Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Absolute Best Way to Recharge Your Relationship

There’s nothing that recharges a relationship like “getting away.” Putting the pause button on life for a day, a weekend or a week, is vital to remembering why you got together in the first place.

People make all kinds of excuses as to why that can’t “get away.” First and foremost is, “I can’t take time off of work.” Our culture values work productivity over family and relationships. We view relaxation and leisure as lazy. The consequence is stress, burnout, and neglect of our most important relationships.

REL-GettingAwayOften the chronic complaint in couples counseling is that one partner feels the other puts work first. Only at the point where damage has been done to the relationship, does that partner make changes. Suddenly they find a way to finish their day earlier, or “unplug” when home.

Other excuses are lack of money, time, and childcare. Bob and I take a hard line here since we see the result of relationships being neglected: There are no valid excuses for not “getting away.” It doesn’t mean you have to leave town for a week or break the bank. More about that later.

Here’s why “getting away” is so important to your relationship. It:

1. Breaks the routine and let’s you slow down. Our lives tend to become like “Groundhog’s Day.” We focus more on doing than being. Unconsciously, we take our relationships for granted and the result may insidiously be “relational drift.”

2. Makes it easier to unplug and focus. We’ve become so plugged into our computers and cell phones that we don’t often unplug. This has led to less focus on deeper communication and connection with our partners.

3. Increases joy together. Getting away revitalizes our relationships. We remember what it is like to be free, to let down and let go of responsibilities for a short time; to play, to laugh, have fun together.

4. Creates positive memories that will last much longer than the time away. Just the memories and looking at pictures of fun times together can transport us back to that feeling. In this way, times away last much longer than they actually are and give us pleasure after they are over.

5. Provides privacy that you rarely get at home. When our children are in the home, we don’t have much privacy. Being away gives you space to walk around naked, and feel unrestrained.

6. Allows you to relax and have better sex. Sex at home when kids are around is not ideal. When they are little we are exhausted, and when they are not around there is always something that needs to get done. It’s easy to neglect sex. Getting away means you can’t do any cleaning up or home projects. It is forced relaxation. Sex is always best when we are relaxed. And sex in a new place is more exciting!

BONUS Article: It’s Never Too Late to Get Back on Track… S#XUALLY!
Make Everyday a FUNday!

Copyright © 2015 by Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD. Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, is a licensed counselor and co-founder of Relationships Work, an innovative therapy practice and online resource center. Together with her husband, Bob, they encourage couples to consciously co-create their relationships in order to achieve a deeper, more intimate connection. You can visit Relationships Work online at: http://www.RelationshipsWork.com. Follow them on Facebook.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Make Everyday a FUNday!

Are you just going through the routines of marriage without really enjoying the journey? It’s time to sample the flavor of FUN! You lose your sparkle when you don’t allow yourself to have fun. Do something ridiculously fun – look, if you’re not happy today, the fastest way to cure that is to just go have fun. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t make excuses. When was the last time you kicked back and had an awesome time? Most couples know their marriages are happier when they make time to have fun. It’s time to put more fun in your marriage or relationship.

Virtually every couple wants to keep their romance alive and fresh with fun things to do with one another. However, as life gets busy, fun seems to be one of the first thing to disappear. Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place!

FUNdaysNo matter how hard you work, or how much stress you have on your plate, make sure to do something fun every day. Make time for fun. Fun brings on happiness.

Everyone I know is busy, but we should make sure our schedule never gets so crowded that we cannot enjoy time with the love of our life. Many couples plan their fun for the weekends. That’s great. As a couple how do you avoid the struggles of the daily grind? Quick answer: Be passionate about having FUN! Whatever activity you choose, keep in mind that the main objective is to have fun.

Ruts are normal. Nearly all couples face them at one time or another, explains Alisa Bowman, author of Project: Happily Ever After. Most of us don’t evaluate or even notice when our other relationships – friendships, siblings, parents – get into ruts, but we constantly evaluate the health of our romantic relationships. “It’s important to notice a rut, because it’s often the first symptom that you are growing apart,” Bowman says. “But ruts are not terminal, and they can actually be quickly overcome.” Kiss hello before doing anything else when you get home. Kiss good-bye when you leave. Stay out of a rut by having more fun!

