As you have read, this week we are discussing ways an individual or couple might recognize if they are ready for counseling. So many times in my sessions, I have heard "I wish I would have done this YEARS ago!"...
This week we have been discussing how to know if you are ready for counseling. Have you recognized any of the items we have mentioned this week? So many people and couples go thru life just accepting it as difficult, boring, and full of heartache. But that doesn't have to be the case. If any of these issues are present, maybe it's time to do something about it!
Companionate Love is such a wonderful thing. Many couples think if two people love each other that this should come naturally. This is a myth. This type of love takes a lot of work and consideration of each other. Sometimes it might feel like it would be easier to just "be roommates" and not work on things. But once you experience this type of love, it's very hard to live otherwise and not work on it. Here are 4 more characteristics of Companionate Love: 4. People who love each other in a mature and enduring way seem to recognize the importance of finding individual wholeness, and they know this usually comes during periods of quietness and solitude.
These couples understand that it is important to get quiet, keep balance, and ground yourself. They eliminate distractions, both when they are together and when they have some time alone. In the story of Jane and Jack, he understood the importance of her running. He knew this created her "solitude" and helped her feel better both physically and mentally. So he supported it. This is a characteristic of Companioniate Love.
5. Genuine love provides the freedom to share your real, authentic self with your partner.
This is sharing on a deeper level. Sometimes we have couples who say, "yeah, we talk everyday", but it's about schedules, activities, kids etc.- nothing meaningful. To be able to share how things effect you and what you feel will truly connect you on a deeper level. The less shallow you are, the deeper connected you will feel.
6. Companionate Love requires trust- and trust requires trustworthiness.
Trust needs to happen on 3 levels in a healthy relationship- 1. We must trust our partner will keep us safe emotionally and physically. 2. We must trust our partner will keep their word- whether it be to take out the trash or that they won't cheat. 3. We must trust our partner loves us unconditionally. When these 3 levels of trust occur, Companionate Love can happen.
7. People who love each other well have shared dreams and plans for reaching them. I love how Jane and Jack were talking about a shared dream while doing the dishes. Now I know realistically there are kids screaming in the background and you are in a hurry for homework and bedtimes. But do you ever save the dishes for some quiet time together later, after the kids are in bed? This can be an excellent time to talk about dream vacations, dream businesses to start together, or just for laughing at each other! Talk about where you want to be in 5, 10, and 15 years. Where do you want to retire? So many dreams, so little time- share them together!
Do you recognize you and your partner in any of these characteristics? We hope so. If not, pick one and start focusing on that first. Then you can add others as you master that one. It's so worth the time and investment.
Tomorrow Joleen will share ways to develop Companionate Love. Thank you for reading and have a great week!
*Adapted from Finding The Love of Your Life by Neil Clark Warren
Written by Natalie Chandler
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville
Companionate Love reaches the depths of our hearts and has the ability to ignite our passion and calm insecurities with equal measure. There is no like for offering hope, comfort, acceptance, and to be seen and loved for your authentic self. It takes effort, observation, putting your ego in check, and faith. Is the love that you share with your partner companionate? Here are some characteristics of Companionate Love:
1. Enduring Love involves an unselfish commitment to your lover’s happiness.
When you are truly in love with someone, their happiness becomes just as important as your own. When your partner sees you for who you really are and helps you grow by affording you opportunities to meet your needs, then you can return the exchanges and be involved in a deeply fulfilling relationship. From the couple in Teri’s story, Sally and Sammy were not able to put each other’s needs as equal to their own. Sammy focused on his own needs and feelings so his wife was also feeling disconnected.
2. Companionate Love compels you to enjoy what your partner enjoys.
When you like to see your lover truly delighted, you want to be a part of it too! Not to suggest you join in something that your partner loves (like rollercoasters) when you are deathly afraid of them ; but to join his or her passion when you can. You can support her hobbies or interests by asking about them or learn on your own and surprise her! Instead of going upstairs to watch a Lifetime movie on Sunday afternoon, don a cute jersey and hang out with your husband and help support his team! Very few couples that come for counseling share interests naturally, rather they must be developed.
3. People who love each other deeply recognize the importance of three spaces in their relationship- one for him, one for her, and one for them.
Common interests are very important, but equally as important as individual interests. It is important to do things together, but you must also be able to have your time apart. It is healthy that Jane and Jack from our story have separate interest that they can enjoy alone or together. Your spouse may have a hankering for skydiving while you may adore the monster truck rally. You go your separate ways on a Sunday and do your own thing. You may feel refreshed and energized and ready to reconnect with your lover afterward. Can you imagine what an interesting dinner you could have while sharing about your day?
We hope that you and your lover have some of these characteristics of Companionate Love. Look for interests that your partner may have and begin to see where you could join in. Joining in what gives your lover joy can radiate to you and bring you joy as well. Have fun exploring! It is a wonderful way to stay connected. Come back tomorrow as Natalie gives more characteristics of Companionate Love
*Adapted from Finding The Love of Your Life by Neil Clark Warren
Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT
Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapy, family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield