I love you, but...
Learn the Core Relationship Skills for an Extraordinary Love
Hi, Paige and Don here.
If you find yourself saying, or even thinking: “I love you, but you're driving me crazy!” you’re in the right place.
We teach individuals and couples the handful of core relationship skills needed to transform the messiness that gets in the way of experiencing an extraordinary love.
What Do We Mean: “Extraordinary Love?”
An extraordinary love is …
… a palpable love that continues to grow and deepen — rather than fading or stagnating over time
… the fertile soil in which you both flourish as individuals and in your togetherness — rather than being limited by unresolved challenges
… the uncommon experience of love’s transcendent potential being your everyday normal — rather than showing up in periodic glimpses, precious memories, or longings for more
A Handful of Proven Skills Make All the Difference
It's completely normal — inevitable really — for two strong, intelligent grownups to run into stubborn conflicts.
But it's not inevitable that these challenges eat away at the relationship.
With a few key changes in how you approach your day-to-day conversations, you’ll be able to:
- Transform conflicts into mutual understanding and support
- Have make-up conversations that truly resolve issues, rather than another tug-of-war
- De-escalate your reactions so you feel good about how you communicate
- Discuss even the touchiest topics, without triggering more trouble
- Transform unwanted repetitive patterns (URPs) that develop over time and keep causing arguments, misunderstandings, and stalemates
- Neutralize defensive reactions that get in the way — yours and theirs
- Listen in ways that make your partner feel comfortable sharing openly with you
- Speak in ways that make it easy for your partner to listen with curiosity compassion instead of cranky reaction
- Amplify love when things are going well, so that love becomes your predominant experience even when things get rocky
Results Right Away — Even If Just One of You is Ready
Perhaps you’ve noticed this, too?
That one person is almost always more ready than the other to learn something that might improve the relationship.
Most people see this as a serious roadblock, believing it takes two.
But that's not been our experience, personally or from working with clients.
Even though a relationship is a duo-dance, making things better or even fixing stubborn problems starts with just one person taking a solo leap.
More importantly, a huge portion of relationship work is about what each person is doing inside themselves, especially during a difficult conversation.
For instance, some solo choices, especially about what you choose to say or not say, when and how, can make things worse instead of better.
While other inner-choices restore your clear, calm self so you can turn conflict into a heartfelt back-and-forth.
Of course, it’s wonderful if both of you are willing to learn something new.
But if just one of you is curious, that's all it takes.
The Love Conversation® Approach
The Love Conversation® Approach is the name we've given the core insights and skills needed for extraordinary love.
A lot of what we teach focuses on handling the messiness, the problems, that get in the way of experiencing the depth of love, trust, and connection we all yearn for.
Here are some comments from clients and workshop participants:
I’m such a skeptical person, but what you put together really works. We had a conversation recently about one of those “touchy topics,” and it went so well it made us cry. —Daryl
We're getting hitched! Thank you again and again for empowering us to understand the communication patterns that were causing our problems. Now can you help my parents?! —Julia
Walking on eggshells is no longer an issue. Before, I wanted to know where her triggers were so I could hide from them. Now I want to know where her triggers are so I can be gentle and supportive. —David
Academic Underpinnings (in case you’re curious)
The Love Conversation® Approach reflects a powerful combination of evidence-based disciplines and decades of personal and professional experience.
For those who might be interested in the academic underpinnings, our methods blend:
- A cutting-edge communication theory (that sees communication as a creative act through which we create the quality of our relationships) with
- Emerging insights about the neurobiology of love/connection and the neurobiology of fear/ defensiveness (aka: the lizard-brain, which explains why Paige uses the cute little stuffed animal when teaching), plus
- The more recent study of the new field of interpersonal neurobiology with its founder, Dr. Daniel Siegel, plus other relevant professional development programs
And if you really want to geek-out on this, the first two disciplines above were central to Paige’s doctoral research on the enactment of fear in conversations-gone-bad.
About Us Personally
As we update this page on our website, we’re well into our 34th year of an increasingly happy relationship. And it really is more fulfilling than we knew to hope for, even in those early days of unfettered bliss.
That said, our relationship has been through some painfully difficult periods that made us wonder what we’d gotten ourselves into.
Here’s one of our favorite questions about that. It’s from a reader of our latest book Grabbing Lightning: The Messy Quest for an Extraordinary Love:
Rebecca: “So did your relationship just go from bliss-to-bliss-to-bliss — or did you run into all the usual crap?”
Yes, plenty of the “usual crap.”
For a while there, we often sounded more like disgruntled adversaries than caring beloveds. And without a roadmap, it took us longer than necessary before we could reliably disarm our conflicts and get fully back to love.
Thankfully we figured it out. But there was more.
During the critical process of learning to resolve our differences and turn our conflicts into a deeper, more satisfying connection, we noticed that we’d unwittingly stumbled into something we hadn’t known was possible:
A hidden alchemy arises when two people open themselves, again and again, to each other in expansive levels of love — even in the face of life's most difficult challenges.
This alchemy, as it turns out, is the doorway to an extraordinary love.
Tap into Our Years of Experience
Currently, we meet virtually with individuals and couples.
This private work includes both education and coaching, and the objective is always twofold:
- That clients resolve whatever current challenges they're struggling with, and
- That they're equipped to keep those unwanted patterns from repeating
We're also preparing online versions of our workshops.
If something you've read here strikes a note or you'd like to know more, we'd love to hear from you. Click here to send us a note.
Looking forward to connecting.
Paige & Don
PS: We also send out LoveNotes, our very periodic newsletter, when we feel like we've got something useful or inspiring to share. You can sign up below:
Periodic emails with tips and insights for experiencing extraordinary love in your everyday life.