Lost That Loving Feeling?

Love isn't just about tickles in the tummy, but it's important to have them for the person you are in relationship with. If you are in a committed relationship what do you do if you lose that loving feeling?

I have heard way too many stories of couples losing that loving feeling, then throwing away the marriage because of it. You can get the feelings back! It's a fact! But, the things I recommend are not things you 'try' they are things you 'do'. It has to become your way of living. It's a relationship lifestyle change that must be permanent ... the 'new you'.

1) THINK of your partner in positive ways.

Sometimes when the loving feelings have left we can't help but think of our partner in a negative light, but just refuse to think of the negative and think of the positive. I realise that there may be situations that make this very difficult, but do it anyway.

2) TALK of your partner in positive ways.

When you speak of your partner, speak well of them. Don't slam them or gripe and complain and be all negative. Make sure to compliment them often. This will help you begin to appreciate them once again.

3) DO the things you would do if you had those LOVING feelings.

Feelings follow action! So ACT like you do have the feelings, and you will have the feelings! You don't have to feel like writing a love letter to actually write one. You don't have to feel like saying, "you are beautiful" to say it. You don't have to feel like buying flowers to stop by the florist to buy some. Just do it.

Seriously, I don't understand that we have rules we live by in life, but we don't apply them to our relationships. For example, you don't only go to work when you feel like. No, you go because you are committed and you have a job to do. You don't only change a diaper when you feel like it. No, you change it when it needs to be changed. You see, we should live this way in our relationships ... be committed to LOVE, then love every day for the rest of your life!

They say, "The grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence, it's greener where you water it!"

Bonus Point ...

4) Give lots of KISSES.

Kisses make everything better! Lot's of physical touch is important to get the feelings to return. Making each other "feel" good physically are always helpful.

No Drama

Someone asked me the other day, "When you were dating around what were you looking for?" And I started pondering that question and within a second or two I blurted out, "A no drama girl!" There were of course many things I was looking for and not looking for, but this was a big one to me because I value peace.

I think this No Drama deal rolls over into every other area of life too; work, home, friendships, school, family, and of course marriage. I think most people would say, "I don't want drama!" But you wouldn't know it by the way they live. They seem to thrive on drama.

So there you go, if you are in a relationship and there is some drama, it's either them or you ... figure it out and resolve it. And then decide to have a No Drama Rule installed in the middle of the relationship.


It's fun watching my 2 teen kids interact with friends, especially as they date. I see things and think, Oh goodness ... drama! For example, my son doesn't say "Hi" to a girl yesterday in school, now she is all upset and won't talk to him. Drama!

Let's not act like Junior High students in our adult relationships. So when your wife doesn't say "Hi!" to you when you first get home, don't start slamming dishes around in the sink. It's all okay, you just say "Hi" first! Boom, resolved! You are welcome!

A Guide for Dating After 40

1) *Take Time to Heal.

It's important to take the time necessary to deal with the loss of a Marriage/Relationship, especially if it was a lengthly marriage/relationship. You can't share life with someone for 10 years, get divorced and be over it in 2 weeks and be ready to be back on the market. Take time to heal from the hurt. If you don't, you are only bringing baggage into the new relationship and that isn't good for anyone.

The unwritten rule is 1 year for every 10 years married. So if you were married or in a serious relationship for 15 years, that means you should wait 1 year 6 months before hitting the dating world. But this rule isn't a hard and fast rule, it's more of a guide.

* This applies to those who have been divorced, or have had a longterm relationship go bad.

2) Learn from Your Mistakes.

Let's face it, typically in any break up 2 people are at fault, maybe it was 70% him, and only 30% you, but both should take some ownership in why it fell a part. So, learn what was your part of the mess, and grow and become better for the next relationship. For example, if in your previous relationship you would run and hide from conflict, therefore nothing was ever getting resolved, learn not to do that the next time,  because it doesn't work! 

3) Know What You Want and Don't Want.

Don't settle for someone you know down deep isn't a fit for you. It's not worth the heartache for either of you. Be patience. Write down the things that are non-negotiable, the things that are important to you, the things that you prefer, and finally the things that are negotiable. I am surprised at how important Religion, for example, is to people and then they throw it all away because their in-love! In my counseling practice that never works out very well.

I teach that you should FIND yourself in a relationship, NOT LOSE yourself! 

4) Get Out There.

I meet so many older singles who just work all the time and never have any fun or give themselves free time to meet people. If they don't want to be with anyone ever, that is totally fine! But if you are wanting to meet someone at some point then it is important to get yourself out there. Let people know you are available, in a tactful way of course! Don't be weird or creepy about it.

This might mean signing up for an online dating service, taking fitness classes, joining an athletic team, take some classes, being an active member of a local church community, etc. 

5) Don't Be Desperate.

Nothing is more attractive then a confident person, and nothing is more unattractive than a desperate needy person. Ha ha! We've all see those types! Be cool, and just be you! 

Too many times when I counseling someone who is over 30 and dating they are consumed with the whole idea of "finding Mr. or Miss Right" and that is the wrong focus,I teach you should work more on "being Mr. or Miss Right" rather than looking for Mr. or Miss Right. Make sense? Be you, be happy ... then when the right person meets you he/she is meeting the real you and when they like you, it's good because it is the real you they like, not the person you were trying to make them believe you were.

6) Pray for God's Guidance and Wisdom

Even as a Christian, who would say they believe in prayer, forget this very important "dating" component. Ya know, it makes sense to get God's thoughts on a perspective partner I would think. We all need God's wisdom in dealing with life, and dating is something I believe God is very interested in helping us with.

Your Life Matters!

10th Anniversary Hanky Panky Challenge

The Hanky Panky Challenge is for those who are in a committed relationship to help them create, daily, moments of intimacy. What I refer to as “Hanky Panky” every day for the entire month of February (28 Days). Now, I looked up the definition of “hanky panky” and it was not the definition I was hoping for … so I thought I should give you my definition of "hanky panky".


Here is what I have learned over the years of issuing this "Hanky Panky Challenge" to couples. For the guys it means one thing, and for the girls it’s another, so let this blog be your guide to what it is supposed to mean to both.

I am encouraging those in a committed relationship to take the month of February and focus on their relationship by creating moments of intentional intimacy “hanky panky” with each other every day, a total of 28 days. Let’s be honest, it's a challenge in itself just taking the time to connect every day! Hanky Panky is really about making your relationship a priority, not an afterthought. So whether you connect purely for physical intimacy (intercourse - hopefully no diagrams are needed here) which most dudes are probably hoping for, OR lots of other relationship building activities, such as, but not limited to:

1.     Kissing.
2.     Touching.
3.     Tickling.
4.     Massages.
5.     Foot rubs.
6.     Bubble baths together.
7.     Listening to Kenny-G or Usher, etc. (whichever you prefer!)
8.     Washing each other’s hair.
9.     Comb each other’s hair. (If you like that!)
10. Pillow talk.
11. Praying together.
12. Read romantic book.
13. Watch Dr. Phil – sorry, just kidding!
14. Watching a romantic movie. (not Texas Chainsaw, ESPN, or Sports Center!)
15. Cooking dinner together. (Tip: Dude, wash the dishes!)
16. Long talks.
17. Long walks.
18. Write a meaningful note to one another and read out loud.
19. Write a song and sing to each other.
20. Share a bottle of *Wine while talking (Do this naked, and don’t touch for an hour, so fun!)(*Tea, Coffee or whatever is good to you!)
21. Go on a romantic date. (Do what you did to capture her heart, and do those things again to keep her heart)

Side Note: Many times this is what I see missing in people's relationship; everything that I have mentioned above is forgotten or even completely absent after a year or so of being together (I find this especially true in marriages.) Simply, we take each other for granted, we are too busy (or we feel we are too busy) to make real time for building and working on our relationship. Yet when I talk to couples about their schedule I see that there are many opportunities in their “busy schedule” for intimacy, but it’s filled up with TV, Sports, Hobbies, Kids stuff, friends, facebook, and just a lot of busy-stuff.

Another side note that goes along with the 1st Side Note: I have had couple after couple confess to me that they have not taken a vacation in years, if ever. That is just wrong. There is no excuse for that! The typical excuse I hear is, “we don’t have the money.” And while I can appreciate and even sympathize with that sentiment, its total crap. Really! Of course they say this while sipping their $5 Pumpkin-spice Latte! Here is why I know it’s crap; we aren’t big income earners and yet we go on vacation every year since we married 20 years ago. When we first married we were poor (poor in the sense of having little or no money at the end of each month – our combined monthly income as $1,500 a month!) And we still made it a priority to take a week-long vacation. It was and is a commitment we make every year, and it’s nonnegotiable.

The second excuse I hear, “we have small kids … they don’t travel well, etc!” This one really makes me laugh, because that tells me who rules the roost in their home – the kids! We were told when we had our first child, “Don’t let your kids run your life, you run their life! They will adapt to your-alls life.” That was and is great wisdom. Our kids have been going to the beach since birth, they love it, and they love the family time too. We are making memories with our kids and each other. I can promise you this; you will not get to the end of your life and wish, “man I wish we wouldn’t have taken those family vacations! We should have just spent that money on Pumpkin-spice lattes!”  

So there it is, the Hanky Panky Challenge ... a Challenge that will lead to a better relationship! I hope you take the challenge and commit to making your relationship a priority for the entire month of February. Comment here on this post or on my facebook.com/timmygibson or facebook.com/mercychurchkc follow on twitter @TimmyKC... oh yea, by the way ... I promise at the end of the 28 days your relationship will be better!

Happy Hanky Panky!

