Friendly Competition in Couples


Competition: Too Much vs. Too Little

Competition, often associated with arguing and fighting, is usually considered a negative aspect within a relationship. But did you know that in a relationship where there is too little competition, there might be less passion? Utilizing some friendly competition can help you achieve a happy medium which will keep your relationship interesting and fun.

Spice Up Your Life With Friendly Competition

Doing activities together that provide a means to enjoy some friendly competition can go a long way in keeping your relationship interesting and exciting. In a 2009 study by Kelton Research, 80% of respondents indicated that they would enjoy playing video games with their partner. While it might not be the most romantic of activities, it provides both individuals the opportunity to compete against each other in a healthy way. MSNBC conducted a similar study which identified that 55% of respondents actually do play video games together as a couple activity. This type of activity provides a fun thing to do together, and can also be used to release tension and stress.

Competitive Activities

There are tons of fun activities that can be used. For example: ping-pong, pool/billards, darts, chess, tennis, foosball, various board games, etc. While many games were originally designed to be played by more than two players at a time, they can be easily converted to meet your needs.

How “Friendly Competition” Works

Playing against each other can be thrilling, but sometimes it can bring out undesirable outcomes. Put extra effort into being a good team player by being supportive, and offering genuine acknowledgements on their achievements (whether they win or lose in the end). Do your best to find activities that both of you are nearly equal matches in, so that the win/lose ratios for either individual is never too extreme. Remember also, that your significant other is your teammate for life. With that in mind, many couples enjoy teaming up with their partner against other opponents. If you or your partner feel this way, be understanding. You can always arrange to challenge each other at a different time.

Remember: While some competition can keep your relationship exciting, success only comes to those that have positive experiences. Both individuals in the relationship need to demonstrate respectful, supportive behaviors, and keep the game fun for everyone.



5 Marriage Myths Debunked

Love is such a simple, beautiful thing. However, converting it into marriage and keeping it alive isn’t always that easy. There are many marriage myths that exist that, by paying attention to them, can be truly detrimental to your relationship. Check out how we have debunked five of the most popular marriage myths. Rather than allowing yourselves to fall victim to these myths, use the knowledge they provide to improve your relationship.

#1 Arguing and disagreements can destroy a relationship.

Disagreements, although unpleasant, provide couples with the opportunity to strengthen their relationship.

Disagreements, although unpleasant, provide couples with the opportunity to strengthen their relationship.

Nobody is perfect. Understanding this, it should be apparent that there will always be some disagreements as you each try to get your ideas and perspectives across to your partner. Although most people don’t wish to be in these situations, times of conflict give you and your partner the chance to improve communication and strengthen your bond. However, arguing and disagreements can destroy a relationship if the couple fails to keep communication strong. Couples should be aware that every relationship has disagreements and that in order to reach marital success, the couple must rise above the problem together (See: Don’t Let It Rain on Your Relationship Parade).

#2 You will both grow closer with time, automatically.

Unlike what some songs would have you believe, love isn’t always easy. In fact, it takes time, effort and commitment. One of the most common reasons for divorce is “falling out of love” or drifting apart. In order to get into a specific career, you had to train and get educated so that you could succeed. Similarly, if you want to have a long-lasting and happy relationship, you need to consistently spend quality time together, and work through any rough patches that you might encounter.

#3 You must do everything together to make your marriage work.

Although spending quality time together is important, each individual in a relationship is unique and has their own goals, dreams and desires. While marriage signifies that both individuals choose to integrate into the other’s life, it should not feel like either individual cannot do things that they enjoy. Remember that every marriage is different. Some couples may prefer more alone time, while others may enjoy more time spent together.

#4 Married people have less satisfying sex lives.

After marriage, couples feel closer both emotionally and physically. According to a large-scale national study, married couples experienced more satisfaction in this regard than their single counterparts.

#5 Good luck and romantic love are the keys to success for long-lasting marital success.

Although good luck can keep tension down and romantic love provides the spark for the relationship, long-lasting marital success is attributed to many things including strong communication, dedicated time together, remaining faithful, and being a friend for your partner. There are many other factors that play an important role in establishing a joyful marriage, and every relationship may have their own specific key for success.

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Don’t Let it Rain on Your Relationship Parade

Couple sharing umbrella on a rainy evening

Did you know that afternoon rain showers are very common in Florida during the summer months? While watching it rain recently, I was reminded about how relationships also experience rain storms from time to time. In nature, the rain showers often seem unexpected and are unwanted by many since they “ruin” our plans for outdoor fun. The dreary weather also seems to dampen your spirits. In relationships, rain storms can similarly come on suddenly, and can ruin your day with your loved one. You may even worry your relationship is at-risk long-term. However, you can learn to ride out these rain showers in your relationship, just like you can ride out a rain storm in nature. It takes some planning and a change in perspective.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Keep checking the weather. In your relationship, this can mean to accept that there will be rain showers sometimes. These will be problems you face in life or changes in your partner that threaten the stability of your relationship. Keep checking in with each other regularly. Notice each other’s emotions, behaviors and routines, and then discuss sudden or lingering changes that have been noticed with each other. This helps you to continue to know each other well and have intimate discussions about things that are beginning to frustrate, sadden or aggravate you or your partner. This also improves support for each other and helps you plan changes that will resolve any concerns.

2. Remember to have an umbrella or rain poncho with you. In your relationship, this can mean to have several ideas ready to put into action to help you survive a rain storm with your partner. These can include certain specific words or actions you can take to lift your partner’s spirits, give them space, or to quickly re-establish a stronger feeling of connection with them (i.e., putting on a favorite song from when you were falling in love). In addition, be equipped with ideas that will inspire you to be more patient, to feel more protected until the storm passes, and to have a greater disposition for forgiveness during the trying times.  

