Human beings are obsessed with love. The number of songs, movies, books you can find about it seem infinite! Of course, there are many types of love, but the one we’re focusing on in this episode is the romantic kind. A few weeks back, we featured an episode with Relationship Coach Renee Suzanne called “Finding Love at Any Age.” The episode was so popular the advice she gave was so incredible, we wanted to see if we (as married women) could apply it to long term relationships and marriage.
What we come out with is six tips that can be helpful for those who are those still looking for that special someone and committed couples who want to improve their relationship. We include tips on how to talk to your partner, trying to believe the best, growing and adapting together, recharging and re-capturing the spark, limiting expectations while not reading into things and knowing your limits on how much you can change your significant other.
Here's to finding and keeping true love...and to enjoying each other for a lifetime! Click play for some love-boosting tips!
Sandy Kovach [00:00:02]:
Welcome to Imagine Yourself podcast, where we help you imagine the next chapter of life with grace, gratitude, courage, and faith.
Lanée Blaise [00:00:09]:
Hello, everybody. In. Imagine yourself land. I am Lanee, here with Sandy. February is the month of love. There's self love. There's relationship love. There's all the good things that come along with Valentine's Day. And Sandy and I thought that we would kind of take a deep dive into all things related to love life, and in this case, it would be romantic based. We had a guest recently named Renee Suzanne, and the name of that episode was Finding Love at Any Age, and she was talking about how to date to find lasting love. But because Sandy and I are both happily married, we thought that the best way that we could give a healthy takeaway is to give some tips that we have learned along the way while we're in a committed relationship. So what we did was we took the tips that Renee Suzanne and even some other guests along the way have given us, but especially the ones from Renee Suzanne, about dating and meeting that right person. And we just swung it around and tweaked it so that we can use it as advice on the best ways to promote and grow and blossom our existing relationships. So Sandy's going to give a few tips. I'm going to give a few tips, and we hope that everyone walks away with just a little nugget to hold on to during this Valentine's Day season.
Sandy Kovach [00:01:43]:
Yes, love is in the air. And whether you're dating or you want to be dating or you're in a relationship or you're married, there's going to be something in here for you, because we start with Renee's dating tip and kind of turn that into a relationship tip. One of the things that Renee did say was we have to watch the negative self talk and make sure we are loving and showing self care and self love to ourselves during the whole dating process, because it can be a lot of ups and downs and we may have a big tendency to take things personally and talk ourselves down. So she reminded us to can the negative self talk and also to give ourselves grace and to be patient. So we can extend that from ourselves to others in our marriage or our relationship by saying, I'm going to be patient with you. I'm not going to take you for granted, and I'm going to watch the way that I talk to you. It's so easy, especially in a heated argument, to say hurtful things. So remember, say things only that are true, helpful, intelligent, necessary, and kind. That's the think acronym Linnae that I remember you talking about one time in another podcast.
Lanée Blaise [00:03:02]:
I love that. And I'm going to piggyback on it with my tip also, which, again, remember, these are things that you might want to think about as you're speaking to yourself, too, during that self talk, because mine is a little bit based on when Renee Suzanne wanted us to know we should not expect perfection from ourselves or from our love one. And I had some personal takeaways from this one. I happen to be a mother. I happen to be a big sister to several siblings, and I have this tendency to treat everybody, but especially my husband, like they're my child. And so I just have to remember as far as when I'm sometimes expecting perfection from someone, or in this case, from my husband, don't expect perfection from him, but also don't treat him like a kid. Don't treat him like a child. Treat him like a grown man with respect and love and honor, even in a way. I have been told by God, and I have mentioned this on other podcasts I have been told directly from God to stop finding fault with Him and he will stop finding fault with me. And I know that anyone who's listened has maybe already heard me say that, but I emphasize it because God said it to me again the other day.
