My Relationship — Am I Paying Attention or Off the Mark? (509 words) 

You’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about; your special someone just will not open up and tell you why they appear not to be themselves—so you think. This is a hugely difficult dynamic. You ask yourself, “Do I push for answers, or just keep quiet?”

Is it Real?

How do you know if there really is a problem? It seems as such; their behavior has changed just slightly. They’re just not quite as attentive as usual. Sure, it could be you, or it could be something that has absolutely nothing to do with you. How do you know? Just how pushy should you be in attempting to discover if there really is an issue?

Living in Oblivion

For years, I have used a cartoon in my seminars to make the point of male cluelessness. Visualize the picture; upon entering the house, still at the front door, a spear hits the door inches from his head. The caption reads, “Although he thought their argument had been settled at breakfast, Jim sensed that Sally had some unresolved issues.” So the challenge becomes living one’s life, skating on thin ice—ice that is really a continuum that stretches between oblivious and aggressive. The fact is…you are going to fall on that hard ice once in a while.

It’s Not Easy

To illustrate how difficult this dynamic really is—I’ve been married for 35 years to the same woman, and I frequently still get it wrong. Sometimes I’m oblivious when I should be attentive and then other times I’m pushy when I should let things be. But, there is hope in communication; keep talking. Through sympathy, empathy, and compassion in conversation, you have your best chance of determining if it was you that screwed up or if your partner is simply dealing with some stuff that does not concern you.

Relationship Resolution

The truth will set you free, if your partner will just share it with you. First, in human relationships, I believe it is better to ask too may questions as opposed to not enough. With that said, it is also prudent not to be a pain in the neck. Yet, if we take a lesson from children, when they want something they are relentless in asking. Blending both ideas; be gentle but keep the communication going. Keep seeking answers, and do it from different perspectives. Do not keep asking the same question, but shift how you ask to broach the subject through different windows.

Let’s take a lesson from my old boss. In the mid-1970s, I was in outside sales and worked for a gentleman by the name of Ray Kahn. He told me, numerous times, if you make a mistake and lose an account, no problem. However, if you lose an account because you were not paying attention—I don’t need you. I witnessed Ray firing a salesman, Mike, for losing a major account because he was simply not paying attention. Whatever you do, don’t lose your partner in life because you were asleep at the wheel.

Overcome Relationship Road Blocks (596 words)

Great personal and romantic relationships are hard enough, without putting your head in the sand in dealing with some of the basic road blocks to successful relationships. If you are looking toward long-term relationship success, keeping an eye open as to some of the basic road blocks is a superior success strategy.

Hidden Agendas

When another intentionally sets a plan in motion to purposefully deceive you, it is near impossible to detect—or is it? The key here is being open to the typical relationship red flags that many ignore; internal and external. Rather than justify your partner’s actions early on, scrutinize them. Sure it is difficult to love and to scrutinize at the same time, however it is entirely possible. Choose not to be blinded or smitten, as these qualities are frequently a formula for disaster. Go into relationships with an open mind and heart—and an automatic protection mechanism—one that enables you to see reality as opposed to fantasy.

Unrealistic Expectations

Is there such thing as a Prince Charming, Snow White, or Cinderella? It is rare that one person embodies all things wonderful and none objectionable. Too many men and women have waited a lifetime for that perfect mate and missed out on a lifetime of nurturing and rewarding relationships. It is realistic to expect that many of your needs will be met in a romantic relationship, but unrealistic to expect that every single whim will be received with, “Your wish is my command.”

Unfulfilled Needs

With what I have stated above, this is a difficult and sensitive issue. While every romantic and relationship impulse may not be fulfilled by your partner at the spontaneity you desire, it is nonetheless very important that you stand up for, and return; respect, courtesy, and love in your relationship. How that washes out is; you had better get really, really, good at asking for what you want. You also must get really, really, good in asking in a way that your partner responds positively. Unfulfilled basic needs are what will eventually create a wondering heart. If you love and respect your partner, then you will be courteous in response to their needs, and vice versa.

Dreadful Communication

Communication is the foundation for either a successful relationship, or a failed one—it just depends on how well you communicate. Code words, jargon, and hidden meanings will not serve you, or your partner—unless of course both totally understand the various meanings in all situations. Think that’s possible? Words have meaning! Be clear on what you say, how you say it, and in a way that your partner will completely understand your intended meaning. Hinting is not communicating! Expecting the other “to understand” is not communicating. Expecting your partner to read your mind is also NOT communicating. Communicating is, eyeball to eyeball, using simple and clearly understood language—expressing what’s on your mind with understanding as your intent—not cryptically stinging under your breath.

