships

Source: ElephantJournal.com
Source: ElephantJournal.com

Laura Brown, a relationship specialist, on ElephantJournal.com provides a raw, honest perspective on her beliefs on the 5 things that make up a healthy relationship. What is your experience? Do these 5 philosophies ring true for you and your loved one?

One of the things I am quite frank about is the fact that I have had my share of screw ups in the romantic department.

If there was a mistake to make, I made it. If there was something I was told I shouldn’t/couldn’t do, I did it. And I suffered a great many heartaches because of it.

I began to correlate drama and dysfunction with love and romance and nothing could be further from the truth.

Part of why I consider being a relationship specialist my calling and why I am so dang good at it is because I have been there, done that and burned the t-shirt. This includes the hard work on my relationship with love to get to where I am today.

Where am I today? Married to the man of my dreams after a long road of off and on, long distance dating with two kids and another currently taking residence (and causing me to waddle rather ungracefully around the house) in my womb.

Here is what I have discovered those in healthy relationships do differently:

1. The past cannot be erased.

Many people will tell us that we must release the past or leave the past behind us. While that is a novel idea, it’s complete and utter B.S. We will never forget or release the past, and why should we? It brought us here.

Everything we have encountered, whether good or bad, was a learning experience designed to aid our evolution. People in healthy relationships haven’t suddenly forgotten or “released” their wounds, they have transformed them. They have learned to honor their past and all it entailed as necessary steps to take in the ladder to their personal evolution.

They bring with them the appreciation for each moment and respect for where they have come from and what they have gone through into their current relationship. It adds a richness and depth that would otherwise be lacking if we truly had an ability to push a button and drop our pasts down the chute.

2. It’s not always 50/50.

Sometimes it’s 80/20 and that is okay. What is not okay is if it stays in this place of imbalance. We all go through things that leave us gutted or otherwise unable to be fully present in a relationship.

Instead of complaining and throwing a tantrum, those in a healthy relationship understand that sometimes we need to give a bit more while our partner puts focus on other things. It could be a job or personal issues that requires their attention. If talked about openly and honestly, then it’s okay to give a bit more while our partner’s attention is diverted elsewhere.

What is not okay is if this imbalance becomes a part of our everyday existence. One person cannot be the backbone to the entire relationship; the very definition of partnership implies the participation of another for a common goal.

3. Honesty counts.

And, honestly, this has been the hardest part for me. As a rather independent woman who made her own money and did her own thing for so many years, it became difficult to imagine that suddenly I was supposed to share where every penny went or had to tell my partner where I was going.

My rebellious nature would kick in and “it’s none of your damn business where I’m going” flew from my mouth more than a few times. This, however, does not a healthy relationship make.

While I was playing secret squirrel, my husband was telling me about where the money he made went, into what savings, toward what household project. If he was leaving he would say where he was headed and approximately what time he would be home. It wasn’t done with the feeling that he needed to, but the feeling that it was the respectful thing to do. I took note.

When we are in a healthy partnership, it’s time to open up about these things. Whether it’s where we are headed on a Saturday afternoon or just how many new pairs of shoes we bought as we try to stuff the evidence in the closet.

It took me a long time to realize that I needn’t view it from an adolescent-like perspective and fear that someone was encroaching on my space. We can still be independent and open—those in healthy relationships get that.

4. Silence is deadly.

Still ignoring your partner when you are upset with them? Don’t! Please for the love of all that is holy do not keep up with this dangerous trend; it destroys more relationships than I can even number!

Those who are in healthy, long-term relationships understand that the key to anything ultimately boils down to communication.

Unless you are Paris Hilton, my guess is that nothing at all in life is going to get solved by pouting in the corner with your arms folded around your chest. There will be times when we are upset with our partner. We will argue and disagree and sometimes we may even say hurtful crap to one another.

That’s the nature of the beast. It’s how we handle those tension filled moments that determines whether we continue on the road of a happy and healthy relationship or take a detour down break up avenue.

