Low Angle View Of Flag Against Sky

Watch out for those early warning signs (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)

While we all know that we need to be aware of pink flags in a relationship, what do we do if we hear smaller alarm bells?

Dr. Katherine Hertlein is a sex therapist and the principal researcher at Blueheart. She says that pink flags can be similar to red flags but are not deal-breakers.

She said that red flags signify that a relationship is unlikely to work out.

“Pink flags” are small issues or blips that aren’t major problems but should be addressed early to avoid more serious issues later.

She’s created a list of the most frequent pink flags that people experience and how to stop them from turning red.

Different love languages

It can be hard to understand each other’s love languages(s), but it is definitely worth the effort in the end.

Dr Katherine said that people can express love in many ways. If you and your partner have different languages of love, it may be difficult to share affection and gratitude in a way that is appreciated by the other.

“One person may be more inclined to act of service to show love than the other. If you don’t know how to make the other person feel valued at the beginning of a relationship, it could stop intimacy from developing and prevent your relationship from moving on to the next level.

How to fix it

Communication is crucial, as is often the case.

Dr Katherine suggested that you talk to your partner about the acts of affection that make them feel most appreciated and to find small ways to help.

“You could even test out your love language together for a brief period to see if you notice any changes in your relationship.”


Family using various technologies at home
Don’t let screens get in the way (Picture: Getty Images/Maskot)

Bluelighting

Blue lighting can be a trap that anyone can fall into due to society’s dependency on screens.

Dr. Katherine stated that blue lighting refers to technology that disrupts emotional connections. This could be as simple as checking your phone during a conversation, not fully focused on your partner during time together, or having tech notifications distracting you during sex.

How do you fix it

Screens can be removed from your bedroom to give you privacy and be intimate.

Dr. Katherine also suggested that you make an effort to spend time with your loved ones without using technology. Even cooking together at home can help to revive your connection.

“Different settings can help to make it feel fresh and new. It might be a good idea to schedule a date night away from home to be fully present with one another.

Mismatched libidos

Different sex drives can quickly become a problem in relationships.

Dr. Katherine advised that if mismatched libido levels have been established early in a relationship, it is important to solve these issues before they cause more intimacy problems later.

“Both partners can feel frustrated by misaligned sexual drives. One partner might not feel sexually satisfied, while the other may feel pressured to have sex more.

How do you fix it

This one is all about compromise.

Dr. Katherine suggested that they have an honest and open conversation about what makes them happy and then listen to each other.

Sensate Focus is a non-sexual touch therapy that couples can use to help them get through their relationship. It consists of a series of non-sexual touching exercises, then performed in a specific order.

Sensate Focus can improve intimacy and communication between sex partners. It can also reduce sexual performance anxiety.

Different ways of addressing conflict 

Dealing with conflict is an essential part of any relationship – and if you can’t manage that effectively, that will likely spell big problems later down the line.

‘Small disagreements could develop into more serious issues if one partner isn’t willing to sit down and talk through things together,’ explained Dr Katherine.

‘This can indicate that communication in your relationship is not as effective as it could be, which can create long-term problems and connection issues between yourself and your partner.’

How to fix it

Yet again, communication is vital here – no matter how hard it might be.

Dr Katherine said: ‘It’s important to keep lines of communication open between both of you – make sure to be honest with each other when these tricky situations occur.

‘If you’re both willing to work on your communication skills as a couple early on in your relationship, you can work to eliminate this pink flag together.’

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