Survey – Are you iLoveStrong Happy Couple

As a relationship coach and a follower of all things relationships, I come across all sorts of surveys: 10 tips to do this, 10 tips to do that. This morning I ran across this survey, 10 Things Happy Couples Do in Real Age, and I felt this is the type of environment I try to provide couples in my coaching practice. I would love to share these questions with you to see if you are truly an iLoveStrong Couple, and if you aren’t what could be done about it.

1. Do you feel the love in your marriage should be intense all the time or will grow over time?

Couples who start out thinking the fiery intensity of new romance will last forever lose 50% of their passion for each other after just 18 months, according to Harvard psychologist Robert Epstein, PhD. The couples who grow happier over time are the ones who understand that love evolves, becoming calmer, deeper, richer, and more powerful.

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2. During arguments, do you play nice or do you find a way to jab your spouse any chance you get?

The happiest couples do something other couples often don’t: They’re kind to each another. Happy partners simply don’t get mean or nasty with each other, even during arguments. “Happy couples treat each other like best friends,” says David Penner, PhD, assistant clinical director of the Gottman Relationship Institute. “They’re nice to each other across the board. That’s what builds loving feelings.”

3.During bedtime, is it all about sex, or talk?

Talking, not just fooling around is tops on the list of the most important things happy couples do in bed. Spending a few minutes chatting every night before sleep lets you catch up, make plans, and discuss problems in a quiet, tender setting, explains University of Minnesota family social science professor Paul Rosenblatt, PhD, author of Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing.

4. When you go out on a date, is it always by yourselves?

Dinners for two are great, but dinners for four can be just as empowering for a relationship. Bonding with other couples actually strengthens your own relationship, according to a 2010 study at Wayne State University. Having open, intimate conversations with other twosomes reinforces your own sense of togetherness. Being close to them makes you feel closer to each other.

5. If two of you are different, are you ashamed of it, or do you embrace it?

Happy couples bring their differences out into the open rather than denying or dismissing them. “Put issues on the table, and look for ways you can work around them,” he says. “The process of examination and renewal makes the threats diminish.”
6. When you spend time talking is it always about the weather?
Couples who have deep conversations are far likelier to be happy than couples who always keep it light, according to a 2010 study in the journal Psychological Science. Researchers report that the happiest couples have twice as many substantive discussions — and far fewer superficial ones — as the unhappiest couples.
7. Do you believe in teamwork makes the dream work?
If you’re both pretty lazy when it comes to working out your problems, you can be just as happy as partners who put in a lot of effort. What matters is that you both feel you devote the same amount of care and effort — a lot or a little — to keeping your relationship strong, according to a 2011 study in Psychological Science. Happiness doesn’t necessarily depend on how intense your level of commitment is, but on how mutual it is.
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8. Do you believe your conflicts should be confrontational or avoided?
It’s impossible to avoid arguments entirely. In fact, they happen frequently. But the happiest couples keep conflicts from becoming confrontations. They soften their approach when bringing up tough issues. And neither feels as if one of them always gets his or her way. Each occasionally yields to the other.
9. Do you have more negative statements for your spouse, than positive ones?
Happy couples make at least five times as many positive statements to and about each other as negative ones, even when they are arguing, says Dr. Penner. It’s not expected to always be nice, but it pays off by solidifying the bond between you.
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10. Do you think about bailing on the marriage whenever obstacle occur?
Up to 80% of those who are most committed to marriage contemplate divorce at some point, says Dr. Epstein. But slogging through bad times can make both of you happier than ever. “If you can do that and get to the other side, it makes the relationship stronger,” he adds. “It strengthens love.”
If you answered yes, to more than half of these questions, but you want to change consider Strive 2 Succeed Coaching Services. I can help you acknowledge the things that are holding you back to having the happy marriage that you want and deserve. If you would to provide feedback or would like to talk about my services contact me here:

Every Man should have a Marvin Gaye alter ego!

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Today is Marvin Gaye’s birthday. He is hands down one of the best male artists that we have ever had. He was very versatile as a singer, but I enjoyed his lyrics because of his directness when it came to the women in his life. Maybe Robin Thicke, should take a page out of his book instead of singing Blurred Lines, he should’ve have been telling Paula..I WANT YOU!

As men, we have lost the art of direct communication with the women that are in our lives. In fact, a couple of women over the past couple of days were frustrated by the fact that the men in their lives couldn’t effectively communicate what they wanted from the relationship. You know what they need? They need the Marvin Gaye Man puppet to help them.

Here are some of the lyrics that your Marvin Gaye Puppet can help you in specific situations when dealing with your lady.

