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Relationships

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Creating Together

When an adult couple creates together, they show love for each other.

Anemone123/Pixabay
Source: Anemone123/Pixabay

A special quality enters a relationship when people create together. Whether they are creating a baby, a family, a business, an initiative, a home or simply dinner together, conscious “co-creating” brings a unique dimension into their love. After all, the very word “create” implies coming up with something that had not existed before and has some value.

Without the value, the result can be an expression of imagination but not a creative act. Creation involves not only imagination but also judgment and revision. It is a perfect candidate for affectionate collaboration between two people with different skills and perspectives.

As appreciation for ways in which we influence each other grows, the benefits of creating together explode. Neuropsychologist Yoav Litvin recently published 2Create, a book about street artists who work together to make amusing, provocative or inspiring pieces that appear in public places. Litvin documented the synergy of co-creation. In Paris, a Ministry of Culture initiative sponsored filmmakers, photographers, artists and musicians as they went into marginalized neighborhoods to “co-create” with residents, many of them disabled or impoverished or otherwise disenfranchised. The results show the dignity that can be gained when people work together to express the best that is in them through producing something new and of value together.

What does this have to do with loving? Everything. Let us begin this week with adult couples who love one another, often in a romantic way. I will discuss co-creating across generations in a later post.

What can two people who love each other create together?

  • Children. Granted, children can result from many different processes in today’s modern world. A book by Deborah Spar describes just how far we have come from babies resulting solely from sexual intercourse between a male and a female (procreating). But the age-old reality of two people creating a family by adding children to it endures and is one of the most essential expressions of co-creation known to humanity.
  • PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay
    Source: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay

    A Family. Children are certainly not essential to the creation of a family. Two people can be their own family. They can expand it by including pets, others who are related by blood or by affection, those whom they adopt out of desire or obligation. An exploration of “Expanding the Circle” will be published soon on this blog.

  • A Home. Of course people can make a home by themselves. But often the creation of a shared living space that can nourish personal and social needs for people who love one another signals a commitment that expresses love in an especially concrete form. Whose colors dominate the living spaces? And whose tolerance — or need — for clutter dominates? How much space is devoted to entertainment and how much to maintenance? What priorities does the couple express through their creation of a shared home?
  • An enterprise or business. Work, especially stimulating productive work with high levels of contact between people, has been related to nonharassing sexual and social behavior. When people love each other they often want to use the best that is in them by sharing through their work lives. Doing so allows the excitement of creation along with the satisfactions of mastery and achievement. Although family businesses can run into trouble across generations, they can also thrive, offering fertile ground for creation and co-creation in everything from running an in-home design studio to imagining and then beginning a start-up.
  • Supporting an Initiative. A particularly democratic opportunity for co-creation occurs when a couple decides to support an initiative. Taking on a commitment to a cause or a project or an event can be immensely rewarding without the locked-in feeling that a couple may not be ready or available to make as a long-term commitment. Its development from conceptualization through the final moments can be creative.
  • Daily solutions to identified needs. Here co-creation glides into problem-solving but the latter is co-creation at its most practical. Coming up with ways to keep each other warm until the heat can be fixed, to find time for sleep when someone has an early flight, or to transport kids to their various activities, are just examples of the countless ways in which we show love by solving everyday challenges creatively.
PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay
Source: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay

How can co-creating show love?

  • By drawing on perspectives and skills from both people, it can promote admiration and respect for the uniqueness or each of them.
  • By using what both bring to the table, it can applaud individual skills, perspectives, abilities by validating their worth.
  • Through working together, two people can teach each other what each already knows. Teaching is a powerful way to show love, whether done directly through explaining or demonstrating, or indirectly, through modeling.

Why is co-creating an effective way to show love?

  • It works towards a positive outcome. The good feelings that are thus generated reinforce desires to remain in a relationship and repeat what has given rise to them.
  • Pride in effective teamwork can add definition to the relationship, enhancing ways in which it brings value and meaning to the lovers.
  • Effective co-creation requires trust and respect, as artists, traditionally skilled in their own styles can show us. When two people who love each other can learn to create together, they share the pride that comes from the shared steps ranging from defining a goal to its realization.

When have you created something with someone you love? What challenge gave rise to your efforts? How did you each respond? Did either — or both — of you learn from the experience? Were you both pleased with the outcome(s)? Would you revise anything about your process of working together the next time? Did you celebrate your triumph?

Copyright 2017 Roni Beth Tower

Visit me at www.miracleatmidlife.com

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