Naive and optimistic love

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By Angelica Shiels PsyD

About ten minutes ago, I was lounging on a wicker chair, watching a wedding on the beach with my husband and our friends. It’s our last day of adults-only vacation in Cancun. Thinking about returning to the three kids, and consequently gulping a martini, I wonder if there is such thing as PRE-traumatic stress disorder….

Anyway, moving on.

I thought, about this thing called young love, they should call it “naive and optimistic love.” And I, personally, can’t get enough of witnessing it.

My friends, husband, and I each had a different reaction to the beach wedding:

My husband joked with his (male) friend about the woman with DD’s in the orange bikini. “Creamsicle” became her nickname. Get the milk reference? Husband thought himself hilarious.

My friend, female, with two kids under two, laughed about how ridiculous their vows were. “I promise to tell you how madly in love I am every day.” “Ha,” my friend said, “How about I promise to leave you the hell alone while you are trying to steal 3 hour of sleep in between breast-feeds?!” šŸ™‚

I, on the other hand, did not find their vows “ridiculous.” I teared up as they talked about being each other’s best friends. Hopeless romantic that I am… Errr , no scratch that. I was, after all, just taking about how all I wanted was a cleaning service for my next anniversary present… I am simply a couples therapist, someone that calls em as I sees em. And relationships take a commitment to effort.

So, vow away, I say. Promise your significant other the moon and stars. And, speaking of promises, I promise I would have said so, even if you asked me pre mojito-chased-by a-martini.

Tell each other you will appreciate and respect and sacrifice…. No, I’m not talking about those of you who are about to be married. I mean all of you who are married.

What is keeping us from using words and behaviors to show our love and appreciation intentionally every day? “He doesn’t do it for me” or “I don’t feel like it” are not acceptable answers.

What would you have done when your love was “naive and optimistic”? You would have given the benefit of the doubt, focused on the positives, overlooked the criticism, pushed past your tiredness, put in extra effort, asked yourself how he/she would feel, asked yourself what he/she would want….

Personally, I think we need more naive and optimistic love šŸ™‚

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