Every positive thing you do in your relationship is foreplay. Dr John Gottman
In this episode, we unpack six ways to enhance your relationship. Through partings, reunions, appreciation & admiration, affection, date night and state of union meetings. These findings come from the Gottman Institute, founded by Drs. John and Julie Gottman have dedicated 40 years to the research and practice of fostering healthy, long-lasting relationships.
Before saying goodbye in the morning, make a conscious effort to learn about what is happening in your partner’s life that day. The goal is to ask questions and learn about at least one exciting and one not so exciting thing about your partner’s day and then at a later time ask about what they shared earlier that day. Let’s keep it real; whenever implementing something new, we might forget, so make a note or set a reminder until it becomes part of what you do!
When you greet your partner again at the end of the day, why not share a hug and kiss that last at least six seconds. Dr John Gottman calls this a “kiss with potential.” The six-second kiss is a ritual of connection that is worth coming home to. Create a space where you can both talk about the stresses outside of the relationship and offer empathy to one another. This can help develop non-sexual intimacy.
Appreciation and Admiration
Find ways to communicate affection and appreciation toward your partner. Sometimes we are thinking it, and it stops there! Expressing your appreciation and admiration can make your partner feel seen and valued, but it also helps you see your partner’s positive traits instead of focusing on the negative. You might want to say it out loud, write them a note you get the gist.
Showing physical affection is vital to connecting with each other. Like embracing each other before falling asleep, cuddling for a few minutes or a goodnight kiss can also serve as a way to let go of the daily stressors that may have built up over the day.
Time together is a relaxing and romantic way to stay connected to each other, making the relationship a priority. During your date, ask each other open-ended questions and actively listen. Put devices and other distractions away while in each other’s company.
State of the Union Meeting
“Dr Gottman’s research revealed that spending just one hour per week discussing areas of concern within the relationship has shown to transform the way partners manage conflict”. It’s about creating a space to discuss conflict express fears and concerns in a way that makes each other feel heard and loved rather than feeling neglected. You might like to start by talking about what has been going well in the relationship since the last time you shared and what you appreciate about your partner. Then discuss any challenges that may have emerged in the relationship. To make the conversation equal, take turns being the talker and the listener.
On a finishing note, are you already doing some of or all of these habits to enhance your relationship, or is it something that you might like to start implementing? Small changes can yield great results. I opened the episode with a quote from Dr John Gottman “every positive thing you do in your relationship is foreplay”. Building intimacy with your partner doesn’t just happen in the bedroom. It’s staying connected with each other throughout the day. Celebrating love and each other is not only reserved for Valentine’s Day; it’s a daily practice. Take care, keep safe, and I look forward to talking with you again soon!
Recommend Resource: Do You Speak My Language? – Chapman’s 5 Love Languages
Source: The Gottman Institute