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How can I keep the flame burning?

All you need is love...
All you need is love...
Photo By: graur razvan ionut

Photographer: graur razvan ionut

Valentine's Day is coming up and you're wondering if it will be as mundane and disappointing as last year, right?  Your relationship has become...  boring.  Where's the excitement of when you first met?  Your first kiss? 

Check out how a relationship works.  Basically, each partner puts forth a certain number of bids for attention from the other partner. The second partner may respond positively, negatively, or not at all. The latter two responses have deep negative effects on the bond between a couple. Building friendship can help alleviate marital problems.  Even though it seems so easy to say try to better friends with your wife and your problems will go away, it's simply not that easy. Too often people stop getting to know each other once they are married and this creates a lack of interest in each other as well as a sense of entitlement. People take each other for granted. If there are very few bids, it's impossible to improve their quality. If one partner is unwilling to participate, the other may feel more hopelessness, disappointment, and frustration.

Additionally, a differentiated couple has the best chance of completing the treatment successfully. How does this then apply to a couple who is not so well attached? Poor attachment, including over attachment, can truly hinder this process. Differentiation refers to how much time you can spend together and apart while still maintaining respect and individualism.  Couples who do everything together and have a difficult time functioning without each other will struggle with conflict.  Basically, they are so involved with each other that it's impossible to really separate the individuals from the couple.  Attachment refers more to the ability to spend time together and feel connected and time apart and keep that connection.  While it's good to share some things, make sure each of you have hobbies or time spent apart doing your own thing.

Finally, make time for each other that has nothing to do with money, bills, jobs, work, school, etc.  It might just be to sit together in the same room and stay quiet.  Maybe you haven't been to a movie in a while, or out to dinner.  Play video games, read to each other, watch a video.  These are all good ways to spend time together.  Make time to talk to each other, like adults.  Don't nag, don't complain, don't whine.  Find new ways to connect.  Figure out what you have in common now.  You can always learn something new about each other, you just have to try.  Fall in love all over again, you know it will be worth it!

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