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Rob Oglesby

Valentines’ Day – Love and Relationships

Healing,Life Experience,Motivation,Relationships

Date : March 5, 2017Comments : 0

Valentine’s Day is here once more, and the shops are filled with red roses, bottles of fine wine and cards galore to help us say ‘I love you’ to that special someone.  For those already in a relationship, it is an opportunity to reaffirm feelings for a partner, while others may end their Valentine’s card with a cryptic ‘Love, ??? xxx’, possibly hoping that their affections will be discovered by the recipient.

Quality of Connection

Whatever your relationship status, whether you are happily paired, taking a break from being with another or getting over a painful breakup, the subject of love may well stir powerful emotions from either the past or present.  In the counselling room, sometimes clients speak about their relationships with significant others, and most often what stands out to me is not the physical attraction of one person to another, but the quality of the connection between the two halves of the partnership.

Like ‘This’ or ‘That’

In my experience as a therapist, often clients come with complaints about their partner’s behaviour or attitude, wanting to change them so that they are not like ‘this’ or ‘that’.  Clients sometimes feel that they are not being treated very well or being given the affection they deserve.  (In relationships where domestic abuse is a feature, this can very much be the case, but it is not these types of abusive relationships I wish to make comment on here.)

Influence Over Their Own Behaviour

When we examine what the client has influence over in the relationship – what they have the power to change – we find that they cannot one iota change their partner’s behaviour or way of doing things.  The client only has influence over their own behaviour and attitude.  Once this is agreed upon and accepted, work can begin on examining the client’s response to their partner’s way of being.  Several times I have worked with clients who have decided to redouble their efforts at loving their other half (in a practical, everyday kind of way), while maintaining firm boundaries to do with what they find acceptable in the relationship and what they do not.  This ‘carrot rather than stick’ approach often yields better results in terms of improving the quality of the connection between two people than a list of demands presented to the offending partner.

The more I work with those struggling with relationship issues, the more I feel that the key to a successful long term alliance has more to do with giving than getting.  What could you do this Valentine’s Day to show that someone special how you feel?

 ~ Rob Oglesby MBACP B.A. (Hons) BSc | Ashwood Therapy

[Ashwood Therapy provides a discreet, confidential and professional online counselling service by encrypted video call, live instant messaging and secure email.  More details, including tips on wellbeing and information on current counselling session pricing, can be found at www.ashwoodtherapy.com]

Author Name : Rob Oglesby

Rob Oglesby MBACP is a fully qualified and insured therapeutic counsellor who is a registered member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP). He is a member of the executive committee for the Association for Counselling and Therapy Online (ACTO), and is involved in the development and furthering of online counselling provision here in the U.K. Rob has extensive experience working alongside clients facing mental wellbeing issues such as depression and anxiety, and is experienced in supporting those facing bereavement, particularly after the death of a child or young person. Ashwood Therapy is Rob's private counselling practice in which he offers exclusively online therapy via secure video call, encrypted email and live instant messaging. He has a keen interest in technology and how this impacts on the therapeutic relationship, and aims to improve access to counselling for those who may be unable to attend a consulting room in person due to other commitments or disability. Rob writes weekly of his reflections on the world of therapy, and invites contact from people interested in wellbeing issues though his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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