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Five Questions to Ask on Date Night This Week

Nearly every week couples ask me how to keep the passion alive in their long-term relationships. They see desire fatigue set in all around them, the more we build a comfortable stable life with someone, the less we connect with the fascination, intrigue, and spontaneity that usually comes so easily early in relationships.  

Those three elements fade away as we stop exploring ourselves and each other.  Over time we start assuming we know everything there is to know about our partner.  To that idea, I say:

How incredibly boring it must be to know everything about your love! How limiting it must be to have the person you desire think they know everything about you! 

I hope you never know everything there is to know about your partner. And if you really do, you're either spending too much time together (and need more independence) or aren't growing as humans (and need to start).

The simplest way to reconnect with that energy is to start getting curious about each other.  Start asking questions again and really answering one another.  No quick one-word responses.  No mumbled answers while scrolling your phone or playing a video game.  Turn towards one another with intention like you did way back when and start discovering one another again. 

You know I send out juicy questions to bring couples closer every week.  This week, try asking your honey these on date night:

  1. What do you daydream about most often?

  2. When do you fantasize about escape?

  3. What makes you cringe?

  4. What do you want more of in your daily life?

  5. What can I do to support you in making your dreams come true?

 


 Gina Senarighi | :GBTQ Couples Counseling | LGBTQ Marriage Therapy

Gina Senarighi has been supporting loving couples and healthy teams for nearly twenty years. As a former couples therapist turned retreat coach, workshop facilitator, and author she's transformed partnerships, leaders and communication strategy all over the world.  

Her uniquely non-judgmental, inclusive approach to couples work puts even the most concerned participants at ease.  She's not your average sit-and-nod supporter- she'll hold hope even when it's hard and always help you grow. 

Call for a consultation to see how she can help you deepen connection, communicate effectively, and passionately reignite your relationship.

The Five Love Languages for Successful Couples

WHY ARE THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES SO IMPORTANT?

In all my years of counseling, diverse couples, marriages, and partners, it’s become clear that everyone benefits when they begin to apply them in all their relationships.

Rarely do couples share the same love language. It can create a lot of frustration when you think you are doing a good job expressing love and yet the other person is just not feeling it. If you don’t understand the love language concept, then you can feel stuck. But it, you understand that they speak a different language, then you can learn to speak that language.

 

WHAT ARE THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES?

The love languages were originally written by marriage therapist Dr. Gary Chapman in his book, The Five Love Languages. The book has a religious theme that doesn’t resonate with many of my clients, but the foundation of this basic couples theory still offers important guidance. 

Basically, there are five main ways we demonstrate love in relationships.  Everyone has a need for all five languages, but each of us prefer one of these more than others. Usually each individual values one or two of the five more than the others.

Most of us communicate love to our partners primarily through our preferred love language- which doesn’t always match our partner’s preference. This miscommunication means sometimes our efforts go unacknowledged.  And sometimes we don’t see all the love our partner is throwing our way.

Sometimes we can have trouble connecting with love even if it is all around us.

IDENTIFYING YOUR LOVE LANGUAGE…

Think of a time you felt truly loved in your relationship. You were sure your partner loved you dearly. What were they doing? What specific actions did they take? Why were these actions important or meaningful to you?

Or think about daydreams or fantasies you have about being well-loved. What’s going on?  How does the person in your dream tell or show you they care?

Now read the languages below to see which best fits with the scenario you described above.

Most people enjoy all of these Love Languages but you will see one or two of them are especially important. Knowing which is your primary or favorite helps your partner better connect with you when showing love.

Knowing which is your least priority helps you identify loving practices you might overlook in partnership.

Your preferred Love Language can change over time, of course, so identifying it clearly and talking about it with a partner will help you two connect in more meaningful loving ways.  

Focus on the love you share this week with this framework in mind and watch what happens!  


 entrepreneur relationships | couples who are entrepreneurs

Gina Senarighi has been supporting loving couples and healthy teams for nearly twenty years. As a former couples therapist turned retreat coach, workshop facilitator, and author she's transformed partnerships, leaders and communication strategy all over the world.  

