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Relationship Articles : Blue Sun Romance
Collection 3

Blue Sun Romance
Relationship articles are presented in this section fully crediting the authors and source(s). Articles on Romance make up a major aspect of the content of relationship enhancement. By presenting a myriad of subjects tied to the ever-changing climate of Loving endeavors, visitors are afforded an even greater scope of information toward satisfying an intimate, passionate life.

Relationship Articles Home > Collection 1 > Collection 2 > Collection 3


couple Reminded again that excitement surrounds us whenever we find ourselves in a new relationship, we can choose to date this new Love so that the relationship itself transcends over decades of romance and fun, including the challenges and work it takes to succeed.

Continuing our great collection of Relationship Articles, we assemble more of the findings from MSN’s Lifestyle ‘Relationships’, Yahoo’s Shine and YourTango blogs, and others.      

The various topics on Relationship Enhancement are here to help you discover new ways to enrich your romantic environment.  Blue Sun Romance will always grow and find new, refreshing articles on love and splendor, so your efforts to the best at spontaneous love for your mate will never diminish. 
         
We think that you will be pleased at the diversity of writing expertise and advice collected within these pages as well.  BSR hopes you find that these Relationship Articles can spark desires in each of us for a Love with adventure and heart.  A Love we can share through the rest of our time with the person we want.

Enjoy your third look into BSR’s Interesting
Collection of Relationship Articles!




 




BSR’s Relationship Articles


Sexual Late-Bloomers
For many women, great sex begins at midlife.

By Sherry Amatenstein, LMSW


Suzy Jamison describes sex during her 20-year marriage as, "an opportunity to go grocery shopping." The Cincinnati mother of two recalls, "In my head I went down every aisle and couldn't wait until it was over." She sighs, "I thought there was something wrong with me."

After her divorce eight years ago at age 42 that theory was quickly, uh, laid to rest. She calls sex with her current boyfriend, "wonderful, healthy, fantastic." The reason? "I just lost my inhibitions," she says.

Suzy is no anomaly. Many women whose 20s and 30s were a stressed-out blur of mating, childrearing, and career-building didn't really start paying attention to their bodies as more than curvy hood ornaments until life slowed down -- or changed completely. In the '60s and '70s, the influential sexuality researchers Masters and Johnson were the first to bring attention to the notion that sex begins at 40. More recently, a 1999 University of Chicago study revealed that females aged 40 to 60 had fewer sexual dysfunctions (i.e., lack of interest, performance anxiety) than younger women.

Psychologist Dr. L.B. Wish explains, "My baby boomer aged clients who experienced a late sexual blooming typically did so after divorce or widowhood." The psychologist continues, "These events freed them emotionally. Women who sought or stumbled into new relationships discovered their sexual selves." Why did these women find it utterly impossible to unearth their sensual nature while married? According to Dr. Wish, "Sex has long been the arena where couples express their relationship anger, hurt, and disappointment by withholding, turning off, or tuning out. A new relationship wipes the slate clean."

Nancy Michaels spent her 19-year marriage being sexually rejected by her husband. The Massachusetts mother of three explains, "I'd literally only had one sexual relationship prior to meeting him in college, so I wasn't very experienced. Having my life partner, who I found very attractive, turn to Internet porn rather than to me was very painful." The natural reaction in a case like this is to shut down.

Now 44 and divorced, Michaels, the creator of matchgonewrong.com, has checked her libido out of the lost and found. Happily involved with a man who is teaching her that the phrase Oh My God can fit a situation outside a sanctuary, she says, "In some ways I feel I wasted two decades, but being older and wiser also makes it easier to not just know what I want, but to ask for it."

A major factor behind Nancy's sexual renaissance is that she no longer feels judged and inadequate. "I was never going to measure up to the fantasy women my [ex-] husband had in his mind. Sex with the right person -- someone who accepts you -- is not just freeing but safe."

The author's research revealed that it takes many women until their 40s to unshackle themselves from the ingrained pattern of putting the man's needs first...and perhaps not feeling worthy of having an orgasm. Fay, who is 52, says, "One woman [interviewed for her research] faked it for four-and-a-half years so as not to bruise her husband's ego. Another has only now, after her divorce, found the courage to confess to a lover that she needs oral sex to fully enjoy herself."

As many of us have heard before, communication is key. Ellen Sayles, a 41-year-old Pennsylvania radio producer, says, "My boyfriend and I shared all our secrets and insecurities right up front before we began having sex." She admits, "John and I had both been betrayed by our spouses, so trust is a huge non-negotiable for both of us." That she and John share a depth of trust "like no one else before in [her] life" allows her to "let go" while in bed with him.

