loveOne of the most beautiful sensations a human can experience is the feeling of romantic love. In the beginning, feelings are SO strong and you’re inseparable. But, as time goes by feelings can begin to fade. May not be the case for all couples… However, many couples begin to flat-line.

When this happens, how do you handle it? Do you find you and your partner are slowly but surely drifting apart? How often have you heard celebrity couples say, “We grew apart”? Know that this doesn’t have to be the case. Couples can successfully navigate their relationships to keep the feelings strong and maintain an unbreakable bond. But it takes work. Long lasting relationships take a lot of work. When you recognize there is a problem, you owe it to yourself and your partner to do the necessary work. Too often, couples keep silent about what’s going on between them. This approach over time can yield disastrous results. So here’s what a couple can do to jump-start the process of reconnecting:

  • Establish that you DO want to be together. Conversation should be like, “…you’re the only one I want to be with.” When conversing if this is not explicitly said, there is a problem. You then need to ask, “…do you want to be with me?” If not, why and if so, why? If you find out your partner really doesn’t want to be with you, there’s no need to go further. Couples therapy only works if the two people actually do want to be with each other. So this needs to be established first.
  • Next, write each other a “Bitter-Sweet Letter” that contains three paragraphs about your relationship: a paragraph for the Good (what’s good about it, what you really like about your partner, what brought you together, etc.), one for the Bad (what’s not working for you, what areas your partner needs to improve in, etc.), and one for the Ugly (what’s totally unacceptable, what you are not willing to accept or deal with any more, what changes must be made, etc.). Be completely honest when expressing your feelings in each paragraph. Focusing on the Ugly; because this is the area that needs the most attention…your partner must fix what’s Ugly first and then work on what’s Bad as you move forward.
  • Finally, plan a road trip to discuss your letters. This is required! DO NOT open the letters until you are actually in the car and on the road. Plan to pull over if you have to, and actually read the letters to each other. The destination needs to be well thought out and planned (maybe you can do some hiking or sailing…be creative). If there is a place of significance for your relationship that you can go back to, try going there. The road trip needs to be long enough for a detailed discussion to take place. At least 4 hours away. The goal is to speak freely, with uninterrupted time and without anyone being able to just walk away from the discussion. Begin with the end in mind, which is to “strengthen your relationship.”

Bottom-Line… Identify exact steps that will be taken to improve your relationship. This will ignite some sparks that should create some flames! ~ Doc Mel

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