The Happiness Advantage Part I

As promised, here is the first chapter of The Happiness Advantage explained and summarized.  

                                        The Happiness Advantage Principle 1 
                How happiness gives your brain and your organization a competitive edge.


Main Points

  • When we are happy, when our mindset and mood are positive = we are smarter, more motivated and thus, more successful 

 

  • Broaden and Build theory:  
     
    • Positive emotion = more broadened focus = more creativity, more thoughtful, more open to ideas
       
    • Negative emotion = narrows focus   


                     So, if the happier we are, the more successful we are:
                                   lets find ways to improve our mood

1. Meditate:


2. Find something to look forward to

  • Even anticipating a vacation or a night out can stimulate pleasure centers in your brain 
  • Check out this post to find fun things to do around Austin 


3. Commit conscious acts of kindness

  • Our moods improve when we do a favor for a friend or just helping out a stranger
  • For example, pay for a stranger's coffee or offer to help a friend with babysitting 


4. Infuse positivity into surroundings

  • Our environment affects our mindset, find one that allows you to be positive
  • Turn off the depressing news when you get home and instead watch a comedy or get out an take an evening walk 


5. Exercise

  • Exercise has been shown to work as efficiently in decreasing depressive symptoms as both therapy and antidepressants. However, exercising is a skill that has shown to have longer lasting effects as compared to the use of antidepressants 
  • Running, walking, skipping, yoga, kayaking- anything that gets your body moving for 45 minutes a day. 


6. Spend money on experiences  

  • Using money to buy you experiences such as concerts, vacations or dinners have a longer lasting 'happiness' effect than just buying material items 
  • No matter what the budget, put something on your calendar that you and your partner or friends will enjoy


7. Exercise a signature strength  

  • We experience an increase of positivity when we use a skill we are particularly good at. 
  • Look at this post to find more information about character strengths 


Stay tuned for the next principle: Changing your performance by changing your mindset

 

 

Psychology Today: Love & Lust Summary

The new issue of Psychology Today focuses on Love and Lust. For example, the magazine discusses about the following specific topics:  

           How are the sex lives of married individuals different than singles?

           What factors increase the likelihood of more sex?

           What is one of the biggest reasons for unhappy marriages?

Instead of completely summarizing each article, I will provide you with the main points discussed along with any supporting statistics or facts. Further, here is a link to the article if you are interested in a more in depth look into that topic.  

 

Sex and Marriage

Childolatry is a term used in the magazine and means:  
 

  1. Worship of one's children at the expense of one's marriage
     
  2. Why parenthood today kills sex and creates marital dissatisfaction 


Thanks to television sitcoms and movies, the majority of people have been persuaded to believe that our sex lives dwindle once we say 'I do.'  

However, actual research shows that that is not the case. In fact, married individuals are 5 times more likely to have sex 2 to 3 times a week than singles.  

Sex frequency is higher in relationships in which there is mutual respect. One indicator of mutual respect in a relationship? Shared household chores. Specifically, frequency increases when the male does more “masculine” chores such as paying the bills and doing yard work.


 Children and Marriage

 

More than a 100 studies show that relationship satisfaction plummets once the first child is born and does not get better until the last child leaves for college. In fact, couples with children tend to treat one another with more contempt and hostility, as well as less affection, humor and empathy. But why and how can it be stopped?   
 

  • Mothers tend to put sole focus on the children's needs, leaving the husband's needs behind.
     
  • Women tend to feel less sexual, as their hormones are focused on bonding with the newborn and providing him or her with nutrition  
     
  • Through the preschool and elementary years, more parents feel the need to entertain their children. That is, date nights take a back seat to soccer games, PTA meetings and sleep overs. 

 


Don't fall into this statistic! One effective way to avoid this from happening to your relationship is keeping your and your partner's relationship a priority. Having a planned date night is not selfish, it is necessary to connect. 

