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March 27, 2006

DATING: KEEPING THE SPARK ALIVE

Keeping the spark alive in a relationship takes hard work and perseverance. Throw children into the ring and it’s even harder. If we don’t keep our finger on the pulse, we can wake up one morning and realize our relationship’s been dead a long time.

The good news however, is it often takes a long time to lose the spark and a relatively short time to get it back. A little motivation, re-prioritizing and some scheduled time, can often do the trick - - or at least get you started on your way.

Getting started is key. If you have noticed that you and your partner have drifted then the first thing you need to do is talk about it. No big dialogue is necessary, just a short conversation about what you have noticed and how you would like to change things. Place the emphasis on what you want to do to fix it - - not what is wrong.

A key thing you need to rekindle the spark is time alone. It is impossible to work on this if there are children, computers, cell phones, T.V. shows etc. in the way. So first, remove the “noise” and second create the space. Find a babysitter, shut the electronics off, clear your mind for an evening and if possible…get out of the house.

I realize that for many getting out of the house is difficult especially when children are involved, however difficult is not impossible. Going out on a date minimally once a month is pivotal to maintaining healthy connection for couples. If money is an issue, go for a drive, have a picnic, be creative. Remember you are re-prioritizing, so what you do together is not nearly as important as doing something.

When our relationships become distant, we have to remember to work on them. Our everyday lives have a way of sucking us in and making us oblivious to what is really important. When we keep an eye on the important things the rest has a tendency to fall into place.

Challenge: Commit to remove the “noise” and create the space this month. Find the time to go out on a date just the two of you. When you are on the date, be sure to be fully present and see what you notice.

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Sometimes when you haven't dated for a long period of time, the spark in you gets lost so to avoid it you have to be active again in the dating scene.

keep an eye on the important things the rest has a tendency to fall into place.

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