Last Minute, Inexpensive, & Romantic Valentine Date Ideas

So, it’s 2 days before Valentine’s Day. You haven’t bought a card, didn’t even really think about getting a gift, and have no idea what you and your boo will be doing on Valentine’s Day 2011. We get it. It’s not that you’re insensitive, cheap, or even lazy. There ‘s just so much going on in your life that you can barely get out for a “non-special” date, let alone Valentine’s Day. And, you know your sweetheart’s not all that into the V-Day hype so ya’ll will be allright–no special romance needed at your house, right?

Yeah, right(…in my best sarcastic voice). Don’t kid yourself.

Even those of us who sincerely don’t trip off the holiday and all the hype around it like to feel thought of, acknowledged, and…yes even focused on during this special day—especially when our friends’ will be asking “What did you do for insert your boo’s name here? or “What did insert your boo’s name here do for you? It’s nice to be able to have an answer—trust me. Because at the end of the day it really is about the fact that your special someone was important enough to think about…just a little bit. 😉

So, never fear! CoolDates.com is here! We like this website because it has tons of things to do and places to go. And, the wide range of different things to do is great. They have Adventurous Dates, Unusual Dates, Indoor Dates, Cultural Dates, Sporting Dates, Theme Dates, Group Date Ideas and so much more. Check out some of the Last Minute, Inexpensive, & Romantic Date Ideas below. There’s something for everyone.

Last Minute, Inexpensive  & Romantic Ideas From CoolDates.com

  • Build a fire, snuggle up, and read a good book or perhaps romantic poetry together. Make up some hot chocolate or spiced cider to enhance the evening.
  • Prepare a new dessert or main dish and serve it in a creative way to your parents or friends. Finish by washing the dishes together.
  • Check out the local newspaper’s entertainment section for free events.
  • Buy two cheap canvases and paint with toll paints or do finger painting and design a picture for one another. Choose something that describes yourself or something you appreciate about each other.
  • Go to the mall (or maybe Target or Wal-Mart!) and give each other $10 and see who can buy the best item for each other with it.
  • Select a dinner from the cookbook you have never tried. Shop for the ingredients and prepare dinner together. To add ambience, choose a type of cuisine and add decorations or dress to enhance the atmosphere.
  • After an amazing steak dinner, complimented by a beverage of your choice, head for a private hot tub. Set out candles and soft music for the perfect touch.
  • Make a recording of all the love songs you both like and play it while relaxing in front of a glowing fire (or while driving in the countryside).
  • Go for a walk together either in a crowded city or alone in the country.
  • Collect old magazines and cut out pictures that bring back memories of times you’ve shared together. Compile them in a scrapbook, and nurture the desire to spend time developing future memories.
  • Attend church functions together. Dances, discussion groups, and church meetings really help couples grow closer to each other.
  • Send flowers. Try adding a note or a poem. For greater impact, find a way to secretly add flowers to the vase every day, and include a secret note each time.
  • Drive around different neighborhoods in your area to find the most beautiful and oddest landscaping and yard ornaments.
  • Go to a river or small village and paint the scenery. Then give it away to an elderly shut-in in your neighborhood.
  • Go bird watching at an aviary or woods nearby.
  • Live in a mild climate? Take a walk on the beach. If you live near the ocean or a large lake, taking a walk on the beach or the shoreline at sunset or in the moonlight can be very romantic and peaceful.
  • When your date is far away or busy, do this: Before you hang up ask him/her to meet you in your dreams (in an open baseball stadium on the pitchers mound, in a canoe in the middle of the lake at sunset, etc.). Be specific.
  • Find a restaurant in a little town about an hour away. Stop every now and then to take pictures of each other (or have someone take a picture of you together). Take romantic pictures, funny pictures, pictures of the scenery. If you time it right, you can get a picture of the sunset. Get the waiter to take your picture together. Then, on your next date night, make a collage of your date together.
  • Blindfold your date and feed him/her foods of your choice. Be playful. It’s fun for the both of you! Be sure to let your date have a chance at this one. Once you’ve finished, watch a movie by the fire or just cuddle.

 

He Criticizes Black Women & Christianity. Should We Marry?

One of our viewers wrote in and indicated that her man criticizes black women and Christianity and wanted to know if they should marry? Check out the video and let us know what you think….

I had been single for 10 years before meeting my current partner online. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love but just wanted to start talking to males again in a safe way before entering the dating game.  I was approached by this wonderful man and we clicked on so many levels. We have been in a relationship for 10 months and are seriously contemplating marriage.

