How to be a success of EVERYTHING! (Part 3)

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6Steps to boost your love life
by psychologist and relationship expert
Cecilia d'Felice

Description: Cecilia d'Felice

1.   Write your love life shopping list

Been single for a while and preparing to dip a toe back in the dating game? 'Be clear about what you want,' says Dr Cecifia d'Felice, who's a relationship consultant for match.com and author of 21 Days To A New You (Orion, £7,99). 'If you're putting out confused messages, you'll get a confused picture back. It's not about getting prescriptive or ticking boxes, but identifying the things you care about and value in yourself. That way, you won't waste your time and energy, and you'll feel much more in control,'

2.   Reject your fear of rejection

The reality is we constantly deal with minor rejections - and survive them! Your hairdresser tells you a bob won't suit your face shape, the shop assistant doesn't have that dress in your size - you shrug your shoulders and move on. Use this to understand rejection in relationships. 'Change your frame of reference,' says Cecilia. 'It's not somebody rejecting you because there's something wrong with you, but someone helping you not to choose a mistake. The ones that aren't right will fall by the wayside and the rest will still be there. Rejection is just constructive feedback that frees you up to carry on choosing what you want with more clarity.'

3.   Stop taking each other for granted

In a Song-term relationship where excitement can sometimes seem like a distant memory? 'Research shows that the more you express gratitude, the happier your life will be, so if you want your relationship to start feeling better again, be grateful for it,' says Cecilia. Appreciate the little things (he makes you coffee every morning), rather than being annoyed by the negative ones (he leaves his towel on the floor). You're the only one who cares about that towel so start taking responsibility for how your anger affects your relationship. 'Our brains are wired to notice the negative in order to survive, but with practice we can train ourselves to notice the good.'

4.   Quit bickering!

Even Kate and Wills probably bicker sometimes but stop it before it spoils a happy union. 'Bickering is usually a sign of something that hasn't been addressed,' warns Cecilia. 'Ore of you may have acted in a way you're not very proud of and you're looking for a reason to blame your partner rather than take responsibility, or it could be that you're not spending enough time together, it's often about getting attention and if you're not getting that through  positive means, you'll get it through negative means, so check you're not feeling run down, put upon or sidelined.'

Constantly bickering? Ask yourself these questions...

Bigger issue? What’s really fueling these arguments?

Ignored? Do you feel sidelined and underappreciated?

Conscience? Are you feeling guilty about something?

Keeping on? Are you becoming a nag? If so, evaluate the ‘issues’.

Excusing yourself? Are you unfairly blaming your partner?

Run down? Do you need to look after yourself a bit more?

5.   Bring backthesex!

Don't feel bad about your fading sex drive, do something about it. 'Rather than  planning to have sex four times a week from tomorrow, build  in opportunities for intimacy,' says Cecilia, 'If you're having a hard week and you're both tired, sex will  be the last thing on your mind, so agree to stay in bed until midday on Saturday.  Planning that means the day can't run away from you - leaving you just as tired again at bedtime. Also, don't feel it's a failure if you don't have sex, Rather than building in pressure, build in intimacy, privacy and pleasure.

6.   Remember the good times

When you hit a low patch in your relationship remind yourself of what you have together. The phrase 'Do you remember when we...' is very important because it can make you think 'Shall we do that again?' and prompt you to set about doing something to recapture those special moments you once shared. Read back through old emails or text messages your partner has sent you, listen to an album that's meaningful to both of you, or flick through a photo album. In our disposable society it's good to have an emotional history we can call upon to remind us of everything that's great about our relationship.

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