Take a quick look at the picture beside us. Closely! What does it make you think of? It makes me think of a number of different things. Primarily, it makes me think of how do couples solve this sex, love and intimacy puzzle?
When we first meet and fall in love it is exciting, wonderful and all consuming. Our partner is magic and fantastic and so are we. Life is great we think.
Sex with our new partner/lover is exploration, fun, feelings, explosions, intense, involving and wonderful too. Much of life around us is screened out and we two exist only with our romance and each other. It is great to fall in love and lust.
I recently read an article that said if your partner and you sat down together to watch a truly great romantic movie that it was one of the best things you could do for your relationship/marriage. In fact, the article said that some research had been done which showed this to be the case.
It could be very cool, yes? Is it true?
I do not know the quality or veracity of the research so I cannot really say how valid it is. It is great to see some films but if this is all you do together is watch romantic films then your relationship can be a little shallow. Agreed?
Develop some other interests that you can share too. Pack a lunch and go for a hike, take a course, invest in yourselves and your relationship. Be a tourist in your own town. Join a club. Eat a romatic candlelight breakfast together. Share time with friends. Live, love and laugh!
With Valentines Day coming up I have prepared a list of Romantic Movies for you to choose from. Here are 14 good Romantic Movies to keep the flame burning and your heart pumping. Enjoy!
Happy Valentines Day. Please Like Us or Tweet Us below.
Live, Love and Laugh, Marianne and Bob
What are the "languages of love" ? Sounds interesting, yes. Are there really five different languages of love that one can speak? And what does that mean for a relationship? Is it complicated? Does it work to improve a relationship?
Most of us believe marriage should be based on love. But some days it seems as though you and your partner are speaking two different languages? New York Times bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman teaches couples to identify, understand, and speak their partner's primary love language. These love languages he calls quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch.
By learning the five love languages, you and your partner will discover your own unique love languages and find practical steps to real love. Chapters are organized by love language for easy reference, and each one ends with specific, simple steps showing how to express a specific language to your partner and guide your marriage in the right direction. A newly designed love languages assessment will help you understand and strengthen your relationship. You can begin to build a lasting, loving marriage together or get back the love you buried somewhere.
Gary Chapman hosts a US nationally syndicated daily radio program called A Love Language Minute that can be heard on more than 150 radio stations as well as the weekly syndicated program Building Relationships with Gary Chapman, which can both be heard on fivelovelanguages.com.
I recommend The Five Love Languages as a very good starting point. It can improve your relationship in a matter of months. Buy it, read it and practice it.
This is not the only thing you can do. Next time we will talk about the essential communication skills you must learn and use to have a truly loving relationship. Remember, to be heard and understood is to be loved.
Have a mindfully loving week.
Live, love and laugh, Marianne and Bob.
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And do you have any comments?
So what happens to the love after those first wonderful two years together? Is it still there hiding someplace? How do we coax it to come out again?
There are many who say that the period of euphoria we experience when we fall in love is not really love. Rather it is intense infatuation which draws us together. In this time our lover is absolutely wonderful, fulfills us, does no wrong and makes us feel like a king or queen. Then, of course there is the intensity, uniqueness and frequency of our sexual relationship. Everything gets blended in together. It must be love and that rush, that great feeling is mistaken for love.
But Real Love starts when falling in love ends. When things have cooled down and criticism, our own desires and the reality of life creeps in we have a choice to make. Will we choose Real Love or a romantic idea of love based on infatuation? Those who choose Real Love will have some work to do and will be rewarded deeply for that choice. But it isn't free. There is no free lunch in marriage. You must do the work to learn the tools and techniques of solid self affirming love.
So bring it on friends. What are those tools? And can anybody learn to practice and have real love?
The answer to the second question is; anybody who wants Real Love can learn how to have it. Anybody! And it means re-focusing and doing some work to learn and then ongoing practice.
What are the skills you can learn to have Real Love and a fulfilling relationship? The core skills you need to have a loving relationship are good communication skills, problem solving techniques and to understand the language of love. You must put all of these into practice and the relationship will go well.
