The Geology of Your Relationship

In high school I took Earth Science as a way of avoiding chemistry. Geology, the study of the solid earth, is the primary Earth Science. Geology deals with the composition of earth materials and structures, and studies how the planet has changed over time and continues to change everyday. These changes in the earth’s topography are caused by the forces of erosion and accretion. Simply put, erosion (wind and water) wears the planet down, while accretion adds to the land mass by depositing sediment.

Like the earth, relationships are in a constant state of flux. The quality of your connection changes from day to day, month to month, and year to year changes constantly. Some experiences enhance connection, while others weaken it. A relationship is affected by the world around it and by the inner lives of the people who live within it.

Daily life can have an eroding effect. Like water flowing through rock which eventually creates a canyon, the pressures of work and family life can wear away the joy of love and life. Life’s daily grind can negatively impact the quality of connection for even the most devoted lovers. Long work weeks, parenting, bill paying, health problems, and caring for elderly parents all contribute to a weakened connection.

Fortunately, couples can fortify their relationship against erosion and renew it everyday. All a couple needs is the desire, awareness and willingness to make the effort. Wishing it were so won’t make it happen. Action is necessary, and grand gestures are not required. There’s more power in small, daily actions done consistently. To stimulate your thinking I offer a few suggestions. But remember every relationship is different so you are the best judge of which actions will make your love life better.

  • Go for a walk and hold hands.
  • Surprise your partner with his or her favorite dinner.
  • Be spontaneous.
  • Exchange back rubs.
  • Go out to listen to music. Dance.
  • Establish a date night.
  • Turn off the TV for a week and talk.
  • Take a vacation alone together.
  • Look into the eyes of your partner more often.

With desire, awareness, and consistent effort you can fortify your relationship against the inevitable erosion of time. By mindfully nurturing your relationship, you can keep it solid as rock and warm like the sun.


Jerry is a patient, warm-hearted therapist dedicated to guiding couples to breakthroughs. He has counseled individuals and couples for over 40 years, in a variety of settings. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology at Saybrook Institute in San Francisco and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology at Antioch New England University. Jerry co-authored Relationship Transformation: How to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too with Mary Ellen Goggin — and they were married by chapter 3. Jerry brings a great depth and breadth of expertise to his work, and distills nuanced theories into actionable simplicity. He loves The New Yorker, dew-laden fairways, and dusty delta blues. His revolution: changing the world, one couple at a time. Read more about the retreats