Falling In Love Again With Your Spouse: Amber Lee Of Select Date Society On 5 Things You Need To Rekindle Love In A Marriage That Has Gone Cold
An Interview With Brett Lovett
… Commitment. You both need to have the desire to make your marriage work and be committed to that desire. If one of you has completely checked out and is no longer committed to saving the marriage, it’s going to be nearly impossible to rekindle what you once had.
When people first get married, they are usually deeply in love and extremely excited to be together. But sometimes, over time, that passion and excitement begins to fade. This has been particularly true after the pandemic when many marriages went through great upheavals. What can a couple do to rekindle the love and excitement that they used to have when they were first together?
In this interview series, called “Falling In Love Again With Your Spouse; 5 Things You Need To Rekindle Love In A Marriage That Has Gone Cold,” we are talking to relationship professionals, therapists, psychologists, and coaches to share stories and insights from their experience.
As a part of this series I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Amber Lee.
Amber Lee is the Co-Founder & CEO of Select Date Society. She is a Luxury Matchmaker & Relationship Expert with over 23 years of expertise in creating meaningful connections.
Thank you so much fr doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to ‘get to know you’. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was lucky enough to stumble upon my dream career while I was still in college. I took a part-time job as a receptionist at a matchmaking agency and I became fascinated with the dating industry. I loved the clients and I quickly realized that I had a knack for knowing who should be matched with who! I decided to pursue a career in matchmaking full-time and I haven’t looked back!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
I spent the first 20 years of my career working for other people. I loved the work that I was doing, but I always felt like I could do it better without the constraints of a big corporation. Sandra Myers, one of my colleagues, felt the same way. We had been talking about the idea of creating our own matchmaking firm when my life nearly ended. I had a sudden cardiac arrest while I was driving and crashed into a brick home. From my hospital bed, I called Sandra and said, “Life is short. Let’s get started!” We launched Select Date Society and the success we have accomplished has been amazing.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
In our first year of business, we switched banks. We accidentally wired all of the money in our bank account to our accountant’s bank account instead of our new account. It took a few days to get the money sent back to us, but we knew that it was going to turn out okay and it did. That taught us the importance of checking and double-checking what you are doing, so you don’t make a simple mistake that could cost you a lot of money! It also confirmed what we already knew; You must hire a team of professionals that you trust.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
I am solutions focused. Our team knows that we don’t just waste time talking about problems; We focus on finding solutions. For example; Some of our clients were dropping the ball and getting in their own way when it came to date planning, so we found a solution. We now have a date concierge who takes care of planning the first date for them!
I see the big picture. When it comes to dating, many singles can feel defeated if they have one bad date. I can see past the minor details and look at the big picture. We use our experience to guide our clients in reframing their perspectives to see the big picture as well.
I’m obsessed with what I do. I know that a lot of professionals and entrepreneurs seek work/life balance, but I love what I do and I don’t seek to spend time away from my work. For me, matchmaking is part of who I am. I am constantly thinking about our clients. I have dreams about matching clients!
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Sandra and I are in the early stages of writing a book about dating. We want to help singles to master the first date by giving them the tools they need to succeed.
For the benefit of our readers, can you briefly tell our readers why you are an authority about the topic of marriage?
I’ve been a matchmaker for over two decades, which means I have studied compatibility and what it takes to make a long-term relationship work. Most of the singles I’ve worked with have been seeking marriage, so I have been there to guide them from start to finish… from dating to the altar!
I’m also in a happy marriage! My husband, Mike Lee, is a relationship coach for couples. We are both in the love industry, so we are constantly talking about ways to improve our own relationship as well as to help our clients. Our shared purpose in life is to help others experience the type of love that we have.
Ok. Thank you for that. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘How to Rekindle Love In A Marriage That Has Gone Cold’. Based on your experience, what is a common root cause of marriages “going cold”?
I think it all comes down to communication. Life gets in the way. You both get busy balancing work, family, and other obligations and you stop communicating effectively. When this happens, many couples describe feeling like they are just “going through the motions” without any real passion or connection with their spouse.
In my experience with helping others in relationship difficulties, I most often hear “lack of communication” as the reason for the difficulty or wanting to end the relationship. Lack of communication is really a symptom of the real root cause, which is always “loss of connection.” What must be done to regain that connection?
You must start communicating in a productive way. Couples have often formed bad communication habits over the years, so working with a couple’s therapist or coach can help to learn new communication skills such as active listening. To regain connection, your spouse needs to feel heard and appreciated. I always encourage couples to explore what their love languages are and work to show your partner love in the way that they prefer to receive it.
