loving feeling takes a lot of workLeft to themselves, infatuation and passion have short lives. Face it, the new car smell fades over time and reality sets in: we all have our flaws.


Decide to love:  Think of love as a verb, not a noun, a series of loving actions, kind behaviors, and supportive, appreciative thoughts.

Find things to share:  We all change. Love is a commitment to coordinate change, to stay in touch—literally and figuratively—to keep interests in common.

Fight fair:  Leave the past in the past, be constructive, keep it private, know your own feelings (Is the problem elsewhere? Are you bringing work home? And don’t camouflage one issue with another).

Ask for what you need:  Love does not convey the ability to read minds.

Don’t expect easy:  Much of the problem can be unrealistic, fairy-tale expectations that love should just happen. Nonsense!

Relationships are a LOT of work. You get what you put into it.

Laugh:  Maintain your sense of humor, keep perspective, take ten, cool off, go to the mountaintop. Little, if any, of it matters in the long run.

Count your blessings:  Maintain an attitude of gratitude, show your appreciation, acknowledge the greatness within your partner—let him or her know you feel the good in them—call out to it.

Ask for help:  Counseling can provide a safe place for tender feelings to be expressed. Relationships are complex. There’s lots to be said for having a professional guide for portions of the journey.

Remain vulnerable:  You are stronger than you know. Your willingness to stay open, to engage in positive dialogue, to stay solution focused, and forward-future oriented creates tremendous upbeat energy.

Closing quotes:

“The course of true love never did run smooth.”  — Act 1, Scene 1, of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” spoken by Lysander to Hermia

“The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence simply because it has BS on it.” — Unknown

“Do I love you because you’re beautiful, Or are you beautiful because I love you?”  — Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, “Cinderella”

“The art of love… is largely the art of persistence.”  — Albert Ellis; 1913–2007, American psychologist

“To find someone who will love you for no reason, and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness.”  — Robert Brault