I just started this new practice. I call it the 'first time' love practice.
Imagine relating to your loved one as if you were meeting him or her for the 'first time'. Mind untainted by memories, good and bad from past encounters. And free of expectations regarding how things should and should not go between you two. Leaving all your baggage behind. Being totally present for each shared moment as it unfolds second after second.
New time, new experience. I look at him with virgin eyes, and I listen to him with open ears. As if meeting him for the 'first time'. Present moment as only reality. He's leaving his things behind, also. Fleeting thoughts come and cloud my view for a short while, and I brush them away, remembering they do not belong to now. Same with familiar feelings that threaten to weigh me down, if I am not careful. The desire to meet him is stronger. And I say to myself, the first time mantra, over and over, until I see him clearly, and I hear him well, again.
I have tried the other way before, and it hasn't worked. All that baggage was wearing me, us down.