What I know about long-term, constant and steady, yet ever-burning love relationships is personified by my parents. They were together for 48 and a half years, and theirs was a loving, loyal, happy and solid union. Their togetherness was only cut short when my dad passed away in 2011, but even then, not a week has passed that my mom hasn’t visited my dad in the cemetery. That’s about six and a half years of weekly visits… talk about keeping it burning.
This is not to wax perfect about their marriage, but they really didn’t suffer anything grave or overly dramatic as husband and wife. They were truly and totally in love, you see, and it wasn’t a love that fizzled out or turned into companionate love over time (not that there’s anything wrong with such). They kept the romance alive, the kilig, the passion and adoration for each other, despite some fights that I remember when I was young, and the irritations and annoyances that would characterize any close relationship, when I got older.
So what does it take to KEEP IT BURNING, as the title of my next Love Smart Workshop is called. Is it really possible at all times? Corollary to that, is “forever” really the be all and end all of love relationships? And if not, when does one call it quits?
My KEEP IT BURNING workshop is hinged on the premise that the state of your love relationship — or any other relationship for that matter — is really mostly up to you. For those who want it, there are surefire techniques for navigating relationship challenges, rekindling passion, and keeping the love alive. Then again, there are times and situations when the best one can do for oneself is to cut one’s losses, and this is where having a clear sense of boundaries comes in. But that’s another story.
Let’s focus for now on relationships that work, yet for some reason may need a little stroking of the embers. My tips and tricks are designed specifically for modern-day relationships, meaning those involving men and women who believe themselves to be equal. I hold that the best kinds of relationships, the healthiest that are built to last, are those that have a balanced power dynamic.
But even equal relationships require a huge amount of focus and heaps of effort. The good news is there are so many ways to do this. I cover at least 20 essential tips in the workshop, which include demanding your own alone time, letting your partner know how you feel, being rational and logical, and never putting your partner down. All very practical and eye-opening at the same time.
And then there are the rules for talking and listening, each one as necessary and powerful as the next. One rule is to be a two-way, not a one-way communicator. Being a two-way communicator is about paying attention to whether the listener is actually “getting it.”
Another rule is to evaluate your filters, which is about being aware of things that may distort the messages being sent to you, say if you’re coming into a given conversation with an agenda.
I have a section on what to do with annoying partners, because who doesn’t experience annoyance at one point or another when one lives in close proximity to someone for a prolonged period of time? There’s this thing of taking care of your share, and among the strategies under this pointer is “staying in your own business,” which comes with an exercise that will make you realize very important things about yourself.
A workshop highlight is the part that deals with when and how to apologize. Because unlike the famous movie line, I subscribe to the opposite notion that “love means always being willing to say you’re sorry.” But saying sorry requires certain elements for it to be effective.
The apology role-play we will do will drive home this learning and ensure that your next apology counts.
We will also cover a three-point romance restoration plan, for those whose relationships have hit a sexual impasse. What to do in times like these? Let experts show the way.
All these and more in my KEEP IT BURNING Workshop scheduled on 13 July, Saturday, 1 to 5:30 p.m. It’s “Romance Restoration and Passion Secrets for Love Goddesses” in one jampacked afternoon! Early bird rate applies until 28 June. Group rates are also available for groups of at least three, so come and experience this fun and love-filled workshop with your friends. Contact me through my Work Smart, Love Smart Coaching website www.lifecoachemguevara.com, Facebook page Life Coach Em Guevara, or Instagram @worksmartlovesmart for inquiries and registrations.