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Playing with Your Partner

These are the ties that bind.


My other half and I have ways of connecting that I think could help make any couple feel closer, so I thought I'd share a few of them.

Where's the Bear?

For Valentine's Day, my loving partner gave me a little bear holding a rose. I'm not a big stuffed animal fan. The thought of a couple of dozen bears resting comfortably on my pillows just seems unmanly, but I accepted the gift in the loving spirit it was given, figuring it would probably end up as a dog toy in the near future.

Since then, the little bear has shown up in a number of different places-in the bathroom (sitting on the throne), on my desk pretending to write my column, next to the front door to greet me when my partner has been unable to-and it does give me a little lift. This game is something I seldom think about, but when the bear resurfaces, I always smile, and it inspires me to reciprocate in some way.

Card Exchange

Whenever we give each other a card, it is never in its original form. We add words to the ones that are already there, draw pictures, or enclose something meaningful (my favorite is some rose petals). We never just sign our names, we add appropriate sentiments. It really makes what can be a perfunctory action a true loving gesture.

We also write each other little love notes. Putting energy into the written word is more moving than a text or e-mail. Whether handwritten on a heart-shaped piece of paper or your letterhead, the impact is potent, and it is something you'll save to rediscover and smile at again sometime down the road. I especially love it when I find something in my briefcase; she likes finding notes on her pillow. Mailing a card or note is also a wonderful gesture. People rarely do that anymore, so it has greater meaning.

Our Month-a-versary

On the 12th of every month, we celebrate the day we met. Sometime the celebration is small, such as dinner at home, and sometimes spectacular, like a night on the town. The activity is less important than simply knowing that, no matter what, we have a day that is special for both of us at least once a month.

Savoring Memories

One of the things we have in common, and that strengthens our bond, is that we both like to take pictures-lots of pictures. I'm happy printing one or two and putting them in the family gallery; my partner likes to create scrapbooks, which include ticket stubs, programs, notes, and the like. Upon occasion, we go through the scrapbooks and pictures on the computer. Never once has this activity done anything except make us feel closer.

Feel free to borrow any of these ideas, or find your own ways of recognizing your relationship and making each other feel special. Discovering things that make both of you smile is a relationship builder. These are the ties that bind.