If your subliminal intention in communication is to understand and be understood, you will have a much better chance of success. Too frequently people try to accomplish two things in their communication; get what they want and manipulate others. Perhaps that’s fine in a hardball selling situation but it is not fine in romantic relationships. Be the communication, live the communication, and respect the communication of others—this will go a long way in eliminating dreadful communication.

I grant you that overcoming relationship road blocks is not always easy, but grant me this: it is always worth it, if the person is worth it.

So You Want More Sex? (766 words)

So you want more sex? Sex is one of the “Big Three” in romantic relationship demise. I refer the three as the “Relationship Failure Triad.” I’m talking about sex, money, and kids. These three elements are at the near-core of most relationship malfunctions. Before I get to the triad, the core is love-of-self; either too much or too little.

At the Core—Love of Self

Let’s take it to the core then deal with the surface issues. Self-love is arguably at the core of all relationship collapse or success. If you do not love yourself enough you will accept a lousy partner from the beginning and the relationship is sure to fail. If you love yourself too much, then you are the lousy partner. To make any relationship work each partner has to be confident in his or herself enough to both freely give and expect to freely receive. Conversely, when two people have a healthy amount of self-love they are naturally willing to do the work necessary to develop, implement, and maintain healthy long-term relationships. For divorcees, self-love is generally the area of most needed attention.

Sex

In only the rarest of cases can a romantic relationship be built without the cornerstone of fulfilling sex—you can take that to the bank! I say fulfilling because being docile, is light years away from active participative. Sure, there are times when either partner might just go through the motions because of some situation that is using up all their mental capacity, and that cannot be a regular thing. Yes, there will be times when you are not interested but acknowledge the importance of giving your partner that which you know they need. No sex, lousy sex, and resentful sex; will not sustain a relationship. However, participative sex will. If you allow it to be, the simple act of giving your partner what you know they need, can truly be a turn on.

Money

You’ve heard the old adage; Money is the root of all evil. Perhaps it is—but I believe it is the love and pursuit of money and power, which causes the real problems. Just having money is not the problem. Not having money, on the other hand, can be an irretrievable anchor causing irreparable relationship harm. When money is freely available, either partner can amuse and occupy themselves without thought. However when there is financial struggle; when simply paying a mortgage payment or buying food is the issue, then that becomes a pressure cooker that knows no limits. When both partners have reasonable amounts of self-love and personal confidence, while difficult, these times can be tempered with discussion, planning, and a little bit of trust and hope.

Kids

Like many other things in life, kids become a distraction away from your relationship. While distractions are natural and expected, for your relation to remain successful, distractions must be managed. The insidious relationship challenge that comes with raising children is the inner desire to improve on oneself through offspring. We all have made mistakes and fallen short of expectations. Yet, within a healthy person’s psyche is the desire for their offspring to do better then they did. When this desire becomes obsessive and all consuming and all energy goes into the children, there is absolutely nothing left for the spouse or partner. It is very unhealthy for a parent to get so wrapped up in their child that they (a) no longer have their own life to lead and (b) are unwilling or unable to freely give to their partner. A healthy, self-loving, and confident person realizes that raising children is a semi-temporary job. Kids need 18 years of intense guidance and then a lifetime of parental nagging. It is important to realize that one day (hopefully) the kids will be out of the house and you can once again romp naked to your heart’s content. And if you have done a good job in keeping your relationship healthy, you’ll get to romp naked, non-solo.

Getting the Sex You Want

In the final analysis, if you want more sex—first love yourself just the right amount and have the confidence to give freely to your partner; that which you know they need. Do it with out being emotionally threatened. Then offer clear and concise communication as to your needs. Create a safe environment where your partner can do the same and enjoy heavenly bliss—until of course you have to do the above again. And I assure you, you will—it’s a journey rather than a destination. Please enjoy the fruits of your harvest responsibly…

In Relationships: Plans Change — Stuff Happens — Get Over It (546 words)

This idea is important anytime. However, with St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, I thought it prudent to share a story from just a couple years back. My wife, Regina , and I were planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at an Irish friend’s house—one that actually built an authentic Irish pub in his home—go figure. Driving to the party, Regina offered to be the designated driver—allowing me the freedom to really get into the mood. It sounded good so we agreed.

