In a day and age where Tinder is the norm, a text message has replaced a written love letter and a date consists of two people with their faces buried in their phones, do we really wonder why people question whether romance is dead?
With Valentine's Day approaching, most people are preparing for romantic dates with their partner but we should ask ourselves why?
Tala Scott, founder of Evolve Today, relationship expert and author, believes that Valentine's Day is an outdated tradition and says that it shouldn't be the only time couples celebrate their relationship.
'As important as it is to celebrate your partnership we should all be making an effort to show our partner how much we value them every day not just on February 14th. Valentine's Day is helping to create negative habits in which partners believe they only need to celebrate their relationship on Valentine's Day and for the rest of the year they can be complacent, which is not keeping the flame of love alive," says Tala.
Tala has listed her tips on how to strengthen your relationship throughout the year not just on Valentine's Day. These include:
So often couples take each other for granted and don't acknowledge everything they do for one another. It is important to make an effort to show your partner how much they mean to you and sometimes this simply means giving them time and attention. Life gets so busy that sometimes we forget to stop, feel and smile. If you're busy then make the time. Relationships are important and need nurturing.
Go on an adventure
As we get older people assume that we have to act a certain age. This is nonsense! The best way to celebrate your partner is by re-living that feeling of falling in love. Go on an adventure, laugh, love and act like an 18 year old couple falling hopelessly in love. Couples need this time out as an opportunity to connect, to talk, to listen, to share, to support, to empathise, to laugh and to simply enjoy each other's company.
In a healthy loving relationship, every day should be Valentine's Day. Every day should be a declaration of how we really feel. We shouldn't keep love in a bottle of our favourite scent or cologne to be used on special occasions. It's doing the big things and the little things and appreciating the difference. It's important not to take the little things for granted. Appreciating the gesture is golden.
Learn their language of love
Everyone has a different language of love according to Gary Chapman, a way in which they show and accept love. This can be through physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, or receiving gifts. Learn what your partner's language of love is and work with it. Men and women think and feel differently so this can be hard at first to figure out but is vital to ensure the happiness of the relationship.
Date night away from kids
Sometimes you need a break from being a responsible parent and just have fun together. Set time aside for romance and intimacy. Expressing sexuality is healthy and balances your heart, body, mind and soul.
Put yourself in their shoes so you can acknowledge what they go through at work or home
Feeling supported by each other is like a gemstone in a relationship – valuable and precious. Make sure you understand the amount of work they do, whether in an office or at home with the children. Sometimes when we are stressed we can make rash judgements or build resentments based on work load. Make sure to empathise and see the situation through their eyes. Acknowledge and support them for the work they do.
It's been said time and time again, in every conceivable language, that heart-felt communication is imperative in a relationship and needs to be expressed every day. Whether you're feeling happy or sad, excited or frustrated, tell your partner how you feel. Open communication is vital to a healthy relationship and will allow it to grow and blossom. Make sure to tell your special someone 'I love you" and say it from the heart.
Don't go to sleep on an argument. The energy of anger keeps circulating in your system long after the last word has been shouted. If you can't find a resolution, agree to disagree, which allows you both to settle. Make sure when you argue that you discuss matters at hand and avoid hitting below the belt to hurt the partner. This never resolves anything and can cause resentment to build within the relationship.
Self-love is one of the most sacred gifts you can give your partner. When you self-renew and re-energise you have so much more to give and share with another.
If you and your partner are experiencing difficulties in your relationship the most valuable and loving gift you can offer each other is to seek professional help. Too often the love we feel can become entangled in limiting patterns and beliefs. Love is the sacred gift that unites us. Love needs to be treated with the respect and honour that it deserves.
For more information visit www.evolvetoday.com.au
Question: Why do you think Valentine's Day is an outdated tradition?
Tala Scott: Because partners should feel valued and loved every day not just on Valentine's Day
We shouldn't keep love in a bottle of our favourite scent or cologne to be used on special occasions such as Valentine's Day.
Because we now have new information about the relationship called Divine Union couples are able to access and experience the ultimate love daily.
The way we date and fall in love has changed. In this fast pace decade of social media and dating apps, it is my belief that Valentine's Day has become out of fashion.
Your partner can wrap up a dozen red roses but is that just an expectation that accompanies gift giving as the tradition on Valentine's Day?
Question: Do you think couples shouldn't participate in Valentine's Day at all?
Tala Scott: Short answer, in my opinion, probably not…..
Celebrating Valentine's Day is fine, it's important to remember to take the romance and loving celebration into your everyday relationship.
Celebrate Valentine's Day because it has special meaning for you, it's important not to get caught in the hype of expectation.
It can be a loving simple celebration without all the expensive bells and whistles. Watching the sun set at the beach, drinking a glass of your favourite wine is wonderful.
Be mindful that Valentine's Day isn't a special occasion for everyone. There are couples experiencing unhealthy relationships or a single and feeling alone.
