A good relationship is based on a series of compromises. Everyone deserves to feel loved, valued, and appreciated. To get those blessings, you must first give them. But how exactly?

You want your partner to have your back.  What if your partnership is more one-sided than mutually-supportive? To be honest, a lop-sided union is destined to fail.

Acknowledge the following five (5) reasons why many relationships don't last. Your efforts do make a difference! 

Reason #1:  No clear mutual plans & goals
Let's begin at the starting place, shall we? When you go out with someone for the first time, what's your goal? To kill some time? To have sex? Companionship? To find a mate? To get out of the house? To be seen in public? To have a good time?

Decide what you really want and then communicate those ideas to the person you're dating for more than two-three weeks. At that point, it's usually an easy breakup, by explaining that you want to move forward. Say, "I think you're fun & smart, but I'm just looking for something different, someone who likes to hike." 

Reason #2:  Insecurity & immaturity
When I read threads on Reddit, I see many many immature comments. Of course, some great advice is given. Everyone has an opinion if you post a question & frequently they aren't nice about it. Grow up first. Wait before diving into a serious relationship. If random sex is your thing, at least practice safe sex after swiping left or right on Tinder. There is a price to pay for sex addiction, however. Usually, there's a complicated underlying emotional issue that needs to be resolved professionally. 

Not surprisingly, I find that so many men & women are just insecure. You've got to get a life. Learn some competencies. Get a hobby. Try new interests. Read. Travel. Learn a language. Volunteer. Work out. Help others. Paint. Find a better job. Dance.

Reason #3:  Procrastination or unwise use of time

I know a few really smart and interesting people who never had a long-term relationship (over 1.5 years) or never got married, although they wanted to cohabitate with someone special. Now they feel very lonely and tell me, I don't know where the time went. In my 20's I thought I could just screw around. When I turned 30, my career was taking off; by the time I was in my 40's, I was very set in my ways. Now I'm almost 53 and I'm still single. Where did my life go?  Looking back, I know exactly what they mean as far as time flashes. Everyone has regrets. 

Create the life you want. Don't wait too long. Keep active. Meet-up groups are a great way to meet like-minded people in your local area. Give people a chance. 

Reason #4:  Lack of understanding & listening skills
I don't know why listening skills aren't taught in elementary school. Many parents are good role-models in this area; but what about other children who aren't as lucky?  Each student should be required to role-play and/or discuss ways to improve socialization & communication skills, such as conflict resolution, eye-contact, making I-statements, listening, rephrasing, suspend judgment before disagreeing etc.

How to give and receive feedback should be mandatory. I'm afraid we've encountered a whole new generation of children who feel slighted any time a teacher or friend criticizes them. On college campuses, the students want to be coddled, which doesn't appear age-appropriate. I hear so much about "microaggressions," which, of course, are often real. Sometimes, though, it's much ado about nothing. If schools taught the same competency-based progressive communication curriculum nationwide, then students would be on the same page by the time they attend a university. Maybe more students would get clarification before jumping to conclusions. 

Reason #5:  Failure to prepare
You can't just watch sit-coms all day and expect to learn how to get along with the opposite sex (or whomever you're attracted to). Well, yes, I'm being somewhat facetious, but my point is valid. I suppose this fifth reason harkens back to #4 above.

How do you prepare for a long-term relationship? Think about it. What skills do you really need to be a loving, supportive, appreciative partner? Think how you want to be treated. Decide. Act. Make wise choices. Be the best person you can be as often as you can. Nobody's perfect. Most good things in life take practice. Practice the skills above. Go to a workshop. Learn online. Join Toastmasters. Volunteer. Ask the person you are dating if they can give you tips on how to be a better boyfriend or girlfriend. 

I recommend a simple partnering exercise. When done just twice (2x) a month for 10 minutes, it teaches you a way to stay on the same page. See my earlier blog.


What are the top 12 traits you look for in your partner?  Here's my list:

1. A sense of personal identity
I want a man who knows who he is and what he wants out of life, yet is still willing to grow and seek out more.  Someone who is dynamic and discovering parts of himself as he ages. 

2. Self-confidence
I want a man who describes himself with more positives than negatives, who carries on conversations easily with a variety of people, who is self-secure, and who can spend time alone.

3. Affectionate

I like a man who puts his arm around me at the movies or while sitting on a park bench. I want a touchy man in private yet likes to hold hands or give me a quick peck when we're in public. Can he give a sensual back or foot rub? 

4. A sense of humor

I love to laugh. A couple who laughs, lasts. I need a playful man who is willing to be spontaneous at least some of the time. If he teases me in a gentle way, then I feel comfortable. If he dishes it out, can he take it in return? It's a two-way street. I want a man who smiles easily. 

5. Successful It's not the size of his wallet that counts as much as the passion towards his purpose. I want someone who accomplishes goals he believes are worthwhile. 

6. Healthy & Energetic

Energy is a turn-on. My mate needs to have moderately good health routines that include eating, exercising, and sleeping. Being an outdoorsman is also a plus. Yes, I want a mate who is within normal weight limits for his height. A non-smoker is a must.

7. Intelligence
I need a man who is relatively smart, who can talk about a variety of subjects (not just sports) with the same level of enthusiasm. I want someone who isn't afraid to look up a word or a concept immediately when they hear something unfamiliar. Is your man a curious person? Lifelong learning is as important to me as good health.

