The secret to making your love last

The roses may droop and the chocolates may disappear, but a new course could help keep the romance alive for years to come.

Stephen Kuhn and Elizabeth Espinosa with their children Isabel, 8, and Juan, 6. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Stephen Kuhn and Elizabeth Espinosa with their children Isabel, 8, and Juan, 6. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Fluid Love will open in Fairy Meadow in March to teach people how to create happier relationships through "mindfulness".

Relationship counsellor Peter Lear said this simply meant paying attention to the way you relate to your partner, and focusing on what works.

The workshops will focus on ancient meditation practices and teach couples how to manage stresses.

Mindfulness teacher and PhD student Bridget Dougherty will conduct the sessions alongside Mr Lear.

"The course teaches people to be more present, in the here and now, tuning into your partner and yourself," she said.

"It will help people manage emotion and keep from getting caught up in reactivity."

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Austinmer lovebirds Stephen Kuhn and Elizabeth Espinosa yesterday shared their secrets for a successful relationship.

"We saw a marriage counsellor before we were married," Mr Kuhn said.

"It let us develop tools that have helped us work together."

The couple have been married for 18 years and have two children together. 

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Mr Kuhn said that the best way to practise mindfulness in the relationship was to "keep the line of communication open, take responsibility for your own feelings and emotions, and respect and love each other".

Relationships are the main reason people call Lifeline's Crisis Support line, according to Lifeline South Coast executive director Grahame Gould. Lifeline South Coast is seeking new volunteers for their 24-hour telephone crisis service.

People interested in becoming volunteer telephone crisis supporters can apply online at Lifeline's 24-hour support service number is 13 11 14.


Five tips for using mindfulness to improve relationships:

Focus on the here and now rather than  the past or future.

Be aware of how stress affects the way you think, feel and act towards your partner. Take time to calm down and respond considerately, rather than reacting automatically.

Focus on what works in your relationship, rather than what doesn’t.

Be open and accepting of your  differences. Try not to judge.

Treat yourself and your partner with loving kindness, especially in difficult times.


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