Personal Dilemma: Can A Couple Fall In Love With Each Other Again?

Photo by Dương Hữu

Relationships often go stale and dull when couples settle into complacency, especially if they last a long time. The burden of keeping a home, looking after children who demand constant attention, while holding down a job, can rob the partnership of its freshness, vibrancy and excitement.

In Britain at least 34% of divorces involve children under 5! That’s a very sad statistic mainly because parents are not aware of how to blend a new child with their romance. They focus almost exclusively on the newborn (women mainly) while unintentionally excluding themselves from their partners. Soon enough, romance is killed or put on hold, one parent (mainly men) begins to feel resentful at the lack of attention and might look outside for comfort. Separation or divorce is not far off! So children can actually destroy relationships, if parents aren’t careful.

However, the main problem with many relationships is that couples soon begin to take each other for granted. They stop affirming and reinforcing each other and start being mean and critical instead. They gradually lose all the things they did when they were dating because they feel more secure with the partner in the bag. Many don’t bother to celebrate their partners anymore and, gradually, things go down the drain. But that does not have to happen, if there is real love in the relationship.

The following suggestions to rekindle romance should be of some value.

1. Tell each other ‘I love you’ as often as possible. It is the greatest compliment to tell a partner how we honestly feel, but some people do not believe in expressing genuine feelings to their loved ones. Many believe it is ‘unnatural’ or they could be ‘overdoing’ it. Yet there is no law against having positive feelings and telling someone about them regularly. The most loving things are done spontaneously, and as often as we feel the need to do them, not according to particular schedules. It could also be the last thing they hear from you!

2. Praise and appreciate each other. As relationships last longer, appreciation tends to gradually decline. We begin to become meanspirited with praise and gratitude, because we come to see every action as automatic. Yet praising someone’s efforts, no matter how small, helps to REINFORCE them, to value them and leaves little room for neglect.

3. Leave love notes around the home for them in unexpected places. There is nothing more endearing than loving surprises, especially when one least expects them. Leaving little messages of love, sending spontaneous texts, or just taking time out of a busy day to call to say ‘I’m thinking of you’ would really make that person feel special.

Photo by Aaron Burden

4. Establish routines for young children: Put them to bed at a set time each day. That should allow you both time together when they are in bed. Try not to take them with you to ‘adult’ gatherings. That should give you more time to enjoy each other’s company, especially with other adults. Most important, try to go out at least twice each month (wining, dining, cinema, concert, dancing etc). These allow you both quality time together doing something lighthearted, while giving you time away from the children. In this way, you will always have some time for yourselves, and quality time for your children.

5. Walk hand in hand when outdoors. Whatever you are doing, do it lovingly, especially walking together. Hug, hold hands, kiss his face now and then, kiss her hand, demonstrate that love to the world. Walking hand in hand gives a wonderful feeling of belonging, togetherness and joy. It encourages closeness while communicating or enjoying activities together. Moreover, on a practical level, regular walking keeps the weight down and encourages a more healthier lifestyle. These public actions might be restricted by cultural conformity, depending on where you reside.

6. Highlight the difference you’ve made to each other. This is a very important aspect, to AFFIRM someone and to let them know, constantly, how their presence has changed your life. We become different people the minute we meet someone because we are happier, more joyful, more purposeful and far more loving. When things go sour, we tend to forget those early magical moments. But being with someone new, who really gives us butterflies and adds meaning to our existence, is always a life enhancing experience.

7. Spend a whole weekend in bed making love, chatting and affirming. Having a healthy sex life is crucial to communication, to keeping the relationship vibrant and partners together. Yet this is the part that really gets thrown by the wayside, especially when kids are on the scene. Forget the chores and everything else. Book a room in a hotel, if possible, and allow yourselves to be pampered. This would be a poignant reminder of why you came together in the first place: to love each other, not just to have a family or keep a house.