The Cure for Sexual Frustration

Much of my counseling does involve “sexual” issues. And one common one is the whole “sexual frustration” issue. How to relieve, or release or get relief from “sexual frustration?” I believe I have a really helpful tip that could save you and your partner from having too much sexual frustration. Let’s be honest, sexual frustration is frustrating!


1) Communicate CLEARLY to your partner when you want sex! (Response of partner) Communicate CLEARLY when that request can be fulfilled.

Very important, if you are on the receiving end of this request, and you can’t or don’t want to have sex at that moment make sure to tell him/her WHEN they can expect to have sex.

From my personal experience; when I am hungry and have no idea when I am going to eat it causes more stress and anxiety and hunger. But if I know that I will be eating a meal at a certain time in the future it helps to calm me down. It’s the same with the sex life! If I want it, and feel I may never get it again (we know this isn't true logically, but typically the sex drive is emotional and can’t be dealt with logically,) it causes much distress! But if I know that tonight after the kids go to bed I will get it. I am fine. Make sense?

So wives, if your husband makes advances and it’s not a good time for you, no problem, just clearly communicate to him WHEN he can have it. Got it? Good! I promise this will be so helpful in relieving sexual frustration and tension between you and your partner.

Here’s the deal, when a man (or woman) get turned down on a sexual advance, it’s not only hurtful to be turned down, but if we don’t know WHEN it will happen it does cause a lot of undo stress emotionally. I don’t feel that in a marriage there should be much turning down, if ever (I am serious here!) But on those rare occasions when you are turning your partner down be thoughtful enough to say, “Not tonight, but tomorrow morning I’d like to!” And then make sure to be good on your promise! Don’t say tomorrow morning and then turn them down again, or forget. Trust me, they haven’t forgotten!

And finally, don’t ever make sexual promises that you can’t or won’t keep! Don’t promise (or tease) “such n such” then not do “such n such.”

Disclaimer: As a Christian Pastor and Relationship Coach I am making the assumption that the couples I am writing to are in a committed relationship (which I would typically say is defined by marriage) and I am not encouraging casual sexual behavior! I am completely against casual sex. I feel that it is very harmful emotionally and does not encourage a healthy happy relationship.  

Mend Broken Bridges

In all of our lives there are relationships that come and others that go. I know that I have a core group of friends who have been there nearly my entire adult life, while others have withered away for one reason or another. I have even had friends “so called” who promised to be my “friend” forever, and through various circumstances, some out of their control (Divorce, Job Relocation, Marriage, etc.) made it difficult to keep their promise, and now they are gone.

Have you ever lost a friend that you would hope to have back in your life? Do you even remember what happened? Why did you stop being friends? Was it their fault? Your fault? No one's fault?

I recently had a conversation with an old friend, and it was good to mend the broken friendship and say, “I’m sorry!” and, “I forgive you!” And move forward.  How about you? Do you have a relationship that you would like to mend? If so, then make that call; send that email, fb message, or text TODAY! Maybe it will be well received, maybe not, but it’s worth a try!

Life is way too short to have broken down relationship bridges! One day that person will be gone, or you will be gone … and you’ll wish you did! (Unless of course you are a cold-hearted bitter person, then maybe not!)

Midlife Crisis

I am 44, and they say a mid-life crisis happens sometime between ages 40 to 60. I had never giving it much thought until a year ago, and I wouldn't call it a “midlife crisis” for me anyway, but more of a ‘midlife reflection’. I find myself thinking about the future far more than I ever did. Like; what am I doing with my life, how am I making a difference, am I leaving a legacy, things aren't  quit going like I had envisioned (not bad, just not what I thought) I think often about the retirement plan I don’t have, and the kid’s college fund I don’t have. I'm thankful I have a lot of happiness in my life that helps to balance out the things I wish were different.

We have all heard those horror stories of people making crazy decisions during a “midlife crisis” and ruining their life, and the lives of their kids.  And that’s no good! So I guess if nothing else I am blogging this to encourage you who, like me, are in the midst of a “midlife reflection” time, please don’t do anything stupid! Keep your head screwed on straight; keep doing what you know is right. And if you don’t know what is right (common during this time) confide in a trusted level-headed friend to help you not completely throw your life away in the middle of an emotional storm. I would even encourage professional counseling to help talk through the things you are wrestling with if necessary.

Almost every person I talk to who is my age, they are thinking about the same things. So it’s not some tragic time, but rather just a phase in life when you start to realize you aren't 18 anymore, and that you don’t have your whole life ahead of you. Most people in their 40’s have lived over half their life and are thinking, “crap, I better get my sh-- together.”

If you are a young person just getting started in life I can tell you one thing, and that is if you will make plans now for retirement, kid’s college, etc etc. it will save you from much of what I talked about here. The good thing for me is that the things I did invest in in the first half of my life are bringing me great joy today; my marriage, my kids, my faith and living a purposeful life! If I didn't have those things, I am not sure what I would do.

Live life so you will have very few, if any regrets! You'll be glad you did!