We have to be willing to talk about what is bothering us. Is it good to sometimes wait until we have cooled our jets? Sure, no one wants to have a finger in their face and most will check out if our voice is raised.

Talking calmly, however, about what is bothering us is essential for working through issues. Our partner cannot possibly know how we feel and what to do about it unless we create a space where we each can safely share our feelings.

So stop the silent sulking and talk!

5. Separate but together.

People who enjoy reasonable health and sanity in their relationships get that a relationship cannot be that which makes their lives full but rather an addition to their already full life. So many, and yes I am looking at my ladies here, find someone they are interested in and suddenly drop their friends like hotcakes and start to devote their every waking moment to their new paramour. Then when the relationship starts to die a slow death due to a lack of space, their entire world falls apart.

When we are in a functional and healthy relationship, there is an understanding that we each must have our own goals and passions. We should have time away for ourselves to explore our own interests. Nothing is sexier than a man or woman who is passionate and capable of holding their own.

Conversely, there is no greater turn off than the stench of clingy desperation. Make your life full and explore what you love—your relationship will be all the more rich for it.

Most importantly, those who are in healthy relationships understand that it all boils down to respect and love. Respect and love for the self, for their partner and for the relationship.

There is a desire to love their partner to such a degree that they feel the ultimate freedom that comes from security.

Healthy doesn’t mean problem-free by any stretch of the imagination; my husband and I clear the emotional pipes from time to time with a good ol’ spat. But, thankfully, we have learned a few healthy habits that allows us to do so in a fashion that doesn’t undermine the integrity of the relationship.

Written by: Laura Brown on ElephantJournal.com 

25 Signs You Found the Person You Could Spend the Rest of Your Life With

 

Falling in Love - Getting Engaged and getting married
Photo Source: Aplus.com

How do you know? Do you really “know when you know”?

As shared on Aplus.com by Mandy Velez, knowing someone is right for you extends much deeper than the butterflies in your stomach. It’s both loving who that person is as a human being, and knowing they make you a better person, too.

Of course, this is no magic formula, but Mandy Velez can attest that someone with more than half of these qualities is not only a keeper, but more importantly, just a flat-out amazing person. After all, shouldn’t they be one in the same?

1. They surprise you for no other reason than to see a smile on your face

2. They listen to you, really listen, when you talk

3. You miss them when they’re gone

4. But you also can still live your life when they’re away, too

5. You can see a future with them

6. You genuinely want them in your life

7. You love them as not just a lover, but as a person

8. If you just met at a bar, you know you’d think they were awesome

9. You have similar interests and goals

10. Still, they teach you new things

11. They want the best for you

12. And they always lift you up

13. They’re okay with helping you when you need a favour

14. They compliment you without being prompted

15. They get along with your family

16. They follow through on their promises

17. Your friends like them

18. Their little quirks only bother you for a little bit, but you know it doesn’t make or break them

19. They never make rude, mean or hurtful comments

20. They never talk negatively about your appearance

21. When you both fight, you fight fair (no name-calling)

22. They can make you smile just by looking at them

23. Or turned on

24. They can make a bad day good just knowing you’ll get to talk to them about it

25. They will be honest with you, and will appreciate you doing the same

BONUS: If you’re thinking of a person after this, it’s a good sign.

4 Scientifically Proven Ways to Improve Your Relationship

Happy Couples - Being in Love - 4 Ways to Improve Your Relationship
Photo Source: GoodThink.com

GoodThink.com shares 4 scientifically proven ways to improve your relationship with your partner. For those that need concrete data, rest assured, it is provided here! Michelle Gielan, founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research, outlines ways to use positive communication to improve your connection with your love!

#1: Write a gratitude letter to your partner letting them know the big and small things you’re thankful for about them. Give it to them or read it aloud (while they blush).

