Monthly Archives: January 2016

7 Essential Relationship Skills

We’ve all seen the movie: boy meets girl, sparks fly, and they live happily ever after. But is that REALLY the way love works?

Actually, no. The truth is that you can and must IMPROVE your relationship skills – to help you find and build happiness in a long-term relationship.

Here are the 7 essential relationship skills (Source: Dr. Robert Epstein, PH.D.):

1. Communication:  This category involves critically important skills: knowing how to listen, sharing your thoughts and feelings honestly, refraining from criticizing and encouraging your partner to share his or her feelings.

2. Conflict Resolution:  Conflict-resolution skills include techniques such as staying focused on the topic, staying focused on the present, being ready to forgive or apologize, knowing when to take a break.

3. Knowledge of Partner:  What’s his shirt size? What’s his favorite food? After communication, simply knowing a lot about your partner is a powerful way of showing that you care, and makes you better equipped to tend to his or her ongoing needs.

4. Life Skills:  Do you plan for emergencies? Do you exercise and stay fit? Studies show that people usually want their partners to contribute a degree of security to a long-term relationship. People also want their partners to take good care of themselves.

5. Self-Management:  This is not the same as life skills. People who are skilled at self-management take inventories of their strengths and weaknesses and always strive for improvement. They know how to interpret disturbing events in positive ways and they work hard to reach their goals.

6. Sex and Romance:  People with strong skills in these areas inquire and care about how to please their partner sexually, set aside time for intimacy, refrain from blaming their partner when sex doesn’t go smoothly, and try to stay physically attractive for their partner.

7. Stress management:  Do you know how to use breathing, meditation, or imagery techniques to help you fight stress? If you know how to avoid or fight stress, you’ll be better able to love and support your partner.

5 Simple Tips For Improving Your Relationship

The goal of successful dating is to find your relationship. But a question we’re often asked is: once you’ve found your special someone, what next?

Are the qualities that led you to success in dating the same ones you need to build a lasting relationship? In other words, do you need to be a different person in a relationship than when you’re single?

The answer is yes & no. But mostly Yes. Here’s how:

  1. Tell the truth:  at the foundation of every successful relationship is mutual respect & honesty. The first & most essential element of this is telling the truth, particularly when it’s not easy to do so.
  2. Be patient:  in today’s fast paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking that everything needs to happen right now. Or that every problem needs to be solved today.  The reality is that things built to last don’t always lend themselves to simple or quick fixes. If its important, its important enough to make time for it.
  3. Assume the best:  giving the people you love the benefit of the doubt can be a powerful way to build positive relationships. We all make mistakes, but assuming someone’s intentions are negative can easily turn a simple situation into a relationship crisis.
  4. Have integrity:  keeping your word, and doing what you say you’re going to do, builds trust – the foundation of a successful relationship.
  5. Be forgiving:  contrary to popular opinion, successful relationships aren’t perfect. Often they encounter just as many obstacles as unsuccessful ones, sometimes more. What separates successful relationships from unsuccessful ones, is their ability to resolve their differences through open communication. Part of an open & healthy communication is the ability to forgive someone when they’ve done something wrong.

5 Signs You’re In A Dating Rut

Successful dating isn’t like work. In fact, if it feels like work you’re probably on the wrong track.

For example, when things go wrong in your work life the answer is often to ‘work harder’. Not so in your dating life. The key to successful dating isn’t to ‘try harder’ – sometimes it’s to ‘try smarter’.

Here’s 5 signs that you may need to change your dating strategy:

