5 Ways to Take Your Relationship to the Next Level
If you’re seeking a deeper connection with your partner, try these 5 things to take it to the next level!
1. Turn towards each other
World-renowned couples researchers, John and Julie Gottman, have found that couples who make active attempts to connect with one another had better outcomes and happier marriages than those who didn't. “Turning towards” one another simply means responding to your partners bid for attention. Let’s say your partner comes home from a long day and says, “Ugh, today was simply the worst.” You are left with a choice: you can either say, “Yeah, babe, what’s for dinner tonight” and brush it off or you can ask, “What about today was so tough?” and respond to your partner’s bid. By acknowledging the bid for connection and asking what made his day so tough, you are turning towards your partner. Turning towards these small bids for connection helps for both you and your partner to feel heard and acknowledged in the relationship.
2. Commit to 5 hours per week
Research shows that, at minimum, couples need to spend 5 hours of quality time per week together in order to increase their happiness and successful outcome of the relationship. Hence the emphasis on quality time; time interacting, communicating, and continuing to foster an underlying friendship!
3. Learn about each other’s childhoods
If you’ve been to couple’s therapy, you know that, ultimately, your therapist will ask you about your childhood and, most likely, you will find that many relationship challenges stem back to younger, unmet needs. The way we grow up and the relationships that we have with our parents serve as our blueprint for how we experience love as adults. Often our romantic relationships mirror the relationships we had with our parents as children. Therefore, the more awareness you have of your past, the more opportunity you have to cultivate healthy relationships in your present and future!
4. Know your love language
What does your partner do that makes you feel loved? When he hugs you, takes you out to dinner, cleans the house for you, tells you how much he adores you, or brings you flowers? Maybe a combination of a few of those? Knowing what you need to feel fulfilled and important in your relationship is essential. Communicating that to your partner and understanding their love language helps for couples to better meet each other’s needs. For more on love languages, visit www.5lovelanguages.com
5. Create rituals
The human brain seeks patterns and rituals that it can count on to survive. This same concept applies to our relationships as well. Recent research by Stan Tatkin and his team have found that rituals, like hello and goodbye rituals with your partner, are more important that we thought. When partners make an effort to embrace upon departing or arrive home, it, not only helps your partner feel loved, but it actually helps to sync your nervous systems. Long story short, creating rituals in your relationship can help fend off divorce in the long term and help you feel more connected instantaneously.