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Talking Shortcuts: Pros and Cons | Ep 26

How can a football metaphor give you usable relationship advice? Are you hindering or aiding your relationship by working with assumptions? How can you utilize shortcuts in your relationship effectively? In this podcast episode, I speak about the pros and cons of talking shortcuts.



  • We tend to automate our partners
  • Dangers of automating
  • There are some benefits of shortcuts


As well as becoming so used to our partners, we begin to work with stereotypes to conserve energy in our brains. It does become a problem when we automate people in our lives because we make so many errors and even though stereotypes exist, they are harmful when we act on them constantly.


We tend to become arrogant and blindsided in our perceptions of people and therefore we no longer see them as who they are, but who we think they are. We make assumptions and then lose the opportunity for course correction.

Automating your partner also closes you off from seeing how they change and progress as people, you close the opportunity for change by assuming you know how they act and who they are.


Couples can create football ‘playbooks’ that help them navigate their relationships by laying out agreements they have about how to deal with different scenarios. A playbook comes from constant discussions and laying out how things will work, so with your partner, it can be an important tool to help you hatch a plan when life gets tricky and impacts your relationship. These are signals and shortcuts that can aid you in your relationship.


About your host:

Susan Orenstein, Ph.D.

Dr. Susan Orenstein is a licensed psychologist and relationship expert  with over twenty years of experience. In 2005, she founded Orenstein Solutions, a private counseling practice in North Carolina that serves children, teens, adults and couples. 

She created the After the First Marriage Podcast to support individuals through the significant life transition of divorce. She whole-heartedly believes that “happily ever after” is an option for everyone, and is dedicated to helping divorcées regain the confidence to pursue a fulfilling future after the first marriage. 

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