Dating the healthy way

The expert tricks here can fit easily into any routine—in minutes you'll be on your way to building a stronger connection and lasting bond over time.If you're glued to Facebook during dinner, then it's time to unplug.Some busy couples find it helpful to schedule sex by putting it on the calendar.It may not be spontaneous to have it written in red ink, but setting aside time for an intimate encounter helps ensure that your physical and emotional needs are met.Researchers have found that communication style is more important than commitment levels, personality traits or stressful life events in predicting whether happily married couples will go on to divorce.In particular, negative communication patterns such as anger and contempt are linked to an increased likelihood of splitting up.Disagreements are part of any partnership, but some fighting styles are particularly damaging.Couples that use destructive behavior during arguments — such as yelling, resorting to personal criticisms or withdrawing from the discussion — are more likely to break up than are couples that fight constructively.

Marital education programs that teach skills such as good communication, effective listening and dealing with conflict have been shown to reduce the risk of divorce.Healthy couples make time to check in with one another on a regular basis.It's important to talk about more than just parenting and maintaining the household, however.To keep things interesting, some couples plan regular date nights.Even dates can get old, though, if you're always renting a movie or going to the same restaurant.

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Something as simple as brewing your partner a cup of coffee in the morning helps improve your relationship, says Terri Orbuch, Ph D, a marriage researcher and author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great.

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