by Fayr Barkley, Ph.D.
Learning from my own experiences and those of couples I have worked with, I have 12 secrets on how to keep the flames of amour burning.
1) Be accepting. Allow the other person to have rights to their own feelings/emotions. Don’t try to tell someone how they “should” feel about something. It is important not to dismiss, deny or diminish the feelings of another, even if you don’t agree.
2) Listen. You don’t always have to help or fix a situation. Sometimes your partner just wants to feel heard.
3) Offer. When your partner is down. Ask “How can I support you in this?” If you are not sure how to be of help, ask them. If they don’t have an answer, then just say,”I am here for you in any way that you need me”.
4) Be a best friend. Sometimes we can feel the world is against us and that our partner is the only one we have. Reassure your partner that you are 100% in his corner.
5) Praise your partner daily and often. Never pass up an opportunity to validate each other, even for the most minute thing. Your mate may be having a bad day that you don’t know about and this can really make a difference!
6) Give a hug for no reason. The human touch is reassuring, nurturing and validating. Hugs cost nothing to give and are worth a lot.
7) Get excited! Be genuinely happy to see your mate when he walks through the door. You don’t have to turn in circles and go bananas like the family dog, but a happy smile and welcoming acknowledgement is a mood lifter for you both.
8) Be thoughtful. Basic human consideration isn’t just for friends or strangers we want to impress. A note, card, flower, or doing a chore or errand that he may be putting off shows you care.
9) Keep humor in the relationship. Be sure to find things to laugh at together. Share a funny cartoon or joke with your mate. Find common absurdities in life.
10) Stoke the fires of passion. Affection, hand holding, cuddling, love making and finding ways to keep passion fresh, innovative and alive are bonding to couples.
11) Admit it. It takes two to tango in an argument and let’s face it; we can be a little wrong sometimes, too! So put on your big girl pants and apologize for your part in the beef.
12) Give your time. Don’t be so busy during the day that you can’t spend quality time together. Time is a very valuable commodity and we can’t get it back. Make spending quality time together a priority.
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