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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 148 > Love letters from the heart

Love letters from the heart

Forget falling ‘head over heels’ and finding ‘the love of your life’, an authentic connection is borne from making a choice to love each other, imperfections and all. Anita Chaudhuri speaks to relationship gurus, Gay and Katie Hendricks, about the concept of ‘conscious loving

One of the hottest relationship buzzwords around these days is ‘conscious loving’. The concept was made famous by Gwyneth Paltrow who interviewed its inventors, Gay and Katie Hendricks, for her website goop.com, and would later refer to her divorce from Coldplay musician Chris Martin (to much mirth from tabloids and broadsheets alike) as a ‘conscious uncoupling.’

The very phrase ‘conscious loving’ makes me giggle. What is the alternative? Unconscious loving? I have visions of a couple lying comatose on the floor holding hands. A visit to the Hendricks Institute website soon clarifies matters. ‘We do not know the entire meaning of life. But we are very sure it is not to have a bad time,’ reads the headline quote.

This is enough to stop me in my tracks. So much relationship advice out there does not focus on having a good time, providing instead a litany of dull tips about ‘making quality time for one another’, remembering to ‘schedule date nights’ and setting ‘relationship goals’, as if love should be measured in increments like calories or reps at the gym.

”A conscious relationship is about two people being authentic with one another. If I’m scared, I say I’m scared”

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About Psychologies

It’s all about love this month. In our 18-page Dossier we look at the reality of making your relationships work once the rush of lust wears off. We encourage you to choose to love each other, imperfections and all. For those who are struggling, we’re giving away our 30-day ‘How to save your relationship’ online course with relationship expert Sarah Abell– worth £47. We are also looking at how to navigate bringing up teenage children with our coaching columnist Kim Morgan, plus discover a new way to deal with grief - over dinner! Gratitude is the theme of our special gift guide for Christmas and beyond. We’ve partnered with Etsy, our favourite online portal for unique gifts made with love. Who and what are you grateful for this month? 
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