Why small, intentional moments hold more weight than isolated, extravagant gestures.
What if I told you that there are specific, concrete steps to having a better relationship? After spending more than four decades studying the components of what creates lasting and successful partnerships, Dr. John Gottman has discovered what couples can do to pave the way to having, and sustaining, their ideal marriage.
One revelation to come from his research is the idea that small, intentional moments hold more weight than isolated, extravagant gestures when it comes to building emotional longevity in your marriage.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take your partner out for a night on the town, or whisk them away to a beachfront suite for a romantic weekend getaway. The big things are important too. It’s a reminder that marriage is a million little things and we need to appreciate them.
Bids are the building blocks of relationships. In his book The Relationship Cure, Gottman describes the term “bid” for the exchange of emotional communication in relationships. An example of a bid and response is the simple greeting of “Hello, how are you doing today?” met with, “Doing well! And how about you?”
Bids can range from basic attempts to connect (“Did you see that?”) all the way to deeper expressions of emotional vulnerabilities (“Am I a good husband?”). Bids are the building blocks of relationships, and our ability to “turn towards” and accept them is dependent on how well we are attuned to our partner.
Accepting bids builds a connection. Missing bids results in disconnection. Think of bids as withdrawals and deposits into your relationship’s Emotional Bank Account.
I met with a couple, Tanya and Barrett, where it quickly became apparent that their “communication issues” were actually not deep-rooted, complex problems, but moments of missed receptiveness to each other’s bids for connection. Tanya would vent about how frustrating it was for her to come home to Barrett, who would be decompressing from his busy day as a tax attorney by watching Netflix on his iPad.
Tanya talked about how she would walk through the door and shout from the entryway “Hey babe, I’m home!” to no response. She expressed how hurtful it felt for her, and admitted the resentment she had been building towards him for not acknowledging her.
She began to write a script in her own mind that Barrett didn’t really care about her. Tanya had begun to feel extremely small in their relationship because of these missed bids to connect.
Through exploring this dynamic, Barrett recognized just how significant his ability to tune into Tanya’s bids for connection were. He agreed to take on the assignment of listening for her bids and doing his best to respond.
Every day that next week, he was ready. He even reported how nice it felt to be ready to greet Tanya when she walked through the door, and how great it was seeing her face light up when he gave her just a few seconds of attention. “I could tell it wasn’t about her being needy or attention-seeking. She really wanted to see me. That felt good.”
After a few weeks of doing this, Barrett shared that he had graduated himself from simple responses to Tanya. The night before our last session, Tanya walked through the door to Barrett cooking dinner for them in the kitchen.
I remember the tears in her eyes as she recalled Barrett telling her, “Hey sugar! I remember you said you had wanted to try that new recipe for the chicken peanut sauté. Thought you might like to relax while I gave it a whirl tonight.”
The key to a successful bid for connection lies in your ability to respond, as well as your mutual ability to acknowledge your differences.
It’s not about forcing yourself to agree with everything your partner asks simply for the sake of tuning into their needs. It’s about acknowledging the bid and responding through respect, which can happen successfully even during disagreement.
Bids will strengthen your relationship one step at a time because marriage is a million little things. And by putting one foot in front of the other, you can create interactions of connection that lead to a relationship shaped by love, respect, and affirmation.
A soulmate is gratitude personified. Here’s how to find yours.
Whether you are married or single, young or old, straight or gay, white or black or rainbow colored…everyone wants a soulmate.
A soulmate is a person you feel deeply connected to and love to spend time with so much that the hours go rushing by effortlessly when you are together.
It’s a relationship that feels like coming home. It’s comfort. It’s the love and joy and bliss of the most beautiful sunrise actualized in human form.
A soulmate is gratitude personified.
I can remember as a kid never feeling like I completely fit in. I had friends, but never that best friend that I wanted so badly. It got worse as a teenager when I found myself so lonely, some nights I would cry myself to sleep.
In my first marriage, in the year I was married I wrote in my journal, “I just want someone to really want to spend time with me.”
It wasn’t until I had kids that a switch flipped. It was like finally, I knew what love was and I sunk every bit of energy and time into being a mom because I loved these little babies so much.
After working in the healing and spirituality field for over 15 years, I know one thing is for certain: everything you want is already in your life. You just might not be able to see it.
I’ve helped people with pain issues that disappear in the blink of an eye. I’ve helped people who have never been able to shed a pound lose weight. I’ve watched money appear out of thin air and relationships that have been on the rocks for years mend overnight.
Some might call this magic and some call it manifestation. I call it reality because now that I’ve been doing this for so long, I can tell you with all certainty that there is nothing mysterious about it.
