Valentine's Day holds so much hope for expressions of love, and a respite from relationship angst. You put faith in that one day restoring or re-kindling the spark! Even if it does, it fades quickly.

It's a bit like an old joke I like:

This fellow is touring hell and the devil says, "I'm going to take you through three rooms. If you like one you can stay there, but you cannot go back if you move on. Choose well."

The first room was freezing cold, and everyone was absolutely miserable.  He moved on.

The second room was so hot that it was almost impossible to breathe. So, he moved on.

When he got to the third room, he was so glad he had kept moving forward. The people there were all standing around drinking coffee. The downside was that they were up to their waists in manure. The smell was bad, but the conversation was engaging. He waded in and was happy.  About fourteen minutes later, the loudspeaker came on.

"Coffee break's over! Stand on your heads!"

That's what happens on Valentine's Day for many hopeful folks: you had a great fourteen minutes of pleasant conversation with your partners, some flowers, and maybe, even, a lovely evening in bed--and, by now, three days later, you find yourself standing on your head again. And, maybe, it doesn't smell so good.


  1. Remember to demonstrate love to your partner.That's a daily thing. It doesn't matter what your partner does. It's your choice what you do.  Demonstrating love is in the way you look at your partner, your tone of voice, your body posture,  and the decisions you make about how you approach loving, AND problem-solving, together.
  2. Focus and comment on what you appreciate, instead of what's not working.  This will change your view, and your energy. Over time, it can transform your relationship, actually.
  3. Get some relationship help. Strong couples do it. Weak, passive, and uncommitted people don't. There is no magic. Time is not going to heal your relationship, you need insights, skills, and willingness to do that.

In my book, KAIZEN for COUPLES: Smart Steps To Save, Sustain & Strengthen Your Relationship,  I talk about what I call "The Hokey-Pokey Relationship."  If you've got one foot in and one foot out, and that's what it's all about, nothing will ever get better. Get some relationship help. Can't say it often enough, because it works!

I'm always available to help you. Start by reading the book together. It's a great conversation starter.

And, stay upright and engaged in conversation. You can't do that when you're standing on your head in manure!

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, The Relationship Help Doctor, works with committed couples who know they love each other and want their once-great relationships back, stronger, closer and more intimate. She helps them with the insights and skills they need to create healthy relationships that support them to walk together united, through whatever life brings.  Read KAIZEN FOR COUPLES: Smart Steps To Save, Sustain & Strengthen Your Relationship now.




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