How to Get the Change You Want in Your Relationship
For instance, I have found that often, if your partner is distant and disinterested, and you're starting to feel resentful and unloved and unattended to (which is a trigger for most of us), it is very easy to move into a place of scarcity. You might think, "Okay, I'm going to fix him. I'm going to sit him down and tell him and make sure that he does it this time." What I call "Quantum Love" will be so much more available to you if you can shift from scarcity to abundance. Stay in the core desired relationship feeling rather than in the evidence of its absence. You will not only be happier, but will have such an easier time creating what you want in love as a result.
My patient Mary had identified her five core desired relationship feelings and I noticed they were all pertaining to a sense of stability and cooperation with her partner. She wanted to feel as though they were parenting as a team. This desire had informed much of the work we had been doing together and the work Mary was doing on her own. She had made great strides in just a few short weeks. However, while she had seen great improvement in her relationship, she still felt like she was missing something in their connection. She just didn't know what it was. On my advice, she moved herself into home frequency and asked these questions of her essential self. The response she got wasn't what she expected at all: "I'm getting that I want adventure and romance."
I asked her to describe what she might want that to look like. "What would feel adventurous?"
She thought for a moment and said, "If Ted suddenly planned a surprise date."
I asked her to close her eyes, ground herself, open her heart and imagine: What would it feel like to be there? I walked her through the motions of entering into this new feeling state by putting herself into the scene and imagining it in the first person. Then, once she was in that mental space, I asked her to start using her senses to describe how she was feeling as she experienced the surprise date with her partner.
"I can feel the excitement in my chest and the smile on my face."
I asked her to continue to breathe into that energy, to be fully in it. It's when you're in the feeling state, using your senses to experience the core desired relationship feeling you want, that you're moving into a higher frequency (optimism and willingness). From that place, I asked Mary: "What is it about Ted that is adventurous?"
"Well, he loves to try new food. Actually, just the other day we were deciding where to get dinner and I figured we'd go to our usual Italian restaurant but he wanted to go to this new Ethiopian restaurant. I didn't expect it from him at all, but we had a really good time."
I encouraged her to focus on the things that Ted did that were adventurous. "When he does them again," I said, "tell him how much you appreciate them and how much they turn you on."
Mary nodded. "I know I need to get better at being vocal with my appreciation. Ted's love language is words of praise, and I can slack on that."
I congratulated her for being willing to see how her behavior might unintentionally impact Ted negatively.
I then said, "One common problem I see with couples is that they look to 'convict' each other rather than to 'acquit' each other. In other words, they look for all the ways that their partner is letting them down. For you, it could mean that you look for all the ways that Ted isn't being romantic. Maybe you even compare him to unrealistic images from romantic movies, or maybe you see your girlfriend bragging about her romantic spouse on Facebook and you allow that to change your opinion of Ted for the worse."
She raised her hand. "Guilty," she said, "I definitely am a pro at finding all the ways Ted is letting me down."
"That's wonderful, though," I said.
"Yes," I said, "because you can apply that same perception and attention to detail the other way as well. You can start honing your focus on all the things Ted does right—every little possible thing. Even something as simple as holding the door open for you demonstrates his chivalry and care for you."
Then I asked Mary the big question that sits at the crux of achieving your Quantum Love Goals: Have you been adventurous? What's keeping you from planning the surprise date?
She balked. "Dr. Berman! I don't think that's very romantic."
"Asking me to do all the work and planning," she complained, "I want to be wooed and charmed off my feet, not the other way around."
"Why is that?"
"Because that is how I will know that he loves me and desires me."
"And does he know that you love and desire him?" I ask.
She shrugged. "He's a man, he doesn't care."
She looked up sheepishly knowing she had overstated, as I confirmed, "I have never once had a man walk through my door that didn't care about feeling loved and desired. But that's not even the ultimate point. The point is when you embody sensuality and begin living as if you are already fully desired and sexy, you will absolutely begin to bring those experiences to you. Your partner won't even necessarily realize what is going on, but all of a sudden, he is going to match the energy you are expressing and match you there. Your positive embodiment of sexiness will spark without demands from him and will build desire in him. He's going to want to get you alone. He's going to remember you when he walks by the flower shop. He's going to think of you when he sees a sexy negligee."
"You mean I can trick him into being more romantic… just by being more romantic myself?"
"Well…I wouldn't call it tricking," I said, "Let's just call it the power of suggestion. The power of creating the reality you desire, and then sitting back and enjoying all the amazing things that come your way. In short, I want you to be the change you want to see in your relationship. Be the change you want to see in your bedroom. In your life. You can't go wrong if you are in the driver's seat."
Mary took my advice, and a few months later, I was happy to reconnect with her at one of my seminars. I asked her how she and Ted were faring, and she told me things were better than ever. "Your tips really helped," said Mary. "And I learned something really amazing in the process…I love wooing my husband. I feel so powerful and sensual now, rather than like an unwanted wife waiting for him to make the first move. His best friend even said he was jealous of Ted—and that he wishes more women were like me…ha!"
Laura Berman, PhD, is a sex and relationship educator and therapist. Her latest book is Quantum Love: Use Your Body’s Atomic Energy to Create the Relationship You Desire.