By Deborah Sandella PhD, RN –
Americans spend $13,290,000,000 on Valentines each year. That’s a lot of loving. No surprise, 66 years of Valentines has not dulled my desire. How about you?
The feeling of being “in love” is a biochemical high—a safety and connectedness with another that makes you feel like our best self. It not only feels good, it actually keeps you healthy. According to researchers Karelina and DeVries, socially engaging with others is proven to increase our resilience to stress and facilitate healing. They explain that the “protective effects of positive social engagement rely on the same cocktail of hormones that carries a biological message of ‘love’ throughout the body.” Further, love is so critical to health and happiness that the most common end-of-life regret is not having spent more time with the people we love.
There is a little known secret that can spice up your relationship whether new or long-term? Do you know what it is? It’s emotional self-disclosure. A 1997 Study by Arthur Aron and colleagues at the State University of New York Stony Brook found that people feel more closely bonded when they ask each other emotionally intimate questions; the more intimate the questions, the greater the depth of intimacy.
Be inspired this Valentine’s Day to ignite the intimacy of love in your body. Learn how to look with new curious eyes whether you’re in a long-term or brand new relationship. We begin relationships with intense excitement and infatuation, and expect that if it’s the right person, we’ll always feel this way. However, that’s not how it works.
The biochemistry of new love eventually shifts to the biological comfort stimulated by a committed connection. We trade excitement for the comfort of commitment. I love my husband of thirty-seven years and there are times I feel we know each other so well that there’s nothing for us to talk about.
I’ve discovered firsthand that even decades-old relationships respond to intimate self-disclosure with excitement. My husband and I were bored one weekend and pretended we were single and on a date with no assumption of spending the night together. I found myself curious about him in a way I had not felt in a long, long time. I naturally wanted to ask questions and intently listen to his answers. As I saw and heard him with fresh eyes, I was touched by his tenderness and caring when talking about his daughter; interestingly, my usual habit of evaluating whether I agreed with his assessment of “our” daughter naturally fell away.
That night, I fell in love with him all over again. And yes, we did sleep together. It’s been said that a good relationship means falling in love with the same person again and again and again. I agree.
Just for fun, touch your lover at an emotionally stimulating level by taking turns sharing with sincere vulnerability your answers to the questions below:
To access the full 16-question quiz and your score, go to www.EosQuiz.com
Emotional intimacy feels good, is good for you and naturally transitions into sexual intimacy. Consider it verbal foreplay. Enjoy!
Deborah Sandella PhD, RN is author of the #1 International Bestseller “Goodbye Hurt & Pain, 7 Simple Steps to Health, Love and Success.” More information can be found on www.riminstitute.com.