“Falling in love with your best friend is having the best of both worlds . . .” Anonymous

As many of you know I am a Marriage and Family Therapist. I have completed both the Level I & Level II training for couples by The Gottman Institute (GTI). In our research we have found trust begins and ends with emotional communication. Whether we like it or not, this is true for all. We have all been hurt by a relationship at some point in our life, but for those of us that believe in protecting trust there is hope. Dr. Gottman’s research-based insights into the complex world of relationships offers us real and simplistic tools, you can easily apply to your relationship.

Think of the exercise below as a list of guidelines that will help nurture the friendship in your relationship and help make the love last. Remember every relationship is different and these aren’t set in stone. The connections you create will bring you closer to your partner. Practice affection and trust will follow naturally.

Things to do for your partner:
Listen. Listen. Listen
Run errands for your partner.
Send your partner a loving text.
Compliment your partner, say thank you, praise his or her efforts around the house.
Wait on your partner when he or she is ill.
Buy a silly gift. Buy something inexpensive. Make it an inside joke.
Think fondly of your partner while he or she is at work.

Things to do together:
Hold hands.
Volunteer together.
Take a class together.
Wash the dishes together.
Take a shower or bath together.
Fold laundry.
Plan your future. Dream together.

This activity was found in The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening our Marriage, Family, and Friendships by Dr. Gottman’s. To learn more about bids, emotional connection, and the many other building blocks of trust, be sure to check it out!

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