Couples Counseling

Wrapping it all up!

December 27, 2022

An Ode to Playfulness

Finding the Courage to be Vulnerable

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At Amy Wine Counseling Center we aim to empower every adult, child, teen, couple, and family on the journey to hope, healing, and happiness. 

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I have written before on various topics surrounding relationships.  This blog will sort of bring it all together in a high-level overview of what I believe to be the core of all relationships.  The good news is that this philosophy works for all relationships including sibling relationships and even with coworkers at the office.  What I believe to be the heart of relationships is the intentional act of trying to make others feel valued.  This will require sacrifice on your part in those times when you believe your desires are more important, but it is those moments that will make the biggest difference.

Let’s begin with the intentionality of a relationship.  We often hear about taking charge of our lives and our happiness and that if your spouse or others are not making us happy, then it’s time to clean house or whatever meme you can picture.  The problem is that if we are all expecting others to provide us with happiness, no one will be happy. We must be intentional about the other people in our lives to bring them some level of joy.  Conversely, we also want to prevent bad things from happening to our loved ones.  This is a concept more easily understood by parents who want to prevent bad things from happening to their children.  

This intentionality also has a huge role to play in our attitude toward others. In every relationship, especially romantic ones, the newness will wear off and we stop doing it for our partner.  Then we realize we are not being made happy like we once were and start to focus on their negatives.  There is so much to unpack with that, but for now, let’s just say that we also stop focusing on their positives and that leads to even more unhappiness.  We should be intentional about focusing on the positives of those around us and by doing so, we will increase our positive feelings towards them.

We now know that we must be intentional about focusing on the positives of others, bringing them joy, and trying to prevent things that will be unpleasant.  The next question is, how do I know what makes someone happy or sad?   The way that happens is through communication and spending time together with being intentional to learn while doing these things.  The simple act of asking how someone’s day was can open a window to their world.  The key is listening for emotional cues as to anything that made them happy or upset them.  Then dig deeper to find out what caused that emotion.  The more you communicate with intention, the more you will learn about who they are and what motivates them.

Further helping your understanding of who they are is to spend time with them.  This would be preferable to do things that are fun and enjoyable as this promotes both learning and positive feelings toward them. For romantic partners, it is suggested that they find a ritual that is something both truly enjoy doing together and do that ritual on a regular schedule.  The reason is that by both committing to participating in the ritual, it signals to their partner that they matter.

In a nutshell, intentionally focusing on someone’s positive attributes while spending time learning who they really are will allow you to know how to interact with them that brings them joy and prevents unpleasantness, and builds the relationship.  I know, you want to know what is in it for you.  Well, if your partner does the same, you will reap the rewards.  The problem is that if you are expecting your partner to do that, you will be in a negative posture from the beginning and those rewards will never be felt.


Charles Bower, LPC Associate

My passion is relationships of all kinds.  I have been working with people dealing with relationship issues, both professionally and personally, for several years and still see the potential in every relationship to not only survive, but to thrive. I also have experience with biblical and Christian counseling, which is also a passion of mine. However, I do not impose my beliefs on any client and have successfully navigated working with clients of varying world views and spiritual beliefs.