Relationships, really, don’t need to be difficult. The small stuff adds up. In The Gottman Method for Couples, we have found something called the positive sentiment override (PSO) and the negative sentiment override (NSO). You always want to focus on adding to the PSO in your relationship. This will help during the difficult times. Here are 10 simple tips that will help improve your relationship:
- LISTEN. This may sound obvious and simple. But, one of the complaints I hear the most as a therapist is that my partner doesn’t listen to me. This is like putting money in the bank and building the PSO in your relationship.
- Put away electronic gadgets. Give one another your undivided attention. This is the best gift you can give one another.
- Find 10 things you love about one another and tell one another. We all need to hear it. It’s easy to forget this one after you have been together a while.
- Take care of yourself. You can’t take care of others unless you have taken care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, eat nutritious foods, drink plenty of water and exercise.
- Pitch in. Help one another with chores. If you know the washing needs to be started, then start it. Stop waiting for your partner to do everything around the house.
- Create mini-rituals. Creating small rituals can help keep a couple together. It can be a fancy night out or watching a T.V. show every week. Make it yours and keep it.
- Never, never forget to ask about your partner’s day. This is an easy one to forget. If you can be specific, then all the better. If you know they had an important meeting, then ask how it went.
- Make out. Kissing is something that gets shoved aside the longer a couple has been together. Remember, to kiss when departing and reuniting for the day, for at least seven seconds.
- Take an interest in what your partner’s into. If they like baseball, buy tickets to a game. If they like bird watching, make sure to find out what types of birds are around you.
- Breathe … . Before you say something that you will regret, stop and take a breath. If you need to, take a break and come back when you have calmed down.
If you find after reading this article, you are still having difficulty in your relationship, then it’s time to talk to a professional that can help. Please call me at (650) 892-0357 for a consultation.