How to Rekindle Love
Dr. Rick Petronella
Valentine’s Day is always a time for us to reflect upon our relationship with our partners. This is when things can begin to improve in our relationships. Will you continue to feel exhausted, burnt out, unmotivated and blah? Or will you be open to giving and receiving more love in your relationship? Or will you close yourself off from others. Improving connection will help enhance and rekindle love…
What does love mean in a relationship?
Love is a set of emotions and behaviors characterized by intimacy, passion, and commitment. It involves care, closeness, protectiveness, attraction, affection, and trust. Love can vary in intensity and can change over time.
So, what does love mean to me?
Love means knowing that no matter what, you have someone to count on. It’s unconditional and makes you feel good on the inside. You can trust the person you love and are comfortable around them. True love is when you can completely be yourself around another person in good times and in bad.
Many partners operate as if once they have a commitment from each other that the relationship box can be checked off. Just because we finally found our partner, it doesn’t mean that we can now move on to other projects or life endeavors…
Have you ever gone on vacation and come home to see that your favorite house plant has not been watered? It has shriveled in the pot. It may or it may not come back once water is added. Our relationships are like that house plant. If we don’t water it, then they wither and die.
Many partners have no clue how to nurture their relationships, especially if they are struggling with other things. Nurturing our relationship doesn’t have to be an illusive concept or challenging effort. The easiest way to strengthen your bond, deepen your connection, and enhance or rekindle your love is through making efforts to connect regularly.
Connection or Isolation?
When partners think about how to improve their relationships, they often find themselves at a loss. There are many factors at play in our relationships that make it challenging to figure out where to start to make things better. Many times, our efforts are like Band-Aids on dirty wounds. Sometimes even the best of intentions are taken the wrong way and do more harm than good. But this is not as hopeless as it seems. The key is to make a decision to do something to improve your relationship and proceed with the best effort.
If our mindset is messed up about our relationship and about our partner, we are starting off on the wrong foot. Therefore, the best thing to do is to address your thinking about your relationship. What is your part in the struggles with your partner?
Once we’ve owned our part and realize how it has contributed to the lack of energy, we connect to our partner, are ready to review the rest of the relationship, and can determine how to begin to nurture our relationship and loved one.
I. Strengthening Your Intimacy
Your ability to connect is essential part of your relationship. This is what makes us feel we are in a relationship. Connection in this area has to do with staying in touch, checking-in, sharing. Communicating and participating in mutually desired activities.
II. Enhancing & Rekindling Your Love
If we neglect the relationship and our partner, the love fades away …Remember… Love is a verb, it is not a noun… When we are not loving we can’t feel love… For us to feel the love for our partner, we have to cultivate it. The more we cultivate the more we harvest. This is also true for if you are not feeling romantic love for your partner or if you believe you “fell out of love.”
Making time to connect in this area have to do with doing the loving, and charming gestures that are fun or romantic, spark joy, create memories, have a ritualistic aspect, touches the other’s heart, makes the other feel special and cherished, and lets them know you value the connection.
III. Deepening Your Vulnerability and Transparency
After a while, relationships tend to go south or flat if the partners have not intentionally addressed concerns and patterns and if they haven’t nurtured each other and the relationship. It is very easy to feel disconnected from our partner. We might go through the basic motions of being in a relationship, but if the interactions remain superficial based on the mundane, we start to feel less connected…
Connecting in this area has to do with having deeper and more meaningful interactions like processing triggers, discussing life, sharing desires, wishes, dreams, developing traditions, and always being able to say you are sorry.
Love is patient and kind. Love does not boast. It is not arrogant or rude, It does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice in wrong but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, endures all things, hopes all things. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Dr. Rick’s Top 10 Things to Say To Your Partner
What do you want for dinner? and Did you take out the trash? These questions may be two of the most frequently made comments, one partner to another. In order to maintain intimate and loving communication in their relationship, couples may need to become more intentional in the messages they give one another. Try these.
1. Thank you for… People need to be acknowledged and appreciated for what they do. Not just for the things they’re asked to do, but just because.
2. Would you please… Expecting your partner to read your mind is expecting the impossible. Say what you want and need. Be specific.
3. How do you feel about… Asking, then listening to your partner’s response, withholding judgment or any need to try to change the feelings.
4. I feel… Claiming and stating your feelings and telling the truth. Notice the difference between “I think” and “I feel” statements.
5. I’m sorry… Admitting mistakes and apologizing for them is taking responsibility for your actions.
6. I forgive you… Accepting apologies for mistakes your partner makes is a way of letting go of resentments and keeping relationships in the present.
7. What I appreciate about you is… Shining the light on your partner’s qualities is good for both of you.
8. What I hear you saying… Listen, really listen, and let your partner know he/she has been heard.
9. I agree with you because… Validating your partner’s point of view and perspective helps him/her feel heard and understood.
10. I love you… Find your own variations on the words; you can’t say them too often.
Give these a try… I think you will like the results.