Relationships Advent Calendar Day 22 . Give of Yourselves

I’m thinking you’re probably right in the middle of the Christmas whirl right now, school holidays, treats, parties, and all that wrapping ahead of you!! But don’t forget there are other ways to give at Christmas, and couples who are altruistic can often be more satisfied in their couple relationship, plus it’s an opportunity to spend time together, what’s to lose?!

So take some time out of your busy schedule, switch off the TV and talk with your sweetie about how you’d both like to give back in the coming year .. if time’s an issue but you’re cash rich how about setting up a monthly direct debit from your joint account to a charity you decide on together?

Or volunteer as a couple for a project, cleaning up your local beach or park, helping out with the National Trust (you can actually get free membership for being a volunteer) .. the possibilities are endless .. and you get to keep the warm Christmas glow for the whole year!!!

And for those of you yet to meet your sweetie, what a great opportunity to meet like-minded people!

What did you do, let me know in the Comments below, or tweet me!

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Relationships Advent Calendar Day 21 . Turn up the Volume

Nothing brings back memories quite like music .. what’s ‘your’ song, what was playing on your first date? Your wedding? Your first Christmas as a family? For most of us there’s a special feeling associated with these tunes ..

So today your task is to find the song or songs that bring back these special memories and share with your sweetie .. have it playing when they walk in from work, call the local radio station and ask them to do a dedication, email a YouTube clip or post it on their Facebook wall .. or, if you have one, play it on your guitar, piano, kazoo etc the next time you see them ..

What did you do, let me know in the Comments below, or tweet me!

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Relationships Advent Calendar Day 20 . Switch on your Relationship Radar

You’ve just spent 19 days doing something every day for the benefit of your relationship .. notice a difference yet? So now you’re a super honed relationship athlete in tip top condition it’s time to start looking for opportunities to flex those muscles ..

Keep your eyes and ears open for the many small opportunities that come up today to make a difference, and see how many you take .. send me your scores by commenting on this post, or on Twitter or Facebook if you prefer .. a relationship Christmas star for the winner!

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Relationships Advent Calendar Day 19 . Admit When You’re Wrong

This post follows on from yesterday’s, where I dared to suggest you just might be wrong sometimes (surely not!?) .. relationships thrive where both partners can give a little ground sometimes, and let’s face it, who doesn’t like to be right?

Today your task is to find something your sweetie is right about, give them a big beaming smile and let them know, with grace and love .. afterwards spend some time thinking about how easy or difficult it was to do that, and how your partner reacted .. what did you learn?

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Relationships Advent Calendar Day 16 . High 5 Your Sweetie

Sometimes it’s tempting to take the good things for granted and only focus on the things your honey does wrong .. they know you love them right??

Wrong .. research shows that to feel positive in their relationship couples need an average ratio of 5 positive for every one negative interaction .. that means in order for your relationship to thrive you need to get working on those positives .. so notice your partner’s successes, and those of the two of you, and take time to celebrate them today ..

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Does Your Life Have a Soundtrack?

Whenever I used to break up with a guy it always seemed like every song on the radio was about US! I’d drive in my car listening to tune after tune about heartbreak, and when I got home I was so miserable it seemed like everyone was splitting up and that it was the most terrible thing that could happen to a person EVER!

But one day I got sick of being manipulated like this and decided to take back control. I started playing music that was about good times, that made me feel good, that strengthened me instead of diminishing me.

After a couple of years I was ready for the next step .. I sat down with my music collection (I used to DJ and had been buying music since I was 12 so there was a LOT to go through) and sifted out all the ‘misery music’ as I like to call it.

Not only did I make a friend very happy when he found himself the new owner of 6 boxes of prime vinyl but I could actually see what music I did have on my cluttered shelves, and I’ve never regretted it. When I choose to buy music now I do a quick mental scan about whether it will bring me up, calm me or bum me out.

We can’t change a lot of things in our environment but we do have a choice about the music we listen to, the television programmes we watch and the people we spend time with. What would you like to choose?