Relationships 101, Part 1: Essential Elements

It’s terrifying to think that love can die. In truth, unless they are well cared for, relationships die. When we first fall in love it’s easy to think it will always be this way. Somewhere down the line while managing whatever stressors life throws at us, it can stop feeling so exciting. Sometimes the relationship is dying but more often it’s the way we have been doing relationship that needs to die. Healthy relationships grow and change. While that can feel uncomfortable, it doesn't necessarily mean that something is wrong. At my wedding, our officiant, Rev. Diane Summerhill, likened relationships plants: Plants need water, air and dirt. They also need sunshine. Water is play. Having fun together is an important part of nurturing a relationship. Have your ways of “watering” become boring? It’s probably time to shake it up and try something new. Relationships need air It can feel threatening when we start getting urges to do things away from our partners. Those urges for “space” are a healthy indication that we need more “air.” When we grow as individuals, what we bring to the coupledom is richer and more satisfying. Relationships nearly always have plenty of dirt Our conflicts are the dirt. Done well, those clashes become fertilizer that helps our relationships grow. Done poorly or not done at all, the fumes alone might just kill us. Just like plants, relationships need sunlight We need to tap into inspiration; Anything that inspires us and reminds us of who are and why we exist. This can be religious practice, the arts, nature, sports... really, anything. It is essential to do these things individually, and nurturing when we can share them together. Stay tuned to this space for more specific details on how to grow your relationship. If you are ready to work on a healthier, more vital and fulfilling relationship, fill out the Send a Message form to the right. Let’s talk! ___________ Tiffany Sankofa, MS LCPC is a therapist in practice in Columbia, MD. If you’d like help growing your relationship, go to and contact Tiffany today. It’s time to take your life back!