Healthy Relationships – The Date Mix https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix Dating and Relationship Advice for Today's Daters Wed, 21 Feb 2018 19:48:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5 60 Relationship Questions And Why They’re Important https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/relationship-advice/relationship-questions/ Sun, 11 Feb 2018 09:00:32 +0000 https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/?p=16027 Asking a question may seem like a small thing, but it can make a big difference.

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It seems like such a small thing, asking a question. But when you’re building a relationship or trying to become close with someone you’re dating, asking the right relationship questions can make a huge difference in the way you relate to each other.

“There are so many different couples out there,” explains psychologist and couple’s therapist Dr. Lonnie Barbach. “There are some couples that are very shy, quiet, or introverted and they actually don’t talk to each other very much. Others aren’t sure how to have the conversations that can help a relationship. Questions give people skills and direction to talk about things constructively.”

Barbach should know. In addition to her psychology work, she’s also the Head of Content at the popular Happy Couple app. The app, which now has over 65,000 monthly active members, helps couples get to know each other better and grow in their relationships by asking them (sometimes fun, sometimes serious) daily questions and letting them compare their answers.

So why is it so important to ask relationship questions?

“Couples, especially in the beginning of a relationship, always try to do what they think the other person wants them to do, but most people are bad guessers,” says Barbach. “By being direct they have more information and won’t always be guessing or making assumptions.”

A prime example is when one person in a relationship needs more alone time than their partner. It can create conflicts where one partner begins to think, Oh, they don’t want to be with me, that must mean they don’t care about me. In reality, one partner may simply be used to having more alone time and not even realize how they’re making the other person feel.

“Asking questions clears up the confusion,” stresses Barbach. “It’s not just about finding out if you’re compatible. It’s about knowing your differences and understanding them so you can accept them.”

To help you out we’ve compiled a sample of 60 relationship questions from the Happy Couple app. Check them out to learn more about your partner and your relationship. And if you’re looking for more questions (3,000 more to be exact) try the Happy Couple app to compare your answers to your partner’s.

“An intimate relationship is all about talking about how you’re feeling,” says Barbach. “You don’t automatically know how somebody likes their coffee. So go ahead and ask!”

60 Relationship Questions to Ask Your Partner:

  1. How do you feel about how much time you spend together?
  2. Would you say that your partner understands what you are feeling?
  3. How important is it for you to equally divvy up chores?
  4. How much alone time do you need?
  5. How content are you with the amount of non-sexual affection in the relationship?
  6. The two of you are hitting the great outdoors. What would you prefer to spend the day doing?
  7. What would you prefer to do on a Saturday night?
  8. How would you rate your kissing?
  9. Do you think you and your partner share the same values?
  10. Do you think a couple’s finances should be together or separate?
  11. Do you think you and your partner share the same values?
  12. Where would you choose to live right nowthe city, the suburbs, a small town, or somewhere rural/isolated?
  13. Given the realities of your current life, how often would you like to have sex?
  14. What kind of vacation would you enjoy most?
  15. When it comes to “the baby question,” how do you feel? Do you want kids?
  16. How important is physical chemistry to you?
  17. What is the best gift your partner could give you?
  18. How do you feel about traveling outside the country?
  19. What’s the main way you show your love?
  20. If your partner had close friends of the opposite sex, how would you feel?
  21. How big of a role does spirituality or religion play in your life??
  22. When you and your partner disagree, what do you say to resolve it?
  23. How do you feel about physical fitness?
  24. What do you do when your partner feels sad?
  25. How do you feel about your exes?
  26. How do you feel about your partner’s exes?
  27. How do you think you and your partner handle fights?
  28. How important is sex to you?
  29. How do you like to spend your free time?
  30. How do you feel about what your partner does for a living?
  31. How does your partner feel about what you do for a living?
  32. How do you respond when your partner is very late to meet you?
  33. Do you know about the first time your partner had sex?
  34. When do you think it’s the right time for people to meet each other’s parents/families?
  35. When life gets you down, how do you deal with it?
  36. When there’s nothing to eat in the fridge, what do you do?
  37. What are the most difficult topics for you to share with your partner?
  38. What makes you feel most loved?
  39. How do you feel about being interrupted?
  40. How do you want to be treated when you’re down or depressed?
  41. Whose death would hit you the hardest?
  42. Would you take a more interesting job for a steep pay cut?
  43. What do you think happens after you die?
  44. How do you express your creative side?
  45. If you could do anything for work and not worry about money, what would you do?
  46. What do you do when you can’t go to sleep?
  47. Who was your childhood best friend?
  48. What’s your relationship with your parents like?
  49. Do you like being the center of the attention or prefer to stand back?
  50. What’s your greatest fear?
  51. What was your favorite year of life?
  52. What’s your favorite book?
  53. What do you do when you have to have a hard conversation with someone?
  54. Where in world would you most like to visit?
  55. What’s your hidden talent?
  56. What was your favorite subject in school?
  57. Do you avoid conflict with your partner?
  58. Do you like to get the good new or the bad news first?
  59. What, if any, holiday traditions do you have?
  60. Do you set goals for yourself?

