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Serve Up Some Healthy Competition in Your Relationship

We've learned early on in life that it's better to win, and in order to win, we need to be competitive. Although this attitude works well in sports and games, it can rear its ugly head in a romantic relationship. Too much competition can cause both partners to constantly try to outdo each other, which can cause added stress, jealousy and conflict.

However, just the right amount of competition can add spark to an otherwise boring relationship. Plus, it can make both partners motivated to improve their job or household situations. Here are some tips to create healthy competition in your relationship.

Healthy competition can make boring household chores much more fun. For example, you can divvy up jobs between you and your partner and make a game out it. He does the laundry and you clean the kitchen, and see who finishes first. You can race to get your jobs done first, and have a cleaner house in the process.

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Healthy competition can also help your relationships in terms of finances. You can play a game to see who can save the most money in one week. If you're shopping for a new appliance, electronic device or even a new car, you can both compete to see who can find the cheapest price.

If you don't have any new purchases planned, you can use your competitive nature to raise money for someone or something else, such as a charity. Agree on a shared cause and see who can earn the most money. You'll feel good knowing that you used your competitive nature to do good for others.


If you have young children who always like to delay bedtime, you and your partner can take turns putting them to bed. Compete with each other to see who can get the kids to sleep quicker. Both of you will end up winning this one because the result will be more time to spend together.

Ready for some healthy competition? We're talking about working out. If you have a treadmill or elliptical at home, put your stamina to the test. If you prefer to do other types of exercise or don't have any gym equipment at your home, you can track how much time you both spend at the gym. Even if you don't win, your body will thank you for your increased effort.

If your guy enjoys playing video games, why not put your skills to the test? Study shows that 80% of women would play against their partner, with winning as the main goal, if given the chance. So join in and have him teach you the ropes.

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Sound boring? The Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinect have many games that allow you to be part of the action, so you can jump, dance or pretend to fight, meaning you get to compete and sweat a little as well. Another advantage? Competing and playing games with your partner results in better sex because of increased adrenaline and heart rate. So get your game on tonight!

If playing video games or working out is more effort than you're prepared to extende, watch a sports game with your man and root for the rival team. Although it's passive because there's not much you can do to control the outcome, your man will no doubt appreciate the new-found interest you have in sports.


Another fun way to compete with each other is to turn on the TV and play along with your favorite game shows. If trivia is your thing, turn on Jeopardy! and keep score to see who can answer the most questions. If puzzles are more your cup of tea, turn on Wheel of Fortune and see who is quicker at solving the phrases. Who knows, you may be surprised at how much your partner knows, and for some, being smart is incredibly sexy.

Even just sitting on the couch and having a discussion about controversial subjects such as religion, politics, pop culture or other hot topics can help put a spark in your relationship. You don't need to focus on winning or being right, just have a passionate but friendly discussion about what your stance is on a certain subject.

Having a logical discussion requires critical thinking skills, so you can exercise you mind muscles. You'll get to hear some interesting points from your partner's perspective, and who knows, you might be able to get them to change their mind about a particular topic.

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Accomplishments of the other partner can bring out your own competitive spirit. So don't be surprised if your partner did something out of the ordinary (such as bungee jumping, skydiving and rock climbing) and you want to try it to.

Partners often fuel ambition and drive in each other. If your partner has been partaking in all the extreme stunts and accomplishments, stop standing by and join in on the fun. You may find a new hobby or interest.


 

What to Avoid

 

Avoid competing with each other in terms of careers. Although we all want to be the best we can be at our job, trying to outdo each other will only cause tension. Your partner may become resentful if you are always the one receiving promotions and bonuses while he is struggling at his job.

Plus, career competition will cause one of you to have to make sacrifices eventually, which can be deadly for a relationship.

You also want to avoid turning everything into a competition. You should be able to relax and just enjoy yourself without having to turn everything into a game. A little competition is healthy and even necessary, but it can ruin a relationship if it becomes the main focus.

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A successful relationship requires a healthy dose of competition in order to keep it from becoming stale and boring. The trick is to prevent competition from being a constant force in your relationship. It's important to be equals and to be able to make compromises and sacrifices for the benefit of the relationship.

Competition should be fun and without conflict. Try one of these tips for healthy competition and watch your relationship blossom.