student love tip: talk

This is a Student Love Tip by Kayla Ticen

Most people like to talk. This is very important when it comes to romantic relationships. When in a romantic relationship, if neither of you talk about your feelings or self-disclose information about yourself then the relationship is more likely to be doomed. Couples must talk about what is going on in their separate lives (for example: at work or what each other's families are up to) and their joint life (for example: their future together or planning a vacation). You must also talk about your feelings. If there is something that is bothering you or if you're upset about something, then it needs to be talked about and listened to. Otherwise, you and your mate could have all this pent up anger and aggression and then when that switch is flipped, it is going to be really difficult to recover. All of that anger is going to come out at once and some people have a hard time getting over an explosion like that. It's easy to talk and listen to your parter if you start from the beginning with openness. You will be a lot less hesitant to approach your mate about something that is bothering or upsetting you. Also if you and your mate are open from the get-go, you will not feel attacked or bombarded when he or she does come to you with something important to talk about. Being open doesn't mean you're good at just working things out and talking about your problems verbally, it also means that you talk about everyday happenings, such as work. Your relationship develops further because of these conversations. Openness and routine talking are a very important part of romantic relationships.

Click HERE to read about the Student Love Tip Series

student love tip: manage your conflict

This is a Student Love Tip by Shelley Wallace

Many times people will become defensive when their partners try to give them constructive criticism. Being defensive can include habitual reactions, such as excuses, whining, shifting blame, or countering with criticism of your own. Acting defensively just makes the conflict worse. Your partner could get worked up or angry. He or she will probably think that you are guilty because you are trying to defend yourself so much. To prevent yourself from acting defensively take a couple deep breathes and calm yourself down before reacting to what your partner has just said. For example, many times I tend to respond in a whiney voice right after my boyfriend gives me some sort of criticism. Realizing that I do this, I now try to think before I respond back to him. Try to speak non-defensively by being aware of your body language. Try not to point your finger, roll your eyes, or throw your arms up in the air. You should also avoid letting your complaints lead to negative criticism or contempt. Signs of this can include insults, name calling, or using the words “always” and “never” (i.e. I always cook dinner for you, and you never even clean the dishes.). But remember, conflict can be a good thing if handled correctly, so work on these things to help better manage your conflict.

Click HERE to read about the Student Love Tip Series

student love tips

I recently asked my students to each create a "quick love tip" (like these) based on what they've learned this semester about communication in close, intimate relationships. As usual, my brilliant students came up with some really insightful tips. Lucky for you, I will be sharing many of them with you over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I've enjoyed grading them.

wise love words: divorce sucks!

Below is a reprint of an excerpt from the book Divorce Sucks: What to do when irreconcilable differences, lawyer fees, and your ex's Hollywood wife make you miserable written by Mary Jo Eustace and edited by Joanne Kimes.

Born and raised in Toronto, Mary Jo Eustace, author of Divorce Sucks: What to do when irreconcilable differences, lawyer fees, and your ex's Hollywood wife make you miserable, is an author, actress, singer, chef, and mother to Jack and Lola. Mary Jo was married to Dean McDermott for thirteen years before Dean met Tori Spelling on the set of the Lifetime made-for-TV movie Mind Over Murder. After her highly publicized divorce, Mary Jo returned to her native Canada with her son and newly adopted daughter to film her cooking show, He Said, She Said with Ken and Mary Jo for Canada's W Network. Mary Jo is the author of the bestselling cookbook By My Side. She has also written for the bestselling anthology The Other Woman and has been featured on Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and The Today Show. For more information please visit maryjoeustace.com


