In my book, Love Tips and Trips for Gay and Lesbian Relationships, I have identified 50 Ways to Keep Your Lover. My post last Friday offered strategies 1-3, this week I am sharing strategies 4-6. Look for three more strategies every Friday for a couple of months!
4. Close the Exits. A commitment requires that you close your exits—eliminating people, places, things, and activities that give you an escape from being fully involved in your relationship. This may include: setting clearer boundaries with your families of origin, so that your new partnership is the priority; or dealing with your addictions to food, drugs/alcohol, sex, and work; or ceasing involvement in friendships with people that distract and tempt you away from your partner.
5. Aspire and Inspire Only the Best. When you aspire to be your best, and you inspire your partner to be his or her best, the two of you have achieved the most important function of a relationship. The single greatest reason to partner with someone is to somehow better your life, and theirs. By aspiring for your personal best, and supporting your partner to do the same, you are able to strengthen not only your individual selves, but your relationship. Your relationship is only as healthy as those in it.
6. Reminisce Frequently. Though it is rare for a couple ever to be able to recreate the exact combination of energy, passion, time commitment, priority and excitement that was experienced at the start of their relationship, you can reexperience the passionate feelings by talking about it. Recreating the initial feelings of attraction and desire is difficult to recreate the start of your relationship is because when you fi rst fall in love, your body chemistry literally changes with the influx of feel-good chemicals like dopamine, norepinepherine, causing all of your senses to be heightened, and your energy to increase, while provoking a dramatic improvement in your mood.
To help you begin your reminiscing, here are some helpful sentence starters:
- Remember when _____________
- I felt so __________ when you ___________
- I wanted to _______ and then you _________
- And we_______ And can you believe we _________
- And how did we ever __________
- What I loved most about that time was ________
- I love thinking about that because ___________
- My favorite memory of all is ___________
These are just a few helpful starts down memory lane for you. Take the walk. It’s a wonderful thing to reminisce about all of the fun, sexy, loving, playful, exciting, interesting, and memorable times you have created in your life together.
Stay tuned for Tips 7-9 next Friday!
Find more tips by Michele O'Mara, LCSW at www.micheleomara.com