By Feed the Right Wolf Coach Michelle “Mishka” Perra.
For an intimate connection to grow, it needs attention and nurturing. Love needs attention and nurturing. This is true for every single couple on this planet but it so critically important for couples that are healing and rebuilding intimacy after sex or porn addiction has wreaked havoc on their lives.
Craig and I call this condition “sex affliction.” Sex affliction occurs when a relationship suffers a profound attack against its safety, vulnerability, intimacy, and sex, often caused by one partner’s sexual betrayal with porn and/or people. When recovery and healing start, it is easier to deal with the problem (porn) and ignore the reality that you are not connected.
And we know that stagnation = death in a relationship, so it is really important to move forward. Being consumed with pornography causes someone to move away from intimacy … and the effects on the spouse causes them to shrink away from intimacy. But the truth is that most of us want and crave intimacy and it has gotten all jacked up throughout the course of this “affliction”.
Action is necessary when learning how to move toward each other, toward a connection, toward greater intimacy. I know about this from personal experience. Fortunately, Craig and I found our way back to each other and now help other couples do the same. In the course of our journey we needed tools and exercises to help us find our way. Here is one technique that I invented to deal with Craig’s absolute inability to remotely even connect with the concept of INTIMACY. I love this exercise because EVERYONE has 1 minute!!!
DATE MINUTE is just one itty-bitty teeny-tiny minute. For that minute, stop what you are doing, be present in the moment with your partner and do something (anything) to connect in that minute! — it’s so easy to do that we officially double and triple dare you to try it. In fact, we challenge you, (if you are in a committed relationship with another human being we are talking to you) to give undivided, complete, and full love and attention to your significant other. This means looking into each other’s eyes, hugging, dancing, singing, holding hands (you get the idea) . . . just try something to connect the two of you for 60 seconds.
Here is what Craig had to say about Date Minute …. “I was paralyzed. I wanted nothing to do with sex or intimacy. Sex was a scary dark place. It wasn’t warm, loving, beautiful, and the ultimate expression of my love for my amazing wife — it was none of those things and I was scared. In complete and utter frustration with my “fear of intimacy,” one night Michelle, in a burst of genius made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. She asked me for 60 seconds. She asked me if I could give our relationship one minute of my undivided attention and love. I was instantly excited because I knew she was on to something. This is when Date Minute was born. I felt a wall coming down as she gave me this gift, just one minute of our complete attention. I COULD DO THAT.”
Date Minute is a very powerful way to connect. All you need to do is connect with your significant other for one minute each day for seven days. This is your DATE MINUTE CHALLENGE. Are you ready? Read on if you are up to the challenge ….
Tips Before You Start
- TIP 1: Don’t forget, to break a habit, you have to make a new habit and getting through all seven days is challenging — try to “anchor” your Date Minute practice to an existing habit – one you do every day — like brushing your teeth at night.
- TIP 2: Use the timer on your smart phone or borrow one from one of your kid’s games.
- TIP 3: Be aware of but don’t judge your thoughts —everything is food for growth. Remember, you are looking for “information, not ammunition.” What are your feelings even around reading about Date Minute? Are you scared? It’s okay, if this applies to you. Tell that scared part of you that you are safe right here and right now.
Here is one GREAT way to use Date Minute … just an example but a really good one:
- Stand or sit facing each other. Get comfortable. Start the timer . . . and look and smile at each other – you might even want to laugh, so laugh. There are no mistakes in this exercise.
- Now hold each other’s hands, gaze into each other’s eyes.
- Be mindful that most of our communication comes through body language and the eyes, not the mouth – so emote with your eyes and body: loving kindness, compassion, safety, vulnerability, intimacy, and love.
- Be mindful of how you are feeling—the thoughts, the voices, the physical sensations. If you’re scared, be scared. Just know that you are safe. Watch with complete fascination where your mind tries to go. Don’t judge it, just be aware. Gently bring it back to loving kindness, compassion, safety, vulnerability, intimacy and love.
- Take deep breaths and try to match the rhythm of your partner’s breath. In together and out together while looking at each other.
- Stare into each other’s eyes without speaking. Try to connect with what you are seeing, the truth in the person you are looking at.
- Feel the energy between the two of you.
One of the benefits of looking into your partner’s eyes at close range and breathing together is the exchange of pheromones, the sexual scents that induce arousal. When you are engaged in activities that promote pheromone release, you grow closer and develop a stronger bond. This exercise is a great teacher too. By the end of seven days, you may likely have a much clearer vision of the blocks that are getting in the way of a deeper connection.
Just Do It
There are many ways to use the concept of Date Minute. Make up your own Date Minute. Craig and I sometimes just break into dance in the kitchen . . . for one minute. Or sometimes we hug each other and match each other’s breathing … for one minute. Sometimes we just act as silly as possible … for one minute … and make each other laugh.
This is your official challenge — THE DATE MINUTE CHALLENGE. Give me one minute a day for the next seven days and dedicate those minutes to creating a deeper connection with the person you love.
Date minute is a great exercise for couples healing from porn addiction because the wounds run VERY deep for both people involved . This really allows the couple to reconnect slowly and in a safe way.
Ready, Set Go!!!! How was your Date Minute? Tell us what you experience. What are some ways that you are using Date Minute? Your ideas can help others who are doing Date Minute too! Give it a try!