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How to Refresh a Stale Relationship - Take the Stale out of Stalemate

by Debbie Mandel

Summertime and the living is easy. We wear relaxed clothes and swim suits. The sun bathes us in warmth and awakens the romantic within. We turn to our significant others, give them a penetrating look; however, they ask if we are sick with a fever. Yes, we have a fever, a fiery craving for love and romance - we want to flee our mundane lives. The perfection and the ideals are out there for heroines and actresses- we’re not exactly chopped liver!

What we need is a completely new life, a new way of relating to others and ourselves. Most importantly, we need to learn how to appreciate ourselves. We tend to look to others to stimulate us and drive happiness into our hearts. We remember that special kiss on the beach, that perfect day in the park or that last dance and hope to recapture the magic, recreate the experience again. However, perfect bliss is fleeting and always searching for it robs us of happiness. Living in the past or fantasizing about the future causes us to miss the special moment of the present. We imprison ourselves with these longings because we want to distract ourselves from our reality and the need to take personal action. Addiction to romance, like any addiction, might be caused by a lack of self-esteem, or in its extreme form, self-hatred.

Here’s how to have a romance with life:

  • Let go of the notion of a major dramatic enlightenment occurring in your life. Life is a series of small breakthroughs which we sometimes miss while waiting for something larger. The little things add up!
  • Take an inventory of your good qualities. This might be difficult for many of you to do. You might have an easier time taking inventory of your faults. However, being aware of your positive attributes will help you tap into them. Appreciate who you are and where you have come from. Try to fall in love with yourself! If you don’t love yourself, how can you really love another and really believe that you are worthy of a love returned?
  • Become aware when you are reaching for something else, something new, or someone new rather than what you have now. Where do you feel it in your body? Don’t struggle against your desire. What you resist persists. Instead, learn to live with this desire and try to give it your attention and figure out what stressors in your life trigger it. Be clear about your motivation; penetrate the illusion.
  • Live on the edge of experience. Each moment could bring mystery, joy and freshness. Be open to what each moment could bring. If you are unhappy at this very moment, the next moment could be better!
  • Appreciate that you have power over your perceptions. It is not the facts - but your attitude about the facts, your interpretation.
  • Stop and take mental Kodak moments of the people in your life who you love. You may be so busy running the house, working outside the home and caring for everyone that you are too busy to stop, observe and appreciate the beauty of your relationships.
  • Practice being kind, loving and positive. Act “as if.” Soon your romantic world will change. You have to give love to get love.

Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WHLI 1100AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: