Communication

Complaining Less

Complaining Less

To “complain” means “to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault” (https://www.dictionary.com/browse/complain). Complaining is a problem in relationships, and in life in general. It is negative, draining, a real downer. So why do we do it? Usually, we complain as an attempted coping mechanism to try to ease negative emotions: stress, anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, etc. We try to vent. Get it out. Release it. Let it go. We do so in hopes it

2022-05-09 Randy Gilchrist Communication
Dating Today

Dating Today

Dating today has often been called “dead”. Many frustrated singles have given up on dating altogether, or at least take breaks for long periods of time. Others prefer instead to “hang out” or “hook up” (and be physical/sexual) without dating or having a relationship in any formal way. In the 2020s and beyond, with the world of social media, online dating, and other technological advances, we have been accustomed to immediate gratification, quick fixes, and the illusion that we can always do

2022-03-05 Randy Gilchrist Dating, Communication
Successful Vacations Together

Successful Vacations Together

Why write an article on going on successful vacations together for the singles community? Because when you get married (or married again), vacations will be an important part of your lives together. As you know, some vacations are wonderful, positive experiences together, whereas others can be described as “disasters”. What makes for a positive, successful trip/vacation together? This article will review several useful tips, tools, and suggestions to do so. Traveling together really can reveal

2022-02-28 Randy Gilchrist Dating, Communication, Conflict resolution
Developing Empathy

Developing Empathy

In an earlier article, I discussed empathy, gave a few ideas on how to overcome selfishness (see: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/overcoming-selfishness-254/). As a compliment and an extension of that article, I wanted to focus on empathy, as well as add some extra ideas on how to develop it. From an article in Psychology Today magazine, empathy is described as follows: “Empathy is the ability to recognize, understand, and share the thoughts and feelings of another person, animal, or

2022-02-12 Randy Gilchrist Communication
Narcissism and Codependency

Narcissism and Codependency

In previous articles, I introduced and talked about the concepts of narcissism. (See: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/narcissists-what-to-watch-for-97/ and codependency https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/codependency-maybe-its-you-101/). In sum, a narcissistic person lacks empathy and is selfish, self-absorbed, and often disrespectful and abusive to others. A codependent person is generally overly giving, very accommodating, and others oriented to an extreme degree, putting them at

2022-01-31 Randy Gilchrist Healthy relationships, Communication
Giving Honey and Not Vinegar

Giving Honey and Not Vinegar

There is a classic old saying, “you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar”. In other words, you will be more attractive to others and get further with others with a positive approach versus a negative one. So why do so many people show negativity with others in the dating and relationship world? Several possible reasons. Perhaps negativity, conflict, and contention was common in the family atmosphere they grew up with. Perhaps friends have given them bad relationship advice. Perhaps

2021-11-21 Randy Gilchrist Communication
Being A Commitment-Oriented Person

Being A Commitment-Oriented Person

In the 2020s with both members and non-members of the church alike, commitment in relationships and marriage has become weak and strained. And harder to find and maintain than previous generations. While there are numerous societal shifts and factors that have contributed to this development, a primary contributor to this problem is technology and the immediate gratification that comes from it. With Facebook, Instagram, Match, Tinder, You Tube, Tik Tok, online gaming, etc., people and

2021-10-09 Randy Gilchrist Dating, Healthy relationships, Communication
Different Wiring

Different Wiring

Men and women have different brains, and because of this, tend to have different ways to act and react across many different situations and circumstances. To give you a crash course on this subject, I recommend Mark Gungor. He is a speaker and author who reviews and focuses on the often funny and interesting differences between male and female brains. These differences account for so much of the differences between men and women across the board. As a crash course on the subject, you can view

2021-07-05 Randy Gilchrist Communication
Choosing to Not Be Offended?

Choosing to Not Be Offended?

Some words that ruffled more than a few feathers among church members came from the October 2006 general conference talk entitled, “And Nothing Shall Offended” by Elder David Bednar (see: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2006/10/and-nothing-shall-offend-them?lang=eng). In short, Elder Bednar shares the idea that we ultimately choose to be offended by another and that hence, we can choose not to be offended. Even more so, he recommends that we should choose to not be

2021-06-28 Randy Gilchrist Communication
Staying Power in a Relationship

Staying Power in a Relationship

Relationships have 2 basic phases. In the first phase, relationships are new, exciting, and exhilarating. Often, partners become very infatuated, even obsessed with the other. Hence, this phase is often called the “infatuation phase”. Time together is often intoxicating, and time away is spent longing to be together once more as soon as possible. This stimulating phase often lasts anywhere from 6-12 months, sometimes less, sometimes more. Rarely does this phase last longer than about 2 years.

2021-05-30 Randy Gilchrist Healthy relationships, Marriage preparation, Communication
Don’t Be a Downer

Don’t Be a Downer

In the early 2000s, Saturday Night Live ran a sketch starring Rachel Dratch as “Debbie Downer”. Each sketch basically had the same arrangement: a collection of people were gathered together for a fun, special occasion, such as going to Disney World, a Thanksgiving dinner, a wedding reception, etc. While everyone else is working to have a good time, Debbie still manages to take every positive thing going on and find the negative in it. It wears very thin, very quickly with everyone else. By the

2021-05-14 Randy Gilchrist Dating, Communication
Explaining Baggage

Explaining Baggage

A particular challenge of dating in and out of church circles is baggage. More specifically, deciding when and how to explain the particular baggage (meaning, your notable issues or challenges) you bring to the relationship. If you bring up your baggage too quickly, you could scare people off and repel others. Conversely, if you bring up issues too deep and late into a relationship—even after engagement or even marriage, the other person may feel you weren’t honest and open in the relationship.

2020-09-27 Randy Gilchrist Dating, Communication
Applying the 7 Habits to Relationships

Applying the 7 Habits to Relationships

A landmark self-help book by renown BYU professor Stephen Covey is the classic work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Regularly touted as one of the top 20 self-help books of all time, this remarkable work loosely and informally translates several useful and traditionally LDS principles into a user-friendly self-help form to promote what makes for healthy, happy, effective people. These principles relate to both the business world, relationships, and life in general. In today’s dating

2020-08-17 Randy Gilchrist Dating, Communication
Are They Telling the Truth?

Are They Telling the Truth?

One big challenge in the dating world: figuring out if you can you trust that a person you are getting to know is telling the truth about themselves. To be fair, everyone is under a decent amount of pressure to put a good foot forward and show their best side in the dating arena. Unfortunately, deception, exaggeration, and straight out lying are common methods used in an attempt to impress others in the effort to find a new relationship. The problem is that if a potential dating partner is

2020-07-20 Randy Gilchrist Dating, Communication, Psychological health
When to Vent

When to Vent

There are times when still acting in civil and respectful ways in a relationship is essential when you are actually feeling quite negative. It can simply be poor timing to fully open up about it all. Consider intense feelings of anger, resentment, pessimism, cynicism, and so on. When you are feeling in some of these highly negative ways, showing these feelings openly and fully at that moment can be taxing and will often create conflict and difficulties in relationships. This is especially true

2020-04-13 Randy Gilchrist Communication
Different Ways Men and Women Communicate

Different Ways Men and Women Communicate

The number one most common complaint I hear from men and women in couples therapy is that they are having difficulties with communication and want to communicate better with each other. In fact, I can’t remember any couples therapy I have ever done with a couple that did not include some version of this same goal. In this article I will review some of the main common differences in the primary gendered ways and purposes (but not the only ways and purposes) men and women communicate, along with

2020-03-16 Randy Gilchrist Understanding men, Understanding women, Communication