Posts tagged ‘dating’

January 3, 2013

I don’t feel like it!

Contributed by Alicia La Hoz, PsyD

UnknownMaybe you’ve heard this from the adolescent teen in your life recently. And maybe you’ve heard this from an internal voice that creeps up on you from time to time.  You have one of those days when you don’t feel like tackling the mountain of laundry, the outstanding bills, the files you have to put away, and now the taxes you have to prepare. There are so many day-to-day demands that you have to keep up with, it’s no wonder that from time to time, your inner self rebels and you want to be like an adolescent again that screams and slams the door against life and says, “I don’t feel like it!”  Well, now as you add a bunch more resolutions to the year, you may find that one of the deterrents keeping you from sticking to the goals you set out for yourself is your mood. Even if you are very disciplined and task oriented, your mood can determine how efficient you are in pushing through the to-dos in your life. Here is my top 10 list of “I don’t feel like it”:

  1. Doing chores and tasks around the house
  2. Getting to the honey to-do-tasks
  3. Preparing taxes
  4. Organizing the clutter (closet, garage)
  5. Getting to those tedious work tasks that I’ve done such a good job on procrastinating about
  6. Having difficult, honest conversation
  7. Confronting conflict that I’ve been avoiding
  8. Asking for forgiveness or forgiving
  9. Being thankful and going out of my way to do something nice and thoughtful for my spouse
  10. Exercising

What is in your top 10, “I don’t feel like it” list?

What we can’t afford to ignore is the quality time spent fostering the important relationships in life. When you take your spouse for granted, and you forget to notice the little things they do for you and when you ignore your children because you are too focused on the to-dos in your list – who is most important suffers. Even if you have to drag your feet to do it, it’s important to carve out time to spend with loved ones. When you spend time with them, you can connect and the opportunity to communicate occurs and with that there is a fighting chance for problems to get solved. When you spend time with them, love has a chance to flourish.

This year, Family Bridges is working with several organizations and businesses to encourage couples to spend time together and to go out on date nights. Would you consider making date nights a resolution for this year?  If you are a parent, plan date nights with your children, if you are married, plan date nights and enjoy your family and your spouse again. Stay tuned for fun date night deals, events, and resources we will be announcing in the next few weeks to help you as you plan these for the year.

February 9, 2012

You shall date your spouse!

Contributed by Family Bridges Staff

Small talk. That smile. You are special. How sweet. Be mine. Love you. I am yours. Only you. Soul mate. True love. Marry me. Live happily ever after.

You got together with your partner in life for many reasons: shared perspectives and outlooks, physical attraction, shared spirituality, shared professional lives, etc. But you also enjoyed one another’s company because it’s fun! In the beginning, you did not have much but each other, but it was enough. There were sweet words, long phone talks, walks and candlelit dinners. You had meaningful conversations, sharing your dreams and goals, planning your future together. What is your relationship like today? Does it still include fun times together, romancing each other or have you resorted to talking about and handling chores and responsibilities related to children, career and other duties of adult life?

When fun leaves a relationship, it can be a sign that the relationship is heading toward the rocks. Fun is a part of life and it’s definitely a part of any healthy relationship. It’s something that brought you together, made you want to stay with each other. It is something that helps you stay together, survive life’s hardships and forgive each other in bitter moments. When life gets difficult, it puts a heavy weight on your scale of marital balance, dragging it down. Good times together is the weight that you put on the other side of the scale, to give you a much needed internal lift. It helps you put things in perspective, balance it out and feel good about yourself, your partner, and your life together.

The way you and your significant other define fun is up to you, but it’s important to keep doing it even as your relationship matures. Love to dance but haven’t been in years? It’s time to make a new dance date. Liked watching movies together, but haven’t made time to do it in months (or years)? Pick a night and head to a theater or rent a movie. Have dinner in a restaurant or cook a meal together at home.

Remember that in our most bitter moments, what we crave most is some sweetness. In the midst of busyness and stress, we desperately desire lighthearted fun and relaxing moments. You don’t have to wait till things get tough to consider bringing fun back into your life. Nor do you have to wait for a special day, like a birthday or Valentine’s to become romantic and create special memories for the two of you. Do these things for you, for your spouse, for both of you as a family everyday, starting now. If you’ve noticed that your family bank of fun is depleted, begin depositing happy tokens today.

The Chicago Date Challenge can help you with some fun ideas and locate some couple friendly events in your neighborhood: www.datenightchallenge.com/chicago

February 9, 2010

Friendship Matters

Remember when you and your spouse started dating? Talking for hours on the telephone? Asking never-ending lists of questions to get to know him better? Going out of your way to make her smile? Spending all of your free time together? These activities most likely helped to strengthen your growing relationship and to build a foundation of friendship for your marriage. Research has shown that happily married couples begin with a strong friendship. Friendships are created and maintained when we go out of our way to nurture our marital relationship. During times of stress, this friendship allows positive feelings about our spouse to take priority over more negative feelings. What can you do to nurture a marital friendship? It’s not complicated.

  • Take a walk together.
  • Send a text message when your wife has a busy day ahead.
  • Stock your husband’s favorite soda in the refrigerator.
  • Have a 10-minute “check-in” time at the end of each day.
  • Plan a monthly date night.

Most of all, remember what made you fall in love with each other – and remind yourself of these positive qualities when the negatives feel overwhelming. Couples who spend time together, communicate intentionally, and work together are investing in their marital friendship.

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