Spring is in the air. It is a time of new life. There are green grass, kittens, puppies, and rhubarb.

Rhubarb? The darned stuff is the first thing to show up in the garden. For those of you who don’t know about rhubarb, it grows from a huge root-ball under the soil. A mass of stalks shoot through the soil – each topped with a leaf the size of an elephant’s ear. OK, a small elephant’s ear, but the leaf is big. The stalks are red near the ground, greener toward the leaf, and they grow to be the diameter of a coffee cup and as long as a tall person’s leg. Rhubarb strives to control its own personal space in the garden. It shades everything nearby so nothing else can grow as desired. In its raw state, rhubarb is bitter, sour, and it can be toxic if you use it the wrong way. When you chew on it, it bites back in ways you don’t expect.

Does this sound like your numero-uno relationship, with your spouse or partner?

Does that relationship feel a little “rhubarbish” at times?

My wife, Carol, and I coach couples as a part of our business. Guiding couples to find ways to enhance their relationship is one of our specialties. One of the biggest problems we see with couples is that they begin to take each other for granted. We often hear people talk about their partner. Sometimes it is good, but usually it is not. He/she: never listens, is manipulative, is rude and obnoxious, is a workaholic, won’t talk about feelings, is too emotional, is irresponsible, never does anything around the house, isn’t exciting any more, etc.

A relationship like this can be nasty. When we focus on these negative things, guess what happens? Holy rhubarb, that’s all we see. And it gets worse. I know this to be true because I’ve experienced it. If the picking, whining, and blaming continues, the relationship falls into a hot pot that will eventually boil dry and burn. It may happen quickly or it may take years. I guarantee it will occur, leaving both people bitter, sour, and toxic, as if they were rhubarb. In our case, we came very close to ending our relationship.

Have you been in this boiling pot? Is your relationship as passionate, exciting, and satisfying as you’d like it to be? Be honest with yourself.

Regardless of what is occurring in your relationship, some rhubarb romance helps.

Rhubarb is unique, vibrant, thriving, and resilient. When cooked, it smells heavenly, and has a scrumptious flavour. Rhubarb pie is my favourite!! Rhubarb – notice it, nurture it, love it, and add lots of sweetener.

So it is with my relationship with Carol. She is my favourite. She has the same unique qualities, traits, and appearance that I originally loved. In fact, they have been enriched and enhanced through our experiences. I create great happiness, joy, and satisfaction in my life through this relationship. I am not willing to let it boil dry and burn. Instead, I choose to notice her, nurture her, love her, and add lots of sweetener. I could use sugar but I prefer honey, and so does Carol.

Six cups of “Honey” ideas for Rousing Rhubarb Romance:

1. “Good morning Honey.” Add a kiss and a hug. Come on folks – not that “love ya” peck on the cheek as you rush out the door that really says, “I don’t have time for you.” Mean it – a genuine kiss on the lips and an embrace that means, “I love you and I am glad that I get to be in your life”.

2. “Honey, what can I do to help you so your day goes smoothly?” Joyfully do what is asked of you.

3. “Honey, tell me about your day.” Keep your mouth shut and LISTEN with the intent to understand, without interrupting or feeling the need to fix anything.

4. “Honey, let’s do the _____________(dishes, yard work, cleaning, shopping…) together.” Sharing these duties builds rapport and opens up lots of opportunities for stimulating discussions, dreaming, spontaneity, and fun.

5. “Honey, can we talk about ______________________?” Be willing to communicate honestly, openly, and respectfully about anything that comes up in the relationship. Approach these discussions with a balanced perspective, being willing to talk about “what is working” and “what is not working”. These are not arguments, but opportunities to understand each other’s perspective and to deepen the relationship further.

6. “Good night Honey.” Once again, add a genuine kiss and a hug. Lovingly look that special person deeply in the eyes, the portals to their soul. Always go to bed together on a happy note.

Are you married or in a primary relationship? If so, congratulations. This relationship could be the best thing you have ever created in your life. I challenge you to treat it that way.

A relationship is dynamic and always changing. There is always room for improvement. Are you neglecting this person who could be the most significant person in your life? Are you taking your relationship for granted? Are your experiencing some rhubarb bitterness, sourness, and toxicity?

Be the catalyst TODAY and choose to add some of these sweet ideas, or others from your “Honey Pot”. They may cause you to lose some sleep (let your mind wander folks), but you won’t mind.

Rhubarb romance – it’s delicious and sweet, or bitter and sour. The choice is yours!

Copyright © 2007

Author's Bio: 

Author, relationship coach, and professional speaker, Dan Ohler, helps thousands of people every year to vastly enhance their professional and personal relationships. Dan gets you thinkin’ outside your barn. Through his books, keynotes, workshops, and coaching, he challenges you to create flourishing relationships, and in-joy escalating success.

Dan is based near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and his unique, grass-roots flair is well-known across the nation.

He and his wife, Carol, provide seminars, relationship recharge retreats, and relationship coaching specifically for couples.

Please visit http://ThinkinOutsideTheBarn.com

As a gift for you, a FREE e-sample of his book, “Thinkin’ Outside The Barn And Steppin’ Into Fresh B.S.” is available here