  1. Feels like work:  if you begin to dread going on dates, its a sure sign that things are off track. Your best bet of making a positive impression on someone new is when you’re feeling positive and excited. If you’re not feeling that way, wait until you are.
  2. The same old lines:  when you start feeling that each and every date feels like the last one – you’re telling the same stories, jokes, etc. – it may be a sign that you’re not focusing enough on the person right in front of you.
  3. Last minute cancellations:  once you’ve set up a date with someone, try your best to keep the commitment. If you find yourself forever changing plans, or cancelling on dates last minute, it may be a sign you’re not taking dating seriously enough. If you’re looking to meet relationship-minded singles, this can be a sure-fire chemistry-killer.
  4. The 10 second rule:  if you find yourself judging someone immediately, based purely on their physical appearance, it’s a likely sign that you’re not putting enough focus on the person behind the looks. Yes, looks do matter, but it’s what’s beneath the looks that will have the greatest impact on your future relationship potential.
  5. The Dating Vicious Cycle:  if your dates aren’t going well (due to all or some of the above factors ), you can start feeling negative about dating, which leads to more bad dates, etc. When you find yourself in this cycle, consider taking a break from dating until you’re feeling more positive.

The 3 Unexpected People You Should Be Dating

Noted Matchmaker Albert Einstein once said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Turns out, he’s on to something! As you start your new year, it’s a good time to reflect on what has and hasn’t worked in your dating life. In particular, why not start the year by opening up your dating criteria and meeting some people outside of your normal ‘type’?

Here’s 3 types of singles you may have overlooked, and who may just be a great fit for you!

  1. The (non) Looker:  looks (don’t always) matter. Yes, its natural to want to be with someone very attractive – and it’s important that you feel at least some physical chemistry when you’ve met someone new. But contrary to popular belief, initial physical attraction is NOT the best predictor of long term relationship success. Spend more time getting to know the person ‘below the surface’ and you’ll likely find things that truly connect you.
  2. The bad dater:  not everyone is the best version of themselves on a first or second date. In fact, sometimes the person you really want to meet hasn’t dated much at all, so they may be nervous or very quiet on a first date. Take the time to see someone again, ideally doing something you’ll both enjoy (a movie, a walk, a music event, etc.), and you’re more likely to see the true person behind the ‘bad first date’.
  3. The disappearing act:  nothing is more frustrating than having a great date, then never hearing back from that person again.  It’s easy to assume the person isn’t interested in you and not bother following up (particularly for women, why typically expect the man to make the next move). However, consider these alternative explanations: they may just be temporarily swamped at work; they may have lost your contact details; they may have been interested in you but didn’t think you were interested in them, etc.  In other words, if you’ve had a great date, reach out to the person and tell them so. Even suggest a 2nd or 3rd meeting to a fun event or a movie you’ll both enjoy. You have nothing to lose – except perhaps your single life.

7 New Year’s Dating Resolutions For Vancouver Singles

Yes, the New Year has arrived – but sadly, one thing hasn’t changed: Vancouver’s reputation as as dating graveyard – a place you go if you want to stay single forever. And it must be true, because all the self-proclaimed ‘Vancouver Dating Experts’ say it is.

Well we’ve got some happy news for you: Vancouver is a GREAT place to meet your someone special. But like all good things in life it doesn’t come easy. You need a strategy – and here it is:

  1. Be proactive:  good things in life don’t necessarily come to those that wait. Putting yourself out there and meeting some new people is an essential element of finding someone special.
  2. Be positive:  everyone wants to be with someone positive and fun. Practice your smile, and avoid negative topics once you have met someone new and interesting.
  3. Be the person you want to meet:  in the world of matchmaking, likes often attract likes. Seek out activities and interests where you will find like minded people and your chances of meeting someone special will increase.
  4. Be bold:  lose your fear of rejection and try approaching someone new when you are out with friends. You will be surprised by how positive the reaction will be to a friendly smile and ‘hello’ to a stranger.
  5. Mix it up:  doing the same ‘ole things and expecting different results is a recipe for frustration; try going out in a new neighbourhood or a new restaurant/lounge; or go shopping in a new part of town.
  6. Forget the past and don’t stress about the future:  when it comes to meeting someone new, think of every occasion as a fresh opportunity to connect with someone interesting. And when you do strike up a connection, keep it positive and fun… tell a funny holiday story!
  7. Hire a professional:  you wouldn’t buy a house without some professional help, so why not try a professional dating service to help you in your search for a compatible relationship partner. Professional Matchmaking firms such as Executive Search Dating are bustling with high quality singles who are eager to meet some new people this year. Call us today at 604-462-8743 to find out more!