My first thoughts when we first meet!

And I thought to myself
(Ooh, on the floor)
She was so into her space
(She started to dance, would she)
So caught up in the time and the place
And I wondered would she want me
(Ah, wonder if she, she’d go for me)
If she knows what she needs is me

I really like, you but I’m not feeling the same from you.

I give you all the love, I want in return, sweet darlin’ But half of love is all I feel. It’s too bad, it’s just too sad, you don’t want me now. But I’m gonna change your mind, someway, somehow, oh baby

Let’s take our relationship to the next level!

Come live with me angel woooo

Come live with me in comfort

Come chill with me angel. Come live with me in comfort.

I love the way we make love!

Oh in my dreams I was loving you.Every place that you wanted me to.Since I’ve been having dreams and fantasies baby.I’d like to make love to you right there baby
I’ve got this real strong need that loves you everywhere.I won’t stop until I find your passion flowing like wine.Baby, baby please let me do it to you.

On Marriage!

So if you got a girl and you want her for your wife
You got to treat her good and love her all your life.

Our Marriage to Death do Us Part!

I’m so grateful baby, grateful that you’re lovin’ me.My desire.Is to love you ’tilI ‘m no longer here and never tire.You always been so good to me, me now. I’m so thankful

If you are able to use you Marvin Gaye puppet successfully, you can eventually get to the point where you can sing your lyrics with your lady. But, if she needs one too..I suggest she get a Tammi Terrell Puppet.

LIke an eagle protects his nest, for you I’ll do my best.Stand by you like a tree and dare anybody to try and move me. (MARVIN) Darling in you I found strength where I was torn down.Don’t know what’s in store but together we can open any door.Just to do what’s good for you and inspire you a little higher.(TAMMI)I know you can make a man out of a soul that didn’t have a goal. (MARVIN)

 

Want bring sexy back into your Marriage? Osculate!

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I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I would address kissing a little more in-depth. Sorry it has taken me a little longer than expected.

According to the 2009 General Social Survey, which has tracked the social behaviors of Americans since 1972, estimates that about 15 percent of married couples have not had sex with their spouse in the last six months to one year, according to Denise A. Donnelly, associate professor of sociology at Georgia State University, who has studied sexless marriage.

Provided there is no medical condition that is causing the problem. I can venture a guess that the art of osculation a.k.a. kissing is one of the missing pieces to solving the sexless marriage issue.  If you can somehow revive the lost art of kissing it may lead to other benefits as well.

Here are some reasons to consider:

Kissing will improve your overall health.

1.) Kissing boosts immunity. A recent study reported in the journal Medical Hypotheses says kissing may increase a woman’s immunity from Cytomegalovirus. Cytomegalovirus, contracted through mouth to mouth contact, can cause infant blindness and other birth defects if the mother is a carrier during pregnancy. Otherwise, the bug is relatively harmless in adults. Kissing has long been thought to be a way to pass along bugs and thus strengthen the body’s defenses. With the extra saliva generated from kissing it can wash bacteria off your teeth, which can help break down oral plaque.

2.) Kissing helps you solidify why you picked your mate in the first place. Anthropologist Helen Fisher describes kissing as a “mate assessment tool.” Discover Your “Type” (It Really Exists)

Much of the cortex is devoted to picking up sensations from around the lips, cheeks, tongue and nose. Out of 12 cranial nerves, five of them are picking up the data from around the mouth. It is built to pick up the most sensitive feelings—the most intricate tastes and smells and touch and temperature. And when you’re kissing somebody, you can really hear them and see them and feel them. So kissing is not just kissing. It is a profound advertisement of who you are, what you want and what you can give.

Since kissing has been lacking in the sexless marriage it might also cause you to question why you chose this person to marry.

3.) Kissing burns calories! Depending on different reports, anywhere from 2 to 6 calories a minute.

Kissing can persuade your partner!

1. Being an overall good kisser can persuade your partner to get between the sheets instead of remaining on top of the sheets.

2. Good kissing bring back feelings of bonding and attachment too. Sharing a passionate kiss can re-create and maintain a feeling of connectedness in relationships.

3. Good kissing can also lead to arousal and sex. Passionate make-outs are often necessary (and effective) precursors to further physical intimacy.

Good kissing will require you to brush up on your elements!

1.As so aptly portrayed in the movie Hitch, you’ve got to be all in. Both men and women also found assertiveness attractive in a kisser.

2.Touching, caressing, and general physical can lead to more deeper passionate kisses.

3.Get back to the basics! Closed-mouth kissing initially, with minimal saliva exchange (especially for women). Soft, moist lips were preferable – but a drooling, tongue-down was not. Over time, kissing could work up to greater “passion” and “intimacy”.