Sandy Kovach [00:04:24]:
Lanée Blaise [00:04:25]:
Oh my, yes. Recently, because I was stewing on all the things that my husband does wrong and how he needs to do this and he needs to do that. And I understand that that would make life more convenient for me. But at the end of the day, he's a good person, he's a smart person, he's a strong person, he's a wonderful husband. And just like you said, I don't want to take that for granted and I want to focus on that more instead of all the little Nicky Knacky things that he does wrong. And the nagging. I mean, everybody says don't nag. But I don't know if people really say treat him with the honor and respect that he should be treated with. I have imperfections that he has to deal with and he has imperfections that I have to deal with. And I even know there's this African proverb that says, like, if you want a successful marriage, you need to close one of your eyes, maybe even close one of your ears. Don't focus in too deeply on their imperfections if you want it to last and be happy and successful, sometimes those little inconveniences can be brushed to the side.
Sandy Kovach [00:05:28]:
That is for sure. And I think especially we need to remind ourselves that if we've been in a relationships a long time that we may have had those bright eyes going into the relationship thinking everything was going to be wonderful and romantic. But then we realized we got together with this person who was probably raised differently and had different ideas about even silly little things like how to do different things around the house. And then things can blow up into big arguments and you can sit and ruminate about how you don't like the way your partner did such and such or vice versa, and then you get mad because he doesn't understand you. And just on and on it goes. And I love the terminology you use, stewing. Then you end up stewing about it and just kind of repeating to yourself all the bad things you don't like about that person. Right.
Lanée Blaise [00:06:22]:
But then the flip side of that is if you were to imagine yourself without that person, whether something happened to them bad or whether there was a divorce or something, all that little stuff would have been so insignificant. And nobody is guaranteed life or anything. If we want to have a harmonious, happy life, especially with this person, we're going to have to really shut down some of that stewing and replace it with reflection of all the good things that we have together.
Sandy Kovach [00:06:53]:
Yeah, at least balance it, right?
Lanée Blaise [00:06:55]:
At least balance it. Yes, indeed. And we're talking, of course, if you've got somebody, a good person. Now, some people, we're not going on that one on this particular episode, but we do know there are some times where it's not going to work.
Sandy Kovach [00:07:10]:
Absolutely. That is a very good point to make. Now, one of the things that we also heard about in the Dating to Find Love episode was that you sometimes have to treat finding your true love as a job. And in this sense, she used a lot of examples in the online dating world, but also other things. And so while marriage or just a general relationship isn't a job, it is something we want to treat seriously. And you've heard a lot of people say it, marriage is hard work and that is for sure true. And while some of what people are usually talking about is communication or maybe even couples therapy, if you need that, it's also on us to kind of just like maybe we would if we were dating, to find out about that person and what that person likes. Let's remember to keep being curious about our partner even as we go on in years. And as your situation changes, you can kind of roll with that, too. Like we just became empty nesters. And it's funny. You were saying that you were treating your husband like a kid, and that was in a bad sense of the word. But you could turn that around and say if you're an empty nester now, since your kids are out of the house, you can do a little of that extra doting and fussing for your spouse. It's not going to be exactly the same, but it's the same idea.
Lanée Blaise [00:08:34]:
Pampering and foot rubs, even for big husband feet. But no, I do like that aspect of just really you pay attention to things. You make sure you're on your game for your work life. So pay attention to things and make sure you're on your game for your relationship life, too. Which leads into my next one, too, because it was very interesting that the other day, my mother, her car battery would not, her car wouldn't start. And I'm thinking, oh, man, you know what's going wrong? She said, well, it's been sitting out there for about two weeks in the cold and I hadn't driven it anywhere, and I guess it just kind of puttered out. So she was able to get a jump. And it made me think about the fact that sometimes we have our relationship just sitting around over there out in the cold for two weeks, neglected, and we're not adding any spice, any intentional thought to it. And it makes me think sometimes we need to jump start our relationships, jump start the spark. Do you like that?
Sandy Kovach [00:09:45]:
I do like it. Do you have any suggestions? Clean ones?