Be an everyday FUN activist! Laugh together. Lighten up. Tease each other. It will give the relationship you have with yourself and your partner a big boost.

“We don’t quit playing because we grow older, we grow older because we quit playing.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Life gets busy and it can be hard to find time together, much less finding time to try new things. If the romance has faded, add both mystery and surprise because they mimic the emotional state of a new romance. I repeat – Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place!

To be consistent in doing this, you must make a commitment to you – set a goal to do so. Write your commitment down and pin it somewhere that has you notice it everyday. This will add new dimension, excitement and texture to your relationship.

Be creative in doing this. I’m a big list person and I recommend that you begin making a list. Let your mind run wild. Not just things that might be fun as you navigate through your crazy daily routine but things that you take the time to plan. Create a big vision of fun things to do together. If you haven’t been planning a little fun during your regular “daze” this could be a challenge and take a high degree of intention.

It helps to prioritize your marriage. Plan a weekly date together where the focus is to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. When you first began dating, you likely had many opportunities to fully enjoy each other’s company. We suggest you recreate those possibilities no matter how long you have been together. It’s a fact that couples who anticipate and participate in “exciting” date nights showed a significantly greater increase in marital satisfaction.

Make sure some of your fun include some laughter. Gentle pranks are always fun, but don’t get carried away. Safe is better than sorry.

LoveYourKids2Place an unexpected phone call to your sweetheart just to say, “I love you,” or “I was just thinking about you.” Learn to say “I Love You” in different languages and say it when they least expect it. Those three words never get old.

Create a “Bucket List” of fun things to do! Brainstorm together. Try for 100 new ideas. Stretch yourself. Focus on fun. Make plans to do something so you can look forward to it. Anticipate. Children are basically happy when they are having fun and looking forward to more fun. Be a kid again.

“Couples who know how to play and have fun together develop a bonding that can carry them through the most difficult of times,” writes Dr. Steve Stephens in his book, ‘Blueprints for a Solid Marriage.’ “When people get older and when they’ve been married longer, they just become boring,” Stephens says. “It’s not that they mean to get boring, it’s just that they haven’t intentionally figured out what would be something fun to do.”

Do yourself a favor. If you have children, allow them to see the two of you having fun. Occasionally make them a part of your funday. Family activities can show children how the parents react with each other. By the way, it’s okay to plan for alone time fun with each other as long as you plan some family fun time too. Loan out the kids. When you and your spouse do want a night alone, you can turn to your friends for your babysitting needs. Then, when they want a night out, you can offer to do the same for them.

Never allow yourself get so caught up in what you do day to day that you forget to have a little fun each and every day. Remember: It takes two people – both totally committed to making the marriage great.

It takes work to reignite the passion in your relationship. So next time you plan a fun date night, think about the elements of newness, novelty and the element of surprise. It’s important to spend quality time with the people you love and cherish. Marriage is supposed to be fun! Allow your marriage to soar!

How do you keep the fun in your marriage or relationship?

By the way… it is also wise to devote a few moments each day to yourself.

Let the fun begin!

BONUS Articles: Fun Things to do as a Couple
Kidding Around With Romance
50 Creative, Cheap Ways to Have Fun
Great Date Ideas

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2015 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Celebrate Love at Your Very Own “Wonderama!”

How long has it been since the two of you really spent some “quality” time together? Does your relationship need a little extra oomph? Whether you’ve been married or together for years, show your partner how much you appreciate them by planning some sexy surprises for a very special night together. I’m talking about a night with absolutely no distractions; no kids, no smart phones, iPads, texting, TV, etc. None! I’m talking a very special evening of Love and romance. The kind of time where you both really let your hair down and genuinely BE together; where you can cuddle, caress and celebrate your Love together in special ways.

Wonderama2Alone time with your partner can sometimes be challenging and hard to arrange because of long hours at work and kids. You have to plan time – or rather “make” time like this to get together. Don’t rush. Take your time planning. Why not make these precious hours you two share extra exciting? Plan a “Wonderama” where you will rediscover the wonder of each other. It’s time for a little hedonistic fun. The pursuit of pleasure is something that many couples let slide when they have been together for a long time.

“My job is to be helpful!” 😉 …To assist you with some ideas that will help you express the love that was strong in the beginning, is still there, and if you’re both on the same page… will manifest itself again in a very special way.

