Being a Gottman trained couples therapist, I found fascinating all the research that Dr. Gottman did for over 40 years studying couples’ behaviours. He found that what builds romance in a relationship are those very small every day moments that are opportunities for turning towards one another. As part of his research, Dr. John Gottman conducted a study with newlyweds, then followed up with them six years later. Many of the couples remained together. Many divorced. The couples that stayed married were much better at one thing Turn Towards Instead of Away.
At the six-year follow-up, couples that stayed married turned towards one another 86% of the time. Couples that divorced averaged only 33% of the time..It suggests that there is something you can do right now to dramatically change the direction of your relationship..You can choose to turn towards your partner and acknowledge and engage in his/her world or you can absently ignore or dismiss the attempted connecting gestures from your Significant Other.
Ultimately, directing your attention to your partner’s bids for connections shows them that you care about them and are interested in them. Today I encourage you to recognise small ways your partner makes bids for connection and consciously turn towards them; it could be as simple as a request to have a coffee together, or share stories about work. Include ‘Turning Towards’ in your daily rituals of connection!