Relationship Navigation Tool

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Do you notice that when you have a fight with your partner, you start off with the sarcasm (shooting arrows from high), then if one doesn’t retrieve, you start shouting at one another (sending bombs), you get more mad and vicious, but you run out of bombs, so you revert to doing petty things like breaking his favourite Funko Pop, or changing the password to Netflix (one on one sword fighting)?

I can say for myself that I get pretty petty towards the end. And I also feel pretty s*itty. Sometimes I wonder how I (we) got here.

This is going to sound weird, but what works for us most times (because we still love one another and understand that some problems are simply unsolvable) is that we give each other space, then a couple hours later, one says, “What do you want to have for dinner?”.


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Want to impress your partner with your style of speaking? Use these 5 simple tools: p.s. this can also be used with colleagues and business prospects.

1.Speak slowly, and take pauses. It makes you look confident and collected. 

2.Express yourself through your hands and facial expressions. It makes you a more interesting and engaging speaker. 

3.Smile a little. It shows kindness and trust. Watch how Shade Zahrai and Marie Forleo do it.

4.Keep your points concise, and avoid overexplaining. You think it’s a coincidence that the most famous quotes in history are one-liners? “May the force be with you”, “Whatever you do, do it well”, “When nothing goes right, go left”.

5.Be present. Mute all distractions. This makes the person you’re speaking to feel important and worthy of your time.

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I see so many make these two relationship mistakes after a divorce, and I don’t want you too to fall into them. Here they are: 

1-They look for someone COMPLETELY opposite from their ex.

I get why it would make sense to do so. The last thing you want is have the same fights you had with your ex, only with someone different! EWWW. BUT going completely opposite is also dangerous. I’ll tell you why..

Say your ex was a “homebody” and you choose someone who loves going out. Now you’re expected to go out every night and that may not be what you really want. Or, your ex was really frugal, and you go with someone who’s very generous….. to the point that your joint account is always empty.

2-They believe that the new relationship will be perfect

Reality Check- There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. Each and every relationship has its own problems and ups and downs. Instead of setting the bar so high, make a plan with your new partner to deal with things as they arise. Commit to being honest with one another, and to communicate about what’s going on. 

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Do you remember the last time you heard the expression “Making Love”? I’m an 80’s child, and I remember hearing this term constantly on tv and in pop culture in the 90’s and 00’s but it’s starting to disappear.

Do you agree?

Dating, love, and intimacy are taking a whole new shape and meaning in today’s society, mostly as a result of:

1.Loveless sex is more acceptable 

2.People are increasingly forging or delaying marriage

3.The online dating scene focuses on variety and pleasure vs, long lasting love relationships

But how do these changes affect you and the way you see new relationships? Will you uphold the principle of making love or do you find yourself swept by the same norms we see today?

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Do you notice that the same things that frustrate you about your partner are the things that attracted you to them in the first place?

I was attracted to my husband’s energetic nature, and ability to strike a conversation with anyone about anything. But now I get irritated when he is “too excitable” or holds a conversation for too long. I sense the frustration build up in my gut and travel upwards to my chest, and land in my neck and shoulders. Ouff!

That’s when I stop myself and I tell her, “Zeina, put on your rosy sunglasses.” It’s a concept I learnt when I took the Gottman Institute’s training for how to make marriages work. Basically, it’s a way to remind yourself that the bad things are also good things. Just put on your rosy glasses to see them as good!

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Statements like,

“Don’t take this the wrong way”

“I don’t want to offend you, but “

“I’m not saying this to be mean”

are the worst statements to use if you are trying to have a peaceful conversation! What does your partner do as soon as those words come out of your mouth?

They prepare to take things the wrong way

They are offended before they know why

They start preparing their comeback to the mean comment they’re certain you’ll make.

People like to use what I call “preamble”; prep statements to lead them to what they actually want to say. They try to massage their way into their actual point. As an assertive person who spends a ton of time watching people communicate, I urge you to start with your main point. And if your partner still gets mad, use what Chris Voss calls Tactical Empathy to get to the bottom of the issue. Trying to bypass a tough conversation by hiding behind empty words won’t do it.

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The average is becoming irrelevant in our society. You are either a youtube mogul or a no-name musician, a chef with a Michelin star, or a “they have good fries”, a sought after partner, or struggle to go on a single date.

In the online dating scene, 90% of women are attracted to the top 10% of men. Those are men who are tall, educated, gym-goers, and have a professional career. If you’re not one of them, too bad so sad for you. 

Prof Scott Galloway talks about the trickle effects this has on men, families, and society in general. Check him out if you agree this is an issue. 

Think about it, 10 years ago, a local artist with a decent voice can attract a few dozen people into their weekend gig. This no longer happens. I was just talking to an event planner, and she said that Albertans will not leave their house to go see a local speaker or comedian. But they will pay $600 for the art of which sells out every time.

Why am I bitter about it?

Because we can’t all be youtube moguls, and we can’t all incorporate sea weed into our vegan cooking, not all men can be rich and attractive. But we all need to earn enough to feed our families, feel valued and heard by our community, and have partners who love the imperfect humans we are.  

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It is so easy for us to come up with a list of what we want in a partner. For me, I want him to be kind, a professional, fit, a solid father, someone who takes good care of me, who appreciates the little things, likes to travel, and is good with money.

What about you?

What do you want in a partner?

Now if I were to ask you, what kind of partner are you or would be to them? Would you be as quick to answer? I certainly am not. Someone with green eyes?…. hehe

Self-awareness allows us to know our strengths, weaknesses, what excites us, and also, what brings the devil in us. And so when we’re able to clearly communicate that to our partner (before the devil is out), we make their job of giving us what we want easier. We spend less time and energy expecting the other to be like us, and more acknowledging and enjoying each other’s differences.

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I’m doing the dishes and listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The Impact Theory, when Tom Bilyeu’s guest says, “Fear and Love are opposites.” Thas was Arthur C. Brooks talking about relationships.

Wait, what?

That statement made no sense to me. What does fear have to do with love and what does love have to do with fear?!

Then he explains, and in all truths, I still had to repeat the segment a few times to understand it. But once I did, I found what he was saying profound, and I know you will too. Here it is (thankfully you don’t need to repeat):

“Fear and love are cognitive and philosophical opposites.

Hatred is a by-product of fear.

Hatred is not the opposite of love.

Love will neutralize excessive or inappropriate fear.

Too much fear? Surround it with love.

Not enough love? What are you afraid of?”

Whether you have had a bad relationship that ended in divorce, or you are in your 40’s or 50’s and are afraid to venture into a new relationship, Arthur C. Brooks suggests to use your crystalized values as gifts. Your values will take you from fear to love. The right kind of love. The one that will not hate.