I went to a Love Doctor - this is what I learned
"The Love Doctor" Terri Orbuch is one of the world's foremost Relationship Experts and in 30 minutes she shared key points from 34 (!) years of research on relationships. This is what I learned.
Our relationship affects us more than we think
The quality of our relationship, or how we feel in our relationship, is the most important factor in predicting our mental and physical health, says Professor Orbuch. It is even more important than exercise, eating well, sleeping, or anything else. Read that again so it really sinks in.
So, it makes sense that Dr. Orbuch thinks our relationships need to be a top priority, and we should check in with our partners every day. She also understands that we are busy, and that we don’t always know how to prioritize our relationship. I totally feel that.
How to set yourself up for a long-term, happy relationship
It's not about extravagant dates or jewelry that costs your annual salary. It's about being present in everyday life and seeing each other. It doesn’t cost us anything, but you do have to consciously remember to connect, and that's probably where a lot of us get tripped up. We just don’t think about it.
Here are five tips from the Love Doctor that we can do in our everyday lives. If you exercise once or twice a week and it helps you feel good, you have probably established a routine to maintain it. The same goes for your relationship. After you have dinner every evening, spend 10 minutes talking one-on-one. Or, show your partner appreciation before you go to bed, whether it’s saying something kind or giving them a foot massage. Ultimately, remember that it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Five tips on how to easily boost your relationship in everyday life
1. Every day, say or do something that helps your partner feel appreciated and loved. Buy that croissant that your partner loves from their favorite bakery, make their coffee for them, or tell them how much they mean to you.
2. Think about what quality time together really is. As I said, it doesn’t have to be that once-in-a-lifetime romantic evening; just things that can fit in your daily lives. Sometimes you have quality time at home, sometimes you go out. It can be about cooking dinner together, listening to music you both like, or going for a walk in the woods.
3. Have a daily 10-minute chat. Talk to your partner for 10 minutes every day about things other than work, chores, your children or your relationship. Need ideas for what to talk about? Here are some questions to get you started!
4. Try to shake things up in your relationship. It creates passion! At the beginning of a relationship, everything feels exciting and new. Keep that excitement by trying a new restaurant, or asking your partner new questions. There are always new things to discover. Here are some ideas for keeping things interesting.
5. Give what you want to get. Even if your partner isn’t the most expressive or engaged, the law of reciprocity shows that if you show appreciation for your partner, they will eventually start showing you appreciation in return. It might take some time, but chances are, it’ll happen.
Which idea is your favorite? Start with that one and think about when is a good time each day for you to do it. This will help you build a routine. It might be something like, "After I brush my teeth, I say something nice to my partner." It might sound unromantic, but it works. At least according to a leading expert, The Love Doctor. My favorite is the 10-minute chat, so I’m going to get started with that one!
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Jenny Holmström, CEO and co-founder of Coupleness