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The Power of Love

Happy Valentine's Day!

Both Joanna Gaines (Fixer Upper) and Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) tell stories about how their husbands (Chip & Jeffrey) encouraged them to be themselves, be unafraid, go for it (!)– whatever that “it” was. Their husbands gave them the courage and the support to become who they were, clearly, meant to be. It was their husbands’ love and push that helped Joanna and Ina change the world. I am a firm believer that living authentically can bring such magic and joy for oneself and so many around you.

That’s my story, too (in a much smaller way). Frank supported, encouraged and pushed me…and is a big reason why I’ve become who I am. It takes a confident, smart man to look at their partner without competition, fear or insecurity. The best men (and women) are able to build their partners up so that 1+1 doesn’t equal 2….but equals 3, 4, 5. The synergy of that partnership can yield far more than either of them might have accomplished on their own.

Now THAT is something.

THAT is relationship.


I was fortunate to meet Frank in my early teens because I was able to take risks and be myself without peer pressure, mean girls, cliques, or naysayers…..because I had already found a partner who loved the real me and was fearless in joining me in any direction I chose to try. He brought out the best in me because, first and foremost, he truly believed in me. He has always been my staunchest supporter and cheerleader.

This led me to wonder, is that the key for all successful relationships? Are the longstanding ones always those where the partner supports, pushes and believes in the other?

I wondered if older generations sought different attributes from their partners than younger folks do? Would men seek something different than women? Mmmmm. I was curious about the secret of long-term relationships and their power of love.

Unscientifically, I polled those closest to me – best friends, men, women, our adult kids.

And what I found was that NO – we absolutely do not seek the same attributes in our life partners. And NO, it has nothing to do with age or male/female.

I discovered every relationship is different and unique.

There is not one simple answer.

And – bigger discovery – I found the traits sought in partners also say everything about the SEEKER.

I found that it was when the things that mattered to us were what the partner brought to the table, that was the spark. For me, it was someone letting me be just who I am and loving me for that. For others, it was their partner’s ambition, or kindness toward children and grandchildren, or faith in God, or loyalty, integrity and morality. It was how their partners experience art or their uplifting conversations at a hard day’s end. It was shared values and dependability.

And yes, in a few, it was like me….and Joanna and Ina….in that our partner’s support made us “more successful and accountable,” and we could “be our whole selves.”

What attracts you to your partner?

And what do you think attracts them to you?

Maybe some good questions to share over a Valentine’s Day cupcake!

Enjoy your day, your life, and your partner!

Feel the awesome power of your love!


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