( I want to emphasize that this article is not to talk you out of having children. It is just to provide you with information in order to prevent it from happening to your relationship. It is quite possible to have children and to have a very happy relationship.) 

 

 

The Magic Ratio

Surely most of us are aware that no romantic relationship is perfect. We have our ups and our downs, times when we feel amazingly connected and times when we do not. There is negativity in all relationships, in fact, couples need somenegativity in their relationship, but how much?  

According to John Gottman (renowned relationship expert who has conducted over 40 years of research) the magic ratio of positive to negative interactions with our loved ones is:                  5:1
         Positive: Negative


The strongest and most satisfied relationships consist of 5 positive interactions to every 1 negative interaction. 

 

 

  • Positive interactions = touching, smiling, laughing, kissing, playing
  • Negative interactions = arguing, defensiveness, criticism    


Why do we need some negativity? Because it helps couples identify the interaction patterns that are not working, therefore, they can learn and work through it. In other words, it helps relationships move forward and grow. You can learn about your partner's and your own style of conflict and perhaps change your strategy for handling conflict in the longer run.  


Next time you find yourself in a tense discussion try to ask yourself: 

 

  • What do I do that makes my partner more frustrated? 
  • How can I change my behavior to reduce the tension and still get my point across? 

How Spiritual Are You?

Spirituality is something that is mostly considered a subjective process of becoming an ideal self in accordance with one's own moral aptitude or religious practices. Spirituality is always a work in progress much like our health and our minds. With that, here is a list I found that signals if you are spiritually healthy
 
1. You stepped out of the victim role and now play the game of designing your destiny.

2. You love your life because you're living your soul's purpose.

3. You feel like you're contributing and serving with generosity.

4. You got off the emotional roller coaster, and your emotions feel like smooth waves on a clear day most of the time.

5. You catch yourself when you judge others and realize that what you're judging is intimately related to your own self-acceptance.

6. You don't fear making the wrong decision, because you're aware that there can always be a spiritual lesson.

7. You understand that freedom and happiness are qualities you cultivate from within, and the more you work on them, the more they grow.

8. You no longer feel like you need to hide out of fear of judgment; you are the full expression of yourself personally and professionally.

9. You spend time in silence daily and crave it when you miss a day, because you feel like something is "off."

10. You have the courage to let go of relationships that no longer benefit you because you understand that they already served their purpose.

11. Your soul is happy because you find a moment to play and dream every single day.

12. You don't feel lonely or disconnected, and you highly appreciate alone time.

13. You seem to notice details, colors, tastes and beauty with a sensibility that makes you feel like a kid.

14. You express your needs and desires with complete confidence and without confrontation.

15. You don't feel like you have to explain your lifestyle, because you understand how it serves you and might not serve others.

16. You're able to be in the now at least 25% of the time; you're fully present and in joy.

17. You don't second guess yourself because you trust your intuition and act on it.

18. You trust that life is on your side and problems are always opportunities or lessons to be learned.

19. You are able to fall in love over and over again, with your friends, with your partner, with your work.

20. You start your day with an intention and go to bed in gratitude.

Trust and Relationships

Trust is simply the most important factor in determining your relationship satisfaction. Further, trust does not merely have to do with infidelity, it underlines the relationship entirely.

 

  • Do you trust your partner to do what he or she says?
     
  • Do you trust that your partner to be your rock?
     
  • Do you trust your partner to have your best interests at heart?
Generally speaking, many issues can ignite when there is a lack of trust in your love partner. According to John Gottman is his book, What Makes Love Last?, “Trust is not some vague quality that grows between two people. It is the specific state that exists when you are both willing to change your own behavior to benefit your partner. The most trust that exists in a relationship, the more you look out for each other. You have your beloved's back and vice versa.” In essence, without trust a relationship cannot flourish and instead there is a sense of betrayal present. Here are some ways love is betrayed:

 

 

  1. Conditional Commitment: “I'm here for you... until someone or something better comes along.”
     
  2. Nonsexual Affair: When the closeness with a platonic relationship reaches a dishonest level. A rule of thumb is to ask, “If my partner was around, would I still behave the same?”
     