Here is a very hard fact. If you do not learn and use these skills then you are likely doomed to a journey into disappointment, frustration and feeling out of love. That is where the love has gone. Maybe you will then join the ranks of the divorced or you will tough it out regardless of the pain. The learning and practicing of proven relationship skills will likely give you a better and more loving relationship. You will be rewarded for your work, rewarded with Real Love.
In the next three posts we shall talk about good communication skills, problem solving techniques and learning to speak the language of love and how to find your partners and your language of love.
Another reminder that we shall be holding a one days course at the end of October, max six couples, on how to have Real Love in your relationship. Be fufilled in your relationship, be happy, be in love again.®
Have a great weekend, Marianne and Bob.
This is number 2 of a 5 part series on Love and Relationships.
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Divorce rates in countries are measured in different ways. An often used measure is how many divorces there are per 1000 citizens. This statistic doesn't tell you very much other than the trends over a period of time. What does 8 divorces per 1000 people per year really mean? Not much. It conceals more than it reveals.
A more interesting number is the percent of marriages which end in divorce. It is commonly accepted by researchers that in the USA and Norway, for example, the rate lies between 41 to 51% in first time marriages and around 60% in second marriages.
One thing is certain. Divorce rates are very high and the personal and societal costs and pain involved is enormous. It is for me, doubly sad when you think that most of us start off in marriage "in love." We have fallen in love. What a rush. What a wonderful thing, being in love. But what is love? And what is falling in love?
Take a minute now and answer those two questions for yourself. Go ahead do it, nobody has to see your answers, right? Oh, by the way, why do we fall out of love? What happens?
Well, here is what researchers and marriage and relationship counsellors have found out. Falling in love is a state of heightened arousal and euphoria created by the relationship you have with another person. Research shows that this period usually does not last longer than between nine months and two years.
During this period we are not always as practical and logical as we could be. Our feet are often not touching the ground. We live in this fantastic dream world. We see our partners as perfect and wonderful. Nothing could go wrong. But it does. Why? And how can we keep the love in a relationship?
After two years or less we start to see our feet touch the ground. We become more realistic, critical and demanding. Usually falling out of love is not the same lightning strike experience as falling in love was. In fact it takes some years before that seemingly perfect relationship you had is not at all perfect. It has become stressful, unsatisfying and unhappy.
At this point, people often ask, "What happened to the love?"
In the past there were two ways of dealing with this. To stay or to leave the relationship. Fifty years and more back in time people toughed it out. It was a commitment and they stayed to the bitter end. Looking at some of the results of this approach we see it wasn't always positive. The other way was to walk away, to get divorced. People did not divorce so easily back then. That has changed as todays statistics show.
This does not mean that those who stuck it out and stayed with it until the end were better or smarter than you. But researchers and experienced marriage counsellors have found there is a third way. That third way is to learn some relationship skills and techniques and do the work to put them in practice. This builds Real Love.
Next post we will talk about Real Love. What happened to the love? What are the skills and techniques you need to learn and practice to personally grow and create a wonderful and lasting relationship? Also, a heads up. We will be holding a super one day course with lunch for max 5 couples on October 26th. Details to be forthcoming.
Hey, please remember to comment, Like Us or Tweet us below. Thanks and have a wonderful week, Bob and Marianne. ®
From time to time it is so wonderful to inject a little romance into our often routine lives. The most obvious time for this is the weekend as most of us work. It takes just a little planning, time and usually very little money.
Be creative, thoughtful and have no expectations. Let yourself be surprised by the results you create.
Tip # 1. The morning magic moment. Could be the evening magic moment also, but not on Friday evening. At least one of you is tired and that is a romance killer. Also, have a plan to deal with the kids for a few hours or an evening at grandma's house. Have a good friend take the kids for a few hours and return the favour at a later time. Plan a little and have fun with it. Planning is fun, yes?
