Love that lasts is the result of partners embedding themselves in each other’s brains in a positive way. Memory circuits and pleasure get all wound up together so that the other person becomes integral to the very structure of your brain, and you become part of the structure of his.
Here are the twelve steps towards making your love last:
- Take Your Partner’s Breath Away — Do something amazingly thoughtful and out of the ordinary. And let there be an element of surprise to it. A loving note tucked into a pocket. A special dinner on an otherwise ordinary night. A playlist made up with his favorite songs. These thoughtful acts will embed you in his memory.
- Do Something Special on a Regular Basis — Call him every day to touch base and get his nervous system used to hearing your voice. Make his favorite meal once a week. Once he begins to expect these things, you will always be close to his awareness.
- Engage in Lots of Eye Gazing — New couples seem to do this naturally, but don’t drop this strong bonding behavior just because the relationship has progressed. This is one way to keep the romance alive and is especially powerful when making love.
- Learn What Pleases Your Partner Sexually — Make it clear that his pleasure is your pleasure, and you want to discover everything about what turns him on. He’ll be happy to have you experiment with him.
- Teach Your Partner What You Like — For most partners, pleasing you makes him feel good about himself. And research shows that the sexual pleasure of one partner increases the pleasure of the other partner.
- Boost Lasting Love with Sexual Novelty — When things get humdrum and routine, there is not going to be as much of a hormonal/neurotransmitter reaction, and arousal is lessened. A little novelty increases anticipation, more hormones are secreted, and more thrilling sex is the result.
- Do Something Edgy — If you get your partner’s heart rate up, he may associate the feeling of excitement with you and he may develop more powerful feelings for you. Going on a roller-coaster ride, taking a balloon trip, shooting the rapids — anything with a touch of danger to it — can make him fall more deeply in love with you.
- Use Every Sense — Your partner has five senses. You can embed yourself in each one of them. For vision, wear sexy clothing that you know he likes, add the soft glow of firelight during your dates. For sound, speak in a pleasing tone, and use music you know he likes. For touch, find out what pleases him when you’re intimate. But even when you’re just spending time together, touch him while you’re talking, brush your hand on his arm as you walk by him, give him affectionate kisses. For taste, make sure your mouth tastes good when you kiss him. And smell is extremely important as it is linked to the most primitive part of his brain.
- Do Something Great for Someone Your Partner Loves — If you show kindness and love for someone he loves, you will earn major points. When you enter a relationship, you also enter a relationship with all his family and friends. Show him that the people who are important to him are important to you.
- Summarize and Immortalize Loving Moments — Don’t be afraid to give voice to your love. Tell him how you feel. Write a loving note or poem. Lovers have been doing this from the beginning of time because it works.
- Learn from Parrots — Barbara Wilson is a neurologist who keeps and trains parrots. She says they have taught her important lessons about relationships that many humans could benefit from: Share your food with the one you love, groom each other, sing constantly, build nests together, and repeat each other’s words and actions.
- Boost the Chemicals of Love — There are many brain chemicals that go into the feeling of love and attachment. Oxytocin is known as the bonding, trust, and cuddle hormone. Oxytocin is enhanced by watching romantic movies together, holding hands, cuddling, and long, loving eye contact. Women usually have more oxytocin than men, but according to one study, a man’s level of oxytocin goes up 500 percent after making love. Being too busy to make love pushes couples apart.
There is another love chemical called phenylethylamine, or PEA, which works deep in the brain to alert you that something fun is about to happen. Dark chocolate increases PEA, as do almonds and cheese. Cheese actually contains more PEA than chocolate. So, go ahead: copy the French and serve cheese for dessert on Valentine’s Day and see what happens…