8. Cultural Awareness
I want a man who enjoys the arts, such as live theater, musical concerts, well-made movies, museums, architecture, etc. Bonus points if he plays a musical instrument or sings.

9. Spiritual
I can't define exactly what this looks like except to say he must believe in something greater than himself (Source, God, Supreme Being). Does he have a spiritual practice or on a journey to gain more insights, knowledge, or peace of mind? 

10. Strong sexual appetite

I'd like my partner to match my level of energy in this area. I want to agree on the number of times we typically will have sex in a week. Does he have a passionate soul?

11. Sports-minded
I want my partner to play at least one sport or have a physical hobby, like swimming, ping pong, hiking, or racquetball. Does he watch sports without being obsessive? I enjoy watching a football game every now and then, but watching four days per week during the entire season is a bit much.

12. Adventurous

Traveling is important. I need to have a partner who likes to travel. Whether by plane, train, boat, or car, let's get up and go to a new destination periodically. Does he speak a foreign language or is he willing to learn a few basic phrases before traveling to a particular location?  Does he enjoy soaking up foreign food, architecture, sights, sounds, people around him? 

In short, I want a well-rounded Renaissance man who is kind-hearted, curious, and joyful whether he's in my presence or not. This is a true measure of a man. 
Wanna watch the sparks fly? If your love life has gotten it a rut, it's time to spice it up! Both partners have a responsibility to keep the fireworks alive. Let's talk about my four categories to puff up your romantic side: 

1. Think outside the bedroom.     
2. Create erotic partnering exercises.       
3. Build atmospheric mood-boosters.  
4. Discover 50 shades of arousal. 

PART IV-- Discover 50 shades of arousal. Explore. Be adventurous. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. Of course, there are endless ways you can add to creating plateaus of arousal:
  • stimulating gels/lubricants
  • sex toys
  • nipple clips
  • vibrators
  • edible underwear
  • dildos
  • body paints 
  • whipped cream and grapes
  • anal beads
  • vaginal/orgasm balls
  • sex machines
  • electro-stimulators 
  • love swings
  • al fresco escapades
I know a married couple, Suzie and Brad, who bought a sex swing for their 10th wedding anniversary. Since it hangs from the ceiling, several adjustments were made for heightened pleasure. Sue added a scarf for neck support and now sits comfortably in the swing, which gives her a sense of total freedom. 
Her legs swing apart easily for her husband to penetrate her at the right angle. Brad stands up on the bed. This is the perfect combination since he has a bad back and Sue has a bum hip. 

The best part about this story is that the couple is in their mid-sixties. Who'd a thunk it? Brad and Sue now use the swing as part of their normal repertoire! Most things are worth a try at least once. Sometimes once is enough. Sometimes couples discover that variety spices up their sex life and takes it to the next level. See pic at the bottom of this blog. 

For my couples handbook guide, Sextastic! Improve Your Love Life in Seven Weeks, visit: http://bettersexloveromance.com
Most people enjoy reflexology. Lovers can practice this to spice up sex:
  1. To awaken your partner's senses, simply run your fingers through his/her hair and massage the scalp.
  2. Rub behind the big toe on both to accomplish the same thing.
  3. For a quick turn-on, massage the hollow area below both anklebones on the inside of the feet. Apply pressure with soothing thumb circles and watch the sparks fly.
  4. Massage the soles in the upper middle part of the foot can open sexual energy in the chest and pelvic areas as well.
  5. Kneading inner thighs have always been a go-to erogenous zone.
  6. Touching just above the knee and behind the knee area works, too. 

Another shade of arousal is the chest area. Many women and some men would enjoy breast stimulation more if they toughen up their nipples. It's easy. With a damp towel or washcloth, rub back and forth directly on the nipple for 30 seconds or so before you step out of the shower. Do this a few times a week until you find the right texture and sensation. This works wonders for people with extra-sensitive nipples.

A big challenge for women I hear from women is, “I don't get much feeling when he touches my breasts...but I would if he felt me up in the right way.” Of course, communication is a wonderful tool, yet many things are often left unsaid. Unspoken words often have negative results, like self-sabotaging your pleasure. Some request their partner to stay away from the chest breast area altogether.

Breasts have a direct line to the clitoris. Discover what you like on your own; then teach your partner how to touch you how you like it. By asking for feedback more often, lovers discover new ways to please their partner: “Honey, do you like me to touch gentler in the beginning? Can I be rougher later on? Do you like A or B better?” Be open to the technique above. Be the grown up. Speak up. Experiment. 

Role-playing is fun and seductive. A man playfully asks his girlfriend, “What's your name tonight, babe?” One woman told me she turns into Sabrina when she wants to play the shy, inexperience lover. Her partner has to “teach” her what to do next. Other times she becomes Dominique, the aggressor, who ties up her partner with a silk scarf with his hands above his head and then spanks or whips him until he playfully asks for mercy. In the end, she gives him freedom and the sparks fly. 

Now you've heard all 40 ways to save your love life from boredom. Use these blog ideas as a stepping stone to thinking of numerous other ways to heighten your sexual pleasure. For couples 7-week guidebook to rekindle, refresh, and reboot your partnership, please visit  http://bit.ly/SevenWeekChallenge.

The question is, what are you going to do to get the romantic sparks going tonight?