You have to work together to make something like this to work. Creating your “Wonderama” takes some preplanning and may stretch your creative abilities. It’s a romantic break from routine. Decorate a special place. Turn it into your own sensual play space or love nest. It could be a mattress in the living room floor (or move the coffee table off to the side so you have room to lay down layers of soft blankets) or the back yard (pull out your blow-up mattress and sleeping bags), the bedroom, (I prefer the bedroom, but that’s just me), or a hotel room for one night. You can’t get sexier than sharing strawberries (the chocolate-dipped ones – they’re an aphrodisiac) and champagne in bed. Make it up for you. Design the layout together. Forget your age. Never let age be your cage. Consider a blanket-fort with lots of soft pillows. That is childlike but fun. Focus on Love and romance.

Once you set a time and a date, tease your partner with little notes several days in advance that remind them of your special night together. Leave a single strawberry and a note that reads “See you tonight,” or a Post-It® note on the bathroom mirror. Send each other tantalizing text messages during the day of. Something simple and sexy will do. The anticipation will make an ordinary night much more alluring. Think seduction. Get a little edgier by having a blindfold and/or handcuffs which you may or may not use.

TwinMassageYou can do this by yourselves or hire some helpers to help you brainstorm some super romantic ideas. Remember that being romantic is all in the attitude that you bring to this special night. Pamper yourselves. Rent a Masseuse for the evening. Two works nice – one for each of you. Treat yourselves to a sensual twin massage. Before you begin, choose some soothing music to play in the background. The relaxing pressure of the massage helps put you back in touch with your bodies: the ultimate preparation for your late-night “Wonderama!” There’s nothing more romantic and relaxing than a massage. (Tip: My favorite… Coconut-passion-fruit massage oil).

Relax. One couple I know hired a harpist to play their favorite romantic music for a couple of hours in the room next to them while they played together. Surely by now you both have a favorite song or two. Play them and burn a CD with more of your favorite tunes. Dance a verrrry slow, sexy dance.

mood-foodsYou could hire a caterer to bring in snacks to nibble on when you get tired of nibbling on each other. 😉 Feed each other hazelnut truffles or cinnamon-flavored ganache. Chill your favorite beverages. Put a lot of thought into this creative endeavor. Cook up one special surprise for your partner. Write 4 or 5 romantic things to read to your partner when the time is right. Don’t hold back. Say what’s in your heart. A little mystery can go a long way. This will be a night to remember.

A “Wonderama” is a very special time to be together and the purpose is to create a cozy retreat chucked full of Love and romance. It will rekindle the romance that may be missing. The intent is to spice up your love life. Do plenty of touching and flirting. You may rediscover what it’s like to really be in Love and both agree to make it an annual (or quarterly) romantic adventure. Sprinkle some rose petals around the room or some of your most loved fresh flowers.

Temporarily dismiss the cares of the day, any relationship issues and anything else that could distract you from really being together. Share a warm shower with a loofah sponge. Good hygiene is paramount. Who cares if you can only fit one person in there? Or take a bubble bath together with lots of bubbles and subtle scents. Lavender oil has a fresh, sweet, floral, herbaceous aroma that is soothing and refreshing. This night should not be without it. Don’t forget the rubber ducky. Lather each other up with some vanilla bath gel and you won’t mind being in such close quarters. Towel each other off.

grapesLight some scented candles or incense. Time for lights out. I like the subtle aroma of beeswax candles which is totally natural and not overpowering like some scented candles. Be playful. Experiment with seductive touch. Bring toys. Use them. Feed each other grapes along with your special beverage. Shed your inhibitions. Let yourself go. Demonstrate genuine interest in each other. Blindfold your partner. Make sure they can’t peek! Then, feed them a piece of food and have them describe what kinds of flavours, textures and memories they are experiencing. Some good old-fashioned necking might be in order too. Be brave. Hold no Love back. Demonstrate your love. Let Love express itself in ways you have nearly forgotten. Dress (or undress) for the occasion.