Her uniquely non-judgmental, inclusive approach to couples work puts even the most concerned participants at ease.  She's not your average sit-and-nod supporter- she'll hold hope even when it's hard and always help you grow. 

Call for a consultation to see how she can help you deepen connection, communicate effectively, and passionately reignite your relationship.

Seven Principles for Making Your Relationship Work

Hi!  I found a great summary of one of my all-time favorite relationship books, so I wanted to be sure to share it with you. 

Seven Principles of Making Your Marriage Work by John Gottman is excellent even if you're a couple who plans never to marry.  His 40+ years researching couples in everyday environments has build a critical foundation for understanding what makes love last. 

Check it out:

 

I'd love to hear what you think after watching or reading.  Pop over to my facebook page and leave a comment, or call me for a consultation to learn how to apply these principles in your own relationship.

 

Couples Who Dream Together: Insipre a Shared Vision in your Relationship

The importance of inspiring a shared vision as a leader and at work has been well-documented.  Leaders who can inspire that vision among team members can more easily motivate for success, re-organize in conflict, and see the vision through to completion.

Why wouldn't a shared vision be just as important in personal partnerships?

This week I'm leading a workshop with 22 entrepreneurial couples to help them apply business success principles in their personal relationships.  We'll be talking about the importance of shared dreaming (join us here).  

Business leaders who succeed prioritize visioning by setting aside time to create and nourish a vision among their teams. You can do this in your family by spending time imagining what things will be like for all of you in a year, and five. Dream up detailed stories of the adventures you'll take and the lessons you'll learn together. 

SHARED DREAMING

Another way to develop your vision as a couple is to start a relationship dream list. A shared dream list is like a bucket list. It collects the dreams you have for this lifetime in one place. If we fill this dream list with interest, growth, and adventure it can help us live life fully, courageously, and intentionally.

Most couples informally share ideas and dreams over time, but clearly committing to shared dreams can be a must more powerful action step in creating a shared future. The act of writing anything out longhand helps you focus and remember it.

WRITE IT DOWN

Use the page below to start your shared list. Dream up all the possibilities you want to experience together and write them down. No dream is too big or too small- if it’s yours commit to it on paper.

This is a list that grows with you, so when you know you want to add something, simply write it down on your list, make it real in your mind, and then consider how to fulfill your dream today, tomorrow, or someday...your list is there when you’re ready. You can reorganize together it any time- I recommend you revisit it together every year.

Having a dream list helps you invest in making them come true. Keep it in a visible place to remind and motivate yourself to reach for your lifelong goals. Every day is a new opportunity.

Download the free worksheet below to help you create a relationship dream list at home.  If you'd like help strengthening your partnership please give me a call for couples coaching.  I'd love to help you!   


 couples coach | couples who start businesses | successful couples | couples who work together

Gina Senarighi has been supporting loving couples and healthy teams for nearly twenty years. As a former couples therapist turned retreat coach, workshop facilitator, and author she's transformed partnerships, leaders and communication strategy all over the world.  

Her uniquely non-judgmental, inclusive approach to couples work puts even the most concerned participants at ease.  She's not your average sit-and-nod supporter- she'll hold hope even when it's hard and always help you grow. 

Call for a consultation to see how she can help you deepen connection, communicate effectively, and passionately reignite your relationship.

Enhance Your Emotional Vocabulary

There are more words out there to describe how you feel besides sad, mad, and glad—in fact, there’s a whole world of words that can describe your emotions in incredibly specific ways. For most people, there's a significant deficit in our emotional vocabulary training growing up.

Having a rich emotional vocabulary means being able to recognize, label and understand feelings in ourselves and others.  Of course happy, sad, scared, and angry are four foundational emotions, but there are far more nuanced and complex emotions experienced regularly.

Having a solid emotional vocabulary helps us navigate complexity in relationships and deepen emotional intimacy.

Together the skills of identifying her emotions and reading and responding to other people’s emotions combine to create a skill known as emotional intelligence or emotional literacy.

Emotional literacy is necessary for us to regulate emotions, effectively connect with the people close to us, and manage social interactions successfully. The larger your emotional vocabulary the better equipped you are to discern different feelings, communicate your needs, and connect with the feelings of others. 

