I have had many people sit on the therapy couch, look deeply at their partner, and say, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.” As the eyes of their other half fill with tears, I explain to both of them that this is not a bad thing. Now they can get down to the business of having a real relationship and loving each other as two people should.

Hey, you know I’m all about intimacy, and being in love is a great rush. The problem is that the hangover from this kind of infatuation can kill you. Many people are not rational when they’re in love, and some have a tendency to suffer deep depression if the relationship ends.

Everyone wants to be in love, and why? Because it feels soooo good. Being in love creates activity in the brain that sends little electrical impulses throughout our bodies, making us feel all atwitter. The problem is that for most couples being in love almost never lasts forever. Yes, a few wedded pairs are able to stay connected in that way, but it’s not the norm.

The feelings we have while we are in love make us feel immortal, brilliant, powerful, and just plain wonderful. Unfortunately, being in love also creates a kind of emotional blindness.

While we are in love, we don’t contemplate if a partner will be willing or able to take care of us when we are sick, if he or she is ready to become a parent, or how we’re going to pay for the mortgage on that dream house.

True love is a combination of emotions and actions, including talking, tenderness, and trust. These behaviors are an ample replacement for the heart pounding, sexual excitement of being in love. Your drive changes from needing to be with the other person to wanting to care for him or her, and you can still have a hot and heavy romantic relationship in the process.

Making the shift from not feeling “in love” to treasuring the feelings of true love may seem a little awkward at first, but with some time and effort, the rewards are priceless. Nothing can take the place of two hearts becoming one for a lifetime.

Here are a couple of tips for easing the transition from being in love to feeling true love.

~ If you are married or had a commitment ceremony, suggest to your partner that you invite all your friends over for a party without telling them that you are reaffirming your wedding vows. This surprise ceremony will make everyone feel the love you have for each other. Not only will you feel the love returned from your partner, but having it witnessed by the people who care for you will create a powerful and enduring memory. Yes, this will take more than ten minutes, but the joy will last forever.

~ There’s truth to the saying that you don’t know what you’ve lost until it’s gone. This exercise is not for the faint of heart. It’s profound and a bit dark: the next time you are away from your love, imagine that you are all alone. She or he isn’t there anymore. What would your life look like? Feel the loss, and cry the tears. You’ll wake up the next day feeling more inspired than ever to do what it takes to deepen and strengthen your relationship.


Excerpt from: EMOTIONAL FITNESS FOR INTIMACY: Sweeten and Deepen Your Love in Only 10 Minutes a Day

Author's Bio: 

Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., has more than twenty years of experience as a therapist and has been named one of the country’s top relationship experts by Cosmopolitan magazine. His weekly newspaper column, Emotional Fitness, is syndicated by Scripps Howard News Service and appears in more than two hundred newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the Ventura County Star, the Orange County Register, the Detroit News, the Cincinnati Post, and the San Diego Union-Tribune. He hosts a weekly radio show on KCLU/NPR, broadcast in the Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara areas, which reaches more than eighty thousand listeners. Goldsmith has appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, CBS News, NBC News, Beauty and the Geek, and the Greg Behrendt Show. He regularly offers workshops to the public.

Barton’s latest book, Emotional Fitness For Intimacy: Sweeten and Deepen Your Love in Only 10 Minutes a Day, will be published in April 2009. Visit Goldsmith online at emotionalfitness.net.