The Lovers Relationship Programme

Since the end of May 2020 a new product from the Lovers have been in progress. It is still a work in progress but we are happy to announce that our Relationship Programme will be available to couples who apply to be part of this year long program.

At the end of January our first prototype course will be held on the island of Gotland. A Corona-safe sized group will take part as well as give feedback and input of how to progress this product to more of you.

Why a relationship program?

We believe, know (and are proud stealers and borrowers of the relationship research available, that all say) that we all can use a helping hand in getting to become a better version of our selves. A marriage or a long term relationship can bring out the best in you as well as it is certain to bring out also the worst in you.

We understand that a relationship can thrive in periods, as well as need some extra (external) help in other periods.

In our programme the couples will be able to share insights, learn from each other and train together on the tools for the level where they are. An individual assessment for each couple is part of the onboarding. This to make sure that the group altogether will be working from a similar base, and mostly to make sure the couple will start at the right level for their training.

Tools, insights, new perspectives and a hopefulness will be the gift of the long weekends spent with us and other couples. As well as a stronger bond between you, and perhaps some new friends to meet again.

The Lovers App 2.0

Maybe you all have noticed that on a technical level things have not been as good as we all had hoped for. Our developers, from the start of our app, have not been up to scratch and they have disappointed us many times.

It feels so good at this moment to be able to tell you that we have moved our business to a new supplier that seems much more promising. Getting everything moved takes a bit of time but things can’t get any worse as it seems that many users have stopped receiving Cards from the App.

Hopefully the new developers will manage to fix the current problems very soon and you will start to receive more relationship  tips from the App again. 

Comments, ideas and feedback are more than welcome anytime!

We do hope your relationships, with yourself and with others, have improved since you started using the Lovers App as a way to grow in self awareness and in relationship awareness.

the Snippets – The Lovers podcast

During the autumn of 2020 a new seed has taken root and will grow healthily into a plant of some sort during the year of 2021. It started as we were out walking our beloved dog, Snowy. During our walks we talk a lot about relationships, ours and others. We also talk a far amount of what research has to say about relationships, as well as what other prominent persons (Esther, John, Julie, David, Emily, etc) gives us insights into.

So, one day we realized we would extend our products and offerings to you all. This time with our version of a podcast. We call them the Snippets. Our aim is to publish a full season around a topic with a few Snippets, where we share our perspectives, ideas, thoughts and questions on a smaller piece of the topic. The name Snippets because neither of us like too long podcasts with people rambling on and on (we usually end up listening at double speed). Our Snippets aim to be somewhere between 4-10 minutes a piece, with around 6-10 in a season.

We will definitely get back to you once we publish these.
Meanwhile – if you have any topics you would love for us to dig into, please get in touch with us at tess@thelove.rs or hunter@thelove.rs

Soon in a place with your other favorite podcasts too.

PS. Only in Swedish to begin with.

To bid – crucible and small

At the Gottman Lab couples spent 24 hours in an apartment, built into a lab. The couples started as newlyweds and came back annually for six years.

Most couples ate, read, watched TV, talked and slept. As they were being monitored and later on also being looked upon through the eyes of a researcher. This is what Julie and John writes in their book; “10 principles for doing effective couples therapy”.

“Janice Driver spent years working in the apartment lab, trying to ferret out what predicted sustained friendship and intimacy in these newlyweds. Driver was particularly intrigued by the minutiae of their smallest exchanges – the turn of a heat, a mumbled monosyllable, a focused eye gaze. She wanted to know, when one partner made a bid for connection by calling the other person´s name or commenting on something, would that elicit the other partner´s interested response, or something else? After a decade, she and John (Gottman) figured out that the smallest moments told an important story. The particular ways partners responded to each other´s bids for connection forged their future friendship and intimacy, which in turn shaped how well they managed conflict. It was like the effect of water on rock. If waves of water emptily lapped away at the base of a rock, eventually it would weaken and collapse with erosion. But if the waves continually deposited new silt at the rock´s base, over time the rock would grow stronger and capable of withstanding the big storms ahead.

