Happy Relationship Wishes in Honor of Valentine’s Day

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My wishes for you are the obvious and generic—though sincere—ones such as an abundance of happiness, good times and laughter.

The specific wishes that come from counting my blessings and witnessing both good and not-so-good partnerships in my work as a therapist are these:

  • That you may do what you say you are going to do, so that your words and actions match. Then there is no question of your reliability. Do what you say you will do.
  • That you say thank you often.
  • That you don’t take off or disappear or go out to run an errand and turn off your phone for hours. This is just disrespectful and causes needless worry. Be available. Set up in advance when you will “go dark.”
  • That you clean up after yourself.
  • That you hold space for each other to follow your passion, develop new interests, spend time with important friends and family, meet new friends, and develop as a person. Support your partner’s continual growth.
  • That you offer your partner whatever you are getting for yourself.
  • That you realize there is no law stating that we must love our spouse unconditionally. It is a fallacy anyhow. There are conditions for having a decent relationship. Have standards and state them because no matter how much our partner loves us, he or she will not always read our mind accurately AND there is nothing noble or holy about sacrificing ourselves. Be honest and be real.
  • That you do not withhold sex or other things when you are angry.
  • That you accept the pace of your partner…homebody or flitting socialite, needing more time alone or loving being out and about. If you are different in this way, may your differences balance you out and not alienate you from the other. Bend both ways.
  • That you try your best to be kind.
  • That you know what is going on with the other person, what they are encountering in the territory of their world, what is going on in their day, what they do with their time, where they might be…not like a stalker, but so if someone says, “How is the baby sleeping at night?” Your answer is not, “I have no idea, the wife handles all that.” Because to know your partner’s world means you ask and you listen and this means you care and your partner feels it. Ask, listen and remember.
  • That you do NOT call each other names or curse at each other.
  • That you have a joint checking account and do not control with money nor hoard nor hide. Or at least have both of your names on all assets—no exceptions. Work out what works for you to manage your communal money, plan for your future and live in financial reality and respect. Manage your money.
  • That you apologize when you are wrong or have not been kind.
  • That you greet each other with eye contact, even if you are rushing or have ten things pulling at you…we say to our kids, “Eyeballs,” to remind them, but the adults in our house need that reminder too. Look into the windows of your soulmates.
  • That you put down the phone. Be with the one you are with.
  • That you are willing to hear each other and make changes when warranted to improve your relationship, your parenting, your body, your mental health, yourself.
  • That you dream together and work together to make your dreams a reality.
  • That you not neglect each other or your sacred relationship. Pay attention so you can figure out how you keep your relationship running well whether it be dinners out, weekends away or Date Nights In after getting the kiddos down. Get showered, do your hair and makeup and dress like you are going out. Grill a meal while sipping your favorite cocktails and talk uninterrupted.  Mommas, get out of your yoga pants. Dads, put on a cool shirt that you didn’t wear in college.
  • That you give energy when you give a hug, not just take it.
  • That you may do whatever it takes for you to love your partner the way he or she most feels loved…Get The Five Languages of Love by Gary Chapman.
  • That you have abundant happiness, good times and laughter.