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You may love each other, but does the feeling of connectedness continue to be a normal part of your experience?

Do you still want to hold your partner’s hand? And I don’t mean a mechanical reaction either. What about the passion? Does your mate’s energy waft around you the way music floats hypnotically through the streets of the French Quarters in New Orleans? Maybe my question should be, does the mere mention of your partner’s name make you feel like hot fudge being poured over a double scoop of vanilla ice-cream? Does it still make you melt?

Think about it for a moment. If this question makes your lips slowly curl up into a smile – then nice. But if you can’t remember the last time you felt this way, we’ve got to make some changes. And if you don’t have a memory of anything similar, then let’s see what we can do about that.

In these columns, I've written a lot about certainty: feeling secure in your relationship. I also wrote about uncertainty: having variety or some spice to accompany your feelings of security. I've talked about the need for feeling significant to your partner, and all of this works better when you can also combine love and connection.

Without love and connection, the others don’t have a leg to stand on.

By now we know the true cliches: love makes the world go ‘round, and it is the most powerful emotion on the planet. We’d do well if we had it in every facet of our lives.

Yet love is not what initially attracts us to our person of interest. It does, however, sustain us as we come closer together as a couple. At times it seems as though the alchemical process is taking place; adding fire to our energies, commonalities, and interests. Consequently, instead of making gold, the end result is deep love and connection.

We have learned what we need to be in a relationship that works. Feeling loved and cared for, safe and important are very critical in any union. The crucible which holds love and connection is created from certainty, variety and significance.

When these three human needs are being met, we feel safe enough to love and connect with our chosen one. It is then alright to be ourselves, to see ourselves and to grow.

If you need a little assistance in the love and connection department, try these tips.

1) Be a little more intriguing. There’s nothing more exciting!

2) When was the last time you wrote (or received) a love letter?

3) Let them know how much they arouse you.

4) Don’t be so predictable.

Dr. Lateefah Wielenga works as a life and relationship coach and is also an ordained minister. She has a private practice in Long Beach. Call 895-0516 or visit www.thecounselingkitchen.com for details.

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