The newlyweds who remained happily married six years later turned towards each other´s bids an average of 86% of the time compared with 33% of the time for those destined for divorce. It only took a few words to make all the difference. If one partner said, “It’s tough reading all the bad news in the paper. ” and the other partner said, “Yeah, it sure is,” that relationship was much more likely to succeed than one with no response. Silence or turning away from a bid was like a death knell for the relationship. Worst still were the marriages where the partner turned against the other´s bid with exclamations like, “Be quiet! Can’t you see I´m busy?” In sum, these small moments of turning towards each other´s bids for connection were crucial for relationship happiness. Even if a hurricane assaulted a barrage, these moments built the foundation that kept it from toppling into the sea.”

Are you still interested in reading more about bids and their role in a relationship? We suggest that you explore these short readings from the Gottman Institute:

If you prefer listening – we suggest you tune into their podcast:
Small things often, where they in short episodes (2-5 minutes long) explain a lot of findings from their research, bidding is one of them.

Fight fair and repair

Fight Fair and Repair – from the Chapter ”Agree to disagree”
Excerpt from the book Eight Dates by John & Julie Schwartz Gottman and Doug Abrams & Rachel Carlton Abrams


“Fights are going to happen in any relationship – it’s inevitable and it’s healthy – but research shows that couples who are genuinely happy in their marriage or relationship handle their conflicts in gentle, positive ways. They listen to their partners perspective, they seek to understand their partner, and they work together to find a compromise that works for them both. 

Sometimes we say and do things that damage our partner. We forget seeking understanding, and we give a 20-minute diatribe on why were right and they’re wrong. We get defensive, we criticize, we show contempt, and we turn away at the very moment we should be turning toward each other. We call these regrettable incidents – our nice term for a fight, and ”master couples” know how to minimize the damage from the words said in the heat of an argument. In John and Julie´s research they divided their couples into ”masters” and ”disasters”. Master couples stayed together happily. Disaster couples split up, or stayed together unhappily. When it came to conflict, the masters always knew how to repair the damage done during a regrettable incident. 

Below is a process of repair for when regrettable incidents happen, and this should be part of your system for managing conflict in your relationship. Processing a fight means talking about what happened during the fight, without jumping back into the ring with your boxing gloves on. It’s the fight recap, where you figure out how to make this particular matchup go better in the future. The goal here is not to once again argue for your reality or prove that you’re right and they’re wrong; it’s to understand what reality looks like to the other person. Both of you are right in your own feelings and perceptions, and you’re capable of looking at the situation through your partner´s eyes. 

Step 1: Each person takes turn to talk about what they were feeling during the fight: Were you feeling sad, angry, worried, lonely, ashamed, unappreciated, defensive, or any other emotions and feelings? Perhaps you were feeling out of control or confused.

Step 2: Each person should talk about how they saw the situation and their perspective about what actually happened in the argument. Keep in mind that you may have two very different realities of what happened, but both are right. Avoid contesting who remembers it better. Validate each other´s realities. Validating doesn’t mean agreeing. It means being able to compete a sentence like, ”From your point of view it makes sense to me that you would have those feelings and needs. I get it.” Communicate to your partner that you understand some of their perspective. Only talk about the feelings and needs you had. Use ”I” statements. Don’t tell your partner what they did or did not do. As much as possible, avoid pointing you finger at your partner and blaming. It’s better to say ”I heard you saying…” that to say ”You said…” The former phrasing makes it clear that it’s your perspective, not necessarily the facts. There’s no immaculate perception. 

Step 3: Triggers. In some regrettable incidents (not all) there are reasons that the conflict has escalated. We call these ”triggers”. They are old, enduring vulnerabilities that occurred before this relationship began and left emotional scars that can get activated. When you feel triggered, search your memory for a point in your history or childhood when you had a similar set of feelings. Triggers never go away, they endure. 

Instructions: if you feel triggered, tell your partner the story of what happened in your past, so your partner can understand your own particular sensitivities and why this is a trigger for you. If you are the partner, express understanding and empathy as your partner describes the incident and connection. Examples of triggers that may help you connect a feeling to an incident:

>> A time when I felt judged.

