Valentine’s Day is upon us – with all the hype and commercialisation that goes with that. For some couples, particularly at the start of a relationship, it can be a time of excitement and the anticipation of good things to come. But for others the day has something of a hollow ring to it.
Of course relationships change. Hopefully they deepen and mature but they inevitably lose some of that initial sense of excitement and passion as partners get to know each other better than they did in those early years. But how sad it is when couples stop trying to make each other feel special and all the sparkle and great hopes of five, ten or even thirty years ago fade away. Valentine’s Day can then leave people with a sense of being let down when life has not turned out as they would have hoped and planned.
But, if that is what has happened to yours, like the story of some relationships, what has transpired will not have happened suddenly. Rather like those niggly waves that nibble away at the back of a sandcastle leading to its final demise, so a gradual downhill path can signal the destruction of even the most hoped for partnership.
One of the questions I always ask couples when they first come to see me is what they found attractive about each other when they first met. This usually brings a real lessening of tension in the room as they recall with fond memories some of the characteristics of their partner that they valued all those years ago.
When things go wrong between couples it is easy to forget the positive. But it’s when people say things like ‘ he made me laugh’ or ‘she was so sensitive’ that you can sense a fresh connection being made. Telling your partner something that you value or love about them strengthens the bond between you.
At Coupleworks we spend time with people working with them to try to improve the quality of their relationships. There aren’t any quick fixes but quite often a few fairly simple things can breathe new life into them when each person takes time to understand themselves and their partners.
Flowers, cards, chocolates and meals for two don’t have to be just a Valentine’s Day treat. Take time regularly to make your partner feel special. Talk with them about what helps them to feel loved and cared for – what makes a difference to them. It might not be what you think it is and the important thing is to listen, not to judge, and then to act on what you have heard.
Not every day will be a Valentine’s Day but both of you can work together to improve the quality of a relationship that you used to celebrate each 14 February. If not, why not make an appointment to come and see us.