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    Relationship Tune Up

    Soooo, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. This holiday brings up many different and conflicting feelings. Our culture definitely wants us to celebrate it in order to feel loved or significant. But we all know that the security of our relationships doesn’t come from chocolates and cards. Valentine’s Day can be a good reminder to interact with your partner as someone other than a life co-manager. So, consider this your reminder to tune into your relationship.

    Here are some ideas to keep the love pumping into your relationship in between all the life things:

    Plan a Date Night
    Either out or in. Whatever your budget and schedule allows. Dates out of the house aren’t inherently better. Intention time together is always worth while. Stuck on what to do on a date? Grab a bowl or jar and pieces of paper. Each of you write 6 date ideas. When date night approaches, pull an idea from your date night jar! This is help get over the hurdle of “what do you want to do….I don’t know, what do you want to do…” Who ever draws the piece of paper is in charge of planning it. Then your partner is in charge next time. This gives you both the experience of planning a date and being able to just show up and be with your partner.

    Connect In Deeper Ways
    Download the Love Decks app by John and Julie Gottman. In this app you will find many card decks. Start with the Love Maps deck. Go back and forth answering the questions in the way you think your partner would answer them. Research by the Gottmans has shown couples who know more about each other (updated Love Maps) are happier, more connected, and show their love to each other in many different ways during the day. Having an updated Love Map on your partner creates fondness and admiration and promotes connection. Then when conflicts arise, you are starting from a connected and positive place.

    Talk About the Future
    Once you have used the Love Maps card deck, use the Open Ended Questions deck. This deck will open up questions about the future, hopes and dreams. This will help deepen your conversations. When we can see our futures together, we can handle the monotony of our lives now much better. This also fosters security in our relationship. If you find that your futures aren’t lining up as you wanted, have open conversations about it filled with curiosity and understanding. Most of our relationship issues are not easy fixes. We need to work through HOW we treat each other through it instead of focusing on WHAT the fix is.  

    10 Minute Dates
    Ok, ok…I know there are some of you who don’t want/need date night ideas and want an everyday connection. John and Julie Gottman posted some great ideas for “micro dates.” John and Julie often say “small things often” strengthen the relationship by pumping positivity into your interactions which makes a big impact over time. Check these out!

    If you want to work more deeply on your relationship and work through some past hurts, consider reaching out and starting couple’s therapy with me. Life is too short to be in a relationship that doesn’t bring you love and security and joy and peace. I offer in person couple’s and marriage counseling in Loveland, Colorado (and surrounding areas such as Berthoud, Longmont, Fort Collins, Johnstown). I offer online couple’s therapy to anyone in the state of Colorado and Wyoming.