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Sex with Dr. Jess


January 23, 2018

Keeping Your Relationship Happy & Harmonious During Winter’s Frost

We asked our viewers to send us their relationship questions and we received a few that only Canadians and those living in other cold climates can understand. Check out Jess’ answers in the video and notes below.

Renee from Montreal asks: This may sound silly, but my boyfriend and I fight more in the winter since we’re all cooped up alone. I’d appreciate any advice on how to fight less.

  • Staying home alone together for days on end may lead to more friction, so I suggest that you keep up other good lifestyle habits that boost your mood even during the winter months: don’t skip your workouts/walks & shop for groceries and make your own meals rather than ordering in. (You can also order groceries online.) Sometimes we think we’re fighting because we’re sick of each other, but the fights might be related to the fact that our mood is impacted as we adjust our lifestyle in response to the cooler weather.
  • Be sure to stay in touch with other people (friends and family). Even if you don’t meet up in person, schedule a Skype date with your friends or siblings so that you’re not depending on your partner to fulfill all your social needs over the winter.

Shen from Toronto says: I find that I’m really moody in January and February. And even though I know better, I pick fights with my husband. How can I catch myself and stop myself before I start?

  • You’re not alone. The data shows that those living countries far away from the equator report greater variations in psychological mood over the course of the year.
  • The “hack” that I use with clients who know their mood can result in fight picking involves “treating” yourself. When you feel a “mood” coming on (and you need to know your triggers — e.g. do you get frustrated over silly things like dropping your pen?), treat yourself to something nice: give yourself a 60 second neck massage, eat a delicious square of dark chocolate, reread a note of thanks or praise that lifts your spirits, do three burpees, watch an adorable video of a hamster eating a carrot and laugh out loud. These rituals won’t boost your mood 100% of the time, but they’re a distraction and a reminder that will help you to avoid taking your bad mood out on your partner. Consider writing down your triggers and rituals as a way to remind yourself of your commitment to behavioural change.

Tom from Ottawa asks: I’m 18 and I’ve never had sex. I want to wait until I’m in a serious relationship (I’m single) and I’m wondering if waiting too long could lead to problems?

  • The most recent data suggests that more teens are delaying sex and you’re not alone. There is no rush and there are no risks associated with delaying sex on its own.
  • Sexual challenges are often tied to repressive messages, a lack of accurate information, unhealthy relationships, poor/absent communication and a huge range of case-by-case factors; waiting until you’re a bit older and/or in a serious relationship sounds like the right choice for you.
  • Note: an estimated 3% of Americans opt to wait until marriage to have sex; the percentage may sound small, but it amounts to approximately 10 million people.