If magic follows the laws of science, then it qualifies because every one of these extraordinary circumstances simply follows the laws of nature, the laws of the universe, for the outcome to be revealed. It’s just as simple as math. One plus one equals two every single time. The same is true with finding your soulmate.
Everyone has a soulmate. The question isn’t, “Do you have a soulmate?” The question is, “Where are they?”
1. Know your own soul.
If you want to find a match for something, you must know what you’re looking for. So often people are looking for a soulmate when they do not understand their soul. What is a soul, anyway? Let’s explore.
A soul is you. You are a soul. You are a soul that is in human form. You know how there are things in life you love and you can’t explain why? Like my brother-in-law who is crazy about wine and my friend who loves to ski. That’s their soul. The soul is the stuff that we just love, and we can’t explain why.
And just like a program on a computer, you are programmed to love what you love for whatever reason — your “soul’s agenda”.
Your soul came into human form to experience life. And so it lives in you, it is you, and it is pure love. Now there is a reason that we all aren’t walking around in a state of pure bliss all the time and that is because we also have another part of us that we will call our conditioning.
Our conditioning was what we were taught about life, the world and “the way life is” by the people who raised us and by society as a whole. So we have this soul, and it has an agenda, but we also have our conditioning and it has its own agenda too.
Many times those two agendas are different. Life wouldn’t be very interesting if there weren’t some adventure or game! Just like a great story book that we love to read, our lives are filled with challenges and victories, failures and successes. It’s the richness that makes up our lives, so of course, there must be something opposing the soul’s agenda.
How can you win this game called life then and live your soul’s agenda? Well, you must intimately know your soul in order to navigate your way through the challenges of your conditioning.
And when you do know your soul, you will be able to find its mate because you will understand what it is that you are looking for. And when you know what you’re looking for, you are able to find it.
2. Stop putting your personal conditions around your soul and its mate.
When I talk to people about their soul and finding its mate, they have a lot of conditions that they think they need in place. Clarity is important, as stated above, but soul clarity, not personal clarity, is what we are going for.
Personal clarity gets in the way of you finding your soulmate because your personal clarity is based on your conditioning, not your soul. Personal clarity will have us looking for a 5 foot 10 man with dark brown eyes and a thick head of (well-kept) hair. Your soul has no such requirements.
In fact, your soul doesn’t care about such trivialities. And neither will you when you meet your soulmate. Because the connection that you achieve with this person is beyond any worldly explanation. You connect in a way that you cannot explain and are attracted by invisible forces of desire and pure potentiality.
In order to realize who your soulmate is, you must not put your personal conditions on the table at all. Leave them behind. Lead with curiosity instead and you will find your soul.
3. Take your “self” out of the equation.
Have you ever done a jigsaw puzzle and you just can’t get the pieces to fit even though it looks like it should? This is what life feels like when you are letting your “self” lead. The self is your conditioning and it doesn’t know jack about your soul.
When you lead with your self, the pieces of your life will never fit. However, when you lead with your soul, all the pieces effortlessly seem to fall into place from far corners of your life.
Life becomes magical, and you watch the beauty unfold before your eyes like a reappearing act at a magic show. And it feels just like that because you’re coming home, to you, the real you — your soul.
But it’s not magic, it’s science. Just like a magic trick has its practical step-by-step instructions, so does “soul work”. When you let go of the conditions that your “self” is putting on your life, your soul emerges naturally. And you begin to lead with it instead of ignoring it. Or trying to ignore it.
You see, your soul will have its way with you. It is ever so compassionately knocking on your door to get you to listen to its plea for freedom.
Louder and louder, the soul knocks in the form of physical problems, relationship struggles, your stuff breaking down, or life’s re-arrangements. Your soul is calling to you, more often and more loudly, but if you don’t know your soul, you can’t answer its call.
And so you remain unconscious to the beauty that waits for you and wonder, “Why me?”
There is no greater bliss in life than walking the path of life hand in hand with your soulmate. Whether you are married or single, young or old, straight or gay, white or black, or rainbow colored…everyone wants a soulmate. Find your soul and you will find yours.
Love makes you happy. Love makes you hopeful. Love changes your life.
The first time I fell in love, it was mind blowing. Literally. I had heard about how amazing love is in all the romantic comedies I’ve seen. I’ve even read about it in the Jackie Collins and Danielle Steel novels I like to read when I’m not able to fall asleep at night. But I didn’t know what love was really like until I experienced it.
Having such strong feelings about another person shook me to my core. It made me re-evaluate my beliefs. I learned what it was like to really care about someone. Everything I had believed, everything I stood for, suddenly disappeared. I found a whole new world opened up for me.
