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How to Rock Valentine’s Day… When Your Relationship is on the Rocks

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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, many people are excitedly stocking up on chocolates and bears, making reservations, and trying on endless sexy ensembles for that perfect February 14th date. However, what if you’re not one of those people? What if you’re not single, but your relationship is currently not in a great place, and you can’t stomach the thought of trying to fake it through an awkward dinner with your spouse? Don’t panic! Here are a few ways that you and your partner can still make it through enjoy Valentine’s Day without a major dose of anxiety and tension.

Plan ahead

Whatever you do, don’t let the day sneak up on you. If you wait until the night before to start thinking about it, you’ll definitely find yourself stressing. Take control of the situation now, and start planning out what you would like the day to be like. Do you and your partner want to try and do something together that maybe doesn’t include romantic pressure, but that could be fun, relaxing, and enjoyable? Would the two of you rather plan an evening at home with your kids and make it a family affair? Do you want to do absolutely nothing but watch movies in your pajamas? The point is, prepare ahead of time so that you and your partner both know what to expect.

Seek connection

Although Valentine’s Day is marketed as the romance-seeped, blissful, sex-filled holiday of the year, let’s try to remember what it’s really about…LOVE. What is love? Well, that’s a loaded question! Love is many things besides romance and sex-it’s friendship, caring, empathy, respect…the list goes on and on. Maybe this Valentine’s Day, you and your partner seek to connect with each other on a different level. For example, you could agree to give each other the gift of respect for the whole day, and agree to practice talking kindly to each other. Or, perhaps you feel like roommates, and maybe you could do an activity together that allows you to try and be friends for the evening. If even any of that is just too much, consider seeking connection with the other people you and your partner love and care about. Maybe you take cookies to a neighbor, or have some trusted friends over for dinner. Whatever you do, seek connection-don’t spend the day soaking yourself in feelings of loneliness.

Love yourself

Again, while Valentine’s Day is promoted as a day to think solely about your partner, it might be a good idea to do something nice for yourself too! Especially if the day is going to be hard for you this year, make sure you and your partner encourage each other to practice some self-care. Go get a massage, spend the morning reading a good book, or go for a walk. Self-care can be done together or separately, but either way it can feel soothing and comforting on a day that may otherwise be filled with painful reminders.

Best of luck to you! I hope no matter what your current relationship situation is, that you are able to find peace, connection, and happiness this Valentine’s Day. And remember…it’s just 1 day. :0)

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6 Tips For Making Time For Your Relationship When There Is No Time

This is the time of the year to say goodbye to summer and hello to increasing responsibilities and the longer ‘to-do’ lists.  Here are some tips on keeping the love alive while the pile up continues to grow.                                                                                                                         
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  1. Use Technology to Your Advantage – we have technology buzzing all around us.  Why not use it to your advantage?  Sending a quick text, an email, a chat or a phone call can take just a few seconds but can send an important message – I am thinking about you and I love you.  If you can’t seem to remember to do this try putting an alarm on your phone for random times during the day to remind you until it becomes a habit.
  2. Prioritize and Plan Ahead – When the ‘to-do’ list gets longer we often get lost in the have to, want to, and should do’s, but the clarity of which tasks are the highest priorities seem to get a little cloudy.  It is important to prioritize what is important… your relationship.  Plan ahead for a date night during the month or week and stick to it.  Get the babysitter well in advance and don’t change it.  Even if something comes up it sends a powerful message to yourself, your partner and others when you say no because your relationship with your significant other is more important.  When things are planned ahead of time they usually come to fruition rather than just saying, “when we have time” because you likely will not have extra time.
  3. Keep Rituals – we should all have a few rituals in our relationship, a kiss before leaving, a couple of minutes after work talking, a glass of warm milk at night together, pillow talk before bed… whatever your rituals are, keep them going.  Most of the rituals couples develop are not time consuming, but if you do not remember to do them they quickly get lost in the noise of busyness.  Rituals tell your partner you are there, and there is stability in the relationship, something to count on.
  4. Do not let emotions slide – One of the first things I see slide when we are busy, is emotional connection.  You don’t have time to sit down, let alone talk about your feelings, right?  Wrong… this is the time you need emotional connection the most.  When life is busy and chaotic it is essential to feel close to your partner.  It gives you a sense of support and confidence that is unique and allows you to focus on whatever you have to do.  When we feel emotionally connected we do not need to spend time and energy worrying about the woes of the relationship.
  5. Accomplish tasks together when possible (be creative) Whenever you can check off a task from the list together and make it time for the two of you it can increase closeness.  So, if you have to run errands do it together, make dinner and talk about your day at the same time, even working side by side on your computers can be fun and relationship enhancing if you make it that way.
  6. Be Flexible – We are often told to divide and conquer but sometimes just being flexible is better for the relationship.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Jamiesrabbits

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