Your partner’s brain is a marvel. His/her brain contains about 86 billion neurons and each of those is connected to several thousand other neurons. While the human brain makes up only about 2% of a human body’s weight, it consumes 20% of the body’s oxygen intake and 25% of the body’s glucose consumption. While the human brain may sound like an energy hog, its energy consumption is actually over a million times more efficient than the world’s supercomputers (and nearly as powerful).
Now think of the privilege you have in getting to know the mind of your partner. No other mind in the world has the same interests, the same capabilities, or the same way of looking at and enjoying the world. Just by showing an interest in your partner’s thoughts, you open yourself to an amazing world. We live in an information age in which we can spend hours taking in new information, but we can neglect the power of engaging our partners around that information.
Last week I was having lunch with my wife at a Beau Jo’s pizza restaurant. A high school girl’s softball team was sitting at the table next to ours and had just finished eating their pizza. All eight girls were silent, each checking Facebook or whatever on their own individual cell phones. Do you fall into the same trap with your partner?
As you show interest in your partner’s ideas, your partner will feel valued and appreciated. This helps to knit your lives together and strengthen the bond between the two of you. Each attentive interaction is a deposit in your partner’s “love bank.”
So your opportunity this week is to engage your partner in deepening your intellectual intimacy. You could simply start by asking your partner about something that he/she is interested in. Or pick out an activity that will foster this deepening of your intellectual lives together. Here are some suggestions for this wonderful area of Denver in which we live.
• Go to a museum.
□ Of course we have the greats of Denver:
– Denver Art Museum: http://denverartmuseum.org/
– Denver Museum of Nature and Science: http://www.dmns.org/
□ But also consider these lesser-visited museums:
– Wings over the Rockies Air & Space Museum: http://wingsmuseum.org/
– History Colorado (in downtown Denver): http://historycoloradocenter.org/
– Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys: http://www.dmmdt.org/
• Attend a lecture.
□ Most of the lecture series put on by Denver-area colleges are during the school year, so consider watching a lecture on the internet with your partner. Go to: https://www.ted.com/talks and peruse the lectures that come up or search a favorite topic.
□ In the Fall, check out:
– The Denver Post Pen & Podium Series: http://www.penandpodium.com/ or
– The History Colorado Center Lecture Series: http://www.historycolorado.org/adult-visitors/lectures (all lectures take place near downtown Denver)
• Read a book together.
□ Read a self-help book to each other and discuss how the ideas apply to your lives.
□ Read a novel together and discuss the characters and themes.
□ Listen to an audio-book from your local library.