 

Get the Happy Couple app now on Google Play, the App Store, or on the Windows Store.

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4 Relationship Tips from Happy Couples https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/relationship-advice/relationship-tips-happy-couples/ Sat, 27 Jan 2018 09:00:26 +0000 https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/?p=15920 You can't fix all the problems, but you can listen.

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When it comes to building a strong relationship, there are a lot of things you can focus on—communication, shared goals, making time for each other, or settling disputes. But so often you get caught up in day-to-day life and forget to make the time to think about these things and what they mean for your life as a couple. In order to give you a little help, the popular relationship app Happy Couple asked over 543,987 couples a few questions about what their relationship goals were for the year ahead and found a few interesting takeaways.

If one of your goals for 2018 is improving your relationship, here are four relationship tips taken from real couples that will give you a good place to start.

1. Being a good listener is the best kind of support. 
When your partner has a problem or needs help with something, it’s natural to want to step in and fix things. But this usually isn’t what they really need. 50% of people said being a good listener is the best way a partner can support them. Coming in second was helping them get things done (28%) followed by being a good problem solver (20%).

2. If you’re making time for each other, make it quality time.
It seems simple, but having more quality time together as a couple is often the hardest thing to do. When asked how they’d like to spend their time together in the year ahead, 41% of people said they wanted to spend more quality time together. Other popular things couples want to spend time on? 38% said they wanted to tackle their resolutions and goals together, and 17% said they wanted to make more time for romance.

3. Honest communication is more important than shared values.
All relationships hit ups and downs, even if you agree on everything. Perhaps that’s why 50% of people said honest communication is the key to a happy, lasting relationship. But shared values and goals wasn’t completely left out—it got 37% of the vote ,while other things like sympathy and compassion and great sex had less than 10% of the vote.

4. Good relationships are about growing as individuals too.
It’s important to grow as a couple but don’t forget to grow as an individual too. 51% of people said that the main goal they shared with their partner was, oddly enough, self-improvement. Helping each other become better people and better partners often goes together, so while making your goals for your relationship don’t forget to focus on yourself as well.

As you enter 2018, take the time to think about your relationship and what your goals are for the year ahead. Some of the healthiest, happiest couples are those who simply take the time to focus on their relationship and each other.

 

To learn more about building healthy relationships and to discover what your partner really thinks, check out the fun quiz-style game on the Happy Couple app

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Healthy Fighting vs. Unhealthy Fighting: What’s the Difference https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/relationship-advice/healthy-relationships/healthy-fighting-vs-unhealthy-fighting-whats-the-difference/ Sat, 23 Dec 2017 09:00:39 +0000 https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/?p=15726 Are you standing up for your feelings or trying to find blame?

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All healthy relationships have arguments here and there. But, understanding the difference between a healthy fight and an unhealthy fight is more important than worrying about what causes a fight. Being able to have a fight isn’t about the actual situation , it’s about whether a fight will benefit your relationship or damage it.

