We are not that far apart . . .

love snail eyes connecting

Sometimes it feels you are so far apart!  You want THIS and your partner wants THAT. You feel you are on opposing teams, going to battle for your needs and desires. In reality many times when we go beneath our surface wants, we really want the same thing.

Look at these examples of surface needs and more core needs underneath, are they not the same?

We are not that far apart . . .

“I want to have more sex more often.”  Core Need: I need to feel close and connected.                                                                                                                  

 “I want you to talk to me more.”   Core Need: I need to feel close and connected.                                                                                                                           

At first look, they may seem like two different desires: more sex and more talk. But underneath both are wanting closeness and connection. 


“You are always critical of me.”  Core Need: I need to feel safe and protected.

“You never listen to me.”    Core Need: I need to feel safe and protected.  

Again, at first look it appears to be two very different upsets – always critical and never listen. But essentially the core message of need is the same – safety and protection.


“Of course there are times were the core desire may not be the same. But regardless we can be on the same team, fighting for us, not against each other. We are normally not that far apart. When we are upset and in a negative state of mind, it all becomes heightened and feels so very intense. What can we do to get more on the same page and begin to see that we are on the same team?

Being on the Same Team

  1. Take Some Deep Breaths and Calm Yourself.  To really hear your loved one, you will have to be calm enough to really hear what they have to say.
  2. Beginning with the MINDSET, We Are on the Same Team!
  3. REALLY Listening to Each Other. This is not always easy. Because we are many times thinking of what we want to say. Just stopping and really hearing can so help to fully understand what is going on with your loved one.
  4. Reflecting or Acknowledging What You Think You Are Hearing. This simple act goes a long ways to resolving and coming together on the issue that is upsetting you both. We all want to feel heard. It calms our anxious brain to know that we are truly being heard and acknowledged. We can think more rationally when we are not on high alert. 
  5. Framing the Issue in Terms of, “What can WE do to make this better?” This is not about who is right or wrong. But about, “How can we make this better?”
  6. Recognizing that Solution Building May Mean Shifting and Adjusting. Basically, this means after we really hear our loved one and express our own feelings that we may need to shift to a place that works for both of us. This is about what is best for you as a couple, not just you as an individual.  Of course, you will have to truly feel good about what you choose to do. This can be the challenging part. But with love and respect for your partner this can happen and make you stronger as a couple and still incorporate your own needs.
  7. Using Dr. Sue Johnson’s 3 Key’s to Emotional Connection: A.R.E.  “Are you there, are you with me?”  A = Accessibility  R=Responsiveness  E=Engagement


Core Needs for All of Us to Have a Secure Bond

Secure, healthy relationships will have these components:

  • Feeling Safe and Protected
  • Feeling Loved and Nurtured
  • Feeling Connected 

So consider these core needs. Many times what we say we need or want are really at the core one of these components.

So remember, YOU ARE NOT THAT FAR APART.  You are on the same team!!!

Cooking Together as a Couple or Family – The Perfect Activity for Fun and Connection


Cooking together can be an incredibly fun and connecting activity for couples and families.  Yes at times cooking can feel like it is a chore if we are tired and overloaded; especially, if we are doing it by our lonesome with no one helping. But together it can lighten this activity, infusing energy and time to talk and interact, something we all could use a bit more of. That said, if you are in an incredibly bad mood or need to be by your self, you may want to wait as some patience and tolerance is part of cooking together.

Cooking as a couple and cooking as a family will have some different dynamics. Cooking as a family with children requires more plan ahead and time alloted.  Cooking as a couple (if no children are involved) can be down right romantic and can be a bit more spontaneous. Just remember you may have different ideas on how to make something. Accepting this and avoiding being rigid as to how something should be made will help to keep it positive.

Here are some considerations in planning and cooking together as a couple or as a family. 

  • Including a planning piece can help to alleviate frustration and disappointment. Of course, at times everyone cooking together may need to be more spontaneous. But if possible, planning what you want and having the needed ingredients can sure make it a more smooth process.  Planning might include:
  1. What is on the menu? Choosing to plan this together can gain more cooperation and encourage a more team approach. This would of course be the most helpful if this is done before you do grocery shopping. Incorporating some things that each person likes can go toward a more satisfying meal for everyone. 
  2. If this is a family activity, are the dishes planned ones that have parts that the younger children can help with?  For example: tearing lettuce leaves, stirring a batter, throwing in specific ingredients, etc. 
  • Patience, tolerance and non perfectionism are some of the main ingredients for cooking as a family. Children are children and they will need to help according to their skill level. The process here is so much more important than the product. RELAXING and EMBRACING the MESS is part of it. 
  • Making sure there is enough time is important as children will slow the process.
  • Having a small healthy snack or appetizer before you start cooking may keep everyone more pleasant and patient.
  • If little ones are involved having a place set up that is safe for their involvement is important.
  • ENCOURAGING and PRAISING each other makes the process so much sweeter, whether it is as a couple or as a family. 
  • Planning a themed meal can be fun. For example: Mexican, Italian, etc or a Tea Party or a Backyard Picnic.

Note: As this is Memorial Day Weekend, you could plan a meal that honors a family member that is no longer with you, who has passed on. For example: Grandpa John’s grilled corn or Grandma Sue’s apple pie.  The idea here would be to include some dishes that the person was famous for making or a dish that they loved, etc.  This would encourage conversation and a time of remembering of our loved ones and their contributions to our food traditions. 

Happy Cooking!!!


Red Bud Valley Nature Walk

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Red Bud Valley

I saw the first red bud trees beginning to blossom last week. And I thought . . .  I know what I am going to recommend as a couple activity for this coming week.  Last year I had an opportunity to experience RED BUD VALLEY for the first time. It was much more of a hike than I thought it would be. This year I took the other trail and found it more level and possibly better for those not used to hiking.  Regardless of which trail you take, you will be able to experience four different eco systems. Spending time in a nature preserve with your honey is close to heaven. Just glorious nature and you and your loved one. No hurry, no distractions.  Just remember to turn your cells on silence, so you can really be with your partner in this special place.  Nature has a calming influence on us so it makes for a good place to connect and just “be” with each other.  I would suggest you allow at least 2 hours if you want to stop and really experience the preserve at a leisurely pace. The next week or two the area will have the red buds in boom. I might note red buds are not particularly prolific in the preserve, but the lands around the area.  But regardless of redbuds or not, it is a lovely area to explore with your partner.

I would suggest that you look at their website before you make the trip. Redbud Valley is managed by the Oxley Nature Center, but not at the same location. Red Bud Valley is roughly 3.5 miles north of 1-44 on 161st E. Ave. in the Catoosa area. More detailed directions are on their website www.oxleynaturecenter.org/redbud.htm . For general information you can call 918-669-6644.  According to their website they are open Wednesday – Sunday from 8:00 – 5:00 pm. The visitor center is open from 11:00 – 3:00. They are closed on holidays. NO ENTRANCE FEE. This could also be a family activity, but I would not recommend this for preschoolers or very young elementary children due to the nature of the trails.  Here is to a lovely walk in nature with your honey!