Valentine’s Day tips: how to set the tone for the rest of the year

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Relationship expert Dr. Wayne Pernell has timely tips on how to make your relationship better on Valentine’s Day, and every day.

He says it’s never too late to show your special someone you care, and it doesn’t need to be a grand gesture – even little things go a long way to sending the message that they are loved.

Among Dr. Pernell’s tips are:

  • Watch Your Language! – not just cuss words, but actually avoid common words that can derail conversations – they are called Dr. P’s “watch words” – WHY, BUT, SHOULD.

WHY – when you ask that question, you’re not really looking for the answer. If you think about the intent behind a “why did you…” question, it’s blameful. The response begins with a “because” answer and the dynamic is parent-child. That means you are likely to get a response that placates or slams back hard. And you know how it feels to be on the receiving end of “why,” when all you want is to feel understood

Instead of Why, use What or How as your inquiry starters. “What about that appeals to you?” or “How can we keep this space clear for everyone to use?”

BUT – This quick word often slips into the conversation as a place-holder for “I’m next.” In conversation, we’re often too quick to interject instead of listening. Starting a sentence with But only serves to cause an argument by negating what has been said before. If you are in conversation and waiting for your partner (or child) to take a breath so that you can share your side, and you start with “but,” you’ve just told the other person that they’re not that important.

Instead of But, use And. This is inclusive and acts as a “plus-one” to what the other person was saying. “But what about…” turns into, “And what about…” and the meaning of the conversation is changed for the positive.

SHOULD – We “should” on ourselves and each other way too much. That needs to stop. “You should have called” or “you should have been here sooner” can still be courageous conversations without being contentious and blameful. “I was worried when you were late. In the future, could you call me to let me know?” By owning your emotion and stating what you’d like in the future, you’ve allowed the damage from a transgression to be noted and to heal.

Instead of Should, try “could” or “would” and keep positively future-focused. Simple word substitutions can stop you from driving a wedge between you and help you engage with each other more deeply. There’s no need to be blameful, even accidentally blameful when you can be kind deliberately.

Dr. Pernell’s other tips include:

  • Treat Your Partner Like You’re Dating – Keep things dynamic and fresh by keeping the mindset like you had while you were dating. It’s important to show effort like you probably did in the beginning of your relationship. Dr. P can give quick and simple examples of things you can do.
  • Plan Quarterly Getaways – take turns planning getaways to spend some quality time together. It can be built-in or seem spontaneous. It also doesn’t have to be a trip to France, it can be a cute bed and breakfast that you both like. This gives you a way to stay connected throughout the year. 
  • Morning Greeting – the way you greet each other in the morning sets the tone for the whole day, so make it count and be as positive as possible.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm