Family researcher and psychologist, John Gottman, Ph.D. suggests that small emotional connections between partners add up to big-time relationship satisfaction. He compares them to making steady deposits in a bank account and watching your savings grow.
Taking time to make these connections can be challenging in our busy world, and especially during the increasingly busy holiday season. For those of you who would like some creative inspiration, here are some ideas on how to stay connected with your special someone. Pick the ones that work for you. Use them as a starting point to create your own “quick connects.”
- Make sure your kisses last at least six seconds. Every now and then go for a full minute.
- Write them a love note– on the mirror, in their lunchbox, purse or pocket, or text/e-mail it.
- Send funny and/or romantic cards by snail mail or e-mail.
- Get silly with each other and laugh out loud together.
- Grab your partner for a spontaneous dance when a favorite song comes on the radio or stereo.
- Hold hands.
- Send a funny photo on your phone.
- Ask about each others’ days.
- Listen with 100% attention—make eye contact when you talk.
- Give a one-minute shoulder or foot massage.
- Do something unexpected for your spouse.
- Snuggle on the couch.
- Touch each other with affection.
- Notice and comment about something your spouse does that you like.
- Say thank you and you’re welcome.
- Be interested in what your spouse is doing. Offer to help.
- Leave a flower or special treat.
- Write a poem for your special someone—it’s ok if it’s silly!
- Offer to cook dinner if you aren’t the one who usually cooks.
- Post photos on the refrigerator or bathroom mirror that remind you of wonderful times you’ve shared.
- Offer to take the kids out of the house for a while and give the other parent some alone time.
- At night, step outside together for five minutes and look at the stars.
- Sing to each other.
- Establish a weekly ritual that you faithfully observe. For example, watching a favorite television program, taking a walk after dinner, putting candles on the table.
- Watch a sunrise or sunset together.
- Make up your own list of things to do to quickly connect with your spouse.
- Make sure you do at least one thing from your list every day.
This research and information was provided by Naomi Brower
Gottman, J.M. & Silver, N. (1999). The seven principles for making marriage work. New York: Crown Publish