Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott shared about a triangle for romantic love. On one side there is passion which is the biological function of romantic love. On the other side of the triangle is intimacy which is connection on an emotional level. On the bottom of the triangle is commitment which is the willful part of true romantic love.
(They mentioned that passion is a good springboard for a relationship, but an awful regulator.)
One very simple exercise they taught us to use as a quick relationship checkup, called “How’s your love life?”, is to rate where you are on a scale of 1 to 10 in each of those three areas – passion, intimacy, and commitment, and then share with your partner about your rating and why you are where you are.
They also warned that all relationships are very fluid. There is a lot of ebb and flow. There are passages and seasons in marriage. No one rates a 10 all the time in all areas, much less two people having a 10 all three areas at the same time.
One interesting thing they pointed out was that often men need to do an activity with their wives to feel connected. So, walking together, taking a ride, doing chores – anything where the two of you are together and doing something – will help the husband feel connected to his wife. So, wives, when your husband wants you to take a walk with him, be with him as he tinkers in the garage, or help him with chores, take advantage of it! It’s his way of trying to connect emotionally with you.
They also have a new book out called The Love List: Eight Little Things That Make a Big Difference in Your Marriage. It’s a simple list of things to do to make a big difference in your marriage. You do two things every day, two things every week, two things every month and two things every year. Check it out here.