With love, what interests me now are:
1) Balance between interdependence and independence. There is strength in being able to love and bind with another. That connection builds on a shared journey: an amalgamation of stories and jokes, meals and laughter. Maintaining a unique identity can require even greater strength. A willingness is needed to dedicate time to personal hobbies or to that annual trip with past school friends or to re-calibrating what one's values are: this is how to remain true to one's own self.
2) Healthy communication. The foundation of any relationship requires talking through issues as they come up. Some of these issues appear to have no solution; some of these issues have a solution but each partner has a different method of getting there. It is first key to know whether the particular argument has a solution or not. Let go of the dead end topics. With the others, identify the common goal (remembering that the goal is shared removes the word "compromise"). Hear each other's approach and determine a unified front for reaching the shared goal.
3) Keeping the passion. The romance of the beginning can be waylaid by daily stressors, mortgages, children, and taxes. Dedicate weekly couple's time. A date night or a late afternoon lunch that is carefree and perhaps even spontaneous.
4) The singles. It is easy to get submerged in the focus on couple's love over this holiday. I have to give a shout out to those who are single and happy (or unhappy). Those who are focused on friends as opposed to dating, or on raising children, or raising pets, or taking care of parents. This blog is a tribute of love to all the singles out there this week.