Joanne Kimes, editor of Divorce Sucks: What to do when irreconcilable differences, lawyer fees, and your ex's Hollywood wife make you miserable, is the creator and editor of the bestselling Sucks series. Ms. Kimes has been married for twelve years and only considers divorce during playoff season. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and her daughter. Find out more about Joanne and the Sucks series at www.sucksandthecity.com

~~~~~

Dating with Children
by Mary Jo Eustace, edited by Joanne Kimes,
Author of Divorce Sucks: What to do when irreconcilable differences, lawyer fees, and your ex's Hollywood wife make you miserable

Internet dating, hookups, blind dates, and the odd booty call -- how does this cornucopia of dating delights mesh with your role as a mom and caregiver to your kids? It all comes down to this: You can have the time of your life right now. After all, you are a consenting adult and chances are you have been through hell, but your kids don't need to know anything about it.

For some of us, this "throwing our dates in the kids' faces" thing might just be one of our major issues with our exes. Some of them may have taken the relationship equivalent of a packet of Tang, added water, and created an instant family. He might already have a new girlfriend, perhaps who lives with him, and maybe even with kids of her own. Or, worse, your ex may have a live-in who wants to have a New Year's baby and you just happen to notice it's already Memorial Day!

Things can move really quickly when people get out of a relationship. And how can we expect our children to grieve and understand the loss of their own family as they know it if Mommy or Daddy already has a brand-new partner or family in place? The message it sends to them is: "You were a really good family while it lasted but I think I hooked a real winner this time round. And don't worry, it might seem like I just met your new mommy, but we have been together for ages -- just ask your mom! And wait until you meet her kids! I mean, your new brothers and sisters! We're like the best family ever, minus your mom and your own bedrooms, because now you have to share. Anybody want to go to Disneyland?"

Sadly, as so many of us know, that is not even an exaggeration. It happens all the time. Hey, it happened to my family. The new woman was introduced to the kids within a few weeks -- against professional counsel -- and it made things hell. The rule of thumb is to wait a minimum of six months, or even better, a year, to make the introductions. Take care of your first family first! Build up trust and establish the new dynamics of your reconfigured family. Make it about the kids and not about your ego. And when things start to settle and people begin to heal a little, then make the transition slowly and thoughtfully. It's not a fire sale. Not everything is replaceable. You can't swap item A for item B and think that nobody will notice. Your family is your own little piece of this world and at its core reflects who and what you are. Treat it with respect and dignity and give it the time it needs to mend in a real and meaningful way.

Copyright © 2009 Mary Jo Eustace, author of Divorce Sucks: What to do when irreconcilable differences, lawyer fees, and your ex's Hollywood wife make you miserable

(The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.)

just for the love of it: 4 end-of-fall date ideas

Find Your Way Through a Corn Maze

Corn mazes are a ton of fun! But, beware. If both of you are terrible navigators, this may not be the date for you. Follow the map through the corn maze while making it to each check point inside. This is a fun way to see how well you work together as a team to achieve a goal.



Go for a Walk

Low on cash? Taking a walk with your partner can be just as romantic and fun as any of these other date ideas. Hold hands, walk around your neighborhood, look at the changing leaves together, and talk about your day. Believe me, talking with your partner is one of the best ways to maintain your relationship.



Get Scared Together

Find a local haunted house or other haunted attraction and plan a fun night of screaming with your partner. You could end the night with a scary movie cuddled up together.



Make Pumpkin Pie

This date can be spread out into an all day event. First, look up pumpkin patches. Then, take the long drive out to the country and share your childhood Halloween memories. Once you're there, search for the perfect pumpkins together. You might even want to take a hay ride for fun. Then, when you get home, make homemade pie together- it's easier than you think.

postcard WINNER!

After using random.org to determine the winner, one lucky reader was chosen to receive 100 post cards. Drumroll please..........................

