Love Bites


Recently, I hooked up with my friend Muna, who is into a bad relationship, and when we got talking she went off about how low she feels in the strange love circle. I had to ask her, why are you still with him? Strange as it may seem, sometimes it’s not just that easy to let go. And this is not peculiar to women; I’ve had male friends as well, who found they just couldn’t walk away from a bad relationship that easily.

It’s an emotional thing, much like that old pair of slip-on you have sitting by your bedside, you know it’s so worn out that you do not feel comfortable being seen in them, but you just do not let them go.

While we sat discussing her love issues, I remembered an article I’d come across earlier in the week, and I just had to share it with her; here Karen Vogel agrees that letting go of someone you love can be the scariest and most difficult thing you ever do, even if you know it’s the right move to make; knowing that nothing is better than being in love, so it’s only natural that when you are lucky enough to find love, you do everything in your power to hold on to it”. It gets to a point where you just have to do the needful and walk away; when that’s done, Vogel shares with us 5 ways to heal and find happiness again.

Give yourself permission to grieve: While your impulse may be to ignore the pain, suppressing it will only prolong the healing process. Grief is healthy. Yes, suffering is uncomfortable, but it’s important to let yourself grieve. The act of crying is scientifically proven to lower stress and elevate your mood.

Accept that it’s over: This may seem obvious, but sadly, many of us cling to a false hope that the other person will come back to us, and things will magically sort themselves out. However, dwelling on something you have no control over will only add to your misery. Sure, you may get back together one day down the line, but it’s best to assume you won’t, and prepare to move on.“ Acceptance grounds you in what is true, which is where you have to start for any true effectiveness, happiness, or healing,” says Rick Hanson, Ph.D. “Acceptance is the foundation of wisdom and inner peace.”

Distance yourself and get rid of relationship reminders: It’s helpful to think of this time as a cleansing period. Many people have a hard time letting go completely and stay in touch, regardless of how much it hurts. Cutting off contact, at least temporarily, is essential for your mental well-being. Also, get rid of the tangible reminders—pictures, clothes, and songs—that can trigger nostalgia.“ Even if the split is amicable, it’s important you both go your own way and stop leaning on each other because that keeps you emotionally and energetically tied,” says life coach Christine Hassler, relationship expert and frequent contributor to MastinKipp’s Daily Love. “You prolong your healing process and may be preventing learning the lessons you need to learn by continuing to have contact.”

Don’t relive all the happy memories: Remember the reasons why you broke up. Glorifying the past will do nothing but hurt you. It’s hard to think logically when you get swept up in such intense emotions, so when you catch yourself reminiscing about your ex, shift your focus elsewhere. Keep busy and find ways to distract yourself. “Join a running group, find an intramural team, play basketball at a nearby park,” eHarmony experts advise.

“Even taking your dog for more walks is good for both the body and soul. A little fresh air can go a long way when your brain is taxed and your heart is weary.”

Anytime I’m feeling vulnerable or second-guessing my decision, I write down a list of reasons why we broke up and reread it.

Remain optimistic and have faith you will find love again: When you let go of someone who was bad for you, you make room in your life for new people and new possibilities. Starting over can be scary, you may fear being vulnerable or getting hurt again—but it is only when you truly let go that a new love can come in. Prepare yourself by staying positive and focusing on what you really want, and you will ultimately find a healthier, deeper love.

13 Little Signs you are With The Right Person

By: Carolyn Steber

Relationships have its ups and downs. Sometimes you may feel that you are with the wrong person because it could get really tough but this doesn’t mean you have made the wrong decision in choosing a partner. Regardless of all the tough and rocky times, you would be able to tell if you are with the right person.If your relationship has a few of the traits below, it’s likely you two are going to be OK. It just may require a dose of understanding from both sides, as well as some extra work to make things, well, work. And, more often than not, that’s totally worth it.

  1. You Know How to Help Each De-Stress

Like I said, life can be tough and relationships can be rocky. But if you both retain the ability to laugh about it all, you’ll likely be OK. Do you watch movies to de-stress? Or make each other laugh? “These shared experiences help couples connect in essential ways,” says relationship therapist Julienne B. Derichs, LCPC. “It helps you learn how not to take things too personally, which is so helpful in any long-term relationship.”