“A healthy fight is caused because of differing perspectives or an insignificant slight and can be easily resolved by an apology. An unhealthy fight is about something that can’t be changed or something petty just to cause tension and exert a negative power over the other person,” explains relationship expert Margaux Cassuto.

So how can you tell if your fights are healthy or unhealthy? Here are some things to think about:

Unhealthy Fight: Fighting for the sake of fighting.
It’s unhealthy because no good can come of it because no change can come either. “Picking a fight over something that happened before you were in a relationship with your partner that can’t be changed now and had nothing to do with you in the first place is not healthy,” says Cassuto.  Say you pick a fight because he spent his early 20s blowing his money on trips to Miami rather than saving for the future.  If you weren’t together at that time in his life, you can’t get mad at him for his actions.

Healthy Fight: When you feel you aren’t being heard.
Couples have to fight to keep some semblance of independence, says Nicole Merritt, a marriage blogger and owner and Founder of JthreeNMe. But they also fight to stay connected. “Couples have to fight to maintain intimacy. Couples have to fight to make sure each partner is heard. They have to fight their individual desire to have their partner think alike and fight for the strength to think as a team.”

Unhealthy Fight: When it turns personal.
If your partner uses disagreements to attack you personally, belittle you, or shame you, that’s a problem, explains relationship therapist, Alice Roberts. “When a partner makes a personal attack or belittles, or shames you, it’s a sign that they are unable to differentiate.  This means that they don’t know how to feel secure in a relationship where their partner has different opinions or likes.” In other words, they have to resort to calling you names or attacking you every time you have a disagreement.

Healthy Fight: Fighting about how your partner hurt your feelings.
“For example, when you saw him speak to his ex when you asked him not to and you got mad at him but then he promises never to do it again after extending a sincere apology,” explains Cassuto.  This is a healthy fight because each partner understands what was hurtful about what happened. Standing up for yourself and your feelings in a relationship is important.

Unhealthy Fight: Fighting that turns into a blame game.
When disagreements turn into a hunt for who is at fault, it becomes impossible to reach a positive resolution, says Roberts. Pointing fingers and focusing on each other’s faults instead of listening to how your partner is feelings only leads to more disagreements that end up becoming problematic for your relationship.

Healthy Fight: Fighting to hash out a plan.
Here, the goal is to find common ground or to create a new solution, says relationship expert, Kryss Shane. “Healthy fighting focuses on the individual situation at hand and pits the couple against the problem. This typically results in a resolution to the problem or at least a better understanding about why you feel as you do and why your partner feels as they do. The end of a healthy fight is typically either laughter, a solution, or a decision about how or whether to continue to figure this out.”

Unhealthy Fight: Fights that involve abuse.
This abuse can be physical, verbal, mental, and emotional. “Unhealthy fights are those in which one or both partners are not fighting fair and are hitting below the belt, on purpose and unapologetically. Manipulation is usually a staple of an unhealthy fight as well,” says Merritt. This type of abusive fighting should never be allowed and if this is something you experience often or even once, it’s time to get out of the relationship.

Though it can be unpleasant fighting is a part of healthy relationships. Learning to disagree and move past your disagreements can bring you closer to someone, because you both know you care enough about each other to have the tough conversations. But there are also fights that aren’t healthy and don’t move a relationship forward. Learning to spot the difference between the two is an important part of learning to be in a relationship.

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What Is Romance? And What Does It Really Mean https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/relationship-advice/healthy-relationships/what-is-romance/ Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:00:23 +0000 https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/?p=15581 Romance is not about the sexual encounters, but about awakening the heart.

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Romance is the feeling we chase in relationships. Once you’ve experienced romance, you won’t forget it and you won’t stop chasing that feeling until you find it again. In dating, romance can spark chemistry like the butterfly feeling in your stomach. In a relationship, romance can keep things fresh and exciting.

Romance novelist Rachel Hauck says, “Romance is not about the sexual encounters but about awakening the heart.”

