5 Activities that Increase Relationship Happiness

 happy-young-couple

It doesn’t take a relationship expert to know that couples who have more fun together tend to have longer, healthier and happier relationships. And what is it we all want in our relationships? Happiness, right?

The question is, how do we achieve that, especially after settling down with each other. It seems no matter how hard we’ve tried, those old smoochy days filled with exchanges of loving compliments just don’t come as easily. Not when our work-related chat has replaced the compliments, and watching TV together because we’re just too tired for anything else has replaced the smooches.

According to a psychologist at Denver University’s Center for Marital and Family Studies, the “correlation between fun and marital happiness is high and significant.” He goes on to say that the more “fun, friendship and being there for your partner, the happier the relationship will get over time.” Research has confirmed that our need for engaging in activities together, as a couple plays an important role in our happiness.

Now on to the fun stuff – literally!

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#1.   I apologize in advance, but I have to go there: Exercise together.

I know,  sometimes I dread exercise too, but having my love-bird join me while working out is such a turn on! Plus there’s a reason people become addicted to exercise — it releases endorphins, (increasing happiness) and it doesn’t take a lot of to reap those make-you-smile benefits. The simplest daily exercises can be rewarding. Why not bring your beau along and reap a double reward!

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#2. Meditate. Since meditation is a well-known peace and happiness generator, why not try it as a couple?

Meditating together has the possibility to increase bonding and happiness as a couple since being in a meditative state tends to put one in an appreciative, grateful mind set and that’s always a positive for a relationship.

There’s useful information on mindful meditation for couples, and you’d be surprised at the awesome benefits.

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#3. A Couple’s Performance

Research done by George MacKerron, Economics Lecturer at University of Sussex and developer of the app “Mappiness” showed that performing together is one way to increase happiness as a couple! Think singing karaoke together or  performing in a local drama. As long as neither of you suffer from stage fright, these activities could  improve your state of happiness and increase bonding. Win!

For couples with stage fright, an at-home performance is just as good (brownie points if you both do it in only underwear).

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#4. Exchange a little acupressure. How about learning acupressure techniques that can be used on your love? Acupressure lessons (for bonding) can be found online for free. Skin to skin contact is known for its ability to increase our feelings of bonding with each other, and not to mention touch makes us feel loved, so what better way to exchange love- than acupressure, which has a whole host of its own benefits.

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#5. Lastly, what should be a requirement of every couple on earth: Tickle fights. There’s just something inexplicably exhilarating  about two adults running around squealing as the tickle monster finds his/her prey.

Yes, chasing each other around the house (again, bonus points if said chasing followed by tickling is done in undies) is part of the requirement.

Written by: Kendra Richards is a writer, pet lover, aloe vera-eater and a woman of many talents. If she isn’t passionately typing away, she’s more than likely spending time with her family, pets, boyfriend or attempting to sew something. It’s also possible that she’s buried deep in some type of activism work. Writing anything and everything from beauty, health, fashion product reviews to informational articles, she loves variety when it comes to reading and  writing. A people and animal lover, she believes cats are super heroes in disguise.

Dating in Winter Wonderland

Don’t let the change of weather keep your relationship from blossoming. Here’s our list of date ideas to keep you both from freezing over in the winter months.

For The Artist In You:

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1. My Favorite – Gallery Hop

Many major cities have a night or weekend they dedicate to opening their galleries to the pubic while offering snacks and drinks. This includes boutiques, salons, and street performers. This activity allows you both to take a step into the art world for an evening.

2. Painting classes. You don’t have to be a pro to get messy and mix some colors. At the end you will have a great first picture to hang over the fireplace.

3. Theater performances, there are plenty of options ranging from dances, plays, musicals, and spoken word.

4. Poetry readings at local coffee shops. Chill out, find a cozy spot, and listen to the readings. Maybe next time you and your significant other can share a poem you wrote together.

5. DIY crafts next to the fireplace, Pinterest has many ideas and what better way to spend an evening inside with your honey.

For The Lovers Of Snow:

ice-skating-couple 

1. My Favorite – Ski Trip:

Pack your bags and your favorite pair of snow boots for a trip to hit the slopes. Whether you are pro or beginner, this date idea is great for a good laugh and bringing you both together while learning new ticks. After, enjoy some hot cocoa by the fire and snuggle up in the lodge.

