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Little details matter in relationships

Staff Report • Feb 15, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Over the centuries, Valentine’s Day has become a day to honor true love. Society has also deemed marriage, at least that between a man and a woman, is the truest expression of love.

Officials say more than 2.2 million marriages take place in the United States annually. That breaks down to about 6,000 nuptials a day.

Not all of those marriages end happily ever after, and it appears Tennesseans are among those who have decided marriage does not literally mean “until death do us part.” Tennessee routinely places among the top five states in the nation for the number of divorces filed annually.

Experts say arguments over money are the No. 1 reason many couples end up in divorce court, so it’s no surprise that Tennessee also leads the nation in household bankruptcy filings.

Frank talk about household finances is more effective than candy and roses when it comes to holding a relationship together. Couples should be completely honest when dealing with money issues. That means tracking spending habits and discussing ways to save at least 10 percent of the family’s combined income.

Couples also should be willing to discuss sensible ways of reducing household debt without playing the blame game. Talking about your household finances can enhance your relationship in very meaningful ways. And remember: Money can’t buy you love.

But enough about finances, this is also day a day for love. And researchers say candy and roses are not the only things that can fan flames of romance on this Valentine’s Day:

Have a conversation about what initially attracted you to your valentine.

Try something new, such as sharing a new activity that will increase the bond between you and your partner.

Don’t be afraid to open yourself up to your partner. Discussing fears or anxieties openly with a partner builds trust. Perhaps the best way to enhance your relationship with your valentine is actually listening to what your partner says.

Listening and sharing personal information may sound like common sense, but findings on gender differences strongly suggest that men often fail to consider these helpful behaviors. Paying attention to the minute details of a conversation can enhance your relationship in very meaningful ways. Simply put: Little things do mean a lot.

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