How A Relationship Coach Changed My Life With Just A 5-Minute Chat.
It’s the second week of January and things are looking good. I may not be nailing the New Year’s resolution juice detox — since this involves me getting up 30 minutes earlier in a morning to juice all that fruit sitting in the bottom of my fridge! However, I will take a round of applause because the flip side of this decision is that I’m performing some epic self-care — I’m ensuring I get an extra 30 minutes of sleep in the morning. Bingo. Self-care for the win!
A new year, a new start, a new leaf… whatever you want to call it, this is a common time of year for a fresh chance to embrace the new, the fabulous and the life-changing. Since the juicing is not working out too well for me, I’ve decided to tackle another area of my life that could do with a little zest… setting up some date nights with my husband and fitting them into our ‘full to the brim’ family schedule.
As I recover from a December overindulgence of chocolate, red wine and romantic holiday movies, I’m trekking into January wearing my snow boots and parka, positively chasing a sunshine-filled dream of catching a ‘perfect relationship’ moment or two. Actually, this ‘perfect relationship’ thing could involve a lot of work, so I may as well just make it a dozen ‘magic relationship moments’ while I’m at it!
When you’ve been married for 15 years, have two kids, a cat, a living room carpet that resembles a lego brick ‘walk-of-fire,’ and mortgage repayments that don’t accommodate me hiring Ryan Gosling to juice the damn fruit in the fridge, then you need to take a different approach!
I know I’m not alone. Many parents experience that point in family life when they slowly but surely come out the other side of surviving and parenting young kids. The only problem is that when you finally begin to surface for air, you look at each other and think, “We should spend some time together and book a date night?”, but then you prepare the school lunch boxes, put the garbage out, put a load of laundry in the machine and then look at one another and mutually decide that binge-watching Netflix is the easiest plan of action. The love IS there, but the spontaneity is feeling a little exhausted.
There are many inspirational articles, books and podcasts on the subject of relationships. I could make the heftiest of Amazon orders with a bucketful of relationship books, all arriving on my doorstep by tomorrow night! But I simply don’t have the time to read two dozen books or listen to twenty podcasts by the end of the month.
But tapping into some quick fire, practical wisdom is just what I needed.
Thankfully the world is more connected today. Thankfully our mobile phone brings us digital platforms that can connect us via video chat, in real-time, and deliver us the best expertise and coaching — all from the tap of a button. Not everyone has the time, funds or comfort level to seek relationship counselling and formal appointments. But if you can video chat with an expert and ask 1 or 2 questions, then this kind of coaching hits the spot!
So what did I ask?
I know you’re curious and thinking: “What would this woman ask a relationship coach”? Well, let me share the magic words that Dating and Relationship Expert, Susan Winter, offered me recently. Susan is a bestselling author, Magnifi expert, speaker, coach, writer and (wait for it) seen on Oprah! Yes, you read that right! So I was on a mission to see what Susan could suggest to me. Spoiler alert: Her words of wisdom did not include: “Get your husband to juice the fruit in the morning.”
My question for Susan, was “How do you get back into the swing of going for date nights and making time for your spouse and relationship”? I was tempted to add in “…when you find it easier to watch Peaky Blinders on Netflix and drool over Cillian Murphy instead”. Don’t worry. I thought that would verge on oversharing, so I left that bit out!
Susan shared a simple, but in my mind, groundbreaking tip. She recommended that I should…
“Just start off by planning and doing something small — go for a coffee date. The main point is that you go on a date and have time for each other”.
Of course, Susan went on to suggest that I can aim to build upon the coffee date when time and pocket money allow. But just because my January funds don’t permit me to go to that fancy new restaurant that has opened up in town doesn’t mean I have to give up on sharing some quality time with my husband, away from the kids. I’ll take a large Cappucino and almond croissant, thank you very much!
I appreciate, as a reader, you may think this was an obvious one, but if you’re like me and feel the pressure to do something pretty big, particularly if you go to the effort of booking a babysitter and paying them to walk on the living room rug full of Lego, then starting small on date night never even comes into my mind!
Just like my quick 5-minute coaching video call with Susan was a game changer, so is a 40-minute coffee date with my husband! This is achievable in my book. It’s as easy and as enjoyable as the extra 30 minutes of sleep I give myself in place of juicing a bunch of celery and strawberries?!
The magic of coaching
The value of coaching and accessing someone’s expertise is they see the little things that we don’t see! It’s easy to get knee deep into the weeds of busy family life and Peaky Blinders! But a coach can help lift you out and recognize the potential opportunities that can be a game changer for your life.
I’m curious… if you could connect via video chat and ask a question to a renowned expert, what would it be?