At the Party

About an hour into the party, I’m sitting at the bar in my friend’s home pub enjoying some of his fine Irish whiskey and gradually “getting into the mood.” Regina strolls over to the bar, quite happy, with her newly discovered green jell-o shooters in hand. She proceeded to tell us how much she was enjoying these newly found friends. At that moment, I realized that our plans had changed. I looked at my buddy, he looked at me, and I stated quietly to him, “I’m done drinking for the evening.” I could have kept drinking, but why?

Wisdom with Age

In earlier times, I most likely would have gotten very angry at Regina for not keeping her word about being the designated driver. After all, it was agreed that I would be the one that got to drink that night. Over the years, I’ve learned that stuff happens. To some degree I have also learned to just get over it. What about you?

The Bigger Issue

While this is a timely St. Patrick’s Day party example, the bigger issue is learning to accept that things change, especially when you’ve been with someone for a long time. There are many more important issues to discuss, debate, and even argue about than whom is to be the designated driver. Once we arrived, Regina was having a wonderful time, so why in the world would I want to rob her of the experience? I believe that in order to have a successful relationship, flexibility is a cornerstone, never to be ignored.

Things Will Change

The longer you are in a relationship the more you realize that what is dependable is that things are in a constant flux. Truly, you can either fight it or go with it. So what if your partner changes his or her mind—like you have never done the same thing? Realize also, that I’m not talking about a relationship killing passive-aggressive partner that agrees now to avoid conflict and then disagrees later. That is a completely different issue. What I am simply saying is that one needs to be flexible enough to absorb situations where your partner, in the moment, honestly changes their mind. This is not an uncommon dynamic. Unexpected elements, like jell-o shooters, can change the make up of an event and how one behaves. Unexpected events can also contribute to your partner changing their mind on just about anything. You decide how you will deal with the situation; go crazy, or go with the flow? The choice is yours.

In order to help your relationship to become and remain long-term, my suggestion is that you keep this idea close to your heart and never forget: Plans Change — Stuff Happens — Get Over It.

Stop the Insanity–Build Outrageously Successful Relationships at Home and Work (587 words)

Relationship conflict—I’ll take much less, thank you. Isn’t that what most people generally say? However, are your actions and words consistent? Wow, do I have your attention now? Let’s face it; everyone wants a reasonable return on their relationship investment (ROI). In order to receive any return, investment is the first important secret. Just how much investment have you made lately?

Relationship Investments

Be honest now; have your relationship investments just been the bare minimum to get the return that you want? If so, you know that you are not leaving any room for error, and we all error sometimes. By not leaving any margin for error, you can be assured of conflict sooner, than later. What I’m suggesting is that you re-evaluate your relationship investment strategy and embrace the idea of frequent relationship bank deposits. Build up a relationship contingency account for those times when you screw up—because you know you are going to screw up sometime.

Lose the Blinders and Focus on Others

When you only keep your focus on your needs, you can be assured that everyone else notices, especially the people that are important to you. So what’s a person with needs to do? The simple answer is to give, give, and give again. The more complex answer is for you to figure out what really matters to the persons in your life, which you care about and try to help them get what they need. Reciprocity is a wonderful and mysterious truth. When you help others to get what they need and want, they will experience a continual nagging feeling of loyalty, beholding, and allegiance toward you. While you can assign any name you want to this dynamic, it is nonetheless real. Lean into the idea and you’ll repeatedly be amazed at how it benefits you.

It’s Okay to be Healthily Selfish

Yes, I’ll admit it—this is my personal Achilles heal in life. Recently, a friend for whom I have enormous respect, Alan Weiss, told me, “Ed,you have to be much more healthily selfish in regards to your professional life.” He did not tell me to be more narcissistic, but rather not to forget about making sure that I receive value for my knowledge, effort, and results in helping others. I believe that there is a huge difference between the two; most people are weary of the narcissistic person while sub-consciously drawn to the healthily selfish person. When you are self-absorbed, few desire to be around you. However, when you are an active player in life, you become a magnet ROI.

