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It’s been really hot here in Southern California lately. That’s not a complaint, just a fact. The weather is something we cannot control, so if it gets too hot we are at the mercy of the beach, the movies or he water parks. Tough deal, right? But if it gets too cold we’d much rather snuggle up – preferably to someone warm and comforting.

Since we cannot control the weather, why not keep the thermostat of our relationship at a temperature we enjoy? How do you do that? I’d like to suggest The Three T’s. In any relationship we must spend quality time together, talk to each other, and touch.

If you find that after having been in your relationship for some time, things begin to stagnate, remember the three t’s and implement them.

Sometimes a couple will stop spending as much time together for various reasons. Work, kids, or simply taking a partner for granted. If you are guilty of this, take a look at some of the simple ways to spend time with the one you love and continue the flow of your relationship.

Do household chores together, watch television in the same room, and share a common interest. Time well spent brings meaning to a relationship, perhaps something that has been ignored in yours.

Communication in a relationship can be a challenge if resentment or anger is introduced and does not get resolved. Many times someone does not feel heard, or one partner’s method may be to shut down, leaving the couple to avoid talking to each other all together.

If this happens make sure you address the issue when you notice something is off balance. Listen actively and put yourself in their position. There is always a reason someone does not feel heard. Remember how the two of you communicated when the relationship was new.

Once there is no time spent together and there has been a communication breakdown, the touching seems to stop. One of the elements that creates a couple is the physical attraction — usually that is where it all starts. We enjoy and need the sparks to fly.

Touch your partner as often as possible. Your touch does more that make sparks fly, it is also very soothing, helping to heal some of the emotional wounds created by the distance felt of no quality time spent or a communication breakdown.

Be mindful of The Three T’s even before you notice a problem. Remember to spend your extra time with the person you love, engaging in meaningful conversations and touching them as often as you can. Turn up the thermostat! This is something you can control.

Dr. Lateefah Wielenga works as a life and relationship coach and is also an ordained minister. She has a private practice in Long Beach. Call 895-0516 or visit www.thecounselingkitchen.com for details.

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