PSA: First Date Conversation

As a relationship expert, I do a lot of coaching. I constantly hear he/she did not bother to ask anything (on a date) about me, except my age, marital history, and income.

A first date can be uncomfortable, especially if you arrive with a bad attitude or don’t even attempt to give the other person a chance. However, if you can walk into a first date with a great attitude and no expectations, things will go much smoother… this is actually true with everything in life!

During a first date, both people are supposed to use this time to get to know one another a little better. The keyword here is …BOTH… but at least seventy percent of the time this doesn’t happen.

We’ve all been on that date when one person is so self-absorbed that they spend the entire time talking about themselves, what they have, where they have been, or who they know. (This is a RED flag)

FYI: If a first date conversation includes: Can you show me photos of your ex’s? How much money do you make? How big is your house? How many cars do you have?… RUN! Don’t waste your time lecturing an adult with poor priorities, just leave.

So, today I want to set the record straight with a few extremely basic guidelines:

  1. Remember, a first date is also the first impression, and first dates are inherently awkward. Which means the first impression may not be so great, either. As long as the person seems nice enough, you share some basic interests, and there is some chemistry, try for date number two. On your second date, things are generally way more comfortable and you can really get a better idea of who someone is.
  2. Always go with your gut. If you go out on a first date and leave with the feeling that something is just not right (i.e your instincts are warning you, not a superficial judgment), then maybe just move on to someone that doesn’t make you uncomfortable to be around. Don’t waste time here…
  3. Ask questions, appropriate questions, and lots of them! Ask about interests, life goals, family, pets, favorite foods, or television shows. Ask about holidays, culture, and even if they enjoy their career. Don’t talk about break-ups, divorces, finances, how you want a baby by date three, or anything else that you would not disclose to a total stranger. Use this time to get to know someone and allow them to get to know you. This is NOT an interview and should be fun and relaxing.
  4. Lastly, please stop with the games. There is no winner when this happens. Grow up. If you don’t want a second date, say it. If you like someone, tell them. If you want a second date, ask right away. Don’t wait around because you don’t want to seem too excited or desperate. Pick up the damn phone and call.

“The early bird gets the amazing relationship!”

How Do I Talk to My Wife About Our Sex?

Reader’s Question:

I’ve been married for about five years. We have two children and all is, mostly, well. My wife and I are not having enough sex and more troubling is that we don’t really talk about sex, ever.  We never talk about what we like or how we want things. We never discuss why we don’t have sex, even though its often a hot topic to start an argument. This is not about our children and the toll they can take, we know this. This is about us and how we communicate physically with one another. While we’ve never talk about sex, our sexual activity has taken a serious decline this year. It makes me wonder. Is it normal I don’t know about her sexual past and her mine?  Is it normal I don’t know her favorite position or even if I get her “there” ever? I can obviously bring this up with my wife, but I’d like some tips on how to keep bringing it up and keep the conversation out in the open. 

Great question! Yes, this is all very “normal,” but you both owe each other more.

It is common that couples don’t discuss their sexual past and it’s not like she is purposely hiding it from you. Why discuss? Do you think she is lying about something? Do you want juicy details of every man she has taken to bed? I can assure you no wife wants to hear this about her husband. The past is the past, so why allow it into the present? Who cares?!

Is the point to judge your wife based on her past? Think about why you want to know.

Dry spells in a marriage tend to make minds wander. Have faith that your partner told you anything that truly matters and leave the rest alone.

I’ve talked with hundreds of couples over the years with this same issue revolving around intimate communication. It can really hurt the physical side of your marriage, so you should speak up sooner rather than later, and so should your wife.

Make things easier and go first.

I know you say it has nothing to do with the kids, but please keep in mind that children of all ages take their toll on a marriage. Think what you like, but someday you will look back and probably realize that the children are a big issue here. I’ve been there and wish I’d have known that things would be even worse than I imagined (emotionally).

Kids are hard. Have you ever asked your wife if they children have anything to do with your lack of sex?

Maybe it’s easier for you than her right now. Two children in five years would take a toll on the best of us, so giving this perspective some deeper thought is a big recommendation. Remember, it can be hard for some parents to admit their kid is the cause of something negative

The problem with not talking about sex in your marriage is that it creates a crack in the foundation. It’s human nature to think about sex and so it must be on both your minds from time to time. The fact that you two are uncomfortable talking to each other about your intimacy should stop. Why do you think you cannot communicate your desires to your wife? Does it make you uncomfortable? Are you nervous she won’t want the same things? This is a great place to start. Why is the communication on this topic different than any other in your marriage? Figuring this out will help you to move forward.

Sex is very important to a marriage.

You’re on the right track. You know there is a problem and you are making efforts to fix it. Keep the conversation light and use “I statements.” Don’t place blame for the lack of sex or communication, just voice your concerns and your plans to break this cycle. It will be frustrating, but well worth the effort. Bringing this conversation to the table now can save your marriage a lot of sexless, sleepless nights. Just be forward and honest.

Explain to your wife that you want more sex and you’d like to discuss sexual preferences… because you want her happy and pleased. You will never be able to get her “there” if you don’t know what she likes and the same goes for her.

You are married and open to sexual exploration within your marriage! You want more sexually and that is okay. Starting this will be hard. This can bring anxiety or excitement or both, so try to be understanding.

In marriage, it is important to grow together, even when things aren’t peachy.

My Marriage Needs its Sex Back!

Reader’s Question:

 My wife and I are in a sexless marriage. It has been about a year since we were intimate and things get awkward with us physically. We don’t really kiss or touch and when we do, it feels like there is a major disconnect, and talking about it gets us nowhere. I know my wife well and this isn’t about an affair or something like that. Life and kids have taken its toll on our marriage and I need to fix it. Please, any advice you can give me to help me talk to my wife would be appreciated.

I hear this all the time. Your situation is more common than you think, but you really have to make an effort to turn things around.

Raising children is hard on a marriage. Life’s ups and downs are hard on a marriage. Marriage is hard work, period.

There will be times when you look at your spouse and think, who the hell are you and why am I with you. Other times you will look at them and think, I’m the luckiest person in the world.

You just have to ride the waves.

It is time to have a serious talk with your wife. Things need to change. You two need to reconnect. Start with an open and honest conversation. This is not the time to blame. It’s a time to listen and learn.

The last thing you want to do is make her feel that this is all her fault.

I have worked with several couples over the last decade that have gone through the same issues. One wife came to me and explained it has been two years, six months, and three days. She was driving herself insane. It was ruining her marriage. She thought her husband was cheating or wanted a divorce, but was too afraid to ask for it.

He wasn’t cheating and he did not want a divorce. They had twin boys and both worked full-time. Life is what was happening.

We often forget to make time for our marriage. Having a family dinner together is not husband and wife time…it is family time. Spouses should schedule time together on a regular basis. Having a planned “date” is a huge psychological motivator to get through a hard week. If you work full time and have two kids, then every week is a hard week, that would benefit from a little “light at the end of the tunnel.”

Making time for the two of you, separate from anyone else, should lead to more sex and a stronger overall connection.

When was the last time you and your wife made time just for each other, on a regular basis? Even if you only have an hour a week and a few bucks to your name, you can still make it happen.

Put the kids to bed, go lay in the back yard, and just watch the stars…or whatever…you get the point.