Love Is ______

I have been watching the show titled Love Is _________ on the OWN channel. It is very refreshing to one see a realistic story of love based on a true story but also the amazing setting of the 90s where the best love music was created outside of the 70s of course! Everyone has their own view of what love is but we have watched so many fairytale stories in movies, TV shows, cartoons, etc. on how love is “supposed” to be in life. I can honestly say I was guilty of having unrealistic expectations of love from media but mostly movies. I thought love was supposed to be PERFECT! And even now social media plays a role in portraying these perfect #relationshipgoals but that is only the part of love they show. They don’t show the patience it takes, the understanding it takes, the WORK that you put into relationships. You are two people going through life with different values, backgrounds, ideologies, love languages, and so many other factors. But that is also what makes love beautiful. I found love unexpected and it took us time to be official and grow due to my own idea of what I thought love should be and just being a brat! Once I grew as a person it worked great! Single? Work on bettering yourself, get to know yourself, be flexible, and be open but not pressed! Most of the time love comes when we least expect it. Be so focused on yourself and becoming a better version that it surprises you! In a relationship but it needs work? Find out how YOU can make it better instead of always playing the blame game, it takes TWO to tango.

After dating my boyfriend for 9 months I noticed the struggle I was having with expectations and throwing a fit if I did not get what I wanted. I decided that I would take a break to work on myself so I went to counseling with Dr. Laura. It was short maybe a month or two but very helpful. She started with getting to the root. I only had one steady positive marriage in my family at the time. I had never thought about it that way. We are so accustom to seeing single mothers and divorce that it has become the norm. She also helped me figure out my love language and what I truly wanted in a relationship. Once I had a better understanding of that I was able to grow as a person and we grew as a couple. I am so thankful for that time so I wanted to collaborate with her to give advice for this month’s blog! Relationships and men seem to always be a topic among women. I mean face it will all want love!

Laura Louis, PhD, owns Atlanta Couple Therapy where she works extensively counseling couples. Dr. Louis has over 10 years of experience in helping distant couples heal after infidelity by building trust, cultivating intimacy, and enhancing communication. Her therapeutic approach has been influenced through worldwide training in Brazil, Mexico, London, and Haiti. Dr. Louis has conducted hundreds of seminars transforming relationships all over the world. She is affectionately called the Marriage Architect. Her book, Marital Peace, is a valuable resource intended to support couples through the challenges of marriage. For more information go to her website www.atlantacouplethera py.com

Five tips on how to work with your mate.

My husband and I have worked together since the inception of Atlantacoupletherapy.com. He designed the website and manages it. I get my websites done for free and he gets a happy wife lol. WIN WIN. I like to keep the coins in the family. But in all seriousness. sometimes it can be hard to work with your mate. Like when you get into an argument just before you have to speak on stage. I will never forget the time when I was contracted to speak in another state.

I get to the room and nothing is in place for the stage. No Internet, No microphone and no speakers. And the room was a mess. The hotel had a big event the night before. I wanted to literally scream. Guests were supposed to arrive in minutes.

My husband was handling the business discussions with the hotel. He told me to stay calm. And then before I knew it we were in a big argument. How am I suppose to inspire people to build a great marriage when I beefing with my boo? So after years of working with my mate I want to share with you my top tips on how to survive mixing business with pleasure.

1. Set Clear Boundaries- i.e. - Do you want to have a set time for when you will turn it off (work talk).

2. Discuss how feedback will be given. Some people want feedback in private at a designated time, so they don’t feel ambushed.

3. Set structure around your work relationship- Like when will you have meetings/will someone take notes/ Do you have an agenda/When will tasks be complete by

4. I know we never want to talk about things ending but you must. What will happen if something goes wrong on the business side or the personal side? Like what happens if you break up, or you want to hire someone else. In other words how do you effectively end one relationship so it does not affect the other relationship if it comes to that?

5. Sometimes we get in our feelings and personal issues blend into our business. Like if we get into an argument and we are not speaking but then something in the business requires both of us to handle it. In those instances, it can be tough.

For this reason, I say make sure that things are solid going into your business relationship because frustrations will rise at some point. And you want to make sure your relationship is built on the type of foundation that can withstand tough times.

It is summer time.

And you need to have fun and kick back with your boo!But you should not have to break the bank in the process. In my work as a couples counselor at Atlanta Couple Therapy, I often times see that couples are not spending enough quality time together. Some people think that date night has to always be sooo elaborate and that could not be further from the truth.

Here are 10 fun ways to connect with your mate and go on a date night without going broke in the process.

  1. Go to a festival. In Atlanta we have the Dogwood festival every year. There are tons of outdoor festivals and carnivals. If you Google festival in your city check out what comes up.

  1. Listen to your favorite band. In Atlanta, we have something call Wind Down Wednesday is the summer months. This is a perfect time to go and enjoy some live music and sent back and relax with a cool drink.

  1. Picnic. It is nice out. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. Make some sandwiches and relax on a blanket watching the sunset.

  1. Yoga. There are places that do hot yoga and couples yoga. Exercise is a great way to bond with your mate. The endorphins are being released and who knows what can happen next.

  1. Go river tubing. If you live nearby water this can be a great way to relax on a Saturday. You can purchase a float and 5 and below for 5 bucks.

  1. Having a BBQ/Pool party is fun approach to connect with your mate and other couples too. Building a support system with like-minded really give your marriage a boost when you are going through challenging times.

  1. Couple game night. This is another great way to connect with other couples without breaking the bank. We often look to traditional date night ideas like dinner and a movie. Game night can switch things up a bit. For my husband and I, we have done laser tag and also had couples come to our home to play cards. We have a blast every time.

  1. Hiking. Hiking can give you a great adrenaline rush. My husband and I go to Stone Mountain for Hiking. Check out local hiking areas or waterfalls nearby.

  1. Couple Cooking class. This is a great way to explore new dishes. And food can always be used as an aphrodisiac.

  1. Couple massage- One year my husband and I went on Groupon and found a massage class. It was so exciting learning new tips. As a result, you now have a skill for life. So whenever your mate is having back pains you can get right in there. This is a great way of bonding through the healing power of touch.

Bonus Tip

  1. Ballroom Dance. There is this awesome salsa dancing spot in Atlanta called Loca Luna. They provide free dance lessons on Thursdays. Check it out!

If you like the tips that you have heard here to reignite your date night, definitely check out my website atlantacoupletherapy.com

I hope this blog has helped you either prepare for love or better the love! I would definitely suggest watching the show Love Is ______. Go to OWN to see if you can catch up.


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