>> A time when I felt excluded. 

>> A time when I felt humiliated and disrespected. 

>> A time when I felt abandoned. 

>> A time when I felt powerless.

>> A time when I was bullied. 

>> A time when I felt alone. 

>> A time when I felt out of control. 

>> A time when I felt belittled. 

>> A time when I felt very unsafe. 

>> A time when I was assaulted and attacked. 

Step 4: Accept responsibility and own up to your part in the fight. Perhaps you’ve been overly stressed or preoccupied, or you haven’t made time for your partner, or you haven’t been a good listener. What can you own up to in how you contributed to the argument? It’s important to avoid blame here. We discovered in our research that taking responsibility – even for a small part of the problem in communication – presents the opportunity for great repair. It’s ugly effective. 

Step 5: Discuss how you both might do things differently the next time. What’s one way your partner can make it better if this type of incident happens again? What’s one way you can make it better? Create a plan together to minimize hurt feelings and avoid an incident in the future. “

Feeling attractive and desired…

How aware are you of when you feel attractive and desired?

Feeling attractive. It could feel like the most difficult task ever. Or maybe the opposite. It could be very easy for you to feel attractive. Maybe you are a user of our app and just received a challenge to let your partner know what makes you feel attractive, or maybe you just found this post and wanted to read more about attraction and desires. Welcome to you all.

The challenge is to become aware of when you feel attractive. What makes you feel attractive. And share it with your partner. Every day for a full week. We do hope it will be (at least a bit) challenging for you.

During each day in the week the task for you is to do a simple “check-in” several times a day. A check-in to explore if you feel attractive at the moment or if you have noticed a moment earlier that made you feel attractive. What happened that made you feel attractive. Check-in. Make a mental note and every day share this with your partner.

As you start to become aware of what makes you feel attractive you might also start to feel more desire. And feel desired. Below is a quote from Esther perel in an interview with Goop.com.

Desire has an element of selfishness to it. In order to cum, you must stop thinking about someone else—you have to be inside yourself. It’s also a surrender. If you feel too responsible for all those domestic tasks, you’re not in a surrender mode. For some women, all they need to do is take off the apron, change the t-shirt, clean up the baby spit, and they’re right in that place of surrendering. But for some women, you need three days away from home to reconnect to that part of you—the playful, non-responsible, mischievous, seductive, flirtatious, sensual, sexual self.

Esther Perel

One of the hard parts by exploring what makes you feel attractive can be just what Esther points to. The element of selfishness. You must and will explore the inner you. And you will need, as she suggests, to make an effort for yourself too. Like wearing make-up, dressing up for no reason other than to feel attractive, go to the gym, or any other effort that might help you feel attractive.
We believe that you can work on this feeling and that it definitely can grow. If you are a woman – you might need to work on your acceptance of your body with all its “perfect imperfections”, maybe take a Burlesque class?

And once this challenge and this week is over, it is time to reflect upon the challenge and to celebrate.
Before the next upcoming challenge – yes, you have probably guessed it. Now it is time for you to share with your partner what makes your partner attractive for you.

The way you smile when you see me coming home.
The way you move towards me when we are going to dance.
The flirting on Fridays.
The lipstick on Mondays for no other reason than it being Monday.
And so on.

Best of luck to both of you on this journey of becoming more aware!

PS. Don’t take this challenge too seroiusly. Play with it. Explore your own feelings around feeling attractive. Share with partner. And dive right into sharing with your partner what it is that makes them feel attractive to you.

Our agreement

… I believe that the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives. 

Esther Perel

As Esther so well puts it in the quote above, the quality of your life can get better if you add more quality to your relationship. We are glad that you have found us and our app. We wish for you to have good quality in your relationships. In this app we focus on your primary romantic relationship.

As you are here reading this you seem to take your relationship seriously. And it seems you want to work on it. Improve it. Make it more sustainable. Make it a little bit better every day. Having a more qualitative romantic relationship with that special person in your life.

