Each Valentine’s day, I think about relationships — I think about them lots, really, but about romantic ones in particular on this day.

I have a wonderful relationship with my dog. I suppose I should really say “our” dog, because it was my wife’s strong desire to have a new dog after the old one wore out. I like dogs, generally other people’s dogs, because then they are not in my house and I don’t have to deal with them. When I got married, my wife Lisa had a couple of dogs, and while I got along with them alright, they were not ever “my” dogs, and there was not a strong bond.

Then we got Fiona, a really cure Boston Terrier that you just can’t help but like. And as with most people’s dogs, because that is how dogs are, if you leave for 5 minutes and then come back in the door, Fiona acts like she has just been reunited with her long lost cousin from Topeka. She greets my wife, and me, with great enthusiasm each time we get home, and she is a little mopey when  she figures out we are leaving.

It isn’t just the dog. We adopted a cat recently, and the cat has also bonded to Fiona, so much that when we let Fiona outside, the cat (which is strictly an indoor cat) sits at the door and cries because her dog is gone. Then when Fiona comes back inside, the cat chases her and greets her… like she is a long lost cousin from Topeka.

What has this got to do with relationships, and Valentine’s day?

What would it be like if your relationship with your love interest was like what Fiona feels for us, or what the cat feels for Fiona? What if, whenever you heard the garage door open and knew your mate was home, you got up and ran to greet them at the door, help unload the car — no matter what you were doing? Or maybe when you get home, immediately, without doing anything else, find your mate in the house and greet them — as enthusiastically as if it was your long lost Topekan cousin?

It probably will seem pretty silly at first. What if you make it a ritual? It could be really fun — and there is lots of opportunity to mix it up and do different things.

Here’s the important part: Do it enthusiastically whether you feel the enthusiasm or not. “Fake it until you make it” is real and works. Over time, as this _enthusiastic_ greeting becomes a ritual, you will find that you _are_ enthusiastic about it. And this is the key, it will program your unconscious minds to be excited whenever you get together with your mate after an absence.

There are lots of other little things you can do, too. Each month over this coming year I’ll post another interesting tidbit about making an average relationship excellent, or making an excellent one outstanding! For now — be enthusiastic like a dog!