  3. Forming a Coalition Against the Partner: When you decide to always take the advice of your best friend over your partner.
     
  4. Abstineeism or Coldness: When your partner needs you, you act unsupportive, unemphatic and aloof.
     
  5. Withdrawal of Sexual Interest: Sexual intimacy can change through the relationship. This betrayal however, is when one partner stops engaging in a dishonest, uncommunicative and nonloving way.
     
  6. Lying: Often times lying seems easier than telling the trust. One partner may say, “I knew she would get upset so I withheld the truth.” Every time this happens, it chips at the trust in the relationship.
     
  7. Disrespect: Respect is diminished when you decide to put your partner down or assign negative characteristics to your partner. “A loving relationship is not about one person having the upper hand- its about holding hands.”
     
  8. Unfairness: When it comes to how money is spend- on a tv or a new handbag, and the division housework are two common ways relationships become unfair.
     
  9. Selfishness: Resentment breeds in relationship when one partner, overtime, becomes more demanding and less giving.
     
  10. Breaking Promises: In a loving relationship, you dream about the future and make promises to one another about achieving them. “We will both save money so we can buy a new home” is one example. However, when one partner does not hold up the promise, “the disappointment jeopardizes a couple's trust in each other and their future.”
Just explained are 10 common ways we can betray our partner. If we are guilty of one of the above, that does not mean you are a bad person. It means our responses and behaviors need to be shifted into a more aware and loving pattern. In addition to describing how we can lose trust, there are many ways we can heal those betrayals. If you find yourself connecting to the topic of relationship distrust, talking to your partner in an open way can begin the path to resolution. In addition, many counselors and therapist can aid in working through the resentment. Finally,www.gottman.com has a large varierty of amazing resources to help get your love life back on track.

Healthy Eating

Dr. Mark Hyman is a functional medical doctor who is currently doing so many amazing things to change how nutrition is viewed. Some of his books include; The Blood Sugar Solution, The UltraSimple Diet, The UtlraMind Solution and The 10-Day Detox Diet

The video below  presents Dr. Hyman talking about how your food choices can affect your health. 

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14363/dr-mark-hyman-on-sugar-the-only-rules-you-need-to-eat-healthy.html

For more information on Dr. Mark Hyman, check out his website www.drhyman.com

One Way to Reduce Stress

Last post talked about the negative effects of too much stress. This post will give you one easy to implement exercise aimed at reducing cortisol levels. 

But first, a word on Mindfulness!

Mindfulness is a practice that encourages one to be present, nonjudgemental, aware and accepting of his or her feelings, body, thoughts and surrounding environment. To be mindful is a life long process and is sometimes easier to achieve than at other times. However, there are many ways to practice and to get stronger at staying aware.

Below is a simple exercise to calm your mind and feel a more balanced presence taken from Mindfullness and Psychotherapy by Christopher K. Germer. 


Disclaimer: At first, this may feel weird to do. However it really might help you. I invite you to try it when ever you feel overly stressed.

Mindfulness of Emotion in the Body: 

Start by finding a comfortable position, close your eyes fully or partially, and take 3 relaxing breaths. 

 

  • Locate your breathing where you can feel it most easily. Feel how the breath moves in the body, and when your attention wanders, gently return to feeling the movement of the breath. 
  • After a few minutes, start to notice physical sensations of stress that you're holding in your body, perhaps in your neck, jaw, belly, or forehead.
  • Also, notice if you're holding any difficult emotions, such as worry about the future or uneasiness about the past. Understand that every human body bears stress and worry through out the day.
  • See if you can name the emotion in your body. Perhaps a feeling of sadness, anger, fear, loneliness, or shame? Repeat the label a few times to yourself in a soft, kind voice, and then return to the breath. 
  • Now choose a single location in your body where stress may be expressing itself most strongly, perhaps as an ache in the heart region or tension in the stomach. In your mind, incline gently toward that spot as you might towards a new born child. 
  • Continue to breathe naturally, allowing the sensation to be there, just as it is. Feel your breathing in the midst of your other body sensations. 
  • Allow the gentle, rhythmic motion of the breath to soften and soothe your body. If you wish, place your hand over your heart as you continue to breathe. 
  • When you're ready, open your eyes. 

