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Nashville, Ark. –
Valentine’s Day may be the traditional day that love is celebrated, but love really
must be cultivated year ‘round. Candy, flowers, poetry and other romantic treats or
gestures are thoughtful ways to observe a relationship in bloom but are not likely
to do much for a relationship that been neglected since the last gift-giving occasion.
“Psychology tells us that what we as humans tend to see is what we look
for. If we look for offenses against us or if we look for selfishness or faults in
a partner, we’ll probably find it. If we look for graciousness, kindness and goodness,
we’ll probably find them,” says Goddard. There is often a “hardening of categories”
in marriage, meaning that people tend to see their partners in a certain way. Next
they start to look for confirming evidence this is true and the cycle continues.
“That means taking the time to notice the things our partners do that
we appreciate, including the parts of our partner that inevitably, at times, will
be inconvenient but that are still a blessing that we chose and would continue to
choose if we had good sense,” Goddard explains.
Gary Chapman, author of the Five Love Languages series, points out that nothing you do to show love for your partner will be effective
unless what you’re doing matters to your partner. Even though, “Gifts” is one of the
love languages, buying chocolate and roses doesn’t mean much to the person who has
“Quality Time” as their top love language. This person would much prefer to spend
a quite night together watching a movie or taking a walk together. The key is to find
out which language of love your partner has and then doing things to address that
particular love language.
John Gottman, one of the country’s foremost authorities in marriage research,
says that a trip to Hawaii won’t heat up a relationship, if you haven’t kept the pilot
“It isn’t the great big events that are the key to having a continuing
healthy relationship. Instead, the little conversations, the spending 10 to 15 minutes
a day to catch up on each other, the doing little things together, whether it’s working
in the yard or painting a room or watching videos. Little things done together regularly
provide maintenance that’s very important,” say Goddard.
Jonathan Haidt, talks about the idea that in the early stages of a relationship
the romance initially skyrockets and then starts to decline within a short period
of time. For a relationship to continue, it’s important for people to evolve gracefully
from the electric jolt of early romance to the sweet satisfaction of being with someone
whose company is comforting.
Gottman recommends keeping a list of the qualities that we enjoy in our
partner in a wallet, keeping photos of cherished times handy, or keeping a small scrapbook
handy to page through every now and then and remind us of the good times and help
us remember what we enjoyed about them in the first place. That is the key to a healthy
If you are looking for something for your Valentine this year, check out
the “free” publication, “Marriage Garden” available at the Howard County Extension Office. The “Marriage Garden” is a folder of fact sheets designed to help you and your spouse work together to
develop a closer relationship. You can also access the information at www.arfamilies.org.
Here is a tasty recipe you can make this Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t require
a lot of effort because you make it using the crock pot. Add a scoop of vanilla ice
cream for an extra special dessert!
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup water
2 Tbsp. cocoa
2 ½ cups brownie mix (half a 21.5 oz. pkg.)
¼ cup peanut butter
1 Tbsp. soft margarine
¼ cup water
¼ to ½ cup milk chocolate chips, if desired
Combine ¾ cup water, brown sugar and cocoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
In the meantime combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together
or mix well with spoon. Spread the batter evenly in the bottom of a lightly buttered
slow cooker. Pour boiling mixture over the batter. Cover and cook on High about 2
hours; turn off heat and let stand for about 30 minutes. Spoon into dessert dishes
while warm; serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Serves 6 to 8.
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff Chair U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 email@example.com
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
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