I came across a great vlog (video blog, for those of you like me who have no clue about these things) today.  It was from local matchmaker/relationship coach, Paul Carrick Brunson and he was sharing the number one issue keeping singles from meeting that someone special.  Turns out we are all walking around with sourpuss faces and turning off potential suitors left and right.  The point of Paul’s short and rather hilarious, video is that one simple act, smiling, can make the difference between being perceived as approachable and friendly or closed off and unavailable.  His advice is right on and not only useful to daters but anyone looking for to make positive connections in their professional life.

Carrying yourself in a way that shows you are positive and emotionally available  is a key element for creating opportunities to connect with people and ultimately (we hope) find the love we are looking for.  But once you find that special someone what is it that keeps couples from maintaining the love?  Week after week I meet couples, in both my personal and professional life, who just can’t seem to hang on to the love they found.  They mastered the friendly smile and the engaging communication that is necessary to make that initial connection but somewhere over the course of the relationship things seem to disintegrate.  While there are clearly many reasons that relationships break down, I have found that the number one reason (at least in my experience) that things start to fail is mindlessness. 

Mindlessness is the simple act of not thinking.  Couples are not thinking about how the words they say affect their partner.  Husbands aren’t thinking about the challenges their wife is facing today or how they can help her.  Wives aren’t considering the emotional needs of their husbands.  Something as simple as bringing someone a cup of hot cocoa after they’ve shoveled the driveway or initiating sex once in a while can do wonders for maintaining (or improving) your relationship.  Just as singles forget how important it is to smile and look approachable, couples often forget how important it is to remain fully engaged in their relationship.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to find the love you want, don’t take it for granted.  It is easy to turn on the auto-pilot and just coast through life together.  The trouble with auto-pilot is that sooner or later it will lead you off track; someone will take an unexpected turn, suddenly there will be a divide that wasn’t there before.  You must be vigilant on the road of love and ensure that you and your mate are looking at the same map.  Just like Paul’s advice to smile more, being more engaged in your relationship isn’t as hard as you think.  It just takes a few minutes of effort each day.  So I am challenging you to ask yourself two questions at the beginning of each day this week:

  1. What do I need from my partner today?
  2. What will I do to make my partner feel special today?

Read the full article here on my column, Motherhood is Madness: Tips for a Therapist at IAmModern.com