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Robyn D’Angelo, LMFT
“Keeping Your Relationship Fresh” video for YouTube
Hi. Robyn D'Angelo here, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Relationship Specialist. And today I'm going to be answering a question that comes up often in my office from couples and individuals, which is how much time should we, as a couple, be spending a week to keep our relationship fresh, to keep it on point? And according to Julie and John Gottman of the Gottman Institute, they have come up with the magic five hours per week. And that consists of five different things. The first thing being partings. So, when you leave your partner, you know, for the day, the goal here is to find out one interesting thing about their day. What's going to happen? What do they have planned? Who are they gonna see that day? And then see if you can squeeze in there a six second kiss. This is something that John Gottman says is "a kiss full of possibilities." It can make you late to work--one of those good ones. So, that's the first one, is partings. The second is reunions. Think about when you walk into a room full of friends or you show up to a party and people just light up. How good does that feel? Would it be possible for you to do that for your partner when they come in after, maybe, a long day? Or think of how great it would feel for them to just get super excited after seeing--you know, after being away all day and seeing you. Whether you've been, you know, with the kids or at work, at school--whatever it is. See if you can create an environment of excitement upon reuniting. And the third thing is admiration and fondness. And this makes me think of the story of the Swedish farmer who loved his wife so much that, one day, he almost told her. All right. It goes to the point of you have to do more than you think loving and kind thoughts. You have to make it a point to tell your partner the things that you appreciate about them and what you love about them. The goal here is to have two appreciations a day, and that will look different depending on what your partner's love language is. And we'll cover that at a later date. The fourth one is affection. So, there's been research on attachment that shows when people go in to get an MRI, if they're in there with their partner holding their hand, they--their stress levels, their anxiety is reduced significantly and it even predicts that they'll have lower levels of pain. How powerful is that? That's just from touch. So this shows that gentle touch from your partner can really heal and get you through really tough times. So make it a point to have affection, have touch and play, and really connect in this way. And the last thing is weekly dates. This is so important. Make it a point to spend two hours with your partner a week. So, no one else, no screens. Keep it really intense, with your focus and attention on each other. The best gift you can give your partner is time. So, I hope this has been helpful. If it has, great. Leave a comment below or you can contact me directly. And if you have questions or you'd like to know more, since this is obviously just a tidbit on how to stay connected and keep your relationship fresh, please call me directly at 714-390-1652. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to you again soon.
[Transcribed by NMS]