Why: Studies have shown that people who regularly practice gratitude are more satisfied with their relationships with friends and family. In a study by Martin Seligman at U Penn, people who wrote gratitude letters and read them aloud to the recipient reported immediate increases in happiness and decreases in depressive symptoms.

#2: Renew a Commitment: If you’re married or in a long-term relationship, verbally renew your commitment to being there for your partner. It can be as simple as telling them over dinner, “I just want to let you know I’m here for you.” Or, “these past 10 years have been really good, and I am looking forward to the next 10 with you.”

Why: Adults who see themselves as socially engaged and supported are in better mental and physical health than adults who are socially isolated. Commitment to a relationship also refers to your sense of belonging in your role as a partner or spouse, which increases positive self-identity.

#3: At dinner or before bed, ask your partner, “What was the best thing about your day?”If something great happened, practice “active-constructive feedback:” show enthusiasm, ask questions, or ask them to relive the event by telling you all the exciting details.

Why: Research shows that sharing something positive makes people feel even better about it—which is called “capitalizing.”  Shelley Taylor and her colleagues at UCLA have also found that how we respond to good news is even more important than how we respond to the bad stuff—practicing active-constructive feedback in response to your partner’s good news strengthens your relationship and gives everyone a happiness boost. 

#4: Have one conversation this week where you pay 100% attention to what your partner’s saying. (Read: Don’t check your phone, not even once!)

Why:  No surprise: Research on multitasking has shown that the human brain is insufficient when it comes to attending to simultaneous tasks. Studies have found that when we don’t give someone our full attention, we make more errors in communication and others tend to judge us more harshly. Giving someone your full attention lets the other person know that you care, and that they’re worth your time and attention. 

Try a few out, and let us know how it works for you and your partner… We would love to hear from you! 

9 Signs You’ve Found the Man You Should Make Your Husband

Source: Elitedaily.com
Source: Elitedaily.com

Not that you needed to hear these 9 signs to know you’ve found the man you are going to make your husband… But hey, it is always satisfying to check each off the list knowing you have found your Prince Charming right?!

Laura Argintar on Elitedaily.com discusses the 9 Signs You’ve Found the Man You Should Make Your Husband:

There’s one thing we’re all chasing after. One force that trumps money, power or reason, and that very closely dictates the kind of people we become. And it’s love.

Falling in love is like coming home. Your worries are quieted and you feel protected in your partner’s arms. The man you give your heart to just feels right.

When you’re deep in love, it’s hard not to picture the rest of your life with that other person. But how do we know for certain that it’s real forever and not just a current fantasy?

Perhaps we’re a little old-fashioned, but we like to believe that marriage — for better or for worse — is sacred for life. Here are the nine signs you’ve found the man you want to spend the rest of your life with:

1. You don’t need to be “on” in front of him

Good days and bad days, he understands who you are and doesn’t expect you to be anyone but yourself. In his eyes, you’re special by just being you. There’s no pretending.

During those lazy times when all you want to do is lounge in stained sweatpants and not formulate sentences, he gets it because he’s right there with you. You can totally be yourself — whatever mood you’re in — and he always thinks you shine.


2. Your happiness is his happiness, and vice versa

You know he’s the one because he’s good to you in ways that you’ve never thought possible. He wants what’s best for you, even if it comes at a cost to him.

The man you marry gives selflessly, as your interests are now his interests. In fact, he thinks he’s being selfish when he indulges in you because it brings him pleasure, too.

To that end, he can balance ambitions at work with ambitions at home. Some stages or careers are more difficult than others, but he finds ways to let you know he hasn’t forgotten about you.


3. Even at the end of a really bad day, all you want is to be with him

No matter what kind of crummy mood you’re in, you’d rather be with him than be alone, for you’re better with him than without him.

He patiently listens while you speak your mind and he won’t invalidate your concerns with his honest feedback. His confidence and passion positively influence your own, which makes your relationship all the more exciting. You want to be near him, always.