Look for Every Opportunity to Serve Others

This is where the convergence of the above occurs. When you have a healthy mindset, great self-esteem and confidence, and truly desire to make relationship investments; this is the mental playground for developing outrageously successful relationships. I have preached from the podium, for over two decades, that partnerships, alliances, and relationships must be a two-way conduit for value delivery. I have admonished audiences around the world that they have both give value and receive value in order for any kind of a relationship to continue in the long-term. I truly believe that you have to give first. Why is this so? Because you were the person smart enough to figure it out—that’s why. And this is why I repeatedly state, “Look for every opportunity to serve others.” Do more than just look; find those opportunities and act on them. It is the correct action that delivers outrageously successful relationships.

Appreciativeness: It’s a Good Thing (573 words)

Appreciating others is something we need to keep in the forefront of our thinking. While showing that appreciation can sometimes be elusive; personal awareness of the challenge goes a long way toward the resolution. Everyone wants relationship ROI; in order to get, you must give.

Friends Sharing

One of the things that I love about speaking professionally is that I get to meet, and keep in touch with, great folks from all around the world. The president of a good sized contracting company from South Carolina recently sent me this story suggesting that it went along with advice that I offered at his industry’s recent annual meeting:

When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, and sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said: “Honey, I love burned biscuits.” Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides – a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!”

Admit Guilt

Culpability is an uncomfortable relative, however like all relatives, must be acknowledged. I, Ed Rigsbee, must admit some personal guilt here. After reading this story, I instantly thought about a comment I recently made to my wife after she overcooked some cornbread muffins one recent morning—my bad! The important thing to keep in mind is that we will all make relationship mistakes; it is inevitable! The question is simply this, “Have you made enough Relationship Bank Deposits to cover your withdrawals?” And trust me; my comment cost me a big time withdrawal.

Be Mindful and Keep Perspective

The story above, in my opinion, illustrates appreciativeness at its best. Do (we, you, I) appreciate all the large and small things that our special someone does for us—even the effort and the intent? This is something of which to be always mindful.

Another important element in this story is that the husband kept things in perspective. When you think about it, a crusty biscuit really is no big deal. However, opening one’s mouth in the situation could be. By putting the situation in perspective, realizing the wife’s exhaustion and intent, even when the implementation was not as successful as usual—the intent is really what mattered. The wife made the effort! How many times in your relationship have you failed to even make an effort? I sure know I’m guilty in this area.

I truly believe that appreciativeness of others can bridge many deep relationship valleys and help to climb difficult relationship peaks. Make your Relationship Bank Deposits today.

Surviving Under the Sheets in a Healthy Romantic Relationship (811 words)

If your romantic relationship is based solely on sex, it can be guaranteed that it will not survive the long-term. If your romantic relationship is sex-less, it also will not survive. There has to be a middle ground!

How you perceive your partner has a lot to do with the amount of sex there will be in a relationship. What I mean to say is this-there is a very fine line between love and hate. Add to that, the fact that there is a massive valley between either love or hate and apathy, things can get quite confusing. With love there is sex, and with hate there is not; and unfortunately, this could easily depend upon how the day’s conversations end. With apathy on the other hand, there generally is very little sex, if any. There is generally nothing.

Which Emotion Should You Fear Most?

I believe that apathy is the emotion that you should fear most. With apathy, your partner really doesn’t give a rat’s behind about you, your feelings, or your needs. While you might get a sympathy boink once in a while, it will be rare.

Apathy can be caused by a number of things but I believe the most frequent cause is a partner just giving up and giving in. Passive aggressive has a meaning here. They give in but exert their power by withholding that which you need, want, and desire-intimacy. This is where you’ll generally find your sex-based relationship a few years down the road.

Love and Hate

Both love and hate are very strong emotions, with the line between frequently blurred. The emotion of hate will more often than not emanate from love gone wrong or neglected. Love neglected for an extended period of time creates a negative perspective and will eventually morph from hate into apathy. In order to keep the love emotion alive and healthy, that emotion needs to be continually fed. Any living organism will eventually die without nourishment-and so goes the living emotion of love.

If you live for too long exclusively on the questionably valuable nourishment of fast food restaurants you will eventually become obese or have health problems-that is an undeniable fact! So goes the nourishment of the love emotion-take your relationship for granted too long and it will surely experience health problems.