What is romance? It’s a powerful force that makes you feel connected to someone in a deeper way. It’s the gestures, both big and small, that make you feel especially wooed and especially cherished by your partner. Romance is what takes your relationship past friendship.

Author David R. Shumway states that romance is the part of a relationship that adds adventure and intense emotions, while also offering the possibility of finding the perfect person for you.

Even the subtlest of acts can be romantic, like the way a man glances at you from across the room or how a woman moves her hand through your hair.

It’s important to note that romance is different for men and women. And it’s even different from woman to woman and man to man. It’s best to ask your partner what they consider romantic in a relationship.

While there aren’t any blanket, one-size-fits-all gestures that signal romance to everyone, these categories should help give you some inspiration.

First, let’s start with what many women traditionally find romantic:

Acts of chivalry
The whole notion that bad boys are more attractive to women is a myth. Most women are looking for a guy who charms her with his courtesy, generosity, and attentiveness. Some good ole’ fashion chivalrous acts include opening doors, giving her your jacket when it’s cold, picking her up for the date that you planned out, calling rather than texting her to ask her out on a date, paying the bill, and walking her to the door.

Why is chivalry still the “it” thing? Because it lets a woman know that she’s special to you. She’s not just any other girl. She’s the one for you.

Acts of kindness
We’re all running around with our heads cut off and it can get overwhelming. That’s why when your special someone offers to tackle one of your to-do lists, it can trigger that romantic spark. Next time you’re around your love interest ask how you can make her life easier for a day. You will score major points and reap the rewards in due time.

Acts of affection
This goes way beyond what happens behind closed doors in the bedroom. She wants to know that you are thinking of her, care for her, and want to be around her. Romance happens between the ears for many women, meaning it’s the deep emotional connection you build with her that’s the highest form of romance.

A man’s idea of romance is different than a woman’s. You typically won’t hear men wanting to be swept off their feet. Rather, it’s often the personal and simple things you can do for a man that signal romance.

Cultivate his interests
Find out what he’s into and share this time with him. Buy him tickets to his favorite concert or sporting event for example. It’s not just tangible gifts that count. Cheer him on from the stands at his soccer match or spend Sunday watching football with him and his friends.

Get to know the real him
Like anyone, men want to be understood. What drives him, motivates him, excites him? Understanding his true core being makes him feel valued and seen by you. He’ll begin to see you as his respite from the stressors of everyday life. Helping him disconnect from external demands translates to romance.

Show him you’re into him
Many men appreciate affection through physical touch. Yes, this means sex, but not solely sex alone. It also can be expressed by holding hands, giving a hug and kiss, and even igniting his imagination for what’s to come. Send him a flirty text about what he can look forward to later on.

There are countless other ideas that could spark the romance in your relationship. In the end, romance kindles between the two of you when you understand how to make your partner feel seen, heard, and understood.

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10 Signs He Still Loves You https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/relationship-advice/healthy-relationships/10-signs-he-still-loves-you/ Fri, 20 Oct 2017 08:00:42 +0000 https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/?p=15427 If he likes to include you in mundane decisions, it could be a sign he's in it forever.

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If you’re a female in a relationship, chances are you’ve come across an article or 300, ruthlessly targeted at you, that’s titled along the lines of 10 Signs He Loves You or 25 Ways He Shows He Cares. Unless you’re the world’s most secure human being, chances are you’ve clicked on one or all 300 of them. They all say things like “He puts his phone down when you’re together,” or “He asks you questions about your future,” or, “He goes out of his way to hold your hand or touch you when you’re hanging out.” A quick Google search will turn up literally dozens of these lists. And the lists aren’t wrong, exactly. But… well, they aren’t the whole story either.

A while back, I clicked through a Cosmo story that was a checklist of all the signs that my boyfriend truly loves me and had a hiccup of panic when I couldn’t identify with more than one or two. No, I’m not in a loveless relationship, I’m in an old one. My boyfriend and I live together, and our conversations aren’t often conducted over an intimate dinner with constant eye contact, they’re shouted across two rooms as one of us is unloading the dishwasher and the other is answering work emails. He never inquires about my hopes and dreams because he knows them all. He’s seen me stress cry when achieving one of them was particularly hard. I stay away from him when we’re lounging on the couch because when he gets home from the gym and hasn’t showered yet it’s not the time to snuggle up.