WonderamaLie in each others arms. Kiss. Relax with one another. Share your best memories of when you first met. Do spoons. Have FUN together. “More grapes, please!” See if you can be present and go away with each other at the same time. Keep going. Tell each other something they don’t know about you. Hold each other. Whisper sweet somethings! Express your deepest feelings with words that you whisper aloud. Relax together… together. Really BE together. If your partner is willing (and ONLY if they are willing)… act out a fantasy (within healthy limits, of course). Let your guard down. If there’s something that your partner has been wanting to do, be willing to give it a try; you could surprise yourself and love it. Talking about intimacy can be physiologically arousing to both partners.

Say I love you now and then… out loud! Love should never be hushed or rushed. Kiss some more – a long lasting kiss this time. Have quiet, intimate conversation. Return to the beginning. Recreate the excitement of your first encounter. Talking about business and the kids are off limits. Sharing humor and laughing together will help you feel closer and wull remind you how much you care about your partner. Take a few photos to preserve the memories you are making. You are going to wonder why you didn’t come up with this idea yourself.

If you think your adventures between the sheets needs a wake-up call, creating a “Wonderama” should do the trick. It’s a passionate, intimate, emotional outlet and a way to become closer to your partner. By the way… you decide… sex doesn’t have to be the happy ending to this delicious night together. You want your partner to be focusing specifically on you and looking forward to your next rendezvous together. Don’t follow a script or try to guess how this might end up. Discard your expectations and just let whatever happens happen. Let Love lead the way. Enjoy each other like you did when you first met. It’s important to keep the intimate part of your relationship at the top of your romantic bucket list.

If the spirit (or whatever) moves you, you have my permission to go “all the way!” (wink, wink)

Time now to rest and fall asleep in each other’s arms. Now… wasn’t that fun?

Have breakfast in bed!

BONUS Articles: It’s Time to Get Serious About Sex! ~ Video
How a Trip to the Grocery Store Can Feed Your Sex Life – (Guys! Pay Attention!)
Know What Turns You On
Discover Your Partner’s Hot Buttons!
Touch for Two

commentCLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Sunday, July 28, 2013

“Hey! I’m Ready When You Are!”

You can’t always drop what you are doing and be at the beck and call to your partner, however, if you have the inclination and intention to do so, you are more likely to generate that feeling of being really close together than not. No intention. Not much can come from that. Does that make sense?

beck 1 (bk) n. – A gesture of beckoning or summons.
Idiom: at (someone’s) beck and call. Ready to comply with any wish or command. To be at someone’s beck and call is to be entirely subservient to them; to be responsive to their slightest request.

HavingFUN3Hmmm. Not “quite” like that. The word summons, to me, is like a “have to.” Summons can take away the choice. Not a beckoning that demands, but a beckoning that lovingly invites.

I’m talking about really being ready to have fun with your partner if and when one or the other of you feels fun coming on or in other words, when the invitation for fun comes. Spontaneity is a good thing.

You can tell, can’t you? You kinda know that having fun together is fun but often you hold back and for one reason or another you temporarily block the fun you could have had if you would have just said, “Hey! I’m ready when you are!” – and mean it!

You actually have the opportunity to choose to feel one way or the other. Right? You know it’s true.

I favor that anticipatory feeling that something really good could come from a slight shift in attitude. It’s a feeling of anticipation and that feeling genuinely comes alive!

Life should be fun. Find your smile. Put it on. Your relationship should be fun too. It really doesn’t have to be so hard. You both have to decide that you will always work together to make your relationship fun to be in.

So for me, it’s gonna be, “Hey! I’m ready when you are!”

Having said that, I’m thinking that there may be some times when I won’t be ready, and probably you too, but we won’t let that get in the way of genuinely having fun together, will we?

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Sunday, March 10, 2013

25 Marriage Tips

Sheila Wray Gregoire, Guest Author

I thought it might be a good time to present you with twenty-five tips for a successful marriage, to help a wife make her husband happy, and a husband make a wife happy. And so, in no particular order, here is my accumulated wisdom, little as it may be:

1. Talk to your spouse more kindly than you talk to anyone else in the world. Too often we speak the most harshly to those closest to us.

2. Remember that marriage is less about marrying the right person and more about becoming the right person.

cheerleader3. Don’t forget to laugh. Most couples spend the majority of their time talking logistics: who’s doing the grocery shopping, who’s calling the repairman, who’s picking up the kids. A relationship can’t survive on logistics. Have a water fight instead.