2. Ice-skating, although, this may be cliché, holding hands and skating around a Christmas tree never gets old.

3. Sled riding. Channel your inner child and search for the largest hill in town. This entertaining activity will have you laughing all afternoon.

4. Build a snowman. Working together with your sweetie to build a snowman is easy and you will have a reminder of the time you spent together all winter (or at least until he melts).

5. Horse drawn carriage ride in the park. Swoon, how romantic, this is a perfect way to get close to your significant other while taking in the sights.

For The Music Gurus:

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1. My Favorite – Concert:

Do you both have a favorite artist or band? Attending a concert together is an exciting way to get out of the house, let your hair down, and sing some tunes.

2. Go out dancing. Put on that new dress and show of your moves, this lets you and your honey to get close while exploring a new scene.

3. Ballroom/Salsa dance classes. Having to work together while learning a skill is a great way to sync together your minds and bodies.

4. Enjoy a local musician, whether you prefer rock music or folk there is a place where you can find it.

5. Karaoke, you don’t have to have the most beautiful voice to belt you’re the lyrics to you and your lovers “song”

For The Inner Chef:

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1. My Favorite – Cooking Classes:

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, right?  Enjoy an evening of making a delicious meal together. Local restaurants and culinary schools offer a variety of classes ranging from one-on-one lesson to a Mexican fiesta. After, enjoy the leftovers and show off your new talents to friends and family.

2. Make marshmallows over the fire. Too cold to make a campfire so why not bring it indoors where you can enjoy a sweet snack.

3. Wine/Beer tasting. Let loose and enjoy your local wine and beer. You might just find a new favorite.

4. Try new restaurant. There are constantly new places opening right around the corner that you keep saying you are going to try. Make plans for an evening and indulge in your neighborhoods newest addition.

5.  Volunteer at a soup kitchen. There are plenty of ways to offer a helping hand this season and this allows for you to spend the afternoon getting to know your significant other a little better.

For The Cuddlers:

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1. My Favorite – Stargaze: Make sure to grab a sleeping bag and a few extra layers before lying under the night sky. This is a romantic way for you both to bundle up and get close while excluding the rest of the world.

2. Build a pillow pile. Bring all the pillows and blankets into the living room and enjoy making an adult fort for the both of you to relax after a long day.

3. Shopping for new blankets and sweaters, get ready for all those holiday parties and prepare your living room for winter with new fuzzy blankets.

4. Movie and wine night. Get cozy on the couch while watching your favorite classic or newly released movie and don’t forget the wine glasses.

5.  Play with puppies at your local shelter or pet store. This always brings a smile to my face and is a fun way to spend time with your significant other. Who knows you might end up with a new addition to the apartment.

Whether you enjoy the brisk outdoors or mixing up something new in the kitchen I hope this list inspires you to keep your relationship exciting when the winter months approach.  Try something different from each category every week and go beyond your usual date night activities!

Written by: Sydney Cologie dream “job” is doing PR for a fashion magazine or retail company. She enjoy reading my horoscope and am often spilling hot coffee on myself. Inspired by city life, swing sets, and over-sized sweaters the world is her oyster. Making up new words & watching cartoons are just a few of her favorite past-times along with buying unnecessary calendars and dreaming of owning a kitten.

How to Calm Cheating-Paranoia

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“Cheating paranoia” is what I like to call those moments when we (or am I alone in this, ladies?)  assume, for no reason that our partner is cheating. Those nights we spend working ourselves into a hormonal frenzy, analyzing everything that could signify a cheater. It happens almost at random, and can start from the smallest of occurrences. For example, your partner seems “off” one evening or perhaps you’ve been reading too many articles about men being naturally driven to cheat.  Your mind automatically goes on alert and the irrational thoughts pour in.  “Come to think of it, he doesn’t seem as turned on lately. It’s official! He must be cheating.” Before you know it,  a pile of fingernail shreds surround you, while you analyze every word he’s spoken and every action that might give you a clue about his “affair.”

