|课外阅读：Valentine's Day, Love and Rose|
|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/03/17 20:34 英语辅导报|
Valentine's Day is the holiday when romance is supposed to bloom;love is in the air; and roses, candy, and cards are the preferred presents of the day. Well, what about the other 364 days of the year? Heidi Reeder, assistant professor of communications, at the University of North Carolina, says that couples should put more effort into the things that are necessary for maintaining strong love relationships. "Valentine's Day comes once a year, and the question that needs to be answered is, 'How do we keep love alive?' It's a question that couples need to ask themselves and find ways to work through."
One of the main theories on love states that it is made up of three primary components-intimacy, commitment, and passion-she notes. A lot of relationships, though, tend to contain just one or two elements, and couples should look at all three areas to find out if any need to be nurtured. Intimacy involves talking honestly and disclosing oneself to the other person, feeling close and connected, and listening to each other. "Basically, it's communicating on an intimate level." Commitment is making the decision that one is invested in the relationship and doing things that show it. Passion is all those things that Valentine's Day usually focuses on-the romance, infatuation, excitement, desire.
Reeder believes that intimacy and communication are at the heart of love. Whenever people are asked, "What is love?", the things they often cite are honesty, openness, friendship, personal closeness, and feelings of "oneness" and togetherness as elements that contribute to intimacy. Nothing creates intimacy better than an honest sharing of oneself with another person, and this involves communication. Communication is central to a love relationship."
Couples who have been together a long time often might believe that the relationship is stagnating and needs to be reinvigorated. In order to bring about that rejuvenation, they should try to do some new things and share some new experiences. "When they plan things and enjoy themselves together, they can experience a feeling of learning and growing with this other person." Reeder offers these suggestions on how they can better seek intimacy through improved communications:
*Let your partner know how you feel if you are upset and an argument starts. Try to state the problem clearly, rather than expecting the other person to know. Take a step back and get some clarity on the situation.
*Communicate honestly. Honesty is at the top of everybody's list. When things are hidden in a relationship, or not discussed openly, they do not go away and may pose problems. If you are not honest with the other person, you are technically not communicating.
"Having a relationship that's 'Valentine's Day all year' isn't realistic. Too many things can intrude into relationships that have gone beyond the early romance stage. But by working at how they communicate, couples can strengthen their relationship."
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