4. The attraction is palpable

Physically, emotionally and mentally, you two are compatible on all those levels. The chemistry between you both is powerful enough to block everything else out. Sometimes it feels like it’s just him that really matters.

Even doing the littlest things together, such as running to the grocery store, feel more special because he’s around. The attraction is pervasive from the bedroom to the most platonic of places, like the doctor’s office. You can’t keep your hands off each other and you certainly aren’t holding back.


5. You want to share every experience with him

When you envision your future, he has a major role in it (and vice versa). The idea of spending the rest of your life with him doesn’t scare you. Being by his side is where you feel most comfortable.

When something funny happens or you receive good news, you immediately want to share it with him first. When a cheesy love song comes through your headphones, you instinctively think of him.

From what he ate for lunch to what he’s currently watching on television, you’re interested in all that he does. And, while you sometimes hate to admit this, you’re more inclined to do something if he’s part of it. That’s just what companionship is to you.


6. You have the same idea of romance

Sometimes you feel like you’re in a “Twilight” movie with all this inexplicable magic and love buzzing around. Whatever your definition of romance is — intimate dinners, long road trips, cuddling in bed — he shares in it and will go the extra step to make that happen.

He won’t shy away from pouring his heart out or opening up to you because he trusts you and wants to connect with you on a deeper level. He’ll always be your man, but he’s not afraid to show you a softer side either.


7. You love more than you fight

It never feels good to fight because you care too much about him to hurt him. The compromise always seems like the best option because you both can be happy. But at the end of the day, you really can’t stay mad at each other for long.


8. He not only listens to you, but he also hears what you’re saying

He can read between the lines and anticipate your needs without you having to communicate them all the time. He’s thoughtful and well-intentioned like that.

He knows what you are trying to say without having to always explain yourself. You help each other grow and become the people you want to be.


9. He accepts you as you are

You’re messier, louder and maybe less funny, but he loves you for it. He makes you feel good about all those things you might dislike about yourself.

And he brags about you to his friends because he’s so proud to call you his own. You would brag more, except everyone already knows how enamored you are.

He knows everything about you — good and bad — and appreciates both because it’s all part of who you are.

You are his, he is yours and suddenly it all feels comfortingly simple.

Omari’s Memorable Surprise Proposal at a Toronto Raptors Game!!!

Spence client, Omari, planned the ultimate surprise proposal. He ensured it would be a moment that him & Dawn, and the 20,000 fans that got to share in their joy, would remember forever.

Dawn thinks she is taking part in a typical half-time type contest game. However, when she chooses the Adidas Mystery Box, the “true prize” is revealed.

Congratulations to Omari & Dawn! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and joy. We are honoured that we got to play a small role in your happily ever after.

We can’t wait for some clips from their wedding – we are wagering that their big day will be one to remember!

Video Source: Toronto Raptors

10 Definitive Ways To Tell You’re In Love With The Right Someone

Source: EliteDaily.com
Photo Source: EliteDaily.com

Got to love Elite Daily – the voice of Gen Y…. In the article titled, 10 Definitive Ways To Tell You’re In Love With The Right Someone, Eric Santos shares his thoughts on the 10 ways to know if you might be in love – rather than in like – with someone. He speaks from personal experience, as he recalls when he first fell in love with his girlfriend. He specifically recounts the transition from when he liked his girlfriend to when he began to love her. A sweet, honest and legit top 10 list.

1. The best part of your day

As Childish Gambino said, “When I’m alone, I’d rather be with you.” Seeing my girlfriend is always the highlight of my day. If you really love someone, you never truly get tired of him or her.

No matter how great your day might be going, your special person will make it better. When you just like someone, he or she might make your day better, but probably isn’t the best part.


2. The first person you think about

Your love will be the first person you think about when you wake up and the last person you think about before you go to sleep. When something good happens to you, this is the first person you want to tell.

When something bad happens to you, you look to this person for support.


