One of the most recognized signs of relationship potential is someone’s interest in knowing us. They want to know about our past, our present, and our dreams for the future. They want our opinion of the movie and whether we like sushi or pasta. They look at us with rapt attention. When we resonate with mutual interest and delight, when we also want to know about them, we share an essential ingredient for falling in love- the desire to know.
In his latest book, Love Illuminated, Daniel Jones concludes, after culling over thousands of essays written to his Modern Love Column in the New York Times, that what most people really want is a loving and permanent relationship.
Evidence for this is the over 13.5 million self-help books addressing relationships and the interest by so many couples in improving and sustaining their love.
Given the deluge of information offered, I have siphoned out four essential ingredients that can be found in satisfied, long-lasting marriages.
Research tells us that what is novel or out of the ordinary has been found to change neurochemistry and actually stimulate hormones related to excitement and desire. If you are one of many couples who like different TV shows that you watch in different rooms, consider the novelty of finding, saving and watching a show together. It may well enhance intimacy!
Enhanced intimacy is much more than watching a show together once and ending up being sexual. It is building a pattern that includes a mini pause in the midst of a non-stop culture, with non-stop media prompts to privately share something interesting and enjoyable. In a couples’ life the treasures are often found in the simple things shared.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
In a culture that is horrified at the degree of interpersonal violence reflected in child abuse, school shootings, bullying, Intimate Partner Violence, racial discrimination, hate crimes and suicide rates, it is worth considering that there are no innocent bystanders.
The well-known slogan “ If you see something—say something” merits our attention beyond just noticing an unattended package.
There are 39,000 deaths a year by suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the United States among 19-14 year olds and 15-14 year olds, and the second leading cause among 25-34 year olds. Spanning the ages, each of those who have taken their lives is someone’s child.
On hearing of the suicide of her 18-year-old son, singer Marie Osmond shares, “I thought someone had run a knife into my heart.”
The agony of losing a child by suicide is complicated by a number of factors:
Perfectionism is the pervasive need to achieve an unrealistic standard of perfection-There is no other choice.
Are You a Perfectionist?
Giving is considered intrinsic to generosity–be it the giving of money, time, understanding, or acts of kindness.
Receiving, on the other hand, is usually simply seen as getting something.
A closer look at giving and receiving from an interpersonal perspective invites us to consider that “ giving and receiving” are not separate events. They are counterparts that are inextricably connected. There really is no true giving without receiving and no receiving without giving.
Experts would even weigh in with the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. Studies have found that a glass of wine a day is heart healthy and a study in The New England Journal of medicine evaluating 12,000 women aged 70-81 found the moderate drinkers had 23% reduced mental decline compared with nondrinkers.
It is just as difficult, however, to deny the reality that women are increasingly doing more than social drinking.
The Holidays bring with them the joy of giving and the need to shop for the right gift for the right person. For the some 18 million compulsive shoppers, however, the holiday is but one more trigger to an addiction that ultimately brings far more pain than joy.
To err is human; to forgive, divine. (Alexander Pope)
An eye for an eye, and the whole world would be blind. (Kahil Gibran)
While many reasons are ingrained in our moral fiber and cultural roots, a more recent one has been the finding that forgiveness changes our emotional state and as such our physical well-being. Forgiving is a way to stay healthy.