They say opposites attract. When you’re in a relationship with someone and you have totally different interests, though, it can sometimes be hard to feel connected.

It’s one thing to just let your partner do what they want while you enjoy your own hobbies. But coming together and really finding a source of connection is essential for any strong relationship.

So, even if you aren’t interested in the same things, are there ways you can connect with your partner?

The answer, thankfully, is yes. Let’s take a look at a few different ways to make it happen.

Accept That You Are Different

Instead of trying to change what your partner likes, or forcing yourself to take an interest in it, sometimes it’s easier just to accept that you’re different. When you try to force yourself into liking things just for your partner’s sake, it can lead to resentment—even if you don’t realize it at the time.

By accepting the fact that you’re different (and that it’s one of the things you like about each other!), appreciating those different interests will be easier. It will also make the things you can enjoy together that much more exciting.

Try Something New Together

Chances are, you both had your own interests long before you met each other. So, why not find a completely new interest to develop together?

Take a class together, or sign up for some kind of interactive event. Don’t be afraid to try things that you would typically shy away from.

If you and your partner both end up liking something, you can make it a regular hobby or habit to stick with. It’s a great way to still have your own separate interests while preserving something special for yourselves as a couple.

Tell Your Partner Why You’re Passionate

If you don’t understand your partner’s interests and they don’t get yours, talk about them. Express why your interests mean so much to you, and why you’re so passionate about them.

If you’re really into art, tell your partner what it is about art that moves you and what you truly love about it. Ask them the same when it comes to something they really enjoy.

The more you get to know the underlying reasons for why your partner loves something so much, the easier it might be for you to appreciate it as well.

Make Compromises When You Can

Relationships are all about communication and compromise. When you want to connect with your partner, those two things need to be at the forefront of your relationship. While you don’t need to force yourself to be as passionate about your partner’s interests as they are, it is a good idea to at least give those interests a try.

When you participate or even pay attention to the things your partner likes, you’re showing them how much you care about them. By doing something that doesn’t particularly interest you, you can prove to your partner that it matters to you because it’s important to them. That goes a long way in building trust and intimacy in any relationship.

Opposites do often attract, and there’s nothing wrong with that in a relationship. Yet, it’s important to try to understand your partner’s interests, even if you don’t necessarily like them for yourself.

If you’re struggling to connect with your partner and you live in the East Bay area, feel free to contact me. Or, visit here [insert specialty page link] to learn more about how I can help.

Together, we can rely on other resources and tips you can use to be more in tune with your partner and build a stronger connection than ever before, despite having different interests.

When you want to boost the intimacy and sexual drive of your relationship, it takes effort from both partners involved. All-day foreplay is a great way to change things up and build a strong foundation to increase your sex life.

We all get caught up in the routine of life. This is especially true if you have a busy family, kids, work long hours, etc.

Unfortunately, sex lives often falter when stress and a busy lifestyle take hold.

But, all-day foreplay can help you to reignite that spark with your partner—when it’s done the right way. By the time you do get some time alone together, you’ll have built up a connection throughout the day that can make it easier to be intimate with each other.

  1. Entice Your Partner

Do you have a certain cologne/perfume you know your partner finds attractive? Or, do you have a particular outfit you know they like?

Make yourself as enticing as possible to your partner before you leave the house in the morning. Even if you only have a few minutes together over coffee, this will set the tone for the rest of the day.

You can go one step further by showing affection to them in the morning with a hug or kiss. If some of your scent lingers onto their skin or clothes, it will be a lasting reminder for them throughout the day.

  1. Send Messages

All-day foreplay is just that—something that needs to last throughout the day. Most couples don’t spend the majority of their day together. So, you have to find ways to be creative.

One way to do that is to send text messages or leave notes where your partner will receive them throughout the day.

There are some stigmas behind “sexting,” but in a committed relationship, it can be a big benefit to couples who are trying to boost their sex lives.

Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone when sending these messages to your partner throughout the day. A voicemail message is even better!

When your partner actually hears your voice and you’re telling them how you feel and what you want, it becomes even more enticing. It also gives them something to listen to multiple times, which will help to increase that anticipation and desire.

  1. Meet for Lunch

If you can break up the day by spending some time together, especially in a public place, you can make all-day foreplay even more exciting.

