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Sam Dobson Writes: November 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Apologizing In Relationships Makes Everything Better (well, almost everything)

Being in a committed relationship can be amazingly loving, it can also be frustrating and heartbreaking. As I’ve preached a hundred times, relationships (even the super healthy ones) take work. Of course it shouldn’t be all work and I will argue that the work part should be a much smaller fraction of the relationship than the love and play parts. Nevertheless, fights are inevitable and an apology is the means to an end.

Apologizing In Relationships

First, let’s talk about the fights. Every relationship will have moderate conflict. Those that don’t consist of arguments aren’t real and the people in them aren’t being honest. Think about it. In the very beginning of every relationship you have ever been in, isn’t it all about hiding the crazy and letting your partner think you are the coolest, most easy-going girlfriend or boyfriend ever? As time goes on, you start to get more and more comfortable with each other and the "real you" comes out. It’s only normal for two people coexisting in the same place every day to get on each other’s nerves. You will fight over whose turn it is to do the dishes or if the expensive cable package your partner wants is a necessity. This is a natural part of living with someone.

Now that we know fights will in fact happen in our relationships, how do we handle them? The best way to handle an argument with your significant other is different for every couple. You should understand how your partner handles this kind of stress and be respectful of it. Some people prefer to stay calm and silent for a day to cool off and get over it. Others want to talk (or shout) it out. No matter how you choose to handle it, the important part is that the two of you keep communicating. Do you know why your partner is upset and do they know why you are upset? Not talking about your issues will result in one thing, having the same fight over and over again. Trust me, nothing is more frustrating than repetition of the same argument.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.            -Albert Einstein

If you are stubborn like I am, it may be harder for you to lay your sword down first. I’m not saying that I’m never wrong, I’m wrong all the time and I have no problem admitting it. It’s just that the spirit of the fight, anything hurtful that may have been said, I hold on to all of that. It’s not healthy, I know, and I assure you that I am working on it. It’s much healthier to apologize and get it over with. 

*Once you know what the fight is about and you know it will be resolved, swallow your pride and take one for the team. 

*Chances are, the second you apologize, your partner will too and the fight will be history. 

*Take the time to calmly discuss the argument and do what you need to do in order to avoid similar disagreements in the future. 

I promise you that your relationship will be healthier and happier if you aren’t too stubborn to say you’re sorry first. 

Apologetically yours, 


5 Easy Ways to keep the Romance Alive

Being in a committed relationship has it's perks. For example, avoiding disastrous blind dates and being seated at the "singles" table at your cousin's wedding. But anyone who's been in a relationship that's lasted longer than six months can tell you that it isn't always hugs and kisses. Long term relationships take work and in order to keep the love alive, you've got to put in a little effort sometimes. Here are 5 easy ways to romance your sweetheart:

Ways to keep the romance alive.

1. Flattery Goes a Long Way

It may sound obvious and unnecessary, but ladies and gentlemen, the simplest way to show your counterpart that you care is to tell them. After you've been together for a few years and things become monotonous, it's common for the compliments to sort of fade away. Don't let this happen to your relationship. Ladies, if you notice that your man's looking good and buff, tell him. Gentlemen, it never hurts to remind your better half that she is beautiful and amazing. If you're stuck at the office and all of the sudden you get a naughty craving, text your lover a sexy message. Dishing out complements and dusting off the old flirting skills can help keep the spark in your relationship.

2. Leave Love Notes

Similar to above, something as simple as relaying your love in writing can do wonders for your relationship. Put what you feel down on paper and in your own hand writing. Nothing is more romantic than an old fashioned love letter. Not so good with lengthy writing assignments? That's okay. A love note can be as simple as writing "I love you" in the fogged bathroom mirror or quickly jotting down "have a good day, xoxo" and leaving it on her (or his) car. Something so simple, yet concrete can put a smile on your loved one's face for the rest of the day. 

