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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Steve and Ann Beede--Together 24 Years

Steve and Ann Beede believe in love at first sight. They met on Ann's birthday in 1977 on an island in Boston Harbor. They have been together ever since. Both confirm that they knew the day they met that this is the person with whom I want to spend my life. "That day we even talked about how many Kids we would like to have," says Steve.

For Ann planning activities together has kept the romance alive. Steve agrees. "Reading Gottman's SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE and both of us really caring also helped," he adds.

"We went through three downturns in the real estate market and worked our way out", Ann said. "We never blamed each other. We worked together to overcome obstacles." "The market crash in 1986 wiped us out," Steve added.

Steve's answer to what he likes best about the relationship: "Friends, fun together, making memories, being US." Ann's answer: "Friendship and nice long drives for talking."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Improve Your Listening Skills

Very few people learn to be good listeners. If you want to speed up your relationship's evolution toward soul mate status, learning to listen is the key.

Here is how:
Focus on the idea the speaker is trying to get across to you.
Try to understand what he/she is saying.
Resist forming arguments against the idea.
Do not ridicule or discount.
Practice listening every day.
Ignore distractions.
Keep an open mind.
Do not make assumptions, clarify.
Try to understand rather than try to be understood.

For more on talking and listening, check out "Becoming Soul Mates--How to Create the Lifelong Relationship You Always Dreamed Of" by Elva Anson.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Fever in Shenandoah Valley

It becomes increasingly clear that for long-term relationships to evolve into soul mate status both people in the relationship must invest time and energy. Date nights and get-aways provide opportunities for lovers to focus on and learn more about each other.

Use these together times to have fun and to let go of the stress and conflict of financial, work, parenting, and other problems. Tell each other your stories. Have playful sex. Explore new places. Meet new people. Try new things. Look for what you enjoy about your mate.

I had a choice Friday. I could go to my professional meeting of marriage family therapists or I could go for a beautiful spring drive with my soul mate to the Shenandoah Valley for lunch. Guess which I chose.

Monday, April 4, 2011

British Columbia Beauty in California

Our March get-away took us into a wonderland of glistening snow covered mountains, rivers rushing to keep up with the excess water, and trees trying not to break under their unusually heavy load of snow. It reminded me of traveling through British Columbia uttering unstoppable oh's and ah's.

Carson Valley, spotted with splashes of snow, stretched to meet us as we descended on the east side of the Sierras. The ecstatic squawking of mating geese filled the air. There must have been hundreds of geese happily settled with their mates in their marshland nests. We felt one with spring as we carried our suitcase into our time share apartment and focused our attention on each other for the next two days.