What are those of us approaching middle age and in long-term relationships supposed to do on Valentine’s Day? It seems like a holiday for “new lovers,” and we’ve known each other too long to feel “new” to each other.” – Patrick Markey, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology at Villanova University.
If you are covering Valentine’s Day, Dr. Markey is an expert on romantic relationships and is available for interview surrounding this week’s holiday and how middle-age couples can celebrate. Dr. Markey, along with his wife and fellow relationship expert Dr. Charlotte Markey, wrote an article this past week for Science of Relationships that discusses ways to celebrate the holiday and demonstrate love for your partner, including:
• Jump off the “hedonic treadmill”- doing something new together to introduce an event or behavior that is out of the ordinary. Change and novelty increase happiness and relationship satisfaction, and dopamine and norepinephrine are released in the brain.
• Show gratitude - thank your partner for doing the things he or she does all the time, possibly with a “list of the reasons” you are grateful for him or her
• Buy the right gift – proper gift choices can increase the probability of the survival of a relationship, specifically gifts that are “relationship-announcement” presents and announce the relationship to the world, like buying each other a pair of matching watches or sending flowers to your partner’s office.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Markey, I would be happy to put you in touch with him.