Dating and romancing shouldn’t stop when the two people marry or settle together. That is the time the real dating should begin to keep that romance fire burning brightly for a long time to come. It could save a lot of unexpected heartache and loneliness down the line.


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Today’s Thought: How To Gain Respect

Respect is not something we can demand. Respect is given freely once it is earned. Hence you cannot have respect if you give none to others. But respect starts with the self.

We cannot earn the respect of others if we have no respect for ourselves. We cannot expect others to love what we reject if we have no love for ourselves, and we cannot expect value from others if we give ourselves no value. Self-love is the key to personal value, feelings of worth, inclusion, significance and ultimately respect. If you love yourself, you will learn to recognise when people respect and value you, rather than just tolerating you. But you have to value yourself first before that can happen. the feeling that a person respects and cares for you; and you really matter to them.

One way to ensure respect for your values and person is to start appreciating others more. Reduce the judgement and criticism and increase the kindness and support. Be a FRIEND to others and they will want to be friends to you, too, and to respect and affirm you.

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Can True Love Last Forever?

Photo by Laura Ockel

We are all searching for that Utopia where true love lasts as long as possible and we are happy ever after. Yes, true love can last an awfully long time, but it is unlikely to do so for two key reasons: our own emotional evolution and a lack of reciprocity.

Every person who meets someone on a date and falls in love has the potential of enjoying everlasting love, if the following are in place:
a. They love unconditionally;
b. They affirm their partner regularly;
c. They demonstrate that love at every opportunity;
d. They have the confidence to know what they both want in the relationship and mutually agree to achieve it.

However, those things seldom happen in most relationships because of our emotional evolution which changes the way we view life. As adults, we evolve as we age, and our needs are constantly changing to match our maturity. By the time we are 40, for example, we are naturally different persons from the ones we were at 25. Our aspirations, needs and desires, and especially how we perceive ourselves, would have changed, some in subtle gradual ways, others more dramatically.

It means that the person we have expressed undying love for at 25, when we are inexperienced and just finding our way, is seldom likely to be the one we find attractive when we have reached a more experienced 45 years, when our expectations are different, our experience has taught us otherwise, and our values and attitude to life have changed remarkably. Partners are likely to have very little in common with us by the time we reach that stage, unless they have evolved in the same direction with us, and we have the same feelings of appreciation and value.

The second major reason for love failing to stay the course is a lack of give and take – reciprocity – in the relationship. Like anything else, love has to be nurtured and sustained. However, within a few years of the partnership, it is likely that the couple will begin to get very comfortable with one another and start taking each other for granted. In short, they stop making the effort to affirm and reinforce each other in loving ways. The love between them either becomes static or fades altogether because of increasing resentment and failed expectations.

In the end it is our basic need for change as we develop that prevents us loving anyone forever. No matter how wonderful the person, after a good while with them, we really just want to try something new – a natural thing to do in order to fulfil our need for ongoing stimulation in order to match our continued emotional growth. Hence why the divorce rate has risen significantly over the past few decades, as the laws have relaxed, and women, in particular, no longer feel compelled to remain in unsatisfying or abusive relationships.

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The False Notion of The ‘Lazy’ Person

Photo by Adrian Swancar 

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In other words, are there really lazy individuals about?

Many people love to label others, who do not conform to their expectations, as ‘lazy’. Yet that in itself is a lazy form of labelling, or stereotyping, which has little basis in fact. However, as there are some definite mindsets around the concept of laziness, I thought I would add my thoughts on it.

The true fact is that hardly anyone in this world is ever ‘lazy’. No one, except the tiniest of minority (and even they can be changed) would want to live off anyone, not achieve their goals, not make something of themselves, or not want to hold a good job. Everyone of us without exception, desires the good things in life: great health, money and the right opportunities for our life quality. So why do some people appear to be ‘lazy’, not keen to support themselves, or be responsible for their own lives? There are some basic reasons for this. But first, I’ll start with a little story.

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