Making an agreement

In partner therapy you might agree to set a few rules in a contract between you while working with a therapist. Rules that might assist you in between the sessions, as well as in the sessions.
As you work with our app it might also be a good idea to set a few rules, make a contract or an agreement as we call it.
Below you will find an example from the book “DIY sex & relationship therapy” by Dr Lori Boul and Dr June Kerr. Feel free to use this or make your own version of an agreement between the two of you.


  1. I have the right to my own opinions and beliefs.
  2. I will respect your opinions and beliefs and will not patronize or dismiss them just because they don’t match mine.
  3. I have the right to say no.
  4. I will respect your right to say no.
  5. I will not try to cajole, bully or manipulate you into agreeing with what I want.
  6. I will not rake up the past.
  7. I will carry out agreed actions, within agreed timescales.
  8. I agree to be open and honest in our discussions.
  9. I agree to give you the opportunity to express your fears and worries without recrimination.
  10. I will not be verbally or physically aggressive towards you.

Our intention is that we will try to keep each other´s best interest at the forefront of our thoughts, words and actions all the time.

Signed…………………………………………………………………….. Date…………………………….

Signed…………………………………………………………………….. Date…………………………….


All the best to you for taking this step in your relationship. We hope that you will try, and when you fail, remember to get back up again. There is always time to repair.

“in a non-judgmental way”

As you will find (or already have found) we encourage you very often to listen to your partner while s/he shares something with you. Reflecting together. Listening when someone shares a story from their childhood, an event from the day och their biggest passion. Whatever it is that is being shared, your task is to listen as closely as possible.
Without any judging thoughts or remarks. Listen with your curiosity. Listen to really hear not only what is being said, but perhaps how it is being said, if there are any facial expressions, or body language. Take all of that in.

And do leave all of your preconceptions at the door. Do not let your brain look for the bits of puzzle it needs to confirm your own bias. You will most probably have to work quite hard to let go of all of your preconceptions of what is going to be said. And of what will happen around it. You will have to let go of control. You can instead try to join in the new path that might open up if you can listen non-judging, with a curious mind. And an open heart.

Lean in and listen…

What if you fail? If you make a mistake?

Get up again. Make your self willing to listen. Willing to hear what is being said. Willingness takes you a long, long way.

The PACT technique

There are different techniques to use for developing your communicational skills. One of them is called PACT, and below you will find a bit more about that technique. You can read more in the book “DIY Sex & Relationship Therapy” by Dr Lori Boul and Dr June Kerr.

  • Pay attention to what is being said by looking at the person speaking. Show how you are listening, maybe with gestures of nodding your head or that your eyes meet or other emphatically facial expressions. And what is very important, do not interrupt.
  • Acknowledge what has been said by restating it in your own words.
  • Check from your partner’s response to see if what you said was accurate. If not, then amend what you said and restate. Do not skip this part. Spend the amount of time you need here until the person who was sharing in the first place feel that you have understood what they wanted to share.
  • Think before speaking and respond without making accusations, assumptions or judgmental statements.

Another technique that you might have discovered on your own is to have a difficult conversation while you are in the car together (without kids or other passengers) . For some this works very well. You are close to each other, but don’t have to touch nor to have eye contact.

Our favorite one?

They are many, but to share a few we will say ; our joint walks with our dog and our bike rides to the beach in Italy in the summers.

The reflecting part?

That might happen later or in the next stage. When you feel comfortable in listening and in sharing in the non-judgmental way. When you both feel understood. When you can reflect together it can make you see things more easily from someone else´s perspective. It can also help you see a bigger picture. And hopefully help you to not be so serious in life. Give you more room to play. Together.

The ebb and flow of a relationship

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Skärmavbild-2018-04-19-kl.-19.00.21.png
Photo credits to gfnstreet
  • Do you have the relationship you want?
  • Do you and your partner have the relationship you both want?
  • Do you have the sex life you want?
  • Do you and your partner have the sex life you both want?
  • Do you put time and effort into becoming a better partner?
  • Do you invest time and effort in your relationship?
  • Do you help your partner become a better partner?
  • Do you let your partner help you become a better partner?
  • What steps do you take to become a better lover for your partner?
  • What steps do you let partners help you with so that you become a better lover?
  • How do you help your partner become a better lover for you?