A Word About Stress

Stress is one of the most debilitating feelings for our minds and body. When stressed, our body releases the hormone cortisol which is responsible for a number of negative consequences. Look below.  

When we feel any of the above symptoms, think about how it effects the rest of our lives? How difficult is it to stay balanced when we are exhausted? In addition to the above ailments, the people around us, our work and our family can suffer from our stress. 

Positive Thinking Video

I had a friend send this to me and I wanted to pass it on. It is a great video about positive thinking. The presenter speaks about looking through a positive lens can result in increased cognitive performance, resiliency, enhanced work performance etc.. 

Here is one quote from the speaker, Shawn Achor:  

"See what we're finding is it's not necessarily the reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. And if we can change the lens, not only can we change your happiness, we can change every single educational and business outcome at the same time."

Find the video HERE!

Book Suggestion

It seems like many people are talking about the mind body connection. Specifically, how the two are so interconnected that it is difficult to separate them. For those who are interested in the topic and looking for a new summer read, check out "Minding the Body, Mending the Mind" by Joan Borysenko. 

Here is the book description: 

Based on Dr. Borysenko’s groundbreaking work nearly twenty years ago at the Mind/Body Clinic in Boston, Minding the Body, Mending the Mindcontinues to be a classic in the field, with time-tested tips on how to take control of your own physical and emotional wellbeing. The clinic’s dramatic success with thousands of patients-with conditions ranging from allergies to cancer-offers vivid proof of the effectiveness of the mind/body approach to health and its power to transform your life. Here are tips on how to elicit the mind’s powerful relaxation response to boost your immune system, cope with chronic pain, and alleviate symptoms of a host of stress-related illnesses. Updated with the recent developments in the field, the new edition is a must-have for anyone interested in taking an active role in healing himself or herself.

One Simple Way to Increase Your Productivity

The last post was a quiz about your productivity IQ. In other words, how much are you able to get done and with how much effort? There are a ton of ways to improve your productivity which I'm sure you have heard of. For example, making check lists, turn off the television and put the cell phone away to reduce distractions, take brakes etc etc. 

Click Here for a great article on improving productivity

This post however is about one of the simplest ways to improve your productivity. Not often talked about is the power of music to impact our attention, mood, and productivity. 

Below are some facts about music

 

  1. Type of music can affect our energy levels: Music with higher beats per minute are associated with more productivity and higher energy. This is why you don't often hear ballads during a spin or exercise class.
     
  2. Music with no or little lyrics = the highest productivity: instrumental or classical music allows your mind to fully engage the task at hand. Both classical (Baroque style tunes) and instrumental (anything from movie scores to electronic music) has a beats per minute that revs the brain up to optimal functioning, leading to enhanced mental performance.
     
  3. Music can perpetuate your mood: We tend to listen to sad music when we are upset, resulting in longer 'down' periods. Reverse is true when we are happy. So next time you are feeling blue, try to pick more upset melodies.


Whether you are at work with headphones, cleaning out your closet, doing homework or exercising, try to apply the facts outlined in this post. You may find that you will get more items checked off your list and improve you productivity IQ!

Quiz: Productivity IQ

Take the quiz below to find out your productivity IQ. 

1. I start each day with __________________.

a) A complete breakfast during my long morning commute.

b) 10 minutes spent reviewing my agenda and must-finish tasks for the day.

c) A mad dash to the car, trailing paperwork and curse words behind me.

d) Exercise or meditation.

