“I’m crazy about my boyfriend but worried about making it last! How do we keep the romance going?” Jo, Chicago.
Jo, there definitely are secrets that are common to a long-lasting and passionate relationship. In fact, there are eight of them. And when practiced regularly become the habits of a passionate relationship. We don’t have room here to cover them all. But let’s look at just one of the eight habits. And a couple of exercises that you can use to make your relationship last. And get even better. And if you are interested in this type of fresh information to help you in your love life be sure to sign up for my FREE Dating Tips & Relationship Advice Newsletter.
Passionate Relationship Secret #1: The Habit of Care-Full Communication.
No I didn’t misspell “careful.” I spelled the word “careful” with two “L”s. Because when a couple’s words and actions are full of care, they are more likely to be the lucky ones who stay in love. In fact, the love researcher, Dr. John Gottman, has observed this in thousands of happy couples. His research, as well as that published by my husband and I, find loving couples liberally use four insurance factors when they communicate with one another:
In-love partners, whether they have been together one month or 25 years, maintain a ratio of 5 of these positives to 1 negative interaction. This is like a criticism or a complaint in their relationship. This ratio of positive and loving behaviors coupled with acts of kindness provide a bedrock of connection. And win-win teamwork. Below are two exercises that will help you and your partner cultivate this care-full communication. That type of communication leads to a happy and passionate relationship. It’s especially important to practice these exercises if things are rocky between you. Relationships can end in a heartbeat.
The Five to One Process.
Read over this exercise with your partner. For the next hour or so when you are talking or hanging out together, try to act the way you usually do. But take two notebooks and each one of you write down the following. The number of positive or negative words/gestures you yourself are making toward your partner. Take another hour and deliberately double the positives. After this, discuss the experience together. You may find yourselves rolling with laughter. This is good! Not taking things so seriously will set you both free of your negative patterns.
On your own, track the number of positive word/gestures you put out to your partner. Now, double the amount. Now triple it, and watch what happens. If you keep it up, eventually you will get positives coming back to you. Practice giving and receiving them! It is very critical to create care-full communication with your partner. Attention to and practice of this skill will go a long way to creating a passionate relationship. Otherwise you risk losing it all.
I am happy and honored to be on this journey with you.
Wishing you love,