  1. They Always Make You a Priority

If your partner makes you a priority in life, that’s an excellent sign they’re good for you. “We all have a lot pulling for our attention these days so if you’re still at the top of the list when times are rough, that’s a sign that your partner still respects and holds you, dear,” says coach Audra R. Upchurch.

  1. Your Partner Has the Utmost Respect for You

As I said above, respect is another foundation of a healthy relationship. “Respect can carry your relationship a long way, especially when emotions are tested,” Upchurch says. “Don’t allow momentary difficulties to cloud your judgement.” If they still have that R-E-S-P-E-C-T, then you should consider keeping them around.

  1. You’re Both Still Willing to Make an Effort

The moment your partner doesn’t want to put in the work is the moment you’ll know they’ve got to go. But, if they are willing to work things out, think twice. As Upchurch says, “The desire to continue fighting is huge! That means you both still feel and see a future together, even if the vision is cloudy. There is something there that is worth holding to.”

  1. You Trust Them and Feel Secure In the Relationship

It’s OK if you two don’t see eye-to-eye on everything, as long as there is a sturdy foundation of trust. If you can trust your partner it’s a good sign they are right for you. If this doesn’t ring true, however, it may be time to rethink things.  

  1. They’re Always There to listen and Offer Support

Another sign of a healthy relationship?An ability to give and accept support.If your partner asks how you are doing, and listens to your problems without judgment, it’s a good sign they’ve got your best interests at heart. And that’s the sign of a good match.

  1. Fights Are Always Rational and Fair

While it’s OK to argue, it’s not OK to fight dirty. So consider your partner a keeper if they know how to argue in a healthy way with you.

  1. You Communicate Clearly and Honestly No Matter What

It’s been said a million times, but communication is where it’s at when it comes to healthy relationships. So, if you and your partner know how to talk (and listen), then you’re likely good for each other. They make time and effort to communicate clearly and honestly, no matter what.

  1. You Both Remain Optimistic, Even In Tough Times

Life can get as rocky as it wants without destroying your relationship, as long as you both know how to remain optimistic. If a person gets stuck in their ways or ideas, working through things is difficult. If they are open to possibility and really hearing what you have to say, improvement is nearly guaranteed.” And that’s the key to long-term success.

  1. Most Problems Exist Outside the Relationship

Things like family troubles, money issues, or a loss of a job can really impact your relationship — and maybe even lead to a few arguments. But that doesn’t mean you two aren’t meant to be together. “All of the above circumstances have to deal with how the couple handles life issues and not whether or not they are actually compatible,” says dating expert Kevin Darné. “Granted, sustained difficult times can cause one or both people to want to throw in the towel. But as long as they’re not both feeling that way at the same time there is hope.”

  1. Your Partner Shows a Genuine Concern for Your Well-Being

At the end of the day, you’re with the right person if they make it obvious how much they care — even when things aren’t so fun. “Love doesn’t disappear because times are rough,” Upchurch says. “If your partner can look beyond what’s going on in the relationship and still be there for you as a person, this is someone you might want to hold on to, even during difficult times.”

  1. Neither Of You Tries to “Win” Arguments

There are few things more toxic than a partner who wants to win an argument at any cost, so take note if yours seems to be OK with being wrong. “Having problems and talking them through, even if you just agree to disagree, is a sign that you’re with the right person,” marriage and family counsellor Art Jackson tells Bustle. “When it comes to arguments, it’s less about ‘winning’ and more about learning how to communicate your point effectively.”

  1. You’re OK With Spending Time Apart

The healthiest of partnerships consist of two people who are cool with spending time apart. So count yourself among the lucky if you know how to give each other space. it gives you time to do your things, which is a huge key to success.

According to statistics which emerged from a study conducted to mark the paperback release of The Rosie Project, a novel about a man’s quest to find his perfect wife, it was revealed that while 94 percent of women believe in true love, just 88 percent of men feel the same way.


