Rekindling Romance For Dummies book cover

Rekindling Romance For Dummies

By: Sabine Walter and Pierre A. Lehu Published: 12-28-2000

“Her energy level is higher than a charged particle.”

“Her manner is down-to-earth and reassuring.... She tries to make people feel better, value themselves, trust their instincts.”
Ladies’ Home Journal

In today’s world of instant gratification people have lost the knack for keeping romance alive. Rather than take the time to rekindle the flame that once burned so brightly, we let the fire die out, thinking we’ll find something more lasting with someone else. Often, the result is that we find ourselves repeating the same pattern over and over again or giving up on romance altogether. But true romance never really dies it only goes into hibernation, waiting for somebody to wake it up.

Are you bored with your relationship? Does your love life seem routine? Don’t throw in the towel! Let “Americas star sexologist” (TV Guide), Dr. Ruth Westheimer shows you how to inspire a romantic Renaissance in your relationship. With the help of self-exams and easy exercises, she shows you how to:

  • Rate the romance in your relationship
  • Renew respect and commitment
  • Spice up your sex life
  • Find time for Romance in everyday situations
  • Plan a romantic getaway

Full of straight-talk about real-life relationship issues and peppered with helpful and inspiring anecdotes from her years couples counseling, Rekindling Romance For Dummies helps you:

  • Find the sources of stress in your relationship and address them constructively
  • Discover the importance of communication in overcoming potential sore spots
  • Understand the roles that conflict and mutual respect play in a successful relationship
  • Use proven techniques for strengthening your relationship, including renewal ceremonies, romantic escapes, and more
  • Overcome boredom and insecurity in the bedroom and supercharge your sex-life together, well into your golden years
  • Work through common stresses that can afflict romance, including financial conflict, pregnancy, and childrearing
  • Recognize how common medical problems can impact the state of your relationship and know when to seek professional help

Don’t let a good thing fade away. Let Dr. Ruth show you how to “embrace the art of romance” and keep the fire burning in your relationship.

Articles From Rekindling Romance For Dummies

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Developing Fantastic Friendships

