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All you need is love? ... and a good therapist.

Relationships - we all have them: with our family, friends, at work, with the One. We are surrounded by them daily. All of us relate. Yet, most of us have no clue how.

Take a long term marriage, for example. How many of us said at least once, "It's bad, because we have been married for a long time"? Huh? So long time equals poor results? Imagine saying that about your career, "I suck at my job because I have been doing it for a years". Why is it, that in everything else, with time invested, we excel, yet, in love, we usually get worse with time?

Yes, I just brought up the "L" word!... Love. "I love you", the most important, profound and misused expression in ,at least, English language. Ideally, in the beginning, we use it to let the One know, "You are the most important, wonderful, exceptional person I have ever met". Later on, it's used to say/mean, "I am tired", or "Leave me alone", or " You are annoying", and two of my all time favorites: "Shut up" and "God, I hate your guts, but I am too chicken to tell you about it." What a change!

Where did that wonderful thing go?!

I get to wonder about things like that every day, for a living. For every person who comes to my office I get to translate: what does their "I love you" mean? Together we look for what happened, is the situation solvable, is it worth solving-some relationships are DOA-dead on arrival; how to solve it. It is always fascinating to me: we all look for love, we all want it, yet, we pay so little attention to it when we get it! What if we did it to our favorite car? Or a child? Why do we expect love to last without any efforts?

"All you need is love", as the song goes..Right!..getting love is easy. Keeping it-in any relationship, that's the challenge.Is it doable? Yes. Is it easy? No. Keep in mind: everything we know about intimate relationships we learn from our primary caretakers - they don't have to be our parents - by the age of five. And it's not a conscious learning process, it's more like an imprint on a brain. Sometimes takes a life time to unlearn.Or, a really good therapist =).

So, until next time: start small - just begin paying attention: what does your "I love you mean?'

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