If you don’t ask, you’ll never get what you want

Dividing up the household chores is one of the most difficult aspects of living with another person. Most people think only newlyweds have this dilemma, but it’s something even older couples, life-long friends and college roommates struggle with when they live together.

Most people don’t enter into a living arrangement thinking they will simply get the other person to do all the work around the house so they can just relax and enjoy the weekend. Quite often, when two people decide to live together, they get right to work making joint decisions on what color to paint the walls, what type of furniture they want to have or where to place the TV.

But when it comes to maintaining the home and the yard, paying the bills, doing the laundry, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning many individuals simply start doing whatever it is they’re most comfortable with, without much discussion at all. And that’s exactly where the problem lies.

Silence isn’t the answer

For example, if you love to cook, you might be excited to prepare the first few meals in your new home. After only a short time, you find you’re doing all the cooking, and it’s just become part of the routine. The other person may not offer to cook a meal because they don’t want to offend you or because they know how much you love to cook. But in the meantime, you’re getting annoyed because they haven’t even asked.

All of this could have been avoided with a simple conversation about who’d be doing the cooking once you moved in. Just stating that you’re excited to try out the new kitchen may be enough to get the conversation started. But be sure to speak up and suggest a plan to share the responsibility if it doesn’t come up automatically. You can apply this same tactic to just about any ongoing chore that’s likely to become a source of frustration if only one person is responsible.

Communication is easier once the lines are open

While it’s always a good idea to have these types of discussions ahead of time, it’s important to keep in mind that once you’re all settled in you may need to make some adjustments to your preplanned routine. Maybe one person’s commute is longer than originally thought, or maybe you decided to get a dog. However, having already had discussions about sharing responsibilities, it will be much easier to discuss what may need to change.

Some people may be resistant to the idea of discussing responsibilities in the home, because they think it seems too ridged. But the truth is, having clear-cut roles makes it even easier to be flexible, especially in the short term. For example, you see that the other person is struggling with something (e.g., a big project that’s keeping them at the office late or a cold that’s keeping them on the couch). If it’s their turn to make dinner or take out the trash, be sure to offer to step in. Just make sure you’re genuine in asking if you can help out, as you don’t want them to feel like they’re not keeping up their end. Also, by asking if they need help, you’re setting a precedent of pitching in when needed, and the favor will likely be returned when you’re in need.

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Playing at Work

In the mid 1900s generally you met your partner at school. It was there that relationships were formed and dating turned to marriage. Nowadays, with life getting busy, sometimes the only chance you get to find or start a relationship is with someone you work with. You get to become friends and learn a lot about them just because you see them every day. You spend most of your time at your place of work and since more and more people do not have time to go date, the office can play a matchmaker role.

There are serious things that should be considered when you start an office romance, as dating a workmate has serious implications on all aspects of your life, and also affects those around you.


  1. Great place to meet. In today’s hectic work environment it can be difficult to find the time to “get out there” and find a suitable partner. At work you generally become attracted to the person over time, which is more conducive to a working relationship.
  2. Establish a relationship prior to dating. By working alongside someone you will get to know them as a person, and find out more about who they really are than you would in other circumstances. By finding out more about the real person, and being attracted to this person, the relationship should last longer and be more secure.
  3. Spend time with each other. Obviously if a relationship is going to last a long time, you and your partner will need to spend a lot of time with each other. If you start to date someone you work with you will get the chance to spend a lot of time with them, and the chances are you had been spending this time with them prior to dating.
  4. Create a happy work environment. The early stages of dating are an exciting, happy time. By dating someone at work you can both lift the spirit of the office by being in an excellent mood and giving off positive vibes.
  5. Have a helping hand during those stressful times. If you have a problem at work it may seem like everything is against you and no one is willing to help. Colleagues are often busy with their own work and unwilling or unable to assist. If you are dating a workmate they will be more likely to go that extra mile and give you a hand.

Of course, not everything about meeting your partner at work is good. Several of the positive aspects can easily slip into negative ones, and there are other issues all on their own which could block you from having a meaningful relationship with a workmate.


  1. Subject of idle gossip. If you start a relationship with someone in your office, you can be sure that other people will gossip about it. If possible, you should try and be open about your new relationship instead of keeping it a secret.
  2. Jealousy. Your co-workers may be jealous of the relationship you have, especially if it is an employer/employee. You or your partner may get jealous by talking to others in the office, it may come off as “flirty”.
  3. Spending too much time together. Seeing each other socially in the evenings and weekends, followed by seeing each other in a stricter environment during the day can lead to a little too much. It also may kill a little of the romance, as you miss out on the excitement of waiting to see them at the end of the day.
  4. Allocating objective blame. If something goes wrong and work, and it’s your fault or that of your partner, it can be difficult to remain as objective as you should be.
  5. Breaking up is hard to do. If the worst happens and your relationship comes to an end, it can be disastrous in the workplace. Breaking is up is hard to do at the best of time, and having to see them at work every day can be very difficult, creating an unhappy working environment that your colleagues will be in the middle of.

Weigh out your options before you get to close. Think about the pros and cons before you jump into anything serious.

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That’s What Friends are For

Periodically, we all face challenging situations. Obstacles, setbacks, and loses are a vital part of experiencing the fullness, and even the sweetness of life. Sometimes we are just not strong enough to get through these difficult times on our own. That is when a true friend will be your crutch, helping you get through it. It is nice to have the support of someone in your corner.

Friends can also be the first ones to notice changes in other friends. It may be a change in mood, certain behaviours, or in activities they previously enjoyed. You may have noticed that your friend seems to be tired all the time or easily irritated. Maybe they’ve stopped hanging out and spend more time alone. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint what’s different about them but generally you have a sense that something is wrong. Friends can pick up on something that is off – they know you almost as well as you know yourself.

Being a friend means being there when things are great and when things are not so great. Supporting a friend shows you care. And nothing is more important in a friendship than empathy and communication. When your friend is going through a difficult time, you must be able to convey your understanding, concern and support.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts when trying to help a friend.


  • Allow your friend to heal and seek you out when they are ready.
  • Offer advice if asked.
  • Listen to the entire situation before jumping to conclusions.
  • Provide a distraction to get your friend’s mind off the difficult situation.
  • Invite your friend out to socialize.
  • Help your friend with things they need.


  • Force your friend to open up.
  • Offer unsolicited advice.
  • Rely on gossip or incomplete information to assess the situation.
  • Badger your friend with repeated calls, texts, and emails. Sometime they need to be alone.
  • Make the situation about you by comparing.
  • Use guilt to force your friend into socializing with you.
  • Try to run your friend’s life.

To nurture your friendships:

  • Accept yourself. Cultivate a healthy, realistic self-image.
  • Accept others. Don’t judge. Allow your friends the space they need to grow, change and make mistakes.
  • Be positive.
  • Don’t compete.
  • Listen up. Pay attention to what is happening in their life.
  • Respect boundaries. Keep confidential any personal information that is shared with you.

Be there for your friend during their difficult period, because you will want them there for you when you need them!

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No More Bored Games – Fun, Family Board Games

The best way to bring the family together is to have group activities that most, if not all family members can participate in. Family board games are great for bonding. The family can gather together and spend some quality time interacting. Also, board games can improve the thinking process of the family. Some board games are educational, and can keep the mind tuned, fresh and quick witted.

The best board games for family night are the ones that get everybody together without phones and other electronics in their hands. It is the group dynamics of face-to-face, around the table interaction that makes board games the continued choice for all ages. Good old ‘analog’ table-talk provides all the elements of staying close to the people in your family.

Often the simplest of games will be the ones that you bring out most often when family or friends gather. Change it up on a weekly or monthly basis to keep the interest. Let the reaction from the participants be the measure of approval. Having fun, good natured banter and laughter, are all indicators of an excellent game choice. It is all about generating fun and good conversation. A good board game will even draw in the non-participants. Having good memories and conversation about past played games is always an excellent indicator that you have a ‘winning’ game.

Some of the best board games for all ages include:

  • Simon
  • Connect 4
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Candyland
  • Checkers
  • Monopoly
  • Sorry
  • Chess

Again, the best board games are the ones that get the whole family engaged. It’s a great way to interact, communicate and spend quality time as a family. Plan your next family night as a board game night.

