Thursday, 29 January 2015

One in four married couples plan to split after a final family Christmas together.

January can be a bleak time of year for many couples facing the reality that their relationship is in trouble. The stresses of another Christmas together have taken their toll and many will be considering what they want from life and their relationship in 2015.   

A quarter of married couples are only together for their children according to a poll of 2,000 married parents conducted by a leading law firm. Affairs, growing apart and becoming more like friends are among the top reasons for being unhappy in a relationship.

And almost one in five (19 per cent) said they stayed together over the Christmas period before putting an end to their marriage in January.  That's why January is the busiest time of year for enquiries at Sara Eden, as people make their New Year’s resolutions to find a partner once they have eventually made the split and feel ready to move on.


Thursday, 22 January 2015

New Year, new start

From: JANE
Sent: 22 January 2015 13:24
To: karen
Subject: Re:

Dear Karen     

It was lovely to see you and your wonderful team of matchmakers again I am so looking forward to a New Year, new start! 

I am sad it didn't work out with David but we did have a couple of years of great fun and I guess that’s life! I am pleased to have renewed my membership and as they say onwards and upwards is my motto for 2015. I’m looking forward to you putting me back on the road to romance.

I forgot to tell you I was a lunch recently with a few other journalists and admitted I was single and looking for love. The lady next to me recommended Sara Eden as she had heard nothing but glowing reports from friends who have been through your doors and come away with the man or woman of their dreams! It was this that gave me the nudge to come back.

Thank you Karen, I have chosen some gorgeous guys and I am very excited about the future.

I am happy for you to add this to your books of recommendations.

All the best.



Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Why Do We Have Affairs?

So why DO we have affairs - and is it ever possible for couples to move on from them?
Janet Reibstein, a visiting professor of psychology at the University of Exeter, and author of one of the few academic studies into infidelity: Marriage and Affairs and the veteran psychotherapist Mira Kirshenbaum give us their opinions.
Here's what they said.
Most affairs are rarely just about the desire to get steamy with someone else. They are far more often about people's inability to negotiate the relationship they are in."People usually have affairs to cope with a marriage rather than end it," says Janet Reibstein. "They feel disappointed by a marriage and have become estranged from the person they wanted to love and honour." This isn't helped by the massive expectations we put on modern relationships - that they should deliver our soul-mate, amazing sex, intimacy and companionship all the time, just piles on the pressure and risks dissatisfaction.
Problems start when couples fail to manage their disagreements. "If couples don't catch things early, they start to feel misunderstood, neglected and unloved. Drift then sets in, and with it goes hope and effort. And finally couples will look outside the home for ways to cope," warns Reibstein who has been a therapist for 30 years."Why people have affairs points directly to the problems they are having in their marriages," agrees Mira Kirshenbaum. "Affairs are rarely about making an exit but an attempt to deal with a desperate situation."
Here, according to the experts, are the seven most common triggers for an affair.
1. You've stopped having fun as a couple 
When life gets busy with work and children, time to enjoy yourself as a couple is suddenly bottom of the list. You go to work separately where you engage in separate worlds with people your partner barely knows. Once home, your primary focus is looking after the kids. At weekends you often you tag-team who is on duty, leaving no chance to do things as a pair. There is little chance to be reminded of all the traits that attracted you to each other. Your sex-life fizzles out. With it your sense of coupledom. Then when temptation comes along, that idea that you are an unbreakable unit has gone. There feels less to lose.
Can you recover? Never forget how devastating affairs are to relationships, says Prof Reibstein. Just like a major wound, healing will take a long time and usually require outside professional help - together. As in all affairs, if you have been the unfaithful one you first need to convince your partner that the affair has really ended. You must lose all contact with your lover and the temptation they represent. Then you have to be prepared for how long it will take for your partner to heal. After the healing, for marriage to survive in the long term, you must then go back and try to fix what caused that affair to begin - in this case fact that you stopped spending quality time together. "My research found that couples who are happy and who endure all make a huge effort to make time for each other," says Prof Reibstein. "They always have a night when they go out on their own. They talk and listen to each other every day. They close the doors at night and keep their kids out of the bedroom."
2. You've become strangers living under one roof
For similar reasons that you fail to have fun as a couple, you also become mentally disengaged. You've stop sharing your inner-most thoughts with each other, stopped tuning into each other. You start to feel like two strangers sharing a house. You feel lonely in the very place you know you should feel most loved and secure. You find that arguing is the only way to get each other's attention or create the emotion and closeness you crave. Subconsciously doing something as drastic as having an affair is way to bring things to a head.
Can you recover? Even if it is a cry for help, you should never underestimate the injury caused by an affair that has been discovered. The injury to trust, the sense of betrayal, as well as the thought that someone has taken your 'place' is hard to get over, says Prof Reibstein. But if you do recover from it you need to commit to tuning into each other's thoughts and needs once more. It takes vigilance to remain close in a relationship when so much is going on around you, but for your marriage to survive long term it has to be done.
3. You can't resolve your conflicts
You don't like arguing or find it hard to vocalise your feelings, so you skirt around problems rather than confronting them together. Soon you have an entire bank of grievances that you have not aired, and start to blame your partner for everything goes wrong in your life. This makes you hard to be around, and the marriage hard to enjoy. So the resentment builds still further. As a result you can't help but be drawn towards other people who are willing to listen to you and it is easy to feel convinced that they understand you better than your own partner does. "Many people report that the greatest pleasure in an affair is finding someone whose arms are wide open to all the parts of you that your spouse seems to reject," says Kirshenbaum
Can you recover? Slowly you need to work through all the causes of your resentment with your partner. And be prepared to hear about their resentment towards you. To work this out successfully it's essential to do it with a professional, says Kirshenbaum. "Talking things out" without a wise referee too often turns into a knock-down, drag-out fight." Then you have to work out ways to help you both approach conflict more openly and quickly in the future.
4. Someone else was just there
It is depressing but true: Opportunity is one of the most common triggers for an affair. You run in to a colleague after a meeting. Or find yourselves alone together at the bar in a faraway hotel on a business trip. You get talking to a fellow parent at the school gates and decide to grab a coffee. You have dinner with an old flame who's asking you for advice. You don't plot it, but before you know it is happening. "A little bit of discontent and a little bit of attraction is very often all it takes to set reckless passion ablaze," says Kirshenbaum. "Then you find you're in an affair you never wanted and never sought out. But it soon takes on a life of its own, and you don't know what to do." Opportunity explains why the number women having affairs dramatically increased after the 1970s when they joined the workforce and had more control over their time, says Prof Reibstein. And she warns, watch out most for those co-workers. "You see them every day, you get close to them, and they make you feel better about the things that don't feel good in your relationship."
Can you recover? Saying "It just happened" is hardly reassuring. You're trying to prove that although you were over-come by the circumstances you'll never do it again, so rebuilding trust here is the key, says Kirshenbaum. Show them that you realize how deeply and painfully hurt they've been. Recognize that it was your choice and your responsibility for making it--things don't 'just happen' and affairs are a series of steps taken - or not. If they believe that you understand the damage you've caused, slowly after a long period of healing they might come to believe that you'll never want to hurt them like that again.
5. You want to feel alive again
You feel bored, like your life is stagnating, that your relationship is not giving you what you want. So you start looking for ways to feel excited and renewed. Few things are less boring than the first throws of an affair. The passion crammed into a furtive meeting. The struggle to meet in secret. The efforts to keep it all hidden. The jeopardy. The wild hopes. All this makes an affair intoxicating compared to the routine of a marriage where even sex and fights are all too predictable, says Kirshenbaum. But be warned, affairs too easily turn into a horrible mixture of boredom and stress.
Can you recover? If a sense of stagnation drove you into the affair, you're going to have to face what has caused this in your marriage. And true, doing the same things over and over with the same person can inevitably feel stagnant. But a continual effort to shake things up, to look for new things to do and new ways to do old things, will pay huge dividends.
6. You can't help wondering who else is out there
A marriage is supposed to last a lifetime, but if you are feeling unappreciated and misunderstood you are more likely to start wondering who else is out there, says Prof Reibstein. That's especially true when so many other people look so good on the surface, so you dip your toe in, and before you know it you're dipping in a lot more. But be warned, despite the initial passion and excitement, often affair sex isn't as satisfying sexually as the sex is within a long-term relationship, where you know each other well and have learned how to please each other. Often relationship sex feels boring only because couples fallen into the pattern of doing the same old thing.
Can you recover? "I've seen it happen over and over where someone had an affair, came to realize that the grass was not greener on the other side, and that one's partner is really was a pretty good deal after all," says Kirshenbaum. But if this kind of affair is found out, stressing what an idiot you have been is a start. But you'll also both need to work out together what was causing the marriage to feel lacking and how to get it kick-started again.
7. You married the wrong person
You once prided yourself that your family would always come first and that you would never have an affair. But as the years have gone by, you and your partner find you have less and less in common. Your partner is someone you think you should love, rather than someone that you do. When you meet someone else you all this suddenly becomes clear to you and you fall head over heals. This amazing sensation may be simply the product of prolonged misery in a marriage, but it also could develop into genuine love. Those still wedded to the idea of their "perfect" family may lead a double life for years. More often their new partner or desire for happiness will force them to make an exit.

