The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. Morrie Schwartz

Is there something in our life we’d like to rekindle? Are we beginning a new stage of life we didn’t really want? This can be anything. Most of us aren’t excited as we have the “big” birthdays. The “big” anniversaries are the same. How do we keep the fire in a twenty-five, thirty-five, or fifty-year-old marriage? What do we mean by fire?

That is the question, isn’t it? Now, I don’t mean rekindling an old flame while you still live with your current partner. I mean rekindling with your current partner.

We had dreams, even hazy ones which we have not fulfilled. Our partner had dreams too. At some point some of those dreams intersect and where they intersect is where we can start. Did we have dreams of performing? It has never been so easy to put our self out there as a speaker, writer, performer, comedian, or artist.

We turn on the TV and we see couples buying old houses and renovating them. It can all start with wouldn’t it be fun, interesting if we… Maybe travel is our thing, the two of us have places we’ve always wanted to see, planning a trip is fun, we have to discuss what we want to do and see.

Maybe we have an artistic bent. Recently someone asked if I sell my art. I asked my husband to be my agent if anything comes of it. It will make it a shared project and he’s a better negotiator than I am. We can use each other’s strengths to create a win, win opportunity. We can take solitary activities and make them shared activities in some way.

Maybe you are no longer in a relationship, maybe it’s time to find a new relationship. Is it time to look around? Maybe look up an old flame? Adventure is out there.

Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time. Maya Angelou

It all starts with what if? What if we take the chance to let our partner know what we want? We may find they want the same thing, but no one says anything, and no one does anything, and nothing happens. We worry, what if he or she doesn’t want what we want. Then we know and then we can deal with it. Chances are if we want more passion and purpose in our life our partner does too. If we want more closeness, fun, someone has to make the first move. We also need to recognize the move when it is made.

One of the big reasons relationships fail is we don’t acknowledge our partners bid for affection. What bids we might ask. There lies the problem. “Do you want to come to Home Depot with me?” is a bid for affection. “Do you want to watch a movie later?” is a bid for affection.

People make bids for connection all the time, in all different relationships. Those relationships with our children, friends, and partners only grow when we acknowledge those bids. We need to turn towards the people in our life, instead of away.

Our partner may come up with what seems like unrealistic proposals, they may be, but maybe they are something to start a conversation, an exploration of things we can do together. We can cut them off, or we can accept the invitation. When we accept the invitation we don’t know where it will lead, even if it leads nowhere but more connection it’s worth it.

When we see couples shopping together, that’s shared time. It doesn’t take two people to shop for groceries, but while in the store we might discuss our preferences for dinner. We might see something we’ve never tried before, an adventure begins. A conversation with someone at the checkout might spark more conversation.

We can accept the invitation to go for a walk. We can propose a walk. Wherever we are, there we are, but we have choices, opportunity and it is what we make of our opportunities that determine our life.

Do we recognize bids for attention? Do we make our bids big enough so our partner knows we made one?

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. Mignon McLaughlin

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Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love Hardcover – Feb 5 2019

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