So how do you expand your emotional vocabulary?  Start by downloading this list. Use it for any of the activities below on your own or with someone you trust to expand your use and understanding of each word.  

How to use your feelings list

1) Choose one emotion each day and try to notice where you run into it throughout the day.  Maybe in a news story, or a book you're reading. Maybe someone talks about it on a podcast or you hear a story from a colleague at work. You might see it in a TV episode. Focus on noticing the places that emotion shows up for a day.

2) Choose one emotion at random and do a five-minute free write about where and when it has been present in your life. Think about the circumstances, players and resolution. Notice what physical sensations arise when focusing attention on this particular emotion. Notice if other emotions travel alongside the emotion you picked.

3) With someone you trust, randomly select an emotion from the list and tell a story about that emotion without naming the emotion itself. Have the other person guess what you're describing.  This practice helps you develop more effective empathetic communication.

4) Imagine the emotion as a living being and draw it. Give it a body and face and use color if helpful.  Notice if it's hairy or feathered, winged or legged. Most importantly, ask it what it wants most and how it might try to help you. Jot notes as needed to deepen your learning.  

5) Keep this list handy while you watch TV at night and during the commercial breaks try to guess what the main character is feeling using words from this list.  If you're watching with loved ones you can each choose a character to guess emotions for.

There are many other ways to deepen your emotional literacy but starting with these practices will help you expand your vocabulary and ultimately deepen your connection with yourself and those you love.  

If you'd like support deepening emotional intimacy and expanding your emotional vocabulary give me a call, I'd be happy to help.  


 Gina Senarighi Relationship Coach | Couples Retreats Communication Skills

Gina Senarighi has been supporting loving couples and healthy teams for nearly twenty years. As a former couples therapist turned retreat coach, workshop facilitator, and author she's transformed partnerships, leaders and communication strategy all over the world.  

Her uniquely non-judgmental, inclusive approach to couples work puts even the most concerned participants at ease.  She's not your average sit-and-nod supporter- she'll hold hope even when it's hard and always help you grow. 

Call for a consultation to see how she can help you deepen connection, communicate effectively, and passionately reignite your relationship.

Closer Relationships in Five Sentences

Every week I send out conversation starters for more meaningful connected relationships.  If you'd like to receive them enter your information here.


Vulnerability is the key to closeness in intimate relationships.  Most of us feel deeply connected to partners when they show us their most authentic selves.  We love the courage it takes to get real.

But most of us fear showing that same truth to others. My mentor, Brene Brown says "vulnerability is the first thing I look for in you, and the last thing I am willing to show in myself."  We fear sharing these pieces of ourselves because most of us have had bad experiences sharing them in unsafe environments. 

In order to create safer environments to show up authentically, we need to talk about vulnerability and support with specifics.  Getting more clarity will help you and the people around you show up authentically with greater safety.  

Finish the sentence stems below on your own and share responses with someone you care about this week.  I'd love to hear how it goes on my facebook page. 

I use these sentence stems not only with the romantic partners I support, but also in my work with business leaders and teams.  Vulnerability is the key to connection- and also invites space for innovation and growth.  you can use them in your workplace to cultivate greater authenticity too.

If you'd like support working through these in your partnership or on your team give me a call.  I'm here for you!

Finish these five sentences to bring you closer this week:

-       To me vulnerability is…

-       Vulnerability feels like…

-       I feel safer being vulnerable when…

-       What I learned about vulnerability growing up was…

-       To support me when I’m vulnerable you can…

 


Gina Senarighi | Relationship Coach | Couples Retreats | Team Facilitator

Gina Senarighi has been supporting loving couples and healthy teams for nearly twenty years. As a former couples therapist turned retreat coach, workshop facilitator, and author she's transformed partnerships, leaders and communication strategy all over the world.  

Her uniquely non-judgmental, inclusive approach to couples work puts even the most concerned participants at ease.  She's not your average sit-and-nod supporter- she'll hold hope even when it's hard and always help you grow. 

Call for a consultation to see how she can help you deepen connection, communicate effectively, and passionately reignite your relationship.