Some 40-plus women are able to let go in a way that would have made their younger selves blush. At 47, Desi Foxx, a former partner in an investment firm, has recently become a porn star. Twice-divorced and living in North Miami, Foxx says, "Growing up in a religious household, I was sexually repressed. I don't want to marry again. I don't really even want to date. I'm a cougar: I have my pick of young male studs. I'm fulfilled at work -- the movies are my sexual outlet." It's safe, as everyone is tested; and since her lovemaking is primarily confined to the set, she is spared "the messiness of relationships."

While Foxx's experience seems extreme to most of us, she is not alone in realizing that life is short -- so why live according to repressive rules? Increasingly, women are waking up at midlife and asking, Is this all there is? I want something else.

Remember, it truly is never too late. Dr. Wish, the psychologist who works primarily with a baby boomer clientele, laughs, "I had an 80-year-old woman in my office who said, 'I'm here because I'm not getting any younger and I want to have an 'organism' before I die."

Rock on, sister.

Do you have a tough question about dating or relationships?


E-mail Sherry at DatingExpert@More.com and your question might be featured in an upcoming column.


About Sherry Amatenstein


Sherry Amatenstein
, LMSW, is the author of Love Lessons from Bad Breakups and Q&A Dating Book. She runs dating seminars around the country and does private coaching -- not to help singles marry in 60 days, but to uncover their blocks. She has given relationship advice on the Early Show, Regis, Inside Edition, CBS News, VH1, BBC, and many other programs. Her philosophy is that the most important relationship you'll ever have is with yourself.
Originally published on MORE.com, February 2008.

More on MSN Lifestyle
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BSR’s Relationship Articles

The Chemistry of Kissing
By Amy Spencer


You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss… hang on a minute. No it isn’t! Because when it comes to dating, a kiss can change everything. Sometimes it’s spine-tinglingly magical and sends shivers from your neck to your toes. And sometimes, well, it feels more like licking a wet fish. While the chemistry you feel on your night out says a lot about how the kiss might go, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of butterflies, chills, fireworks, and other memory-making moments. Try these lip-smacking tips to make this the first of many kisses to come.

Read when the moment is right

Ever found yourself bumbling and mumbling at the end of a date, wondering if your attempt at a good night smack will be the kiss of death? You’re not alone. “This is, without a doubt, one of the most common questions people ask me,” says Sheila Lee, creator of advice site Kissingbooth.com. So how do you tell if someone would welcome a smooch from you? According to Lee, look for these signs: Is your date making tons of eye contact with you, or standing closer than a friend or business colleague would? If so, says Lee, this person probably wants you to go for it.

If you really can’t read your date, make yourself available for your date to make the move. Lee’s suggestions: Stand close to your date, and let your arm rub against his or hers. Face your date with your arms open, not crossed, to show you’re open to a kiss. Tell your date you had a good time, and ask your date how they felt. And most important?  “Smile. A lot of people are turned on by a smile, which shows you’re comfortable with the person you’re with and happy. If your date thinks he or she is making you happy,” points out Lee, “then he or she is likely to think a kiss can make you even happier.”

Lock lips in a place where you don’t have to hold back

Yes, it’s romantic to kiss, say, out on a street corner, but if you’re not the PDA type, you might end up holding back during your kiss. And those unsure feelings could hold back a fireworks-worthy performance. The fact is, kissing signals our brains to produce oxytocin, a hormone that gives us that wonderful, weak-kneed feeling. And the chemicals that produced that feeling prompt you to want to kiss more and create more, like a love drug. To make sure nothing stops that chemistry-building chemical process, make sure you’re in a spot where you feel comfortable and safe, and you’re not worried about what you’re doing or who’s watching: Move inside a doorway, behind a column, into a quiet room, or in the front seat of a dark car. That way, you and your date’s bodies will be free to do what they’re — ahhhhh, sigh, melt — supposed to.

Make eye contact before, during, and after your kiss

Eye contact immediately ups the intimacy level of any sexual act, say experts—so if you’re smooching with your peepers shut tight, you could be missing out! Even recently-single singer Jessica Simpson is a fan of opening her eyes during a smooch. “I love to kiss with my eyes open,” she’s said. “It’s kind of weird because you might only see one eyeball, but it’s amazing what you can see through someone’s eyes. It sounds clichéd, but the eyes really are the window to the soul.” So, before you go for gold, take a few seconds — one Mississippi, two Mississippi — to look at your partner eye-to-eye and establish this is a special moment between the two of you. After you first kiss, pull back, open your eyes, really look at your date, then kiss again. Then, open your eyes once during the kiss to bring the personal touch home.