I am a single mother of three children, he is a single father and plays an active role in his daughter’s life. I love his parenting, I love his work ethics, I love his level of intelligence, I love his caring nature, I love the fact that we speak every day, currently see each other probably weekly as we have decided to wait until marriage to sleep together. We advise each other on future work goals, discuss family goals, mortgages etc, we talk about everything and argue/debate about our differing opinions, we also laugh and enjoy each others company. My children and family love him. I have met his family a few times and we got on well.

Now for the problems: I am a born-again Christian – he identifies as Christian but is not born again and goes to church infrequently. My passion is in my faith – this has brought some conflict due to my religious beliefs. One example – he believes in evolution, I believe in creation (we have had intense debates on this – but have agreed to stop as its gets so heated). We have agreed that if we get married we will homeschool and teach our children both views. When he argues he swears A LOT and gets dirty with his words but has toned it down since I explained that I don’t like it. I am not used to it, my father never swore. I have tonned down the way I respond to him, which again has really worked.

The second problem is based on the way he talks about black women. He seems to have a low view of us based on what he has seen around him and has some deep hurts. We are both black!  He has a strong passion for the black community, wants to make a difference i.e build community centres, create documentaries on the issues within the community, wants to advise women not to wear weaves etc (I’m natural, wear braids occasionally but have no problem with weaves). I support a lot of what he wants to do but not all. This bitterness that he feels about black women / community, feeds through on his view of religion and he calls the bible that I enjoy ‘the white mans’ book.

He says I am different from many black women and he calls me a lady. But I still take offense with these two issues: it’s like we are both fire when they come up. I just want him to understand that I am a black women so when he talks negatively about black women it hurts. I am also a Christian, so when he talks negatively about Christianity it hurts. We have broken up twice because of this but we always feel like we can get through them as on ever other level we are soo good together. We both love each other but are anxious about the next disagreement……HELP!

With these two issues in mind! Do you think I am ignoring a deeper issue? Can we build a successful happy home?

Thank you! and I love watching you both! He hasn’t witnessed many strong black relationship in his town or on UK television and is convinced it is rare. Most people he knows are either single parents or in bi-racial relationship. Both our kids are biracial. I haven’t introduced him to your channel but I am hoping watch your response with him. Sorry its so long!!

Dealing With Holidays & The In-Laws

How have you dealt with special days like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Easter, Memorial Day, and birthdays? Most of us might think only in terms of the way we grew up, perhaps with Mom and Dad, and expect these occasions to be celebrated the same way.

 

The only problem, now that you’re married, is whose mom and dad’s celebration of the holidays you’re going to adopt. An added challenge confronts blended families, who may have a host of combinations of relationships and traditions to consider.

 

One husband and wife, like many others, found themselves in a quandary. Where should they go for Thanksgiving? In an effort to respect the desires of both sets of parents and a grandmother, they ended up rushing from house to house. The result: They didn’t enjoy the food or the time together.

 

Sometimes practical considerations minimize this conflict. If family members live far apart, the question of where to spend the holidays may be answered when travel costs are taken into account. Often, though, the solutions aren’t quite so clear.

 

Premarital counseling may be the best place to start addressing this question; it’s frequently covered in that setting. Whether you discussed this important area of family relationships before you were married or are just now beginning to deal with it, here are some key concepts that can help you decide how and where to spend your holidays:

 

Sit down with your spouse and share—orally and in writing—how each of you feels about holidays and how they’re spent. Include major national holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions that are special to you. If it’s your family’s tradition to take a drive to see the changing autumn leaves, for instance, don’t hesitate to mention it. The same goes for marking the start of fishing season, the last day of school, or the Super Bowl.

Explain how you spent the holidays as a child. Which aspects did you enjoy? Which would you like to change? If the two of you were raised in different countries or cultures, what holidays could you learn more about? For example, a spouse who grew up in England might not realize the significance of Thanksgiving and Independence Day to a mate who was raised in the U.S.

Consider how your parents and other relatives may wish to have you involved. Perhaps a Christmas Eve service together is important to the wife’s parents, while Christmas dinner is central to the husband’s. Try to be open to the desires of family members—but not controlled by them.

Agree on how you as a couple would like to establish your own holiday traditions. Work for balance and fairness. For example, you might decide to spend Christmas morning with your parents and Christmas evening with your spouse’s (if both live close by). The following year you might spend the whole day at home as a couple—or, if you have children, with them.