36 Questions for Closeness in Relationships

Even if you’ve been with a partner for years, there is always something to learn about them. These questions came from a study by Arthur Aron and others designed to create interpersonal closeness. (You can see the entire study here). 

In the study, Aron worked with students to measure closeness and found with more meaningful conversation (initiated by these questions) they started to feel closer to those around them.  You can use the same questions below with your sweetheart, a colleague, or your kids to start feeling closer as well!

Set I

1. When was the last time you walked for more than an hour? Describe where you went and what you saw.
2. What was the best gift you ever received and why?
3. If you had to move from California where would you go, and what would you miss the most about California?
4. How did you celebrate last Halloween?
5. Do you read a newspaper often and which do you prefer? Why?
6. What is a good number of people to have in a student household and why?
7. If you could invent a new flavor of ice cream, what would it be?
8. What is the best restaurant you’ve been to in the last month that your partner hasn’t been to? Tell your partner about it.
9. Describe the last pet you owned.
10. What is your favorite holiday? Why?
11. Tell your partner the funniest thing that ever happened to you when you were with a small child.
12. What gifts did you receive on your last birthday?

Set II

13. Describe the last time you went to the zoo.
14. Tell the names and ages of your family members, include grandparents, aunts and uncles, and where they were born (to the extent you know this information).
15. One of you say a word, the next say a word that starts with the last letter of the word just said. Do this until you have said 50 words. Any words will do-you aren’t making a sentence.
16. Do you like to get up early or stay up late? Is there anything funny that has resulted from this?
17. Where are you from? Name all of the places you’ve lived.
18. What is your favorite class at UCSC so far? Why?
19. What did you do this summer?
20. What gifts did you receive last Christmas/Hanukkah?
21. Who is your favorite actor of your own gender? Describe a favorite scene in which this person has acted.
22. What was your impression of UCSC the first time you ever came here?
23. What is the best TV show you’ve seen in the last month that your partner hasn’t seen? Tell your partner about it.
24. What is your favorite holiday? Why?

Set III

25. Where did you go to high school? What was your high school like?
26. What is the best book you’ve read in the last three months that your partner hasn’t read? Tell your partner about it.
27. What foreign country would you most like to visit? What attracts you to this place?
28. Do you prefer digital watches and clocks or the kind with hands? Why?
29. Describe your mother’s best friend.
30. What are the advantages and disadvantages of artificial Christmas trees?
31. How often do you get your hair cut? Where do you go? Have you ever had a really bad haircut experience?
32. Did you have a class pet when you were in elementary school? Do you remember the pet’s name?
33. Do you think left-handed people are more creative than right-handed people?
34. What is the last concert you saw? How many of that band’s albums do you own? Had you seen them before? Where?
35. Do you subscribe to any magazines? Which ones? What have you subscribed to in the past?
36. Were you ever in a school play? What was your role? What was the plot of the play? Did anything funny ever happen when you were on stage?

Getting the Love You Want in Relationships: Clear Requests & Meaningful Support

One of the biggest complaints new clients come to me with is a need for more support in their relationship.  Most folks tell me they've asked and asked (maybe a thousand times) for support but just don't feel like they're getting it.  

Usually, when we talk with their partner the other side of the story includes just as many attempts at support as requests.  And on their side, these attempts are as overlooked or missed as the initial requests.  

So how do you meet in the middle?  It can help to shift the conversation by getting specific right from the beginning. While you might think you're being clear in asking for more support or telling them you feel unsupported, getting more clear will help them learn to meet your needs.

In sessions, we work to identify what meaningful support looks like to each partner- and often in each situation.  For those of you who can't make it in, I've outlined key themes in support and given examples of each on this worksheet to help you in identifying your unique support needs.  

With greater awareness and specificity you can make clear requests and your partner can more easily work to meet you where you need them most.  

Start by asking yourself, what would meaningful support look like in this situation?  What specific behaviors would help before, during, and after the situation I'm working on?  If you need inspiration download this guide for help.  

I hope this framework can help you get clearer about what you need from your sweetie- and can help them better meet you.  Let me know if you'd like my support in this conversation, I'm here for you.  