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Unbroken Family – Making the most out of shared time with your kids

Kids enjoy having hands on experiences with their parents. Parent and child bonding time is becoming a lot more scarce, not only for broken families, but also due to this fast-paced modernized society. Our kids need us to spend time with them. Kids develop values, security, positive self esteem and the ability to make good connections with others when parents spend positive time with them. Think of the time we spend with our kids now as an investment in their future. Spending quality time with your kids will make up for some of the quantity lost. Make sure you schedule something special a couple times a month. Your kids will remember the quality time they shared with you.

Things to do with your kids:

  • Baking/Cooking. Something that gets you involved in working with your kids, while giving you time to talk and bond with a delicious outcome in the end.
  • Turn off the television and electronics (phones included). TV’s and game consoles are major time suckers. Not much quality time is spent in front of the television. Everyone is only interested in what they are watching or the game they are playing. Try spending a quiet night in playing a few board games. Concentrate on the people in front of you ignore the texts, and social media sites for one night.
  • Find something you all enjoy doing together. Skating, skiing, hiking, take a bike ride or heading to the local recreation centre to enjoy their pool or facilities.
  • Do a date night. Let them have your undivided attention that night. Do dinner and a movie, or mini-putt and ice cream. Special time for just you and your kids.
  • Engage in a project together. Fix up an old car, put together a scrapbook, or build a fort or tree house. When you can work together on a common goal, you’ll be spending quality time together with an end result that you all can be proud of.

Spending whatever time you have with your children provides them with opportunities to learn and to be heard. Most of all, it provides you and your children with time to connect. It’s these connections that make your children feel loved. Children will not forget meaningful one-on-one time.

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Quickie Dates with your Spouse

When you first meet your partner, you will go on dates and enjoy each others company. However, many couples make the mistake of stopping dating once they settle into marriage or a civil union. . Often kids or work commitments mean that it is near impossible to go on dates, but quickie dates with your spouse to stay connected when life gets busy are essential for a happy and healthy relationship.

One part of dating is making sure that you still appreciate your partner and that you give them the attention they deserve. Quickie dates are a tried and tested method by marriage counsellors all over the world simply because they work. Once you are married, if you let the spontaneity leave your marriage, then it will soon become stagnant. It doesn’t matter whether you have full time jobs or 5 kids; you still need time alone with your partner, and not necessarily in bed!

Quickie dates don’t need to be expensive or complex to set up; all you need is some inspiration and you can get this by thinking back to when you were dating. If you loved to have a picnic together, find a lunch time where you can have a quick bite to eat together in the park. If you loved to go to the movies together, try to find the time to go and see a movie together.

Quick dates are sworn by so many married couples as a way to add the spark back into a stale relationship. When all your life consists of is work, home and the children, it will be normal that you will start to feel like an old married couple. But, stop and think about the things your spouse loved when you first met, and find ways to recreate them to bring the spark back into your life.

The whole idea of quickie dates is that they don’t need to take up a lot of time. If date night is out of the question due to work commitments or children, find a time when you are alone without the kids, even if it is when they are in bed, and give your partner your undivided attention. If going to the movies is impossible, try sitting down to watch a film together after your children have gone to bed, with a bowl of home made popcorn.

What you need to remember is that your quickie dates require 100% of your attention and this means leaving your smart phone alone. In fact, the perfect quickie date will involve nothing more than you and your partner and something that you enjoy together such as eating ice cream or giving each other a back rub. Avoid distractions, turn off the television and dim the lights to set a romantic scene.

Quickie dates with your spouse to stay connected when life gets busy are all about taking time out to appreciate your spouse and spend some quality time together where you can enjoy each others company and help keep your relationship young. Whether you love eating strawberries or love to debate about a book, there is a quickie date that is perfect for you.

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Going In Blind

So, much to your disdain, your best friend (or maybe your enemy) has set you up on a blind date. As much as you were initially reluctant you are now willing to go along with it. After all, what is the worst that can happen? Now you want to know how you can get through that date! Trust me, it is much easier than it seems.

Perhaps the best tip to give to make sure that you get in touch with your blind date beforehand. It doesn’t matter whether it is through e-mail or the telephone (or even Facebook). Just let them know that you want to set up a date. Have a little talk with them and decide where and when they should meet you. You could of course let your friend set you up on the day instead, but you do want to be a little bit prepared right?