Meet your partner for lunch at a place you both enjoy. Be discreet, but talk about what you would like to do with them later. Offer them subtle touches that are appropriate for the environment you’re in, but that could mean so much more.

These touches will be constant reminders throughout the rest of the day. It’s a great way to make sure your partner doesn’t forget about you or what you want to do together when you both get home.

All-day foreplay helps to build excitement for what will happen later in the bedroom. Both people involved typically find it a fun and exciting experience.

For many people, though, all-day foreplay can be hard to get into at first. You have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone. But, if you’re both on board, it can do wonders for your sex life, even if you’re both busy all the time.

A strong sex life is important to any healthy relationship, and this is a great way to give yours a boost.

If you’re interested in learning more about the techniques behind all-day foreplay and you live in the Berkeley, CA area, feel free to contact me.

Or, visit here [insert specialty page] to learn more about how I can help you improve your connection with each other.

Self-esteem plays a big part in relationships. This includes friendships, relationships with your family, and especially romantic relationships.

But can self-esteem impact your relationship? Absolutely.

Having low self-esteem can affect your relationship in a negative way. It can make it hard for you and your partner to really connect.

On the other hand, too much self-esteem can come across as arrogant, and may also cause problems in your relationship.

More often than not, though, it’s a lack of self-esteem that has the greatest negative effect between partners.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how self-esteem impacts your relationship.

Low Self-Esteem and Relationship Problems

If you’re already in a relationship and you have low self-esteem, it can affect how close you and your partner feel in a variety of ways.

Influences Communication in Several Ways

First, low self-esteem may make it harder for you to relate to your partner and to communicate effectively. You might not speak up when you really have something to say. That can make the relationship feel one-sided and can make you feel even worse about yourself.

Your body language might also have a negative impact on how you’re viewed in your relationship. If you’re having a conversation with your partner and your body language seems closed off or defensive because of your low self-esteem, they might feel as though you don’t want to talk to them, or even be around them.

Motivates Your Partner’s Response to You

Your own mannerisms when you have low self-esteem can cause your partner to respond in a few different ways. Either they might think there’s a problem in the relationship or simply stop trying to communicate with you. In extremely negative scenarios, they might try to take advantage of your low self-esteem by “controlling” the relationship.

None of these options are healthy. They can even cause your self-esteem to become worse. As a result, you can start to feel more like a victim. Which, in turn, will cause you to blame others for your low self-esteem, instead of getting to the original root of the problem.

How to Improve Your Self-Esteem and Strengthen Your Relationship

Now that we’ve established that self-esteem impacts your relationship, what can you do to improve it?

One of the best things you can do is to try to figure out where the low self-esteem started. Have you always felt this way? If you can identify some underlying causes or triggers, it can be easier to shift your focus there and work on those areas.

It’s also a good idea to focus on the things you do like about yourself. What are you good at? What are your strengths? Having a better understanding of what makes you important and a unique person can help you rebuild your esteem.

Don’t be afraid to get your partner involved. Yes, it can be hard to admit that you struggle with low self-esteem. But chances are, they already know something is “off,” and they’ll be more than happy to help you boost your confidence. Communicating openly with them about how you feel will make a big difference.

Again, does self-esteem impact your relationship? Yes. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t take active steps to change it and make your relationship stronger than ever.

When you feel like you can’t deal with the effects of low self-esteem on your own, seek out professional help and guidance.

If you live in Oakland, CA and you’re struggling with self-esteem issues, feel free to contact me.

Together, we can work to discover why you have low-self esteem. Then, I can help you with some resources to build it back up, which can help to improve your relationship over time.

Vacation is a time to relax and recharge. You work hard, and you deserve it! But, if you’re going on a couples vacation, you might already be dreading the downtime you have together.

Obviously, you’re not going to have every second of your trip planned out. After all, a vacation is about taking it easy. But if you want to get along during vacation, it’s important to make a commitment to doing so.

Whether you’re struggling in your relationship or find it difficult to get along sans a steady routine, you can get along during vacation and keep the trip as conflict-free as possible.

Let’s look at a few ways to do that.