Lanée Blaise [00:09:50]:
Oh, yes. Okay, because I was going to say now remember, Renee Suzanne did teach us about no shame in our desires. So there's know and sharing those desires with our loved ones. So there's keep I'll push that out there. And then also with that whole job aspect, think of creating some new experiences for you and your partner, your spouse, your significant other, like intentionally. So I know you can say, oh, well, we're going date night, but think of something intimate, exciting, different to do either before, during, or after the date. Create some new experiences. And I said date because really think about it like the freshness and newness that sometimes you have. Like for these people who are dating who are not in a relationship yet, I want some of that newness and freshness to be in relationships that are existing as well. Also, conversation time, and even this might have to do with what you talk about on your date. Now, Renee Suzanne talked about some no nos for when you're on a date with a new person, but there are some no nos when you're on a date with your husband as well. I don't want to spend my next date with my husband talking about the bills, talking about the taxes, even if I need to physically write or type out a list of some fun topics that we can have. We talk about this for the podcast, Sandy. We make up fun topics for the podcast or meaningful topics. Let's have some meaningful topics and thoughts and conversations planned to have with the man in our life. And in this case, too. I mean, actually, this would work for people who are dating, too, to make sure that you're not just talking about your job, especially if you have a boring job during the whole date, during the whole dinner. I just want people to just kind of open and activate some fun different sides of their minds and their lives. Because if you think that your relationship is starting to get boring, maybe you're boring right now. So I just want to make sure that we take note of that and make those changes.
Sandy Kovach [00:11:57]:
Yeah, I remember. And I haven't done a Seinfeld reference in a while, and I am noted for those. So I remember when George Costanza I think it might have even been his parents, he says every time he talks to his parents, he needs a list. I guess if it's good enough for George Costanza, I like that idea. Make a list of and it can be for a date. It can be for just an evening, things you haven't talked about for a while and make a game of it or play what are those conversation cards.
Lanée Blaise [00:12:26]:
Didn't you say that you those conversation cards that I usually do with my kids but I can do with my husband also could do with my friends. It's just all about because to that George Costanza part, I know good and well that his parents are probably talking about their backache and their foot bunyan, and it's just like, nobody wants to hear that when you're trying to be fun. So really? Yeah, whether you have to get conversation cards or think them up yourself or go online or something, to just have, again, jumpstart the spark.
Sandy Kovach [00:12:57]:
I love it. All right. Another thing that Renee was mentioning, because when you're out there dating, rejection is huge, right. And you got to be willing to deal with that. So in that sense, she said, don't overthink, like, oh, did I say something wrong? Oh, did I do this wrong? If maybe they're not interested in going out with you again. So you can also take this into your relationship. Don't overthink things that you do or levels that your relationship is or is not at. Like, maybe if you're thinking it's supposed to be, like, some kind of Hallmark movie and it's just a regular marriage, so lower the expectations. Don't take things personally. That's something that, I don't know, I still struggle with. I'm kind of sensitive. I don't know. And I think we talked about this in an episode before. Men many times tend to be more straightforward, and women tend to be sometimes, like, reading into things that they say, and I definitely do that. So try not to read in to what your partner says. Take things at face value. And, like we were talking about, don't expect them to be perfect. And don't be disappointed if they're not super duper romantic all the time. I saw a meme somewhere that said, there's other ways of saying I love you. Like hey, are you okay? Hey, did you eat? Don't forget your coat. Just little things. So it doesn't always have to be a romantic scenario. It can just be them taking care of you or you taking care of them.
Lanée Blaise [00:14:28]:
I love that because yeah, those Hallmark movies and Disney movies will have you thinking that he's supposed to ride out on a white horse and chariot and sweep you up and lift you up in the air. I don't know. After the Dirty Dancing movie, I just think that whole lifting up in the air thing is overrated and horses are overrated. All that stuff is like you said, that actual caring stuff. Making sure that I am cared for in other ways is often more beautiful. Because the other part, too, my other tip is don't think that you can change someone if they don't want to be know. Don't think that you're going to come back to your loved one tonight and say, you know what? I want you to be like this. Romeo Casanova,
Sandy Kovach [00:15:22]:
Ralph Macchio. Sorry I had to bring up your teenage crush.
