Have you ever wondered what it is that attracts us to one person over another? It’s what we see in their eyes. Some call this love at first sight. We recognize something familiar in that person’s gaze, which draws us to them.
In long-term relationships, many couples are so focused on raising kids, going to work and dealing with a thousand other responsibilities that they are too exhausted at the end of the day to really look at each other and exchange meaningful eye contact. Thus, those couples tend to feel more stressed and alone. Researchers have found that children and adults who avoid or are denied eye contact are more likely to suffer from depression and feelings of isolation as well as exhibit antisocial traits such as callousness.
Further, if you did not receive much eye contact as a kid, you may even be uncomfortable with it as an adult. In some families, the individuals don’t know they are missing emotional connection through eye contact because they have rarely experienced it. When someone does look them directly in the eye, they feel awkward and they want to rapidly look away.
Whether you are just too busy or if you have never considered the value of eye contact before, there are things you can try to improve eye contact with your partner and build connection and intimacy. Here is one exercise that should make a world of difference.
Step One: Block out time in your schedule just for you and your sweetie. You need time set aside away from all distractions. That means get a babysitter for the kids. Turn off all electronics and cell phones.
Step Two: Set a timer. I suggest starting at a lower number, like 5 minutes if this is new to you. Then work your way up to longer times. Ideally you would practice this exercise daily until you become comfortable with eye contact.
Step Three: Sit comfortably facing each other. You can sit cross-legged on the floor or in chairs facing each other. The important thing is that you are comfortable.
Step Four: Relax.
Step Five: Gaze into your beloveds eyes. It’s OK to smile.
Step Six: Open your heart and feel how much you love your partner.
Step Seven: Receive your partner’s love for you.
Step Eight: When the time goes off, say thank you to each other.
Step Nine: Embrace.
Step Ten: You have a babysitter, what are you waiting for? It’s date night; go have fun with each other!
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