Prepare Yourself for Stress

It seems ironic that you would experience stress on a vacation, but everyone knows it happens. Maybe there was a flight delay for your plane, leaving you both stuck at the airport for hours. Or, maybe your luggage got lost and you have to wait in your hotel room until it’s delivered.

Even the best-laid plans don’t always work out. In fact, you might end up with more downtime than you anticipated. Unsurprisingly, when these stressful events occur, it’s easy to take your frustration out on your partner.

When you both anticipate stress, though, you’ll be better prepared for these unexpected situations. Understand that your partner isn’t to blame for these things and neither are you. It’s okay to feel frustration and stress sometimes. But, don’t take that out on each other.

Don’t Bring Up Serious Issues

If you want to get along during vacation, don’t wait until you’re on your trip to bring up a serious topic. While you shouldn’t sweep things under the rug, try to get everything out in the open before you leave on your vacation.

By waiting until you’re supposed to be relaxing away from home to bring up a sore subject or something that’s been bothering you, you’re setting the tone for the whole trip. This can lead to arguments and can make the whole experience feel like a wash for both of you.

If necessary, have a long talk before you leave for your trip. If something is wrong in the relationship, try to work it out before you leave. That way, you can focus on reconnecting and enjoying yourselves while you’re on your vacation.

Get Some Alone Time

Even if you’re going on a couples trip, that doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking moment with your partner. This is especially true if you both have interests in different things.

If you want to go snorkeling and your partner would rather go to the spa, make it happen! Spending some time apart can actually make the time you spend together more special. Plus, you’ll both be able to do the things you really enjoy without feeling as though you’re dragging the other person along.

Even something as simple as going on a morning jog by yourself before your itinerary for the day starts can make a big difference in your attitude toward your partner throughout the trip.

Again, it’s not impossible to get along during vacation, no matter how many annoyances might come up along the way. Of course, you shouldn’t expect your relationship to be perfect. Yet, you also don’t want to worry about constantly arguing when you’re on vacation.

If you’re about to go on a vacation with your partner and you’re already worryied about conflict, give me a call.

I’m in the Berkeley, CA area, and can help you both before you hit the road or take to the skies, so you can make the most of your vacation while enjoying each other’s company every step of the way.

Let’s face it, no one wants to get stuck doing the dishes every night while their partner goes into the living room to watch television.

How often do they clean the bathroom? How often do you pull the weeds in the front yard?

Surprisingly, household duties can become a source of conflict in relationships when they aren’t discussed.

Some people naturally gravitate toward certain household responsibilities. Others avoid certain ones at all costs.

Like anything else, it’s important to communicate about who will do what in your relationship when you’re living together. When you can split household duties, you can keep the peace and make sure everything gets done the way it’s supposed to.

Here’s how can you split household duties the right way.

Decide What You Like to Do

Again, some people just gravitate toward certain chores and responsibilities. Do you love yard work? Make it your responsibility to mow the lawn each week. Does your partner find some relaxation in folding laundry? Let them take the reigns on it.

Talk about the chores each of you enjoy doing, and then talk about the things you absolutely hate doing. Chances are, you’ll be able to compromise on most things.

Plus, even if you get “stuck” doing something you don’t like, it can give you the motivation to get it done quickly. You might even find a way to make it more enjoyable for yourself.

Don’t Count the Chores

While it’s okay to make a list of who takes on which responsibility, that list doesn’t have to be even. When you split household duties, it doesn’t need to be a direct split down the middle.

If you end up taking on more than your partner, you shouldn’t hold that against them. There are so many factors to consider—schedules, the time it takes to do certain things, etc.

As long as the duties of the home are getting done and both partners are involved, it shouldn’t matter if one has a couple more additions to their list than the other. It’s not a competition; you’re on the same team!

Let Go of Your Way of Doing Things

No two people do things the exact same way. In some relationships, that can cause problems when it comes to splitting household duties. Unfortunately, that often leaves one person with the majority of the responsibilities, because they’re unable to “let go” of the way they want things done.

Maybe your partner doesn’t fold towels the way you usually do it. Maybe they don’t wipe the counters using the “right” cleaner. In order to split household duties, you’re going to have to let go of being right all the time in the way you do things. Just because your partner does something differently doesn’t make it wrong.

