Research has shown that falling in love with another person is a biochemical attraction. Unfortunately, natures love course begins to fade after a few years when new incompatibilities surface. Once the love fades, the most important question to ask is how to deepen your love and commitment with the person you are with, rather than searching for another person you believe may offer more compatibilities.
It is foolish to think you can change anyone; people don’t change much. So it isn’t change that diminishes the strength of a relationship, it is the weakening of the connection; when you improve the connection between two people you can transform how you experience the other person. The way you relate to another person is what causes the change in a relationship, not a change in the person. When your connection fades your love changes, and that changes how you experience everything. Focusing on strengthening the connection with another person will strengthen the love you feel for one another. Love will transform your experience of each other. The power to feel more love lies within you; you are in control.
What we must understand is that trans-formative love occurs at the core of your being. Creating phenomenal love is a process of connecting at the core of your soul; it has very little to do with being compatible.
We all have a dual existence. The first aspect is everything we know about ourselves: our skills and traits, our likes and dislikes, our strengths and weaknesses, our physical characteristics. The second aspect is more difficult to understand; it is the part of you that allows you to be aware of your humanness. For example, do you ever talk to yourself? Of course you do. Who are you talking to? It is the “I” of your subconscious self. You can attempt to change a known weakness, but you cannot change the “I” unknown part of yourself. Extraordinary love is the connection of the “I” part of your core self with another person. When you build a relationship with another person at your core, you experience life very differently than if your relationship is solely based on compatibility.
When you connect at your core you can feel free to be yourself; you are not haunted by body image, personal problems, or personality flaws; you don’t have to hide your feelings or feel inhibited. When you connect at your core with another person, you do not judge, feel superior or inadequate. When soul mates connect at the highest level, they unselfishly want to help their partner become their best self.
Mort Fertel in his book, Marriage Fitness, says, “ Love is not a feeling – it’s something you do. You make a decision to love, and then you act. It’s a choice and a deed. Love is a verb.” The following are three of Mort Fertel’s action points to build phenomenal love into your relationship through the power of connecting at your core:
1) Make the relationship a priority; putting love first will connect you at your cores and transform your life. The question is not whether you are willing to change your habits; the question is whether you’re willing to change your priorities. When a relationship is the highest priority in your life, you have to begin acting in ways that reflect that priority. Many times it becomes a question about threatening your lifestyle and how you choose to spend your time and energy. To put love first requires time and focus; unfortunately, most couples are so busy with their own lives they don’t take the time to connect with meaningful conversations. The following are several ideas by Mort Fertel on how to actualize putting more love into your relationship:
- Connect several times per day with brief conversations; any positive communication serves the purpose of connecting. Be creative with your subjects, for example, an interesting news event, an idea, wish or dream for the future, an accomplishment, a joke, a creative thought, or a simple I love you.
- Schedule some face time to just talk to one another a minimum of once per week for thirty minutes or more. The act of regularly talking acts as a deep bonding connection between two people. It is important to talk about personal, intimate subjects; share your feelings and opinions; have fun together, laugh together, tell stories, reminisce.
- It is critical that you touch regularly, at least two to three times per day. A gentle loving touch or warm kiss is necessary to connect at the cores.
- Spending time together is what people do when they fall in love; it is also how you stay connected. Schedule a date night once per week. Date nights should be scheduled outside of the house, last two to three hours, do not include anyone else, and require you to be doing something together face to face. In other words, the date cannot consist solely of watching a movie or sporting event.
- Plan a three day get-a-away for just the two of you at least twice per year.
- Keep a photo of your significant other in locations where your partner is not usually present.
- Make a big deal out of birthdays and other events that are important to your partner.
2) Give the gift of presence. There is something dynamic between love and giving that connect two people at their cores and creates phenomenal love. It is normal to give to whoever you love; but the reverse is also true. You will love to whoever you give to. So you need to give not because you love, but in order to create love. Giving creates a deep connection and inspires you to love; the more you give, the more you love. So you don’t need to out- maneuver your partner to get your needs met; the ultimate need of humans is love; connecting at your core through giving fulfills this most primary need.
In order to give to your partner regularly, you have to know each other’s needs. Intimacy is having knowledge about another person; there are people who live together but they are not intimate; they do not know each other’s real needs. If you want your most human need met – love – get to know your partners needs and start giving. Here are a few suggestions from Mert:
- Schedule an intimacy interview every year to find out what your partner needs. Make sure the two of you are alone, schedule at least one hour, put out some refreshments, dim the lights and light a candle, have paper and pen at hand, do not interview each other in the same evening. The interviewer should ask specific questions; it is much easier for the interviewee to answer specific questions than simply volunteer information. Remember, love is in the details so the interviewer must ask follow up questions to clarify the partner’s answers. For the interviewee to be as open as possible, the interviewer should not make any comments or remarks of any kind; any facial reactions by the interviewer must be neutral or positive. On the other hand, the interviewee should not ask any questions but rather remain focused on communicating their needs. The following are ideas for subjects on which to focus your interview: vacations, conversational style and topics, child care and parenting, holidays, special occasions, entertainment, friends, clothing, food and cooking, exercise, sports, hobbies, personal growth, education, shopping, home repairs and maintenance, home organization and cleanliness, furnishings, household chores, money and investing, sex, religion, extended family, books, music, physical signs of affection, timeliness, personal hygiene, career.
- The most important thing is to give something to your partner every day. Beginnings are important so try to give something once every morning and again in the evening. Vary what you give every day to keep the giving fresh and meaningful. Review your list regularly, searching for new and exciting ways to give to your partner; be careful to only give what your partner wants.
3) It is one thing to have an interesting and active life but yet another thing to share your life with another person. It becomes easy to grow apart emotionally when you are not involved in the mundane day to day events of another person. If your lives do not intersect, you will not connect; you cannot create a phenomenal love without core connection. To connect at the core, people must learn to move from me to we; you must become a team. When two people experience core connections, they talk about almost everything and they do things together as well. But that doesn’t mean you both have to participate in all of the same things; but it does mean you show a sincere interest through communication or watching. Everything your partner does is an opportunity to connect – every friend, every hobby, every fitness program, every trip, every business deal, every social event. To get started, consider the following suggestions from Mert Fertel:
- Move your circle of life. As Mert says, imagine you and your partner’s life as two circles. The degree to which your circles of life overlay will determine the depth of your connection. It is not necessarily about how much you do together but about how much of each other’s life you share. People connected at the core talk about everything in each other’s lives. Getting involved in each other’s circle of life is how you get to know each other’s thoughts, feelings, opinions, dreams, and fears. Choosing to make it a priority to move your circle of life to overlap with another person is an exercise in choosing love.
- Pick any hobby to do together; it can be anything as long as it is interesting and fun for both of you.
- Become a team in solving personal problems. A healthy partnership is a team. The issue is not who is at fault or who has the problem. The goal is solving problems together; consider you and your partner a team and the problem the opponent; look for solutions rather than blame; use problems to unite you rather than divide you. Teamwork allows you to share your thoughts, feelings, fears, and insights into life’s struggles. Teamwork creates love.
- Ask your partner for their opinion before making decisions. Solicit your partner’s opinion and utilize it whenever possible; give your partner an opportunity to influence you; make decisions together. It is not the advice that is important; it’s the connection and love that is created by making decisions together.
True love is unconditional. To make the move from me to we requires making space in your life for the entirety of another person.
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