Get back to basics! Think about what you did when you first met. You probably made time for each other, went on romantic dates, made sex a priority, etc. Start doing the things that you did when you were dating! Instead of making excuses or focusing on your partner’s flaws, focus on what you can do to create romance in your relationship.
Based on your experience, what is the foundation for a successful marriage?
I believe that friendship and a shared purpose are the foundation for a successful marriage. You must be friends and truly like each other, which is different from just loving each other. Couples with a foundation of friendship laugh easily together, have fun together, and enjoy spending time with each other. A shared purpose is also key in laying the foundation for marriage. Couples may find this sense of purpose in creating a family together, building a business together, or establishing a sense of community through religion or volunteer efforts.
It has been said that “a healthy, happy marriage is the union of two generous forgivers”. Can you talk about why forgiveness is so important for a relationship to thrive?
In any long-term relationship, you are going to make mistakes. Some mistakes will be minor and others will be major. No marriage is made up of two perfect individuals. If you fail to forgive your spouse, anger and resentment will build up, which will quickly turn your marriage into a toxic environment. In order for your marriage to thrive, you need to be willing to forgive and move forward. Healthy relationships are filled with hope for the future, not weighed down by hurts from the past.
Based on your experience, why do you think couples struggle to forgive and be forgiven?
Many individuals struggle with forgiveness for a variety of reasons. Pride can play a huge factor in forgiving someone. Many people let their pride and ego get in the way. Past hurts and trauma may also make it difficult for someone to forgive. For example, if their father had an affair and left their mother and now their own husband does something inappropriate with another woman, all of that childhood trauma comes back to the surface.
Is it important for marriage partners to inspire each other to be the best version of themselves that they can be? Can you please explain what you mean?
I think that there is danger in expecting your partner to be the one to inspire you. While your spouse should not bear the burden of being your source of inspiration, they should absolutely support you in being the best version of yourself. For example, they may not inspire you to go to the gym, but they can be your biggest cheerleader and support system while you strive to reach your fitness goals. They can support you by watching the kids while you work out or surprise you with new running shoes. Your spouse’s job is to support you and love you while you grow.
What is the difference between marriage partners being “a team” and not just “a couple” ?
I think that having a shared purpose is what creates the difference between being a team and just being a couple. When you are working towards something together, it creates a bond and solidifies that you are on the same team. Being a team means that you are working towards the same goal together and supporting each other in reaching that common goal.
Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Rekindle Love In A Marriage That Has Gone Cold?” Can you please give a story or example for each?
- Commitment. You both need to have the desire to make your marriage work and be committed to that desire. If one of you has completely checked out and is no longer committed to saving the marriage, it’s going to be nearly impossible to rekindle what you once had.
- Date Each Other. Think about the way you behaved when you were first dating and get back to that. For example, you dressed up and tried to impress each other. You gave each other your full attention without distractions. Date nights were a big deal!
- Find a Shared Purpose. Finding a common goal that you are working towards together will unite you in a way that nothing else can. You may find purpose in volunteering together or launching a new business together. Whatever it is, work on the project together with the same desired goal.
- Learn Each Other’s Love Language. If you love your spouse deeply, but they don’t feel that love from you because you are not showing it in a way that they understand, there’s a problem. You can both read the book The 5 Love Languages together or find an online quiz to determine your love languages. Once you start giving love in the way your partner likes to receive it, you will both start to feel more loved, appreciated, and desired.
- Communicate. Communication is a skill that can constantly be improved. Set aside 30 minutes each day for the two of you to talk without any distractions. I always tell couples to make a rule for this time: No discussing work, kids, or finances. Use this time to reconnect! Talk about how your feeling, what your dreams are, the goals you are working towards, the latest book you are reading, or plan your next vacation together. Practice communicating your thoughts clearly and practice being a good listener, so that your partner feels heard and understood.
Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources related to this topic that you would recommend to our readers?
The book Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel S.F. Heller is a great way to identify and understand your attachment styles. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman is a classic and will help you both understand how to show your partner love.
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I wish everyone would think like a matchmaker and make it a point to connect their friends, family, and colleagues with people they should know. So many great things happen when human beings foster connections!
We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Kevin Hart — He is funny and charismatic, so we would have a great time! I would love an hour with him to talk about his business ventures and the ways in which he has used his celebrity for good, by giving back to the community.
Thank you for these great insights and for the time you spent with this interview. We wish you only continued success!