By Amy Levin-Epstein Relationships are funny things: When it comes to communication, women are like tropical plants, and men are like cacti. Studies suggest that the average woman speaks 7, words a day. The average man mutters just 2,, and half of those are spoken to clients, colleagues, or the electronic image of John Madden. Researchers at the University of Washington say they can predict with 90 percent accuracy whether couples will divorce or stay married simply by listening to them talk for a few minutes.
After reviewing data from more than couples in discussion, psychologist John Gottman, Ph. A ratio lower than that suggests trouble ahead. A simple rule of thumb, then, is to talk more, share more, and be more open with your emotions. But telling a guy to share more is like telling him to eat less meat: Simple in concept, but not so tasty in practice. The solution is to maximize the communication you do have—to know a few simple phrases that will warm her heart and a few other intimate places, as well.
If things feel a little chilly, a little distant, or a little lacking in boudoir beatitude, try speaking up. Each time a friend or neighbor goes through a divorce, it can send one or both of you looking for cracks in your own marriage. Consider a survey that asked 2, women for the key factor in deciding whether or not they will sleep with a partner: Also, be sure to memorize the Secrets of the Best Relationships.
And one of the ways to communicate understanding to your partner is not to spring into action every time she expresses concern about something—a common male default. Listening and understanding are powerful validations of how much you respect her. To maximize the effectiveness, frame things in terms of your emotional reactions: Tonight should just be about us.
When it comes to sexual fantasies, women are more selfish than men. In a University of California at Santa Cruz survey of 85 men and 77 women ages 21 to 45, more than two-thirds of the men said they fantasized about pleasing their partners, while more than half of the women fantasized about their own pleasure.
Key in to her fantasy; let her know her wish is your command. Then time your romantic weekends accordingly. Ovulation raises testosterone levels, which makes some women extremely horny during their most fertile days. Calculate the start of this magic window by counting 2 weeks after she begins her period and subtracting 6 days. And for travel-related inspiration, here are the 11 Ultimate Adventure Vacations. A warm bath is a good place to start. To reap the benefits of space, manufacture your own distance by buying her a plane ticket for a minivacation from you to one of the Best Exotic Vacations in the World.
But follow up by complimenting her on something that is unique to her, like her laugh or her freckles. This assures her that you find her attractive, as opposed to every other woman in the room. A recent survey of 2, women found that two out of three were interested in light bondage.
The key is to keep the adventure positive. Again, women react to verbal cues: It helps to nonchalantly mention it whenever you feel the urge to wash, dry, or fold. Let me pick up the kids from day care. In the study, which involved 52 women, researchers described fictional men who decided whether or not to climb a steep mountain, travel alone in treacherous terrain, or jump into a river to save a drowning child.
The majority of the subjects said they admired the men who took heroic risks but were not very impressed by the thrill-seeking adventurers. For more amazing advice for living smarter, looking better, feeling younger, and playing harder, sign up for our newsletter—delivered every day!