If your soul mate is feeling more like your "ol' mate," and that sizzle has fizzled, here are some love-boosting tips from the lab:
- Is there something you're hurt or worried about that you have yet to tell your partner? Yo! Your partner is not a mind reader. I hate to break it to you, but even mind readers are not really mind readers. They're clever showbiz folks. So, if something is on your mind, share it. One of my favorite quotes is from Emile Zola: "I came into this world to live out loud." Live out loud, dammit! Your love life is only as strong as your open communication. True love requires love of truth.
- Whenever you're having one of those much-needed "growth opportunity" conversations, be sure to listen with 20/20 hearing. Remember: Good communication is always about listening just as much as it's about talking. The feisty writer Fran Lebowitz once quipped: "The opposite of talking isn't listening. It's waiting." Prove Fran wrong.
- If you're a shoe lover as much as I am, here's an opportunity to get more shoes as you get more love. Ready? Put yourself in your partner's shoes so you better understand how they feel. Aristotle called this mimesis explaining how you can learn a lot by mirroring one another. Many modern therapists, including bigwigs, advocate Aristotle's belief in mimesis to instruct patients in therapy to "play act" each other's view. So before you think those boots are made for walking out of your relationship, try on your partner's shoes and step into their perspective.
- Are you an annoyingly irksome person without knowing it? Find out by asking for an "equal share time" about your annoyingly irksome habits. Swap "same-value habit complaints" like same-value baseball cards." Start with a teeny complaint. Build up to a huge complaint. The reason why it's good to swap? It's helpful when you both empathize with how it feels to be told you're annoyingly irksome and share an equal sense of growth opportunity.
- Be honest! Are you dragging the same pattern of problems into every relationship? Remember: You are the common denominator in all your relationship problems. Share a long talk with your partner about each of your childhoods—the good, bad, and dysfunctional. Recognize that you are often subconsciously attracted to someone who represents the best/worst of your parents, so you can re-create, and then mend, your childhood disappointments about love.
- Are you sweating the small stuff? Even though I'm telling you to talk more openly, you must do this within what Aristotle called "the moderation zone." Set the following intention: "I will not complain about anything to my partner for the next three days."
- Remember: If you're saying "I love you" out loud to someone, you must make sure your actions remain in sync with your words. You should never coast on saying "I love you" without showing love, or eventually you'll chew all of the flavor out of these words. During challenging times, when you're tempted to not be your most loving self, ask yourself: "How would love deal with this issue? What would love do?" Tell yourself: "It's more important to be loving than to be right!"
is a best-selling author known for creating self-help for people who wouldn't be caught dead reading self-help. Get more information on finding a loving, happier-ever-after relationship in her book Prince Harming Syndrome
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