Grissell is the official winner of the 100 post cards from UPrinting.com!


Congrats Grissell! All you have to do now is send your name and email address to jenslovelessons@gmail.com by 5 p.m. on Nov 13 and then UPrinting.com will contact you directly with instructions to make your custom post cards.

Not Grissell? It's okay, you can get your own customized post cards by visiting UPrinting.com today!

tapping into the mundane: 5 everyday routines that help shape our relationships


Most people would agree that maintaining a healthy relationship is hard work. From the ability to engage in effective conflict, to figuring out how to balance your work life with your home life, to crafting messages that skillfully reveal your deepest darkest secrets, trying to make your relationship succeed can be exhausting at times. But, have you ever stopped to consider all of the routine activities that you and your partner engage in that maintain your bond? You may not even realize when you're doing it, but many day-to-day occurrences have a significant impact of the status and stability of your romance. Along with many others, researchers like Guerrero and her colleagues (2001), Dainton and Stafford (1993), and Canary and Stafford (2001) have examined a wide variety of routine relationship maintenance behaviors. These routine strategies are defined as "behaviors that occur at a lower level of consciousness and are not intentionally used to maintain a relationship" (Hendrick, 2000, p. 295). Below is a list of five routine relationship maintenance behaviors that many individuals use to successfully keep their relationships going strong.

giveaway: 100 postcards!

~SORRY, BUT THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED~

UPrinting.com is a great online resource for all of your printing needs. From business cards to brochures, UPrinting has everything you need. UPrinting has been gracious enough to send me 100 post cards for Jen's Love Lessons! Thanks UPrinting! I'm using my post cards for family holiday cards!

Today, UPrinting is giving away 100 post cards to one lucky reader! Just think, you could have 100 custom post cards all for yourself! You can use your own graphics, pictures, or logo or you could use a pre-made images and formats from their website. Use these post cards to promote your business or to create adorable family holiday post cards to all of your family and friends.


Here are the giveaway prize details:

  • Giveaway Prize: 100 Postcards for One Lucky Winner
  • Size: 4x6
  • Paper: 14pt Cardstock Gloss
  • Printing: Full color both sides
  • Shipping: FREE UPS Ground Shipping in the US
  • Eligibility: Limited to US Residents due to shipping costs. We will negotiate better shipping rates soon.

You can learn more about UPrinting's post cards by going to their homepage, their post card printing page, and their reviews page.


Want to win? Here's how to enter:
  1. Become a fan of Jen's Love Lessons on Facebook (Already a fan? Great! Not a member of Facebook? Skip to step #3.)
  2. Find the link to THIS GIVEAWAY on my Facebook fan page and make a comment answering the following question: how you would use the 100 post cards if you won them?
  3. Go back to this giveaway on Jen's Love Lessons and make a comment about the post cards (anything will do).

All entries (comments on Facebook and on Jen's Love Lessons) will be combined based on time of entry (so technically, if you comment on both, you're increasing your odds of winning). Then, the winner will be chosen using random.org.

You have until THURSDAY November 12, 2009 @ 5:00 p.m. EST to enter. The winner will be posted on the Jen's Love Lessons homepage that night. The winner will then have until 5:00 p.m. EST on November 13 to email me at jenslovelessons@gmail.com with their contact information.

*All entries received after the cutoff time will be deleted prior to choosing a winner.


Good Luck!

business card winner!

After using random.org to determine the winner, one lucky reader was chosen to receive 250 business cards. Drumroll please..........................

Maddy G is the official winner of the 250 custom business cards from UPrinting.com!


Congrats Maddy G! All you have to do now is send your name and email address to jenslovelessons@gmail.com by 11 a.m. on Nov 7 and then UPrinting.com will contact you directly with instructions to make your custom business cards.

Not Maddy G? It's okay, there will be plenty more giveaways in the coming weeks. So stay tuned and you could be the next winner!

giveaway: 250 business cards!

~SORRY, BUT THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED~

