Write down an actual list of what you need out of a relationship and whether those needs are being met. Rowena, 69, found the list helped her. "When I met Graham and decided to get involved with him, I sat down with a piece of paper and I wrote pros and cons. I was in my 30s at that point, and I said 'Hmm, you know, this is what I want.' And this guy had those qualities — many more good ones than bad ones.
"The thought of being vulnerable is a scary proposition for most people," admits Ray. She says that it's how you show your true self, at the risk of being hurt. When you date someone new, showing this side can deepen your connection and build trust. "Vulnerability can be a gift to the person who's wanting to know you on a deeper level," she explains.
How do couples strike this tricky balance? By allowing each partner to have what he calls "separate sexuality," or a sex life that doesn't include (or betray) the other. "For him, that might mean allowing his wife to use sex toys or letting other men look at her," Dr. Kort says. "For her, it might be permitting him to watch pornography in order to experience a fantasy." Such indulgences help maintain the balance of desire and devotion for both parties, so talk to your partner outside of the bedroom and see if this is something one (or both of you) might be interested in.
We have all heard the feedback of sandwiching negative feedback between two positives. I am not sure how I feel about this recommendation because it can lead to confusion. If there is a conflict in the workplace, lovingly but directly outline the problem. Do not wait until the point you are frustrated, because that is counterproductive. I have made this mistake countless times.