A Valentine Opportunity During Infertility:
Getting To The Heart Of The Matter

Here’s an idea for having a truly rewarding experience as a gift to each other on Valentine’s Day.  Forget all the trappings: wine (which may be off limits now anyway), reservations at the hottest restaurant in town (says who?), followed by even hotter sex (when sex has become irrelevant), a dozen overpriced roses, and all else.  How about an evening of deepening your intimacy?

To love someone is a decision, despite the Hallmark-esque expectation that violins will play.  Keeping that love alive is an even more crucial decision, made more challenging now by the enormous stress engendered in the quest to “make” a baby with the help of a “team” rather than create a baby in the privacy of your bedroom.

The New York Times carried an article on January 9th entitled To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This.  This prompted me to present you with a meaningful way to create a truly loving Valentine’s Day, which I’ll get to ….

The article, written by Mandy Len Catron, tells of her experiment with a man whom she knew, based upon a study that had been done 20 years before.  In short, she and this man, an acquaintance, took turns asking each other 36 questions which had been part of the study.  Here’s the link to the questions: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/experimental-generation-of-interpersonal-closeness-can-you-fall-in-love-with-36-questions/.  After asking and answering these questions with each other, they spent a full four minutes looking into each other’s eyes, the final part of the study.

Mandy then wrote up her experience with this acquaintance, which was what the Times published (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/fashion/modern-love-to-fall-in-love-with-anyone-do-this.html?emc=eta1).

As the questions became more probing Mandy noted that vulnerability increased.  Vulnerability is central to trust and true intimacy.  She said that she liked learning about both herself and the man through these 36 questions, and apparently he did, too.  As for the four minutes of really looking at each other, unnerving at first, became a matter of really seeing each other, also central to trust and true intimacy.  Trust and intimacy are exactly what is needed for love to thrive and survive.

So … if you are up for a heart-felt valentine experience … the link to the questions are here for you to choose to download.  As for the four minutes, be prepared to need a bit of time to get beyond the inclination to be silly so that you can claim this opportunity to understand the power of non-verbal communication where the main point is to feel the depth of your connection.

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Getting To The Heart Of The Matter

About the Author:

Helen Adrienne, LCSW general psychotherapist, clinical hypnotherapist, and practitioner of mind/body therapy with a specialty in infertility. New York City