Dinner for Two
Eating dinner, on a dining room table, together, is for many couples no longer as ubiquitous as it might have been just a few decades ago. Faster living, mass-produced food that takes three minutes on high to cook and our slight dependency on media makes the couch or the desk in front of a screen a more desired setting for the evening meal. Staring into the blue light at people who we don't sincerely care about while the people who matter most sit along side us to make minimal eye contact and single line comments on the day's experience and what is on the screen before them. There is absolutely nothing wrong in my opinion of couch meals with a good show or movie with your partner, but the way this setting has become a complete replacement of creating meals together, providing full conversations and extended eye contact has made, over time, a visible change in marriages, relationships, attitudes. Changes that aren't so positive.
Creating a meal with someone can be an adventure - at least that's how it is with me and my husband. I do not like to follow directions, I like to reinvent everything and try something new with every step. Sometimes that makes for an inedible dish and sometimes, I create something much better than the recipe called. While, my husband is good at following instruction, listening and paying attention. His meals always come out consistently good. I like the journey, and he likes a job well done. We would not have realized the extent of these personality traits in each other had we not tried cooking together. And now, in our daily lives, it makes complete since when I want to take the long way home and he wants to know exactly where we are going. We understand each other better.
Poor communication is perhaps, if not the number reason for arguments. If most of your conversation each day consists on one-line comments because your brain is distracted by something else, more important conversations and decisions don't have a fighting chance of a balance and positive result. Why? Because you've had no practice or study on how to effective communication with your partner. Good communication is an art that must be practiced and to whom you are speaking, your partner, has mannerisms and habits beyond words that need to be understood as well.
Science has theorized that prolonged eye contact can improve attraction between two people. I think that when you are looking into someone's eyes, you are fully paying attention to them. And with two people who love each other, the more you see of them, the more love you see and you want to reciprocate that love. Strong eye contact also evokes a sense of confidence, and if you can look into your partner's eyes without needing a distraction, it subconsciously communicates your confidence in that person and/or what you are sharing.
Above all, sharing a special dinner ritual with your spouse can be fun. Cooking together, developing full conversations beyond "How was your day?" followed by "When does The Big Bang Theory come on?" and really looking at your partner in the eyes can give you something much more interesting and delightful to look forward to at the end of your days. And perhaps, create a stronger, happier marriage.