Love is a difficult thing to quantify and measure, so asking whether you can make yourself love someone “more” or “less” isn’t an easy thing to answer. There’s an old saying that love is like a nylon stocking – if you stretch it and hold it up to the light, looking for any tiny flaws, they will run and ruin the whole thing. So be cautious about trying to deliberately change the way you feel about your boyfriend or your husband. Far more important at first is to listen to yourself and find out what your true feelings are.
That being said, it is possible to deepen your connection to your husband or your boyfriend by becoming more intimate with him. It depends on the current condition of your relationship – are you still new lovers or newlyweds with plenty of passion and curiosity and new things to learn about each other? Or are you a couple who have been together for years or decades and have become accustomed to each other, to doing things a certain way?
Whether your relationship is new or you’re in a deep rut, you can change things at any time, if you’re willing to do a little work.
First, you need to shift your focus onto the positive aspects of your boyfriend or husband, and the positive aspects of your relationship. What happens in all too many relationships is that the partners take all the wonderful positive stuff for granted and let themselves grow more and more irritated by the negative stuff. Eventually, like dripping water wearing a hole even through solid stone, each of those negative “drops” will have an effect and wear a hole in the relationship.
So start by refocusing on the positive. A good way to do this is to make a list of everything about your boyfriend or husband that you like and are thankful for. Just sit down for five minutes every morning and write a list of positive things about your boyfriend or husband and about your relationship. Scribble it down – you aren’t creating a work of great literature here! Write down anything you can think of that is positive and makes you feel good and feel loved. Help with chores, financial support, a smile or hug, the feeling of love and tenderness, sexual attraction, validation, good humor, friendship, good cooking, whatever it is, write it down. You don’t have to save the list – it is only for you, so feel free to throw it away.
Do this every day for a week. Each morning, you don’t have to think of new things to write on the list, although some new items may well occur to you on subsequent days, once your brain grows into the habit of looking on the positive side. But even if you just repeat the same items you wrote yesterday, you’re doing a good thing. You are reminding yourself of all the good things about your partner and about being in a relationship. Writing this list each morning is a good way of keeping these positive aspects foremost in your mind, rather than buried in your subconscious.
At the end of even a few days of this exercise, you will already feel differently about your relationship and your husband or boyfriend. The change may not be dramatic, but there will be a change in your state of mind and in your emotional connection to your partner.
You don’t have to keep doing this exercise forever, but feel free to try it again anytime you feel like you need a boost. If you find yourself taking your husband or boyfriend for granted, or getting unreasonably irritated with them, get back to writing a list every morning until you feel better.
A further way to deepen the intimate connection between the two of you is to increase your level of communication. This, too, can be done pretty easily, with just a few minutes every day or once a week. But you’ll need to get your husband or boyfriend involved. What you do is schedule a few regular (or irregular) check-in conversations during the week. This can be while you’re in bed getting ready to go to sleep, while driving, or any other time that you have ten minutes and that works for you.
During this time, you and your partner take turns talking while the other person keeps silent and just listens for two or three minutes. When it is your turn to talk, say whatever is on your mind. Talk about little successes or failures you had during the day, or a happy or sad memory that came up, a dream you had, or something from the office. Perhaps you dream of taking a trip to Tahiti – mention that, too. The point is to share what’s happening in your life with your husband or boyfriend. Then, when it’s his turn to talk, just listen to him. You may hear and learn a lot about your partner if you aren’t interrupting him or thinking of what you want to say in response. Just listen. You don’t have to respond to what he said at all when it is your turn to talk.
The idea is less of a dialogue and more of a monologue. When Hamlet faces the audience and starts his famous soliloquy, “To be or not to be …” he is letting the audience see inside his mind and learn how he’s feeling and what he’s thinking. You’re doing something similar with your husband or boyfriend – letting them see what’s really on your mind. True intimacy is based on showing your true self to your partner and seeing their true self in return.
Once you develop a habit of routine, even humdrum communication with each other, you will know each other even better and will likely love each other more.
My final advice for deepening the love in your relationship is to dream together. Talk to each other regularly about your dreams, whether they are big or small. A couple should have dreams, whether of buying a home and starting a family, of a holiday in Italy, or of a dinner date at that new restaurant in your neighbourhood. The size of the dreams isn’t important, nor does it matter whether you will ever see them come true. Maybe you’ll never get that trip to Tahiti, but you probably can swing a meal at the new neighbourhood restaurant. If you have secret dreams, share them with him, and encourage him to share his with you. Those shared dreams will bind you more closely as a couple.