Oh Valentine, imagine a “diamond in the rough” – maybe as a rundown house, a rusty sports car, or your relationship. It’s dusty, decrepit, & deteriorating. Yet, you know that if you gave it a little TLC it could shine again.
Houses and cars can be restored. And so can your relationship. All you and your valentine need is a little hope to get the ball rolling.
See the potential. Use a little elbow grease. Take a chance. Do something different.
Restoring a house or car requires plans, resources, and often a team. The same applies your relationship.
First, get clear on what you want to change. Second – and this is the hard part, consider your role in the problem. And lastly, develop a strategy.
If communication is what you want to change, look at how you can shift the dynamic by either speaking differently or listening better.
- Start by removing blame, judgement, and criticism from your conversation.
- Look for opportunities to offer complements.
- Simply repeat back to your partner what you heard them say, and check it out to make sure that you heard them correctly.
- Lead by example.
- Read this book to open your approach to your partner – Hold me tight.
If feeling connected to each other is something you want to improve, begin to reach out in loving ways. Remember the little things that made your partner happy in the beginning of your relationship.
- Do one nice thing for them every day.
- Verbalize, in a tactful way, what you would like to receive more of – valentine gifts, gestures, touch and romance, conversation, or a new adventure together. Take this quiz to learn about your love language.
- Imagine what the discord is like for them. Yes, step into their shoes for a moment. Express that. It’s difficult sometimes but, it’s Empathy 101. Again, lead by example.
- Check out this book for more on how you relate to others – Attached.
Notice what baggage you bring to the relationship. In the heat of the moment, are you reminded of someone other than your partner?
- When emotions are triggered they automatically link up to memories. These memories may be subconscious.
- But when you take a moment to reflect, you can sort them out. Whether on your own or with the help of a professional, you can determine if you’re reacting to a prior experience or the one that’s right in front of you.
- Issues from your family of origin or previous relationships can interfere with your current one, if you’re not dealing with the emotional scars from them.
- Seek out the help of a professional if it’s too hard to restart on your own. It’s always worth a try to save your relationship – Unless there is domestic violence or an unsafe situation.
- Read this book on Getting the Love You Want.
Fun always helps but isn’t a substitute for the hard work of clearing out old emotional injuries. So throw a party or take a vacation but also, dig deep, sharpen your tools, and begin rebuilding.