“Make Love All Day,” advises Psychology Professor Barbara Fredrikson. Here’s how and why …

Positive Psychology superstar, Professor Barbara Fredrikson (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); has discovered how to make love all day long, without getting arrested or exhausted. Surprisingly, her innovative definition of “making love” means choosing to create big and small pleasures through human connections. This means we “make love” when we hug our best friend, or savor dinner out with our significant other, or smile at someone’s baby.

Although this means we need to take risks, such as possible rejection when reaching out, Fredrikson’s research proves the results are worth it.  In fact, creating pleasures, like smiling at a baby, stimulates our vagus nerve, which connects our mind with our heart. This results in positive health impacts, both for the person we interact with, and for us too. Also this type of lovemaking doesn’t require a significant other.

Indeed, Fredrikson states that 50% of adults haven’t found their romantic love or have lost this person.   


via Pixabay

“Valentines stinks,” said my son last week. He’s not currently in a relationship, so that means he misses out on this holiday and other romantic occasions, and so do the other half of all adults. But Fredrikson’s lovemaking definition provides everyone with opportunities for pleasure, whether single, married or in between.  I’m in love with her concept and I wanted to try it.

But could I do it … make love all day?

We shall see.

I started out the next morning making an omelette for my fiance. He almost fell out of chair in surprise, but a few minutes later he dug in with a smile. Instead of rushing our morning, as usual, we lit a candle and enjoyed our meal, making eye contact and planning for a fun Saturday ski date. I felt a rush of happiness. Just wow.

Later that day, I stood in line at a bakery. An elderly man in front of me looked stressed and couldn’t decide what to order for a his grandson’s team celebration. On another day, I might have felt impatient with this delay; but instead I said, “Have you tried the white chocolate mini-eclairs? They’re delicious!”

“Are they?” he asked.

“Yes let me treat you to one. The kids will love them.” He looked shocked. I smiled, ordering two mini-eclairs (a mini-expense that wouldn’t change my lifestyle), and we stepped out of line to sample them. It turned out he was bringing dessert to the lacrosse team dinner. “My son will be at that dinner!” I laughed, our big lonely world suddenly small and friendly, as we rehashed team victories.

So, here I was, making love with a stranger in public. Don’t worry, no police were needed. On my way out of the store, I smiled at a cute baby wearing a pink hat. The baby smiled back, love at first sight.

That night, my teenage daughter ran across our snowy yard to hug my neighbor, who was struggling through a divorce. Impulsively, I followed my daughter’s lead, and the three of us group hugged, laughing and swaying from side-to-side. When I stepped back, I noticed my neighbor’s tears.

“Thank you,” she said wiping her eyes and smiling. “That’s the first human touch I’ve felt in weeks.”

So this one-day experiment expanded to brighten my future. I’m now an impromptu hugger and a baby-smiler. Plus, I offer to take photos for strangers, so everyone can be in the picture. Surprisingly, I found my dog-sitter this way … I offered to take a photo of a young girl struggling to snap a selfie with her dog. We got talking, and now I don’t have to worry about who will care for my dog when I travel.

These tiny reach-outs have created new friendships and filled my heart with warmth and positivity. Thank you, Dr. Fredrikson, for rethinking love and giving us so many more opportunities than we had before. I love making love all day. I highly recommend it.

Do you agree with Dr. Fredrikson’s new definition of making love?  Please comment, like and share …

Shellee Godfrey

Shellee Godfrey creates happiness for her clients as a Systems Analyst and writes comedy screenplays based on her smart and sassy 80’s diva background.

How To Prevent the Next Dead Teenager? Let’s Spread Out Our Blankets

Dedicated to my daughter, Kira, my son, Max, and the friends that we lost. I don’t want to lose any more.

My 15-year-old daughter has 5 dead friends. Two summers ago, when she was 13, three of her classmates died. What happened isn’t clear, but for sure it ended in despair.

The morning of the funeral, I filled up my SUV with Kira’s friends, all of them wearing black dresses … oh, just the sight of that hurt my heart. The girls swiped at leaking, red-rimmed eyes.

I handed out tissues, as we headed to the outdoor funeral of their friend, in Park City, Utah. Two more teens would be buried later that week.  How had this happened?

How had this happened?

I squished five girls into my car, two double-buckled in one seatbelt. The girls all had parents that were working on this sad weekday. Yeah, we were breaking the law, but who could leave one of them behind to sob alone in her room?

When we arrived at Miner’s Park, I spread out a large blanket on the grass. The girls soon ran off to hug friends.

Teens run in packs, and I understood they might not return. Still, I was there for them, and they knew where to find me.

All around, people stood in groups clinging to each other. As I waited for the funeral to start, I looked up at the summer sky, blue as my heart.

The sky felt empty, like the potential of a dead teenager. 

Guitar music began, signaling the start of the service. Two of Kira’s friends returned to my blanket, then another did. Kira slumped in front of me, and then turned and buried her head in my shoulder, like when she was little. My big-girl sobbed silently, her shoulders shaking.

Hugging her tight, I felt the warm sun on her arms, and breathed in her flower shampoo. I thought of the parents of the boy in the casket. How could they cope with this?

I felt guilty as love for my daughter filled my aching heart. I stroked her hair, as more and more teens joined us, spilling off the edges of my blanket. It turns out they wanted my support.

I wish I’d brought more tissues.

After the funeral, I took the girls for bagels. I told them no problem is too large for a trusted adult to help you solve. I asked them to promise me they’d reach out for a metaphorical blanket.

I also told this to my older kids when I got home. I braced myself for duh, and teenage eye roll.

Instead, they met my eyes. They said thanks.

But is this enough? I’m guilty of trying to look good on social media, while crying inside. Will my kids bravely reach out if they need me? I can only hope.

So, thinking back to high school, I knew one teenager that died an early death in a car accident. Although 15, my daughter has grieved the loss of several friends. Also, my older son has lost one friend to terrible circumstances. So we sat, shocked, at another young person’s funeral. A brilliant, funny young man, gone.

Why are so many people giving up? 

General Social Survey (GSS) showed that the number of adult Americans reporting “no close friends” has almost tripled in recent decades. Worse, 25% of respondents reported zero confidants (close friends).

I fear the numbers are worse for teenagers, despite their hundreds (or thousands) of social media “friends”. Do these kids have one trusted confidant to turn to in a crisis?

Do you?

If not, you’re at risk. A 2015 analysis, compiling data on more than 3 million people from 70 studies, found the absence of social connection a greater early death risk factor than smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day. Additionally, loneliness led to greater risk for early mortality than obesity.

Sadly, Kira and her classmates lost another friend to suicide last week. This makes me feel so hopeless, so helpless, and I’m taking this personally.  Let’s try to stop this despair.

Let’s put down the social media sometimes to build personal connections, where we look into another person’s eyes. So when you, me, and every kid we know, gets asked the question: “Do you have a close friend that will help you in a crisis?” the only answer is “yes.”

So, let’s spread out our blankets.  Who else can’t take it anymore and wants to prevent deaths from suicide?  Please comment, like and share …

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

Shellee Godfrey

Shellee Godfrey creates happiness for her clients as a Systems Analyst and writes comedy screenplays based on her smart and sassy 80’s diva background.