Be open to changing your plan as needed. Flexibility and variation can help to avoid hard feelings when the in-laws’ expectations aren’t met. For instance, you might invite relatives to gather at your place instead of agonizing over which ones to visit. You might even take a vacation during the holidays to add variety and break the cycle of expectations.

Despite the usefulness of these steps, holiday observances still can be an emotional minefield for couples and in-laws. Here are some cautions to keep in mind:

 

It may be a lot easier for you and your spouse to change what you want for the holidays than for parents to adjust what’s been important to them for many years. Share openly with them some of your ideas and hopes for holiday times, letting them know that you value being with them.

Develop realistic expectations of how the holidays should be spent. Wishful thinking generally leads to hurt feelings and disappointments. Personality differences, physical limitations, and philosophical disagreements don’t disappear just because a particular date on the calendar has arrived. On the contrary, these factors often become more pronounced under stress—and most holidays provide plenty of that.

Holiday gift-giving can be a source of conflict and hurt. While it’s better to give than receive (Acts 20:35), most people seem to prefer a balance of the two. Exchanging presents can easily get out of hand, creating hardship for family members who can’t afford the expense. Try creative options. For example, you might give Christmas or birthday gifts to immediate family members, exchange names for other relatives, or give single gifts to family units.

There may be no specific right and wrong ways for families to spend the holidays together, but there could be better ways for you to approach holiday traditions and expectations. To keep those days worth celebrating, remember these tips:

 

 

Aim to make holiday times enjoyable and memorable.

Balance the development of your own traditions with those of the homes you came from.

Keep the focus on time spent together rather than amount of money spent.

 

From Focus on the Family’s Complete Guide to the First Five Years of Marriage, published by Tyndale. 

How Do The Ma’at’s Stay Soooo Connected?…Because You Asked

VIDEO: A viewer wrote in asking us how we manage to stay so connected given the everyday “stuff” in life. Well, we feel that every couple that is in a happy and healthy relationship has a uniqueness about them that makes them work. Listen in as we share how we stay sooo connected and how the flame of passion continues burning 15 years after we first met.

B Intentional Family, What helps you to stay connected and plugged into your spouse from day to day? Are there certain things you do to maintain that connection?

Healing Is A Process….Let’s Begin

By Ayize Ma’at

While sitting across the room from a couple, I watched his fidgety movements shout an ensnaring tale capturing a 27 year history of hesitation.  His ambivalence didn’t begin with her….however she views herself as the VICTIM of his indecision, his restlessness, his wandering eye…his failure to fully commit to her.  Her pain cast a cloudy glow around her that she’s been trying to shake for years.  His shame oozes from his pours…he doesn’t know how to shelter his soul from the storm that’s been hovering above him for years.  He hides…she hides.  They both are tormented…they both are torn…they both are hurt.  As they sit before us…in silence…in tears…in rage….in hope…we watch the subtle dance of healing begin.

If you’d like to have a session with Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at CLICK HERE.

Men, Women, & Intimacy: Different Genders Achieve It In Different Ways

By Team BLAM

Many people have concluded that men are less interested in intimacy and seek to avoid it. But maybe intimacy is in the eye of the beholder. There is little doubt that men and women naturally seek out different kinds of intimacy, but that’s different from saying that men are not interested in it.

Whereas women tend to define intimacy more in terms of verbal communication, there is some evidence that men define intimacy more in terms of shared activities. This is a critical point to keep in mind. When a female asks her husband to spend some time talking about feelings, she may be showing her preference for intimacy; but so is a male who asks his wife to watch a game with him or make love.

Oftentimes, these preferences reflect our upbringing. Little girls work on verbal intimacy and little boys “hang out” with others while doing activities—especially activities with rules, such as sports. If you watch little girls and compare them to little boys, you’ll see that relationship patterns go way back. Whether it’s because of physical differences or the ways we’re raised, girls tend to talk more about relationships than boys, and boys don’t put as much “obvious” time and energy into maintaining them. Many folks agree that this is true for adults as well.

With all that said—-here’s some simple, powerful advice: You should spend more time figuring out what is intimate for your partner rather than assuming too much about what your partner likes and wants based on his or her gender. The happiest couples have usually developed the ability to connect on several levels of intimacy, including verbal communication, shared activities & interests, and sensual partnership just to name a few.

BLAM Fam, what do you think? Are men and women wired differently when it comes to intimacy?