Your Dictionary defines True love as a strong and lasting affection between spouses or lovers who are in a happy, passionate and fulfilling relationship. In the same vein, the Oxford dictionary sees true love as an intense feeling of deep affection. There are various interpretations as to what true love means, however, the search for a compatible partner which most women might call “Mr. Right”, often poses a huge problem.


Lori Gottlieb, an American writer and Author of the book “Marry Him” says, “Every woman I know – no matter how successful and ambitious, how financially and emotionally secure – feels panic, occasionally coupled with desperation, if she hits 30 and finds herself unmarried. She argues that women should be realistic and understand that marriage is not a “passion-fest” but instead, a “partnership formed to run a very small, mundane and often boring non-profit business”. According to the author, older, single women often deny themselves any chance of finding happiness by failing to downgrade their expectations.

“But marrying Mr. Good Enough might be equally viable, especially if you’re looking for a reliable life companion.” Gottlieb also suggests that marriage to someone who may seem like Mr. Right could even be less successful.


These kinds of assertions have taken center stage in casual discussions among women as there seem to be divergent views on this critical subject. It is against this backdrop that the Amazons Watch Magazine conducted an exclusive interview with Dr. Nisha Khanna, a prominent Indian Marriage Counsellor who is an expert in family and relationship issues. Here is what she has to say:


What is your definition of a perfect partner?

The word perfect partner is mostly used in fairy tales or story books but in reality, it is easy to name, but difficult to prove. Actually, there is no single person on this earth who is perfect so how can we think of a perfect partner, if more or less we are not perfect at all. The perfect partner is not always perfect. A couple is incomplete without each other. One person completes the other’s incompleteness. Having a perfect partner doesn’t mean a person with similar educational qualification or similar social class or age or physical attractiveness or similar in ethnic, religion and cultural background. It is not a person you dream but it is someone who completes you, with whom you find harmony in yourself individually and as a couple together. It is a person who understands you, who helps to flourish and nourish you on one or the other aspects of life. A person who loves the similarities (like hobbies, interests, passions etc.) you share with each other and respect the differences (even opinions, thought processes etc.) A person who supports you in your high and low moments and who will be there with you through thick and thin. A person with whom you let go of yourself, and are ready to learn and unlearn about interpersonal dynamics and supports, even if it doesn’t match yours.


Does having a supposed right partner guarantee the security of a relationship/marriage?

Marriage involves two people along with families. I believe as a professional, the right efforts like time, patience, good communication, understanding, care, trust, respect, forgiveness, independence along with interdependence on mutual basis can guarantee the security of the relationship, not the supposed right partner. One person especially you can correct your part of mistakes and learn how to deal the situation maturely and help the other one.

Could it be said that the reason for the rise in divorce rates is as a result of wrong choices women have made?

There is no single reason for the rise in the divorce rate. Society changed, the law changed, so perceptions towards marriage also changed. In spite of wrong choices women had made, we can say women empowerment plays a major role in today’s scenario of increasing divorce rate. Economic independence of women as they realize their self-worth and started working equally like men and not ready to adjust and bear nonsense (dowry, physical & mental torture) and tolerate male dominance and deny to play the underdog or traditional role as a care taker/home maker. Law also gives and supports equal women rights. But as a marriage and family counsellor, I believe compatibility issues, unrealistic expectations, emotional disconnect, unhappy sexual life along with the mutual lack of patience, respect, understanding, ego clashes and temperamental issues are the few of the major reasons for the rise in divorce. Divorce is more positively acceptable in society. Along with all the above, high increase of live-in relationships, interference of parents (Both Girl and Boy sides), marriage against parents wish, misuse of law also plays a major role in Indian divorces.

It is a proven fact that no human being has reached a state of perfection. Bearing this in mind, what should older women do in order to win a companion?

Women should accept and lessen their list of expectations and criteria of a perfect partner. Women should learn to accept imperfections and in spite of looking for a right partner, she should look upon herself to become right. I always observed in my professional Indian settings that mostly, a woman’s life revolves around the life partner and his family of origin after the marriage. The partner’s family has very high expectations from the woman and it is not easy to win their heart. A partner is the most integral part of a woman’s life but not the whole life so women should not look up to him to provide her the only source of happiness. Women should take responsibility of her own set of expectations, her negative reactions, her dark moods and her insecurities so that she would be happy and take care of herself, partner and family in a best possible way and whenever required would be able to ignore the differences and imperfections of others.

