Is it chemistry? The way he makes you laugh? Do you two have the glue…

that holds relationships together?

I was fascinated, and frankly heartened, to read this article, Lasting Relationships Come Down To Two Basic Traits because the glue that holds two people together may not be anything mysterious at all.

It may come down to something as simple as kindness.

I found the entire article fascinating, but if you don’t want to read it here’s an excerpt that I think pretty well sums it up:

“Throughout the day, partners would make requests for connection, what Gottman calls “bids.” For example, say that the husband is a bird enthusiast and notices a goldfinch fly across the yard. He might say to his wife, “Look at that beautiful bird outside!” He’s not just commenting on the bird here: he’s requesting a response from his wife — a sign of interest or support — hoping they’ll connect, however momentarily, over the bird.

The wife now has a choice. She can respond by either “turning toward” or “turning away” from her husband, as Gottman puts it. Though the bird-bid might seem minor and silly, it can actually reveal a lot about the health of the relationship. The husband thought the bird was important enough to bring it up in conversation and the question is whether his wife recognizes and respects that.

People who turned toward their partners in the study responded by engaging the bidder, showing interest and support in the bid. Those who didn’t — those who turned away — would not respond or respond minimally and continue doing whatever they were doing, like watching TV or reading the paper. Sometimes they would respond with overt hostility, saying something like, “Stop interrupting me, I’m reading.”

These bidding interactions had profound effects on marital well-being. Couples who had divorced after a six-year follow up had “turn-toward bids” 33 percent of the time. Only three in ten of their bids for emotional connection were met with intimacy. The couples who were still together after six years had “turn-toward bids” 87 percent of the time. Nine times out of ten, they were meeting their partner’s emotional needs.”

The good news? Your problems may be entirely fixable, with a little effort.

“… you could think of kindness as a muscle. In some people, that muscle is naturally stronger than in others, but it can grow stronger in everyone with exercise…in other words, that a good relationship requires sustained hard work.”

Here’s the link to Lasting Relationships Come Down to Two Basic TraitsIt’s a good read.

*Photo & Article courtesy “The Atlantic” 

Have a beautiful Monday,

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