Dr. Nancy’s Love, Sex & Compatibility Corner
Every relationship has red flags along the way; here's how you can recognize some along the way.

After you pass the two-year mark in your relationship, you should have already teased out some of the potential “BIG 6” red flag areas. (The exception to this would be a long-distance relationship where you have only spent intermittent time together and therefore, have not experienced day-to-day life with each other.)

The “BIG 6” Are

1.  Sexual Desire levels and sex chemistry: Are you both satisfied with the frequency and level of creativity of your sex and intimate life? Are your preferred times of day the same or at least fluid? Does the initiation always seem to fall onto to one person’s shoulders?

2.  Religious Effects: Whatever religious upbringing we have has a lasting impression. Often we need to unwrap our childhood beliefs and then re-wrap with a belief system that works for us as adults. This is hard enough. Choosing a partner means we will also be dealing with the effects religion has had on them. How close are your current beliefs? How will your beliefs be translated to your children, if you choose to have them? Do your beliefs affect your sexuality in the same manner?

3.  Basic Personality Traits: Sometimes opposites do attract; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will have lasting love. Finding a partner who brings out the best side of your personality as well as one that can handle the less-than-best side, is vitally important. One person’s sweet little quirks might be endearing to you and off-putting to someone else. Don’t let others tell you what personality traits to seek for your relationships: You will know this by which traits are brought out in you.

4.  Family Drama: We all have our family baggage. Look at your own and then ask how much more you can carry. Because you will be lifting each other’s baggage, and it typically doesn’t lighten as you go along in life.

5.  Stress Reaction: Make time to travel together during the first two years. You will learn a lot about a person by how easy they are to get along with under the stress of traveling. Also, how do they handle disappointment, frustration, illness, failure or success. Change in circumstances can also teach you a lot about a person’s general character. And how they treat people they view as subservient (service industry workers for example) can tell you a lot.

6.  Belief about Money: Money means something different to everyone. For you it might be about freedom, for them it might be about security. Identify what your belief is and share this information. It will help you know why you each react so differently to spending/saving money issues.

Once the Big 6 has been explored...

After that, it becomes more about finding common ground;  such as life goals, money management, role distinctions, belief about raising children, family dynamics, sexual curiosities and fantasies, and revealing some of your deeper secrets. This is the time for building upon the foundation of trust and mutual respect. This is when love becomes more actualized and trustworthy.

When we deny or ignore the red flags from the Big 6 and push through struggling hard to make the relationship what we want it to be (or make the other person who we want them to be), we more often than not find ourselves contributing to the 52% divorce statistics in the USA.  We have lost sight of the idea that “courting or dating” is about taking time to find out if we are truly compatible, not to make us compatible.

Please remember: It is never our right to try to change someone into being what we desire. This will always fail. Trying to change someone implies to them they are broken: and when they feel broken they lose faith in the love. The truth is, they are not broken, they are simply not what you want in a partner. Two great people may not be great people for each other. The sooner you acknowledge this, the better.

Take the time to discover as much as you can about each other before you make agreements or commitments that are difficult or impossible to get out of.

Do not make a baby during this discovery period! Pregnancy is preventable -- be proactive. If you are not going to be happy with the person for the rest of your life, why would you want your child to be stuck with them for the rest of theirs? Conscious Loving. Try it -- you’ll love it! Intimately Yours, Dr. Nancy Sutton Pierce, RN, DHS,

Dr. Nancy Sutton Pierce - Clinical Sexologist

Hello, I'm Dr. Nancy Sutton Pierce. I'm delighted to be a part of the SDC professional family. I've been in health care for over three decades and earned my Doctorate degree in Human Sexuality in 2015. Since then I've been traveling the world teaching and hosting retreats in places like China, Jamaica, Mexico, Italy, France, Spain, as well as all across the USA. I was featured as The Sexologist on This Is Life with Lisa Ling in season 6, and have been featured in numerous publications, TV and Radio shows. I also hosted my own radio show for ten years called, The Conscious Living Show. My focus is empowering both women and men with regards to their own pleasures and intimacy literacy. Knowing what we want is one thing, knowing how to ask and then be patient is a whole other level of communication required for healthy relationships. I'm also a Sensual Yoga Therapist and I bring the Yin/Yang blends into all of my courses and retreats. I have created a magical program called, "The Kama Sutra Oasis" for couples seeking deeper intimacy and profound communication skills. My private practice reaches clients locally and internationally as I provide counsel both in person and via Skype. My background is quite eclectic and my perspectives are nonjudgmental and very open minded. My intention is to help you find peace and celebration with your authentic self, and then learn to love who you are even more! "When we're at peace with who we are, we find greater compassion with those around us."
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