Here is a bit of a word play: “Being present is a great present” (for your Valentine). What do I mean by this? Well, too often we are distracted, impacted, and protracted in a million different directions by the very devices we buy to simplify our lives. There are unlimited ways our attention is redirected, especially by the variety of sexy and seductive electronic gizmos – Imagine a scene where two lovers are together feeling all romantic and cozy…off goes BlackBerry #1, “Excuse me, I have to return this call”. Two minutes later an iPhone informs person #2 of a text message. Beeping, buzzing, and vibrating, these romance-breaking moments lead us to turn away from our partner, and a bit more distance creeps its way in the relationship You get the picture, speaking of which, one of the phones is downloading a picture of a friend’s new baby.
Hmmm, what’s wrong with this picture? Gottman relationship approaches encourage couples to develop rituals of connection; predictable times and ways couples can count on to get together, talk, share, just hang out like: Coffee or tea together in the morning or after dinner, checking in with each other at the end of the day, taking a short walk on a Saturday, planning something fun to attend in the next month.
An important part of any of these rituals is to actually turn off the electronics, in other words, a ritual of disconnection from all those electronic sirens beckoning us to them. See if you can find the off switch, most of those things actually can be turned off, and be present for your partner. Initially, some may experience withdrawal, but eventually you begin to remember how things used to be – now that’s romantic. Good luck.