I was no longer closed-minded. I found myself saying YES to things I would ordinarily say no to. I learned the meaning of never saying never. I had a new outlook on life. Here are 10 reasons why being in love is the best feeling in the world.
1. Love makes you feel invincible.
Love makes you feel as if you can do anything. Your approach on life is brighter and happier. You have a sudden courage to do things you didn’t think you were able to do.
2. Love gives you inspiration.
Being in love makes you feel inspired. It gives you a can-do attitude that you can approach anything, anywhere, anytime. Being in love gives you motivation. It makes you feel like you can take on the world.
3. Love makes you happy.
Plain and simple, love makes you happy.
4. Love makes you a hopeful romantic.
Falling in love makes you a romantic. Love gives you hope that there is a perfect person out there.
5. Love makes you eliminate fear.
The things you used to fear suddenly disappear when you’re in love. You know you have your own personal cheerleader in your corner to help you with whatever is needed. You almost feel protected because you’re trouble and drama free.
6. Love makes you into a better version of yourself.
When you’re in love, you’re a better version of yourself. You’re nice to everyone and eternally grateful. Love makes you want to spread joy to everyone you meet.
7. Love makes you rich.
Love makes you feel rich. You don’t stress about your finances or material things because you feel so damn rich.
8. Love puts you in a total state of confusion.
Love makes you confused. It shakes you to your core and sometimes makes you rethink your beliefs. Love is puzzling. It makes you marvel how you can care about someone so much.
Love gives you a yearning is something you don’t understand until you’re madly in love. You can spend countless nights awake thinking about the person who changed your life. You can miss them in ways you never knew. That’s why love is the best feeling in the world.
9. Love makes you selfless.
Love makes people mad, literally, because it encourages you to want to do things you aren’t used to doing. It makes you selfless in ways you didn’t know existed. You find yourself thinking about the needs of your partner before your own.
10. Love makes you believe.
Love makes you hopeful. It makes you believe in happily ever after. When you’re single, you wonder if you’re ever going to meet your soulmate. Love makes you know that is possible.
Avoid this relationship at all costs.
Relationships aren’t easy, that’s for sure. While there isn’t a secret sauce for guaranteed relationship success, there are some relationships that never work and are more likely to fail than others.There are quite a few reasons why this particular relationship is so destined to fail, making it a poor choice if you’re looking for stability with a partner. To those looking to find a partner, use this information to guide your decision; consider it the best relationship advice you’ll get. And for those who are already shacked up, use this info to make some serious evaluations.
So, what’s the relationship that is most likely to fail? One with a large age gap.
According to a study that went on for 13 years, couples with large age gaps have shown to be less satisfied in their marriage. Research on thousands of Australian households shows that couples who are closer in age tend to be more in tuned to what their partner wants out of life. Things like children, spending habits, and overcoming economic decline are much better handled by couples who are closer in age.
Not surprisingly, out of the people surveyed, it was the men who had younger wives that were the happiest. And men who were married to older women tended to be the least satisfied.
“If there is too much of an age gap you run the risk of both of you wanting different things in life,” says dating expert James Preece. “One might want to travel while the other has already done that, for example. Maturity levels can vary dramatically and arguments about jealousy and money can be common,”
Researchers were actually quite surprised to find that women who were married to older men were the most unhappy, while those married to younger men were more satisfied.
It seems that in the case of both genders, a younger partner is preferable. However, those that were the closest in age were the happiest.
“If you look at marriages over time, the people who are married to a much older or younger spouse tend to have larger declines in marital satisfaction compared to spouses who are similar in age,” McKinnish explained in a Boulder University podcast.
For the relationships that never work, it turns out that the closer in age you are, the better. So, cougars, you might want to think twice.
1. They’ll have a ton of sex with you.
Not everyone can be wrong, right? A study published in Sexual Medicine found people with body modifications (tattoos and piercings) have sex more than those without. Time to find out what the fuss is all about.
2. They’re more confident.
Some ignorant people assume that having tats automatically means that person is insecure or hates their body. FALSE! A study found that people actually have less anxiety and dissatisfaction of their looks immediately after they get a tattoo and have higher self-esteem three weeks after getting a tattoo.
3. They’re educated.
Your mom probably told you to never bring a guy home with tattoos (drug addicts, criminals, stereotypes, oh my!), but you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. A recent study found that many young, educated students are getting inked.
After surveying 1,753 students, they found 14 percent have tattoos and 4 percent reported having seven or more piercings, four or more tattoos, and/or at least one piercing in their nipples or genitals. Who knew?
So, when you’re considering why men with tattoos make the best husbands, remind yourself that you shouldn’t be afraid of a little ink. After all, it makes a man much sexier.