At this time of the holidays, it is timely to be addressing the Fourth C of Lifelong Love, Community. Our Contest winning couple, Elizabeth and Brian, is up to speed, having completed their last assignment in the area of Communication, the third C. In that assignment, they were asked to use the term “we” whenever they would normally use “I” or “me” for one full day. (Try it. You will find that it’s a lot harder than it sounds but quite illuminating.) Elizabeth discovered that when she would say, “We need to get this handled,” Brian felt like she was telling him what to do. Now that they are more familiar with using the term “we,” it makes them “feel like more of a team,” they said.
Elizabeth and Brian also did the “Clearing It Up” exercise in Lifelong Love (pp. 129-130) and had their own unique experiences with it. Brian said he “felt lighter” after sharing something that was bothering him since they were first dating. Elizabeth didn’t feel resolved just sharing her feelings during the exercise, so they talked more about the situation and made “a plan for change,” she said. They worked on her feelings of having to repeat herself often to Brian about closing doors and other minor things. It seems that they felt more resolved when Brian agreed to work on remembering to handle those things. In our experience, doing this exercise encourages people to be more trusting and open about communicating their feelings, which may lead to opportunities to explore and create solutions to their concerns.