To some this may sound like lowering the bar. But for every new-love behavior that falls by the wayside, there is another that indicates the deep and comfortable love that takes its place.

So for all the long-attached girls out there, here’s a vastly underrepresented list of signs that he still loves you.

1. He reveres the traditions you share.
This can be anything from a standing date night, to the understanding that you two split up at Costco to get double the samples. If he finds these traditions important, it means he’s established a structure in his life that you’re a necessary part of.

2. He senses when you’re feeling off. 
If you’ve had a bad day, watched too many “Colorblind man sees color for the first time,” videos and you’re in a funk, or even if you’re just PMSing, and he senses something is wrong, he’s in tune with your non-verbal cues and can pick them up from a mile away. That’s real intimacy.

3. He respects your routines.
For some people taking an hour-long shower is pure necessity. Or maybe you like to watch E! after dinner blissfully uninterrupted. If he accepts the routines that keep you balanced, even if he doesn’t get them, it means he accepts you for who you really are, and not just when you’re on your best behavior.

4. He pitches in.
Someone who takes on housekeeping duties, or offers to run to pick up the take out, or valiantly kills the bugs you can’t handle wants to be a contributing part in the structure of your life. Letting you lean on him so that your life is a little easier is a non-verbal way of telling you he loves you.

5. He ditches the phone when you need him to.
We all hit a level of comfort with our partners where we know they won’t be offended if we scroll through our twitter feeds at dinner. But if he can identify when you need some quality time, and is willing to put the phone down, it means he values you above whatever the internet has to offer.

6. He talks about your future together. 
Talking about your future transitions into planning to be in it, and voicing those hopes. It shows that he’s not afraid to think about you long-term, and even excited about the prospect.

7. He’s into the comfortable silences.
Being alone together is the hallmark of comfortable love. If you’ve got a clinger who doesn’t seem comfortable with the two of you doing your own thing while sharing the same space, (or if you’re the clinger) there’s a good chance he doesn’t feel like there’s enough love in the relationship, and needs the validation of being paid attention to all the time.

8. He likes to include you in mundane decision-making.
Being in a rock solid relationship means discussing big decisions with each other. But if he still feels like he needs your input when he’s purchasing sweatpants or deciding which setting to use on the dryer, it means that he values your input across the board, and that you add value to his daily life.

9. He’s still playful.
Old relationships sometimes have the reputation of being dusty or joyless, but a loving seasoned relationship still has plenty moments of joy, and aren’t just reduced to two people living parallel to each other. If he’s still exhibiting those traits that charmed you in the beginning, it’s a sign that he still feels that spark that initially drew you to each other.

10. He embraces your less-than-charming habits.
Early on, everyone is still hiding their bad habits and quirks, and when they’re finally revealed it can be a make or break moment. If you and your partner live together, or have been together for a while, there’s a good chance he’s seen the gambit, and if he’s still around, and not nagging you about every hairball on the bathroom floor, or the sleep-yoga you do when you’ve had too much caffeine, it means he loves and accepts every fiber of your being. Even the uncute fibers.

Being in a solid and loving long-term relationship basically boils down to feeling that you’re loved, regardless of how exactly your man shows it. And if you’ve perused this list and you’re not feeling it, it doesn’t necessarily mean the love isn’t there. It may mean that you and your partner just have different ways of communicating love. Every relationship and every love is different. Finding the ways you share and show your love with each other is part of what makes your relationship unique.

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5 Little Things You Can Do to Strengthen Your Relationship https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/relationship-advice/healthy-relationships/5-little-things-can-strengthen-relationship/ Mon, 25 Sep 2017 08:00:48 +0000 https://www.zoosk.com/date-mix/?p=15141 Science shows that the little things in a relationship go a long way. Here are some ideas to help you build a bond.

