It’s February, and romance is in the air. Massive, heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates are at the front of every store, along with effusive cards that remind us what it’s like to be in love. Lingerie and roses are promoted as the best ways to shower our partner with affection and show them how important they are to us.
That’s great, but…
I love Valentine's Day just as much as the next person (if not more...I really am a BIG fan). But what Hallmark and Victoria's Secret fail to mention is how these material items are supposed to rekindle the flame that burned so bright early on in an intimate relationship.
After all, there’s really nothing like the rush of emotions that flood us when we fall in love. But too often, we believe the myth that this is just the “honeymoon phase” — and that it will be replaced with a sort of muted comfortability over time.
Love doesn’t have to burn out
The transition of passionate, early love to a less passionate, “comfortable” relationship (or even worse, more of a roommate relationship) doesn’t have to happen. In fact, emotionally focused therapy (EFT) for couples turns this myth upside down. With EFT, couples learn how to reestablish the secure bond that they experienced early on in their relationships.
Emotionally focused therapy is an empirically validated approach — so it’s backed by science (and a lot of it). Research shows that EFT for couples has a 75 percent success rate, with 86 percent of couples reporting feeling happier in their relationships.
How emotionally focused therapy works
EFT was founded by Dr. Susan Johnson. It helps couples better understand any negative patterns that can trap partners in pain and isolation. Once they recognize those patterns, couples can intervene by identifying their emotional needs and asking for those needs to be met.
When couples communicate in this way, it opens up the doors for each partner to feel understood, connected and engaged. Sexy lingerie, chocolate or the most romantic card out there cannot compete with the feeling of this secure connection between two people. This connection is the real key to rekindling romance.
If you think emotionally focused therapy — or another kind of couples therapy — could help your relationship, call (319) 356-6352 to schedule an appointment. Or use our Request an Appointment form.
Erin Maher, LMFT
Erin is licensed in the state of Iowa as a marriage and family therapist. She uses an experiential approach called emotionally focused therapy (EFT) to work with couples. She also uses sex therapy to work through sexual health concerns. Erin works with adults and questioning adolescents - individually, as couples, in groups or as a family.