More Than Cards And Candy: How To Give The Gift Of Deeper Love

Love, Family

Healthy romance requires a delicate sense of balance, how to build a long term love.

Healthy romance requires a delicate sense of balance. Yes, of course, there can be a time for cards and candy. But long-term love is not just swiping right or sharing the best meme. Sustainable, evolving, and deeper love is a process—not a destination. It begins with getting in touch with your own feelings and patterns in the realm of love and romance.

What is Deeper Love?

For starters, it might help to offer some examples of what deeper love is not:

Being “soul mates”

A belief that “love at first sight” is enough

The requirement that partners fulfill all of each other’s needs

How much money you spend on gifts

It’s not easy, it’s not always permanent, and it never includes abuse

The list could go on but you may see the pattern that what we’re taught by pop culture can be sabotaging our relationships. Deeper love cannot be purchased and does not require a price tag. But it does require your full attention and a willingness to learn and work.

6 Ways to Give the Gift of Deeper Love

1. Re-Imagine Intimacy

In the beginning, there is lust. This isn’t meant to imply that lust is temporary. However, how we experience intimacy will change. It must change. Translation: There is much more to deep intimacy than intercourse. Deeper love can find a home with every gentle touch, cuddle, neck massage, and moment of sustained eye contact.

2. Never Take Your Relationship or Partner for Granted

You’re never finished learning how to love. Each day offers a new opportunity to grow and discover. Your foundation is eroded each time you don’t make the effort. Every time you think things are good enough, you run the risk things turning bad. Relationships require commitment. Pop culture jokes about this being scary. In reality, it’s some of the most meaningful work you’ll ever do.

3. Build a Foundation of Trust

Thanks to our smartphone society, there are more ways than ever to be unfaithful. Privacy is a right. Secrecy can be a poison. Talk openly about boundaries and needs. Make sure to speak out when you have concerns. Learn to trust and then put in the work to fortify that trust.

4. Love Other Things Together

You love each other. What do you love together? While it’s crucial to create independent lives, it’s equally as important to cultivate new adventures and interests together. A few suggestions:

Take cooking lessons together at Kitchen on Fire

Learn how to row at California Canoe & Kayak

Become swingers at Trapeze Arts

Get your sizzle on at Argentine Tango

5. Don’t Mistake Jealousy for Deep Love

Controlling your partner is not a sign of love. Suspicion is not romantic. Jealousy may be a common punchline but it’s not funny in real life. Go back to #3 and work on that trust foundation. Create a connection in which questions are welcome and transparency is the norm.

6. Communicate

It all comes back to this. As a couple, you must communicate. You must never stop communicating. Perhaps most importantly, you must never stop learning new ways to communicate.

Cards, Candy, and…what about Counseling?

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Evolving love and compatibility takes work to happen. Such work requires some skills. Learning those skills is not a do-it-yourself task. In counseling—perhaps at our Valentine’s VIP Couples Intensive—deeper love can be explored. This includes developing ways to express your love. Let’s face it, we’re not really encouraged to dig deep and bare our souls on this holiday. But romance and relationships do not thrive on cards and candy alone. Discovering more about yourselves at Healing Happens Therapy is a great start to giving more and enjoying more in all facets of your life together.

This article was originally published at Kelly Montgomery. Reprinted with permission from the author.