Valentine’s Day means more to some couples than it does to others. Many of you love the romance but others find it to be a meaningless obligation. It can be a desperate last minute attempt to express love and affection (a.k.a flowers and/or chocolates). Why not do something that makes a real difference this year!
I suggest you try one of Eli Finkel’s “love hacks.” Taken from his latest book, The All or Nothing Marriage. A love hack is a proven technique that takes little time or effort and doesn’t even require cooperation from your partner. “It’s a quick-and-dirty option that can take just a few minutes a month,” he says. “It’s not going to give you a great marriage, but it can certainly improve things.
John Tierney’s article in The New York Times summarizes 6 simple strategies from the book.
1. Touch your partner
Love is a verb – make a habit of touching your partner even when you don’t feel like it. Actions speak louder than words. Like sex, if you wait until you feel like it, it may never happen.
2. Don’t jump to bad conclusions
Instead of thinking the worst when your partner does something hurtful, find the understandable part of why they did that. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
3. Imagine how a “fly on the wall” would see a recent fight
When you think of a conflict do you find it hard to remember what it was a about? Most people do. That’s because fighting is IRRATIONAL (stupid). Recall a conflict and and view it from the perspective of a concerned third party who has your best interests at heart. Detach from the emotion replace it with logic and compassion.
4. Make a Gratitude list
Once a week write down a few ways that your partner has done has to “invest in your relationship.” These are often relatively “small” things that can easily go unnoticed (e.g., watching the kids so you can get some much needed sleep). For more on this I recommend the wildly popular book, The Five Love Languages.
5. Accept a compliment
Many of us find it easier to give than to receive, especially if we suffer from low self esteem. Make a habit of letting compliments from your partner “in,” that is, let yourself feel the positive energy.
6. Celebrate small victories
When something good happens to your partner, get excited about it. Don’t let a moment of achievement or joy slip by. Acknowledge it, otherwise it will soon pass and be forgotten.