Real Time

The Gift of No Gifts… Because Presence is The Best Present

It’s wonderful to see a person’s face light up thanks to a gift you bestowed. I do love giving gifts, and I love receiving gifts – within reason. But have you ever analyzed why you buy so many Christmas gifts?…

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How to Stay Connected as a Couple Through the Holidays

This story was originally created for The Gottman Institute Blog and has been republished here with permission. When my kids were younger, one of our favorite summer activities was to have leaf races in the rushing streams near our North Carolina summer…

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We’ve Started Renewing Our Wedding Vows Every Year. Here’s Why

This story was originally created for The Gottman Institute Blog and has been republished here with permission. I recently read a statistic that the average couple spends between 200 and 300 hours planning their wedding. A few of those hours…

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The Friendship Dating Game: Desperately Seeking Mom Tribes, Gal Pals and Lifelong BFFs

The friendship dating game is pretty similar to the traditional dating game of seeking a romantic partner. And it can be especially tricky, yet essential, during certain periods of life when true friendships matter most. For example, being a new…

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How to Have Date Night on the Family Vacation

When you have a family, it’s not always easy to secure a couples getaway. Even though you’re parents, it’s still very important to have couple time (without the kiddos) and, ideally, get out for date night on a regular basis….

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Epic Ways to Celebrate Milestone Anniversaries

Ah, the achievement of reaching a milestone anniversary. So special, right? Surprisingly, many couples let milestone anniversaries slide by without much fuss. But, to the contrary, I think anniversaries should be celebrated and cherished! In fact, in addition to the following,…

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12 Simple Ways Every Man Can Make His Woman Feel Loved

Attention gentleman… Actions speak louder than words… as they say. So, a simple yet sincere gesture by a man can remind a woman just how much she’s loved. And the element of surprise doesn’t hurt either when displaying such devotion….

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No More Parental Guilt: How to Achieve Kid-Approved Date Nights

By Karen Duncan We are social creatures. We live to connect with others, to love and be loved. We develop our first meaningful relationships with our families and then move on to friends as the world opens up to us….

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How to Chronicle Your Love Story with a Couple’s Journal

Perhaps your “Dear Diary” days are long behind you but before you toss the concept of journaling aside once and for all, consider how grown ups are using the practice to release and record our deepest feelings, chronicle travels and…

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How People Express Love Around the World

Love is the universal language, so they say. Yet, how love is communicated varies greatly throughout the world. From classic trinkets to sappy love letters and beyond, love speaks volumes in many forms. I am blessed to have a melting…

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One Little Relationship Upgrade That Makes a Huge Difference

If I could have more of anything it would be more connection. Feeling close to and available for the people I am sharing my life with—friends and family—is my personal barometer for good living. With that aim in mind, my…

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Who Should Plan Date Night in Your Relationship?

I’m a planner… maybe to a fault. You see, I like to keep a busy schedule to experience life to the fullest. But, admittedly, also because I’m a “Type A” personality – i.e. ambitious but impatient. My planning often maximizes…

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11 New Year’s Resolutions for Couples

As the holiday season wraps and the New Year begins, about 50 percent of the U.S. population sets a New Year’s resolution. But by Valentine’s Day, the vast majority calls it quits on these promises. How can you succeed? Making…

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Cha-Cling! How to Talk about Money AND Have Fun While Doing It

By Liza Witonis Couples tend to talk about just about everything on date nights, right? So, why not talk about “bread” when breaking bread?! Money is an important part of all relationships. With it, you buy an engagement ring, put…

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Why is Date Night Shaming a Thing?

Social media makes it easy for trolls to voice negative comments and personal attacks. First came body shaming and, now, date night shaming. Yup, that’s the latest trend among online smack talkers. And it has me puzzled because I love…

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Play and Do Nothing

Recently I read the book Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte. Anyone who feels time-starved or overcommitted can immediately relate to Brigid’s story. Two kids, busy job, somewhat helpful spouse, and the…

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Why We Rarely Double Date

Phil and Sarah are two of our favorite people in the world. Marc and I love spending time with this couple. They’re funny and intelligent, they love food and are always open to exploring new things — just like us….

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The 15-Second Date Night: Thoughts on Liftoffs and Landings

It doesn’t take much to throw off a good date night routine. Marc and I can be on a roll for months… keeping to our weekly quality time like a paperboy does his Sunday route. But, then, a few schedule…

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The Science of Syncing: Why Date Night Matters

Whether you’re looking at scientific research or anecdotal evidence, a strong case can be made that couples are happier and more connected when they spend quality time together. But let’s be honest ─ it’s not always easy to carve out…

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Creating the Date Night Habit

We humans live a well-worn path, often living the same life over and over, day after day. It takes true effort to blaze a new trail because we’re simply not wired for change; we’re wired for habit. Our brains like…

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