4. She needs you to be her best friend. Everyday, talk to her and tell her what you’re thinking. Even if you don’t think you’re thinking about anything. She needs to hear your heart.

5. He needs you to be his cheerleader. Let him know you believe he can take on the world.

6. Find ways to say “I love you” that don’t involve sex.

7. When you dress up, make sure the main person you’re dressing up for is him. And put on lipstick.

8. Leave the toilet seat down.

9. Forgiving means not bringing that old infraction up every time you have a new fight. Let it go.

10. If it’s not solved at 2:30 a.m., it’s not going to be solved at 3:00 a.m. either. Go to sleep. You can deal with it tomorrow, assuming you even remember what the fight was about.

11. When you’re having an argument, listen to understand, don’t listen to find loopholes so you can win. Marriage is either a win/win or a lose/lose. You can’t win by beating someone else down.

12. Your kids come second, not first. Your marriage needs to be number one. Your spouse was there before the kids and will be there after the kids move out. Work on that relationship first.

Couple Cuddling13. If you haven’t fully committed to your marriage, it won’t succeed. If you’re always testing your spouse, your spouse will always come up short. No one is perfect.

14. You will never drift together. People only ever drift apart. If you want to grow closer, you have to be intentional about it.

15. Let her cry. She needs to every now and then.

16. Don’t bug him if he doesn’t cry. Some men just don’t show their feelings. That’s why they’re men.

17. Don’t say everything that’s on your mind. More marriages would survive if more things went unsaid.

GoodGirls

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18. Let her be your every fantasy. Keep your eyeballs off everyone else.

19. Let him be your every fantasy. Keep your eyeballs off romance novels.

20. Don’t think he’s gross if he farts. Don’t think she’s pathetic if she obsesses over paint colours. You married someone of the opposite gender. That’s what life is about.

21. Don’t run to your mom if your spouse does something you don’t like. You’re a unit now. Act like it.

22. Make one of your favourite topics of conversation how much you admire your spouse. Tell your kids. Tell your friends. And let your spouse hear.

23. Men would be ecstatic if women showed up naked and brought food. Most women need more than that. Men, make it your goal in life to figure her out. Woo her. She’s worth it.

24. Say yes far more frequently than you say no.

And finally, for you women:

25. If you have trouble “jumping him”, Sheila‘s new book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, goes into how to create a truly intimate relationship on three levels: physical, emotional, and spiritual. And my 31 Days to Great Sex ebook gives you 31 days of challenges to work through as a couple.

SheliaCopyright © 2013 – Sheila Wray Gregoire. Sheila Wray Gregoire is a Christian speaker who speaks at women’s events, women’s conferences, church outreaches, marriage conferences. She has written seven books and counting. Focusing mostly on marriage, but she also has one on grief. And she has a Chicken Soup for the Soul type book of her 90 favorite columns. Visit her Website at: http://ToLoveHonorandVacuum.com/.

CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Together You Can!

Filed under: Communication,Have FUN Together,Romantic Tips! — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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A relationship with someone else can never be a singular effort. It takes two. Of course you know that. If you are in a relationship, how many times have you fell like you were the only one doing anything to make the relationship work? A lopsided relationship can be a tremendous drain on both partners.

notworkingYou probably also know that one cannot do the work of two. You’ve already gone through the dating process where you did everything as close to “right” as possible to impress your partner. You put your best foot forward. Hmmm. Was that best foot forward of your partner connected to the real person you ended up with. Some of my coaching clients don’t think so.

To have a world class relationship you must be willing to get back to the basics. Are you in? A great relationship is always within your reach. Will you recommit? Together, you can make it work.

How about starting the dating process all over again with your partner. Pretend you just met and don’t know any of the things that annoy you about your partner. It’s not easy and it’s worth it. It will keep your curiosity fired up. Be spontaneous. Develop the vibe that you are willing to have fun with your partner at any given moment. Reconnect with your playful side. Be funny with each other. Laugh. Giggle. Shout for joy! Keep romance alive. Focus on having fun together.

If you really love each other and believe in the relationship and if you are both committed to it you must periodically diagnose it before the symptoms of neglect appear. Take the long view. Imagine a future together where you work together to consistently monitor the relationship’s vital signs. It demonstrates mutual respect and that you are not just along for the ride but for the long haul. Working together builds momentum and generates a new kind of energy.

