State, national lifestyle columnists

Spring a time of relationship growth

By From page A2 | March 19, 2014

The trees and flowers are budding, the animals are chirping (or honking or howling), and Mother Nature has offered each of us yet another opportunity for a fresh start. Being able to grow as individuals and as partners in our relationships is a big part of what spring is all about. It is the season of rebirth and renewal, and we need to use this time to make our lives the best they can be.

Some people get a case of spring fever, where they just want to kick back, while the Earth is warming up, and do a little less with their lives. There is nothing wrong with taking this approach to the new season, and if you have the time and the ability to relax, I believe you should take it. Life gets complicated from time to time, and giving yourself a break, no matter when, will help you rebuild your energy supply so that it’s available the next time you need it.

Personal or relational growth isn’t only a seasonal thing. It happens all year long. But why not use the energy of spring to help propel you in the direction you’ve been dreaming about? Give yourself permission to reach for those things or for the depth of love that you’ve been craving. You may be a little surprised by how invigorating this can be.

Research tells us that couples who do new things together on a regular basis have closer and more productive relationships. Having positive adventures together create brain chemicals like oxytocin (sometimes called the cuddle hormone) that make you feel more bonded, and it becomes natural for you to enjoy the company of the one you love a little more.

The freshness of spring also brings out the creativity in many people. Perhaps they are inspired by the same energy that makes the flowers bloom. There is an old saying, “You are either green and growing or ripe and rotting.” The choice is up to you. And make no mistake: it is a choice, an inner decision that we can all make for ourselves.

The season of spring is also known as a time when our hearts are more open to love. If you aren’t in a relationship, this is a good time to start looking, because other people are feeling the same way. Your chances for finding a partner actually improve at this time of year. But nothing will happen if you sit at home just waiting. You have to take action to bring that new person into your life.

This is a time of year when you can make things happen, both internally and externally. If you get an idea, act on it. If you want to be closer to the ones you love, let them know it, and do something to show how much you care. If you want to grow as a human being, the opportunities are endless. All you have to do is take that first step of bringing something new into your life.

Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village is the author of “The Happy Couple – How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.” Email him at [email protected]

Barton Goldsmith


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