Tips for summer holiday survival

We’re preparing for a surge in enquiries from couples whose relationships reach breaking point over the summer. Last year, we received a 49% increase in calls in September compared to an average month in 2016 along with a 9% rise in web traffic to the national site. This makes it our second busiest time of year after the post-Christmas peak each January.

“Relationships are often already at crisis point by the time people come to them in September,” says local counsellor Diane Whitmore. “School holidays, enforced jollity at rainy seaside resorts and financial pressures are just some of the reasons that summer can be the final straw. Some couples head straight for the divorce court; family lawyers also experience a rise in the number of new clients at this time of year.” (more…)

Lonely among so many friends

Older people aren’t the only ones who are lonely.

A lot has been written about how more older people are living alone and becoming isolated.

But what’s not so frequently reported is how younger people – with multiple ‘friends’ online and seemingly endless texting – can feel just as alone.

In fact, it can be worse for them – because when you’re on social media and, whatever the reality, all your ‘friends’ appear to be having a whale of a time, your feelings of isolation, inadequacy, despair… can become overwhelming.

Come now, I hear you say, all that texting, all the video, all the chat on a mobile phone that never leaves their grasp, surely that’s indicative of being part of something, being wanted, in communication, a sense of belonging. (more…)

How to avoid an affair

When people spend lots of time together, they have the chance to really get to know each other. For example, work affairs often start off slowly. Working together in stressful situations can mean bonding over shared goals or through collaborating on projects. What can start off as a platonic friendship or normal working relationship can, if there’s a spark of attraction, slowly develop into an affair over time.

It’s often hard to pinpoint the moment where things begin to head in this direction. You might prefer to avoid thinking about it, or pretend it’s not happening. Some people find themselves ‘sleepwalking’ towards an affair – by not accepting that it’s a possibility at all.

And then it’s often the case that events like after-work drinks or a leaving party spark underlying attractions and are acted on in an impulsive moment. (more…)

The difficult path through grief

Helping a partner who is grieving can be really challenging. Grief can be volatile and unpredictable.

Everyone deals with grief differently. Some people might be more communicative, whereas others shut themselves away. It can take a long time to work through, however sometimes people can surprise you and seem to progress much quicker.

The nature of grief can also be different depending on the person’s relationship and the circumstances of how someone died. If it was sudden and unexpected, or if there were any issues in the relationship, you can be left with lots of unresolved feelings.

And progress is rarely a straight line. Sometimes people may slow down or speed up unpredictably. It might be that they find they’re better able to cope at first than they are a few months down the line, or that a setback in another area of their life — or a further bereavement — brings back lots of feelings. (more…)

5 reasons why kissing is good for you

There’s nothing more euphoric than a great kiss and it’s been proven that kissing is good for you and your relationship. As it is International Kissing Day on 6th July 2017 here are five kissing facts:

  1. It helps you work out if someone is a good match

When you lock lips with someone, five out of 12 of your cranial nerves are engaged, suggesting your brain is attempting to gather as much information as it can about the other person.

The lips don’t lie and just like the song goes, ‘it’s in his kiss’: you can actually tell if someone is going to be a good match for you from an exchange of saliva! (more…)

The art of compromise

You want to go to the cinema. But you and your partner have different tastes in movies.

One of you wants to see an action film; the other a romantic comedy. There are no films showing that you might both like to see.

You talk about it for a while, and it’s clear you’re not going to come to an easy agreement. In the end, one of you gives up and says: ‘We’ll go see the romantic comedy’. The other person is happy, but the first one is secretly a bit resentful that they had to give in.

Now… that might not seem like a particularly big deal, but there’s a pattern that, when applied to something more serious or important, could be problematic. (more…)

When different sex drives in a relationship become a problem

Many couples experience different levels of sex drive at some point in their relationship.

For some couples differences in sex drive may have been present from the start of the relationship. That’s common – and lots of people find ways of compromising that feel fine to both partners. For some people, their sex drive lessens over time and finding ways to talk about this together may help to prevent a partner feeling unloved and rejected.

If things seem to have changed for you and you’re concerned about it, try to work out what is causing the difference in your sex drives. Here are some of the things that can contribute: (more…)

More than a fifth of local people are dissatisfied with their sex life

More than a fifth (22 per cent) of people in the East of England are dissatisfied with their sex life and a third (33 per cent) have experienced a sexual problem, according to new figures from Relate Bedfordshire and Luton.

The same study found that just over a fifth (21 per cent) of people living in the East said that low libido or differing sex drives is placing a strain on their relationship.

The figures are taken from a report by Relate and Relationships Scotland, Let’s talk about sex. The UK-wide study included more than 5,000 respondents, 490 of whom were from the East of England.

(more…)