How to Surprise Him on His Birthday

How to Surprise Him on His Birthday
by Katarina Kovacevic

If you’ve been with your man for a couple of years now and are struggling for birthday gift ideas, you’ll want to listen up. We’ve come up with a few suggestions that go beyond the typical CD or power tool. He’ll he so pleasantly surprised that he may even give you something in return!

Tell him to go home
When’s the last time he hopped a flight and went home to visit his family and friends? If you really want to get to his heart buy him a plane ticket home. Better yet, get him a gift card or ticket voucher for an airline so he can make the trip work around his own schedule. Put it into a birthday card and tuck it into his underwear drawer for an extra little surprise.

Step outside of your comfort zone
Sometimes we have to do things we’re less than thrilled about for the people we love. Has he been bugging you to attend WrestleMania with him? Does he constantly drop hints about how “awesome” it would be to go rock climbing? To make his special day extra special, tear down one of your personal barriers and take on an activity he’s always wanted to try. It shows him that you really care about his interests.

An honest cliche
The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach — it’s no lie. If he’s working on his birthday, try whipping up his favorite lunchtime snack (for two) and bring a pseudo picnic to his office. It’ll be a nice break in his busy work day and some extra one-on-one time for the two of you.

Nurture his nerdy side
If he’s been obsessed with Star Wars since he would talk, buy him the collector’s edition box set. Or if he’s into bird watching, take him on an expert-led hike. No matter what his quirky hobby is, do something to show that you appreciate every side of him. It’ll remind him that you really do know him better than most people — assuming he doesn’t share his obsession with Harry Potter with the world.

Get naughty
Doing something sweet and sentimental is very romantic but there’s nothing like getting kinky to celebrate a special day. Turn your bedroom into a personal spa, complete with a hot bubble bath and scented oil. After a dip in the tub, take turns giving each other a long, intimate massage and see where the evening leads…

Take on his chores
Give your sweetie the day off by taking on his to-do list. Get his car washed, trim the bushes (or try to, at least), mow the lawn or make dinner. No matter what he’s got going on, do your best to chip in and let him focus on a day for himself. After all, women aren’t the only ones who need a little personal time.

Throw a party — and leave
Invite all of his best guy friends over for a night of cards, beer and sports (or whatever they’re into). Set the poker table, whip up a night’s worth of snacks, and have them arrive 30 minutes before your guy is scheduled to get home. Once you’ve done the whole “surprise” thing, kiss him good-bye and head out for a night with the girls. He’ll appreciate the night with the guys and the fact that you are willing to give him his space.


The Art of Compromise Exploring the benefits of a give and take relationship

The Art of Compromise
Exploring the benefits of a give and take relationship...
by Jennifer Good

Many people mistake the act of compromise as selling-out or giving in. Compromise to them means giving up something. In actuality if you stay true to the real definition of compromise you will gain a relationship free of petty battles. You will learn how to co-exist in a loving and appreciative way.

So, what does compromise actually mean? According to Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary it means, "A mutual consent reached by concession on both sides..." The key words here are mutual consent. It can't be a true compromise if one partner doesn't feel it is mutual. The act of compromise by definition indicates that both partners take an active role in finding a solution. This cannot be done if one or both partners are angry. When beginning to address an issue with your partner you should adhere to the following steps:

Note: It may be a good idea to let your partner know ahead of time that you have some ideas about a certain situation, and you'd like their insight and help with it. This can help set the tone for positive, non-accusatory discussions. Agree beforehand that if at any time either partner feels angry or upset about the issue you can come back and talk about it at a later date.

1. Talk about the situation openly and calmly with each other. Explain what that situation is to you, and how they feel about it. Then, have your partner do the same.

2. Agree to take turns talking out the compromise. This will allow each partner to fully discuss his or her ideas. Do not interrupt your partner during this time.


3. Depending on who goes first, decide what possible outcomes or solutions would be acceptable to you. Take a look at it from your partner's viewpoints and decide if these solutions would be fair to them. What do you feel your partner wants from the situation? Revise your outcomes or solutions around what would still be acceptable to you, but also accounts for your partner's best interests.

4. The next partner should now follow Step 3.

Note: Solutions to your problems will vary. For example, if the issue is that you don't feel you are sharing the workload around the house, your compromise could be: "If you do the dishes, I'll cook dinner."

5. Agree on a "DOABLE" compromise. Don't take one step forward only to fall two steps behind. A compromise should be considered a promise. You don't want to have one partner following through with their promises, and the other lagging behind. That will only create a relationship filled with resentment.

6. Agree on a future time, right then and there, to talk about things that may come up. Ideally, you'll want to agree on a date a week in advance. It is crucial for any relationship to have "us" time to talk through issues or problems you may be having. You'll find a weekly check-in date will help dramatically decrease the amount of flair-ups in your relationship.

Compromise is a way of helping each other find a solution that benefits both people. When you start looking at solutions to your problems this way you can't help but gain a happier relationship, which in turn creates a happier you!


The Art of the Apology

The Art of the Apology
by Jennifer Good

The Art of the ApologyLet's face it, we all make mistakes. It's probably pretty fair to say that we don't like to admit it either. However, an apology is not just an admission of a wrong doing, it's an admission that we understand that we unintentionally caused an upset in our partner's life. It's about communicating that you're not so caught up in yourself that you don't realize the effect you have on your partner.

When the time comes for you to make an apology, use these simple principles to make your amends.

1. Make the apology about them, not you.
How often have you heard an apology start off with an excuse? When you are giving reasons for your behavior you're not showing your partner that you care about their feelings. You're actually communicating that you are worried about yours. Make sure your intent isn't to get the focus off of you.

2. Listen to what your partner is upset about, and then acknowledge it.
It's difficult to listen to negative things being said about ourselves. However, if we hope to bridge the gap, we need to listen in order to understand our partner's point-of-view. Once you know what has caused the upset, be sure to acknowledge that you understand. For example, "I can see how being late made you feel like you're not a priority to me. I'm sorry that it made you upset. I should have called to let you know what was going on."

Readers say…
"We cuddle up and quietly discuss what we were fighting about, then we end up kissing and forgiving each other and we spend the rest of the day like normal." -Steve

3. Make amends.
When you've hurt someone's feelings it's important to give a little something extra back. Imagine it's like putting your apology into action. If you've caused an upset, make an effort to do something a little out of the ordinary to make up for it. Cook their favorite dinner, let them pick out what to watch on TV, or share some extra intimate time.

Readers say…
"I make up by not being so stubborn and apologizing for not compromising. Then we hug so tightly, you couldn't even fit a piece of paper between us." -Debbi

4. Handle the original problem.
If you find you are causing the same upsets with your partner it might be time for an internal look at why you are repeating actions that you know upsets them. Talk it over with your partner and try to come to some sort of compromise or solution to the situation.