3. Prioritize above your own needs

Love is selfless. I was the most important person in my world until I met my girlfriend. Once I fell in love with her, her needs became much more important than my own.

This is just how love is. Your needs always seem trivial in comparison to your significant other’s needs.


4. You’d do anything

If I tried to construct a list of things I wouldn’t do for my girlfriend, the list would be pretty empty. When you’re in love with someone, you do whatever you can to make the person happy.

When you like someone, you may feel like there is a lot you would do for the person, but you have your limits. True love knows no limits.


5. You are never afraid to express your feelings in public

I have this semi-bad habit of telling the world how in love I am with my girlfriend.

When you’re truly in love, you want everyone to know. You are not bashful about your feelings by any means. When you like someone, there is a lot of holding back on how you feel.


6. You love the imperfections

My girlfriend is the most beautiful girl I know, but she does have some imperfections. But, to me, they’re not imperfections — they’re unique qualities and things I love.

When I tease her about them, she thinks I am making fun of her, but I am truly just admiring them. Love is the ability to know and accept someone’s faults.

You may know the imperfections of a person you like, but having the capacity to embrace them likely won’t happen unless you fall in love.


7. You think long-term

When you’re in love with someone, it’s hard to imagine a future without the person in it. For this reason, you will think long-term about how you can build a life with this person.

You won’t give in to short-term temptations that might mess up your long-term goals. When you just like someone, thinking long-term can be pretty scary.


8. You become a better person

No one is perfect; we all have room for improvement. But, being in love will force you to work on these things.

You want to become the best version of yourself for the person you love. I am a better person now than I was before I met my girlfriend.


9. Your feelings are unconditional

When you love someone unconditionally, it means that your love knows no conditions and is absolute. I don’t actually like the term “unconditional love” because I think it’s redundant — I believe all true love is unconditional.

When you like someone, your feelings change depending on the condition.


10. Your love is your best friend

Sometime along the way, my girlfriend became my best friend. I believe this to be true for most people who fall in love.

Your significant other becomes your partner in crime. You feel like, together, you can take on the world.

 So… Do you agree? Any points missing for you?

When You’re in a Good Relationship, You Learn these 10 Things

In a post on Lifehack, Allison Renner shared an interesting perspective on what she believes are the top 10 things you learn, when you are in a good relationship. She defines a good relationship as, “true love feels different than casual relationships –  even if those relationships lasted for years (often well past their expiration date!). When you’re in a good relationship, you learn things. You act differently; you think as part of a team, not as an individual making your way through the world. You’ll be more understanding and accepting of your partner, instead of just getting frustrated with them like you may have with past relationships.” 

Happy Couples - Getting engaged - Being happy in love
Photography by Otto Schulze

1. Misunderstandings are inevitable.

Misunderstandings are going to happen. If you take your partner’s words one way, then learn they meant something totally different, don’t punish them. Let it go. Bringing it up all the time is only going to bruise the relationship and cause communication problems later. Sometimes what you say or do will be taken the wrong way, and you’ll get frustrated that your partner doesn’t understand. Take a step back and realize it’s not a big deal. Misunderstandings are made to be swept under the rug because they’re so minor. They only become problems if you let them grow bigger and mean more in the scope of your relationship. Be laid back and forgive misunderstandings.

2. Learn to trust them.

You have to trust your partner. Why would you share your life with someone when you think they’re doing something wrong every time you turn your back? If you don’t trust your partner to be faithful, honest, caring, or anything else, then you’re not in a good relationship. The best relationships begin with a deep trust, and even if problems come up (and they will!), the trust is strong enough to keep you together.

3. Let yourselves miss each other.

You’re in love, so you want to be together all the time! It’s so fun to cuddle all night and be together all day, but when will you have time to experience different things? When you go to separate workplaces or schools, you experience things that will give you something to talk about later. When you go out with your friends and your partner spends time with theirs, you have time and space to yourself and come back to each other refreshed. You have a chance to miss each other, and it helps you really understand the value of your relationship. Missing someone is great because getting to see them after that period will make you so happy and so sure of your relationship.

