Reprinted by Permission, the Gottman Institute
The strongest relationships (and homes) are built from the ground up. According to Dr. Gottman’s 40+ years of research, one of the greatest predictors of your relationship’s success is your ability to turn towards each other, constantly developing your bond by making an effort every day to reach out to your partner and accept their bids for emotional connection. We have found that the majority of fights in relationships are the result of turning away from and against these bids. Turning away and against are related to both suppressed negativity (sadness, whining, stonewalling) and being in the attack-defend mode (anger, criticism, contempt, defensiveness, belligerence). Playful bids and enthusiastic efforts to turn towards each other result in heightened levels of positivity during conflict discussions. They also help you to build up your emotional bank account, maintain a strong and healthy bond, and bring the fire back into your romance.
When Dr. Gottman asked couples what they thought made their relationships feel more romantic, he heard the following examples: candle-lit dinners, soft music, lovely drives in the country, picnics, and moonlit walks. According to his research on relationships, none of these things alone will make your love life better if you are not first connected emotionally.
Here we will provide some easy but very effective ways in which you can make a deep and lasting emotional connection with your loved one and show them your commitment and attention throughout the day:
See the video below to hear an excerpt from one of Dr. Gottman’s lectures on the building of attunement in your relationship – the things that you can do in the smallest moments that strengthen your connection and your trust in each other.