By: Lisa M. Hayes – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS A MINUTE.
But we’re busy…
Those words might be the number one predictor of relationship failure.
Carrie and James had been married three years. With two dogs, one kid, and two and a half careers between them, they were busy. James was working overtime all the time. Their two-year-old son had some medical issues and Carrie was juggling her job and many therapy appointments with the kiddo. Money was tighter than they wanted to admit. The only thing in shorter supply than disposable cash was time, or maybe energy.
They had sex occasionally. Maybe more often than other couples with two dogs, a kid, and two jobs that felt like three. They hardly ever fought and when they did it was never a big deal. They spent an hour or two every evening as a family before putting a wrap on the day. It seemed like enough. Which is why no one was more surprised than Carrie was when she found herself on the floor in her laundry room one day crying because she was contemplating the future of her marriage and it didn’t look all that bright.
The night before when they climbed in bed Carrie asked James what his favorite of her body parts was. It was a playful question – she didn’t mean it to be loaded. However, he looked like he was thinking about it for too long, and when he finally answered, it wasn’t the answer she was looking for.
“I’m too tired to play this game. Let me sleep on it.”. Jame replied flatly. He rolled over and was snoring before she could even process how she felt about that. Carrie was upset that he couldn’t answer that question without being so taxed by it that he had to sleep on it. She was also upset that she’d been noticing the favorite body part on a co-worker of hers. My God, those shoulders on that new guy at the office were to die for.
Carrie wasn’t going to cheat. But she didn’t like the way her marriage felt. What she wanted was a quick fix and while a marriage that’s starving needs more than a quick fix mentality when two people truly love each other sometimes some easy steps in the right direction can take you miles back to where you want to be.
Carrie was clear. They didn’t have a lot of money for romantic weekend trips or even date nights. The first thing she said to me was, “If one more person tells me we need a date night, I’ll scream.” While I thought they did need a regular date night, they also needed a way to be different in their relationship every single day.
So, we came up with a list of ten things she could do every day that would take less than a minute each. I was hopeful, but not super optimistic about massive changes. This turned out to be one instance where I’m thrilled to admit I was wrong.
The game plan was as follows:
1. Kiss each other goodbye before you part ways in the morning.
Couples kiss. Roommates don’t. If you want to feel like a couple, a kiss goodbye in the morning is a good way to set the tone for the day. It reminds you both your lovers before you get down to the business of getting distracted by other stuff.
2. Send that text.
Touch base during the day. There’s no excuse not to spend a few seconds typing out a text that says “I love you.” or “Can’t wait to see you when you get off work.” No one is too busy to do that. You can text from the toilet if you need to.
A small but simple connection during the day when you’re apart can make connecting when you’re together a little easier. Not to mention, everyone likes to know someone is thinking about them.
3. Show some gratitude.
We often get very informal with our significant others. It can be very easy to let that informality border on being rude or dismissive. Please and thank yous go a long way.
If someone passes you the salt or mows the lawn, a genuine thank you is in order. When we show gratitude, even if it’s a simple thank you, it makes the other person feel noticed and appreciated. Exceptional courtesy is the hallmark of two people newly in love. If you can excavate some of that civility, it will go a long way to feeling more connected.
4. Hug when you see each other at the end of the workday.
A physical connection is paramount for intimacy between lovers and that physical connection shouldn’t be all sexual. Hugs are good for your physical health and your relationship. A good hug is relaxing and reminds you on many levels that the person who just walked through the door is your person.
5. Compliment liberally
“You look really sexy in that shirt”.
“No one can barbeque a burger better than you.”
Those kinds of small but great gestures of kindness matter and they matter even more coming from your partner.
You can’t force a good compliment. However, chances are pretty high there are lots of opportunities to make your partner feel special that are getting missed in the fog of routine.
6. Make eye contact with your partner from across the room, or the bed and smile, often.
That acknowledgment and those little moments matter. A glance and a smile is literally a demonstration of seeing the person you love. It’s like the foundational cornerstone of flirting. No matter how long you’ve been together flirting is a thing you should be doing.
7. Hold hands whenever you can.
Watching TV? Hold hands.
Riding in the car? Hold hands.
Walking through the store? Hold hands.
Holding hands is once again, a thing couples do. It reinforces your physical and emotional connection. It’s easy to do and easy to forget to do.
8. Sincerely check-in at least once a day.
This is more than a cursory “How was your day?” This is about taking the time to ask your partner at least one question a day, inquiring about how they feel about something.
“How did you feel about that meeting?”
“How do you feel about our upcoming vacation?”
“How do you feel your mother’s illness?”
That kind of inquiry opens doors for intimacy and demonstrates a willingness to be present, if only for a minute.
9. Help your partner get undressed.
It’s an intimate act. It might be foreplay, but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, it might be hot. However, there is something tender and caretaking about the act of undressing. This might be a one-minute activity. However, fair warning, if you’re doing it right, this one might take a lot longer.
10. Sleep naked – every single night.
Oxytocin is a powerful force and it’s a hormone that’s stimulated by skin to skin touch. Known as the cuddle chemical or bonding chemical, women tend to have more oxytocin than men, but men produce it in spades when their naked body is up against the naked body of the woman they love.
That is a good thing and it actually takes less effort to crawl in bed naked than to put on that t-shirt and those trusty old sweatpants.
So, a couple of months after Carrie and I originally chatted she checked in.
She sounded like a new woman and she reported she had what felt like a new marriage. She said it was subtle at first but within a couple of weeks they were feeling very connected again.
James reported his favorite part of her body is the curve right below her bum. Carrie reported she couldn’t remember the name of the new hire at her company.
*Client story shared with permission. Names have been changed to protect privacy.
Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.
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