Nourishing the Love Emotion

In order to nourish the love emotion within your partner you will need to fulfill their need for intimacy; and that does not exclusively mean sex. Intimacy needs can manifest in a number of forms beyond sex-openness, respect, and tolerance just to mention a few. The challenge is to learn what the true needs of your partner are and to work to fulfill their needs in the way they need them fulfilled. Men have a tendency to fall down in the areas of openness and respect; while women frequently have the challenge of tolerance.

In an honest attempt to fulfill the love nourishment needs of your partner, the simplest mechanism to use is just to ask. Now I know this can be difficult as various pathologies and old mental tapes can get in the way of equally honest responses, however it is the place to start. Conversely, if a partner is not getting what they need from their relationship, they are equally accountable to verbally request that their needs be fulfilled.

Asking for What You Want

How in the world do you expect to get what you want from your partner or others for that matter, if you don’t ask? There is an art to asking for what you want. One way to do it is to be straight forward-sometimes yielding less than desirable results. However if you can directly ask in a sincere manner, you have a better chance for success.

Hinting is not asking-I repeat, HINTING IS NOT ASKING. Period!

Asking in a way that your partner sees a benefit to themselves could be considered by some as a bit Machiavellian, however I consider it just good sense. Think about it-if you can help your partner to get what they want; doesn’t it stand to reason that they will be more likely to help you to get what you want? Sure, there are a number of issues that can become road blocks here (some discussed above) but the simplest common denominator is that we all want to be loved and respected by our partner. If you do not ask well, you will not get. If you do not get what you need in your relationship, you will eventually fall into hate, and then at some point into apathy.

The middle ground is a place where both partners are regularly exhibiting love and respect for one another and working hard to help their partner get what they need from the relationship, keeping in mind that they too, need to receive.

Accept the Compliment & Grow Your Relationship (635 words)

Has this ever happened to you? A friend offers you a compliment on your clothing and you say, This old thing? Rather than accept the compliment, you devastate your friend’s attempt to show you that they care about you and discourage them from offering you future compliments. Even if the outfit is in fact old, you could just as easily have said, Thanks, it is quite old but one of my favorites. The result? You would have allowed the other person to be able to feel good about what they said. Any you would have felt good as well. When you think about this more deeply, you are truly hurting your friend or family member when you refuse to accept their compliment. Surely that is not your intent.

What’s Wrong With Accepting a Compliment?

In my opinion, one should always graciously accept a compliment form another. It is the right thing to do and it is simply good etiquette, and gosh, why not? When you refuse to accept compliments, you are really telling others they are WRONG and INSIGNIFICANT–bummer! Nobody wants to feel wrong or insignificant, so why in the world would you want to make them feel that way? People that (now don’t get mad at me…) refuse to accept compliments generally suffer from low self-esteem. Okay, so I said it and now you can call me an arrogant son of a… The important idea here is this: if you allow yourself to play in that pitiful place of low self-esteem that is somewhere in us all, how great of a business or romantic partner will you be? I don’t think soooo. Who wants a lousy partner? Not me!

Take the Compliment and Smile

Show the person, that matters to you–or anyone else for that matter, that you are worthy of a serious (business, platonic or romantic) relationship by gladly accepting their compliments–and not trying to read needless chatter or misdiagnose their compliments. Accepting compliments will also help you as a person to grow emotionally. I’m not trying to suggest you are an emotional midget, however the reality is that just about everyone has some room for emotional growth. I know that I have room. For many, accepting compliments is not easy–I’ll give you that. However, it is time to leave your place of comfort and grow emotionally. Stretch yourself by accepting all complements with a smile and a simple, Thank you. Do this and everyone around you will be happier. Saying thank you really does feel good, it you’ll allow yourself the pleasure.

Let Your Personal Strength Shine

By being willing to easily accept compliments from others, you will also reveal your personal strength. Trust me on this one, personal strength is attractive and alluring–except perhaps to idiots, and who wants to be in a relationship with an idiot? When someone offers you a compliment, and you exhibit “personal strength” posture by standing erect (not slouched), offer a genuine and heart felt smile, and with personal power clearly state, Thank you, you are demonstrating to the world that you are the kind of person with whom others would love to be around, and with.

