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IWhat does "I love you" look like in action? We can all say that we just want more love in our lives - but how can we put that into practice? When we first fall in love, displaying affection seems so natural. We laugh easily, touch easily, and speak kindly as if it’s as simple as breathing.
As time goes on, however, we begin to forget what love looks like in practice. Life often gets in the way of showing our partner how we really feel.
In Five Good Minutes With the One You Love by Jeffrey Brantley, MD and Wendy Millstine, NC offers some easy, straightforward ways to display love and deepen your bond. [You can find more information about the book here: here.]
The authors use short exercises that can be completed in five minutes to bring you into the moment with your partner. Using mindfulness techniques, these exercises offer opportunities to be close with the one you love, and show them what “I love you” really looks like in action.
Mindfulness: Being Present in the Here and Now
Often, our busy schedules leave us little room for time with our partners – let alone time for ourselves. Between the demands of work, family, school, errands, and housework, it may feel like you’re constantly thinking about what you have to do next.
However, love only occurs in the present moment: it is an experience that happens in the here and now. Learning how to be mindful opens you up to the potential for deeper, more intimate interactions.
Mindfulness is the act of bringing one’s full attention to the present moment. By paying attention to your mind and body in a nonjudgmental way, you can bring yourself into the “here” and truly experience closeness with the one you love.
Many of these practices:
- Begin with a breathing exercise to center you and help shake off feelings of agitation, restlessness, or distraction.
- Attention is then directed toward your body sensations and feelings.
- Over time, mindfulness teaches you to sit in the moment with your feelings, allowing you to experience more openness with yourself and your loved ones.
The practice of mindfulness takes practice to get right. For those of us who are constantly on the go, slowing down and focusing inward may seem jarring.
The introduction to Five Good Minutes With the One You Love offers a very accessible guide to learning mindfulness that can be used anywhere – with or without your partner present.
A Deeper, More Intimate Relationship
The exercises provided by Brantley and Millstine make expressing your love easy, and offer practical uses for mindfulness. Does your partner drive you crazy by taking too long to finish washing the dishes?
- Exercise 43 uses mindfulness to deal with impatience.
- Practice 55 offers alternative ways of greeting your partner in a loving way, to put down all the stresses of the day and come home into a welcoming and warm environment.
- Tip 65 offers strategies for using mindfulness to defrost your relationship when a chilly silence settles in. In just five minutes, you can start to break through the tension and approach your love in a new way.
Perhaps the most powerful tip, however, are the instructions for mindful listening, included in the Foundations section early in the book.
When couples communicate, it often becomes more about talking and less about listening. By letting go of trying to make changes, and instead just bringing awareness to the message your partner is trying to get across, you can foster deep intimacy that can heal tension and bring you closer.
Five Good Minutes With the One You Love offers a new way to approach the one that you love. By drawing on mindfulness, intimacy, and fun, you can rediscover what love looks like in action - and help your relationship grow in the process.
Rebuilding closeness and intimacy in a relationship can be daunting, and closing the distance between you and your partner may seem impossible at times. If your relationship feels distant or disconnected, there is hope. With the help of couples therapy, you can begin to bridge that gap and develop closeness that is truly satisfying. Contact us at (516) 221-9494 for more information today.