Family therapist John Gottman, a professor at the University of Washington, has spent his life researching successful couples and the principles and practices that makes marriages work. His research shows with 90% accuracy which couples will survive and which will not. In couples whose relationships actually improve over the years, he has identified the following practices that lead to thriving relationships. These simple practices take a total of about five hours a week. In a world full of uncertainty, this is not much to ask to maintain a meaningful love relationship.
- PARTINGS. Before these couples say goodbye each morning, they find out one thing that each is going to do that day (2 minutes x 5 days = 10 minutes a week).
- REUNIONS. At the end of the day, the partners have a low-stress reunion conversation. (20 minutes x 5 days = 1 hour, 40 minutes a week).
- AFFECTION. Touching, playful grabbing, holding and kissing- laced with tenderness. (5 minutes x 7 days = 35 minutes a week).
- ONE WEEKLY DATE. Just the two of you, in a relaxed atmosphere, for pleasure and connection, not devoted to administration or problem solving. (2 hours a week).
- ADMIRATION AND APPRECIATION. Every day, genuine appreciation is given at least once. Validation and acknowledgement is given for meaningful “wins” in the partner’s life and for qualities that you appreciate and admire. (5 minutes x 7 days = 35 minutes).
These are simple practices that anyone can do that will strengthen the bonds of love in our lives!