Would you say maturity and exposure impede the process of getting the right partner?

I agree! When they are more mature and have more exposure to life and experiences, they would like to have a partner of more or less similar thought process which most of the time delay the process of getting the right partner. Because of a higher set of expectations, they would not like to compromise on a lot of aspects. They start thinking and seeing themselves as more adjustable and accommodative whereas finding others likes as immature and impractical. Sometimes they started perceiving them as children and as a result lose a good suitable companion.

What yardsticks could be used to measure compatibility or “rightness” of a partner? It has been said that the older you get the wiser you become.

Wisdom has no connection with age but still, we associate it with age. Definitely, with increasing age, we expect more maturity and intelligence to handle the situations, people, and life. There are no such yardsticks to measure rightness because every person is unique and have a different set of expectations and requirements but still there are certain dynamics of relationships on which we can measure compatibility. To measure that level of assertiveness is a preliminary stepping stone in relationship/marriage along with the feeling of being confident with your partner. The tendency to avoid issues or deal directly with issues, partner’s dominance, effective coping strategies, partner’s style and habits, financial management, time management and leisure activities are the core competencies accompanying healthy sexual life and proper division of labor in checking compatibility with a partner. Along with this, family and friend’s spiritual beliefs, forgiveness and personal stress also play important role in measuring rightness.


Does it follow that an older woman should have better relationships than the younger women?  

We can’t generalize the things but definitely, with younger women, it is easy to mold the habit and personality traits. As with young age mostly due to the lesser experience they have narrow outlook towards life. Older women mess less with the head as compared to younger women. They may have past baggage and their biological clock tick real fast but old women have confidence enough to handle people and situations whatever life throws at them as they are more mature and independent. With older women, it’s difficult to change the pattern and behavior but they learn to ignore most of the things with the passage of time.






By: Valerie Dei

Do you have someone in your life that is battling with weight loss? Or a partner that is overweight but you do not know how to help out with the weight loss journey for fear of hurting your partner’s feeling? Well, it is okay to feel this way but it is also very possible to go about this without hurting their feelings. If you have decided to take this bold step, It is very important to be gentle and non-judgmental.

Note that your spouse needs to make this decision of losing weight before you can help. When that decision has been made you can then support with the following guide:

  1. Be a major source of Encouragement: Always try to be appreciative of the little success you partner makes at a time. Research shows that people that successfully lose weight are those that had people encouraging them to keep moving. Send your spouse a text saying how proud you are or how great he looked before he left for work. Brag about him on social media etc.
  2. Be a healthy role model: Be that person your partner looks at and gets motivated to continue the weight loss journey. Do not say you look healthy and eat all the junk you can get your hands on in the presence of your partner who is probably on diet instead eat healthily. You can even volunteer to eat some of their diet foods with them, or at least taste the dishes they prepare or join him/her to the gym.
  3. Avoid using the word can’t: Rather than focusing on all the things he “shouldn’t” eat, think about how he can add healthy foods or healthy habits. For example, instead of saying you shouldn’t be taking chickens, you could say why don’t we eat salmon instead.
  4. Do not channel all your attention to your partner’s weight loss struggle:  do not concentrate entirely on your partner’s weight and forget to pay attention to other aspects of their life. Let them see that you are as concerned about them as you are to the weight problem. Let them know you care about them regardless of their size.
  5. Recognize triggers: there are several things that can make a dieter go back to the habit of overeating. Some of which are; Stress, boredom, loneliness, conflict, fatigue etc. as you take out time to figure out possible triggers try not to be one yourself.
  6. Learn about your partner’s diet program: make effort to know your partner’s diet plan; this entails knowing the kinds of foods they’re eating, how the plan works, and what it involves, such as attending meetings or participating in online support groups. Then, respect the time they want to devote to these activities.

As a relationship gets older, trust is often times misplaced or misunderstood. Most times because of the fact that majority of us before getting into a relationship do not take out time to know how much trust means to you and your partner and we also do not take out time to communicate our expectations in the relationship to one another.