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

An anonymous writer put it this way: "Friends in your life are like pillars on your porch. Sometimes they hold you up and sometimes they lean on you. Sometimes it's just enough to know they're standing by." Writer Elisabeth Foley points out that friendship doubles your joy and divides your grief, and that the most beautiful discovery that true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. Easily the most important place to have a friend is in marriage. For that reason, marriage counselors continually advise husbands and wives to be friends, pointing out that you may divorce your spouse, but you don't divorce your friend. Credit: "Picnic," © 2010 Ed Yourden, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license: Friendship stabilizes relationships in the business and social worlds as well. A friendship is priceless and should be cherished, cultivated, and nurtured. Remembering the golden rule Without a doubt, the greatest human relations principle is to treat other people like you want to be treated. Friendship requires many qualities — unselfishness, genuine care for the other person, and the ability to listen when the other person needs to talk, to name a few. When you show respect for your friends and gratitude for their friendship, you'll be blessed in untold ways. Sometimes just being there — particularly in times of grief — can make a difference. Not knowing what to say doesn't matter; your presence speaks volumes and says everything that needs to be said. People need to share their grief and love to share their joy. If friends were there only for those two occasions, they would still be invaluable. Although the way you treat others affects the way they treat you, the way another person treats you shouldn't determine the way you treat that person. Respond to rude behavior with the utmost kindness. You can't know what has gone on in the rude person's life that day, but you can assume that his or her day hasn't gone well. Maybe a loved one lost his job, her boss reprimanded her unjustly, he's coming down with the flu, or she just found out that her teenager is doing drugs. Whatever the cause of the rudeness, you don't have to accentuate the problem. A kind word or a gentle, understanding smile may help the person more than returned rudeness would. When people are rude and ugly to you, they're probably hurting; they aren't looking to hurt you. Giving more, getting more Here's a story that communicates a great message about friendship. A city man bought a farm. When he went out to look at the line fence, which had been the source of much quarreling for the previous owner, the neighboring farmer said, "That fence is a full foot over on my side." "Very well," said the new owner, "we will set the fence two feet over on my side." "Oh, but that's more than I claim," stammered the surprised farmer. "Never mind about that. I would much rather have peace with my neighbor than two feet of earth," said the man. "That's surely fine of you, sir," replied the farmer, "but I couldn't let you do a thing like that. That fence just won't be moved at all." Most people seldom think through each situation completely and consider the other person's point of view. If you take the time and effort to do this, you'll end up with more friends. Considering foes as friends A friend looks after your own good, is attached to you by affection, and entertains other sentiments of esteem. On the other hand, a foe is someone who isn't interested in your well-being. Yet some students view their teachers as enemies. However, a student's success in school partly depends on the teacher's effectiveness in the classroom. Instead of being an enemy, a teacher who corrects you and helps you to achieve can be the best friend you ever had. When you receive criticism, in many cases the critic turns out to be more of a friend than a person who praises, because the criticism prompts you to improve. If you properly evaluate each piece of criticism you receive, odds are that you realize that those people really are friends. This kind of thinking, along with a little attitude adjustment, helps you to convert foes to friends, and both of you are better off. Making friends by being an optimist Do you enjoy being around a pessimist, someone who is generally described as being able to brighten up a room just by leaving it? The answer is obvious. Most people prefer to be around people who believe that tomorrow is going to be better than today, rather than people who believe that today is even worse than yesterday. Optimists spread cheer wherever they go and make others feel good about themselves. That's a guaranteed way to make friends. Capturing the pleasing personality Virtually every time you say that so-and-so has "charisma," you're really talking about so-and-so's great personality. When he walks into a room, he has a presence — not just looks — that attracts attention from people around him. Or when she's in a crowd, you soon hear a soft buzz coming from the area where she is. How do you develop a pleasing personality? Here are some steps you can take: Smile when you see someone. You don't have to give a wide grin — just a pleasant, friendly smile. Speak in a pleasant, upbeat tone of voice. Talk to people as if they are good friends, even if they don't really fall into that category yet. Take a course in public speaking. The ability to express yourself attracts favorable attention from many sources. Develop a sense of humor. Pick up a couple of joke books. This makes you a little more outgoing and friendly. When you combine that quality with the ability to express yourself before a group, your confidence grows. Don't criticize unjustly Linus (of Peanuts fame) appeared with his security blanket in tow and asked Lucy, "Why are you always so anxious to criticize me?" Lucy's response: "I just think I have a knack for seeing other people's faults." Exasperated with that answer, Linus threw up his hands and asked, "What about your own faults?" Lucy didn't hesitate: "I have a knack for overlooking them." Instead of being eager to dish out criticism all the time, take the humane, sensible approach. Look for the good in other people. Encourage them. Build them up. Be a good-finder, not a fault-finder

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Rekindling Romance with Communication