Perhaps the best thing you can do is dress for the occasion. If you are planning to go out for a meal then try to dress up nicely. Remember, the way in which you dress is likely to be the first Impression that your date gets of you. Therefore make sure that you dress to impress! Try to arrive at least five minutes early for your date too. This again will give good first impression.

A good tip before you arrive on the date is to not set your expectations too high. If you set them too high then it is likely that you will get shot down, even if the person you are meeting is the nicest person in the world. Don’t go in with low expectations either. Instead plan meet them with the intention of having fun as opposed to hooking up and getting married.

During the date you should try to appear friendly and smile at all times. You don’t want the date to be all about you (that will be boring for the other person). Try to ask a few questions. Get to know them a little better. Answer any questions that they ask you honestly. Avoid questions that are too personal on a first date. Just try to keep the conversation light and go with the flow.

At the end of the date, if you want to meet them again you should let them know. If you don’t, do not mention anything of the sort. You don’t want your friendship to be ruined with whoever set you up just because you dragged the relationship out far too long and hurt somebody.

A blind date isn’t that much different from any other date, so prepare the same way. With the increase in social media usage you’ll even be able to do a little research before your date. First dates should always be held in a public place and always let a friend or family member know where you’re going. It’s also advisable to meet you date at the location instead of having them pick you up.

Be safe, have fun and relax. Even a bad date is a learning experience.

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No Fly Zone

Sex therapists and relationship counselors will tell you that sexless marriages are more common than one may think. Depressingly so, in fact! As it turns about roughly 60 percent of married or committed couples remain in sexless relationships for a variety of reasons. Although sex should never be the center of a relationship, it is important to keep the flame ignited for a balanced and intimate relationship. Why then are so many people forgoing these intimate acts? The reasons may or may not surprise you.

Vanilla Isn’t a Popular Flavor
There are a small percentage of people who love vanilla ice cream and at the same time are perfectly content with their sex life being vanilla (read: boring, the same old and routine.) Studies show however that one of the most common complaints and reasons why you and your spouse may not be having sex is because the act has become (or has always been) stale and too vanilla.

This is especially true for couples that have been in a monogamous relationship for years or decades. While knowing the ins and out of your partner, sex should never become so routine that it is boring.

Lack of Communication
Far too many couples are not talking about sex. And if they are, it’s usually one person complaining of the lack thereof. Couples need to consistently engage in sex conversation and this should include sharing fantasies and brainstorming ideas of how to keep sex and intimacy exciting and progressive.

This is not to say that every fantasy has to be fulfilled and made a reality, but some of them should be. Therapists often consult with couples who never speak about sex and this is troublesome. After all, sex should be rewarding and if you aren’t communicating with your partner what your desires and turn-ons are, they won’t know.

Lack of the Big O
This is more of a conundrum for women than men but if we think of it realistically, why would your partner want to continue to engage in sexual activity if the payoff isn’t there? In fact, ongoing sex sessions minus an amazing orgasm will become pointless and frustrating after a period of time, especially for women.

Research shows that most women need an average of 15-30 minutes of foreplay before their bodies are anywhere near ready to rock and roll whereas men need far less.

Communicate to your partner what kind of foreplay really gets you going and ask that they work on making it a part of your foreplay. This will not only make sex more exciting and rewarding, but foreplay also brings back the emotional intimacy that may be lacking.

Sex Isn’t a Priority
We all have a lot on our plates: work, kids, errands, housework etc. On a day to day basis it makes sense that sex is swiftly placed at the bottom of the “to- do” list so much so that months may go by without an encounter.

Couples are far too concerned with their to- do lists but often don’t manage to schedule in love making time and this can be a relationship killer. We also often succumb to the exhaustion after a day packed with work and household responsibilities so by the time evening rolls around, sex is the last thing on our minds.

Contrary to belief though, it takes little energy to have a great sex session and once you get your body going we have these nifty things called endorphins which are elevated when we become passionate and sexually active. Those same endorphins will increase our energy levels and once the session is over, you will also find that you sleep better. Orgasms have also proven to be great stress relievers so after a stressful day at work the best gift you can offer yourself is a release.