You finally realize you’re being irrational and don’t actually have any reason to suspect him of cheating to begin with. Yet when you try to move past the thoughts and worries, they keep popping back up, begging your attention. Then, you begin to think  it’s your intuition telling you he’s cheating. And of course, a woman’s intuition is always right. Right?

That’s a perfect example of the process of cheating paranoia. You continue to entertain the worries until you’re actually tricked into thinking that there’s a possibility that you’re being cheated on. Note: Cheating paranoia is not to be confused with distrust. Cheating paranoia comes on rapidly and for no real reason,  usually manifesting after a flare of insecurities and raging hormones. Distrust is when you have cheating paranoia constantly.

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So, if you’re not the irrational, paranoid, or insecure type, then where does cheating paranoia come from?

Almost always, these two are to blame: Insecurity and hormones.

Seriously, if you suffer from cheating paranoia, keep a diary, noting the date and what you’re experiencing each time. You’ll usually find the pattern. It may become clear that cheating paranoia strikes on your worst, most hormonal days, and perhaps while feeling insecure in some way or other. All it takes is one insecurity to pop in for a visit at the same time “Mother Nature” is visiting and bam! You have a full-blown case of cheating paranoia.  Combined, hormones and insecurity can really create a monster.

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So What Can You Do?

You can’t kick your guest Mother Nature out, but for starters, you can evict insecurity

Recognize It for What it Really is

Once you realize that it’s irrational, hormones and insecurities, you may feel better knowing it’s just temporary, and that you’ll have a totally new mind-set. You may even be able to laugh at how crazy it was to believe the paranoia.

Learn to tell the difference between illogical insecurities –A.K.A Creepy Voice inside your head, and intuition – A.K.A your inner psychic ability.

Ask Yourself

Is he really cheating, or am I just paranoid? Did he do anything that really gives me reason to suspect him of cheating?

Then, compare these things:

 The ways he’s shown honesty, loyalty, and love for you versus the “signs” he’s shown of cheating. After examining these things, you may realize that the possibility of him actually cheating on you is slim. Especially after evaluating things from a non-paranoid perspective.

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Reverse it

When we entertain these thoughts, we begin to believe there’s truth in them. It’s like we think it into being true! Wouldn’t it make sense to apply that same method and reverse these horrible thoughts? Instead of letting them play out, stop them like you would an intruder in your home. After all, those thoughts are negative and false, and are like little mind-intruders. Focus on opposite thoughts – his actions of love and loyalty. This makes it easier to quell that creepy inner voice that says you’re not good enough and that he’s got someone else.

Know the Difference Between Intuition and Paranoia

If he’s getting strange phone calls at 3A.M. and refuses to answer around you, then that’s not Mr. creepy inner voice, my friend. That’s intuition. Know the difference between the two (intuition and illogical creepy voice/insecurity) and you’ll be one step ahead next time the cheating paranoia monster strikes. Over time, using these techniques and being aware of the causes helps prevent you from worrying yourself sick for no reason.

Written by: Kendra Richards is a writer, pet lover, aloe vera-eater and a woman of many talents. If she isn’t passionately typing away, she’s more than likely spending time with her family, pets, boyfriend or attempting to sew something. It’s also possible that she’s buried deep in some type of activism work. Writing anything and everything from beauty, health, fashion product reviews to informational articles, she loves variety when it comes to reading and  writing. A people and animal lover, she believes cats are super heroes in disguise.

10 Awesome Halloween Costumes for Couples

 couple-halloween-costumes (1)

Who said adults couldn’t enjoy dressing up? With Halloween right around the corner, it’s the perfect opportunity to channel your inner child by dressing up as your favorite characters, celebrities … or food items.

Being part of a couple on Halloween can mean more creative costume choices, and if you don’t have a spouse, you can always recruit a friend to be the peanut butter side of your peanut butter and jelly sandwich costume.

Rest assured that there’s a costume for every couple from the nerdy to the dirty!

Here are 10 of our a favorite of couple costumes for 2013:

A love for sweets and a crush for nerds? Got you covered!

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If you’re a cartoon-lover, you’ll have plenty popular cartoon characters to choose from including the always stylish Miss Piggy and Kermit the frog, or the old favorite Gumby. Even the well-known sea creatures SpongeBob and Patrick:

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If you are going for something a little more traditional, Cowboy and Indian is a definite winner – how cute is John Legend with his leading lady Christine Teigen!

