With Love and Gratitude

A blessing a day keeps the doc away

20 Thoughts for Keeping Love Alive

The ultimate goal is to create a mindset for unconditional love.

Robert Indiana, Yale Digital Commons
Whenever I read a quote about love from the author of "Love" Dr. Leo Buscaglia, I feel like shouting it from the rooftops. Here is one of my favorites: "What love we've given, we'll have forever. What love we fail to give, will be lost for all eternity."   Leo Buscaglia Quotes

20 Thoughts for Keeping Love Alive

1.       Develop a gratitude attitude. Express thanks by finding three qualities that you love about your partner. All day long focus on those positive qualities. No matter what happens, try to ignore all of those little irritating moments or habits that drive you mad.

2.       Be forgiving.  Think of the one thing about your love that makes you want to scream.  Now replace the thought by focusing on a positive quality.  

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3.       Be appreciative. For an entire day, speak only kind words. Tell your husband or lover or partner that he or she is the most perfect, wonderful, loving person in the world — no matter what.

4.       Say to your love when you awake in the morning:  "What can I do for you today that will make your life easier and less stressful?"  Then do it.

5.       Set aside time to give the gift of listening. Make a date if you must, in your own home or at a quiet little place in the neighborhood for coffee or a drink and just listen to each others thoughts.

6.       Remember when he or she says, "I wish I had one of those" and then, if it's affordable — buy it for no reason other than to say, "I love you."

7.       Find a picture of the two of you smiling happily, frame it or put it up on the fridge with a note that says, "I love to see us happy."

8.       Leave a love note on the bathroom mirror or in their briefcase.

9.       Write a love note — a real love note and send it via the US Mail.  Here's a simple start:  "I love you for a million reasons, here are the top three."

10.   Send flowers to his or her office for no reason other than to say "I love you." (If you know your guy hates getting flowers at the office, leave them in his favorite spot at home.)

11.   Serve breakfast in bed — champagne, crumpets, and strawberry jam.

12.   Leave a single rose on the bed or chocolates under the pillows — as they do in grand hotels.

13.   Find a funny — laugh out loud — card and mail it. Send three in a row.

14.   Jump in puddles after a rainstorm — it will trigger those love hormones!

15.   Go to a mushy movie, sit in the back row and touch each other and kiss wildly.

16.   Learn what men or women want you to know about them. Ask! 

17.   Have fun with sex.  Buy a magazine with 67 new positions and laugh about them or try them out.

18.   If you have assigned chores at home, surprise him or her and just do it.

19.   For no reason at all, buy a meaningful but fun gift from a sports store — an executive basketball hoop for him or a day at the spa for her or a gift certificate.

20.   Play the “I wish” game.  Set aside a night when the two of you can express wishes and dreams.  I wish we could spend more time laughing.  I wish we could go off for a few days alone.  Then choose a wish and let it come true.

How can you stay on the love road?

Whenever you feel a spark of annoyance, turn it around and find a trait for which to be grateful.  Think of petty annoyances as a spark from a broken match that hits a carpet. Leave it alone and it will simmer and leave a mark. Stamp it out immediately and it's gone.

In some ways walking the love road and starting with gratitude, forgiveness, and appreciation is like cleaning out closets, desk drawers, or tackling a pile of papers. You feel better and you sleep better with the clutter cleared away.  With the gratitude plan, you are essentially clearing out feelings that keep your relationship from thriving. The ultimate goal is to create a mindset for unconditional love.  Emotional generosity and the Abundance Garden.

Have you read these articles?

 (Photo: Robert Indiana/ Yale Digital Commons)

Copyright 2012 Rita Watson

Rita Watson, MPH, is an Associate Fellow at Yale's Ezra Stiles College and a columnist for The Providence Journal.

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