EZ Dating Coach, Mike Goldstein, was so excited to sit down and talk with Dr. Gary Salyer. He really wanted to pick his brain and learn all that he could from him. Dr. Salyer is the the author of Safe to Love Again: How to Release the Pain of Past Relationships and Attract Your Soul Mate and he truly is a relationship expert.
The first thing that Mike wanted to ask him was how you can tell if you are in a happy relationship. He was wondering if there is any way to predict a breakup or divorce. Dr. Salyer really broke it down for us. He told Mike that your brain knows when you are really loved when it experiences 4 feelings. When you feel welcomed with joy, worthy of your needs and nourished, cherished and protected, and empowered with choice, then you feel deeply loved.
If you are missing 1 or 2 of these feelings in your relationship, then you and your partner have a few things that you should work on. If you are missing 3 or all 4 of these feelings, that is a good sign that you are in a bad or toxic relationship. If the relationship is worth fighting for and you both agree that it's fixable, you still have a shot. If not, it is probably time to move on.
Next, Mike wanted to ask Dr. Salyer what goes into sustaining a long and lasting relationship. He taught him all about how we can turn toward or turn away from our partner in a relationship. What does that mean? When you toward someone, you are responding in a positive way and being attentive. When you turn away from someone, you are responding in a negative or disinterested way. When you are in a relationship where you both turn toward each other, you are going to feel loved and heard and close to one another. When someone turns away, the other person feels neglected and unimportant and alone.
Dr. Salyer went on to talk about the differences in men's and women's brains. For example, women have emotional process centers on both sides of their brain and men only have it on the right side. Also, women's emotional memory center is twice as large as men's. Under emotional stress, a woman's brain will send 8 times the amount of blood flow to her emotional processing centers while a man's brain will send 8 times the amount of blood flow to the problem solving part of his brain. This means that men and women will experience the same stressful situation in very different ways. Women will need to process their emotions and talk them through while men will need to physically solve the problem. Understanding our differences a little better can have endless positive effects on our relationships.
Next, Mike wanted to know how we can get what we need without getting angry when we are under stress. Whoever begins the conversation should kick things off without having what Dr. Salyer calls a "harsh start". A harsh start is when someone starts speaking with anger or criticism. Studies show that if you have a harsh start, your partner will have a positive response a measly 4% of the time. That means that a whopping 96% of the time, your aggressive harsh start will result in a negative response from your partner. If you both can avoid criticism, ask for what you need and want, and speak to each other in a way that the other can receive it correctly, you can resolve an issue before conflict sets in.
When men and women are triggered, our logical thinking decreases as emotions take over. The person beginning the conversation can set a positive tone, allowing both the man and the woman to calmly resolve a conflict. You really have to stop and think before you speak and remember that what you say can make this a positive and constructive interaction or a negative and destructive interaction. You might need to take a break and clear your head first. After you have calmed down, you will be ready to revisit the conversation. If a man needs to take a break, he needs to tell the woman that he will be back to resolve the issue. If he doesn't, her anxiety might flare up and she will pursue him, making him feel smothered and cornered.
Next, they moved onto the topic of romance. How can couples keep their spark alive? Dr. Salyer told Mike that the trick is to do "small things, often". Doing simple, kind things a lot of the time shows each other a steady flow of love and affection. A big gesture every now and then makes you feel special in the moment but leaves you feeling unimportant the rest of the time. Dr. Salyer blew my mind when he told me the next fact: Research shows that when men who show women affection and attention initiate sex, 75% of the time their women said yes. For men who are not affectionate with their women and don't make them feel loved and heard, they only had sex 6% of the time. 6%? Wow!
In a relationship, you both need to feel loved, respected, and heard. It is also important that you both understand your differences and communicate in a positive way. Challenges will always arise... There is no way around that. The key is to face these challenges together and always lift each other up.
Check out the rest of the interview, here:
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