Great relationships are build on a foundation of mutual respect. Great relationships include a strong portion of give and take. Great relationships, be they business or romantic, need to have a mechanism for clear communication embedded into the DNA of the relationship. Great communication is intrinsic for the foundation for any successful relationship. Communication and respect are so important in the effort to maintain an awesome relationship. You must respect yourself before others can even consider it. Try graciously accepting every compliment offered to you. This action will help you to be the person that others love to love. Wishing you the very best…

In Long-Term Relationships Be Lovers, and Friends Too (457 words)

My wife, Regina, and I recently returned from Boston (we live in the Los Angeles area) where we celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary and spent several days playing tourist. For our 30th, I surprised her with a trip to Honolulu, of which she had no knowledge until I told her the day before we left. This time I asked her where she wanted to go and she selected Boston. Her choice surprised me, however she had never been to Boston, and I offered her the choice.

Now that our sons are grown, we tend to do most of our traveling around my speaking engagements (mostly warm weather locations) but this trip was different. We had no agenda, no worrying about clients-just enjoying the role of being tourists; did the JFK Museum, Freedom Trail (two days), Cambridge, and Salem (feel free to check out the photos at my Facebook page). Even though Boston was her choice, we both really did have a wonderful time with one another, walking our feet to the bone in Boston and its environs, enjoying the pastries on the North Side, and hitting a number of pubs.

Grow Even in the Rocky Times

While we have had our rocky times, which are truly unavoidable, we still like each other and enjoy each other’s company; this my friends is an important secret in successful relationships. Long-term relationships must be about give and take, about helping the other to grow, and about recognizing that the other will never be perfect-God knows-I’ve written before about my own control freak tendencies. However there is no excuse for any person to hold onto an unwillingness to experience personal growth.

Building the Long-Term Relationship

Ultimately, in building a fulfilling long-term relationship, each participant has to be willing to receive, give, and help the other to improve-I didn’t say shove personal improvement down their throat. Rather, each has to be there for the other, especially in your partner’s time of weakness or vulnerability to extend a helping hand. It is rare that both will grow at the same pace, so the more growth partner must understand and accept their role until the tide has turned-and it will. Every day will not be blissfully wonderful. However, every day will be another piece of the relationship foundation.

Put forth the effort, even on the crummy relationship days. Keep your goal in mind…hopefully that is growing old together. When you focus on the Total Value of your long-term relationship over what might be happening today, you will have a winning formula. And I must ask you this all important question:

In addition to being lovers, are you also friends?

If you are friends, that will help you to overcome numerous challenges together. Happy Loving…

Remember the Little Things for Relationship Success (430 words)

Sure, you have heard it said time, and again…It’s the little things that’ll kill you. Funny thing is…it’s true! In relationship building, it’s in the attention to details. Guys, ever make the fatal mistake of not noticing the fact that your honey got a hair cut? Sure death!

Obligatory is Just That for Relationship Success

Doing something special for your special someone on only the obligatory days is simply the “table stakes,” the minimum just to get into the game. What are the obligatory days? You know; Valentine’s Day, Birthday, Christmas, etc. Gifts on those obligatory days do little more than give your special someone “bragging rights.” “Look what he/she got for me!” Only doing something on the obligatory days is the domain of Relationship Losers. And trust me, that is not where you want to be.

The Unexpected Times for Relationship Success

This is where you earn real relationship points. To be a Relationship Winner, you had better work on making relationship points, at the minimum of twice a week–daily is much better. To earn a relationship point, you do not have to spend money, better yet, spend your time. That’s how the real points are earned. For guys, your unexpected kindness could be as simple as making the bed, getting up first and making the coffee, washing the dishes…actually anything considered “domestic” is a great place to start–especially considering that could very well be where you fall down, relationship points wise, the most. Also, for your special someone; write a poem or leave a love note–big relationship points there. In this area, there are no rules, just great ideas. For the gals, this is your specialty so I do not need to go into details. However, remember that it is what he wants, not what you want. This is not the place to ascribe to the Golden Rule as that would be doing what you want.

Small Gestures Daily for Relationship Success

If you can, daily endeavor to offer a small and unexpected gesture of love, respect, and appreciation for your special someone. These little things will go a long way in building a strong relationship foundation, and will surely eliminate most of the complaining your partner might put forth. Each gesture is another Relationship Bank Deposit that collectively, over time, will add up to a huge relationship nest egg. And trust me, stuff surely happens–no matter who you are. One day, you’ll be amazingly grateful for all the little things that you did for your sweetie. Small things add up. Small things matter.