Before you can build trust it is important to take out time to know the mindset your partner is bringing into the relationship or the expectations he has concerning the relationship. When these have been achieved trust becomes easier to build.

Here are 8 ways to build trust in your relationship.

  1. Trust is Earned: do not assume that trust already exists in your relationship rather constantly work to earn it by being conscious of our actions and how it affects the people we care about.
  2. Keep Secrets: this doesn’t mean keeping secret from your partner rather it means keeping it for them. Keep your personal conversations at home only bring it up if he/she initiates the conversation.
  3. Don’t Judge: your opinion on something’s may be different from that of your partner but this doesn’t mean you should judge him/ her. The fact that it is important to your partner is all that matters. Before you can build trust in a relationship you must respect your differences without being judgmental.
  4. Keep your Promises: it is important to keep promises in a relationship. When you are unable to fulfill a promise that has been made do not fail to apologize and make amends.
  5. Communicate openly and in Person: Make it a point of duty to communicate important issues in person with your partner not via chats, calls or messages because the true meaning of your message can be lost and may also aggravate the situation at hand.
  6. Become Vulnerable: Do not play safe in your relationship if you want to build trust rather allow yourself to be vulnerable. Be real with your partner that means sharing things that you often keep hidden. The ultimate sign of trust is living your truth and by doing so your partner will be more comfortable living theirs.
  7. Disagree behind closed doors: Disagreeing with your partner in public can shame or humiliate him/her. It is healthier to voice your disagreement at home in a respectful way allowing both parties have their ego intact.
  8. Forgive: there is no such thing as a perfect person we all are bound to make mistakes. Do not hesitate to forgive your partner when he/ her does something wrong and try not to hold on to past transgressions. Letting go of the hurt, accepting the apology and moving on builds a trust based on truth and love.

Emotions are part of us as humans. Most of the times, we take decisions based on our emotions but as much as it is a very important part of our life it is good that we have control over it and not let our feelings control us.

The way we feel at certain points is quite difficult to manage especially when we have reached our breaking point. It may sometimes lead to bottling up emotions which serve as the best poison to mess up your perfectly healthy relationship, work life, and even casual friendships.

How then do we get a handle on our feelings when we have reached our breaking point? How do you stop bottling up your emotions? It’s a tough practice, but I’ve got a few answers. Let’s try them out.


Feelings can get the better part of us sometimes but it is important that we put a check on our emotions. Ignoring emotions make it consume you the more which is the opposite of what you want.

A lot of times the reason we explode is because prior to that time we didn’t take out time to know exactly what we are feeling; it could be jealousy, anxiety, fear etc.. And when we aren’t even aware of how we are feeling, we have little control over how we process or express ourselves.

The first step to taking control of our emotions is to acknowledge them.

So if you haven’t done a feelings inventory in a while, now is a good time to start. Get to know yourself. You could start off by doing one once a week, then once a day, then even once an hour. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your feelings can shift, and how your more dominant feelings tend to stick longer. Knowing that you’ve been feeling angry for a week is some crucial information that could easily stop you from going off on a random sales associate who is trying to gently push the new fall line when all you wanted was a pair of socks.

Some shortcuts to identifying feelings: 

Is your body tense?
What words are popping up in your thoughts?
Is your inner dialogue happy?
Are you being nice to others internally?
Do you have extra energy?
Are you feeling the need to talk to someone?
What’s on your mind right now?
What’s been your most common thought?
If you had to use a feeling word to describe your past week, what would it be?

Again, these are just little shortcuts. Everyone may have different ways of identifying or labeling their feelings – and that’s not entirely important. What’s important is that you are correctly and consistently acknowledging how you feel.

One more thing: If you use the word “like” after “I feel” – that’s not a feeling. That’s a thought. For example, “I feel like I want to punch someone in the face” is not a feeling. “I feel ANGRY” is a feeling.


Once you get the hang of identifying your feelings, it becomes second nature. By now you know that your morning coffee makes you feel excited, run-ins with your coworker make you feel anxious, daily meetings with your boss make you feel motivated, and your nightly walks make you feel relaxed. Boom. You’re an expert.

