From Dr. Jane's Notebook
Keeping Love Alive
Falling in love is somewhat like finally getting on a ride at Disneyworld. The thrill
and excitement of having survived a long waiting period and embarking on this new
adventure are usually only dampened by the fear of it ending. But unlike carnival rides,
loving relationships can go the distance if they are adequately fueled.
Among the many forms of energy which make relationships thrive are:
- Embrace each encounter with a loved one with your full attention. As I have discussed
previously, getting into "rapport" is like linking up train cars so that they
can move in tandem. Everyone likes to be paid attention to, and everyone likes to be given
the opportunity to communicate their momentary interests. When we pay attention to each
other, it brings out the best in us.
- Have goals as a couple. These can be interests or hobbies that you both actively enjoy
pursuing; group tasks such as working on the house, vacationing or cooperating on other
projects. Just as we embark on tasks and projects at work and feel good as a result of the
accomplishment, we can deepen our interpersonal relationships through shared experiences
- Share your honest feelings with each other. All too often, we elect to second-guess our
mates and that can lead us to misery. A young woman I know constantly makes herself
miserable by assuming that her real feelings might be selfish. As a result of this
assumption, she often reverses her direction (to avoid being selfish) after which she
begins to feel dissatisfied, frustrated, and angry with her relationship. When, at my
suggestion, she asked her boyfriend if he thought she was acting selfishly, he did not. By
sharing honest feelings and thoughts in relationships, we give others the opportunity to
really know us and give ourselves the chance to be happy.
Love is one of those everyday affairs that must be kept up-to-date, well-nourished, and
well-navigated if it is to be the ride that you never want to end.
ęCopyright 1995, Jane Rosen-Grandon, All Rights Reserved
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Last Updated August 30, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.