8 min read
A 5-step exercise to activate all your senses and increase love in 1 minute with you and your partner
This is NOT a framework to make you fall in love with stretching. This is an exercise for partners to stretch their love and grow their love for each other.
We all know the benefits of stretching our body. It helps increase our physical flexibility, and range of motion and even reduces the risk of injury. Let’s be honest though, how many of us actually practice this regularly? It mostly comes up in our routines only after we start feeling the actual need for stretching. And that’s okay, it’s never too late to get started and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Similarly, it’s never too late to do some Love Stretching to build a healthier relationship with your partner.
How does Love Stretching work?
Unlike physical stretching, this requires more than just moving your limbs. The idea behind love stretching is to activate all your senses. Try this 5 step Love Stretching exercise
Step 1: Sight (10 seconds) – Look into each others eyes
Maintaining eye contact with your partner. See if you can practice smiling with your eyes while doing so. Eye gazing helps build trust and helps you feel seen and understood. Sometimes maintaining eye contact can be challenging. If that’s the case for you, try drawing while looking into your partner’s eyes to get comfortable with prolonged eye-locks.
Step 2: Touch (10 seconds) – Hold each other hands
Holding hands can not only help build trust, empathy, and intimacy with your partner, but it also helps create a feeling of Safer Space and safety in the relationship. Hand or finger locking or other forms of physical touch trigger emotions in both your bodies that are sure to make your mind stay in the room and prevent it from wandering off.
Step 3: Smell (20 seconds) – Hug each other and take deep breaths
Psychology Today states the proven benefits of hugging. It reduces stress, increases levels of a feel-good hormone (oxytocin), and gives a way for the hearts to connect and share some love. This step emphasizes that the length of the hug (quality) is more important than how often you hug (quantity). When you have your arms locked, take deep breaths. If you can, try and get your breathing in sync. Relax and recognize that you are not alone. Be intentional in noticing your partner’s scent.
Step 4: Taste (10 seconds) – Kiss and hold
Did you know kissing can be a great exercise to practice mindfulness? The Gottman Institute says you only need 6 seconds to improve your relationship. I believe, the longer the better. Kissing is great. I love it as it removes distractions from around you. When you kiss, your eyes are closed, you don’t worry about listening or talking and can just enjoy the simple act which can help you feel really connected with your partner while you have your lips locked.
Step 5: Sound (10 seconds) – Share your love
Now it’s time to let go and step back, create a short distance between each other while making eye contact again. Use your activated senses, and start with a positive note. Use words of affirmation, like “I Love You”, “You smell amazing”, “You are a mind-blowing kisser”, “You look beautiful”, “You’re eyes are beautiful”, “I love holding hands with you”, “I love your hugs”, and so on. Listen to your partner’s affirmation and thank them. If you can, smile with your eyes again. Starting with a positive note can really build a high.
We are all unique and so are our relationships. Modify as you wish to make it work for you. Listing a few variations below, just for inspiration. No matter what variation you try, make sure to involve all the senses one way or the other.
– Switch around the steps
– Practice with different timings
– Practice different exercises for a sense
Why and When to Love Stretch?
This has many benefits that can help increase love and intimacy between partners. Practice this ad-hoc, daily, or just before your conversations. Practicing Love Stretching before a pleasant conversation, where you know your partner will be supportive, helps build rapport. When you anticipate disagreements or conflict it’s even more important to practice Love Stretching. The practice of activating and locking your senses before a difficult conversation can help you ground each other with the understanding that “we’re in this together” and no matter what you will be heard and seen.
– Don’t worry about setting a stopwatch to time your steps. Let them go on for as long as it feels natural. The rule of thumb is the longer the better for each step. The times are just set as minimums or guidelines to help you get started.
– Be weary of overuse. The magic stays strongest when you focus on the quality rather than the quantity of your stretching. Ideally, I would recommend not using this more than once a day.
– Get consent from each other before Love Stretching. Unfortunately, this isn’t an exercise that you can practice alone, and if your partner doesn’t believe in it or doesn’t want to try it, respect their choice. Ask them with curiosity what version or variation of an exercise would they want to practice to activate all the senses.
Practice Love Stretching at least once a day for the next couple of weeks to get comfortable with the idea. See how this works for your relationship and modify as needed. Use this before getting into a “difficult” conversation with your partners.
I have 2 reasons why I chose this framework to write about this month. First, so I can share with you all the importance and the true benefits of Love Stretching and secondly (most importantly), so I can get more kishees from Raashi. Hehe. I’m always looking for ways to get more kishees, and the lengths I can go sometimes surprise me too! What are some of your ways to get love from your partners? Please do share with me or in the comments below. I would love to get more ideas and more love. If we have enough interest, maybe we’ll even start a group on How to Get more Love.