“Love is the greatest refreshment in life.” Pablo Picasso

I just finished a book on Picasso and learned that his style changed over his life time based on the phases of his heart. Makes total sense.  We often look back at our lives in those same phases. Picasso noted that keeping love alive is difficult — essentially, there’s an art to it. I think love is especially hard to keep alive with the inevitable wear and tear of life.

After seeing a movie recently, where love/hate in a marriage was front and center, I realized that we have the power to create how happy or unhappy our love will be.  The movie gave me these ideas on how to quickly dissolve love: (WARNING: please don’t try these at home!)

1. Don’t do the little things. Don’t reach for their hand, or look into their eyes when they’re talking.  Avoid talking about feelings or even asking about them. Actually, the quickest way to kill love is taking someone for granted and then treat them that way.

2. Solve their problems without really listening. Men: women like to solve their problems by talking to someone and then coming to resolution. If you solve them for her and don’t actually listen to her feelings, she’ll know that it’s more about you than her. Women: men just like to solve them on their own. Period.

3. Don’t allow him/her to feel safe with you. Be close one minute and distant the next. Assume that every question, every “test,” is really an attack on your character and make sure that’s obvious.

4. We’ve all be hurt in the past, we all have fear and tender spots. So, don’t work with him/her to heal your hurt. Let it grow, hide it, dress it up or even pretend that it’s something it’s not.

5. Stop being intimate. Physically and/or emotionally.  Enough said.

6. Stop joking and making each other laugh. Since humor is the glue that keeps couples together, stay preoccupied with what’s really important in your world and ignore laughing together.

Relationships take constant practice. You just can’t be on auto pilot nor can you focus only on you. Sounds easy … but (as the single woman in the room), I know it’s not!

What we know for sure is that when you’ve created the greatest masterpiece of a relationship, you’ll still need to take care of it. You’ll still need to give it focus, care and (self-less) attention.  It’s likely the best (and hardest) thing you do, short of raising your children!

Have an amazing day!