Fifteen minutes (or less) for love
Keep your love alive (and go even deeper)
Keep your love shining with just fifteen minutes (or less) a day!
How does our love, which often seems so strong at the beginning, seem to fade the longer we know each other?
Taking each other for granted (the beginning of the end)
One major reason is that we take each other for granted. For many of us, if we devoted as much intention and energy to our job as we do to our relationship, we would be fired.
Let me suggest a less than fifteen-minute exercise that you and your partner (spouse, lover, friend, colleague, or family member) can do at the end of the day or at the end of any time that you spend together. I’ve received amazing reports on the difference this exercise has made for the people who have used it.
Just fifteen minutes a day to keep your relationship glowing! What a deal!
Less than fifteen minutes with two parts
PART ONE: curiosity and looking to understand your partner
For the first part it is important that it be approached as an information-gathering exercise only. Whether or not you or your partner will be able or willing, to make any changes in your behavior with each other
based upon the information gathered is entirely another question.
The attitude that makes this exercise work is one of wanting to understand the other person and how you affect them or don't affect them. Approach this process with the glasses of curiosity, understanding, and compassion.
Let’s say that your partner’s name is Jamie.
Ask your partner what he or she enjoyed about being with you today
“Jaime, what have you told yourself about me today that has made you feel connected with me? Please give me detailed feedback on what you’ve enjoyed or appreciated about being with me today.”
Focus intently and listen to what Jaime says. Do not assume you know what he or she will say. Keep asking Jaime for more feedback until he or she has nothing more to say.
If you don’t fully understand a specific piece of feedback, ask for more detail so that you can more fully understand their feedback. If you notice that you are touched by or appreciative of anything that Jaime says to you, express your appreciation to him or her for what they have said. As a minimum, say "thank you."
Ask your partner what he or she did not enjoy about being with you today
“Jaime, what have you told yourself about me today that made you feel disconnected with or separate from me? Please give me detailed feedback on anything that you’ve disliked or that has made you uncomfortable about being with me today?”
Listen to what Jaime says. Do not assume you know what he or she will say. Keep asking Jaime for more feedback until he or she has nothing more to say. If you don’t fully understand a specific piece of feedback, ask for more detail so that you can clearly understand his or her feedback. If it took courage for them to share openly with you about something, express your appreciation for their choice of courage. As a minimum, say "thank you" for each item shared.
If there is anything you might like to change about your behavior with Jaime in the future, consider asking him or her to support you in making the change (by giving you a gentle but immediate signal) should the unwanted behavior occur again in the future. Jaime is likely to be aware of the behavior he or she dislikes much sooner than you would be.
Now reverse roles; your partner asks you the same questions
After you have finished asking Jaime these questions and fully listening to him or her, then it’s your turn to give feedback. Reverse the roles, with Jaime asking you the same questions and with him or her really listening to you.
PART TWO: the eyes are the windows to the soul
So simple, yet profound...
For this part (which lasts five minutes), it's best to be sitting or reclining comfortably looking at each other at a comfortably eye distance apart (maybe 12-24 inches), with the lights dimmed.
During these five minutes, hold gently in your thoughts: "Here's another soul, just like my soul, trying to do their best with me, as they see me, as they see themselves, and as they see the world."
For five minutes (use a timer so you don't have to watch the clock), gaze into each other's eyes. Allow yourself to think what you think, see what you see, and feel what you feel. Don't worry about blinking; blink when you need to blink, but don't look away. This can be a choice of courage.
After the five minutes, thank each other, hold each other if both of you like, and share anything that you might like to share.
Very often it's a choice of courage for one or both partners to participate in this process. It can be a choice of courage to ask questions. It can be a choice of courage to fully and honestly answer them. It can be a choice of courage to allow yourself to hear without defensiveness how you occur for another, especially when that occurring is what they don't like about you. It can be a choice of courage to gaze vulnerably into another's eyes. Honor and appreciate yourself and your partner for the courage you are choosing each time you participate in this exercise.
If you have never tried this process before or if you have not done this process for a while, then the choice of courage is often bigger.
Reminders and structures to keep "Fifteen Minutes for Love" going
If you and your partner are willing to engage in this exercise on a daily, or perhaps weekly basis, then the quality of your relationship will be consistently maintained and improved.
Invite your partner today to create a structure to support doing this process regularly.
Idea: set a recurring alarm on your mobile to remind you it's time to fall in love again.