2. People would describe my organizational skills as _____________________.

a) A worthwhile effort.

b) Strong but not interfering with getting important tasks done.

c) Like Bigfoot—often heard about but never seen.

d) The core component of my professional life.

3. When it comes to delegation, I ___________________.

a) Can't find time to follow up and am disappointed with the results.

b) Always have the right person for the job nearby or in my email address book.

c) Never have time to train somebody to do my job.

d) Don't feel comfortable asking others to do my job for me.

4. With a deadline approaching, I __________________.

a) Frequently have to choose between quality and completion.

b) Am already moving on to my next task.

c) Beg for an extension and hope for the best.

d) Stay up all night to get it done.

5. What will you be doing one year from today?

a) Probably the exact same thing I'm doing today.

b) Something as yet undefined but in line with the broad goals I've set for my life.

c) I have no idea.

d) Exactly what I've already planned to do.

6. My social media accounts are ______________________?

a) Unused. I can't find time to really get any started.

b) A fun diversion for a few minutes each day that keeps me current with friends and contacts.

c) The centerpiece of my life.

d) A publicity and marketing weapon I wield like a fencing master.

7. Rating my daily activities on Steve Covey's Urgent/Important grid, I spend most of my time doing _______________.

a) Activities that are urgent but not important.

b) Activities that are important but not urgent.

c) Activities that are neither urgent nor important.

d) Activities that are both urgent and important.

8. When do you schedule the largest, hardest task of your day?

a) Over lunch, if I can't get to it before then.

b) First thing, while I still have the highest energy.

c) I don't have time to schedule anything.

d) In the afternoon, when my colleagues are busy and won't interrupt me.

9. When people ask me to do something, I ________________.

a) Always say yes.

b) Politely decline unless it serves one of my priorities or personal values.

c) Can't say yes. I'm far too busy.

d) Say yes unless it interferes with other priorities.

10. At the end of the day, I feel ________________.

a) Frustrated from all the things I didn't get done.

b) Relaxed, energized and ready to take on tomorrow.

c) Like I need a beer in my hand—or two.

d) Tired. It took a lot to get all my tasks finished, but I prevailed.

How Did You Do?Find your score, by adding up your answers:

a) 1 point
b) 3 points
c) 0 points
d) 2 points

Now see how you did:

0 - 15 points: What's Productivity? For you, every day is a running battle because time controls you—you don't control it. Seriously consider some podcasts on time management and organization to listen to on your way to work.

16 - 19: Hassled and Harried. There's a good chance nobody ever taught you the basics of productivity mastery. Take a look at The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 4-Hour Workweek when you have some time.

20 - 23: Productivity Novice. You understand the basics, but your plans often fall apart in the face of the day's realities. Pick up a copy of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity to learn how to stop the madness.

24 - 27: Productivity Expert. You're on task, on topic and on time. Honestly, I'm a little surprised you let yourself read this entire post instead of getting back to work. If you had to change anything, you might want to look at how you prioritize your time and tasks so you can afford to be a little more flexible.

28+: Productivity Black Belt Ninja Master. You have mastered productivity to the point that you should be the one writing next year's productivity quiz!

Emotional Eating

It is no surprise that our mood effects how we eat and what we chose to eat. The term emotional eating comes from our mind's need to comfort ourself. When our bodies are stressed, the hormone cortisol is released making our bodies crave sugary and fatty foods. Accordingly, people who are emotional eaters tend to eat foods that are soft, require little chewing, high in calories, sodium, sugar and saturated fat. If you do find yourself craving such foods when in physical or emotional pain, try eating the below foods instead:

  1. Foods rich in sulphur: Onions, artichokes, bok choy, garlic, asperigus, animal protein bone marrow/ cartridge 
  2. Tumeric
  3. Cherries 
  4. Black Tea

Other ways to help curb emotional eating:  