 Support in Relationships | Supportive Partner | How to be supportive

A Month of Kindness for Couples

So many incredible couples reach out to me to help them reconnect with each other.  While there are lots of ways to get there, starting on the path of reconnection can be easier than you think.

The biggest challenge is shifting your patterns to take tiny daily actions that move you towards more meaningful connection in the smallest of ways.  Most long-term couples need a reminder and a serious commitment to change in order to re-establish these smallest connections.  

So I created a little calendar to help you two commit to daily action.  Click the image to download a copy to give it a try this month.  

As always, if you'd like help nurturing the connection between you, I'm happy to support you. Give me a call. 

31 Creative Ways to Say "I Love You"

All too often we forget to show the ones we love how important they are to us. So here are 31 creative ways to say “I love you” to get you through the start of 2017.

Hopefully these starters will get ideas rolling to last you the next 365!

Creative Ways to Say I Love You

  • Watch a sunset or sunrise together and bring a picnic or background music to set the mood.  Check for sunrise or sunset times in advance!

  • Make a love note scavenger hunt hiding sweet reminders and rewards in your home, office, or neighborhood.

  • Read bedtime stories. Pick a favorite book and read aloud together. Quality time together and the expansion of your individual/collective knowledge bases.
  • Send an e-greeting.  Someecards is my personal favorite for snarkiness, and you can personalize them!
  • Write it in the sand.  Or the fall leaves, or seashells, or shoes boxes, or rose petals….
  • Unplug.  Set up a media free night and focus 100% of your attention on your honey.
  • Write it in lipstick on the mirror.  Even if you aren’t the one who wears lipstick (or neither of you do).
  • Share five minutes of uninterrupted eye contact. Try it and see what happens.
  • Throw a surprise appreciation party with close friends where everyone gives a short speech about why someone is loved.
  • Plan your sweetheart’s dream date. Do exactly what they love to do, with no strings attached.
  • Write it in the snow (no, not like that).  If you live somewhere cold, use food coloring and a spray bottle to write sweet words in your love’s yard. These folks did it with spray paint.
  • Make a calendar.  Use your google or iCal or Outlook or whatever, and make a note every day of one thing you appreciate about your special someone.  Make sure you share it so they can see!
  • Re-live your first date, or meeting.  Remember the details and try to line things up with meaning.  If it was awkward, stage a re-do.
  • Love all over.  Trace your sweetie’s body and fill in the outline with all the awesome things you appreciate about their body.
  • Make a homemade thank you card.  Get out your markers, glitter, and crayons!  What a sweet (and sparkly) way to say something kind to someone you love!
  • Write out an alphabet of appreciation. Make a list of something you appreciate about your sweetheart for every letter of the alphabet.
  • Be the Grocery Fairy.  For those of you who prefer “acts of service” as your love language- surprise a lover with a week’s worth of fresh groceries.  Don’t forget the note from Grocery Fairy!
  • Bake it.  Say it in cookies, frosting, cakes, or pie tops.  Make your sweeties favorite sugary treat and top it with your love.
  • Make a modern mixtape. Curate hand-picked tracks for your honey, to let them know you’re thinking of them!
  • Hand write a letter explaining why you love someone—and be specific.
  • Dedicate and perform a karaoke song to your beloved.  Dance moves always help.
  • Goodnight love note. Hide a love note under their pillow.  Better yet, make them alove note pillow.
  • Go international.  Surprise them with an “I love you” in another language.  Usegoogle translate to get your pronunciation right!
  • Host a personalized movie marathon. Arrange a marathon of your sweetheart’s favorite films from their childhood or college days.  Don’t forget the popcorn!
  • Home movies. Use iMovie to piece together a collection of reasons why you appreciate your sweetheart and upload to vimeo.
  • Breakfast in bed.  You can even make pancakes or toast that say it for you.
  • Written on the body.  Write a love note on your body and have a scavenger hunt for your lover to find it!
  • Make a love map.  Not the Gottman Love Map you hear me talking about all the time, instead this time get a map and stick a pin in it for each of your travels.  If you have yet to go far, stick another color in for your future travels!
  • Play it out.  Make a crossword or word search puzzle of your favorite inside jokes.
  • Send a panty-gram.  Yes.  That’s what it said.

