While all lesbian couples start with good intentions, many will inevitably run into difficulty at some point. Whether it’s make-or-break betrayal or the slight feeling that the intimacy might be fading, lesbian relationships are just as prone to turbulence as any other. Even if you’ve just embarked on a new frontier with your partner, a couples retreat might be the perfect thing to nourish your connection long into the future.
If you don’t commit to taking action, the evidence is clear. Yes, your lesbian relationship will suffer, but you may also lose yourself in the negative patterns you’ve come to accept as normal. And, because you’re avoiding the problem altogether, the result can be a prolonged state of unhappiness for both partners. It’s far from ideal.
Fortunately, while your relationship issues may feel like the center of your universe now, the vast majority can be avoided or alleviated—if you take the right steps. Welcome to Dr. Michele O’Mara’s world. As the lesbian relationship coach at Adventures in Love, she specializes in transforming the lives of lesbian couples through concrete skills they can apply immediately. Her storied career, which includes a Ph.D. in Clinical Sexology, has culminated in a ‘fail-proof’ roadmap she believes can revive lesbian relationships better than any individual therapy session:
- Take a communication class
Surprisingly, most of the time the problem isn’t the lesbian relationship itself; it’s the negative patterns of interraction that develop over time. Many pairs resort to traditional couples therapy, which can be expensive and often identify relationship issues and stir conflict without offering concrete skills, or replacing bad habits. Dr. O’Mara believes that couples need a roadmap to re-connection, so they can find their way back to each other, over and over again.
“I offer an online class called The Art of Wholehearted Communication,” she says. “Many couples tell me they made more progress in the six-week course than in three years of counseling. That’s because it offers more than how to talk and listen—it’s about how to be in a relationship with meaningful connection and engagement.”
Dr. O’Mara developed Wholehearted Communication specifically for lesbian couples. This approach to comunication draws from multiple relationship theories,mindfulness, self-awareness, the polyvagal theory and non-violent communication.
- Road test your relationship
Where many other lesbian couples therapists would be happy to take your money and send you on your way, Dr. O’Mara believes the work continues once you leave her door (or close your laptop screen). Like anything else, you can’t just listen to the information and expect to see a change. Investing in improving your relationship means practicing your new skills. Couples must apply what they’ve learned to develop better communication.
For some, that’s easier said than done. You might understand the skills, but your nervous system may be too reactive at first to make progress without help. If that’s you, Dr. O’Mara recommends scheduling a coaching session for an extra boost in consolidating your new communication style, and learning to work with, not against your nervous system.
The good news is that if you’ve consistently practiced what you learned in ‘The Art of Wholehearted Communication,’ the job may be complete. But there’s no harm in taking the extra step to transform your lesbian relationship with a memorable experience to boot.
- Seek a retreat
Oh no, now you have to take a couples retreat to a picture-perfect destination. What a disaster.
Seriously, there are so many reasons why a lesbian couples retreat is appealing.
If your relationship is on the rocks, washing up in Mexico with other couples and experts might be your best shot at fixing things. For others, it’s an intimate experience that allows them to focus solely on their relationship for the first time. The only requirement is being invested in your future together.
“Retreats are an opportunity to nourish your relationship without interruption for five-to-six days at a time,” the coach explains. “Our retreats are transformational vacation experiences in destinations such as Utah and Mexico, which we have currently scheduled. Despite some couples joining the retreat as a final attempt to mend their relationship, the overwhelming majority of them emerge from the experience still together.
Regardless of all the technicalities, techniques, and therapy sessions, there’s only one requirement to get your lesbian relationship back on track: investment. But you must commit to the right thing, like a proven online course or transformational retreat, to see lasting change. Michele O’Mara believes any lesbian couple invested in working things out should be able to access relationship care to do so.
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