Let me tell you something…the deep wish under all this Valentine’s Day claptrap is something we don’t dare to mention the rest of the year:
TO HAVE A SECURE BUT EXCITING LOVE RELATIONSHIP!
How do you combine the two things?
Secure is boring….exciting is dangerous….so what gives?
For the rest of us, ensconced in a healthy but boring routine, we pay a high price for security. The excitement of the novelty is gone, and we learn to appreciate routine as a safety blanket, only punctured here and there by the occasional fight. We can be secure like this the rest of the year…why is this invention of a Valentine’s Day coming to challenge our security?
Because we do remember! Before the fights, the cold shoulders and the dissapointments, there was excitement! When you fall in love, there are certain chemical changes in your brain that make all your vital perspectives shift into high gear, where the world is brightest and we are soaring in it. You feel the love in all your cells. Your pulse quickens, and your heart beats faster, and the feeling of anticipation of good things to comer is all over you.
Every time we produce a feeling or a thought, we can be sure that it is based on a chemical track in our brain. The love excitement felt by the chemicals in the brain is highly addictive! And we all need that burst of dopamine in the brain that makes us feel alive, excited, connected and successful…
Now you wonder where all this excitement is gone…some days it looks like everything is dull and gray, and the only hightened feeling is either boredom or fear. What can you do to feel better in Valentine's Day?
Of course, the first suggestion should be to try to change the dynamics with your spouse, inviting him to do something different which can take both out of the dulling routine. This suggestion is only to be followed if there is a bit of reciprocal trust left.
You need to trust that your partner will not use this opportunity to damage you again. If you think that is safe, let’s talk about how you can get the Valentine feeling back.
You need to generate in your brain (and his) the dopamine-producing activity: both of you need to do something together that is completely new for both.
This new activity, being it visiting a new place, learning ballroom dancing, or joining a new group activity will provide the challenge to the brain to begin producing the results you expect.
Be sure that you are relaxed and confident that, if the attempt does not give you the results you want (re-connecting him with you) you'll have a safe way to go back to your home. The best disposition is not to expect too much, but just do it for the sake of Valentine’s Day! And don't forget to bring some chocolate!