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Don't Sweat the Small Stuff in Love
(from the book, by Richard Carlson, Ph.D. and Kristine Carlson)

While no relationship is perfect, and every relationship is unique, we believe that any partnership, romantic or otherwise, can be improved by implementing some very simple strategies designed to lighten your spirits, open your heart, enhance your life, and broaden your perspective. That’s what this book is all about. Human beings are remarkable creatures in the sense that when we have a specific vision or goal, we are often able to achieve that goal. Or at the very least approach it. In terms of your relationships, this means that it’s important that you have the highest vision possible. It suggests that you can have it all: You can be the best friends, soulmates, and true partners, in every sense of the word. Individually and as a couple, you can become more loving, light-hearted, peaceful, generous, grateful, patient, accepting, and forgiving. You can also develop greater perspective, a better sense of humor, better listening skills, and perhaps most importantly, the ability to take yourself a little less seriously. It’s possible for you to have more of all of these things and, for that matter, any other virtuous qualities that you deem important. And perhaps the best part of all is that when you or your partner falls short, you’ll be easy on yourself, and on your relationship—you won’t “sweat it.” All it takes is intention and a bit of practice.

Following is a partial list of the Table of Contents –

1. Mostly, Be Pals *
2. Learn to Laugh atYourself
7. Be Kind First
21. Remember That Your Partner Can’t Read Your Mind
22. Set a Good Example
23. Don’t fight over Stupid Things
24. Become a World-Class Listener
31. Think Before You Speak
35. Stay Compassionate
40. Wake Up and think about Three Things You Love about Her
42. Don’t Sweat Occasoinal Criticism
43. Stay Playful
44. Stop Rehearsing Unhappiness
47. Avoid Correcting Each Other
49. Take Responsibility for Your Own Happiness
53. Be Consistently Grateful
55. Organize a Charitable Project Together
58. Respond with Love
75. Avoid Absolute Statements (of a Negative Nature)
87. Allow Your Partner a Few Eccentricities
92. Say the Words, “I’m Sorry”
97. Allow Your Partner the Space to “Lose it” Every Once in a While
100. Treasure Each Other

* Once you are convinced that having a great friendship is the best way to secure a great relationship, the rest is pretty easy. Keep reminding yourself that your goal is to treat your partner with the same kindness, appreciation, and respect as you would your very best friend in the world. When in doubt, ask yourself, “If this person were my best friend, how would I respond and how would I act?” [Indeed -- they should be your best friend!]

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