Start loving more creatively today!  Pick something above, or submit your own creative way to say I love you in the comments.


 relationship coach | positive psychology | happy couples | couples retreat

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC has helped thousands of couples review their growth together, and renew their connection moving forward. 

For nearly 15 years she's specialized in strengths-focused, positive psychology-based relationship advice and coaching to nurture lasting joy and and resilience in her client's relationships.  

She will help you:

  • develop a shared vision and goals- and create actionable steps to move in that direction
  • overcome outdated patterns and establish new intentional, healthy ones
  • strengthen trust or repair it after infidelity or dishonesty
  • connect in meaningful ways during and well after life transitions
  • design rituals of connection that will keep you close for many years
  • break stale or unhealthy communication patterns and learn new skills 

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Relationship Advice: Keep Your Conversation Fresh

One of the most important things we can do in a couple is continue to learn about one another.  When we stop being curious and start making assumptions about the people in our lives we start running into problems.  

Take some time over the weekend to get to know this person in a new way by asking these ten simple questions.

Even if you think you know their answer, ask and see if their response has changed or grown since you last checked in.  Try to accept their answers with warmth (the goal is to create openness for more sharing).  

It might be exciting to learn how your partner has changed over time.  These work well on a first date too!

Ask your sweetie:

1.  Do you look more like your mother or father?  How?

2.  Which of your parents are you closer to?

3.  Whats the most important lesson your parents taught you?

4.  What qualities make a good parent?

5.  Do you wish anything were different about your relationship with your parents?

6.  Who mentored you as a child?

7. Who was your hero growing up?

8. What influence should our families have in our relationship?

9.  What values have you held onto from your upbringing?

10.  If you could change anything about your childhood, would you?  What would you change?

(Check out previous conversation starters here)

I am so excited to hear from you about the conversations these ignite.  Leave a comment below and let me know!

Fall Relationship Bucket List

We all need new adventures to keep things lively- relationships are no different.  

Every couple I work with creates a relationship bucket list of their own, filled with ideas and dreams to share.  It helps you get to know one another, reconnect, and build a shared vision of your future. 

Plus it's fun.

[Check out the other seasonal lists right here]

If you need some ideas to get started writing your relationship bucket list here are a few from my winter-themed list to get you going.  

Just download the image below and use it to help you try something new together.


life coach | relationship coach | couples coach | couples retreats | positive psychology

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC has helped thousands of couples review their growth together, and renew their connection moving forward. 

For nearly 15 years she's specialized in strengths-focused, positive psychology-based relationship advice and coaching to nurture lasting joy and and resilience in her client's relationships.  

She will help you:

  • develop a shared vision and goals- and create actionable steps to move in that direction
  • overcome outdated patterns and establish new intentional, healthy ones
  • strengthen trust or repair it after infidelity or dishonesty
  • connect in meaningful ways during and well after life transitions
  • design rituals of connection that will keep you close for many years
  • break stale or unhealthy communication patterns and learn new skills 

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Nine Simple Ways to Build Closer Relationships

Staying in love long-term takes intentional action every day.  It doesn't have to take a lot of work, but by keeping these things in mind you'll be a dream partner to your sweetie.

Apologize

Strong relationships are based on trust and accountability.  Being a great partner means owning when you've hurt someone, taking accountability, and moving forward.  Try apologizing with more clarity next time (here are a few tips).

Breathe Before Responding

Most conflicts could be resolved if we just slowed down and thought things through before reacting.  Take a breath before you respond from now moving forward and notice what shifts between you.

Take Care of Yourself

If you aren't taking care of yourself you can't properly take care of your love.  Period.  Prioritize your self-care as a means to nourish your relationship.  

Make Their Day

Stop and ask yourself, what one thing might brighten my sweetie's day- and then do it.  Maybe it's a love note, a clean house, or a special song no matter what it is we all like to enjoy a special treat once in a while.  Surprise them with something new.

Show Affection

Not all communication is verbal- having strong kinesthetic communication strengthens relationships too.  Ask your partner what their favorite kind of affection is, and then follow up by doing it.  