When you loosen the reigns a bit, it becomes easier to divide duties peacefully. You can express to your partner how you might like something to be done, but don’t take it personally when they do it their own way.

Be willing to be flexible when it comes to which duties you can let go of, and how your partner handles them. As long as it’s getting done, that’s what counts.

If you’re having trouble splitting the responsibilities in your home, and you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, feel free to contact me. Or, visit here [insert specialty page link] to learn more.

Together, we can work on practical ways to split household duties without contention, so you can keep the peace in your household. Plus, you can find more fulfillment in taking care of your responsibilities as a couple.

There’s an old saying that goes, “love knows no age.” If you’re in an age gap relationship, you’ve probably repeated that to yourself more than once.

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of stereotypes and stigmas surrounding relationships where there is a big age gap. On top of that, there are things to consider within your relationship, too.

Couples in an age gap relationship will likely experience different struggles that people of similar ages don’t have to deal with. How you handle those struggles, as well as dealing with the opinions of others, can make or break your relationship.

So, what are the biggest keys to managing an age gap relationship?

  1. Ward Off Judgement

Again, you might be judged when you’re in an age gap relationship. It could even come from your closest family members or friends. Even if people have good intentions when they’re telling you what’s wrong with your relationship, it’s never easy to hear.

Understand that when you enter into a relationship like this, people might think they have the right to say something. That can take a toll on any relationship. To counter these negative outside forces, it’s important for you and your partner to have a firm foundation with one another.

One way to combat this is to be completely upfront with your family, friends, etc. Tell them why you’re in this relationship and why it’s so important to you. If you simply ignore what people are saying and don’t respond, it can look like you’re trying to hide or that you’re ashamed of your relationship.

While you don’t need to accept people’s judgments, you should be willing to stand up for your relationship when people cast judgment. Make a commitment with your partner to do defend your relationship. If you do, it will be easier to remain strong as a couple through those judging words and opinions.

  1. Talk About Your Future

Depending on the age gap between you and your partner, one of the things you might struggle with is how to plan for your future. It’s something you should talk about early on in your relationship.

One of you might want kids while the other might be in a place in life where they feel they’re too old. Your views on finances could be different as well. Or, you might be worried about how things will change if the older partner’s health declines, etc.

This isn’t typically a fun conversation to have, but it’s necessary to make sure that you’re both on the same page. It will keep you from arguing about similar topics in the future.

  1. Don’t Play Into Age Stereotypes

It’s very important to remain true to yourself when you’re in an age gap relationship. If you’re the younger person in the relationship, don’t expect your older partner to take care of everything. If you’re the older person, don’t act like you know everything by treating your partner like a child.

This is a common problem when there is a wide age gap. While you may not be able to help your natural personality that has changed over time, don’t use age as a way to change who you are in your relationship.

It’s important to understand that there are many different struggles that can occur in an age gap relationship. But, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed from the start. If you’re new to an age gap relationship and you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, feel free to contact me.

Together, we can work on even more ways to manage your relationship, and stop worrying about the potential judgments of others.

You’ve probably heard about the importance of communication in a relationship. It’s true in any type of relationship, too—not just romantic ones. Unfortunately, for as important as it is, communication is also very easy to get very wrong.

We all communicate differently. So, it’s no surprise as to why we sometimes run into communication issues.

These issues can lead to bigger problems if they aren’t resolved. Thankfully, there are ways you can improve your own communication. When you do, you can avoid a lot of headaches, gain respect, and feel more self-confident in the way you speak to others.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at four tips you can put into place to improve on some of the most common communication issues.

  1. Practice Active Listening

Most people can hear someone when they’re talking, but actually listening is a different story. When you’re listening to someone talk, are you giving them your full attention? Would you want them to give their full attention to you?

Whether someone is talking about something of interest to you or not, it’s important to really listen and let that person know you’re listening. Engage in the conversation by giving nonverbal responses.

Furthermore, ask questions and look interested. You’ll make the person speaking feel valued and respected. As a result, they’re more likely to give you the same courtesy in return.

  1. Avoid Assumptions

One of the biggest problems in communication is assumptions. Maybe you feel like you’ve heard the same piece of information fifty times before. Maybe you think you know the end of the story before the speaker actually gets to it.