  1. Exercise: releases endorphins which in turn give you a feeling of happiness and satisfaction
    Happiness = fight the stress producing hormone, cortisol 
  2. Getting out of the house: sometimes it's difficult to not eat when you are 5 feet from your fridge. Getting out to walk the dog, take a hike, even run errands can distract you from feeling the need to emotionally eat
  3. Write out your feelings: writing out exactly how you are feeling can be very therapeutic, tt brings us awareness while also being cathartic 
  4. Talk to someone: there is a reason you are feeling the need to emotionally eat. Learning the root of the issue can alleviate the reason for the emotional eating   

 

 

7 Things to do this Summer

Long summer days are upon us here in Austin which means having more time to enjoy all the great things our city has to offer. We can all get stuck in our daily routines and opt for binge watching a Game of Thrones instead of getting out and about. Below are 7 ways to change up your night-out routine.  

 

 

  1. Day trip to Hamilton Pool
     
  2. Thursday night social bike ride
     
  3. Walk and talk around Lady Bird Lake  
     
  4. Movie at Alamo Drafthouse, Violet Crown or Ipic  
     
  5. A new restaurant you have never tried
     
  6. Wine Tasting or Mystery Ride on the Austin Steam Train  
     
  7. Cooking Class at Whole Foods or Thai Fresh 


Sometimes it is difficult to try new things. There always seems to be an excuse to not go. “It's too hot” or “it will be too crowded.” Whether you want to try something out with a friend or your partner, keep each other accountable and agree on no excuses.  

Here are 5 open ended questions to ask one another while you are out and about.

 

 

  1. What is your most embarrassing moment?
     
  2. What is your favorite novel?
     
  3. What food do you hate the least?
     
  4. Do you have a secret ambition? What is it?
     
  5. What are two of your aspirations, hopes, or wishes?

3 Quick Tips to Improve your Sex Life

This post is related to the previous post: Sex Life Quiz. If you took the quiz and found yourself below the 80% mark, below are some ways to improve.  

Sex can be a special, intimate time between you and a loved one. It is quite literally a display of the connection between mind and body. It can enhance the emotional union, feelings of security, love and trust. A lot of the time you will hear that all the sex happens in the “honeymoon” stage only to take a backseat later in life. Although this can definitely happen, many adults find ways to carry on, if not improve, their sex lives over the years.  

Here are 3 ways to start the process of changing your sex life.  

 

 

  1. Talk about it. This is quite a subjective topic. There is no magic number about how many times per week. Couples have reported being satisfied with once a month to seven times a week. It just depends on you both as a couple which is ever more the reason to talk out loud to the other about it. If you feel like you are not having enough of it, you need to be willing to openly discuss it. Be specific. “Honey, I am not really feeling satisfied with our sex life. I would like if we could do it more often.” Also feel free to share desires, requests, etc with your partner. Being able to share these feelings can help get things back on track.  
     
  2. Make the time. There is no denying that life can get busy. And sometimes you are too exhausted at the end of the night to even think about sex. However, if you put in the effort to make time in the morning, on your lunch break, etc, things can begin to change. Planning a specific day(s) is another way to ensure there is time. This sounds unnatural to a lot of people, they often ask “How do I know if I will be in the mood every Wednesday night?” The truth is you won't know- but by making a habit out of it, it will become natural again. Also, that is what foreplay is for.
     
  3. Analyze your role. Think about in what ways you can change to make your sex life better. It can be anything from dressing in a little less clothing to setting the alarm clock a little early in the morning. Sometimes there are simple behavior changes we can implement to make big improvements.

Quiz: Sex Life

I came across this quiz on The Gottman Relationship Blog and thought it was worth sharing. Sex with our partner is an important component of our relationship because it (in general) enhances our feelings of connection, intimacy, love and trust. 

Quiz: 
Assessing the quality of sex, romance, and passion in your relationship.

Get out a pen and paper. For each question, write down the letter corresponding to the box that better describes your relationship right now!