The discipline to this kind of commitment promotes togetherness. It’s not about individuals. You are partners. Act like it. You must be collaborators; working together. Stay deeply involved with each other. Work with a spirit of investigation into how you can make things continually be better. Work together to get your financial obligations in order. Couples often have disagreements about $$$’s. It will challenge you both to be the best you can be for each other. The importance of what you accomplish together can be celebrated for years to come.

coupleTrue love doesn’t have a happy ending, because true love never ends. Letting go of being right is one way of saying, “I love you.”

Express lots of love. Don’t let anything get in your way. Stay on course. Make an agreement to call each other on their stuff, obviously in the most loving way you can. If one of you begins to drift instead of paying attention to the relationship an agreement gives you permission to say so. Communicate. Remember to be kind. Be sensitive to your partner’s feelings however always feel free to express how “you” feel.

Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Compromise works. Exercise your good judgement to do what’s right. AND you must be willing to give up being right. Stop taking each other for granted. Relationships are an investment. Make sure you are both making significant contributions.

Become the hottest attraction in your relationship. Determine to keep it hot and sticky. The kind of sticky that holds you together… no matter what. Make time for sex as well. Putting the energy into this aspect of your relationship will pay dividends in the other aspects of your relationship. There are enormous benefits to bonding in this way. Good relationships improve all areas of your life, strengthening your health, your mind, and your connections with others.

Here is a good idea. Make a list of “lessons learned” as you traverse this re-dating process – a kind of a journal of your progress. If you have children, you may want to pass this list along to them when they need to know.

Happily ever after is possible. Couples that work together on their relationship, usually stay together. Together you can!

heart2heartCLoveLOGOCopyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Romance in a Jar…

Filed under: Have FUN Together,Having FUN,Relationships,Romantic Tips! — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Here is an idea that will keep your relationship from becoming stale and boring. So many couples that call me for relationship coaching have gotten away from doing the things that brought them together in the first place. Many claim that the romance has faded; that there just isn’t the excitement there once was.

coupleasleepOften as a relationship matures, some couples tend to trade that intense feeling of first being together for contentment and security. The utter sameness of the day-in, day-out togetherness can sometimes make you want to run for the hills. You come home from work, eat dinner and watch TV (sometimes falling asleep on the couch), go to bed, wake up and start all over again. Somehow it becomes a habit. Nothing new happening, just the same old thing over and over. Is this the marital bliss you were seeking? How exciting is that?

Some couples become unhappy and start fantasizing about new relationships that might have more to offer. Bad idea! Scratch that thought!

If your relationship isn’t working quite like you would like it to it can be a tremendous drain. Relationships are an investment. The more you put in, the more you can get back. If your relationship is stuck in peaceful coexistence, but not much else going on and you’re not truly relating to each other and working together – it’s time to do something different.

Part of the fun of being together is about doing fun things together; being a little daring and being spontaneous like you were when you first met. Just because you’ve been together a long time doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun being in the relationship. How can you make sure your relationship continues to thrive?

FUNjarIf the sparkle has dimmed or if you are lacking in the romance department here is a great idea. First, find a jar. You and your partner sit down some evening and each come up with at least 15 romantic and fun things to do together. Write each one on a separate note and put them all in a jar. Make it a point to add fun things to the jar whenever you come up with a new idea.

One couple I know called it their “Relationship TIP Jar.” They described it as the “anticipation of the unexpected.” It helps add that element of “new” to your life together.

When you are looking for something to do together, open the jar and randomly select one of the notes and immediately make plans to do it. If you had a great time doing it, put the note back into the jar and shake the jar to keep your next selection new and exciting each time. It’s fun to discover new and exciting things to do together.

OR… begin each year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that you did together in the past. It then becomes a visible time-capsule of fun things that you can do when you need something to do. You can add fun things to do together that didn’t originally come from the jar as you discover new stuff to do. That’s one way to keep the fun and excitement in your relationship.

couplemassageYou could even start a jar of your own that helps you remember to do special things for your partner, like popping into her office to take her out for lunch or just stop by to say hello. You can come up with some of your own ideas and occasionally drop them into the jar.

