How to fall in love all over again
THERE are lots of great things about being in a long-term relationship: Research shows that happy couples, in many ways, have better health and overall wellbeing than their single or divorced peers. After all, a loving partner can offer companionship, comfort, and physical and emotional support when you need it.
But after years of marriage or dating, a significant other can start to feel more like a roommate than a romantic partner. Maybe you’ve grown apart, you’re busy with work and kids, or the spark’s just not there anymore. For whatever reason you’ve found yourself falling out of love, here’s how the experts suggest you find your way back in. “Long-term couples don’t touch enough,” says Wendy Walsh, clinical psychologist and founder of AskALoveGuru.com, a site that matches relationship therapists with potential clients. “When we touch — especially skin-to-skin — we get a little rush of the brain chemicals that help trigger those loving feelings.” Think about how often you and your partner actually share physical contact on a daily basis. If it’s just a quick peck on the lips before and after work, make an effort to step up your game, says Walsh. She cites research showing that a 20-second hug can trigger a significant oxytocin release. “Most married couples hug for three seconds or less,” she says. “So I advise them, two to three times a day, to stop what they’re doing and hold a long, calm embrace. It can change your biochemistry, and you’ll begin to bond again.” That same rush of brain chemicals can also come from physical contact in bed — and not just during sex, either. Sleeping skin-to-skin, whether it’s full-on spooning or even just touching toes, can have relationship benefits, too.
In fact, a 2014 survey presented at the Edinburgh International Science Festival found that couples who slept the closest to each other reported having more relationship satisfaction.
“Of course we don’t know if sleeping apart causes dissatisfaction or if happier couples simply sleep closer, but why not
OBe more touchy-feely
Sleep closer together
just try to get closer and see if it helps?” says Walsh. “Get the toddler or the dog out of the bed and try snuggling for at least a few minutes.” “If you haven’t put your family and your relationship on a technology diet yet, this is the year to do it,” says Walsh.
“Nothing is killing communication faster right now than guys starting at their iPhones while girls are trying to talk to them at the dinner table, or vice versa.” Science supports her claim, too: In a 2014 Brigham Young University survey of women, 70 percentfelt that smartphones and other devices were interfering with their love lives.
Walsh recommends forming an agreement with your partner to cut out phones and television at mealtimes and in the bedroom, or deciding together about specific times you will and will not use technology. “Otherwise, you won’t give each other your full attention, and it’s easy to become annoyed or feel disconnected.” When you fall into habits in a relationship, you may take for granted the nice things your partner routinely does for you. And even if you do notice them, do you let him or her know you’re thankful? Gratitude is important, says Walsh. “Put a note in his briefcase letting him know you appreciate that he gets the dry cleaning every week,” she says, “or touch her on the arm and thank her for bringing you Starbucks every day.”
Solomon suggests keeping a gratitude journal, and writing down three things every day you’re thankful for — whether it’s related to your relationship or not. “It can foster a sense of wellbeing and openness that can improve your connection with your partner.” If work and family obligations have forced you and your partner to put your love life on the back burner, schedule some time off from your regular responsibilities. Getting away may help you focus on each other (instead of distractions like the bathroom that needs repairs), but even a staycation or a long weekend at home — if you treat it right — can be enough to refresh your bond. NE in 10 children is being diagnosed with high blood pressure, largely caused from a diet too high in salt. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa is encouraging parents to be more responsible...
“A high sodium diet is known to cause high blood pressure, which in turn increases your risk of health problems like heart disease and stroke,” says Allison Vienings, executive director of the Self-Medication Manufacturers Association of South Africa.
“What makes this even more concerning is the fact that South Africa has one of the highest rates of hypertension in the world.
“There is evidence to suggest that the way we eat as children and adolescents can have a significant impact on the way we eat as adults, so it’s vital that we prevent our children from developing a taste for salt.
“What’s more, when children consume high levels of sodium, it can influence their blood pressure and may predispose them to developing diseases such as high blood
Say thank you
Take a vacation
To relive the feeling of falling in love, says Eaker Weil, you’ve got to find new ways to trigger that rush of feel-good dopamine and oxytocin — like by incorporating novelty, excitement, and surprise into your not-so-new-anymore relationship.
You may try “kidnapping” each other, she suggests, taking turns on different weekends to plan secret activity or destinations.
Love can be felt and expressed in many different ways.