Rx for Love

Dr. Marjorie Rand, a licensed marriage and family therapist and author with an office in Manhattan Beach, has guided many a South Bay couple through the ups and downs of commitment.

When do people generally come to you? MR: Mostly people come to me in crisis mode, what an ER doctor would call “dead on arrival.” Most of them, however, are able to learn the tools to help work things out. But if one person is not willing to try, there is nothing I can do (except help them separate, as I’m a certified divorce mediator as well). When should they come to you? MR: We therapists wish people would come in on a preventative basis, so they could discuss their hopes, dreams and expectations of their partner and the relationship in advance of a problem. We’d like them to learn skills to negotiate and come to resolutions of differences before they need to use them. What tips do you have for couples just starting out? MR: Spend a lot of time together, slow things down and have many discussions about what you want in life and from a partner before rushing into a commitment. Just how important are regular “date nights?” MR: They are very important. Relationships require a lot of hard work, especially when one or both partners are working and have young children. Time to nurture the relationship is often the first thing to go out the window. Can you share some tips for re-sparking a lackluster love? MR: Turn off the computer and the T.V. and spend some quality time, face to face, connecting with each other. Have deep, heart-to-heart talks about what’s important to you in life and how you can achieve your goals as a team. Romance and eroticism are also important. Leave time for play and fun. Call each other for no reason, just to let the other person know you’re thinking of him or her. A nice piece of jewelry is sometimes used as a fix for a big mistake. What might be a better solution? MR: Honesty. Usually no matter how big the betrayal or mistake, lying about it makes it worse. Take responsibility and ask what you can do to regain trust. That’s much more important than a piece of jewelry. For more information on Dr. Rand, visit drrandbodymindtherapy.com.

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