It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together. Valentine’s Day (VD) is a perfect excuse to supercharge your relationship. Here’s how to use brain science to maximize your Valentine’s Day connection and passion.
Your partner’s relational brain needs three things from you if you want a VD to remember (and if you want to avoid the all-too-common VD big-time disappointments):
- Activate feelings of safety and commitment. Before we can experience connection and passion, our brain needs to experience safety and commitment. How? It’s simple. Repeatedly “ping” our partner with reminders that “we are a team”, “we are good together”, “I like you”, “I look forward to being with you”, “I think of you even when we are not together.” Text your partner with these messages. (Go ahead! Do it now!) This affirmation of commitment soothes the “threat detector” in the brain, makes us less defensive, more relaxed and better prepared for connection.
- Activate the attachment centers of the brain through loving eye-to-eye contact, skin-to-skin touch, and close proximity. Try this: Next time you see your partner take a deep breath, smile warmly, make physical contact (caress their arm, hug, etc.), look into their eyes for several seconds, and remind them you love them. This allows love to sneak right past the conscious mind and electrify the attachment centers. This increased connection stirs desire for connection and passion.
- Eliminate or reduce exhaustion and stress. Nothing kills connection and passion like the stress hormone cortisol. Even when stress is unrelated to your relationship, cortisol kills desire for romance and passion. So, if your life is busy and stressful, create a time of transition before you come together to pray, exercise or take a nap. For example, when Karen and I take an overnight getaway, we always start by hitting the exercise room at the hotel to work out, go for a swim and sometimes take a nap before we begin our time together.
Now is a perfect time to supercharge the connection and passion in your relationship. When you activate feelings of safety and commitment, stimulate the brain’s attachment center, and reduce exhaustion and stress, you should get ready to have a Valentine’s Day to remember!