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You can even make your dreams come true by transforming into your favorite cartoon romance – Shrek and Fiona:

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Satisfy your sweet tooth with some Milk (Nick Cannon and Cookies (Mariah Carey)!

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Do you identify with the characters in the classic comedy Juno?

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For the couples who are more into Shakespeare and not so much television, even you guys have a place in the Halloween world.

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I told you there would be something out there for the nerdy to the dirty, and I always make good on my promises. Here we have the ultimate dirty costume.

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So, now that you’ve had a dose of inspiration to get the ideas (and excitement) flowing, go forth and find your perfect couple’s Halloween costume! If you’ve no time left for last-minute costume shopping, there’s always DIY (do it yourself) versions! If you’re handy with a sewing machine, and have scrap fabric or old sheets, you might have just the tools you need to create a couple’s costume at home. If all else fails, try popping into your local re-sale or Good Will shops for last minute (and cheap) items.

Written by: Kendra Richards is a writer, pet lover, aloe vera-eater and a woman of many talents. If she isn’t passionately typing away, she’s more than likely spending time with her family, pets, boyfriend or attempting to sew something. It’s also possible that she’s buried deep in some type of activism work. Writing anything and everything from beauty, health, fashion product reviews to informational articles, she loves variety when it comes to reading and  writing. A people and animal lover, she believes cats are super heroes in disguise.

End Your Summer with a Twist of Adventure

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If you’re like me,  Summer gives your mind, body and ahem… crotch a new found energy. If you’re like my significant other, Winter gives you a cold nose and warm heart – or is that my dog? Kidding. Despite liking opposite seasons, we always find ways to make our time together fun and exciting.  Here are three ways to finish up the warm weather with your love muffin. These ideas may sound like your “typical” relationship advice, but of course we have an exciting spin to end your summer with sparks!

Create Something Together

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Beading isn’t his thing?  I’ll bet you’d both have fun with a blow torch and those old glass wine bottles lying around (Disclaimer – this should only be done with safety and caution).

Go outside with wine glasses in tote, rock the safety glasses, and fire up that blowtorch. Find safe tutorials online that show you how you can mold glass and have a blast creating something special with your honey. This project will surely be a thrilling couples experience.

Spend Quality Time Together

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You’ve been told that, as a couple, you guys should “spend quality time together.”

My partner and I spend a while each day together with our favorite drinks/snack.  While this sounds  typical, it’s actually a great  bonding experience, and beats watching TV. Most couples start their mornings off having coffee together. Try spending your evenings like this. It gives you a chance to talk about your day… the good, the bad, and the ugly. Your own personal therapist 🙂

Try Something New and Improved. And Bacon

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You’ve read that one before, too, right? Only this puts a spin on it: Forget trying a new wine or a new brand of tomato sauce. Try outrageous! Go to Sonic  and order the bacon and peanut butter milkshake. Do it, for the love of bacon.

No Sonic?  Make your own.  Or try Seaweed. My partner and I have done both, and what a gagging blast it was!  The bacon/peanut butter shake is delicious. Bacon is a turn on, perhaps an aphrodisiac, there’s a lube to prove it! Overall, there’s something about trying new and wild things together that’s thrilling and bonding.

As for  upcoming Winter months, I don’t know what to tell you. I guess you’ll have to take up knitting.  As grandma as it may sound, my partner and I really bond over arts and crafts. I’ve yet to get him to knit with me, but my fabulous bead collection – mostly his picks and finds. Don’t even get me started on my wardrobe, you guessed it — his picks and finds. Can’t go wrong with a man who has style, right?

Written by: Kendra Richards is a writer, pet lover, aloe vera-eater and a woman of many talents. If she isn’t passionately typing away, she’s more than likely spending time with her family, pets, boyfriend or attempting to sew something. It’s also possible that she’s buried deep in some type of activism work. Writing anything and everything from beauty, health, fashion product reviews to informational articles, she loves variety when it comes to reading and  writing. A people and animal lover, she believes cats are super heroes in disguise.

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