1. Is the relationship... 
☐ A. Romantic and passionate?
☐ B. Becoming passionless (fire going out)?

2. I would say that...
☐ A. My partner is verbally affectionate.
☐ B. My partner is not very verbally affectionate. 

3. I would say that...
☐ A. My partner expresses love and admiration to me.
☐ B. My partner expresses love or admiration less frequently these days.

4. I would say that...
☐ A. We do touch each other a fair amount. 
☐ B. We rarely touch each other these days. 

5. I would say that...
☐ A. My partner courts me sexually. 
☐ B. My partner does not court me sexually. 

6. I would say that...
☐ A. We do cuddle with one another.
☐ B. We rarely cuddle with one another

7. I would say that...
☐ A. We still have our tender and passionate moments. 
☐ B. We have few tender or passionate moments. 

8. I would say that...
☐ A. It feels like our sex life is fine. 
☐ B. It feels like there are definite problems in this area. 

9. I would say that...
☐ A. The frequency of sex is not a problem
☐ B. The frequency of sex is a problem.

10. I would say that...
☐ A. The satisfaction that I get from sex is not a problem
☐ B. The satisfaction that I get from sex is a problem

11. I would say that...
☐ A. Being able to just talk about sex, or talk about sexual problems, is not a serious issue between us. 
☐ B. Being able to just talk about sex, or talk about sexual problems, is a serious issue between us. 

12. I would say that...
☐ A. The two of us generally want the same thing sexually. 
☐ B. The two of us want different things sexually. 

13. I would say that...
☐ A. Differences in desire are not an issue in this relationship. 
☐ B. Differences in desire are an issue in this relationship. 

14. I would say that...
☐ A. The amount of “love” in our lovemaking is not a problem. 
☐ B. The amount of “love” in our lovemaking is a problem. 

15. I would say that...
☐ A. The satisfaction my partner gets from sex is not a problem.
☐ B. The satisfaction my partner gets from sex is a problem. 

16. I would say that...
☐ A. My partner is still very physically affectionate toward me.
☐ B. My partner is not very physically affectionate toward me. 

17. I would say that...
☐ A. I feel romantic toward my partner. 
☐ B. I do not feel very romantic toward my partner. 

18. I would say that...
☐ A. My partner finds me sexually attractive. 
☐ B. My partner does not find me sexually attractive. 

19. I would say that...
☐ A. I find my partner sexually attractive. 
☐ B. I do not view my partner as sexually attractive.

20. In this relationship...
☐ A. I feel romantic and passionate toward my partner. 
☐ B. I feel passionless, my own fire is going out.

21. In this relationship...
☐ A. My partner is romantic and passionate.
☐ B. My partner is passionless, that is, the fire is going out in my partner.

22. I would say that...
☐ A. The satisfaction I get from sex is not a problem.
☐ B. The satisfaction I get from sex is a problem.

23. I would say that...
☐ A. My partner compliments my appearance.
☐ B. My partner does not compliment my appearance. 

24. I would say that...
☐ A. I am satisfied by how we initiate sex.
☐ B. I am dissatisfied with the ways we initiate sex.

25. I would say that...
☐ A. It is possible for me to refuse sex and have it be okay.
☐ B. I am unable to refuse sex and have it be okay with my partner. 

26. I would say that...
☐ A. I hardly ever have sex when I don’t want to.
☐ B. It seems as if I often have sex when I don’t want to. 

27. I would say that...
☐ A. We have many ways to satisfy one another sexually.
☐ B. We have very few ways to satisfy one another sexually. 

28. Overall I would say that...
☐ A. We are good sexual partners. 
☐ B. We are not very good sexual partners. 

Scoring:
Count all the times you checked “A.” Divide that number by 28, and then multiply it by 100. That is your score. If you scored greater than 80%, your relationship is doing well in terms of affection, sex, romance, and passion.

If you score less than 80%, you may be feeling less than satisafied with your sex life. Each question answered "B" can be a pathway to understanding a solution unresolved issue. Think about your answers and try to find a way to bring it up to your partner in a softened way.