Non-Verbal Magic To Invite In More Love
When we have a solid thriving relationship, love and connection is felt even in silence. Just the way you are with each other, the way you move and gesture to each other, reinforces and contributes to the connection you feel. For example, my husband and I:
~smile at each other a lot in that genuine way-- our eyes crinkling around the corner, our eyes lighting up. ~lean towards each other a lot whether that’s just in conversation or to hug or kiss or just be near each other. ~nod our heads a lot (versus holding them stiff or shaking them “no”) to affirm we understand and hear what's going on for each other and accept or endorse what’s being shared. ~Even our hand gestures are rarely ones of anger, like finger-pointing or wagging or tense clenching. Instead they’re often soft and open, and for lack of a better word, friendly.
This all happens naturally with no conscious effort or even awareness for either of us. It happens because we love each other and feel connected.
(The rare times we don’t feel connected our body language is quite different: tense, rigid, closed off, contracted.) Interestingly, scientists have been collecting evidence in recent times to show that love is characterized by these non-verbal cues. They just happen naturally when two people are feeling close and connected and loving with each other. These gestures reflect feelings of enjoyment and love. Even if just one person is lovingly leaning in or smiling genuinely, or nodding their head in affirmation of the other, that will signal to their partner that they are safe to relax and accept this non-verbal invitation to connect. Love invites love. Loving breeds connection. So take a moment and take stock of how your body language is with your partner: How often are smiles, open hand gestures, leans and nods, hugs, and/or gentle touches happening between you? How often is your partner’s, posture rigid and closed, or soft and opening towards you? How about your own towards him? Explore this over the day today or the week. If you find there's not a lot of smiles and nods and such, and if the general mood in your marriage is less than warm and loving, you can start to change that by inviting in more warmth simply through your body language. By using these gestures more on your own. On purpose. I actually suggest, if possible, you first find a sense of love for your partner inside of you. Because then these gestures will just happen naturally instead of you trying to force them. But if that’s too hard a place to start, it can also work to start with the gestures, and the mood of love will follow— since gestures can stimulate the biochemistry that produces their associated feelings… (see Amy Cuddy's Ted Talk for a very interesting talk about how body posture effects biochemistry and feelings!) If this just all seems very difficult and love, and the body language that supports it, doesn’t come with a bit of your conscious effort, you’ve probably got some barriers built up in you (resentments, insecurities, fears, grudges, disappointments) that are too big to easily move around to find your way there without some help. But with a clear understanding of exactly what those are, and the targeted help to get them out of the way of the love in your marriage, you'll be on your way back to naturally feeling and showing love. And inviting your partner to be back in that dance of love with you.
If you want that, come coach with me. Email me at email@example.com and say, "let's talk" and we'll set up a time to chat about what exactly this will entail for you.