Question: What are your thoughts on love letters?
Tala Scott: I personally believe that love letters should be written on a regular basis. They are a meaningful way to share your feelings with your partner.
Love letters were once the ultimate way to express our true feelings. They were penned from the heart.
I think love letters are an important communication tool. It's such a shame that emails and text messages are now the current way couples communicate
In one of the ways men and women differ is that men have been known to read and re-read letters. They need time to absorb what is being said and will often allow their hearts to open.
Text messages can be a difficult way to communicate at times because so much can be read between the lines, which are often misinterpreted and misconstrued. Feelings can often be hurt.
Sometimes it is difficult to express our feelings, a love letter allows us to gather our thoughts and express the words we would like to convey.
Question: How can couples strengthen their relationship all year-round?
Tala Scott: It's important to have life/love balance to keep the love in your relationship in top condition.
Self-love – giving time and care to yourself will always nourish your relationship.
Write love letters. Seriously! Leave a love message for your partner to find.
Tell your partner how special they are and how they create joy and happiness in your life.
Grow together daily, we are growing and changing everyday.
Communicate deeply every day, not just life issues and general topics. Make time to take time to do this.
Savour the time spend together.
Cherish and appreciate your intimate times together. Keep your love life ALIVE!
Appreciate the little and big things that life has to offer.
Trust and honour – give each other the freedom to have friends outside of your relationship
Question: Can you talk us through ways to improve communication in a long-term relationship?
Tala Scott: Communicating effectively and efficiently is one of the most common problems couples contend with in relationships.
Learn the art of listening – you may hear the words that your partner has said, but are you listening to what they are actually saying. Hearing and listening are two totally different components in communication. Listening is an art form not a natural occurrence. Be mindful that you aren't hearing from your own filters or perceptions. If you don't have this skill, take a course and learn how to utilise this in your relationship.
If you have a sensitive topic to discuss hold hands with your partner. This assists you both to stay calm and allows you to look into your partner's eyes. Doing this fosters trust and opens your heart to communicate at a deeper level.
Add communication as a part of your daily life. Chose a time of the day that suits your lifestyle.
Put yourself in your partner's shoes for a moment. Imagine how you would feel if the situation you are discussing was happening to you, not what you would do but how would it make you feel. Walking a mile in someone else's shoes is a great example and learning tool of unconditional understanding and greater insight into other people's lives.
If face to face communication isn't possible, phone, text, email communication is fine. Just remember to breathe first. Take a large deep breath right down into your abdomen. This opens your heart space and allows you to centre your emotions. Gather your thoughts, think about what you want to say and deliver your message in a calm manner. In anger, when people yell or scream in pain, suffering and confusion ensues.
If you are feeling really upset or angry don't communicate. Go for a walk and calm down. Never communicate when you are upset or angry. Nothing positive will come from this. Proceed when you feel calm and rational. Your partner will be receptive to communicating with you then.
Question: How can we show a partner that we appreciate them?
Tala Scott: Give love and appreciation to your partner every day.
Give a gift from the heart that your partner would really love and appreciate.
Tell your partner how you feel about them.
Cook a lovely meal.
Prepare breakfast in bed for your partner.
Be spontaneous – plan a surprise outing or gesture.
Do something around the house without having to be asked.
Share the load – chores are time consuming but sharing the load halves the time.
If your life is too busy and chores are a chore, hire a cleaner. The cost will be minimal when it allows you special time to spend together.
Nurture your love, have date nights
Question: What are your favourite date ideas?
Tala Scott: Dating is sharing magical moments with another person.
Fine dining and sharing a glass of champagne.
Picnic in a magical place in nature I haven't seen before.
Sharing lunch at a cascading waterfall.
Candle-light dinner at home.
Cruising to my favourite destination.
Private beach setting.
Dining and theatre/play.
Listening to a great band.
Being spontaneous – deciding where to go and what to do without pre-planning.
Question: What is Evolve Today?
Tala Scott: Evolve Today is a relationship consultancy assisting women and men leave unhealthy relationships. Tala Scott and Olya Bojczuk have joined forces to create this service to help Australians find true love, happiness and contentment in their lives. On offer are healing and self-renewal programmes. Evolve Today also teaches the pioneering concept of the Divine Union Relationship – the relationship that lasts.
Question: What inspired the creation of Evolve Today Tala Scott is a survivor of domestic violence. The difficulties she faced in leaving her destructive relationship gave her first-hand knowledge of how difficult this process really is. Almost by accident, she stumbled across her own Divine Union Relationship. This meeting changed the course of her life. This relationship is so unique and different that she decided to share the information with as many people as possible. Her survival and journey from recovery created an immense change in her life and led to 20 years of research and study regarding this relationship. To access the Divine Union Relationship, it required healing and self-renewal packages so Olya Bojczuk with her previous experience as head of training and development was the perfect fit. Evolve Today emerged.
Interview by Brooke Hunter