3. Make changes or back-up plans for indoor fun when it rains. In your relationship, this can mean to use a problem-solving mindset to discuss the problem with your partner. This also involves coming up with possible alternatives and solutions to address the issues you each consider the current rain storm. With compassion, discuss your wishes and wants, the things you miss, and ways you each are willing to contribute and make changes to have a renewed relationship with better times again. 

4. Put your patience on. Remind yourself that this is only a temporary rain storm and good weather will reappear. In your relationship, this can mean to continue to change your thinking to more positive things that will help you to calm yourself, to have hope, and to feel stronger. Replace the negative thoughts with more hopeful ones like these: ‘Tomorrow is another day,’ ‘I’m thirsty anyway, so bring on the rain,’ ‘look for the rainbow after the rain’, ‘love is patient, love is kind.’ And remember these words from a famous Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, “Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”

5. Remember that a lot of good also comes from rain storms. In your relationship, this can mean to change your perspective from an emphasis on the negatives to a focus on the positives that can occur when you survive your relationship storm. In nature, the rain not only helps to keep Florida lush with beautiful greenery and flowers, but also reduces watering restrictions and provides essential water for the survival of animals and humans. In relationships, a rain storm can result in benefits as well. Refocus your thoughts to the positives by reminding yourself that you and your partner can become more experienced by going through difficult situations together, and can become more connected, patient, and loving with each other when you successfully overcome a storm in your relationship with grace and respect. Remember these lyrics from the song ‘The Rose’- “Just remember, in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows, lies the seed that with the sun’s love, in the spring, becomes the rose.”

So don’t let it rain on your relationship parade! Stay hopeful and refocus. Take measures to survive any rain storms that arise so you can look forward to better days ahead in a vibrant and more resilient relationship. offers a premarital preparation course with more suggestions for a stronger relationship at and envisions love as one that will last a lifetime.




Common Marriage Problems and Their Solutions

bigstock-Isolated-young-casual-couple-a-42549328Marriage is an exciting time in one’s life. The romance and the thought of an exciting future together is enough to make one giddy with joy. But what happens when responsibilities set in and the thrill begins to fade? Learn a few of the most common marriage problems and how you can overcome them before they become a serious issue.

Falling Out of Love

Many married couples often get into a normal routine where they focus on their careers, children and finances. Unfortunately, during this process, some couples end up distancing themselves. When this happens, the couples feel like they have “fallen out of love”. By taking a step back from the responsibilities of everyday life and spending some quality time together, you can reconnect with your loved one.

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, 
always with the same person.” – Mignon McLaughlin

Taking the Other For Granted

Another common problem in marriage is simply taking your spouse for granted. It is important to remember that both of you desire to be loved, valued and liked. Many of the regular things that you have come to expect from your spouse, used to be things that were done to improve both of your lifestyles or benefit you individually. Remind your spouse of the things that they do for you that you appreciate. By reflecting on these things, you will realize how much both of you do for the relationship.

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of
 getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and
 appreciating what we do have.” – Frederick Keonig

Poor Communication

Poor communication is one of the most common problems for married couples. Even those that are excellent communicators in their career might still struggle! Make an effort to discuss any problems or issues as they arise. This will allow you to resolve the conflict before it takes a toll on your relationship.

“Communication to a relationship is like oxygen to life. 
Without dies.” – Tony Gaskins

Get Prepared for Marriage!

If you want to get more facts and tips that can help you obtain a successful marriage, make sure you take our premarital course!

The Benefits of Marriage

Becoming Healthier

If you’re considering marriage, you will soon have access to a multitude of benefits. According to many studies, married men and women typically live longer than their unmarried counterparts. The likelihood of disease is also reduced. During a survey of more than 3.5 million American men and women, medical professionals identified that married couples have a 5 percent lower risk of having cardiovascular disease. In addition to this, married couples tend to be healthier mentally and physically. However, according to Christine Proulx, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri Department of Human Development and Family Studies, both positive and negative relationships impact a person’s health. This indicates that the many health benefits attributed to marriage are only present for couples that are happily married.

Practical Benefits

During times of crisis, spouses have visitation rights to hospitals and can make important medical decisions on behalf of their spouse in the event that they have suffered a severe injury or illness. In addition to this, most employers offer family sick leave, bereavement leave, and family health insurance to their employees. This provides couples with a less expensive option for health insurance. Although unfortunate, approximately 50% of marriages fail. In the event that there is dissolution of marriage, the distribution of property and award of child custody and support is determined. This uniform system of sorting out a relationship end doesn’t exist outside of marriage, and makes it an important practical benefit.

Financial Rewards

The addition of a new income plus the many tax and consumer benefits indicate that there are many financial rewards associated with marriage. Lisa Arnold and Christina Campbell, authors of “The High Price of Being Single in America” state that over the course of a lifetime, a single woman could pay an extra $1,022,096 in costs compared to a married woman with the same income. Married couples that file joint income tax returns will likely qualify for a greater refund. In addition, they can be treated as an economic unit and obtain joint health, home, and auto policies at a discounted rate. Also, if both spouses have good credit, there will be an immediate credit increase. This will further their financial rewards by allowing them to get better home and auto loans. Other financial benefits that are available in some instances include disability, social security, and pension.


Married People Less Likely to Have Cardiovascular Problems, According to Large-Scale Study by Researchers at NYU Langone. (2014, March 28). The Office of Communications & Public Affairs.

Edwards, V. (2013, May 29). Single v. married: Which costs more?. MSN Money.

Emling, S. (2013, February 14). A Happy Marriage Leads To Better Health, Study Finds.The Huffington Post.

Waite, Linda J. Why Marriage Matters Strengthening Marriage Roundtable. Washington, DC, June 1997