Are love and power related? As you probably already know, men and women don't always see love in the same light. Most people are actually happier in a relationship, as long as they feel their partner really gets them. As many of you know, I have completed Levels 1, 2, & 3 in The Gottman Training for Couples. They have done almost 40 years of research in working with couples. What we have found to be most important for happy couples is the five to one ratio. Couples are constantly making bids for emotional connection. The five to one ratio suggests that for every one negative interaction it will take five positive interactions to counteract the negative interaction. Here are five tips to build the positive ratio in your relationship:
- Greeting and departing. We live in a busy world and often leave the house in a hurry and when we come home we are exhausted. Don't forget to stop what you are doing when you get home and greet your partner. Even a simple hello with a smile can make your partner feel loved. Always say goodbye when leaving in the morning and wish your partner well for the day.
- Taking a genuine interest in one another. Ask questions about your partner's day, their work, hobbies, commute, etc. Make sure to listen to one another. Then let your partner know you were really listening by surprising them with something they talked about. For example, if they have a long commute buy then a CD that you know they will like.
- Tell your partner what you appreciate about them. Be specific, you can never tell your partner enough how much you appreciate them and what you appreciate about them. For example, 'I really appreciate your pleasant tone or how you put a positive spin on things.' Take time to write a list, you can also give this to your partner.
- Don't get sloppy. This may sound obvious but we have found people will let their hygiene go after being in a relationship for a while. You had time when you were dating to shower and keep yourself up don't stop after the marriage. This also includes cleaning the car, laundry and chores around the house.
- Kiss. There is a physiological response to kissing. Make this a part of your greeting and departing ritual. Now, I don't mean a peck your kiss should last seven seconds. Hygiene also plays a part here. I'm sure your partner would love to kiss minty fresh breath.