Psychology Today September/October 2020 pp35-41 “Love” “A loving relationship can be an oasis in uncertain times. Nurturing it requires attention, honesty, openness, vulnerability, and gratitude. Here’s a guide to important facets of intimacy”. By Amie Gordon, Ph.D.
Summary of Article
Being in a good relationship can actually be life-sustaining but as time goes on, long after the “Court and Spark”, to strengthen our partnership we need to more consciously and actively engage emotionally with each other. As we live a in world full of demands on our time and we have also been upended by the COVID pandemic being great partners is even more important now. The author offers pointers on continuously investing in your loving relationship.
How to do it
Be open and honest. It's important to actively share thoughts and feelings.
Be there for your partner. Be an active listener and acknowledge what your partners is feeling.
Be a better man/woman. It's that old saying pick your battles. Not really battles but let the little things slide. Give each other a break. In keeping with this though we each need to promise to learn from our “mistakes and try to do better next time.”
Pay “attention to each other again.” Often unbeknownst to us, we consciously or unconsciously make “bids for each other’s attention." Little things like sharing a thought, or making “a gentle touch as we way past each other” or in a bigger way helping to solve a problem or “requesting a weekend away together.” “Couples who are thriving create and respond to these bids, and these small investments add up and help them overcome harder times.”
With so many demands today finding time for each other and our relationship can be forgotten. Be aware outside demands on our time and create “rules to minimize their influence."
“Make a new habit.” Ask yourself daily “Did I pay attention today?” “Did I talk to my partner and say what I was thinking?” “Did I listen when my partner was talking?”