Valentine’s Day – Not Always Happy

LOVE.

It’s definitely a big deal. We all want it (most people, anyway). Valentine’s Day reminds us to celebrate our love. It certainly can be a very happy day, for people in love. They think of their loved one as they see every store window decorated with hearts. They must buy cards, chocolates or flowers or, maybe, all of those. There may be proposals make in romantic settings.

But, what about the couples that aren’t exactly vibrating with love any more, even though they do love their partner and are committed to that partner? For many of these couples, Valentine’s Day reminds them of the vibrant, enchanting love they once shared, which has now cooled down.

That earlier form of love may seem like it’s buried under a pile of resentments, boredom stress and same-ness. They may gaze longingly at the reminders of their exciting love, but wonder, “Will we ever get that back? Have we let our romance languish? Have we gotten too complacent? Has our love become lifeless?

Questions I hear often from my private clients include: How do we keep love alive? What does “in love” mean when we’ve been together for 15 or 20 years? How can we stop arguing so much? We’ve lost the romantic feelings; can we get them back?

Some couples, on Valentine’s Day, become acutely aware of just how unhappy they are with aspects of their relationship.

 

Perhaps they argue so much that they’ve grown apart. Maybe the connection that once was so strong, has become worn and frayed. Maybe the stress of raising children and having demanding jobs has led them to forget to take care of their relationship. Now, when they think about it, they realize they haven’t nurtured their heart connection and now feel like it’s become weaker.

To these couples, Valentine’s Day becomes a reminder of what they want and an invitation to recapture the closeness and connection that brought them together in the first place.

Here’s some good news: You can rekindle loving feelings.

You can learn to argue less frequently and more effectively. You can change your mindsets about your partner and by doing so, allow much more compassion and connection.

Here are four pointers to get you started:

1. Think About How You’re Thinking. If you have many negative thoughts and beliefs about your partner and/or your relationship, decide to look at things though a more loving lens. For example, if you think, Nothing we do will repair our relationship, then change that to: If we try the right strategies for repairing our relationship, we might succeed. Can you see how this change opens possibilities?

2. Talk to your partner with love and respect, like you would talk to a cherished friend. How do you talk to a dear friend? How do you listen to that friend? How does your face look when you are conversing with your friend-open, smiling, nodding? Try these with your partner. You might be surprised at the results.

3. Approach arguments with these ideas that help you to resolve them, once and for all. These include:

  • Clarifying the topic and sticking to that one topic.
  • Listening carefully to understand your partner’s point of view.
  • Clearly stating your opinion.
  • Being open to compromise.
  • Refrain from trying to “win” the argument because that means your beloved partner will “lose” and that’s not a good outcome. You should aim for a “win-win” solution.

4. Do something different together. Changing things up creates excitement.

  • Work out together
  • Take dance lessons-tango, salsa, ballroom
  • Visit a wax museum or any other wacky venue around your home
  • Go to a play
  • Volunteer at a food bank
  • Sing together
  • Take a course together
  • Have a picnic in the backyard

In my upcoming course for committed couples, you will learn how to approach the topics of mindset, communication and conflict resolution in proven ways. You will also learn strategies for sustaining love, excitement, peace and connection. Stay tuned!

With love,
Carol

PS: Set yourself up to succeed! Pick one of the Four Pointers above and try that for a week. It’s much better to take one area and work on it, then it is to pick all four and “water down” your ability to succeed.

Please let me know how it goes at: carol@caroljhenry.com

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