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4. Encourage growth and change.

In a good relationship, both partners are encouraged to grow and change. You have one life to live – you should explore it to the fullest! If you want to quit your job and go back to school, your partner should support you. If you want to try something new or go back to something old, you should find support in your relationship. And you should give this support in return. Encourage your partner to explore hobbies and interests and meet new people. If you want your partner to stay the same, you’re going to have a very boring life together.

5. Compromising doesn’t mean you’re weak.

Compromising doesn’t mean “giving in.” It doesn’t mean that you’ve lost the fight. In fact, it’s the opposite. Do you know how hard it is to compromise sometimes? You want your way because it sounds right and makes sense to you. Your partner is way off base with their suggestions. Take a step back and look at the argument diplomatically. What’s the logical conclusion? If your partner is right, don’t be afraid to say so. Accept their way, or modify both of your solutions to be half and half. The important thing is not getting your way, it’s staying in your relationship and helping it grow. Compromising will definitely help your relationship grow.

6. Admit your weaknesses.

Your partner doesn’t expect you to be a superhero, and hopefully you don’t expect that of them! We’re all human; we all have flaws. It’s ok to let these show. In fact, to have a stable, serious relationship, you need to let your weaknesses be known. Your partner will be more sensitive to things that bother you, and can help build you up in areas where you need some help.

7. Sometimes you can only accept things, not fix them.

People have baggage. You have some. Your partner has some. Can you go back and erase all of this? Nope! You’re stuck with it, and have to learn to deal with it. Some things are easier to get over than others, but the reality is that sometimes, you can’t fix things. You can’t make problems go away. You have to accept them and get over them and move on, or else your relationship will crumble.

8. Forgive quickly and truly.

Whenever you have a fight, don’t worry about who wins or who loses. Learn from the fight – from what was said as much as from how it was resolved. Once you learn from a fight, you can apply that lesson to your relationship to avoid trouble later. That’s all well and good, but you’re not done! Forgive your partner! Forgive yourself. The fight is over, you’re past it, now let it go. Never hold anything against your partner because the resentment will build until you don’t want to be with them.

9. Never expect anything.

Don’t expect your partner to read your mind, or to bring you breakfast in bed, or to offer to wash the dishes. It’s not going to happen. You can’t expect anything from anyone – you have to make it known. Communicate. Make sure your partner knows what you expect from the relationship, as well as your opinions on a wide variety of issues. This will help them act considerate towards you, but still – don’t expect anything!

10. Show your feelings.

The worst thing you can do in a relationship is play games. Don’t tease your partner; don’t “reward” good deeds with love and affection. You have to make sure your partner always feels loved. You can be happy with them or be mad at them – it doesn’t matter – they just need to feel loved. They need to know your feelings in the moment as well, don’t get me wrong. But make sure you’re showing your feelings in a way that they won’t be misunderstood (back to #1!).

Click here to view the original article at Lifehack.org.

“I was pretty n…

“I was pretty nervous when I walked into the store. I met with a diamond consultant, who helped me through the process. After going through a great presentation on how diamonds are graded, I felt much more confident about making my selection. We found three spectacular diamonds for Danielle’s ring. Actually, thanks to Spence, picking the ring was the easy part. Then I had to do the Grouse Grind so that I could propose to Danielle at the top of GrouseMountain. It turned out to be a wonderful experience. We have since been back to Spence to order our wedding bands.” – Alm

“Spence has bee…

“Spence has been an amazing store to deal with. When shopping for the initial engagement ring, we were put at ease with a no-pressure, take-your-time attitude. Our other visits have been great as well. We were thrilled with all of our service, as it was so quick and we were treated so well. Thanks Spence!” – Bev & Bryan

A Perfect Fit, Just Like Your Love: Engagement Rings Made to Order

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