I've been an intern with YourTango since October 2013 and I've learned a lot about relationships in that time. My main task was editing articles written by YourTango experts, and so I spent my hours immersed in relationship advice for singles, marrieds, and divorced folks. At this point, I consider myself an expert as well (much to the dissatisfaction of my husband, although I've explained numerous times that it's, in fact, beneficial for us). That study is still being tested, but read on to see what I've learned during my time as an intern—and how it has impacted my own life and marriage thus far.
20 Second Hugs Take A Long Time:
One of the first articles I edited was about a 20-second hug and how it can improve your marriage. The claim by relationship coach Dr. Jim Walkup was that 20-second hugs could prevent cheating. Dr. Walkup noted a study that showed married men who were approached by an attractive researcher were more likely to move away from her… but only if they were getting enough hugs at home. Made enough sense for me to try. Walkup noted that husbands might find a deliberate 20-second embrace to be weird and want to pull away, and sure enough, he was right. My husband thought it was strange but we hugged nonetheless and counted together. It felt like we were hugging in slow motion and 20 seconds began to feel like a minute. Nay, five minutes. We laughed about it though, so it proved to be a worthwhile experience all the same. While I have yet to hire a personal space-intruding decoy to test the merits of this study, what I do know is that it's a fun exercise to try with your partner.
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Give it a whirl yourself, but here's a small adjustment: If you get tired of PG-rated hugging, replace hug with the word "sex". If you do (and you should), it would behoove you to strive for more than 20 seconds.
Men Have Feelings:
Like, real human feelings. Just like us ladies! Men are stereotypically portrayed as one-dimensional goofballs with few things on their mind besides sex, food and football. But regardless of what you've seen on the sitcoms, real men have a wide variety of feelings. They feel happy, sad, depressed, taken advantage of, disrespected, annoyed... the list can go on. Men may not be able to express their feelings as easily as women but rest assured—they're there. Which brings me to the following lesson:
How To Apologize To Your Husband:
Did you know there was a right way to say sorry to your husband when you do end up hurting his feelings? I didn't until I edited Heather Baker's article, "The Right (And Wrong) Way To Apologize To Your Man". At first it enraged me because I wondered if men read articles about how to apologize to their wives. Highly unlikely, right? But then I decided to be the change I wanted to see and attempted to absorb the knowledge. While it was annoying to admit that yes, I am sometimes wrong and yes, it does matter how I apologize, I figured I couldn't ignore this advice now that I was privy to it. Once I overcame the hurdle that was my ego, I learned how to apologize not only to my husband, but also to anyone I have wronged. (This sounds like I've wronged a lot of people, but really what I mean is that everyone deserves a proper and authentic apology. Even those who kinda-sorta deserved it).
Men Don't Measure Up:
No, not in that way. Unless it is in that way. Every relationship is different but the fact remains that 2/3 of divorces are initiated by women. Is it because men just aren't up to par for today’s modern working woman, or do women believe too fervently in fairytales and have unrealistic expectations? There are too many variables to explore, but a study by Penn State gave it a go and narrowed down the top 10 reasons women file for divorce. Click here to see the reasons women are fleeing from their guys faster than teenagers are from Facebook.
Online Dating Is A Do:
Finding a relationship online is like trying to find the perfect shoe online. You see the product in pictures but won't know how it really fits until you see it and try it on in person. Sometimes it fits and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't, you try again. When it does, it's a beautiful love story perfect for a Match.com commercial.
Naysayers may argue that it's better to meet IRL but I think the internet is real life. You are a real person using a real digital device to communicate with other real people. Instead of fighting the tides, embrace online dating and work towards perfecting your profile instead. Ultimately, online dating isn’t the problem—people are. So don't be that person and at the same time, don't get too upset if you meet that person, either. It's supposed to be fun, remember?
And that is the basics of what I learned. I am no longer an intern but my education has not ceased. I'm happy to report that I am the new Experts Editorial Assistant and I will be even more immersed in relationship and love advice. I can't wait! And neither can my husband, I'm sure.
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