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What are the qualities of a healthy relationship?
Dr. John Gottman has been studying relationships for over thirty years and he has discovered some pearls in that time. The differences between happy and unhappy relationships are simple (yet so challenging) and you can start now and it won’t cost you a thing.
We’ll focus on this component today:
Pay attention to your partner. This means when your partner wants to show you a really silly YouTube video of a cat playing piano and the kids are drawing on the walls and the pot is boiling over, you watch the video with your partner. Also, when you are watching a funny television show and you ask your partner to come sit with you and share the experience and your partner is knee deep in Facebook, your partner comes and watches the show with you. These little actions are termed “bids for attention.” They happen all day every day and whether or not you respond to the bids by focusing on your partner makes a significant difference in your relationship. Essentially, you are saying “you are important to me” or your are saying “you’re not as important to me as whatever else I’m doing.”
The secret is, it really has nothing to do with the cat video or the TV show and it has everything to do with showing your partner how important they are every chance you get.
Remember we don’t have forever with the people we love. This moment is the only one guaranteed.
Oh, and kiss your partner a lot, too. That helps.