Linda: Some people believe that falling in love is something that just happens to us. This is a passive orientation. The active orientation is one in which there is a belief that with intention, we can enhance the chances of creating an intense, passionate, and deeply romantic connection with a new partner or even invigorate a long-standing partnership that has gone flat. There are methods that are helpful in the process of falling in love.
- Spend time being in service to each other
- Commit to knowing ourselves and each other deeply
- Commit to living with an open heart
- Practice truth-telling, being real, emotionally honest
- Practice full disclosure, which is being authentic from moment to moment to encourage transparency
- Schedule regular check-ins to share our experience
- Consult professionals
- Talk to couples with exemplary partnerships
- Read and discuss fiction and non-fiction about romantic love
- Commit to novelty, adventure, exploration, and learning
Consider the case of Mira and Ari. Their careers and children were taking so much time and energy that their romantic partnership was faltering. They made a contract with each other to lift their relationship up into a place of higher prominence with a number of these guidelines. They told me that the most important one that assisted them to fall back in love was spending time being in service to each other.
Mira: “I’ve always known that Ari loves me. Even when he is away from home traveling for business, I do trust that he loves me. But knowing that he loves me and experiencing his love are very different. I was so famished for his attention that I was having doubts about whether we were a good match. We were clearly falling out of love due to neglecting our partnership. Now, we’ve worked out a method that has been good for us over the busy years of raising kids and meeting the demands of our jobs. We choose a few hours during the day, on a weekend, or an entire evening, where we will not be disturbed by children or the telephone. And we make an agreement to be in service to each other the entire time.”
Ari: “We have become quite creative in the variety of ways we have devised to be in service to each other. Mira likes me to feed her dinner. So once in a while, I take the time to do that. She gets a big kick out of feeding me, not just a few mouthfuls, but the whole meal! It definitely does jog us off of automatic pilot. Slowing down the pace of the meal forces us to pay attention to what is happening moment to moment. When I stay in eye contact with Mira while she feeds me or I feed her, we tune into each other and I find that she takes smaller bites than I do. I pause more in between bites so my pace of eating is slower. I had some resistance to it in the beginning; it brought up issues of feeling vulnerable and dependent. It’s been good for me to practice generosity and patience, gently pressing the edge of my comfort zone to allow myself to be given to. It’s pretty up close and personal all right.”
Mira: “Ari is a great receiver now. Years ago, when I would offer to give him a massage he would refuse, which would blow my mind. I love massage so much, I couldn’t fathom why he would say no. Now, he lets me give him full body massage and he actually enjoys it. He gives a wonderful massage too since we took a couple’s massage class. The class was a great confidence booster to find that we don’t have to be professionally trained to do a satisfying massage. Sometimes we just massage each other’s feet, head, or back.”
Ari: “Mira really likes it when I brush her hair. We have played with brushing each other’s teeth. I’ve shaved her legs and armpits. She’s shaved my face, trimmed my eyebrows, nose, and ear hairs. She even put my contact lenses in for me one time. We find that it breaks up our automatic patterning and keeps us more alert.”
Mira: “Ari has a melodic singing voice. When he brings out his guitar to sing to me, it’s so romantic; I just melt. We don’t ever rely on the message in a card for birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. We always write a personal message. We are constantly scanning for possible ways that we can show our love and devotion. By practicing so regularly, we have both opened to deeper levels of giving and receiving love.”
Joel: “Even during the times when we are busy and can’t take the few hours or the whole day to drench ourselves in the luxury of being in service to each other, we take a smaller amount of time. A little bit can go a long way. There are long hugs, deep passionate kisses, and sweet eye contact, gestures that don’t take very long but satisfy us on the deepest level. It’s these tokens of affection that come straight from our hearts that have the greatest meaning. I’m really digging intentionally falling in love with Mira all over again.”
It’s possible to intentionally fall in love with the same person numerous times. Perhaps in your relationship, spending more time being in service could bring a bigger love back to enliven your life. Take the time to see what specific actions you might be willing to take to set a context for the falling in love experience to bring a rush of vital energy for both of you to enjoy.