When the house and kitchen is a mess that is a definite distraction from romantic ideas. So maybe spring out of bed early, tidy the kitchen, take out your secret bottle of chilled champagne and blend 50-50 with orange juice (heavenly delicious). Serve it on a nicely decorated tray or plate. Visualize a romantic setting and create a little ambiance with a few candles, some romantic music. (see our music list from February 12, 2013)
Wrap up 3 chocolates and create a little handwritten note that you will attach to the Romantic Gift. Suggested wording could be "To the world's most wonderful, beautiful wife or husband. I love you. Especially when you......"
Now deliver the goods. Do they like the idea of champagne in bed? Or served at a decorated table.
Tip # 2. Super magic moment.
This is an enhanced version of Tip # 1. Deliver a note with the gift and a glass of orange juice champagne to your partner´s bed. Be a little creative with the note because when you deliver the goods it will be at another location in the house. For example, if you have a bath tub or hot tub, make a good bubble bath for them and set the rest of the champagne bottle in the bathroom. Of course a few candles is romantic and music where possible. Maybe you can pose as the waiter. With a hand towel over your arm.
Or the other location could be at a nicely set table in the kitchen complete with champagne, a lovely "cooked by you"-breakfast, with the hand towel over the arm! Remember to change your note and invite them to the right place not to the garage or the neighbours! Have fun.
Tip # 3 Get Dressed Up and Be Somebody
How about planning a dynamite homecooked meal. You can serve it with a bottle of good wine, candles , romantic music. To make it real special. Send them a written invitation saying that the dress code is "dressed up" . Men, have a shower and shave and use a little quality men's perfume. This is a quality person you will dine with. Most of all, unload the children for overnight if possible. Enjoy the meal and take a trip back to the good old days when you were in love.
Be romantic , live long and happy, Bob and Marianne.®
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Recently we have been doing a lot of work to make SteppingStoneLifeCoaching a bi-lingual site, two languages, Norwegian and English. Norsk og engelsk. The job is not yet completed and more changes are to come.
Only the most popular older posts will be translated into Norwegian. So some days you will see Norwegian posts only because we are still catching up.
We apologize for the confusion.
More importantly, Happy 17th of May! Today is Norway's National Day. For me, a Canadian living in Norway, it is a very special day because it is so unique.
Why is it unique? It is very much about celebrating Norway's culture and country particularly children, Norway's future and most important resource.
So much is this true that a children's parade is held throughout the land in every town and city. Thousands of lovely children, many dressed in their National costumes, accompanied by parents and teachers. It is a wonderful and inspiring event.
Gratulerer med dagen! Heia Norge! Marianne og Bob
Have you ever played a game of cards, checkers, Monopoly, pickup basketball, hockey or tag and you experience somebody who loves to win? In fact they simply must win or major disappointment sets in. In some cases folk lose it and get bad - weather angry. Oooooooeeee! That feels very uncomfortable that somebody dumps all their anger sh-t over their unfulfilled expectations on me.
One time a group of young men was playing a game of "Floor hockey" or Bandy, just for the fun of it. Suddenly as Emil, on the losing side, tried to break through the defense to score, he was struck on the shins. A little pain, nothing serious and it was an understandable accident without malicious intent. Emil went nuts and attacked Jay with his stick hitting him several times and punching him on the nose before the rest of us woke up and grabbed hold of Emil.
Maybe you are one of those people who simply must win at everything. Well, in a funny kind of way I could sometimes be your ally because I don't like to see people hurt from losing or to be angry at themselves for losing. Then I sometimes feel that it is better that the other wins and I lose.
Why? Well, clearly I do not like to feel uncomfortable about another's discomfort, particularly when it is directed at me. But is it a good choice to be trying to please others and hide your own light, your abilities and accomplishments, under a camouflage of mediocrity and lack of effort?
I do not believe so. I see it as a mistake unless you conciously do it for your own sake. If I often look after others needs and not my own who will take care of my life development?
At the same time this raises a number of questions and I don't have answers to all of them. Am I being a coward? Some would say yes and maybe humiliate me in the process. I say no. Sometimes I protect myself when I read the atmosphere as dangerous or overly provocative. No, thank you, I say. That is your sh-t and I do not want to be experiencing this.
