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Holding a loved one's hand during a stressful time makes you feel less stressed.

Stashed in: Gratitude, Stress, Relationships, Hugs!, @bakadesuyo, Feedback, Laugh!

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To bond more deeply with a romantic partner make sure to:

  • Kill the boring dates. Do new exciting stuff. Dancing, suspenseful movies, learning new things together.
  • Don’t fix the negatives. Build on the positives. You can’t fix most problems. Double down on what works well.
  • Really get to know them. Use Arthur Aron’s questions. And ask about the best part of their day, celebrate it, and share the high point of your day. Touch. Stare into their eyes.
  • Reminisce about the times you laughed. Emphasize similarity.
  • Pretend you’re on your first date again. Make an effort. Put your best face forward.

Want to diagnose how well your relationship is working?

Listen to the story you and your partner tell others about your relationship. John Gottman said it’s the #1 predictor of whether things are working.

Another trick is to hold their hand during stressful times and see how it makes you feel. Less stressed? Bingo.

The sad thing is that over time we often take the other person for granted. But you don’t have to.

By expressing gratitude, research shows you can actually create a positive feedback loop in your relationship:

…gratitude contributes to a reciprocal process of relationship maintenance, whereby each partner’s maintenance behaviors, perceptions of responsiveness, and feelings of gratitude feed back on and influence the other’s behaviors, perceptions, and feelings.

If you’ve got something good together, being grateful can make it even better.

Right now, share this post with your partner and tell them, “Thank you.”

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