You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
It may be that you are no longer in love or lust with your partner. This isn’t a good thing and there will be a hard choice ahead of both of you if this is the case. Some relationships can be repaired and reignited while others may not be salvageable.

If this is where you are some counseling may help or in some cases, it may be time to think about ending a loveless relationship.

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Get Intimate

Relationships take work, and there are things you can do to encourage intimacy as your relationship continues grow and develop. People tend to think of intimacy in terms of a sexual relationship with their partner. While intimacy can include sexual activity, it also may include holding hands, a tender touch, a hug or a kiss. The day to day routine and life’s stresses can start to affect your intimacy in your relationship. How can you get that spark back?

Communication is essential to bringing back joy and love into a relationship. Take notice of the tones you are using with each other; communicating in a positive way is like attracting a bee to honey. Spending time together in a loving manner can change the situation. It’s all about getting back to being friends again, and talking and acting with loving intent.

Make sure to give enough time for your partner, plan events that will involve both of you spending affectionate time together. A busy life style or work is never an excuse, so do not make it one. Bring back the date night or take a weekend holiday together. Try to make these a monthly occurrence and schedule them in your calendar.

10 Steps to a More Intimate Relationship:

  1. Be Present When You’re with Your Partner. Put down the cell phone or turn off the t.v.
  2. Maintain Eye Contact.
  3. Be Physically Affectionate.
  4. Be Spiritual Together.
  5. Pay Attention. Listen to what your partner is really saying.
  6. Be Emotionally Available.
  7. Accept Unconditionally. Don’t make your partner change to what you want them to be.
  8. Be Supportive.
  9. Laugh Together.
  10. Find Common Interests and Pursue Them Together.

Relationships require work. Over periods of time they can lose some of the excitement that they had when you first met. This may seem like a problem, but it is completely normal in any relationship. Getting back to the way it use to be can sometimes be a challenge, but by using some of the tips listed above can help restore your loving partnership once again. A healthy intimate relationship is an integral part of a strong relationship. Invest in each other – Get Intimate!

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Fighting the Green-eyed Monster

Over the past 50 years society has changed in so many ways and some aspects of our lives have change rapidly. With the invention of new technology to make our lives easier and to improve communication, we’ve actually created an environment of unhealthy competition and jealousy. It’s so much easier now to compare ourselves with the Jones’ and not just the Jones’ in our neighbourhood but around the world. Jealousy can affect us in many ways. We can show signs of jealousy to our partners if they are talking to someone of the opposite sex. Jealousy can be found in the workplace when a co-worker achieves advancement before you or gets recognition for a project you both worked on. We can also be jealous of our friends and neighbours who have bigger houses, fancier cars or take nicer holidays.

For those who are under the spell of this green-eyed monster, jealousy is a feeling that can affect many other emotions and in turn your decision making ability. It can cause feelings of anxiety and discomfort. Jealousy not only impacts the individuals who feel it, but also those around them. Even if they attempt to conceal their jealousy, it inevitably comes out in the way they treat others and in the long run can ruin relationships.

The fundamental approach to conquering jealousy is understanding the reason behind it. Usually, jealousy comes down to low self-confidence and insecurities. Jealousy is typically caused by internal feelings and not by the actions of those around you, so it’s important to work on your emotions and thoughts to find the root of your insecurities. If you’re jealous of your partner’s relationships with other people is it because someone in your past cheated making it hard for you to trust people? Have you been passed up for promotions at work before, which is now creating an insecurity in your current position? In both these cases it was something from your past that’s causing the current feelings of jealousy. Not all situations are similar and people are all different, although you should always learn from past experiences they may not always repeat themselves.

If you are intent on finding a solution to your jealous tendencies, one option is to visit with a therapist or a hypnotherapist for treatment. With hypnosis or counseling, your counselor will be able to break through the barriers that are preventing you from seeing the positives in a situation. Negative feelings caused by past experiences can create jealous behaviour. They have the ability to delve into the negative blocks that are lodged in your subconscious and ease them out until your free of them. Once you’ve removed your negative thinking you’ll find that you will have fewer insecurities which will have a positive impact of your self-esteem.

With fewer insecurities and higher self-esteem, envious feelings will disappear. Once the green-eyed monster is gone it’s easier to promote healthy and trusting relationships with those around you.

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