Tag Archives: advice

If only it was as simple as putting “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” on your list to Santa. How cool would it be if he or she actually came wrapped in a red bow? From commercials to songs to couples walking hand in hand seemingly everywhere you look, ‘tis the season for romance. But what if you don’t have a significant other? You can still make it the most wonderful time of the year.

 

Embrace it. If you’re sad about being single during the holidays or dealing with a breakup, it’s ok. You can’t always push away feelings so don’t fight them. Sometimes giving more energy to the fight makes things worse. Set aside time to be sad, even if it’s only 5 or 10 minutes a day, and don’t criticize yourself for feeling down.

 

Say yes! Novelty and variety can cheer you up, so even just meeting someone new or doing something different can put you in a better mood. You might prefer to stay in and lounge on your couch, but say yes to invitations that come your way – or take the initiative and see what’s going on around town! There’s no excuse with so many opportunities this season: office and ugly sweater parties, citywide events, zoo lights, holiday concerts, etc. And you already have built-in conversation starters: What are you doing for the holidays? Do you have any traditions? What is your favorite holiday memory?

 

Spread holiday cheer. Sometimes the best gift you can give is yourself. Volunteer for a cause that you believe in, or go caroling around your neighborhood or nursing home. Visit a family member or friend who is going through a tough time. Selfless activities can boost your self-esteem, so giving of yourself is a win-win.

 

Take advantage. When you’re out and about, take advantage of meeting new people! Maybe there’s someone who catches your eye while you’re shopping for presents or at a holiday concert. Make eye contact and smile! Again, the opportunities for conversation starters are endless: ask their opinion about the gift you’re thinking of buying, or ask them their favorite holiday song. Nervous? That can be a good thing – even just doing something that gets your heart pumping can elevate your mood.

 

Do your own thing. Have you ever said, “I’ll do X once I meet someone?” Don’t wait! Do what you love now. Start a tradition that you can do solo or when you’re in a relationship. Throw a dinner party with your fabulous friends or take a trip to a place you’ve always wanted to go. Whether big or small, carpe diem!

 

Be your own Santa. If you’re like my clients, you probably take care of others before yourself. Take the holidays for some self-care or treat yourself to a meaningful gift or experience. It’s a great reminder to be aware of your own needs, what’s been missing in your life, and that it’s ok to put yourself first sometimes.

 

Celebrate you. What’s amazing about you? What have you overcome? Think of all of your accomplishments this past year. Write out all that you have done and completed in the past 12 months and then celebrate. Appreciate what you have achieved. It’s important to recognize your worth whether you’re single or in a relationship.

 

And if all else fails, just carry around some mistletoe.

You meet someone new. You think about them all the time and can’t wait until the moment when you see them next. You can’t eat, sleep or concentrate. You check your phone a hundred times a day to see if you missed their call or text. You feel energized like never before, you have butterflies, feel nervous and worry about what you do or say when you’re with this new person. You’re in the romantic love stage of a relationship and it feels so wonderful and magical and you want it to last forever.

 

But it doesn’t. The spark faded, the thrill is gone. Now what?

 

You may panic, wondering if you made a mistake or if you’re not meant to be together. You should always have those feelings for someone if you’re in love, right? Research says no. For every relationship, it’s natural and normal for the I-can’t-stop-thinking-about-you feelings of romantic love to fade over time. In fact, on average, it only lasts about 18 months.

 

The couples I work with commonly talk about dampened desire, getting too comfortable and being bored. It’s easy for a relationship to feel stuck in a rut. It may sound unromantic to have to create the conditions to reignite passion with your partner, but it can be achieved:

 

  1. Give each other space. When you initially met, you probably didn’t know what your partner was doing every day. You fantasized about what they were up to during your time apart, eagerly awaiting the time you could be together again. Now that you’re in a relationship, you spend more time in each other’s company. Although that’s important for you to maintain a connection, you also need time apart. As the Poet Kahlil Gibran recommended, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” You need some degree of separateness from your partner in order to maintain passion and desire from them. When a reward (the reward being your sexy self) is delayed, it increases brain chemicals that help stimulate romantic passion. Take different classes, engage in different hobbies or take a night off to do your own thing. Missing each other is a good thing.
  1. Get out of routine. Some of my couples call each other at the same time every day, or have date night the same night of the week. With routine comes boredom or a sense of obligation – “It’s that time, I have to call her….” It can be tough to feel hot and heavy for your partner when you also feel bored. Mix it up! Go to a comedy show on a weeknight or take a Ferris Bueller Day and play hooky with your partner. Variety is key to keeping things fresh. Do a boredom check – studies show that boredom predicted declines in relationship satisfaction over time. If one of you is bored, brainstorm what you can change up.
  1. Do novel things together. Do you ever wonder if the Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants really mean it when they profess love to each other so quickly? Believe it! Studies show that exciting experiences not only enhance attraction, but couples who do thrilling things together feel more satisfied in their relationship. Develop a variety of interests, especially those that both of you would find exhilarating. For some of you it may be skydiving or a day riding roller coasters, but even going to an event last-minute or playing tourist in your own city can work, too. Add some fun challenges to your relationship. Do you and your partner root for opposing sports teams? Place bets and loser gives winner a massage or makes dinner. Just remember to keep it light and playful!

The bottom line is that effort is required to maintain passion. Giving your relationship space to miss each other, adding variety and sharing in new experiences can all boost your relationship out of any rut.