Think Kind Thoughts

Resentment likes to build up even without our partners' help.  Notice when you start dwelling on negative thoughts, criticisms, or complaints you have about your partner and force yourself to think nice thoughts for each negative thought you're holding.

Consider their POV

When you're in conflict make sure you take your partner's feelings and ideas into consideration.  It's going to be very difficult to move forward until you do.

Compliment Them

Often as a relationship grows we forget to tell our partner the things we love about them- specifically, in person, and with words.  Take the five seconds to nourish your relationship right now- just tell them why you love them.

Share Gratitude Openly

Strong couples share genuine appreciation and gratitude regularly.  Start a daily gratitude practice and share something you're grateful for to help you stay close.

I hope these suggestions help you create a partnership you love.  Here's a version you can print for your fridge if you want a little hanging reminder to help you get into strong practices that nurture your relationship.


 positive psychology | love coach | relationship coach | couples coach | couples retreat

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC has helped thousands of couples review their growth together, and renew their connection moving forward. 

For nearly 15 years she's specialized in strengths-focused, positive psychology-based relationship advice and coaching to nurture lasting joy and and resilience in her client's relationships.  

She will help you:

  • develop a shared vision and goals- and create actionable steps to move in that direction
  • overcome outdated patterns and establish new intentional, healthy ones
  • strengthen trust or repair it after infidelity or dishonesty
  • connect in meaningful ways during and well after life transitions
  • design rituals of connection that will keep you close for many years
  • break stale or unhealthy communication patterns and learn new skills 

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

50 Free and Cheap Super Dates in Portland

Keeping the romance alive can be easier than you might think.  Portland (and the areas close-by) is completely FILLED with great date opportunities for you and your sweetie to reconnect and adventure.  

Here's a list of 50 free summer date ideas (and around) in Portland this summer:

Soak together

There are TONS of incredible hot springs near Portland and across the state.  Hike in and soak with your special someone!  Here's a great list with a map!

Eat local

If you're a foodie you know Portland is a great place to eat.  But the summer produce from local farmers makes it even better for food-inspired folks.  Go to any of the farmer's markets to taste or challenge yourself to see new parts of town by attending all the markets on this map this summer.

Watch a movie

Portland parks shows free movies all over the city three and four nights a week.  Bring a blanket and your favorite movie snacks and watch a silly show with your neighbors.  Here's the whole list.

You can also attend the rooftop movies at Hotel DeLuxfor a more grown up movie night.

Go swimming

There are over 6000 lakes in Oregon.  Start with a visit to any of the lakes on this list of 60 great summer swimming spots!

You can also attend the Chunky Dunk, or Naked Goddess Swim, if that floats your boat.

Picnic in the parks

One of my creative couples started checking off a list of every park in Portland last summer.  Their goal?  Visit every park with a picnic basket.  There are 279 parks in town- so this adventure list could keep you busy for a while!

Attend the symphony

Oregon Symphony puts on a show at Tom McCall Waterfront park for 20,000 Portlanders every summer.  You should check it out.  Here's the deets.

The Portland Festival Symphony puts on five additional shows in various parks throughout the city.  Check out the listing here.

River Festival

Free music and performances at the gorgeous Cathedral Park.  Come dance with your sweetie and celebrate how beautiful the Willamette is!

Eat some berries

Oregon overflows with berries in the summer and there are a lot of fun ways to eat them.  Attend the berry festival, go to u-pick farms near town, or wander one of the great berry picking spots off trails with your honey.

Beachcombing

Oregon is one of the best places to beach comb around.  Head to the coast at any of these spots to find agates, jasper, shells and more.

Street Fairs

I cannot believe how many neighborhood street fairs happen in Portland.  It seems like there's one every weekend.  If you've missed the early ones this summer don't worry you can still check out any of these:

Clinton/Division Street Fair

Fremont Fest Street Fair

Mississippi Street Fair

Soapbox Derby

Yes, Portland is home to an annual Adult Soapbox Derby, and if you get there early enough you can watch other adults zoom past- narrowly avoiding fate with hundreds of other onlookers.

Dessert date

Pix patisserie hosts Wednesday beer garden movie nights with free popcorn all summer.  Get something sweet for your sweetie.

