Quick Relationship Fixes
(BlackDoctor.org) — Not too long ago, one of my very good friends was a having a little bit of relationship trouble. Maybe it was wrong, but I kinda laughed when she said “If I hear the words ‘date night’ from one more relationship expert, I’m going to throw some aphrodisiac in their face!”
My friend didn’t want to make a date night every single night. Or jump out of a plane to get the dopamine flowing. Or enroll in Circus Performing 101. She just wanted a healthy relationships, and what really frustrated her was that people generally recommend doing all the above and more to beat a passion plateau.
As my friend said, all the above take t-i-m-e (not to mention some acrobatic skills), which some of us don’t have a lot of these days.
So, how do you keep a relationship going strong when you just don’t have tons of time?
If You Have 10 Seconds…. Hit pause. This will come in handy the next time he’s getting on your very last nerve. Say, when he’s procastinating, making you late again to visit your mother. Before one righteous word flies out of your mouth, FREEZE. Just watch him for 10 seconds. Visualize yourself in his shoes. Visualize him as he looked the first time you fell in love with him. Ten seconds gives you time to think about whether this is serious enough to fight about, and understand what might be going on in his mind. Then again, you might conclude that, yes, he is a total jerk. But at least you tried!
If You Have One Minute…Embrace each other gently and gradually synchronize your breathing with his. Just stand there inhaling and exhaling together, as if you were one being. A minute or two of this, apparently, lowers your inhibitions—and that can help people bond.
If You Have Two Minutes… Jot down three things that your sweetie has done lately that you appreciate (umm, even if you can only recall one thing, that’s good, too). Send the list as a note to them in an email at work. Or slip it under their coffee mug in the morning. Or just casually mention, “You know, I liked the way you handled that rude waiter the other day.” Yeah, it’s a tad corny, but experts say it really works. Certainly, if there’s one thing the research on happy long-term couples shows, it’s that they figure out how to accentuate the positive. “When you say or list what you appreciate in them, it brings those things more to the forefront of the mind,” says Gail Saltz, MD, Today Show commentator and author of The Ripple Effect: How Better Sex Can Lead to a Better Life. “It also prompts them to say what they really appreciate about you.”
If You Have Three Minutes…Standing or sitting fairly close to your partner, start moving your hands, arms, and legs any way you like—but in a fashion that perfectly mimics theirs. “This is fun but also challenging,” Epstein writes. “You will both feel as if you are moving voluntarily, but your actions are also linked to those of your partner.” This is a great exercise to help you better relate to and understand each other.
If You Have Five Minutes… Try a daily forgiveness ritual, suggests Sharon Salzberg, a revered spiritual teacher and cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. It’s like a little shot of immunity to prevent you from fighting. Find a quiet spot to sit, and let these phrases go through your mind: “If I have hurt or harmed you, knowing or unknowingly, I ask your forgiveness. If you have hurt or harmed me, knowingly or unknowingly, I forgive you.” You’re not saying, ‘It’s all right that you did that,’” Salzberg explains. You’re just opening up your mind to ideas like, “I let go of seeing you solely as the perpetrator; I understand the conditions that led to that action,” and, “I am not identifying myself only as the person who was hurt; I’m bigger than that.” You may even realize that letting go of unrelieved anger gives you more space for love to grow.
Five minutes a day of the above exercises should warm things up. For a real intimacy boost? Get your significant other to follow these tips together!