The novelty of this idea helps you and your partner create new memories and feel more like a team as you try something new. It will help you stay involved with each other. Trying new things with your partner can help prevent boredom, make you feel closer to your partner, happier with your relationship, and more satisfied with life in general. Happy and healthy relationships take a lot of work. You must continue to come up with new things to do that deepen the connection you have with each other.

These are just a few great ideas for making your relationship more special, more loving and more fun.

Now that you’ve found that special someone, always continue searching for something new to converse about and keep that initial feeling alive for the years ahead. This search will continue to revitalize your love and your life together will look a little brighter.

If you are truly committed to making your relationship strong and healthy, with a bit of creativity and effort on the part of both partners, romance can become second nature to both of you.

BONUS Articles: Several articles about having fun together! Several more articles about fun!

heartCLoveLOGOCopyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ways to Relight the Flame of Love

Filed under: Have FUN Together,Romance,Romantic Tips! — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Has your relationship flame slowed to a flicker? No spark there anymore? Whatever happened to the passion you used to share, the endless conversations, lingering embraces, laughs and fun times?

According to psychologists, there is a time in a couple’s relationship that either one or both people come to a point when they ask themselves questions such as, “Is this all there is?” What happened to the romance? Reaching this point in a relationship may just be the right time for the couple to take a step back and reflect, really think about where their relationship is going.

reLIGHTtheflameThe first idea is to relearn how to have fun spending time together. Living in a society that’s more and more centered on the individual, it’s easy to explain how the routine of marriage can often be its downfall. Our busy work schedules, daily chores, conflicting agendas and children often get in the way of romance. If you catch yourself losing interest or notice that your relationship seems to be on the back burner, you have some work to do. You must make time for romance. It doesn’t happen all by itself. Never take your partnership for granted. That is the first step in the wrong direction.

“Relationships are not easy. They must be worked on all the time, not only when they are broken and need to be fixed!” ~ Larry James, from the book, “How to Really Love the One You’re With

There is a line in my “romantic” wedding ceremony that says, “Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place.” Not doing that comes up a lot when a couple comes to me for relationship coaching. Think about it. What was one thing that you enjoyed doing together when you first met that you no longer do? Each of you should consider making a list of several things, then agree to begin doing them again. You may be surprised what happens. A display of love and affection is at the top of the list of the beginning of a romantic encounter. Never allow your relationship to become routine. Be spontaneous.

By the way, relighting the romantic flame doesn’t have to have anything to do with sex… and it’s okay of it does. However, making love is a better idea. Research shows that couples who can sustain an active sex life, tend to live longer and be happier.

“Love is like a campfire: It may be sparked quickly, and at first the kindling throws out a lot of heat, but it burns out quickly. For long lasting, steady warmth (with delightful bursts of intense heat from time to time), you must carefully tend the fire.” ~ Molleen Matsumura

Here are a few ideas that may rekindle the love you have for each other so that both hearts are again on fire!

Once each day give your partner an unexpected, extended hug. Not a quick hug but one that has the power to express your love without words. It is also important to say, “I love you,” out loud at least once a day… more often is better. Those 3 little words are most important to hear from your partner.

coupledinnerOccasionally surprise your partner with a romantic greeting card. Send it my snail-mail. Keep your ears open for ideas for gifts that they may have talked about.

A meaningful kiss works wonders. Catch them by surprise and instead of a peck on the cheek allow your lips to linger on theirs. In other words, plant one that shows that you mean it.

A surprise date at a new restaurant works too. Reserve time for each other. Plan a weekend getaway. Remember your first date? If you have children you may have to do some advance planning. Go to a movie your partner has expressed a desire to see. Do things for each other that will emphasize how much you care. Do your partner’s chores for one day and let them do something special they’ve wanted to to.

Have a surprise renewal of vows ceremony. Here are some ideas. Recommit your love for each other. Recently the husband of a couple I married nearly 5 years ago called me and scheduled a renewal of vows ceremony as a surprise for his wife on their 5th anniversary. You should have seen the look on her face when, after seeing me sitting at the bar at Sassi’s sipping a diet cola, her husband announced that I was there to help them recommit their wedding vows to each other.

