Watching professional athletes compete in the Olympics is exhilarating. The same goes for runners crossing the finish line at a prestigious marathon. People who accomplish amazing feats truly are wonders to behold!
Yet, not a lot of people get to see what happens during training. The strict diets, early morning workouts, and endless endurance sessions are nobody’s idea of a good time.
However, the uncomfortable journey that these amazing athletes choose is the only reason they get the chance to win a medal.
When it comes to relationships, your “training sessions” are often delivered via couples counseling. Plus, they can work the same way as a professional athlete’s—granting you the opportunity to succeed.
It’s up to you to make the most of it so you can create the relationship that you want. Here’s how.
1. Put in the Time
Just like Rome couldn’t be built in a day, a strong relationship can’t blossom overnight. Creating a healthy relationship takes time.
To make the most out of your couples counseling lessons, it’s vital that you dedicate time to your relational efforts. This means that you’ll both need to commit time to be together, to be with family, date, pursue intimacy, communicate, play, relax, work on goals, etc.
Keep in mind that you can’t squeeze your relationship into your life. Sometimes, your personal or professional commitments will need to take a backseat.
2. Take Risks
Vulnerability is a must when you want to maximize the lessons you learned in couples counseling.
Expressing your emotions, thoughts, and ideas can be uncomfortable, even frightening. And yet, nothing ever changes if nothing ever changes. So, doing things differently will be a trek through the unknown.
Have the courage to try communicating in a different way, for example. Tell your partner how you feel when you’d normally shut down. Or, simply take an emotional action that’s completely new to you.
3. Keep Your Energy Output Strong
As you know, marathon runners don’t skip effortlessly for 26.2 miles. Depending on the runner, every few miles requires a new burst of energy or motivation.
Reaching your relationship goals will call for the same level of endurance. Though, it’s only natural for you or your partner to slip up, have a bad day, or falter unexpectedly. However, consistency is the most important key—try, try again.
4. Reflect Together
When an athlete works hard to accomplish a goal—timed sprint, flawless form, etc.—they celebrate. You should, too!
Take time together to reflect on your relationship. Dig into your romantic history to reminisce about the journey you’ve been on together. Talk about how hard you’ve worked and the times you embraced each other through a tough situation.
These moments of reflection will work to bond you together. Additionally, reflecting will help you to stay connected and in tune with one another. That leads to the next point.
5. Embrace Your Aspirations
During your times of reflection, you’ll undoubtedly uncover some dreams and goals for your relationship. Some of these aspirations were likely discussed in couples counseling, so it’s great to review them.
Other aspirations will be brand new. As you move toward your relationship goals, it’s okay to refocus on these new goals as well. To maximize the lessons you took away from couples counseling, it’s a good thing to develop new aspirations together.
Remember that it’s important to create, share, and embrace the aspirations together. Working as a team, you’ll move toward your new goals at a much quicker pace.
Take the first step…
If you’re concerned about your relationship and curious about couples counseling, I would like to help.
Please contact me via phone or email so we can discuss how we might work together to achieve your therapeutic goals as quickly and effectively as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Linda K. Laffey, MFT