The San Francisco Marriage and Couples Center offers couples counseling for couples who are in distress and would like to reignite the spark. 

The San Francisco Marriage and Couples Center offers couples counseling for couples who are in distress and would like to reignite the spark. 

Be Prepared to Be Surprised


There’s a great song by Sondre Lerche called “To Be Surprised”.  There’s a steel drum beat that’s fresh and his voice is filled with hope as he sings to a lover.  It’s the type of song that you might sing to yourself as you get ready for a first date.  It sounds like a beginning of the relationship song, you know, that exciting time when you meet someone who turns your heart alive.  And sure, love is different for everyone, after all some of us don’t even like surprises!  But I think most who’ve experienced it would agree that the first flush of love feels good.  Senses are heightened, your heart beats a little faster, and somehow it’s like you just can’t stop noticing things to appreciate about this new person.  

 

If only that feeling could last forever.  But as with all relationships, love changes.  Some of these changes feel good; with time, you learn that the free-spirited hottie you met after yoga class is also dependable and hard-working. You learn that you can trust your pretty boy to always open the door for grandma’s wheelchair.   Your stone cold fox can whip up a mean week night parmigiano.   But then there are the changes that might not feel so good; you learn that she gets a temper when provoked.  He drinks too much wine at the free bar.  They forget to feed the dog.  How does it happen that you went from noticing all the things to appreciate to noticing all the things that irritate?  When did it all get so predictable?

 

In the bridge, Lerche sings “be prepared to be surprised” and it becomes clear that he’s not singing about a new relationship.  From the lyrics, it sounds more like he’s singing to someone who he’s already disappointed.  He wants another chance.  But how can he get from being a source of irritation back to being a source of appreciation?   How can a couple regain the lost magic of how they used to surprise each other?  Is there a way to be prepared for surprise?   I might not know the exact answer for that, but I can tell you one thing: if you don’t make time for it, it’s not going to happen.  Couples counseling is (usually) an hour a week, but it just might be all you need to be prepared.  

By Ruby Ann King @The SF Marriage and Couples Center

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