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Valentine's Day Relationship MOT


7:26am 14th February 2011

There is a Valentine's Day shock on the way.

A third of men have not bothered spending anything on their loved one.

Only twenty-five percent will spend more than £25. In the southwest the average man will spend just £7.95 on saying, "I love you".

Now a counsellor has drawn up a list of five ways to keep your relationship alive.

Sue Parker-Hall said:

"Lots of experts will tell you, 'Don't sweat the small stuff. Push it to one side' But actually if you get a multiple pile up of small stuff you haven't sweated it can lead to massive conflict and separation."

Five Ways to Improve Your Relationship

It takes two!
To improve a relationship both partners have to be committed to the process. Each one needs to take some responsibility for the current state of the relationship and for changing it for the better.

Prioritise the relationship
Many couples give their relationship 'scraps', the 'leftovers' in terms of energy and attention; looking after kids, going to work, school or our hobbies can all get more attenton. Our relationship needs at least as much consideration as any other aspect of our life, if not more!

Get connected
We connect at a deeper level by sharing our innermost experience with each other; feelings like joy, sadness, fear, anger or jealousy. In our busy lives it is easy to ignore what is happening inside us, however, it is through listening to our inner selves and being willing to share that with our partner that we enter a more deeply connected state.

Avoid the fantasy bond
If our first relationships were not supportive then we may find it difficult to trust our partner at times. This can lead to problems - when we see our partner through the distorted lens of our early relationships and behave towards them as though they were the person who hurt us. So - think about earlier relationships and work out what went wrong. That'll make it less likely to happen again.

Folks need strokes!
That doesn't mean stroking your partner (though this may help!) It's stuff like a verbal statement which shows love and respect. Or it may be non-verbal in the form of touch or a facial expression. The regular giving and receiving of positive strokes is vital for a relationship to stay alive - it binds us closer together.

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