Think about your favorite story. What do you love about it? What was your emotional experience the first time you read it or watched it? What do you feel every time you remember it? How would you describe it to someone else?
What makes your favorite story different and more special than any other story?
It’s the way it makes you feel. The emotions evoked in you, from the scenes, the characters, the memorable lines. It’s the wish to experience intense feelings that range from cozy comfort to adventurous excitement. It’s the desire to do the things that create these feelings.
It’s the passion in the words.
Authors, speech writers, and speakers are talented in making emotionally moving communications. The rest of us….not as much. Emotional talk may not have been part of our upbringing, poetry may not be our best skill, charisma may require more confidence that we currently have, and vulnerability may scare us into silence. Yet we still want to connect with our lovers and loved ones. So how can we reconnect our emotions with our communications, especially for our most intimate relationships?
First, let’s use a Feelings Wheel, originally developed by Dr. Gloria Wilcox, to help us remember just how many emotion words are available for us. For practice, pick any positive word in the feelings wheel and think about how you might write a sentence or two using that word. Now think about how you would write that sentence if you want to hold someone’s attention, and inspire them to be curious to know more about how you feel (and how you feel about them).
Now let’s have a look at some important concepts in communication.
Listening: How well do you listen for the things your partner loves, values, and needs from you?
Self-Disclosure: What thoughts of your inner world would you like to share with your sweetheart?
Expressing Observations, Feelings, and Needs: Look at the positive sentiments of the Feelings Wheel again. What one or two sentences can you say to your partner, about your partner, about how you feel about your partner, that would spark happiness?
Lastly, get creative. Playfulness is a wonderful conduit for loving expression. A beautiful and thoughtful presentation enhances the sentiment of specialness for the experience too. Here are some of my favorite ways to play with words:
Use A Magnetic Poetry Board or Chalkboard
(This is a photo of my own board; for best results place yours where your lover can see it but the kids won’t find it.)
This is one of my earliest recommendations for couples, particularly for partners that have mismatched schedules. Stuck on words? Have no fear, magnetic poetry kits, especially when you mix and match sets, can give you all the inspiration you need. Whether it’s just one bar or several, your message will be loud and clear to your lover. Feeling ambitious? Write in your own words around the magnets to expand your messages, leave responses for each other, and build the anticipation until you meet again.
Make a Lover’s Jenga game
I absolutely love this one. Divide up the blocks with your partner and write questions in pen (markers make words blurry) related to love, sex and intimacy (use questions from the internet to help you get a wide range) and give game night a whole new experience.
Share Books, and Mark Significant Passages
Select books on couples therapy, intimacy and sex, or even leisure readings that have steamy love scenes and passionate dialogues. Underline passages or bookmark pages of interest and leave them for each other to read, and later talk about them together. Bonus points if you get into character and role play the scenes and dialogues; it definitely helps to build your love vocabulary and comfort with speaking from the heart.
Write Love Letters
Art can be defined as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form …… producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” Letter writing is also an art – of your own creation – that integrates all your emotional language and attentiveness to your reader and is an attestation of the strength and depth of your own heart. Whether brief or long, these loving, intimate messages are segments of the story in your heart, inscribed with your emotional power as you feel it, and in hands of a life partner are the keepsakes of your romance.
Happy Valentine’s Day 2020 everyone!
Feel free to comment and let me know your favorite ideas for word play and Valentine’s Day!
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou.
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