Vegas in Portland

Tony Starlight is Portland's best answer to the glory of old Las Vegas.  You can pay for a show throughout the year, or attend the free Fernhill Park show this July.

Support state parks

My partner and I started this adventure list a while ago and it has given us so many beautiful days.  Support the state parks by hiking, camping, fishing, riding through or cleaning up any of the parks listed here.

Concert lunch date

Pioneer Square hosts noon concerts all summer.  Meet your sweetie for a nooner lunch date and check out the show.

Mermaid Parade

Either attend or dress yourselves up (or both) for the mermaid parade this year.  That simple- Mermaid pride!

Smell the roses

If you're into flowers- but not able to buy them consider a trip to the rose garden.  There are thousands of flowers for you and your sweetheart to choose favorites from.  

Obon Festival

The Oregon Buddhist Temple shares a traditional Japanese holiday with Portland each year.  Bring your sweetie and try something different.

See some art

Portland is such a great city for artists.  You can support art in every neighborhood.  Attend Last Thursday on Alberta, or First Thursday in the Pearl.  Or go to one of the free days at the Portland Art Museum.

Fossil Festival

Attend the Northwests Largest Fossil Festival and geek out together over the incredible diversity of rocks, gemstones, and fossils found in our home state.

Go for a ride

Portland Parkways is a program held by Portland Parks and Rec every year to quiet a neighborhood and give space for pedal-powered riders.  Bring your bike and a lunch and watch a zillion toddlers learn to pedal.  

Float the river

There are so many ways to float the rivers in and near portland.  You could attend the Big Float in town or head outside the city to float the Clackamas or the Sandy River.

India Festival

Celebrate Indian cultural heritage with other Portlanders at Pioneer Park- it's totally free.  

Nude not lewd

If your relationship is ready for public nudity, there are two clothing-optional beaches near Portland, Collins on Sauvies and Rooster Rock.  Both have cheap day-use fees ($5 and $7 respectively) so you can really soak in the sun.

Highland Games

Okay, it's not free- but it sounded so fun I had to include it.  Attend the Scottish Highland Games in Greshambecause it's that fun.

Take a hike

Oregon is arguably the most beautiful state to live in.  Get outside together to enjoy the beauty!  Here's a list of 75 awesome day hikes in driving distance of Portland.


 positive psychology | couples retreat | relationship coach | couples coach

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC has helped thousands of couples review their growth together, and renew their connection moving forward. 

For nearly 15 years she's specialized in strengths-focused, positive psychology-based relationship advice and coaching to nurture lasting joy and and resilience in her client's relationships.  

She will help you:

  • develop a shared vision and goals- and create actionable steps to move in that direction
  • overcome outdated patterns and establish new intentional, healthy ones
  • strengthen trust or repair it after infidelity or dishonesty
  • connect in meaningful ways during and well after life transitions
  • design rituals of connection that will keep you close for many years
  • break stale or unhealthy communication patterns and learn new skills 

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Winter Relationship Bucket List

We all need new adventures to keep things lively- relationships are no different.  

Every couple I work with creates a relationship bucket list of their own, filled with ideas and dreams to share.  It helps you get to know one another, reconnect, and build a shared vision of your future. 

Plus it's fun.

[Check out the other seasonal lists right here]

If you need some ideas to get started writing your relationship bucket list here are a few from my winter-themed list to get you going.  

Just download the image below and use it to help you try something new together.


 couples coach | couples retreat | crelationship coach | relationship retreat | happiness | positive psychology

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC has helped thousands of couples review their growth together, and renew their connection moving forward. 

For nearly 15 years she's specialized in strengths-focused, positive psychology-based relationship advice and coaching to nurture lasting joy and and resilience in her client's relationships.  

She will help you:

  • develop a shared vision and goals- and create actionable steps to move in that direction
  • overcome outdated patterns and establish new intentional, healthy ones
  • strengthen trust or repair it after infidelity or dishonesty
  • connect in meaningful ways during and well after life transitions
  • design rituals of connection that will keep you close for many years
  • break stale or unhealthy communication patterns and learn new skills 

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.