Are in the air
By Gerry Goertzen, MA, PACCP
Every romantic relationship is musical, having special ring tones and unique compositions of tweets and chirps. The initial melodic qualities of love are magical and mysterious, often cascading with pleasant sounds of excitement and passion. Over time, the nature of the relationship changes, matures and evolves.
The first sound of love is a marvelous one – the Gasp. Were you not taken back with wonderment when feelings of infatuation began? Falling in love involves admiration and amazement, romance and passion. It’s certainly apparent at weddings when the bride dazzles everyone as she enters the room. All eyes are fixated on her beauty. The groom gasps and the audience marvels.
For those of us who’ve been in a relationship for a while (I’m married 31 years), do we still take in a deep breath of delight when meeting up with our partner at the end of the day or on the weekend? Have we forgotten to enjoy their smile, their scent, or even their corny jokes? Is romance and sex a happening thing? When is the last time you felt amazed in the presence of your lover?
I hope your “gasps” never stop occurring. In fact, I believe that a healthy couple is one who tries to stop their partner in their tracks with wonder and awe. People gasp when they witness something extraordinary. It’s inspirational to have one’s breath taken away. So remember to surprise one another. Create wonderment. Design thrills. Invent astonishment for your partner. Plan a surprise weekend getaway. Bring home flowers you picked from the ditch. Lock your cell phone up for the evening and pay total attention to your lover. Take a risk that will knock your partner off their feet. Love speaks in the language of gasps.
The second sound is a quasi painful one – the Groan! Love has a tough side to it. We understand there is a pain factor in relationships. It’s inevitable. We all encounter the hard work of settling differences, dealing with disappointments and climbing over hurdles you never expected, etc. There will be times when the road ahead gets bumpy, and it will seem very painful to move forward — so in those moments, groan, and groan loud if you must — but don’t be quick to abandon the mission. Decide now that when the pain factor goes up and the thrill factor goes down, you will be the ones who keep on going forward. If necessary, get professional help to discern what steps are best for you and your relationship.
Love brings out the cheers and banners and party hats, the cake and ice cream and all things of gladness, so make lots of festive sounds of celebration.
The Sigh. You will come through difficult circumstances when all you can do is let out a sigh of relief. There’s no other sound to explain how thankful you are to be on the other side of that valley. Whether the tough thing is in your marriage, at work, parenting kids, financial or health, when you are barely crawling and have lost all hope, divine help comes through in the nick of time! Have you been there? There’s no way you could have handled it yourself, and so your heavy sigh of relief is sent upwards like a prayer of thankfulness.
The fourth sound could be argued that it is not a sound at all – the sound of Solitude. This is in the realm of “silence,” but I’m not talking about the deafening punishment of the silent treatment. Oh no. That’s a nasty one. What I’m saying is that each partner needs appropriate space, time apart, and a place of retreat. Solitude is meant to refresh your soul, gain a new insight, or develop your inner character. Solitude can be practical – going for a walk alone, reading a book, sleeping in an extra hour, listening to music, etc. When you are personally replenished you can be at your best again and engage more fully with your loved one. Being apart often stirs up the deeper longings for each other. Keep in mind that love offers adequate space, consideration and respect for one another’s boundaries.
The composition of love is never complete without Celebration. This is all about the remarkable fact that you get to be in this relationship. You get to do this together. You are wonderful individuals, but together you are even more remarkable. Think about the wonderful things you experience together: friends, backyard parties, vacations, children, career and financial goals, etc. Have you recently celebrated the accomplishments you’ve achieved together: house reno’s, job promotion, ongoing education, a hobby or recreation? Love invests in the pleasures of fulfillment, success, and joy. Love brings out the cheers and banners and party hats, the cake and ice cream and all things of gladness, so make lots of festive sounds of celebration.
Overall, love is a movement – similar to a musical overture that advances through all sorts of melodies; some high and some low, some glad and some sad, some boisterous and some calm. The song of love seems to splinter into a thousand tunes while a celestial ovation holds them all together seamlessly. So the bottom line is to make your relationship a concert of sounds and it will surely echo into eternity.
Gerry Goertzen is Director/Senior Therapist at Riverbend Counselling & Wellness www.riverbendcounselling.ca, 334-4801. He is also author of the book Relational Triumph: Solving Relational Stress and Building Relational Success, www.relational-triumph.com; developer of the App “Velvet Steel” — rapidly increase your communication skills to help your relationships thrive, www.velvetsteel.ca; and founder of The Harbour Recovery & Support Group, www.theharbourfellowship.ca.