In the end if you want to bring sexy back to your marriage. Start with a kiss!

iLOVESTRONG loves kissing! Do You?

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Living off the power of Valentine’s Day, I was looking forward to the long weekend and having time to kiss “PG”, and not just hello and goodbye either. There is just something about long-deep kisses with my wife that really charges me up, especially one’s that are spontaneous. There was only one problem, I was congested and the thought of PG possibly catching some flem during an exchange was enough for her to stay away.

We were able to do other things, but I realized that kissing her, was just as exciting as the other actions of intimacy.

According to a blog by the Huffington Post, Sex, seems to be on everyone’s mind: reasons why you’re not having it, how to get more of it — and maybe more so for those estimated 40 million Americans living in a sexless marriage (defined as having sex less than 10 times a year, according to therapists).

But instead of sprinting back to the bedroom, maybe one should take things slow and start with the basic building block of intimacy: kissing.

Kissing can be “more intimate than having sex” but is one of the first things to go in a long-term or sexless marriage, says Jill Blakeway, clinic director of the YinOva Center in New York City and author of the forthcoming book Sex Again: Recharging Your Libido. When kissing falls by the wayside, it’s the first step to losing passion in a relationship, she notes. “Kissing is one of the first ways we connect sexually,” she said. “And then over time it goes down. But there are some physical things that make kissing important. It decreases the level of cortisol, which is a stress hormone and it increases oxytocin, which is a bonding hormone. And that’s why, chemically speaking, kissing makes people more relaxed and builds connection. Chinese medicine says that the mouth and the tongue have a connection to the heart. So it’s the same idea. Kissing attaches people to each other.”

So in order to keep your iLOVESTRONG which intimate activity is important to maintaining closeness in your Marriage?

In the next blog we will discuss the health benefits of kissing!

Have a great day!

I Live, I  Learn and iLOVESTRONG!

Coach Keith

iLOVESTRONG’s 5 tips for surviving Valentine’s Day!

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Valentine’s Day is the Super Bowl for Love. Right now, people including myself, are still thinking about last-minute details to make tonight special. I use to not like Valentine’s Day when my 7th grade crush didn’t acknowledge the carnation I sent her. If you are a little stressed for Valentine’s Day, here 5 tips to help you survive the day.

  1. Don’t judged your entire relationship based on this day. There is no guarantee things will work as place. 
  2. Don’t get so hyped over surprising your partner.  By reducing expectations, it will make the special event much greater when it works out, and not as painful if it doesn’t.
  3. Even if the gift isn’t exactly what you wanted. Remember it came from the heart and be honest and tell him/her. It’s how you build honesty and trust.
  4. If you are unsure what to get, use the K.I.S.S. method. A simple card, or love letter that truly expresses your feelings.
  5. If you don’t have a Valentine, don’t stress about it. There is always next year. Keep your options open and your expectations clear.

Happy Valentine’s Day and beyond.

iLoveStrong Coach

Keith Dent

Why isn’t your Spouse creative this Valentine’s Day? Blame the Sportstalkshows!

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According to most Arbitron ratings across the country, SportsTalk radio is usually at the top among men 25-54.

Ladies, don’t be surprised if you receive gifts from Vermont Teddy Bear‘s Hunka Love Bear, or flowers for Valentine’s Day,since they have inundated the sports radio market with commercials the past week as the gift you want on the special day.

In reality most men aren’t sure what to buy. They will fall into two categories, trying to find the perfect gift, or not really having a clue and getting something at the last minute. What I do know, they want to buy a gift that will lead them to staying up really late and receiving some really special candy.

Since, most men aren’t going to ask, iLoveStrong will ask for them. What would you like your spouse to give you for Valentine’s Day. Please answer the iLOVESTRONG Valentine’s Day poll.

Let’s Discuss..I Love You, but I want to Wait..Are you down with that?

 

As I was driving in to work this morning, I was listening to the BBC and they let me know that this afternoon’s Tell Me More Program was going to be about Abstinence. Of course my ears perked up, since I used to be an abstinence educator and thought maybe abstinence was gaining more momentum among single individuals. (Click on the link below to hear the story)

http://www.npr.org/2013/01/02/168463370/chastity-why-wait

It’s nice to hear that it’s a growing trend by the fact there was recent article featured in Ebony magazine and a reality show called Virgin Diaries. Today, I even received a comment from an individual that was has been married 17 years that wished she had waited. One of the things that was also interesting was that only women were bold enough to speak out on the topic.

