If I hear, “make a date night,” one more time, from one more relationship expert, I’m going to throw the aphrodisiac in her face.
I don’t want to make a date night. I don’t want to ride the Class IV rapids or jump out of Â a plane to get the dopamine flowing. I don’t want to dangle from a chandelier. These are fine suggestions to beat a passion plateau. But they take t-i-m-e (not to mention acrobatic skills), which some of us don’t exactly have.
“Oh boy,” my mate says when I ask him for ideas on the phone. (Maybe it was a bad idea to make him change my ring tone to Car Alarm)Â â€œthatâ€™s a minefield right there.â€
My girlfriend offers, â€œI’m sure my husband would say sexâ€”more than, you know, a few times a year.Â But that’s asking a lot. I’m very busy.â€
I did, however, find some great, quick ideas for women on the run:
IF YOU HAVE 10 SECONDSâ€¦. Hit pause.Â This will come in handy the next time heâ€™s really bugging you. Say, when heâ€™s dawdling, 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 for him. Pause the action. (In email terms, itâ€™s a kind of a Save As Draft so you donâ€™t actually send the inflammatory message). Ten seconds gives you time to flash on, â€œOh, heâ€™s very uncomfortable with my family,â€ or â€œHmmm, heâ€™s been whipped at work and needs to be in control of something (pathetic as his choice may be.)â€ It might occur to you that â€œa few minutes lateâ€ isnâ€™t worth a fight. Then again, you might conclude that, yes, he is a total jerk. Â At least you tried.
IF YOU HAVE A MINUTEâ€¦ This is from a great article in the current Scientific American Mind by Robert EpsteinÂ (do it with your guy): Embrace each other gently and gradually Â 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 inhibitionsâ€”and that can help people bond.
IF YOU HAVE 2 MINUTESâ€¦ Jot down three things heâ€™s done lately that you appreciate (OK, one?). Send the list as a note to him in an email at work. Or slip it under his coffee mug in the morning. Or just casually mention, â€œYou know, I dug the way you handled that surly waiter the other day.â€ Yeah, itâ€™s a tad corny, but experts say it really works. Certainly, if thereâ€™s one thing the research on happy long-term couples shows, itâ€™s that they figure out how to accentuate the positive. â€œWhen you say or list what you appreciate in him, it brings those things more to the forefront of the mind,â€ says Gail Saltz, MD, Today Show commentator and author of The Ripple Effect: How Better Sex Can Lead to a Better Life. â€œIt also prompts him to say what he really appreciates about you.â€
IF YOU HAVE 3 MINUTESâ€¦ Hereâ€™s another good one from Epstein: Standing or sitting fairly close to your partner, start moving your hands, arms, and legs any way you likeâ€”but in a fashion that perfectly mimics his. â€œThis is fun but also challenging,â€ Epstein writes. â€œYou will both feel as if you are moving voluntarily, but your actions are also linked to those of your partner.â€ See if this doesnâ€™t activate your empathy circuits.
IF YOUâ€™VE GOT 5 MINUTESâ€¦ Try aÂ 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. â€œYouâ€™re not saying, â€˜It’s all right that you did that,â€™” Salzberg explains. Youâ€™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,â€ and, â€œI am not identifying myself only as the person who was hurt; Iâ€™m bigger than that.â€ You may even realize, â€œI have to let go of unrelieved anger to have any space for love to grow.â€ See if 5 minutes a day doesnâ€™t warm up the love dynamic. Â For a real intimacy boost? Get him to do it too.
Have you discovered any fast fixes worth sharing?
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