How to Better Understand Your Partner

All of us want to be seen, heard and understood. We especially want this from our partners. We want our partners to say, Yes, I am listening. Yes, I get it. Yes, I understand your pain. I’m sorry it hurts, and I am here. We want our partners to be interested in and to care about what’s happening inside our hearts.

Wanting to be seen and heard and understood are basic human needs.

In fact, one of the most common complaints relationship therapist Rebecca Wong, LCSW, hears from her clients is that they don’t feel this from their partners -- even though it’s powerful and vital for healthy relationships. “Feeling seen, heard and understood leads to deeper intimacy and relational growth.” When we don’t have this, we feel rejected and like we don’t matter, which can fracture our relationship over time, she said.
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Humility Goes a Long Way in a Relationship

Arguing with your partner is never fun. As justified and warranted as you may feel, when the dust settles and you’re left with your own thoughts, you feel bad.

Regardless, I know what you’re thinking. The LAST thing you want to do when you’ve been feeling neglected, wounded or disrespected by your partner is to bow down and show signs of weakness. After all, you’re only doing what any human being would do when hurt by someone they love; your protective shield goes up and you vow to defend your wounded self.

Unfortunately, this approach often doesn’t work.
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Dating and Mental Health: How Open Should You Be?

“Adventurous, compassionate soul seeking fun-loving female to wander the world, discuss latest New York Times headlines, and exchange witty political banter.”

“Thoughtful, humorous goofball in a long-term relationship with road-trips, hole-in-the wall Vietnamese restaurants, and family eccentricities.”

“Public interest lawyer -- and current nonprofit liaison -- specializing in Monopoly, farmers markets, and the occasional run-on sentence. Vintage stores, 90s hip-hop, and a hand-crafted IPA keep the world a-spinning."
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3 Reasons Not to Date Online Just Because You’re Lonely

It’s late in the evening. All your emails are read and the good TV is over for the night. You’re feeling a little bit… lonely. Unsure what to do, you open that dating app and start to swipe. You bring your laptop out of hibernation and start to scroll. You see faces of potential partners wiz by and for a moment, it helps.

Your smile returns.

We’ve all been in this moment -- the moment when a twinge of loneliness spurs an online dating session. But is this really a good habit to get into when feeling lonely?
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The 5 Quickest Ways to Wreck Your Relationship

The majority of us have experienced that moment when we realize our relationship is in rapid decline. Although this slide into couple distress often ends in a breakup, it doesn’t have to. In all likelihood, there’s some behavior undermining the relationship’s foundation of love and friendship. If you can identify the subversive behavior, you can save the relationship.

Here are some of the most common relationship killers, as well as some quick remedies...
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Is Your Attitude about Money Hurting Your Relationship?

Money can be a sensitive topic in dating and marriage. Often cited as a cause of divorce, a conflict about money is usually a symptom of something else. Often the real issue is a lack of constructive communication by partners about what’s important to each of them.

Depending on who you are, talking about money with a partner may be taboo, acceptable, or somewhere in between. In many cultures and families, it is not okay to talk about money. In others, it’s fine to speak openly about it. Regardless of which category you fit into, understanding the source of your attitude can help you address money related concerns more successfully.    
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4 Tips for Discussing Your Relationship’s Future

When a relationship is shifting from casual to serious, there comes a moment when it’s necessary to discuss each person’s expectations for the future. Expectations, as I define them, are the aspects of your future you strongly believe will happen (as opposed to dreams, which may or may not come true).

Expectations are reflections of your closely-held beliefs about where your life is going. Expectations, when not met, can cause a grief that often surpasses the grief of not achieving a dream. Because they are so important -- and can be so painful when not met -- every couple should get to know each other’s expectations before becoming completely committed.
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The 2 Questions that Could Save Your Relationship

Many of us believe that shoring up a declining relationship requires substantial effort. While this is often true -- especially if a betrayal of trust has occurred -- most relationships can be greatly improved by posing two simple questions to your partner.

These questions work because they address the two most important aspects of relationship health -- understanding one another and caring about one another.
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Psychology Around the Net: February 13, 2016

Happy Valentine', Weekend, my sweet Psych Central readers!

Yes, whether you love it, hate it, or couldn't care less about it, Valentine's Day is officially upon us.

As such, I've compiled a list of psychology-related articles dealing with why memories of our first loves stick with us, how to spread the love even when you're divorced (or single), why the gift of presence might be the best gift of all, and more.


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4 Signs You’re Overdue for a Breakup

Like a carton of milk, there may come a time when your relationship starts going sour. Fighting, crying, suspicious behavior… none of these are great signs for relationship longevity. But how do you know if it’s just a rough patch or time to cut your loses? What behaviors indicate it's time to call it quits?

Here are four signs that indicate a relationship should have already ended:

You keep having the same fight over...
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