Adapted from Fighting For Your Marriage by Howard J. Markman, Scott M. Stanley, & Susan L. Blumberg

Marriage…Do You Have What It Takes?

By Neysa Ellery Taylor

I love wedding shows. I really do. I love looking at the dresses and seeing how people illustrate their love. From Say Yes To The Dress to Four Weddings, I really enjoy watching these shows. But they are just entertainment that tell you how to prepare for a wedding. There are no shows that tell you how to be married. I think that is where we do marriages a disservice. They show the fun highlights but don’t give anyone tools to endure marriage.

“Endure” sounds so apocalyptic doesn’t it? But let’s be honest – it’s not all roses. There are wonderful highs and some amazing lows. It takes a special kind of person to be able to weather all that comes with marriage. So do you have what it takes to be a spouse?

Can you open up and share yourself with another person? Sounds minor right? But it is true. Are you able to share all of yourself with your partner? Not just your PR agent that everyone meets, but the core of who you are? The reason this is so important is how can you ever accept someone fully if they’ve never seen you fully? You can’t.

Can you pursue God’s will for your life? Are you really ready to walk into all that God has placed in you? See, God placed all that vision in your life not for your own benefit but for the benefit of the kingdom. That kingdom starts with a little village – your family. So are you ready to go get it so that the blessings will pour down on your family?

Can you say no to temptation? Do I really need to say more? But can you resist all the tail that will be thrown at you the minute you say “I do”? What? You thought the ring was a booty repellent? Puh-lease! The ring is a magnet for booty. The ring increases your net worth. The ring says that somebody in this world thinks that you are so special that you were worth putting a ring on. That alone sets you apart from the rest. So can you say “no” to that?

Can you put the good of your spouse and family before everything else (except God)? Before your boys, before the sorority, before your church commitments, sometimes before your job… Can your immediate family come first?

Ladies: Can you keep a clean house? I know that is a generalization, but really in at least 8 out of 10 households the majority of housekeeping falls on a woman’s shoulders. That doesn’t mean that the men don’t contribute, they do. But the MAJORITY of the housework will fall on you. Is your house dirty? Not cluttered. Cluttered in a nuisance but it can be picked up. Is your house nasty? Because if is nasty with you living by yourself, then it will nastier when you have a spouse and kids.

Men: Do you have maintenance skills? Yep, another generalization. But in my informal survey – which is mainly just my friends – the majority of maintenance jobs are on the husband’s plate. Can you fix an overflowing toilet? Can you paint a wall? Can you find your way around a wrench? Is the lawnmower your friend? And if you answer no to all of the above questions, do you at least have the initiative to call someone to fix a problem?

And there are many more questions: Can you keep it hot in the bedroom? Can you forgive? Can you take care of someone at their worst and cheer for someone at their best? Can you celebrate your spouse’s success without being jealous? Can you love?

Neysa Ellery Taylor is an integral part of the writing team here at Blackloveandmarriage.com. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work at Myriadthatisme.blogspot.com

True Love Is Giving Love With No Agenda Attached

By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

“We ‘love’ another in order to get something ourselves….There can be no greater mistake than that, for love is incapable of asking for anything.” — A Course in Miracles

“Love is incapable of asking for anything.” Wow! Take a moment to think about that statement, and then think about what you think love is.

What do you think love is?

* Does love demand that another person give himself or herself up for you?

* Is love jealous?

* Does love ask another person to prove to you that he or she loves you?

* Does love expect that another should listen to your anger, your complaints, and your judgments?

* Are you being loving when you take responsibility for another’s feelings?

* Are you being loving when you are being a martyr?

* Are you being loving when you physically harm another – even if it is in the name of love?

In fact, aren’t all of the above what love is not?

If “Love is incapable of asking for anything,” then what is love?

* Love gives for the pure joy of giving – whether it is time, caring, understanding, compassion, kindness, help, money, gifts, compliments, and so on.

* Love is the energy that flows into you from Spirit when your heart is open. It fills you so that you don’t need anything from anyone, and then it flows out to others.

* Love is what you joyfully do to care for yourself, fully embracing the sacred privilege of taking loving care of yourself – of your feelings, your health, your environment, your safety and security, and your self of worth and self-esteem.

* Love sees what needs to be done and does it with no outcome in mind other than the joy of helping another.

* Love never has an agenda, as real love “is incapable of asking for anything.”

Are you “loving” another to get something for yourself? “There can be no greater mistake than that.”

