Meet Andrea Syrtash, Relationship Expert, Author of Cheat On Your Husband (With Your Husband), On-Air Personality and Co-Host of OWN’s Life Story Project.
We had the delight of interviewing Andrea and here is some great advice to help you navigate your relationship as a couple.
We all know and love the feeling of being attracted and falling in love with someone. Any advice on how to keep the heart and head sorted before getting swept away in what may be a chemical romance?
“Falling in love is wonderful! The pleasure center of our brains light up and it’s as if we’re on drugs. Just like when we’re intoxicated, we can’t always see clearly! It’s important to recognize the difference between lust and love. Love grows through time and experience. Real sustainable love is earned. To know if you’re in a good loving relationship ask yourself this simple question: Is this person bringing out my best? I do believe that that’s your best litmus test.”
We all know planning a wedding can be a very stressful and time-consuming task. What are some key factors for couples to consider when dealing with the stress, planning and budgeting for their big day?
“Don’t lose sight of why you are having a wedding — it’s to celebrate your love with your loved ones! To manage the stress, start planning early and let go of the idea of having everything ‘perfect’. Your goal is to celebrate your relationship and have fun on this day! (It’s tough to have fun when worrying about PERFECT!)
It’s important to communicate your vision with your partner so you make sure you’re aligned. It’s also essential to put budget on the table and consider where you may splurge (are invitations important? Flowers? The food?) and where you may save. “
What is a good strategy / or advice to keep things in perspective for couples when dealing with (sometimes stressful!) input of new family members, friends & parents. How does one focus on nurturing their relationship as much as the details of the wedding day?
“Milestones like a wedding tend to bring out (many) opinions from family. To make sure you’re not getting stressed by their demands, be proactive and tell them where they can be helpful. For instance, you can say to your mother-in-law, ‘I know you have a great eye! Would you help me pick out invitations?’ The key is to show them that you value and include them without allowing them to take over everything!”
After the wedding, couples may have expectations for their honeymoon. Traditionally this is supposed to be the first time couples become sexually intimate. We all know that the modern couple may have already lived together and may have explored their sexuality together before the wedding day. Tell us how to keep the romance and sex exciting not only on the honeymoon, but also well after the wedding date.
“I believe that marriage is a choice you have to make every day – and sex is part of this. When life gets busy, keeping sex alive (and exciting!) may not feel like a priority; but it’s an essential way to keep your connection and intimacy intact. Keep courting your spouse after the wedding! Send flirty texts or emails, book date nights and don’t let days turn into weeks and months without sexual contact. Make snuggling mandatory!”
There is no denying that life happens, and couples start to live through major milestones early in their post marriage relationship. Couples are working longer hours, building their careers, having families, managing budgets and life’s ups and downs. Any advice on how to balance, connect and or reconnect a relationship in our very stressful daily lives?
“One of the biggest issues with long-term couples is that they forget to TALK. (I’m not talking about the kind of talk where they go over schedules and housework. I’m talking about the kind of conversations and curiosity they had when they were dating!) When communication breaks down, relationships break up. It’s essential to communicate with each other so you can avoid misunderstandings and continue to learn about your partner’s needs and wants. If you can’t find time, book off 10 minutes a day to chat and put certain topics (like bills, housework, kids) off the table.
It’s also important for couples to maintain TOUCH. Touching is a good and easy way to maintain intimacy. It doesn’t always have to be sexual. Hug your partner when he or she walks through the door. Show your partner that he or she is a priority.”
Stay tuned for Andrea’s webinar on managing toxic relationships in February! Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more
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