Feel free to talk a little

Kissing is such a strong language, it’s easy to wonder: Does yapping in between smooches ruin the moment? Not always. In fact, says Michael Christian, author of The Art of Kissing, sometimes words can help ratchet up the chemistry. According to his research, the absolute number one sentence that kissers most like to hear: “You’re such a good kisser.” Following that, he suggests you also say either, “You’re so beautiful,” “You’re so hot,” or “I never want to stop kissing you.” These kinds of words do two things. “One, they show that you’re serious about the particular person you’re kissing, and that it’s truly personal,” says Christian. “Two, it communicates that you’re in the first stage of what your body wishes was a bigger, closer connection. Your feelings are so huge, you’re having to hold back. This says it’s not just a kiss, it’s the start of something incredible.” Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to know they’re causing that?

Keep your hands to yourself

Sometimes we get so caught up in the human contact of a kiss, we grip our partner’s neck, reach around his or her back, run a hand along a thigh, and do all sorts of a grabby things over and, ahem, under clothing. The only problem? Sometimes all that touching is actually detracting from the kiss, say experts. A kiss, on its own, can sometimes be powerful enough. So, try keeping your hands to yourself for a few minutes, kiss and only kiss, and see how the chemistry takes over.

Don’t forget to use your nose

Some anthropologists believe that kissing evolved from sniffing, as some indigenous cultures rub noses rather than kissing, points out Vaughn Bryant Jr., professor of anthropology at Texas A&M University. “Turns out that we have very powerful musk glands right underneath our eyes, and each person has a distinct smell,” explains Vaughn. “Kissing got started by people smelling each other and they would rub across the nose. Touching the lips was a natural outgrowth.” Sampling another person’s scent is a primal urge we share with other animals (including moles, dolphins, turtles and dogs), so take a moment to breathe in your date to kick the connection up a notch.

Convince your date to try it your way

You loved the dinner, you laughed the whole way home, and you were living for the good night kiss… until you got it. Turns out your date doesn’t kiss the way you do. Has your chemistry fizzled for good? No way! So what’s the best way to get your styles more in synch? “Don’t ever say, ‘I don’t like the way you kiss,’” says kissing advice expert Lee. “That will be a big blow to the ego, and will make them self-conscious the next time you kiss.” One option, says Lee, is to make the issue about you, by saying something like, “I like to kiss a little different than most people,” which will make them feel at ease (kind of like the old-fashioned “It’s not you, it’s me” line). Or, suggest you both branch out and experiment, says Lee, “so that they won’t take the change in kissing personally. Say, ‘I want to try something,’ and then initiate a kiss the way you want it.”

Amy Spencer has written for
Cosmopolitan, Maxim, Real Simple, and other publicationsAmy Spencer is her website, visit her to find out more.

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BSR’s Relationship Articles

Happy Couples: What’s Their Secret?
By Kimberly Dawn Neumann

How is it that some couples seem to stay starry-eyed for years, and others let their sizzle, um… fizzle? Well, it appears that successful chemistry sustainers develop healthy coupled-up habits which allow them to keep their love alive and kicking. “People can have a lot of trouble staying close,” says Joyce Catlett, author of Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships. “They get into relationships and think they’re automatically going to know how to make everything work, but figuring out how to stay passionate together is really a skill.” But luckily, these are skills that anyone can learn. Here are six habits that you’d do well to adopt if you want your date to become your happily-ever-after mate.

Habit #1: Catch romance where you can
“You may start out with champagne and roses, but the likelihood of being able to sustain that feeling with a busy schedule is pretty unlikely,” says JoAnn Magdoff, Ph.D., a New York City-based psychotherapist. Successful couples learn to build a bubble of romance at unexpected times – during their daily commute, while doing laundry – and in low-impact ways, whether that be a long, lingering smooch or just holding hands. In other words, the next time you hear yourself say “Oh, look, we’ve got 15 minutes to ourselves,” make use of it—that’s what keeps the spark alive.

