“What can I do for five minutes today to make my partner’s life better?”

We know that to keep a relationship going in the long run we need to constantly romance each other. Going on dates or doing activities together are essential but, strong long term relationships are also about all those sweet, subtle little signs that make things special for the couple.

Everyday, why not stop and ask yourself: “What can I do for five minutes today to make my partner’s life better?”.

According to studies by Barbara L. Fredrickson, a social psychologist and professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a flourishing relationship needs three times as many positive emotions as negative ones. In her forthcoming book, “Love 2.0,” Dr. Fredrickson says that cultivating positive energy everyday “motivates us to reach out for a hug more often or share and inspiring or silly idea or image.”
Dr. Lyubomirsky reports that happily married couples average five positive verbal and emotional expressions toward one another for every negative expression, but “very unhappy couples display ratios of less than one to one.” To help get your relationship on a happier track, the psychologist suggests keeping a diary of positive and negative events that occur between you and your partner, and striving to increase the ratio of positive to negative. She suggests asking yourself each morning, “What can I do for five minutes today to make my partner’s life better?” The simplest acts, like sharing an amusing event, smiling, or being playful, can enhance marital happiness

Think about the moodsign as your reminder: “when is the last time it was lit up? what can I do to make my partner’s life easier and make him or her happy?” Sometimes it is as simple as taking the trash out, cleaning the bathtub or starting a load of laundry.

Think also that you may want to use the Quid Pro Quo cards from the moodsign game to turn the tasks of helping around the house into something extremely playful.

Original article here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/that-loving-feeling-takes-a-lot-of-work/

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