Lanée Blaise [00:15:24]:
Oh, gosh, I love Ralph Macchio from Karate Kid... Don't expect my husband to just automatically turn into now. We want them to be their authentic selves and love them for who they are instead of trying to make them into somebody off of TV or the movies. Don't expect that. Don't try that. Don't think that they're going to call up and schedule a reservation at a fancy restaurant if you know that's not their thing. You might have to be the one who schedules it. And as long as they still come and join you, it can still be a lovely evening without you stewing on the fact that they never initiate or choose the restaurant or whatever. Let some of that go if you can, or at least acknowledge that it's going on in your mind. Some things we can't fully let go, but at least we can acknowledge it and still try our best to focus on the good that we have there.
Sandy Kovach [00:16:15]:
Yeah, absolutely. I think that's a good dating and a good relationship tip if someone is the way they are, just accept that. If you're on the dating side of it, if it's a deal breaker, then don't proceed. Be honest with yourself. Don't think, well, you know what? Give me some time to work on them. No, it doesn't work that way. Sometimes over the years, people kind of they certainly compromise, and compromise is part of marriage. Absolutely. But you cannot change the essential sort of person that they are. Yeah.
Lanée Blaise [00:16:46]:
Which also kind of real quick just makes me think, too. In that same vein, though, like you said, sometimes as we get older, we do naturally change. And if we want to make sure that we are not growing apart, we might need to evaluate the changes and make sure that we are growing together in a good way, even though we know that we're changing. I am not the same person that I was, gosh, 28 years ago when I met my husband for the first time. I'm part of her, but I'm not completely the same person, and he's not either. And we're trying to consciously grow together in those differences, in the midst of those differences, without resentment.
Sandy Kovach [00:17:29]:
That's good. And keeping those lines of communication open, keeping the compromise open, setting healthy boundaries, there are so many good things, so I'm going to name off a few episodes that I'll say that I will link up to these two in the show notes. So we talked about Renee, Suzanne, and that's the dating episode. And if you're looking for love, I would highly recommend that one. That's an excellent one. We have Kerry Rasenberger, who we have done a couple of episodes with mostly on self love, because like you said, Lanee, at the beginning, you got to work on yourself, not just before you're in a relationship. As it goes on, you got to look inward sometimes. We also had a wonderful episode with Monica Humple, who is a reverend and a relationship coach as well. She talked to us. We had a couple of episodes with her. One was called Fighting Fair and there's a lot more in there for married couples and praying, praying for your husband, praying for your partner, and how to fix your relationships through prayer and how faith can play a big part in that as well. So a variety of episodes, and I think there are even a few more, don't worry, we'll link them all up and get you set for Valentine's Day. Or if you're listening, after Valentine's Day. Love is always a great it's always top of mind.
Lanée Blaise [00:18:44]:
Exactly. So in that spirit also, too, I must say, happy Black History Month as well.
Sandy Kovach [00:18:51]:
Lanée Blaise [00:18:52]:
I wanted to put that in there too. But overall, I just really encourage everyone, no matter what stage they're in as far as love life. We just want to say that we believe that you can imagine yourself in a healthy, happy, peace filled, honest, open space when it comes to love and relationships.
Sandy Kovach [00:19:20]:
Thank you so much for listening. We'd love to hear your ideas too. And you can connect with us on social media or message us by going to imagine yourselfpodcast.com. We'd love for you to sign up for our emails. We'd also love it if you could pop down, especially if you're listening, on Apple podcasts and give us a rating. It really helps us shape our podcast and even helps more folks find us. Now, as for the information for this episode, we will indeed put the links to different ones that we talked about that relate to love and even some that we didn't mention. Kind of a little toolkit for you, depending on what your situation is for Valentine's Day or anytime you've got love on your mind. And until next time when we have something new to imagine, here's to happy and healthy relationships with those you love and loving yourself.
Love related episodes, episodes we mentioned: