Whole Life Magazine

December 2017 / January 2018

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Page 11 of 35

healthy living CLEAN BAY CERTIFIED RESTAURANTS CLEAN BAY CERTIFIED RESTAURANTS By Wendy Strgar 4 Ways to Make Love Work SEX TALK POWERFUL IDEAS TO HELP RETHINK YOUR RELATIONSHIP L ove is an action verb and the work of making our loving relationships both resilient and rewarding is our highest calling. That said, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the efforts of keeping our loving relationships vital and to lose sight of the many emotional and physical benefi ts we experience from loving over time. Every couple faces similar challenges as they navigate through relating, although the specifi c stories that arise from these challenges are as unique and personal as our relationships are. Figuring out how to think about these challenges so that you are consistently able to put the needs of the relation- ship before either partner is the key to sustaining a healthy relationship. And yet the task is complex, fi rst and foremost because we are human, and we bring with us into all of our rela- tionships all that is unresolved, and often unseen in our heart. Hon- estly not one of us escapes the wounds of growing up and growing old; so it is no sur- prise that when we combine our invisible unmet needs with that of another's, we create either an opportu- nity for healing and growth, or a frustrat- ing, painful experience of missing each other. Here are four powerful ideas to help rethink your relationship container which will proactively help build a more resilient and inspiring container to live in: Get over falling in love This is the point of premature death for a huge percentage of relationships and is really tied to the fact that the human body can only sustain the high hormone production time of falling in love for so long, then the body reverts to a different kind of hormonal production that allows the couple to fi nd a stable, healthy, ongoing attachment. Just because it feels different than the falling phase, doesn't make it less loving. Rather, this is a different kind of love in which attachment and intimacy deepens as you work at it. It isn't the free-ride kind of love that falling gives you, but it is a rewarding substi- tute that is sustainable. Grow your brain by exerting your will Neuroplasticity is the capacity for the brain to change not only the kinds of thoughts you have, but even the physical structure itself. And this kind of monumental change is sub- ject to one's will. Human willpower (once set in a direction) changes lives. So decide to change yours and witness the miraculous shifts that can and will occur in your relationship container. Start with something easy, like never saying a mean thing to your partner again, and see what happens. I promise you will be amazed. And like giving up sugar or any other ad- dictive substance, the fi rst few days are the hardest. Strive for witnessing and creating equality The deepest aspects of our being crave fairness and no- where more persistently than with the people we love the most. De- spite our best efforts, things rarely fall 50-50 whether in fi nances, household chores, or parenting, but recogniz- ing and working toward equity is a powerful bond- ing agent that grows trust in the relationship you are creating. Start by acknowledg- ing one place in your relationship that needs more balance and have the courage to say it out loud. See what happens. Commit to making sex the glue that holds you Long-term relationships are the safest space to satis- fy sexual desires and grow our capacity for erotic intrigue. And yet getting over the hump between falling in love and being in love is often a barrier that eliminates the physical intimacy that relationships need to stay strong. Making a com- mitment to yourself to create a sex life that works for both partners seems so simple, but is harder than it looks on face value. When your sexual commitment becomes fi rm like an- other aspect of basic hygiene or self-care, then excuses fall away and what you are left with is the naked challenge of evolving your erotic capacity and giving it to the person you promised to love. Implementing even one of these ideas with consistency will change how you think about love and re-kindle the spark that brought you to loving the person next to you at the beginning. —Wendy Strgar, writer, teacher, and loveologist, is the found- er and CEO of Good Clean Love, makers of Almost Naked 95%-organic lubricant. 12 wholelifetimes.com

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