Psych 101 tells you that much of our every day life can be explained by the basic processes of 'Learning', which is: things we know and are able to do that are beyond and above our innate basic abilities.

Every relationship and marriage includes the 'joining together' of two people's behaviors and therefore means 'Learning' since it involves a 'change in behavior brought about through experience' (another formal definition of 'Learning').

Two processes are discussed here: 1. Classical Learning, 2. Conditioning.
1. Classical Learning in Relationships:
Unconditioned stimulus - is a 'natural' stimulus that elicits a response without any prior learning: the Unconditioned Response. Think about any sexual trigger coming from partner A that ignites partner B. This feeling of natural arousal that B has, is technically defined as an 'unconditioned response': an unlearned natural reaction to a natural stimulus.

Conditioned stimulus - a non-natural stimulus that elicits a response as a result of being paired with an unconditioned stimulus (the natural sexual trigger). As an example think about an aromatic smell or romantic lightning. Let us assume that originally the aromatic smell or romantic lighting were present at the time of the 'original event' between A and B, so therefore they are 'associated' with the natural stimuli (A's sexual trigger) but with time these stimuli have gained their own 'power'.

The result is the Conditioned Response: B's behavior that is similar or identical to the unconditioned response (B's natural sexual arousal in our example).
Using Conditioned Stimulus (in our example: Either A or B use aromatic smell as a sexual trigger) is a learned behavior since we produce the 'product' of aroused feeling based on our ability to learn what works and we use it for what we want to gain.

So now you have earned the first Relationship advice: use Classical Conditioning in order to produce excitement in your relationship.

The blueprint is as follows: step one is to choose a natural response in your partner's behavior which
you like. This could be a smile, gesture, intimacy signal towards you and so on.
Step two is to identify something that is clearly 'around' and associated it to your partner's response which you like to see again. This has to be something that you can control and duplicate again and again. To give a few examples, this may include things such as light, smell, your gesture, a phrase, a picture of something.
The final winning step is to find the right time to use this 'artificial arousal item' and produce a
duplicate of the response that you originally liked and want to see occurring often.

If it sounds too elaborated just think about the millions that buy the record of the music they heard, when they first kissed. They remember the original and want to duplicate it those feelings.

2. Conditioning Learning in Relationships:
Conditioning is learning from the consequences of our behavior. Anything that leads to an increase in the probability of a specific behavior’s occurrence is 'Positive reinforcement'. Let us take 'my partner is in the mood to have a romantic moment with me' as the behavior you want to see happening again and again, way above the natural probability rate.
Try calling your partner and saying something nice or bringing her flowers; this soon leads to such a 'romantic moment' naturally occurring. If you both find yourselves engaging in 'a romantic moment' thereafter, register this action (calling, giving of flowers) as a 'positive reinforcement' item.

Your Life Coach is now ready to offer the second Relationship advice: identify what you like in the relationship and create a list of potential positive reinforcements which you will use to increase the
likelihood of achieving that romantic moment.

A practical topic here is to 'schedule' the introduction of Positive Reinforcements. To use a simple real
life example: once you find out that bringing flowers triggers your partner to be a passionate lover, you
now need to decide when and how often you should do that? There are those who bring them after every 'incident' (fixed schedule); some like to wait and bring flowers only after several times that such 'happy occurrence' have taken place (variable schedule). Many have adopted the habit of bringing flowers at the end of a 'successful' week (fixed interval) and others do bring flowers, but from time to
time (variable interval).

So what works better?
Well, there is no yet known study of 'Flowers and Relationship'. So, first ask your partner what they prefer and obviously follow what you are told. As your Life Coach, I only can add that research on many topics with many types of subjects allows to provide the third Relationship Advice: the 'variable interval' schedule is, for most people, the most rewarding.

The final Relationship Advice takes us to the topic of Shaping, or successive approximations. It means that behaviors that are similar to the desired behavior are reinforced. This works well as a Marriage Counseling process for couples that have difficulties in handling disputes and conflicts and who want to avoid the necessity of a fire fighters intervention. Each one should reinforce his or her partner; if a maximum of three minutes of civil debate is stretched to five, and thereafter to ten minutes
and so on – you both are the winners.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Joseph Abraham, Life Coach. Director, Center for Human Growth and Business Insights, Mechanicsburg, PA Tel 717-943.0959 and and