By Leanne Shelton
In the current climate, couples everywhere have suddenly found themselves spending a lot of time together at home. With the kids. And nowhere to go (apart from the odd trip to the supermarket…).
The usual date night scenario is out of the question. Grandparents and babysitters aren’t an option. And all restaurants, movie theatres, and other romantic settings are unavailable anyway.
So how do you find opportunities to truly bond with your partner in this new state of normality?
According to Dr John Gottman from The Gottman Institute there are 3 ways we can reconnect with our partners:
1. Accept Bids for Connection
The first step is to recognise the ‘micro-moments’ in your relationship.
These are the ‘bids’ for each other’s attention, affection, or support. It could be something simple like placing your hand on their shoulder, offering a sympathetic smile, completing a chore without being prompted (aka nagged), or apologising for upsetting the other person.
All of these moments are vital for maintaining a sense of intimacy – so don’t overlook them.
2. Understand Each Other’s Love Maps
Don’t assume you know what your partner is thinking and feeling right now. Ask them!
Rather than mindlessly watching Netflix together or stressing over the latest news update, create an opportunity for open and honest communication. What are their main worries and stresses? Hopes and aspirations?
Make this ‘check-in’ with one another a regular habit. At the moment, every couple of days is ideal.
3. Build a Culture of Appreciation and Respect
Nobody’s perfect. Yes, that includes both you and your partner.
Rather than focusing on their flaws, learn to accept them. And show appreciation for all the things they do right. Every time you acknowledge them, you build a stronger emotional connection.
So there’s no need to go on big holidays or date nights to keep the romance alive. Tiny insignificant moments can all help to create a significant connection.
Leanne Shelton is a health and wellness copywriter and content coach at Write Time Marketing. (www.writetimemarketing.com.au)