Continuing with the February mini-series about relationships, let’s talk about the pieces that make up a healthy relationship!
This week I read over some articles about healthy connections by the Gottmans. They are some of the most well-known relationship and marriage experts, plus they’re a couple (how cute!).
The Gottman’s created something they call “The Sound Relationship House.” There are seven ingredients (levels) to create a healthy relationship.
Level 1: Build Love Maps- The foundation is all about knowing your partner. How do they like to unwind? What was their upbringing like? What brings them joy? It’s all about asking the right questions!
Level 2: Share Fondness and Admiration- We all love something about our partners, it’s good to let them know. Express your fondness for the little things and the big things!
Level 3: Turn Towards- If you need something from your partner (support, attention, etc.) make what the Gottman’s call a “bid” for connection. Lean into your partner!
Level 4: The Positive Perspective- Keep in mind that you’re on the same team when making repairs to the relationship.
Level 5: Manage Conflict- Every couple will experience conflict and not everything can be resolved. Since you’re on the same team, you can come up with ways to manage it in ways that maintain connection in the relationship.
Level 6: Make Life Dreams Come True- You are each other’s biggest cheerleader! Create a space where you can both be honest about your dreams and then help one another achieve them.
Level 7: Create Shared Meaning- This can look like the traditions you’ve created as a couple, the roles you co-created, and your values.
On the sides of these levels holding everything together are trust and commitment!
Building a lasting, healthy relationship doesn’t happen by accident. It is intentional but very much worth the work!
If you’d like to learn more about the Gottman’s tools and principles for relationships, look into The Gottman Institute (https://www.gottman.com).