With those that have this Winner takes all and win at all costs attitude I stay very mindful of their intentions and the potential consequences for myself. How can we work/play together and benefit each other? Or must I walk away from the situation?
Am I simply using this kindness to others as an excuse to not give it my best, not do it? Maybe in some cases and it is nescessary to be mindfull of why and how I make decisions and operate. Then I am at least in control of my choices.
Most important to me though is when I can maybe do something better than others and I don't try it doesn't necessarily mean I can't. It means I chose not to do it. But why? I hope for good reasons. Good for my self development and good for others.
Maybe I'm afraid of failing myself or others. In that case I am afraid of being judged or harshly criticized for my lack of performance. That is very hard on my self esteem as I do not give myself a chance to play in the game. And life is a game isn't it?
It is very liberating to play without self criticism and judgement. To play for the best possibility and the experience of being. That equates to fun and makes you enjoy it. Even when you don't always "win". Think about life coaching to support you in playing fully in the game of life.
Don't get me wrong, I like to win, too. I have dreams of success and fame, but I do not take the results as the only acceptable ends in themselves. It works better that way if you are tired of the whole compete and must win model. At the same time I believe it is important to give it your best shot. To try, fall down, get up and dust yourself and see what you learned and will do next. Were you awake? Good question, yes?
And can I remember to be grateful for these experiences called life? Yes, I am grateful and thank the universe for the opportunity to participate.
I love this business of life! Don't you?®
Live fully, play your best and enjoy life. Have fun! Bob and Marianne
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I am 5 feet 3 inches tall, (158 cm). When I was young I played and won many basketball games in my mother's back yard by making key turn-around jumpshots, fades and foul shots at the last moment of the game and mostly I never missed.
On those occasions when a shot did not physically go in I changed the story and charged ahead. By changing my story I won for my self and my team. I was filled up with glowing warmth and strength. I had the experience of winning by making a new story, shooting, driving, passing, hooking, fading jump shots. I could hear the crowd and feel the handclaps of my teammates on my shoulders. It was so cool. I felt it and it was good, it was fun!
I guess that most of us have lived some fantasies as sports heros, actresses, keynote speakers, warriors, nurses, doctors etc. We did it and it was called play. Lets pretend. It seems that we "grow up" and stop acting out or practicing our fantasies. Suddenly life seems to change. Some people feel we lose this skill of imagining or visualizing and practising in such incredible detail that it seems and feels real. I don't really think so.
Do you know what? I don't know about you, but I quit practicing. There were "serious things that had to be done" and time was of the essence. The problem was I launched out without a dream and just took a good job without a vision of my possible life story.
But here is the thing. Are you really happy about your present life story? What if you decided to change your existing story that you are not happy about? What if you decided to change it to a new happy success story? What would it look like? Feel like? Can you hear the sounds of doing it intensely, becoming great at it, so great it is real? Sound, texture, smell, feel and movement. Can you imagine what you must do,whom you must speak with, what you must learn and practice to get there? Get some life coaching to help you to visualize and create a new life story.
Think new life story and get into it! Just like this.
Wow! I am standing at the annual Pulitzer Prize Award meeting about to give my acceptance and thank you speech for the Pulitzer Prize for the book I wrote which has sold 5,500,000 copies and is making a difference in peoples' lives!
The place is packed with people all dressed up for the occasion. I can hear the low buzz of people, feel the crackling of the energy. And then I hear the voice of the master of ceremonies, Oprah, over the sound system. " Ladies and gentlemen (pause and I can feel my heart beat faster and my mouth is dry!), it gives me great pleasure to announce the winner of this years Pulitzer (Pause - stillness and ) Robert Tewsley, for his best selling book - "Getting the World you Want Before They Take it Away". Thunderous applause as I stand up suddenly and walk over to the podium.®
Dream big, take action and practice wildly, love and light, Bob and Marianne.
Now I Visualize you "Liking Us" or Twittering us below, and do it , thanks.
Bob and Marianne own SteppingStoneLifeCoaching.