Omaha Love’s 7 Methods for a Better Relationship
Can you spot a good relationship? Of course nobody knows what really goes on between any couple, but decades of scientific research into love, sex and relationships have taught us that a number of behaviors can predict when a couple is on solid ground or headed for troubled waters. Omaha Love matchmakers know that good love connections don’t happen overnight. They take commitment, compromise, forgiveness and effort.
FALLING IN LOVE
Falling in love is the easy part. The challenge for dating clients is how to rekindle the fires of romance from time to time and cultivate the mature, trusting love that is the hallmark of a lasting relationship. Men and women each define love differently. Understanding what makes your partner feel loved can help you navigate conflict and put romance back into your relationship. If you learn your partner tends toward jealousy, make sure you notice when someone is flirting with him or her. If your partner is practical in love, notice the many small ways he or she shows love by taking care of everyday needs.
Romantic love has been called a “natural addiction” because it activates the brain’s reward center -- notably the dopamine pathways associated with drug addiction, alcohol and gambling. But those same pathways are also associated with novelty, energy, focus, learning, motivation, ecstasy and craving. No wonder we feel so energized and motivated when we fall in love!
But our dating coaches know that romantic, passionate love fades a bit over time, and (we hope) matures into a more contented form of committed love. Even so, many couples long to rekindle the sparks of early courtship. Do something new and different on your Midwest dates -- and make sure you do it together. New experiences activate the brain’s reward system, flooding it with dopamine and norepinephrine. Partners who regularly share new experiences report greater boosts in marital happiness than those who simply share pleasant but familiar experiences.
HAVE SEX - LOTS OF SEX
Professional matchmakers in Omaha know that committed couples really do have more sex than everyone else. While it’s true that single people can regale you with stories of crazy sexual episodes, remember that single people also go through long dry spells. The main factors associated with a sexless life are older age and not being married. So whether you’re having committed or married sex once a week, once a month or just six times a year, the fact is that there’s still someone out there having less sex than you. Make sure that if you’re not in the mood, get yourself to give it a go anyway, and you will find that you will likely be in the mood once you’ve gotten started.
PROTECT YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Avoid Opportunity. Omaha Love matchmakers recommend not putting yourself into a position where temptation is readily available, frequent and ongoing. If you have a career that puts you in front of the eye of attractive local singles often enough, you may begin to stray with your mind, and that could lead to actual physical encounters with another person who is not your partner. If you reconnect with an old friend (or old flame) on social media, keep communication brief, limited and appropriate. Online avenues are primes ways love connections happen, even if unintentionally to being with. Our matchmakers recommend keeping all online or in-person interactions with others platonic and staying that way.
Many people try their best to avoid conflict, but professional dating coaches say every conflict presents an opportunity to improve a relationship. The key is to learn to fight constructively in a way that leaves you feeling better about your partner.
Marriage researcher John Gottman has built an entire career out of studying how couples interact. He learned that even in a laboratory setting, couples are willing to air their disagreements even when scientists are watching and the cameras are rolling. From that research, he developed a system of coding words and gestures that has been shown to be highly predictive of a couple’s chance of success or risk for divorce or breakup.
BE DECISIVE & GENEROUS
How thoughtfully couples make decisions can have a lasting effect on the quality of their romantic relationships. Couples who are decisive before marriage — intentionally defining their relationships, living together and planning a wedding — appear to have better marriages than couples who simply let inertia carry them through major transitions. Making decisions and talking things through with partners is important. When you make an intentional decision, you are more likely to follow through on that.
Are you generous toward your partner? How often do you express affection? Or do small things for your partner like bring them coffee? Men and women who score the highest on the generosity scale are far more likely to report “very happy” marriages, according to professional matchmakers in the area.
NURTURE FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Sometimes couples become so focused on the relationship that they forget to invest in their relationships with friends and family. Professional dating coaches will tell you that married couples have fewer ties to relatives than the unmarried. They are less likely to visit, call or help out family members, and less likely to socialize with neighbors and friends.
The problem with this trend is that it places an unreasonable burden and strain on the marriage. We often overload our relationships by asking our partner to satisfy more needs than any one individual can possibly meet, and if our marriage falters, we have few emotional support systems to fall back on. To strengthen a serious relationship, consider asking less of it. That means leaning on other family members and friends for emotional support from time to time. Support your partner’s outside friendships and enjoy the respite from the demands of marriage when you’re not together.