Today’s Let’s Discuss topic really has to do with abstinence among men. You normally don’t hear men speak out against having sex before marriage. Every decade or so, you will hear about a pro athlete that abstains from sex i.e. Tim Tebow and A.C. Green. Relativity Media Presents "Act Of Valor" Los Angeles Premiere - Red CarpetIn a society where the hook-up with as many women as possible before you decide to settle down mentality is the norm, are we ready to accept a man who would prefer to be abstinent before marriage and just focus on you as a woman?

What would you do if your man told you he wanted to be abstinent until marriage? Could you LoveStrong and wait? If he was the one, what changes would you have to make to ensure you aren’t in a position to break his promise?

Coach Keith

Let’s Discuss? Would you rather choose the Chicken or the Egg?

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In the 2012 Marriage Study. new study by psychological scientist Paige Harden of the University of Texas at Austin. The study found that the later a person first had sexual intercourse not only corresponded with a higher education level and household income, but also found they were less likely to be dissatisfied with their relationships in adulthood.

However,  the study also found that these latecomers were also less likely to be married and have fewer romantic relationships.

The report used data from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health that followed 1659 sibling pairs who were followed from the age of 16 to young adulthood (roughly around 29). But the study had a particular method of categorizing ages and sexual experience: “Early” sexual intercourse was younger than the age of 15, so called “on-time” was 15 to 19 and “later” was over 19.

So let’s discuss, would you rather wait to have sex with your partner before you really feel he is the right one, or would you want to have sex early in the relationship as an indicator of your compatibility?

 

 

Remove the Scrooge! 5 reasons why you should give the gift of Gratitude this holiday season!

Welcome back Strivers. I know it has been awhile since my  last post. I have been developing a lot of new an innovative things due to an exciting 12-week entrepreneur class I attended called the Community Business Academy given by an organization called Rising Tide Capital.  I also happen to work there, but it’s a totally different thing when you focus on  your own business. So in the year 2013, expect some exciting changes in relation to this blog.

One of things I was working is an empowerment call for couples that happens once a month, called ILOVESTRONG. The topic for the month of December was giving the gift of gratitude.

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What is gratitude?  – It’s the quality of being thankful;readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Having gratitude means respecting its value and treasuring how unique and beautiful or indispensable it is.

Here are five reasons why you should give the gift of Gratitude this holiday season!

  1. Provides incentive by reciprocation. According to Amie Gordon, a psychologist from U.C. Berkeley, couples who had ongoing reciprocal appreciation were less likely to break up in the next nine months and even reported being more committed at the end of that time. The researchers concluded that a nourishing cycle of encouragement and appreciation provides extra incentive to maintain our relationships. In other words, when we appreciate our partners, we develop trust and respect. When we feel appreciated, we feel needed and encouraged.
  2. Deepens your communication skills. In the second Gordon’s study, researchers observed how couples of all ages—from 18 to 60—communicated appreciation. The team noticed that “highly appreciative” pairs tended to use body language and response skills to show that they valued their spouses. When their partner spoke, appreciative spouses leaned in, made eye contact, and responded thoughtfully to what they were saying. They made it clear that they were listening to and digesting what their spouse said, thereby showing that they valued their spouse’s opinion. Appreciative couples also used touch and physical encouragement such as handholding or an encouraging pat on the leg.
  3. It show’s your partner that he/she matters. Whether they know it or not, your partner likely notices what things give you joy. If they do little things for you on a daily basis and you stop paying attention, and acknowledging the action, they’re likely to stop doing them for you. This might not be a conscious decision they make, but if they’re doing something solely to please you and it doesn’t seem to be working, why should they continue?
  4. The gift of gratitude can lead to a greater level of marriage intimacy.  If you have read my Intimacy Series, you know I feel it’s very important foundational piece to a strong marriage. Gratitude can enhance your intimacy with your spouse if you need to have a conversation with them about something you’re unhappy about, starting by telling them all the things you appreciate is likely going to get you much further than beginning by telling them the things you want to see changed. It’s simply common sense that if someone feels nothing they ever do is good enough, they won’t be doing much for long.
  5. Gratitude can jumpstart your marriage. The key to sparking healthy relationships with gratitude is to take the initiative: Instead of just waiting for the other person to make you feel good, you can jumpstart that cycle and take it into your own hands by focusing on what’s good in your relationship,” says Dr. Gordon.

Don’t wait for the other person. Jumpstart your marriage and remove the Scrooge!

What simple things can you do today to show gratitude toward your spouse?

Happy Holidays everyone!

Keith Dent

Gratitude is a skill that you cultivate—nurture it in yourself, and soon your will see positivity radiate back at you.