Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Low-stick masking tape
- Clock, watch, or timer
- Bell or chime
- Copies of Handout 1: Saying "I Love You" Without the Usual Words (one per participant)
Description of ActivityAsk participants to recall how they felt during the workshop opening's guided meditation, when they imagined themselves expressing love to their partner. Invite volunteers to call out one word or phrase that describes how that experience made them feel. Quickly list the responses on newsprint. There is no need for discussion. When a variety of responses have been listed, post the sheet on the wall.
Invite participants to pair up with someone other than their partner.
Offer these instructions:
I will give you a statement to discuss in your pairs. One of you will share your thoughts about this statement for two minutes while the other listens. Then you will switch speaking and listening roles.
After both of you have had a turn, I will invite each pair to share two of their ideas with the group. This is brainstorming, so all ideas are acceptable, and no discussion is needed. Ideas will be recorded on newsprint as they are spoken.
Once the group understands the instructions, write this statement on newsprint:
- I know I am loved when my partner ___________.
Invite participants to begin sharing their ideas. Clarify that heavy-duty answers are not needed. Rather, this is an opportunity to express the small, simple, daily things that let people know they are special in the eyes of one who loves them.
After two minutes, ring the bell or chime and invite participants to switch roles.
When four minutes are up, ask each pair to share two of the ways they filled in the blank. Record these ideas on newsprint. When finished, post the sheet on the wall.
Repeat the process with the next statement:
- I feel I am showing my love for my partner when I ________.
After ideas have been shared and posted on the wall, summarize the responses to both statements. Lead the group in discussion by asking:
- Do you notice any particular trends in what was said? If so, what do you conclude from that?
- What are some other ways we can say "I love you" beyond saying the words?
Emphasize that what often helps fertilize the ground for the growth of a loving relationship is simple kindness and thoughtfulness.
Distribute Handout 1, Saying "I Love You" Without the Usual Words. Explain that it offers a few other ideas about how partners may show their appreciation to each other. If there is time, review the handout with participants and encourage them to add their favorite ideas from this exercise to the list.