Habit #2: Fight fair
Believe it or not, learning to fight right is an important part of keeping chemistry alive. Why? Because if you are constantly cutting each other down, it’s hard to feel mutually amorous. “There is no such thing as a relationship without disagreements,” says David Wygant, author of Always Talk to Strangers. “But if there is an understanding that your partner can come to you with any dissension without being attacked, you will have an honest relationship comprised of ‘open discussions’ rather than ‘fights.’” Debra Tobias, who has been happily married for almost 10 years to her husband Steve, agrees. “Steve and I have learned to listen to each other when we’re upset and we admit when we’re wrong,” says Tobias. “We also make a rule of never, ever saying ‘I told you so’ no matter how much we might want to say it.” The result is that their chemistry doesn’t wane because they never let their arguments escalate to a personal level. Focus on the issue at hand instead of throwing verbal punches.

Habit #3: Nurture your separate selves
Going off to your book club when your sweetie’s out golfing isn’t a sign you two are drifting apart. On the contrary, developing individual interests allows for a richer life as a couple. By taking little “couple breaks,” you gain a greater appreciation of the gifts your partner brings to your life and you have more to offer as well. “It’s very sexy to be independent sometimes,” says Magdoff. “You feel better about yourself and you’re less demanding of your partner when you’re together.” After all, taking some personal responsibility for your own well-being relieves the other person of the pressure to “provide” happiness—so go ahead and nurture some solo adventures. That’ll also keep each of you stocked with plenty of adventures to chat about, which also builds your bond.

Habit #4: Take on a project together
Separate interests aside, exploring new ground together is also important since it strengthens your history of shared experiences. Jo Smith and her husband of four years found this out when they committed to running their first 10K together. “We were training together, carbo-loading and hydrating together, running the race together and ultimately succeeding together when we both finished,” says Smith. “It brought a whole new level of closeness to our relationship because of the time we spent learning as a duo during this endeavor.” Couples who take on adventures together get a sense of daring and accomplishment that can really kick up their chemistry!

Habit #5: Don’t let your sex life slide
No doubt about it, couples with healthy sex lives have no problem keeping chemistry cooking. (That whole “couples’ sex lives naturally fades over time” excuse? Not true.) The trick to injecting more electricity into a lagging love life has to do with trying new things—sure, it can be easy to work on tricks and techniques when you first meet, but people’s preferences can, and do, change over time. “In interviewing people on the topic of sexuality, it became clear that the couples who were the most satisfied sexually were also the ones who were open to some experimentation,” says Catlett. This isn’t to say you suddenly have to become a wild thing, though. Even returning to the basics you may have abandoned along the way – lots of kissing and eye contact, for example – can make the usual encounter feel very different… and much more intimate.

Habit #6: Engage in some mutual admiration
In order for chemistry between two people to thrive, there needs to be mutual respect. “It’s about putting yourself in the role of an observer of your partner,” says Magdoff. “Watch them “perform” – I’m not saying they need to do a song and dance for you – just pay attention to the everyday things that remind you why you find them so special.” Then, make it a point to lob compliments their way. “A good exercise is to occasionally create a mental list of the qualities you dig about your partner, and to occasionally share one of your thoughts with the one you love,” says Wygant. Because the reality is, you’ll always want to be around someone who thinks you’re fantastic.

Courtesy of Match.com’s Happen Magazine.

Kimberly Dawn Neumann is a New York City-based writer whose work has appeared in such publications as Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Fitness.  Visit her prolific site at http://www.kdneumann.com/Writer.html

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BSR’s Relationship Articles

Are Certain Types Destined To Date?
By Kimberly Dawn Neumann

Your eyes meet across a crowded room. You feel it, the other person feels it. But what is “it,” exactly? In other words, what gets sparks flying between two people but not others? That’s a question that continues to boggle the minds of scientists, poets, and real people the world over. But if you want to increase your chances of choosing the right partner ‘til death do you part, modern research does have some answers. Read on to find out which personality types you’re most likely to click with — and stick with — for the long haul.

Familiarity breeds…a bond?

While fairytales are full of twosomes from very different walks of life, Cinderella-style stories rarely exist in real life for good reason. People are generally attracted to those who are similar in terms of education, intelligence, religion, and financial status. “Often, ‘like’ attracts ‘like,’ what anthropologists call ‘positive assortive mating’ and ‘fitness matching,’” says Helen Fisher, Ph.D., anthropologist and author of Why We Love. The reason it’s important is pretty obvious: When people don’t see eye-to-eye on many levels, they just simply don’t ‘get’ each other, and that can be tough for any couple to overcome. “I think the most important thing you can ask yourself about a prospective mate is: If this person were not a romantic interest, would they be one of your very best friends?” says Sam Hamburg, Ph.D., a marital therapist and author of Will Our Love Last?