Can you recover? 
Your original relationship may not recover-- and certainly won't if you don't want it to, says Prof Reibstein. If that is so, the most important thing is to try to minimize the hurt, so you can both move forward to have successful relationships with other people that are not bogged down with bitterness and mistrust.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Sweet romance! To win over your date, order a dessert..

If you want to ignite the flames of passion on a date - order dessert. And you might want to buy your date a box of chocolates too. That’s because tasting something sweet can make a person more interested in a potential partner, a study suggests. Researchers at Purdue University in the US described a would-be dating partner to a group of 125 participants. 

Then, half of the group were given a sweet drink, while the others drank water. 
Those who had the sugary drink were more interested in going out with the potential date. They were also more positive when asked to imagine how a relationship with that person might turn out, the researchers found.

A second study, in which a further 155 participants ate biscuits (sweet condition) or crisps (control condition) elicited similar results. The researchers said brain scans have previously shown that similar brain systems underlie sweet taste and feelings of love.

Writing in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, they said: ‘Evidence from current functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scans) research reveals that sweet taste and feelings of love share similar neural substrates, which makes it plausible that the activation of one (regions associated with sweet taste experiences) may facilitate activation of the other (regions associated with romantic perceptions). Dopamine - a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centres - may have a role, lead researcher Dongning Ren said. 

‘Research has shown that sweet food taste increases dopamine levels, a key biological substrate of passionate love,’ he said. ‘Although dopamine is involved in many experiences, it may be part of the link between taste and romantic interest.’
Previous research has shown that thinking about romantic love makes people perceive food to be sweeter.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Carry on Loving...........

I recently discovered this interesting fact.
The Carry On Loving film released in 1970 starring Sid JamesKenneth WilliamsCharles HawtreyJoan SimsHattie JacquesTerry Scott and Bernard Bresslaw was filmed outside our offices in Windsor. Our building and the building next door were the locations for the Wedded Bliss Dating Agency. What a lovely interesting fact!  

Then in 1970

Our offices now 2015

Carry on dating 2015 style :)

Take care


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A Belated Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a Happy (although belated) New Year!

I hope 2015 is your best year yet!

Kindest Regards