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10 Relationship Tips From Online Dating Experts

May 10, 2019 at 11.49am by
Happy couple

The world of dating can often seem like a peculiar game of strategy. One in which the rules are often unspoken, unwritten and unclarified. One in which there should be neither winners or losers, but sometimes , there are. Relationships can take so much energy to maintain and optimize that it’s easy to forget you’re both supposed to be on an even playing field. In fact, it’s easy to forget that you shouldn’t be rivals, but instead teammates. Companions fighting what can frequently seem like an uphill battle.

And unfortunately, there’s no one specific way to master that uphill battle. That’s primarily because relationships aren’t about mastery at all. And they’re certainly not about battles. They’re about sharing experiences with one another. Discovery. Enrichment. Fulfillment. Savoring all the joys, triumphs and challenges this world has to offer.

This can mean both sacrifice as much as understanding. Just what do you need to do to better understand your partner—and subsequently maintain your relationship?

We decided to turn to the experts for advice on how to manage love and relationships, particularly when everything else in life might seem uncertain. Here’s what they had to say about keeping your relationship vital, fresh and rewarding,.

Relationship Tip # 1: Attract, Don’t Distract

“One of the biggest challenges in a connected world is that couples don’t often know when to disconnect,” says Amy Noonan, an advice columnist from Philadelphia. “But spending time together means the focus should be solely on the both of you—not the workplace or online drama.” Her advice? “Learn to unplug. Put the phone on silent. Whatever else you have going on in your life, you can confront in the morning once you’re refreshed.”

Relationship Tip # 2: Communicate With Words, Not Text

“Emails and text messages are inherently distant,” explains Steven Kramer, a couples therapist currently based in London. “The spoken word is much more intimate. More nuanced. The right tone of voice can change everything, and you just can’t get that in an email.” His next suggestion? “Try leaving an old-fashioned handwritten note. Even if it’s just to wish them a good day at work. It shows effort, and it’s much more personal than words on a screen.”

Relationship Tip # 3: Say What You Mean (But Don’t Say It Mean)

“It’s a cliche, but one of the biggest problems with communication is when couples don’t speak what’s on their mind,” continues Kramer. “They’re afraid of hurting one another’s feelings. But if they want an honest balance, they need to get over that fear. They can’t sugar-coat or hide their true feelings. But at the same time, they shouldn’t let their own pride and prejudices cloud an argument. Maintaining honesty and respect can seem like a fine line, but it only comes about through practice. A lot of practice.”

Relationship Tip # 4 : Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?

“They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But it’s the same for women,” laughs Noonan. “Sharing dinner together is one of the most common ways to show intimacy. Particularly when it’s home cooked. You don’t have to be Julia Child to whip up a romantic dinner.” She has a particular word of advice for guys. “Even if you’re an absolute fire hazard when cooking, she’ll at least appreciate the effort you put in. But don’t be discouraged if she suggests take out next time!”

Relationship Tip # 5 : Time Is Of The Essence

“There’s no such thing as being fashionably late,” explains Jessica Hernandez, a dating specialist from Phoenix. “It just makes you look rude and inconsiderate—not cool and aloof. If you’ve made plans, you owe it to your partner to be on time.” She has another recommendation about timing. “And don’t air your battles in a public place. That’s just obnoxious. If you have to, save it for a time when you’re both alone and have had a chance to cool off and speak calmly.”

Relationship Tip # 6 : The Couple That Plays Together, Stays Together

“Couples frequently find themselves having different interests and priorities,” Kramer says. “But when you express an interest in each others’ activities—even if they’re not your own—what you’re actually expressing is an acceptance and acknowledgement of your differences.” His recommendation? “A morning run, for instance. Or a cooking class. Or a ball game. Try opening up yourself to at least one of your partner’s activities that you can share in, even if you typically wouldn’t be caught dead trying it. An open mind is crucial to open communication.”

Relationship Tip # 7 : Know When To Agree In Order To Disagree

“Mutual respect means respecting differences. Especially when some of those differences seem hostile,” says Noonan. But learn to tell when those differences seem irreconcilable, she elaborates. “But if you have values that are radically opposite, you may want to re-examine whether or not you’re the right match. It’s one thing to disagree about food preferences. That’s healthy. But it’s not so healthy when your lifestyles and morals are from two different planets.”

Relationship Tip # 8 : Spill Your Heart Out On Paper

“One thing I’ve found helpful is keeping a journal I can share with my fiancé,” explains Hernandez. “It’s something that we can both share in. Basically, we jot down everything… likes, dislikes, arguments, hopes, fears, fantasies—especially fantasies. We review it maybe once or twice a month and have an honest discussion about it. It’s sort of an objective third ear. But much cheaper than a therapist!”

Relationship Tip # 9 : Discover Uncharted Territory Together

“One of the great things about being in a relationship is discovering one another,” muses Kramer. “But it’s important to remember that there’s a much bigger world to discover. If you’re looking to rekindle that fire when you were first learning about one another, take a trip to somewhere you’ve never been. It doesn’t have to be a globetrotting adventure. Visit a nearby town and explore the sites. Eat at an unfamiliar restaurant. Take up an activity neither of you would have considered otherwise. Broaden your horizons, and you’ll broaden your relationship as well.”

Relationship # 10 : Lose That Extra Baggage And Travel Light

“Just about everyone can tell a horror story about their past relationships,” Noonan explains. “But if you can’t let it go, what that’s telling your partner is you’re not ready for a relationship yet. And honestly, That message is right. You’re not ready for a new relationship. Your partner isn’t your ex, and if you can’t see that you might be missing out on something wonderful. Don’t walk into dating thinking every relationship is going to fall into the same pattern. No two are ever going to be alike.” And if you do fall into that cycle? “Learn to break it. Get out of that mindset. In other words… grow up.”

Wise words from three experts who have been right where you are.

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