Written by PrettyGirlPeeps
Dating around Valentine’s Day can be hard, the envious & lonely feelings that exist for those without a Valentine can definitely sneak in. I studied relational maintenance at depths in graduate school and the various ways we see and love are unlimited. To get a better idea of how to potentially deal with both ends of the spectrum, I decided to reach out to one of my favorite Sorority sisters LaTrease L. Nwosu, M.A. of Connecting 2 Love. I tried my best to ask questions that I thought my readers could relate to or learn from, and LaTrease did an amazing job responding and creating thoughtful responses filled with great advice! Let’s get started with LaTrease introducing herself and her brand.
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and more about what it is exactly that you do and where people can find you.
LaTrease: I am LaTrease L. Nwosu, M.A. I love helping people find peace in their life through healthy relationships, not only with others but with themselves. As a Relationship Specialist at Connecting 2 Love, I get to do this every day. Those looking for support in discovering meaningful relationships can find me at www.Connecting2love.com, email me at email@example.com, on Instagram and Twitter at @Connecting2Love, and on Facebook Connecting 2 Love. I am also proudly a wife and a mother.
2) In general, how do you define a healthy relationship? With self? And with a romantic partner?
LaTrease: In general a healthy relationship is one that is mutually positive, vulnerable, caring, supportive, respectful, realistic, and meaningful. -To have a healthy relationship with yourself is one where you have deep self-awareness of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors and you know how they impact your relationships. Having that knowledge creates effective communication, healthy boundaries, and reduces emotional stress. In my opinion its the highest form of self-care.
3) My husband and I swear by the 5 Love Languages how important do you feel these are in relationships?
LaTrease: I think it is helpful but not important. What is important is understanding your partner and what guides their experience and perception of love. I like the 5 Love Languages but I think it is much deeper than just love. When I work with couples we explore one step further. We explore what emotions, perceptions, and behaviors guide these “languages” to express love. So basically instead of a wife knowing that “acts of service” is her partner’s love language, she knows that when she does an act she is letting her husband know that he is important to her and she thought of him and his needs. Where as for her “words of affirmation” may be her love language so every time she does an act for her husband he says something up lifting and appreciative, which she then feels noticed and appreciated. So the emotions and the behaviors go beyond just ‘I love you’ and speak to something much deeper, feeling ‘important’, ‘noticed’, and ‘appreciated’. “You are important to me”, “I see you”, and “I appreciate you” are all needs that need to be meant and isn’t just about love.
4) What are some tips you have for people who aren’t in a relationship, but feel like they need to be around the holidays…specifically like Valentine’s Day?
LaTrease: The most important tip is to ask yourself:
- Am I in a healthy emotional state to be dating right now?
- What is so important about being in a relationship right now?
- If I get into a relationship will it be for healthy reasons?
- Is Valentine’s Day really that important that I am willing to rush into something so significant to me?
Also, try not fixating on not being in an intimate relationship and think about all other positive relationships you are in.
5) What are some tips you can give about healthy expectations for first dates for new couples?
LaTrease: Since everything is so new its important to have realistic expectations, meaning there will be mistakes made along the way. Use the time to get to know each other and learn how to treat each other. With that said, know your boundaries and make sure they aren’t too rigid or too loose. Be confident in expressing those boundaries when they are crossed and inform them of how you prefer to be treated.
6) What are some tips for dealing with dating anxiety around Valentine’s Day?
LaTrease: Anxiety is usually about fear/worry/concerns so date intentionally! Meaning know the following:
- What purpose dating will serve for you?
- What is your date’s purpose of dating?
- What are you looking for in a relationship?
- What are your instant red flags?
- What do you have to offer to a relationship?
When you are certain about your direction there is less to worry about. Have fun and enjoy the present moments rather than focusing on a future of negative “what if’s”.
7) If you had 30 seconds to tell the ladies anything as we enter this holiday season and some women deal with loneliness and envy because they aren’t where they feel they “need to be” in a relationship by now?
LaTrease: “Don’t ‘should’ on yourself”; meaning don’t think so much on the “I should be …..” narrative, because it produces sadness, envy, and disappointment. Try to appreciate the present accomplishments and learn to accept that life doesn’t always go as plan, we just adjust along the way to reach our ultimate life goal. And, please don’t let the loneliness get to you because loneliness breeds desperation. When people are lonely they tend to make poor decisions.
Overall, I personally learned a lot from this conversation with LaTrease of Connecting 2 Love! I’m so thankful for her time and expertise on this subject! Be sure to follow her on all previously mentioned social media handles for more information and tips in regards to building healthy relationships! So whether you are single, dating, or taken, I am hopeful that you took something out of this Valentine’s Day guide on today!