Why can there be no greater mistake than that? Because whatever it is you are doing is not love. You are completely missing what love is. And in trying to “love” another to get something for yourself, you will always be disappointed. Your relationships will not work because they work only when there is love.

How do you reach a point where you don’t need anything from another – where you are so filled up with love within that you just want to offer it? How do you heal the emptiness within that is so needy of love?

By learning how to fill yourself with love, how to overflow with love like a glass of water so filled to the brim that it is overflowing. This will never happen from trying to get love from another.

There is only one way I know of to become filled with love, and that is to open your heart to learning – with your spiritual guidance – how to be loving to yourself.

You have to start with yourself, since it is only when you are filled with love that you have love to offer another. When you deeply desire to learn to be loving to yourself, your heart will open and you will start to receive love and wisdom from your Higher Self. You will be taught what loving yourself means, what thoughts to think and actions to take that are loving to you. As you do this, you will become filled with love and discover that you don’t actually need to get love from another.

When you learn to love yourself and fill yourself with love, you will discover the great joy and fulfillment in giving love – giving with no agenda attached.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Visit her at innerbonding.com.

How To Forgive Even When You Ain’t Feelin’ It

By Michelle Mayur

One of the most powerful gifts we can give ourselves is to forgive, both ourselves and others. In forgiving we are not condoning the behaviour of the person we perceive as having wronged us, but rather we are allowing ourselves to break the hold that person has on our lives. Feeling anger towards that person may have been well-justified, but unless it is dealt with and processed it becomes a corrosive aspect in our bodies, leading to physical disease and emotional illness. Holding onto feelings of anger or revenge are likely to be hurting us rather than the original perpetrator, with whom we may not have had any contact for years, or worse still, who may have already passed over. Do you really want to hurt yourself as well by not forgiving?

Even if you feel you can only make baby steps towards forgiving someone, at least forgive yourself for having allowed yourself to be caught up in the drama for so long. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness.

Below are a couple of my favourite forgiveness affirmations:

FORGIVENESS AFFIRMATION

I forgive everyone who has ever hurt or harmed me, consciously or unconsciously, in this lifetime or any other, in this universe, dimension, plane or level of existence or any other.

I offer them grace.

I ask forgiveness for everything I have ever done to hurt or harm another, consciously or unconsciously, in this lifetime or any other, in this universe, dimension, plane or level of existence or any other.

I ask for grace.

I forgive myself for everything I have ever done to hurt or harm another, consciously or unconsciously, in this lifetime or any other, in this universe, dimension, plane or level of existence or any other.

I accept grace.

I am free. All chains and restrictions fall from me. I stand in my full power as a master.

AFFIRMATION OF FORGIVENESS & ATONEMENT

I don’t know why you did what you did,

And I don’t know why you said what you said,

And I don’t know why you are the way you are,

But I accept that’s where you need to be now,

And I forgive you and I forgive myself.

I release all anger, bitterness and resentment,

Past or present,

And I release us both in my love.

And so be it.

Exercise: Reclaiming Your Power

All those that you have ever perceived as having wronged you have at a soul level presented themselves to you as opportunities to learn. If you haven’t learnt the lesson, then the other person has also failed in teaching you. Connect to the divine spark in all of them and feel yourself reclaiming your own power directly from the limitless supply of Divine Power. Forgive yourself for allowing yourself to be caught up in the drama of unforgiveness for so long. See and feel yourself rising up above the circumstances and letting them crumble away below.

Exercise: Forgiveness of Self and Others

Think of a person who has wronged you and for whom there is still bad feeling. Place your hands over your heart with the intention to channel energy to your heart. Read the affirmation of forgiveness and atonement words, with feeling, in your mind and channel energy for 10 minutes or until you feel a shift in your heart. Don’t be surprised if you experience tears as a release as you forgive yourself allowing you to move forward with grace.

Michelle Mayur, a conscious entrepreneur specialising in “Heal the Healer”. Tools and info for developing Wellness Professionals personally and in business. http://twitter.com/angelheal

Got Intimacy? Avoid These 11 Intimacy Killers

By Lori Radun As human beings, we all have an innate need to be close to someone. But sometimes the very thing we desire is the opposite of what we have. Some of us subconsciously sabotage the relationships we want because of our fear of intimacy. Sometimes we unknowingly and unwillingly drift apart because of our inability to engage in the delicate dance of intimacy. Others avoid intimacy altogether because the pain of past failures is too great. Intimacy, physical and emotional closeness, is tough to navigate our way through. It takes skill, hard work and commitment. I wish I could tell you it is easy once you know how. True intimacy is tough to achieve, but who says the best gifts are easy to obtain? In all honesty, I am certainly no expert on how to maintain and nurture closeness, but I have learned 11 things that will definitely kill intimacy in a relationship.

