7 DAILY RITUALS INTENTIONAL COUPLES USE TO CULTIVATE LASTING LOVE
Due to the daily pressures, distractions, and dynamics of modern life, a romantic couple doesn’t have to be dysfunctional to grow distant over time. Long working hours and the demands of raising children can push date night, sex, and romantic vacations to last place on the priority list.
Researchers at UCLA observed 30 dual-career couples with young children to understand the daily challenges for finding opportunities to build strong relationships and families. They discovered that these couples:
- Spend less than 10% of their time at home with each other and without their children around
- Are career-focused with long working hours (partner one) and a have a double burden of work and childcare (partner two)
- Prioritize children and household needs over the needs of their spouse or self
- Become more like roommates, drifting apart emotionally and physically
- Miss important opportunities to connect emotionally on a daily basis
5 WAYS TO MAKE SMALL GESTURES COUNT IN YOUR MARRIAGE
One of the things that Jake appreciates about Kristin is her way of showing love through her actions. Jake puts it like this: “When I come home after a long day and Kristin is there, she usually gives me a hug and wants to know how my day went.”
According to a new study by researchers at Penn State University, you don’t need grand gestures to show your partner love. In fact, this team found that small gestures, such as hugging, holding hands, and regular acts of kindness all top the list of how most Americans report feeling loved and appreciated.
Kristin explains: “It’s the everyday moments that matter. Jake and I have found that little things make a difference. When I forgot to pay my cell phone bill, Jake noticed it lying on the counter unopened and quickly called in the payment so it wouldn’t be late.”
IS BEING SEXY MORE IMPORTANT THAN BEING BEAUTIFUL?
Should we bring sexy back?
“I think being sexy is far more important for love and sex than beauty; and it is also quickly identifiable. If I see an unsexy pretty man, I can appreciate the looks but I don’t feel sexually attracted to him. This happens often, not just to me, not just to women. I’d like to think of myself as both sexy and good-looking.” A married woman
Both being sexy and beautiful enhance romantic attraction. Which one is more dominant? And which one is more positively received? The answer is not obvious.
THE LOVE TANK THEORY: HOW TO MAKE LOVE ACTUALLY LAST
- “Our relationship is emotionally dead.”
- “We never talk anymore.”
- “My partner is distant, and we never have any fun.”
My inbox is full of emails like this.
These couples often ask, “How did we get here?”
Have you ever had that thought about your relationship?
A HAPPY RELATIONSHIP IS IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT TRUST AND COMMITMENT
Love is like Legos. In each passing moment, we are either building a wall between ourselves and our lover or a bridge into each other’s heart.
Each Lego is an interaction between romantic partners. The deciding factor of whether we open or protect our hearts is the quality of trust.
“Without trust, there can be no meaningful connection.” – Brene Brown
Often trust is seen as a big word. A massive Lego that connects two people, allowing them to connect easily. But this is false.
Trust is built brick by brick, an accumulation of small choices made every day.
HOW TO GET THE INTIMATE PARTNER YOU MOST WANT TO HAVE
To get the partner you want to have, be the partner you most want to be.
Your only chance of getting – and keeping – the partner you most want to have is to be the partner you most want to be. The hard part is figuring out what kind of partner you most want to be. Here are some questions that might help.
Do I want to be driven by my ego or motivated by my deepest values?
Do I want my partner to submit to what I want or to willingly cooperate with me?
Do I want to devalue my partner or regard him or her as valuable?
Which do I want most in my relationship, power or value?
THE MOST LOVING THING YOU CAN SAY TO YOUR PARTNER
It’s not “meet my needs.”
One of the worst things we can do for the health of a relationship is pretend that we know how to make intimate unions work. Under that illusion, we’re likely to conclude that our partners are unable or unwilling to do what we “know” would make our relationships succeed. It’s an illusion which comes from the Toddler brain – the limbic area of feelings and impulses, fully myelinated by age 3. In the Toddler brain, we’re likely to give what we want to give, rather than what our partners want to receive, like the toddler who offers you candy when you’re hungry for sirloin.
In reality, there’s no way that any of us could know how to make modern intimate relationships work. Biology has not prepared us for love’s special challenges in our rapidly changing culture. Tradition is hopelessly outdated—the old socialized roles and norms have broken down almost completely. And pop-psychology gives little more than platitudes or oversimplified and contradictory advice or “communication techniques” that are so unnatural, you’ll just end up resenting each other for failing to do them consistently.
Let’s here and now relieve ourselves of the awful burden of having to defend an ego that’s unrealistically inflated when it comes to love relationships. Repeat the following out loud, at least three times, or until you feel a sense of relief:
21 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR SPOUSE INSTEAD OF “HOW WAS YOUR DAY?”
We published “30 Questions to Ask Your Kid Instead of ‘How Was Your Day?’” The response was incredible.
Turns out, millions of people had the same problem. It was amazing to hear how parents, aunts, uncles, teachers, mentors, and grandparents turned silent car rides or eat-and-run dinners into quality chat-fests with those questions.
What we didn’t expect were the many requests for questions to get spouses talking.
To be fair, I could do a better job of that in my relationship. After twelve years and two kids, sometimes all we can come up with post bedtime routine is, “You good? I’m good. Fire up the Netflix.”
4 COMMON SOLVABLE PROBLEMS IN ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS
Although every happy relationship is different, every relationship has solvable problems and unsolvable problems. Dr. John Gottman has identified four of the most common solvable relationship conflicts for couples: technology, work stress, money, and housework.
Every relationship is presented with certain emotional tasks that partners need to accomplish together for their bond to grow and deepen. This comes down to attaining a rich understanding between partners. A relationship needs this understanding in order for both people to feel safe and secure in it.
When these tasks are not accomplished, partners no longer feel like a safe haven for each other in the chaos of life, but rather they make life for each other feel even more chaotic. Here are four common challenges couples face and practical advice for addressing them.