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Rita Watson MPH

8 Steps to Love and One Date Night

Finding and keeping your "one and only" may hinge on forgiveness and gratitude.

Sometimes, whether married or single, we need to clear our heads and hearts so that we can hear love. As we feel warm breezes of spring and await summer, romance is in the air. For those wishing and waiting for love, perhaps some changes are in order. Instead of just spring cleaning your home, spring clean your heart and clear the path for love.

Here are 8 steps to prepare for love

  • Let go of worn out friendships and relationships.
  • Break old patterns that really hinder your happiness.
  • Take a chance on an out of character relationship.
  • Break away from relationships that are boundary violations with piles of baggage.
  • Be more forgiving of others without losing your sense of self or your values.
  • Laugh at yourself and who you really are by accepting yourself.
  • Forgive your own love mistakes of the past.
  • Be grateful for love you have experienced in the past as you await new love to come.

Make a date: Dr. Bradford Wilcox

I was recently in touch with Dr. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist and director of the Marriage Project, and he is advocating for marriage and family. Dr. Wilcox believes that “Marriage plays a central role in securing the American Dream for countless Americans. Adults and children fortunate enough to live in an intact, married family are much more likely to succeed in school and the workplace, to acquire a home of their own, and to experience upward mobility.”

Although marriage may be on the wane, Dr. Wilcox and his colleague, Jeffrey Dew, did a date-night study among married couples. It is not surprising that those who spend couples’ time together reported higher levels of happiness. The study found that date nights were a way that might keep lines of communication open, strengthen togetherness through shared activities ranging from bike riding to card games, enhance romantic love and sex, solidify commitment and relieve stress.

Their report, called “The Date Night Opportunity,” pointed out that “Date nights may be helpful for relieving stress on couples, as they allow them to enjoy time with one another apart from the pressing concerns of their ordinary life. Indeed, for this reason, couples may be better served by date nights when they do not dwell on difficult topics —such as family finances — during these times together. Moreover, date nights may allow spouses and romantic partners to extend emotional support to one another in times of trial.”

The natural love potion

The enduring love hormone is oxytocin, which thrives during love-making. Despite Internet claims of Love Potion No. 9 to enhance attraction through chemical oxytocin and pheromones, here is a better way. Keep love alive is through the mingling of trust, physical touch, and setting two priorities for your relationship — love and gratitude.

Copyright 2013 Rita Watson/ All Rights Reserved