But, it’s important not to assume anything about what someone is saying. When you do that, you’ll start to “tune out,” and you might miss something important. The ending isn’t always what you might think.

If you don’t give a speaker’s story the attention it deserves, you could miss information that could be beneficial to you in some way.

  1. Try Not to Let Your Emotions Drive

Communication issues are often fueled by emotions. It’s hard not to let emotions take control when we’re talking. This is especially true if you’re passionate about something.

But, emotions can get in the way of clear and concise communication. They allow you to get easily angered or offended by something someone says.

Instead, choose to be respectful and don’t react to things instantly. When you do, you’re more likely to say something you will later regret. Knee-jerk reactions are never a good idea, so give yourself time to think before responding by keeping your emotions in check.

  1. Don’t Side-Step Communication

Perhaps the biggest communication issue is that many people tend to avoid communication completely if they know the conversation will be difficult.

As a society, we tend to have a hard time with confrontation and facing difficult things. But, sweeping something under the rug or avoiding it will only make the problem continue to grow and get worse.

Talking about it—no matter how difficult it may be—will be the best thing you can do in the long run. You’re also more likely to gain respect from your peers, family, or partner if you’re willing to talk about the hard things up front.

We all have trouble communicating effectively sometimes. But, if it’s become a serious problem in your life, take heart.

If you’re in the East Bay area, feel free to contact me. We can work on more tips to improve your communication issues and find ways to be a more effective communicator and listener.

Even though many of us associate summer with vacation and relaxation, it can often be the busiest time of year. Between planning trips, organizing events for kids, working, and managing longer daylight hours, it can be hard to maintain intimacy in your relationship.

But, keeping the “spark” alive and staying intimate with your spouse doesn’t have to be impossible during the summer.

Keep these tips in mind to maintain intimacy and stay connected while you have some fun in the sun.

  1. Make Intimacy a Priority

One of the biggest reasons couples don’t maintain intimacy is because they don’t push its importance. Yes, summer can get busy quickly.

So, schedule in some dates on your calendar. Have a date night with your spouse, or take a walk along the beach at sunset (or around your neighborhood.

Talking to each other each night can make a difference in how close you feel.

If you don’t make intimacy a priority, it will start to crumble when your schedule fills up.

  1. Stay in the Present Moment

When you do get a chance to spend some time alone with your spouse, be there mentally and emotionally. Focus on each other and the time you’re spending together. Avoid things like looking at your phone, watching television, etc.

You might not get much time together when your schedules are packed, so make every moment fully count.

  1. Find Meaning in Small Gestures

You don’t always have to create a big event or spectacle in order for intimacy to thrive. When you don’t have a lot of time to spare, small gestures can mean a lot to your partner.

Something as simple as remembering to take out the trash, or bringing them a cup of coffee every morning can let your spouse know you’re thinking about them. Also, it communicates to them that you’re invested in your relationship.

These are great, subtle ways to maintain intimacy that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

  1. Show Gratitude

Showing appreciation for your spouse can make you both feel closer. Plus, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time! You can show gratitude for the things they do with a simple “thank you,” of course.

But you can take your intimacy one step further by setting aside time each week to share what you love about each other and what you’re grateful for in your relationship. Even if you only dedicate five minutes of time to do this, it can deepen your connection.

Everyone wants to feel appreciated for the things they do and who they are. Sharing your appreciations with your spouse is a great way to maintain intimacy no matter how busy you are.

  1. Be an Active Listener

If your summer schedule is busy, you might not get a chance to have a decent conversation with your spouse until you’re getting ready for bed each night. Or, maybe you have a chance in the morning over coffee.

No matter when you can get a conversation in, it’s important to be an active listener. Your spouse might be going through something hard. They might feel tired, stressed, worried, etc. Don’t try to fix their problems. In fact, that can create more stress.

Instead, listen to what they have to say and let them know that you’re there for them. You might be surprised how effective a dedicated, listening ear can be when it comes to feeling close to someone.

Intimacy doesn’t have to fade away in the summer, even if you’re busy. If you’re looking for more ways to stay connected to your spouse and you’re in the Berkeley, CA area, feel free to give me a call! Together, we can work on more exercises to maintain intimacy all year long.