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

One of the most widespread forms of miscommunication between men and women stems from the fact that too many people, especially men, equate sex with romance. They believe that if their sex life is adequate, then there's no need for anything beyond this one arena. Tied to this is the notion that romantic activity outside the bedroom is automatically a lead-in to sexual activity. And by the way, this is a double-edged sword. Many people think of kissing and hugging as preludes to sex. As a result, when they aren't in the mood, they don't want to snuggle because they assume that it will lead to sex. Credit: "Happy Couple," © 2008 Ed Yourden, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license: This can be true of both partners in a relationship where a pattern has been established that kissing and hugging lead to sex. So the first batch of people may avoid physical contact if it's not attached to sex, and the second group may avoid physical contact because they fear that it will lead to sex at the wrong time. Either way, the partner who is looking for some physical contact that is not sex-related gets left hugging her knees. Communication is vital in this arena. The partner who wants romantic touching has to explain that she would like some more physical contact that is not linked to sex. She has to explain to her partner that just the way a car needs oil to keep the engine running smoothly, she needs some hugs, kisses, and hand-holding in order to keep her spirits going. The onus isn't all on men, however. Some women crave romance but purposefully shut down their libidos once they get their fix because they're a bit busy or preoccupied. They are satisfied by the hugs and kisses, but they don't consider what will satisfy their partners. Although romantic interludes don't have to lead to sex, if they're heading in that direction, veering off the path every time is not a fair way to treat a man. If women allow themselves to become more aroused, they usually do enjoy having sex and have orgasms. But sometimes they stuff themselves on the appetizer and then don't feel they have room for the main meal. Their partners, who require more sustenance, are left feeling frustrated. If this scenario occurs too often, then clearly the relationship can suffer. Decoding confusing signals Another cause of confusion occurs when couples try to communicate with each other about which signs of physical affection will lead to sex and which won't. Two key facts need to be remembered: Men get aroused easily, and women can change their minds. Even though a man may get aroused by some hugging and kissing and even have an erection, this doesn't mean that he'll start writhing on the ground or baying at the moon if he doesn't have sex. Men, particularly young men, get erections all day long and all night long as well (usually every 90 minutes during REM sleep). After a few moments, these erections grab a cab and head downtown of their own accord, providing that the man isn't getting further stimulation. If he is being constantly stimulated, then his arousal will reach a point where it is difficult for him to just say no. But the stimulation from a one-minute hug, providing that he and his partner are not in the nude and she keeps her hands above the belt, doesn't mean that the next step has to be a sexual encounter. And a woman who was just looking for a hug may suddenly find that she is interested in sex, even though that was not on her mind beforehand. Women always claim the right to change their minds, and sometimes they're just too busy to realize that they were somewhat aroused. When they take a breather in the arms of their man, they relax a bit and suddenly realize that there was more to their desire for a hug than just romance. You may think that two people who are part of a long-standing couple should know enough about each other to be able to judge when they are going to have sex and when they're not, yet they often act like a couple on their first date — he's on first base wondering if he'll get to second. What's the answer? Improved communication. You have to be able to share your sensitivities with your partner without hurting his or her feelings. If a woman notices that her partner has an erection, she has to be able to tell him that she's not in the mood without him getting upset. And if she decides that she is in the mood and they do have sex, the next time they hug, he can't assume that it's going to happen again. It's very easy for there to be crossed wires in this back-and-forth exchange, particularly if both people change their minds faster than an operator can plug in the connection. Avoid setting fixed patterns. Each party needs to show flexibility. That means if sometimes she asks for a hug without thinking about sex, she will let herself be brought over to the bed and try to enjoy it. At other times, even if a particular kiss drags on a bit longer than usual, she can go off to finish the paper without feeling guilty and without him donning his hangdog face. It also means that she should initiate sex from time to time, and he should initiate hugs. Good communication means a back-and-forth interaction. It means surprise. It means that your minds are engaged and that you're not acting out the same script over and over. Improving conversational content This seems like the appropriate place to delve into the content of your communications. If all you do is talk about such superficial matters as the weather, the children's science fair project, and what to defrost for dinner, then your relationship is going to be rather superficial as well. That's not to say that you shouldn't talk about mundane subjects. A life is a bit like a business, and you need to deal with managerial matters. But conversations you have with your coworkers aren't likely to lead to sex. You can spend hours at the water cooler bantering about sports, politics, and office gossip without ever probing any depths. If your conversations with your significant other are equally superficial, then what does that say about the state of your relationship? Admittedly, some people who have partners still pour their hearts out to their coworkers. Sometimes they've found someone who is simpatico and doesn't mind being a good listener. Or they've found a busybody who likes peering into other people's private lives. And sometimes the other person is bored to tears. But if the talker is baring his or her soul at the office and clams up at home, that's not a good omen. Meaningful communications don't have to only be about personal crises. Endless talk of problems will turn off a partner, no matter how sympathetic he or she is. Rather, what is "meaningful" is what stimulates the intellect. For example, say you watch the news and the Supreme Court has ruled for or against some case. Talking about the pros and cons of that decision should be equally interesting to both parties. You shouldn't be so polarized that such a conversation creates an automatic fight. If that's the case, then put those topics off limits. But there should be areas of discussion that allow you to learn more about your partner as you exchange ideas.

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