3. Be Spontaneous

Now guys, don't let the subtitle scare you away. Being spontaneous doesn't mean you have to whisk your lady away on an expensive, surprise getaway to Hawaii (although, if it is, I wouldn't complain). The kind of spontaneous that can melt a girl's heart is more doable. Flowers for no reason will always knock a girl off her feet. Nothing is sweeter than an unexpected gesture of love. When I was a little girl, my dad used to randomly bring home a single slice of lemon meringue pie, my mother's favorite. This goes both ways ladies. Girls, you can unexpectedly cook your man's favorite dish or surprise him after work by waiting for him in a new piece of lingerie. Remember, simple can be romantic. 

4. Keep Courting Each Other

Most couples who live together for a while eventually get on a daily routine. Wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, maybe a workout, then bed. It's what naturally happens when you do the same thing everyday. To keep things from getting boring add something romantic to your routine. My boyfriend and I try to do a single date night, if not every week, at least every other week. You need to make time to simply be with each other and have fun. To keep date night interesting, we try to do something different every time. Dinner and movie will get boring after the tenth date night. Use coupon sites like Living Social or Groupon to get more unique date night ideas. If your routine already consists of a date night, add something different like breakfast in bed every Sunday. You can also take a course together, like paddle boarding, a cooking class, a couple's massage class, or even a dance class. Keep your routine feeling fresh.

Date Night: Bowling 

5. Don't Slack on Sex

Sex is a very important element to every relationship. It may not be the only important element, but once sex goes, the passion and romance follows and soon your wondering how your relationship got so boring. Sex with your partner does more than just satisfy, it also keeps you two connected on all levels. There is a reason why you feel disconnected from your partner when you aren't having sex regularly. Life gets busy and you fall into monotony of everyday life. Don't leave sex on the back burner. If you have to, make specific time in your busy schedule for sex. After all, sex not only keeps your relationship healthy, but helps keep the stress of life at bay.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Trample

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families, filled with love, good food, and none of the nonsense that mine consisted of. Don't get me wrong, it started out lovely. An early Thanksgiving feast at my boyfriend's parents' house, complete with champagne and lounging around on a big fluffy couch. After our bellies were temporarily full, it was time to see my family...who were waiting in line at Target in Anaheim Hills four hours before it opened at 9pm.

Most of you are thinking that I'm crazy to go Black Friday shopping. In my defense, I really didn't want to. Blake had never done it before and has wanted to join my sister and my uncle (who brave the crowds and madness every year) for the past two years but I always had to work the day after. This year I decided I would suck it up and go with him because I knew that after he had done it once, he would never want to do it again.

So there we were, at Target at 5pm on Thanksgiving day waiting for the doors to open as if we were waiting in line for front row tickets to our favorite band in concert. When we arrived, there were about fifteen people in line in front of us. By the time the doors were about to open, miraculously there were about eighty people in front of us. Again, I didn't want to be there and there was no particular item I was waiting in line for. Others that were just in front of us or right behind us from as early as 5pm were waiting in line specifically for a rather large television at a relatively low price. Needless to say, despite waiting in line on Thanksgiving day for four hours, these people did not get what they came for.

After I had narrowly escaped the overly crowded department store with my life and a few cheap dvds, I felt disgusted at how selfish people can be. It's Thanksgiving people! Not "Trample-People-for-Decent-Sales-Day". Once safely in the truck, I turned to Blake and declared that we will never do that again. All I could think about was the assholes who cut in line at the last minute, robbing those who had patiently waited and wasted their once a year Thanksgiving for something they didn't get. It was just kind of depressing.

Despite the slight post traumatic stress I felt from almost starting a riot outside of a Target at 9pm on Thanksgiving, we ended the day by going to grandma's for some more turkey dinner. The delicious food did wonders, calming down my nerves and helping me relax. Alas, Thanksgiving was saved! All in all, it was a memorable one and I've learned my lesson: don't go Black Friday shopping, eighty jerks will cut in front of you in line without a second thought. Stay in your warm and toasty house with your family and enjoy your feast in peace.


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