1. Learn About Most Important Thing You Can Do with Your Partner
Some might think talking, going on a date, or even sex is the most important thing you can do together as a couple.
Actually… it’s laughing together.
Laughing is the most important thing. Not only does it offer a profound sense of connection during the good times, but it can serve as an excellent buffer during the difficult moments.
You’ve likely heard that laughter is the best medicine for individual health and happiness. And science shows that this medicinal effect works for couples just as well.
2. Meet the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
As outlined in the book of Revelations during the last days, the four horsemen are the bearers of absolutely nothing good. They’re basically doom on ponies.
The four horsemen of a relationship have the same impact. And they probably aren’t what you might have imagined.
They are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. These four communication mistakes pretty much spell the slow death of a relationship. The Gottman model describes each of the four, in detail, and shows us how to use its antidote instead to foster more loving communication.
3. Invest in a Bank Account Not Filled with Money
Although many couples fight over money, the Gottmans’ idea of filling your bank account isn’t focused on the green stuff. Rather, they delicately portray the art and science of love in terms of banking and call it your “Emotional Bank Account.”
In a relationship, each partner invests in the other via their attention and their emotions. This is accomplished by turning toward your partner in everyday moments and by expressing your fondness and admiration for each other. During difficult moments, you can each draw from your own savings account.
4. Discover Your Relationship’s True Nemesis
If you’re like most people, you might blame external stressors on the conflicts that pop up in your relationship. According to the Gottmans’ art and science of love, your relationship’s true nemesis sits a lot closer to home.
Actually, it abides within you.
This notorious nemesis is the lack of empathy towards your partner. Empathy is basically giving your best shot at understanding how your partner feels. Without this, the connection grows cold.
5. Reveal Your Partner’s Secret Aphrodisiac
Men and women alike want to know exactly what turns their partner on. It might surprise you that when it comes to the art of love or even lovemaking, a simple action can be the most powerful foreplay.
Really, all kind and thoughtful actions serve as foreplay in a romantic relationship. But the act of listening trumps them all. If you can truly listen to your partner, then you validate them. And you gain access to their secret aphrodisiac.
6. Understand Your Body as the Real Boss
In the midst of an argument, your body is going to be the biggest indicator of just how much the confrontation is affecting you. The Gottmans explain what happens to your body when it senses any sort of threat, real or imagined, and how that interferes with your ability to think clearly.
The best thing to do is simply to listen and respect your body. Take a “time-out” to give it time to swing back to normal, and then return to the discussion when cooler heads prevail. When you allow time for this, you also allow time for your brain to process information in a regular manner again. And that is the real goal.
7. Finally Unveil Answers to the Fights You Keep Having
When it comes to understanding the art of love, everyone is asking one question. They want to know why they keep having the same fight and how to stop.
Although uncomfortable, it’s common and okay not to find resolve for certain conflicts. Rather than declaring utter failure or forcing a resolve, the best approach is, often, simply to try to understand your partner better, accept him/her, and build compassion for your differences.
So, if you’re ready to take that next step toward improving your relationship, please contact me. I offer The Art & Science of Love Couples Retreat Workshops and am a Certified Gottman Method Couple’s Therapist and Master Trainer. Together, we can help you build greater connection and make conflict more manageable and productive.