Whenever someone says something along the lines of "relationships are hard work" (typically with an emphasis on "hard"), typically my response will be, "I prefer to say that relationships require daily maintenance." While on the surface, it might seem like I'm splitting hairs, think about a garden and I think you'll get where I'm coming from.
When you first decide to grow a garden, it's definitely a lot of work to get it started. You've gotta break ground, pull up stones, fertilize the soil, plant seeds…I'm getting tired just thinking about it. But once your garden is all set, so long as you water it, make sure the soil (the foundation) is good, check for weeds and pests and keep up with when it's time to harvest, for the most part, you're all set.
So yeah, to me, a healthy relationship is a lot like a garden. It may require a lot of work at first because you're getting the foundation laid. But if you both are committed to nurturing the relationship once it's been established, it shouldn't require tons of blood, sweat, and tears. It really shouldn't.
And just what do two people need to do in order to maintain their relationship with one another?
Have you ever noticed that some of the basic rules of courtesy we're taught as children are the ones that seem to go totally out of the window once we're grown and interacting with the people closest to us? Strangers and co-workers aren't the only ones who deserve to hear "please" or "thank you". They also aren't the only individuals who should receive actual requests when we need something or should be told that they are appreciated when said request is granted.
One of the main reasons why a lot of people feel taken for granted in their relationships is because their partner fails to show good manners to them. It sounds elementary, but I promise that if you're more polite, it truly can do wonders for your relationship.
2.Ask. Don't Assume.
Something else that most of us heard while growing up is if we assume, it will make a total ass of us. Yet, when I'm in the middle of a counseling session, I can't tell you how many times one or both people have told me that they are frustrated with their partner because they know they are thinking "this" or they know they are going to do "that".
Yeah, I know a lot of us women think that we are so intuitive that we can constantly read our man's mind. I also know that kind of presumption tends to piss a lot of men off. No matter how long you've been with someone, they're forever gonna be capable of doing something that surprises you. Therefore, if you really want to know something, give them the respect of asking rather assuming what they are going to say or do. And yes, require they do the same thing for you in return.
3.Apologize. And Forgive.Giphy
There is someone I used to be very close to who I had to stop being close with, basically for one major reason—they refused to apologize. Like ever. Something that life experience has taught me is if someone wrongs me or even just hurts my feelings and they refuse to address it, that's a form of toxicity that I can do without.
I did some research into why some people seem to be wired this way. Many psychologists say that some individuals don't apologize because they have trouble separating their actions from their character (they think what they are apologizing for is both). Others say people don't do it because they feel that apologizing will trigger other unwanted conversations (like they might apologizing for being perpetually late and that will turn into their other "flaws").
Personally, I think it has more to do with egomania than anything. Oh, and the title of this article right here—"People Who Never Apologize Probably Aren't Nice to Themselves, Either". If someone is not nice to themselves, it's only a matter of time before they show out, on some level, with their partner. Life is too short to not work through things. When you know you've done wrong or even when your partner simply brings hurt feelings (at your hand) to your attention, it's an act of humility and love to apologize.
On the flip side, in order for relationships to be healthy, it's also important to forgive. People who can't forgive also baffle me because it sends the message that others should accept their flaws, missteps and wrongdoings, but those same individuals aren't deserving of that very same reception. No relationship is perfect; that's because both people in them aren't.
A relationship that forgives each other stays together.
Apologize. And forgive.
4.Love with Intention
Intention. Did you know that two definitions of the word "intention" are "purpose or attitude toward the effect of one's actions or conduct" and "purpose or attitude with respect to marriage"? It's kind of a trip that the meaning of intention speaks to a type of romantic relationship.
And yes, if you want to keep your relationship healthy and strong, it's important that you thoughtfully and purposefully express your love and commitment to your partner on a daily basis. It doesn't have to always be an over-the-top gesture. It can be a mailed Hallmark card. Lunch from their favorite restaurant delivered to their job. A back massage out of the blue. Recreating their favorite date. Cuddling in bed while watching one of their favorite movies.
It's all about thinking about how much you love them and then doing something—whether it's big or small—to show them just how much you do. As often as you possibly can.
5.Lean. Don't Push.
I grew up on Beverly Hills, 90210. So, when I found out that Luke Perry (aka Dylan McKay) died in March, I was all up in my feelings. It made me want to watch some reruns. It also caused me to recall some great advice that another character on the show (Ian Ziering who played Steve Sanders) said to one of his girlfriends when they were having some miscommunication issues—"Lean. Don't push."
What he basically meant is sometimes, when we're in a really vulnerable place, rather than admit that to our partner and ask for help, we slick find ways to push them away or self-sabotage the relationship, all because we're afraid that they won't be able to endure our hard times with us.
Ian/Steve is exactly right. If anyone should be your advocate and source of support, it's your partner. At the same time, they should be able to feel the same way about you. Lean into your support system; don't do things that will push him away or have to "prove" that he's gonna stay. That kind of test may be one that you'll royally fail.
If you got 50 people together in one room and asked them to list five things that attracts them to another person, I'd be shocked if 80 percent of them didn't mention the importance of having a sense of humor. Not only is it a sign that an individual knows how not to take life so seriously all of the time, it's also an indication that they can see the positive/funny sides of things too.
Plus, science reveals that laughter does everything from reduce stress and lower your blood pressure to strengthen your heart, increase T-cells and release endorphins too. Whether it's calling up your partner in the middle of the day to share a funny story with them or it's sitting on the couch and watching old episodes of The Boondocks (Tom singing Usher's "Let It Burn" and a pizza commercial that KevOnStage featured on his channel never get old!), make a point to laugh with the one who you love, just as often as you possibly can.
7.Remember Why You Started
Something that I recommend all of the couples that I work with do is jot down 10 things that they really like about their partner, then post it somewhere they can see it on a daily basis, whether it's their bedroom or bathroom mirror or even the fridge. It's a great way for them to remember what drew them to one another in the first place.
If relationships were easy, divorces would drop by at least a billion percent. Sometimes, when your boo is getting on your very last nerve and you're tempted to only focus on all of the things you don't like about them, you need a visual reminder of all of the things that you love. Refer to the list as often as possible. Sometimes even shoot a text to reiterate a couple of things that are on it—just so both of you can remember why you started your relationship in the first place.
Who cares how good the sex is if you only get it ("it" meaning "good") on your birthday? Who cares how romantic your man is if you can only recall two solid memories? Who cares how special your man makes you feel if it only happens after you've threatened to leave him for the fifth or 50th time?
Many a good relationships have crashed and burned, all because they lacked one very critical component—consistency. When someone is consistent, they are steady. They don't care about what they did last month, week or even yesterday. What matters to them is showing their partner, right in this moment, how special and wonderful they are. And when they get up the next day, they have the same mindset.
To me, consistency is a superpower. And there is a lot of truth to, what you did to get your partner, you need to do to keep them. Consistently so.
When it comes to keeping a relationship healthy and strong, consistency wins the race. No doubt about it at all.
Featured image by Getty Images.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy