Long live the clichés of love--- cards, letters, flowers or chocolate or even all four given to someone special. Our brains are genetically hard-wired for attachment or connection. When a connection is warm and secure, we thrive in romantic relationships and may use one of the clichés to express our love. When we do not have this type of connection or attachment, we can learn it with practice and trial and error, much like learning to play an musical instrument. This Valentines Day you can enjoy the day and attach to any person/s in your life that is special and try something new and different. But even better is:
“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” David Augsburger
There are several things that happy couples tend to do to get, and keep their relationship, happy. Based on research, whatever they do every day dialogue can make all the difference . This daily habit of communication keeps a couple knowing each other currently and keeps things fresh and alive. This can mean praying together, a talking time together or even just a short walk together. Designating a Speaker and then a listener in a talk time with each other can be money in the bank!
There are other "Rituals of connection" that you can tap into. Research tells us that two-thirds of couples do not have sex daily. The good news is there are other ways (including sexual talk) that are effective in putting money in the love bank.
A way to get a good connection going now is to work it into your daily routine. Five Minutes a day is all the time it takes to kiss someone hello in the morning, hug at the door goodbye, greeting them at the door with a quick "how are you?" and offer another hug or kiss at nighttime. Couples who build in these routines often have busy lives but feel more satisfied with their relationships. Try it yourself and get a good change going.
Here are some more ideas for making daily deposits into the love bank.
Make fondness, admiration, affection, respect and praise a constant part of your relationship. The ratio of 5:1 positive to negative is so important. Mention the positives in great detail.
Strengthen intimacy with rituals of emotional connection---ways you always do things that show care for each other. Reduce distress in your relationship and increase your sexual pleasure and joy through a solid friendship. This is key to Lovemaking and one way couples counseling helps with both "communication" and sex.
Be able to “repair” an argument
Arguing in itself does not necessarily hurt a marriage. But hurt needs to be repaired for the relationship to flourish. A couple of ways to repair an argument is to:
Get to Yes.:” I agree with part of what you’re saying. I never thought of things that way. “
Stating: “I need to calm down.: Just listen to me right now and try to understand (kind tone needed). Can I take that back? This is important to me. Please listen. I am starting to feel flooded.”
Accept influence from each other. Stay engaged and calm in discussion. Start gently with a compliant rather than harshly. Research shows men especially need to accept influence from their wives.
The couple that repairs a relationship instead of withdrawing from conflict. If you want to grow and change your relationship including your sexual intimacy---remember Repair is key in a couples relationship.
All of these items as noted can make your Valentines day special, try to practice just a few of these and see changes occure!
~ Barbara Massey LMFT