As the Houston relationship counselor, I often look at the world in terms of how seemingly unrelated experiences can teach us about love and relationships, and how those concepts can be transferred to marriage therapy.

One of the most unexpected ones I recently ran across is the idea of the flashmob. Most of you probably already know this, but a flashmob is when a large group of people set a time and place to get together and perform a dance in a public place (like a mall) without notifying the establishment or anyone in the general public. You can see an example of a flashmob in Sabadell, Spain, in the video here.

How exactly does a flashmob apply to marriage therapy and relationship help? Because it’s about two things: surprise, and doing something solely for the reaction of another person.

Houston Relationship Counselor: We Need Surprise in Our Relationships

A common theme amongst my Houston relationship counselor clients is that their relationship doesn’t have any romance, any spontaneity – any surprise. This is quite typical when couples have been together for a while because we become so comfortable around each other and in the daily grind of the relationship that we don’t try as hard.

Unfortunately, this is a recipe for disaster. As much as we need commitment and steadiness to feel secure, we also need that sense that there is still something new to be discovered and delighted by every once in a while to keep things from getting too stale. Planning date nights and scheduling sex may be a necessity for many couples, but it doesn’t rule out the occasional impromptu getaway or unexpected gift.

Houston Relationship Counselor: Unexpectedness and Unconditionality Go Hand in Hand

But it can’t be done in the hopes of receiving something in return – like the flashmob, surprising your loved one should be all about the joy you get from the act and from witnessing their response. If you surprise your loved one to make up or for some future recompense, it’s not a gift – it’s an exchange.

However, if you can divest yourself of ulterior motives and truly find joy in doing something unexpected for your partner, it can be one of the most effective forms of marriage therapy by letting them know you care while showing that there are sides of you that they still haven’t uncovered. If you can’t think of a great way to surprise your significant other, the Houston relationship counselor can help.