Blurting out your feelings around the clock seems odd. Not everyone wants to know that your stress level spikes whenever you hang out with Karen because you know she’s going to start talking about her recent promotion and how she walked 578348387939 steps yesterday. I get it. But in order to not hold everything in, you’re going to have to start letting some out.

You can start slow. Karen might not need to know that you have high blood pressure because of her fabulous long walks, but you can say “Girl, let’s talk about something else – I’m getting stressed out.”  Your boss might not love a suck-up, but saying something to the tune of, “Thanks, I feel motivated now” is simple and to the point. And who knows – your barista might love it if you exclaim “Yay! Love this morning coffee!” before your first sip. You don’t have to share every single feeling that you discover, but getting in the habit of sharing a few a day will prep you for when it really counts.


Okay, so this is where things get a little tricky.

In order to stop bottling up your feelings, you have to stop feeling so ashamed of them.

Feelings are feelings. They aren’t dirty, they aren’t pathetic, they aren’t meaningless and they definitely aren’t stupid. They’re just feelings. They are born for a reason and they exist for a reason. You might be used to the idea that feelings aren’t “logical” and guess what? They aren’t. But just because they don’t follow the rules of logic does not mean they aren’t RATIONAL. Feelings are very rational. They are legitimate. So we have to start treating them as such.

Whenever you come across an icky feeling that you really don’t want to share (think: jealousy), explore it. Sit in it. Pick it apart. See if you can investigate and get closer to the origin and the workings behind it.

Some shortcuts to understanding feelings:

What was the trigger?
What’s the ongoing fuel?
Why can’t it be released?
Is there something that continues to contribute to it?
What residual feelings or behaviors has it inspired?
How strong is this feeling? Is it taking over my day or a passing thought?
Is it overflowing into other aspects of my life?
Am I projecting?

I could go on and on.

I know that feelings of shame, embarrassment, anger, sadness, and jealousy aren’t fun. I know that society pretends like they don’t exist half the time and prefers everyone to wear their “game face.” I also know that sometimes we have to oblige because those are the dumb rules we have created for ourselves. But I do not want you to get in the habit of pushing these feelings aside because these are the very feelings that will bite you in the booty at the most inopportune time.

And when that happens – just like that – your night is ruined.

I can guarantee you that whoever is on the receiving end of these feelings either 1) has NOTHING to do with it in any way, shape or form, or 2) is so bombarded and overwhelmed that they have no idea how to make things better. And their silence probably sends you into even more of a tailspin.

So what do we do!??!

Just like everything else, start small. Take your time with these feelings before you communicate them. If you practice daily, there might be times when your icky feeling works itself out and doesn’t need to be communicated anymore. Yay! Other times, you might have to engage in multiple discussions to release the feeling. (Semi-boo!). The great news is the more you process internally, the less of a hot mess you will be whilst communicating. You will have such a firm handle on what it is that you are feeling, why you are feeling that way, and the underlying mechanisms that your communication is going to be crystal clear as opposed to your typical mumbles of “I don’t know!” and “stop asking!”

You’re going to be a PRO. And before you know it, you won’t have a reason to bottle up your emotions, because they’re already going to be out in the open.


So not every conversation you have has to be this big ominous thing. It’s not like every time you experience a crap feeling you have to dim the lights and sit down face to face for a fun filled hour long fight.

Try to put your style of communication into the mix. Personally, I like humor. I’m not, like, exceptionally funny (Ok I’m not that funny at all) and I also did not come up with this technique on my own, but it works. I use a lot of self-deprecating humor or small jokes to communicate some not fun feelings sometimes. If I constantly expressed every one of my blah emotions in a serious tone, no one would ever want to be around me.

So instead, I prioritize my not-fun feelings and decide on their level of importance. If my scale is 1 (a passing mood) to 10 (GET OUT OF MY FREAKING WAY I AM COMING FOR YOU) then feelings between a 1 – 7 are most likely going to be bundled in some sort of a joke. Something like “One of us is better at hanging up our towels than the other” or adding a fun voice to “are you trying to make me jealousssss?” will suffice. Some might say this is masking or deflecting, and whatever. Maybe it is. But we can’t sit here and be so serious all the time. You are allowed to communicate your crummy feelings in a light-hearted manner as long as you make them reasonably clear.

