Remember the day you met him? Was it unexpected or intentional? Was it love at first sight, or did he grow on you, and all of a sudden you were struck? As little girls, we dream about and plan for what our romance will be like, who he’ll be, and what he looks like. Tall dark and handsome, or a blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty? Personally, I always dated the tall, dark and handsome financial and legal powerhouse boy of Bay Street. I married a redhead. So much for planning. But that’s just it, we can’t plan. Only dream, wish, fantasize, and hope we get our wish, our guy, with whatever colour hair he has. If he’s good to you, respectful, and turns you on, you’re good.
Falling in love is exciting and scary all at the same time. The butterflies, the nervousness, the what-if’s, and all the pining, waiting and wondering. And then one day, it happens. You fall in love, you say your I- do’s. Life’s good. Hot. Heavy. Busy. Fun. Until it’s not.
The Love, it’s gone. Get me outta here.
But what if you find you don’t love the guy you’re with? Or you’ve fallen out of love? What if you can’t even seem to stand him anymore? He crunches potato chips and you cringe. The laugh you once loved now grates on you. You dread him coming home, and you dread going home because you have to be in the same house. It’s bad.
What the heck happened? How did your relationship derail so drastically? There could be a lot of reasons, and barring infidelity, or worse (Wait, is your man cheating?), you can put the love back in to it. Here are 7 ways to rekindle the love and get things back on track.
It’s all about the connection, baby…
7 Ways to Turn the Hate into Love
Consider your part it this. Maybe it’s you too?
Because life happens, and sometimes it happens with a sucker punch, we often lose perspective about what’s important in our relationships. When we end up angry or sad, everything the person does or says irritates us, but they may not be doing anything differently from how they did things when you were falling in love. In other words, it could be you.
List what you feel and why. Then give the list street cred.
Giving credibility to the reasons why you feel the way you do will help you see their legitimacy. Find some quiet time by yourself when you’re more calm to spend some time thinking about what you’ve come to ‘hate’ or can’t stand. Often, when we take some time to identify our feelings, we realize they’re just that, feelings that can change. Then think about all of the reasons you fell in love in the first place.
Open up. Settle the unresolved issues.
You have to talk in order to get issues out in the open. Communication is key if you don’t want feelings and issues to accumulate, fester, and layer, to the point where everything your partner does makes you cringe. Open the lines of communication and share how you feel. Work on being understanding, kind, validating, and most of all, conversant.
Listen, don’t just hear. It’s the way to bond.
A real conversation is very different from a battle of egos, wits, words and vitriol. The ‘art of the conversation’ is a skilled practice to master in order to be able to successfully invite someone to talk, stay in it, and share thoughts, feelings and issues. All you have to to is be an active listener. The skill comes from participating, being kind, and actually hearing what the other person is saying. Acknowledge and validate as you go along in the conversation, and don’t interrupt. This creates bonding, and adds to the connecting to one another through effective conversation.
Give more of what you want. Give, to give.
Stop complaining about what you’re not getting, and stop demanding to be heard. He may not be listening. He hears you but he may have tuned out. You know how it goes: Why can’t you just… or You never… or You always…After hearing too much negativity, people tend to shut off. If you give to your partner what you want to get in return, you are actually modelling behaviour that will make you feel good.
The Love Note. Write it.
Don’t cringe. It’s nice to receive a heartfelt little something from someone who cares. It doesn’t have to be fluffy, only appreciative. For example, Thanks for putting your shoes away or I really liked your tone earlier when we were talking about…, or Thanks for not raising your voice, controlling your anger, and keeping calm.
Date Nights, Coffee Breaks, Lunch. Oh, and the mid-day hook-up.
Go against the hate grain and surprise your guy with something fun, whether that’s a quick lunch with some vino, or even playing hooky, leaving early, and hitting the sheets? Turn the phones off, and just be. If you feel comfortable or daring enough, go up to the bedroom or share the sofa, and just lie together.
Love after hate isn’t easy, but it’s doable, and can be very successful in mending and repair, and igniting that flame again. It’s all about re-connecting, and figuring out what needs to happen to making it work for both you you. Don’t throw it all away so fast. The grass is often browner on the other side. Water your own backyard first, and see what grows, flourishes, and begins to shine again.