Monday, March 13, 2017

Preemptive Relational Strikes

In college, I attended a presentation in my residence hall called "Dr. Love: Advice on Dating".  Dr. Love was a sixty year old man, married to his wife for many years.

One thing I remember was his discussion of routines and preemptive love.  His example was that when his wife took a shower, he always pulled out a towel and put it on top of the heating vent to warm it up for her.  Everyday, she had a warm towel when getting out of the shower.  

Recently, our two-year old daughter has been getting up a bit earlier than we would like, especially for my wife, who likes to sleep in.  I found that my daughter will go back to sleep for almost another hour if she gets a bottle of milk, which helps her go back to sleep.  When she wakes up, my wife can just give her a bottle without talking, leave, and that's it.

I usually get up early, so what I've been doing lately is making a bottle for my wife and sticking it in hot water before I leave for work.  Then, when my daughter wakes up, my wife doesn't have to scramble, trying to put a bottle together before our daughter fully wakes.  She just grabs the pre-made bottle, gives it to our daughter, and goes back to sleep for another hour.

Whether it is a heated towel or a heated bottle, the rule is the same.  Try to find way to strike preemptively with love.  Often it is found in routines that meet our partner's needs.  Study your partner, ask your partner, and find out what they need.  These "small" things can have a huge impact over time.

(Photo taken with permission from flickr creative commons by Tinou Bao