Falling in love (part 1)
If you want to fall in love with someone (or just like them more) –
Do things for them.
The kind of things that excite you, stretch you, and scare you just a bit. The kind of things that require at least a little of your attention everyday. The kind of things that you really do because they make you feel good, even though on the surface it looks like you’re doing it for someone else.
Like the surprise party I threw for my husband, Jihad, this weekend.
As soon as I decided to do it, I felt more in love with him. And each day that passed, I plotted and planned and enrolled my friends’ assistance, and fell even more in love with him.
As I made the invitation list, I thought of how lovable and loved he is. And as people RSVP’d both with yes’s and no’s I was reminded of how many amazing people we have in our lives, and I fell in love with all of them too.
I was tempted to have it be a ‘semi-surprise’ party, where I basically just tell him ahead of time that it’s happening and let him be ‘surprised’ by who’s there. But my friend, Becky, challenged me to go for it and surprise him all the way. I got even more excited. And I had to get even more creative, and enlist even more friends’ support.
Pretty quickly, I realized I wasn’t throwing this party for him (although, he and everyone else who was there might argue with that). I was throwing it for me – and he just happened to be the focus of my attention.
But guess what, as my friend and mentor Kathlyn Hendricks likes to say –
Attention is the currency of relationship.
Infuse a relationship with attention, and whatever is there is going to magnify. Infuse a loving relationship with attention & creativity, and include your friends – and what you get is the best kind of party.
Which when you think about it, isn’t that much of a surprise.
I read this morning that a common technique to win people over, and get them to like you more, is to make requests of them. That by agreeing to your request, even if its just to give you their opinion, they are essentially choosing to like you, because psychologically we humans don’t like the discrepancy of having done something for someone we don’t like. So unconsciously we’ll choose to like them over having to live with the inconsistency between our actions and our emotions.
I realized that my experience reflects the same psychological principle just applied in the opposite direction. I already liked Jihad, of course, but my feelings were magnified by my focused attention and the act of doing something for him.
Being able to up level the amount of love, appreciation and affection you feel for your partner, and yourself in return, is the name of the game in relationship. Being able to do so without the other person having to do anything, or change in any way, or even know what you’re up to, is choosing to play a totally different game all together.
So what’s one thing, that’s a little exciting and a little scary, but mostly a lot of fun, that you can do for someone you love today?