Another husband surprised his wife with a renewal of vows ceremony in a hot air balloon. She thought I was just another passenger along for the ride until we were at about 4,000 feet and her husband suggested that they renew their vows. When she turned around, there I was with my little black book.

takeawalk“Take a walk together: Walking is not only good exercise, but it also allows for you and your partner to be together and reflect on the day’s events. Getting fresh air and exercise is important for maintaining good health, so making this an activity (at least once a week) that you can do with your partner will be beneficial in more ways than one.” ~ Jan Rakoff, LCSW

Be playful. Play a game or put a 5000 piece puzzle together. Hold hands and run through the sprinkler in the back yard. Find ways to flirt with your partner and show them you are interested in connecting with them in a romantic way. Flirting has a way of bringing back the old memories. An unexpected phone call or text message to let them know you are thinking about them is a great idea. Turn off the TV, light some candles, put on some of your favorite romantic music and just talk. Laugh together.

Writing love notes to one another is a very romantic thing to do. A brief letter or poem in your own handwriting is a powerful way to rekindle the sparks. A shoulder rub, back or foot massage, or a back scratching session, for no particular reason makes your partner feel good. Go to bed early and cuddle beneath the sheets – do spoons. The goal is not sex but affection and emotional connection. There is something very special about going to sleep at the same time with each other.

It’s never too late to rekindle love and romance in a stale relationship. You must begin today! Small gestures can leave a big impression. It really comes down to a conscious choice and commitment to start over. Make an effort to connect physically, spiritually, and emotionally with your partner as often as possible. Don’t wait for your partner to make the first move. Go first!

BONUS Articles: Sweet Dreams Are Made of This…
10 Things Women Want Most From Their Man
Yesterday is History! Tomorrow is a Mystery!
Unleash Your Romantic Fervor!

heartonfireCLoveLOGOCopyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Get Unplugged!

Filed under: Have FUN Together,Lighten Up — Larry James @ 8:00 am

I would be the first to say that technology is terrific! However it has its pros and cons. If you are not careful it can create distance between committed couples. That being said, there are times when you can appreciate life and your spouse more without the use of technology. Our challenge to you? Spend a day unplugged “with” the one you love.

cellOFFTurn off your phone(s) – Cell phone and land line (if you still have one). While your phone can keep you connected across the miles, it can also constantly distract you from the moment you’re living in. Make a pact to turn off your phones on Friday evening and don’t look at them again until Sunday morning. You’ll be amazed at how much more time you have with your sweetheart and how much more you will actually listen to what they have to say when you’re not being interrupted by various calls and texts.

Turn your computer off for the weekend. Don’t even check your e-mail. Stay off Facebook and Twitter. (Bet you’ll suffer withdrawal!) 😉 I know. It’s hard… but you can do it.

Leave the iPod and iPad at home – We all love music and entertainment, but spending time solely focused on each other can do nothing but boost your relationship. Plan a picnic under a tree in the park. You can take a walk and listen to each other and the sounds of nature around you. The result? You will feel more connected to each other and more at peace in your world.

beachfunLose the TV remote – Picture this: sitting on the couch with your sweetie and not watching television. Without the distraction of reality television or ESPN you can spend time together the old fashioned way… talking, playing a game or planning something fun to do over the weekend. Often couples who have conflicting work schedules find it difficult to schedule time to be together. You may find out that your partner is a lot more interesting than the re-run you would’ve watched and that you share one more thing in common (like being terrible at Scrabble). Put your DVR to good use. Watch your favorite show at a later day.

I had a coaching session with a couple recently who decided to spend the weekend working together to do the chores around the house that that both had been putting off for months, but to do them together. They then rewarded themselves with a fabulous meal at their favorite restaurant and a night out on the town. The following weekend they enjoyed some great music together at a music festival with their friends.

I guess the point is, if you really love each other, I’m thinking that it’s a great idea to make some special plans to spend some “quality” time with each other. “Who’s got time for that?” you say. You must “make time” to do fun things together. It keeps things interesting. Whatever it is that makes you and your partner happy, stop putting it off, and make plans to do it this week. Never let electronics get in your way of being together. Take the unplugged challenge and you may discover what you’ve been missing.

Larry’s Note: A special “Thank you” to the great people at MissNowMrs.com for their contribution to this article.

BONUS Article: Put the “Fun” in Relationship Fundamentals!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

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