Dishonesty and Silence Intimacy requires honesty and openness. It only takes one lie to destroy the trust in a relationship. To be close to someone, we need to be able to share what is true and real about us. And we must be willing to hear someone else’s truth. Sometimes we think that it is best to not say anything at all if it means it may hurt our partner. So we silently hang on to our truth or share our truth with the wrong people. When we do this, there is no opportunity for the relationship to grow with integrity.

Lack of Trust Sometimes there is no dishonesty in the relationship, but still a lack of trust exists. Perhaps healthy trust has never been a part of your life, or maybe a painful event in life has fractured your ability to trust. A person must heal from their past and base their decision to trust someone on the present actions of a person. Deem people trustworthy until proven otherwise.

Desire to Change People True intimacy necessitates acceptance. Having acceptance of yourself and your partner is a powerful indicator of love. It doesn’t mean you have to like everything, but you need to let go of the need to change another person. When we lack acceptance of another person’s qualities, our tendency is to control. That control manifests itself in disapproving feelings, and sometimes even pressuring people to change. To feel close to another person, you must feel unconditionally accepted for who you are.

Inability to Express Your Needs and Feelings Unfortunately we, as humans, do not have the power to read minds. Therefore, we have to rely on our partners to communicate with us and vice versa. It is each person’s responsibility to express their needs and feelings. By sharing who we are and what’s important to us, we significantly increase our chances of having our needs met. On the other hand, if we repress our needs and feelings, we shut the other person out of our world, and make intimacy impossible.

Not Listening Communication is a two-way street. Many of us have no problem talking, but listening poses more of a challenge. Listening requires us to hear our partners with our heart. An added step to listening is acknowledging what we have heard. Are you really hearing your partner’s feelings and needs? Or are you thinking about how your partner is wrong or how you want to defend yourself? If your partner is constantly communicating the same need or feeling to you over and over, chances are you are not hearing your partner with your heart.

Self-Centeredness The minute you decide to enter into a committed relationship, the moment self-centeredness becomes a thing of the past. Intimacy requires there to be a balance between self, the other person and the relationship. It’s not about just you anymore. You have to take the feelings and needs of the other person and the relationship into consideration. Decisions about money, routines, free time, children, time, etc. now have to include your partner’s input.

Lack of Respect Chances are if you lack respect for your partner, your intimate life probably suffers. To respect means you hold a high opinion and highly value yourself or another person. You appreciate and show consideration for people. The closeness of intimacy needs a general feeling of respect for self and your partner. It also means you need to behave in a way that deserves respect. You cannot expect your partner to respect you if your actions do not warrant respect.

Imbalance of Power There cannot be one person in a relationship that sees him or herself as more important than his or her partner. A relationship consists of two people with perceived equality. That doesn’t mean one person isn’t smarter, more knowledgeable about certain topics, or has greater strengths in certain areas. It means the difference is not highlighted, flaunted or disrespected. Having a balance of power requires each person to have equal say in a discussion. It means the needs and feelings of each person are equally important.

Unhealthy Arguments All couples have disagreements. The intimacy in your relationship will suffer if you let your arguments get out of hand. Angry words, unresolved arguments, and inflicting emotional and physical pain will destroy intimacy. Couples that are close learn how to respectfully and healthily resolve their arguments.

Absence of Touch Although physical intimacy is just a part of total intimacy, it is a very important part. If you don’t make a point to hug, kiss, and experience sexual intimacy, your level of intimacy will be affected. You can still be close, but touch adds extra feelings of warmth, safety and love.

Extreme Separateness So many couples, after time, begin to live separate lives. Either their differences separate them or unawareness or lack of intention cause them to drift apart. Intimacy requires people to spend time together and share in each other’s life. A relationship is like a garden. You need to take the time to pull the weeds, fertilize and water the flowers. In other words, it requires time, love, and a commitment to keep the bad to a minimum. If you want your relationship to be intimate, love and respect one another, do your best to meet one another’s needs, share your dreams and feelings, and avoid these eleven intimacy killers.

Lori Radun, CEC – certified life coach for moms. To receive her FREE newsletter for moms and the special report “155 Things Moms Can Do to Raise Great Children, visit her website at http://www.true2youlifecoaching.com