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Making love last has long been a topic of interest for everyone from causal daters to married couples and marriage psychologists. We know that over time couples can lose that initial spark that drew them together in the first place. Even the person that you couldn’t keep your hands off of in the beginning becomes less enticing over time.

“Losing the passionate spark” boils down to science. There’s a physiological response to a new relationship that makes you feel quite literally on Cloud 9. It has to do with a hormone found in your brain called Oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. In 2012 study, researchers found that Oxytocin spikes for at least six months of a new relationship. After that time, you’ll probably start to notice the honeymoon phase come to an end and your once-heightened feelings of attraction for your significant other will be replaced with a more ordinary, even-keel feeling. This new relationship reality shouldn’t put you into panic mode. Instead, you should focus on ways to continue to strengthen your bond and grow your relationship.

Back in 1986, one of the prominent studies on marriage was done called “The Early Years of Marriage Project.” The study analyzed couples through their early years of marriage and, as a result, researchers were able to identify what contributed to happiness in a marriage and what caused stress in a marriage.

Study researcher, Dr. Terri Orbuch, found that one of the most important keys to a happy marriage was how cared for each individual felt in the relationship. “Doing or saying small things frequently to make your partner feel special, cared for, and loved … is very predictive of staying together, being happy, and [preventing] divorce,” she says.

Putting Dr. Orbuch’s research into practice means that you can strengthen your bond by making the little things count.

Here are five small actions you can take to strengthen your relationship and the bond you have with your spouse:

1. Make coffee for your special someone.
Or translate this action into something that your partner would appreciate. If she doesn’t like coffee, make tea instead. Or, if tennis is his thing, make a point to watch a match with him each week. These small actions take cognitive effort and help you build a deeper connection with someone.

“Making a partnership is about making moments, not about creating a lifestyle,” says Psychologist Dr. Cooper Lawrence. “Small things are easier to do, and if you string them together over the course of a day, week, or lifetime, what you have is a much larger message that speaks to your feelings towards the other person.”

2. Porch sit.
In established relationships, so much of our communication happens over daily household tasks like doing the dishes or cooking dinner and it’s easy for that type of environment to dictate the type of conversation you have about daily minutia things such as paying bills or taking care of other life necessities. Although these conversations are important, they don’t contribute to a happier partnership. What does, however, is communication that allows each of you to get to know one another better.

Whether you use the chairs on your back porch, go to the park and sprawl out on a blanket, or sit on your couch with the TV off, the key is to find something to talk about that helps your partner understand your core being.

3. Create a bucket list together.
Comedian Aziz Ansari wrote a book called “Modern Romance” in which he uncovered some important discoveries about modern relationships. He found several studies which concur that when couples participate in activities that are novel and exciting, they show an increase in relationship quality.

You may not be ready to bungee jump with your special someone just yet, but listing out what the two of you would like to experience together in the future is a fun way to create a shared vision for the future and learn more about each other.

4. Celebrate the milestone moments.
We go through life mostly checking off things on our to do list, solving problems, and dealing with mundane affairs, Too often we don’t celebrate our milestone moments, both big and small. However, it’s our milestone moments that make us the happiest and that keep us excited to keep pursuing our goals, ambitions, and dreams.

You can get closer to your partner by celebrating his or her life moments. And it’s fun to think creatively about how to celebrate these milestones. Anything goes— balloons filling the living room, a celebratory dinner, or a weekend gateway. It all counts. What matters most is your thoughtfulness and helping your partner take some time to be proud of the important milestones in his or her life.

5. Use technology the right way.
While technology can distract people from engaging in face-to-face interactions, it can be a helpful tool that brings us closer too. For example, when your partner sees something funny, he can snap a photo and send it to you. You can also build upon your intimacy while you’re apart by sending flirty text messages or a, “I’m just thinking about you,” selfie.

What other small actions can you imagine that will help you get beyond the surface and into a more personal, deeper space with your partner? This is the key to strengthening your bond and increasing the happiness in your relationship.

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