What’s ‘familiar’ about a mate may not always be immediately evident, however. “People may feel chemistry with someone who treats them in a way that’s familiar because it’s a dynamic they know,” says Lisa Firestone, a clinical psychologist and author of Sex and Love in Intimate Relationships. A woman who grew up with an alcoholic father, for example, may end up with a wild-man artist, who’s similarly unpredictable but (hopefully) in more positive ways. So, don’t be surprised if your relationship echoes some dynamic from your past.

Why complementary types connect

She’s super-organized; he’s a constant mess. He’s a quiet couch potato; she’s the life of the party. We’ve all seen couples whose personalities seem light years apart. Is it true that opposites attract? Not exactly. “There’s a lot of chemistry between opposites and the relationship has a lot of passion,” says Firestone. “But eventually they may end up hating each other for the very things that drew them together in the first place.”

A better match, say experts, are people whose personalities are complementary but not complete contradictions. “Sometimes a really high-strung person will calm down around someone who’s laid-back, or maybe the person who has a lot of energy is a motivating influence on the person who’s mellow, and it’s really good for them both,” says Firestone. Likewise, personalities that are too similar can miss out on new experiences. “If two people are very risk-averse, they might never pursue opportunities that they should,” points out Hamburg. “And on the flip side, two people who are high risk-takers might get themselves into trouble. But if you have one who’s more risky and one who’s cautious, then through a dialogue the couple might be able to make better decisions than they would if they were the same.”

Complementary couples do run the risk, though, of falling even deeper into their differences. “When a person dates someone who plays a balancing role, he or she tends to polarize: The quiet person gets quieter, and the talkative person becomes the spokesperson for the relationship,” points out Firestone. “He may start to think that he’s a whole person only when he’s with her, and vice versa. And when people do that, the quality of relating tends to deteriorate.” So, couples should be careful to treat their partner’s strengths not as a crutch, but as an opportunity to watch and learn new habits and skills to move outside their comfort zones on occasion.

The chemistry behind chemistry.

Scientific breakthroughs in the areas of genetics, biology, and neurology are also helping experts piece together the mystery of romantic attraction. Fisher, for example, has used her knowledge of body chemistry to come up with a new theory on who’s likely to click with whom—and why.

“Certain genes, hormones and neurotransmitters have been associated with specific personality traits,” she explains. “For instance, testosterone is associated with independence. All of us have these chemicals, but some of us have more activity in one of these chemical systems than another.”

The upshot? After reviewing the data, Fisher found that based on the activity levels of four key chemicals (serotonin, estrogen, dopamine, and testosterone), people largely fall into one of four “temperaments”: Builder, Negotiator, Explorer, and Director. Here’s a rundown:

The Builder
Chemical in charge: Serotonin (associated with sociability and feelings of calm)
Personality: Calm, managerial, conscientious, home-oriented but social
Best match: The Explorer
Worst match: The Director

The Negotiator
Chemical in charge: Estrogen (associated with intuition and creativity)
Personality: Imaginative, sympathetic, socially skilled, idealistic
Best match: Good with all types!
Worst match: None

The Explorer
Chemical in charge: dopamine (associated with curiosity and spontaneity)
Personality: Risk-taking, spontaneous, curious, adaptable
Best match: The Builder
Worst match: The Director

The Director
Chemical in charge: testosterone (associated with independence and rational thinking)
Personality: focused, inventive, daring, logical, direct
Best match: The Negotiator
Worst match: The Builder

While these four temperaments can be used as a guideline to find a compatible match, Fisher cautions that the mystery of romance doesn’t boil down entirely to a few neurotransmitters. “There is magic to love, no question about that,” she says. “But culture and biology play important roles. In short, when you are ready to fall in love and you meet someone who has a complementary chemical profile, you can feel attraction to him or her—which instantly or eventually can turn into deep feelings of romantic love.”

Courtesy of Match.com’s Happen Magazine, www.happenmag.com.

Kimberly Dawn Neumann is a New York City-based writer whose work has appeared in such publications as Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Fitness.  Visit her prolific site at http://www.kdneumann.com/Writer.html

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Many Websites share relationship articles on which to gage your approach to Relationship Enhancement.  We encourage you to filter through the many subjects they offer and find or choose advice that suits you the best.  We like http://www.chemistry.com/editorial/contents.aspx  as a good place to start exploring your own romantic reading and journey toward ‘completing’ the one you really love.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Collection 3 of Blue Sun Romance’s Relationship Articles.  Feel free to contact us with your own suggestions of more great Relationship Articles to add to this page.  We will frequently place new additions here with cool advice and interesting perspectives.

Love, Thrive, and Care for Each Other

BSR

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