UPrinting.com is a great online resource for all of your printing needs. From business cards to brochures, UPrinting has everything you need. UPrinting has been gracious enough to send me 250 business cards for Jen's Love Lessons! Thanks UPrinting! They're professional and look great!

Today, UPrinting is giving away 250 business cards to one lucky reader! Just think, you could have 250 custom business cards all for yourself! You can use your own graphics, pictures, or logo or you could use a pre-made images and formats from their website.


Here are the giveaway prize details:

  • 250 business card for One Lucky Winner (Free UPS Ground Shipping in USA)
  • Sizes: 2 x 3.5”, 2 x 3”, 2 x 2” (square card) or 1.5 x 3.5” (skinny card)
  • Paper: 14 pt gloss cardstock, 14 pt matte cardstock or 13 pt recycled uncoated cardstock
  • Specifications: Full Color Both Sides; Offset Press; 3 Business Day Printing
  • Shipping: FREE UPS Ground Shipping
  • Eligibility: Limited to US Residents due to shipping costs. We will negotiate better shipping rate

You can learn more about UPrinting's stickers by going to their homepage, their business card printing page, and their reviews page.


Want to win? Here's how to enter:
  1. Become a fan of Jen's Love Lessons on Facebook (Already a fan? Great! Not a member of Facebook? Skip to step #3.)
  2. Find the link to THIS GIVEAWAY on my Facebook fan page and make a comment answering the following question: how you would use the 250 business cards if you won them?
  3. Go back to this giveaway on Jen's Love Lessons and make a comment about the business cards (anything will do).

All entries (comments on Facebook and on Jen's Love Lessons) will be combined based on time of entry (so technically, if you comment on both, you're increasing your odds of winning). Then, the winner will be chosen using random.org.

You have until THURSDAY November 5, 2009 @ 5:00 p.m. EST to enter. The winner will be posted on the Jen's Love Lessons homepage that night. The winner will then have until 5:00 p.m. EST on November 6 to email me at jenslovelessons@gmail.com with their contact information.

*All entries received after the cutoff time will be deleted prior to choosing a winner.


Good Luck!

quick love tip: play on the same team


"I'm on your team."

A few years ago, I heard one of my best friends say this very sentence to her husband. They were talking about something... yadda yadda yadda... and he felt like she wasn't on her side. She said to him, "Honey, I'm on your team." He smiled and said, "I know."

Since that day, I've heard her say this many more times. It expresses her commitment to their bond and it let's her husband know that in the end, she's always got his back. If you take a minute to think about it, it's actually a really important sentence to say every now and then. In fact, I think that this sentence is so important that it has become one of my relationship mantras over the last few years.

At a certain point in a relationship, partners begin to integrate their separate lives into a shared life. You start combining your lives physically, emotionally, and communicatively. You may use "we" language, plan your days (and nights) around each other's schedules, develop joint attitudes, or even move-in together. Once you enter this stage, there is usually some sort of understood commitment between the two of you. This is where being on the same team becomes evident as an important relationship maintenance behavior.

Understand that it's not enough to just say it. I mean, it helps, but you want to also show your partner that when it comes down to it, you're always going to be on his or her side. To play on the same team, you should have your partner's back whenever he or she is sad, in trouble, arguing with someone, complaining about work, parenting your children, or the like. Making an effort to play on the same team is vital to your relationship stability and satisfaction.

So the next time your boyfriend feels like the world is against him or when your wife is in a heated discussion with one of your friends, stand by your mate. Showing (and telling) your partner that you play on the same team is a great way to reinforce your love and dedication.

sticker giveaway WINNER!

After using random.org to determine the winner, one lucky reader was chosen to receive 250 customized stickers. Drumroll please..........................

ApeFace is the official winner of the 250 custom sticker giveaway from UPrinting.com!


Congrats ApeFace! All you have to do now is send your name and email address to jenslovelessons@gmail.com by 11 a.m. on Nov 3 and then UPrinting.com will contact you directly with instructions to make your custom stickers.

Not ApeFace? It's okay, there will be plenty more giveaways in the coming weeks. So stay tuned and you could be the next winner!
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