Your marriage or your relationship is probably not a constant experience of happiness. Sometimes you disagree and think differently. Nor that you always keep the same thing about everything.
You probably have periods where other time takes time from your hours together.
All that is common and normal.

As the tide in the sea – ebb and flow. The water moving in undulating waves. As the moon in its moon cycle where it moves between new moon to full moon and back to new moon. As the seasons and nature that step out of their winter hibernation so slowly now in March and spring begin to make themselves known, to reach full bloom during the summer and decrease in growth during the fall to be back in rest and hibernation during the winter.

All this is quite normal and common.

The above questions can be a support for you and you in your relationship. A support to highlight and make visible how you have it and how you want it. A support to investigate whether you are prepared to dare to step forward and grow together. A support for exploring if you dare to take help and support from each other on that trip.

And today is the very best day to start. Don’t wait any longer. Take a first step now.
Remember that ….

“Foreplay starts at the end of the last orgasm.”

Fantasies about sex

To have sexual fantasies is easy for some and more difficult for others. In my sex-talk groups I have met a lot of women who share with the group that they never fantasize. About sex. Never. I usually ask them to give themselves permission to let that part of their erotic intelligence wake up. To fantasize is just like any other super-power. It can be hidden when you want to. No one knows you own it. But it will make you into a better lover. For your self and your partner.

Next time you notice something turning you on, do not smash it and shove it under the mental carpet. Allow it to blossom and bloom. See where it will take you. Explore as much of this fantasy as possible. After all, it is invisible to others and it will become your super-power. A source of sexual energy that you can harness.

Maybe your fantasy takes you through an experience that also frightens you when you think about it. Maybe your body and mind yell “No way” or maybe it whispers in your ear “Yes please”.

Allowing sexual fantasies for yourself and your partner will make you both more aware of what it is you want to explore (and not), what turns you on or off. Remember that fantasies are not reality. You can decide whether you want them to stay fantasies or if they are growing into desires that you both want to pursue.

Sometimes our fantasies aren’t always sunshine and roses. Did you know that many women fantasize about being gangbanged? It’s not that they want to experience that (necessarily), but the fantasy strongly fuels a feeling… to feel powerful, desired, naughty or submissive.

Sometimes knowing that you are part of someones fantasy is a great turn on too. So when you have practiced allowing yourself to have fantasies also allow yourself and your partner to share them with each other.
For years we, as a couple, have added this as one of our spices in bed, to share fantasies involving us or one of us in a very sexual (often very detailed too) fantasy, whispering them to each other and fueling the erotic intelligence there and then. Yes, it will linger a few days too. Helping to keep the fantasies growing in both of us. Like an aphrodisiac.

Now – hop on down below to 2 tips for you and your new super-power.


A great tip from the book S.E.C.R.E.T.

If you (like us) are interested in turning a few fantasies into desires and wishes, the exercise below is for you. And if this is not your interest at the moment – please read through them anyway. Maybe make a mental note of what happens when you read them….

Write down all of your sexual fantasies. Write them down without judging yourself nor them. Write them down without scrutinizing them with millions of questions. Simply follow the rules below:

  • S = Safe – make sure that you feel safe in your written fantasies
  • E = Erotic – all your fantasies must awake lust in you, sexually.
  • C = Compelling – the fantasies must be compelling to you, so that they will urge you/lead you to fulfill them. This is a step to take to make the fantasy into a desire and a wish. Wishes that you will want to experience.
  • R = Romantic – in your fantasies, see yourself as the most desired and wanted of all persons in your fantasy
  • E = Ecstatic – as you are the main character in your fantasies also make sure that you experience lots of pleasure, laughter and fun in your fantasies, and of course in real life when they become true.
  • T = Transforming – last, but not least, make sure that something within you are transformed/changed/shifted while exploring these fantasies. Making you feel like you are not the same as before these fantasies.

X-confessions….the App from Erika Lust

Another way to explore fantasies on your own or with a or multiple partners is to try out the app from Erika Lust. You’ll find it at your regular store for apps.

yes, a sneak peak of our account….and matches 😉