Always remember that your friends, your family, and your significant other are not mind readers.

They don’t know what pushes your buttons and what upsets you. They have no idea what other circumstances you might be dealing with (or they might forget!). They can’t have a pulse on your inner feelings 24/7. It is your job to express them and it is your job not to explode in their face when you do so.

Not bottling up your emotions will unlock a world of tranquility, openness, honesty, and connection that you haven’t experienced before. Not every conversation will be so charged. You, nor the special people in your life, will feel the need to walk on eggshells waiting for the other shoe to drop. You will have a handle on yourself and a handle on what makes you tick. It’s a beautiful thing. And it all starts with acknowledging your emotions.



Couples who are able to withstand tough times in their relationship are more likely to gain a stronger connection to one another. No relationship is void of challenges hence the importance of resilience. Resilience is simply the ability to bounce back and grow and thrive during challenges, change, and stress. The following are ways to achieve resilience in a relationship:

CARE rather than confront during tough conversations. 
Resilient couples know how to communicate assertively — that is, in a clear, confident and controlled manner. While that’s easier said than done, particularly with tough conversations, here’s a model to help:

C — Communicate the facts. 
A — Address your concerns in an objective way
R — Reach out and ask the other person for his/her perspective
E — Evaluate outcomes

Most importantly, do your homework before you even have the conversation. Ask yourself whether you have an accurate understanding of the problem.

Find your “I want” power. 
Relationships can take a little (and some days, a lot of) self-discipline. Stanford health psychologist, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, coined the phrase “I want” power, and it’s an important component of self-control. “I want” power is the ability to find your motivation when it really matters — that important long-term goal that you want to focus your time and energy on. What are you working toward as a couple? Whatever it is, you need to be able to tap into this “I want” power when your will power reserves are running low.

Connect during daily transition points. 
I don’t know about you, but my mornings tend to be busy getting ready for the day, and then when I get home from work, I’m exhausted and focused on starting dinner and other tasks. Resilient couples acknowledge each other at distinct transition points during the day: waking up, leaving for the day, coming back together at the end of the day and going to sleep. The acknowledgment can be as simple as a kiss, hug, smile or touch.

Help each other relive good news.
Human beings are hard-wired to notice and remember negative news and events. That’s why you stand at the ready when your partner says, “Hey, I have a problem!” But what do you do when your partner says, “I’ve got great news?” How you respond to the good news is as important for the health of your relationship as how you respond to bad news according to psychologist, Dr. Shelly Gable. Killing the conversation by offering a short acknowledgment (“Hey, that’s great”) or hijacking the conversation by making it about you (“I’m training for that marathon, too!”) are quick ways to weaken a relationship.

Reframe your thinking during tough times.
When a relationship hits a rough patch, it can be easy to think pessimistically. Thinking optimistically isn’t about rainbows and unicorns, rather, it’s about being realistic. Optimistic thinkers are able to identify solutions that haven’t yet been tried (instead of trying the same thing over and over again that isn’t working). In addition, optimistic thinkers zero in on what they can control, influence or leverage. One question I always ask myself during tough times is, “Will I still be dealing with this problem in the next month or year?” Odds are, the answer is no, and that gives me a little perspective.

Have hope.
Whether you’re dealing with a sick child, contemplating a divorce or break-up, or wondering how you’re going to pay the bills, resilient couples have hope.

The three elements of hope include having goals (identifying pathways); feeling empowered to shape your daily life (remember to zero in on where you have control, influence, and leverage); and identifying multiple avenues toward making your goals happen. Hope has been shown to be a strong predictor of satisfaction, even being called a symptom of happiness.

Practice empathy.
The ability to understand another person’s experiences and emotions is a powerful relationship tool. In addition to promoting forgiveness, empathy is also a hallmark of resilience. Empathetic people tend to be less selfish, having a genuine interest in the well-being of others.

One of my favorite quotes is, “One of the hardest parts of life is deciding whether to walk away or try harder.” There are many reasons to both stay in, and leave, a relationship. Choosing to stay requires resilience, and hopefully one of these seven strategies makes a difference in your relationship.