Saying “good morning,” “hello,” “good bye,” or “how are you?” every time you see a loved one or when you leave the house or come back home will make a great deal of difference in your relationship over the long term. It shows that you care and makes your partner feel that he or she is not simply taken for granted. While you don’t have to be melodramatic or sentimental, you don’t want to be perfunctory or hasty either.
An actress recently told me that the way she avoids looking fake when she smiles endlessly for the camera is to think happy or loving thoughts while smiling. If instead she thinks, “I hope I don’t look horrible” or “how long is this going to take?” those thoughts show up in her facial expression, despite the smile.
Similarly, when you greet loved ones, or almost anyone for that matter, they will sense it if you’re thinking, “But where are my keys and how long is this going to take?”
It makes a real difference to put your other thoughts on hold and actually look at your loved ones when you greet them or say “good bye.” Real connection occurs best with full presence of mind and body, giving you the ability to connect with real energy and to receive it as well. The long-term well-being of a relationship is built on all the small moments of acknowledgement, appreciation, kindness, and passion over the years.
by Alison Poulsen, PhD