February is the month of love, relationships, and romance. However, for some it is a time of loneliness and disappointment, despite being involved in a relationship.
Relationships are one of the most difficult things we do in life. It takes many skills to have a healthy relationship. What are those skills? How do we learn them?
We often hear that couples just need to communicate more. However, it is more than “just” communication. There are key things that are important in the way we communicate. Things we should do and things we should not do. How do you know if you would benefit from learning new skills for your relationship? Ask yourself, do you often feel resentful of your partner? Do you find yourself sharing the problems in your relationship with someone other than you partner? Do you come home and not speak with your partner for a long period time or at all? Do you feel lonely even though you are in a relationship?
If you would like to change these dynamics the first step is to share with your partner your emotions, your experiences, without blaming. It may be useful to call a therapist and ask for help to facilitate the learning of the necessary skills to communicate more effectively, and bring yourself closer to your partner. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists are available to help you and your partner learn new skills that will help your relationship grow and heal. Maybe by this Valentine’s day there will be more romance by taking this step. Or maybe by the next year. Either way, when you begin attending therapy together you have made the first step in developing the long-term relationship you dreamed of and the romance you felt in the beginning, or maybe it will be even better!
Elizabeth Flynn, PsyD, LP