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The Art of Relating

Christine Kniffen, MSW, LCSW

Falling In Love Again

Visit: www.ChristineKniffen.com

So, you have just met someone, and you find yourself ready to fall in love again. The big question then becomes determining how this love will be different from previous experiences you have had at other times throughout your life. More importantly, how will you truly know that this time around it is the real deal and capable of giving you everything that you have ever wanted from a relationship? Falling in love as an emotionally evolved adult involves some degree of practicality and looks different than its unhealthy counterpart. If you are ready to fall in love again then you should pay attention to a few important aspects regarding relationships. You should work to avoid the same old traps, take the time to analyze and appreciate how a healthy love is different and work to keep the romance alive.

If you are just beginning to fall in love again then make sure you don’t make the same old mistakes and fall into the same old traps. Slow down and take some time to appreciate dating and getting to know each other. Think back on times in the past when the relationship moved far too quickly and ultimately didn’t work out in the long run. In this stage you need to be paying attention to what is happening and what is being said. In this stage people often suffer from what I like to call “Selective Sight” and “Selective Hearing”. The red flags are flying by at rapid speeds and we are simply refusing to pay attention, as we don’t want to see anything adverse to having this relationship work.

Slow down and enjoy the process of getting to know each other. This stage is very enjoyable and doesn’t last forever. In addition, you will then have the necessary time to pay attention and determine if this is a person who can meet your needs and truly making you happy.

So, how is a healthy relationship different from what you have experienced in the past? A healthy relationship is one in which you feel comfortable and safe enough to completely be yourself and state how you feel. A healthy relationship is one in which you finally feel appreciated, validated and loved for who you are as person. A healthy relationship entails a genuine spirit of compromise and eventual appreciation for the differences you each bring to the table. Most importantly, a healthy relationship is one in which you can get your own personal needs met. In a healthy relationship each partner wants to know the other persons needs and in turn wants to go about trying to help meet them. This is the real beauty of solid, reciprocal love. It involves giving and getting on a somewhat equal basis. Once you think you have found this healthy love you need to decide to put in the extra effort required to keep it going.

Keeping the romance alive is an issue for many relationships. We all get busy with work, errands and family. Many of the couples I work with suffer from a lack of quality time together. A beautiful, healthy relationship is a precious commodity. It is imperative that it be given the proper time, attention and energy it deserves. It is all too easy to take it for granted and let it fall to the wayside. So, get creative and keep the romance alive.

Surprise your love with something nice just because you can. Offer a sensual massage. Plan a special evening for the two of you and do something out of the ordinary. Plan a romantic weekend getaway or just start to leave little notes in his or her pockets with statements of love. A great relationship doesn’t just happen. It takes effort. But, this is the kind of effort that I have always looked forward to rather than the kind that seemed like work.

So, if you find yourself falling in love again then take a moment to think about the things I have said. Take your time and enjoy the moment. Cherish the beginning stage, as it doesn’t last forever. Pay attention and look for the qualities that need to be present for any relationship to be healthy and happy. Lastly, treat your relationship like the beautiful thing that it is by investing the time and energy to keep the romance alive.

Christine Kniffen, LCSW is a Relationship Coach and Therapist. For a free consultation call 314-374-8396.

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