3 Quick Tips to Give the Gift of Love

A Gift from Monica Houttuin, LCSW, CST
Counseling Rediscovering Connections
Union, MO            (636) 583-7738

Reinventing Yourselves, Making Love New Again

Here are 3 Quick Tips to Give the Gift of Love to someone you care about.  It really doesn't have to be about flowers, candy, or date nights.  You really can deepen your connection and feel alive again with your partner.

Quick Tip # 1   Do Something New Together.  
No really, I am not kidding.  Have you ever driven home from work and not remembered going down the road to your house?  Well, believe it or not that is automatic pilot.  It saves you time, it makes space for other more important interesting stuff.  So if you are not careful your brain will do that to your relationship also.  Really it will, it will put the one you love and all the important stuff you care about into automatic pilot.  It's horrible for lovers but great for getting a whole bunch of other stuff done.

36 Questions to Bring You Closer Together

Here is what you need to do if you want to wake up your relationship connection and get some love chemicals flowing. The LOVE chemical if you will pays attention when we do something new.   Now I don't mean go to a new restaurant.  Doing something NEW FOR BOTH OF YOU will activate the brain's reward system.  That is really cool because this is how we feel refreshed and pleasurable.  DO it together and you are on your way.   Right about now you are saying, but we can never find anything we can agree on.  The great thing about the research on the brain is that it says you don't have to find it overly pleasurable, it just needs to interrupt that old tried and true regular automatic pilot

36 Questions to Bring You Closer Together

Even though people get worried they are growing bored or worse yet falling out of love, researchers show we probably fall in and fall out of love over the course of our lifetime together.  That isn't the problem.  The problem is the "falling" part.  It doesn't sound very on purpose so when we fall out we don't know how to get back in. is inevitable.

So that is some of the idea about doing something new together, to bring back brand new surges of "the love chemical" into the brain.  That is how researchers think that couples in long relationships keep the fire burning.

So going for a drive with no known destination or going to a new part of town and picking something new to do you never would have is great, even if neither of you thought it was particularly exciting, your brain thought it was because you interrupted those old patterns. 

Now our brain tends to have a bias for negativity and we have to do our new activity for longer than 15-20 minutes before we can register this as a new and interesting event.  Tip # 2 is going to help with that even if you never leave your house.  I am not kidding.

Now I am going to caution you,  if your relationship is in CRISIS, you and I both know that a drive and a new adventure probably won't revive the whole relationship.  However if you have a pretty good relationship but it is lackluster and not so interesting day after day then tip # 1 will get you on your way to lighting a fire in the relationship.

We don't totally know why some couples stay "in Love" but this might be a clue.  Novel, random is still a little bit sexy.  At least to our brains.

36 Questions to Bring You Closer Together

Quick Tip #2

Enjoy these Questions as they are about updating and deepening your friendship and connection.

These questions only take about 45 minutes to discuss—and they almost always make two people feel better about each other and want to see each other again, according to social psychology researcher Arthur Aron of the Interpersonal Relationships Lab at Stony Brook University in New York, who published his results in "The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness" in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (1997).

Each of you should take a turn answering each question.

36 Questions to Bring You Closer Together

Here they are, in order:

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you're going to say? Why?

4. What would constitute a perfect day for you?

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you choose?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

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10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

11. Take four minutes and tell you partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

Weird Things Happen When You Stare Into Someone's Eyes For 10 Minutes

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

14. Is there something that you've dreamt of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it?

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

16. What do you value most in a friendship?

17. What is your most treasured memory?

18. What is your most terrible memory?

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

20. What does friendship mean to you?

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21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people's?

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

25. Make three true "we" statements each. For instance, "we are both in this room feeling..."

36 Questions to Bring You Closer Together

26. Complete this sentence "I wish I had someone with whom I could share..."

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

28. Tell your partner what you like about them: be honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you've just met.

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

36 Questions to Bring You Closer Together

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven't you told them yet?

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner's advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

... and a few variations:

36 Questions to Bring You Closer Together

  • While on a trip to another city, your spouse/lover meets and spends a night with an exciting stranger. Given that they will never meet again, and could never otherwise learn of the incident, would you want your partner to tell you about it?
  • 36 Questions to Bring You Closer Together

    36 Questions to Bring You Closer Together

    Quick Tip # 3  Don't Stare It's Rude!  But...It Might Make You Fall In Love Again.

    Remember when you got together.  It is crazy but on average we gaze into one another's eyes at a rate that will never happen again after that first six months to two years.   We did it so often we had names for the color of the flecks in our partners iris.   Quick test:  Can you visualize your partners eyes as you read this.   Nope.  Well it's time for an upgrade then.

    Here is how it goes.  You might start by just gazing at them for up to sixty seconds without them knowing what you are doing.   Place your mouth in a soft smile and just watch.  Chances are they will feel you doing this and just look up and say "what", "Why are you staring?".  Keep it up and they may either grow annoyed or a little tickled depending on how you respond.   

    Challenge them to a good old fashioned staring contest and you might turn your worlds upside down with silliness.

    On a daily basis you can do this gazing for an additional 30 to 60 seconds when they leave the house or return home.  Go to them hug them then pull back, gaze into their eyes and say "I am so glad you are home".  Whatever you do, do not ask them how their day was, at least not yet.

    36 Questions to Bring You Closer Together

    Do these three things relatively close together and you have just created some novelty and randomness with your partner.  You are going to have to spill the beans about what you are up to probably, because it very likely is going to be some out of the ordinary behavior and your partner is going to wonder what is going on.

    If that happens then CONGRATULATIONS you have just given a wonderful gift of loving attention and hopefully a little spark to the relationship as well.

    I would love to hear how your experiment goes.

    send me an email at   crcenter@sbcglobal.net or set up a time to discuss what happened, (636) 583-7738   or      Book  A

    Complimentary Breakthrough Consultation

    Thanks for Reading, I hope you enjoyed your gift.