February is the month when we have the opportunity to celebrate love. Love is the essence of life and provides the meaning in our relationships. However, it can be difficult to love well and unconditionally (will look at unconditional love in another article). This article is going to focus on the fun of romantic love and how it can spark our relationships and add the meaningful bonus of accumulating the positive in your relationship (remember the masters of relationships whom Gottman found used a 5:1 positive to negative ratio in their relationships?). Romance can also have the effect of reframing our mindset and adding to our own self esteem.

I notice in my practice that some couples are great parents and not so great lovers. They find it difficult to change that. Both parents are working, cooking, cleaning and chauffeuring. The everyday takes their energy away until there is nothing left to give to having a great marriage. You need to choose to spend energy on your relationship and show your children who want a juice box and who have never ending wishes that mommy and daddy need to play that your couple relationship is most important. This has the great benefit of living out a positive relationship role model in front of your kids, helping them in their future committed relationship. Even if it is a candlelight dinner at home without the kids. Romance can actually add energy to your couple relationship which is a great trade-off for choosing to spend the time on it.

I notice other couples have been so caught up in their negative cycles that they also have little energy or desire to choose romance in their relationships. Instead they spend the time on negative thoughts and interactions as days of defeat pass by endlessly.


Romance Takes Two:

I also notice others who are really magnificent at romance and can somehow move their relationship from the challenges of the everyday to the fairy dust and romance that is part of what gives life and a softening to our life challenges, if we allow it.  A reminder that romance takes two people; one who does the planning and execution and the other who is willing to receive the gesture. I am often amazed at the creativity of some men and women who make this happen!


Be a Noticer:

 Some of the things that seem to help make a great romantic partner are firstly, to become a noticer and to write things down, or pop it into your iPhone notes, or Blackberry. What does the noticer do? They write down the little things their partner tells them about what they love. For instance, a CD they hear that they like, a romantic date that they wish for, a class they are interested in, a play that they might like etc. You can even get an iPhone app with famous love quotes to spice up your emails to each other.


Be a Celebrator:

Next become a celebrator. Celebrate everything you can. Celebrate a full moon by the ocean in winter with a thermos of hot chocolate, celebrate a small advance or task such as garage cleaning and elevate it to a place of teamwork celebration. Nothing is too small to celebrate. Read some love poems – there are so many possibilities.


Celebrate with Foods:

Of course, food is an easy place for celebration. We have been doing that for centuries. Make your partner’s favourite meal or dessert. Pack notes in his/her lunches – do you remember how you did that before? When you become a successful romantic in your relationships, you feel great about yourself and you renew your mindset. Does this mean your challenges go away or that you still don’t need to work on yourself in the relationship? No. It just means that you have the options of fun and adventure as well as the work of the relationship. Sounds like a win to me!


Enjoy your spouse again. Bring back some fun and positive thinking into your relationship. Soften the realities of life with some fairy dust. This is the month to go forth and be wonderful!