The Love Prescription | John M. Gottman

Summary of: The Love Prescription: Seven Days to More Intimacy, Connection, and Joy
By: John M. Gottman

Introduction

Take a journey to rekindle the flame in your relationship with ‘The Love Prescription: Seven Days to More Intimacy, Connection, and Joy’ by John M. Gottman. This book focuses on discovering new ways to maintain curiosity and intimacy, simply by asking questions and expressing appreciation for our partners. Experience the power of open-ended questions, gratitude, and compliments to help strengthen your connection. Understand the importance of effective communication and being more attuned to your partner’s needs alongside the impact of touch and spending quality time together.

The Art of Asking Questions

In long-term relationships, curiosity is a critical component. The Gottmans suggest that couples should continue to ask each other questions, not just functional but big, open-ended ones, to deepen their connection. Asking these types of questions regularly is vital for a healthy and harmonious partnership. The ideal scenario is to pick a moment when both partners feel relaxed, such as over dinner or while walking. Inviting friends and family to participate can make it a more enjoyable experience. Through such questions, couples can discover unexpected and exciting things about their personalities and maintain the excitement and freshness of the relationship.

The Power of Gratitude in Relationships

Learn how showing gratitude to your partner regularly can create a culture of appreciation, improve your relationship, and reprogram your brain to look for positive things instead of negatives.

Your partner is a unique individual, worthy of appreciation. Every individual wants to feel appreciated, including your partner. In a world where we are naturally inclined towards criticizing, it’s essential to reprogram the mind to search for positivity instead. One way to do this is through the act of gratitude.

Joel and David were a couple experiencing negativity, resentment, and criticism, making it impossible to satisfy each other. However, one counseling session changed everything. David thanked Joel for making the coffee, a simple action that caused a powerful shift in the couple. They began to appreciate and focus on positive things about each other.

Observing your partner’s helpful behavior throughout the day and acknowledging it lays the foundation for lasting love. Whether it’s tidying up the kitchen or helping your child with school work, saying ‘thank you’ for even the most routine things helps to create a culture of appreciation in your relationship. It’s straight forward and simple- by regularly thanking your partner; you improve your relationship.

Strengthening Your Relationship with Compliments

Strengthen your relationship by giving genuine compliments to your partner for who they are, not just what they do. According to the Gottmans, positive interactions should outweigh negative ones by a ratio of 20 to 1 for a healthy relationship. To practice giving compliments, think of positive adjectives that describe your partner’s personality and observe when they demonstrate those qualities. Tell them directly or write it down and share it with them. Being nice to each other matters and can reignite the spark in your relationship.

Effective Communication in Relationships

Miscommunications in relationships often arise due to a lack of direct and clear communication of needs from each partner. Men often suppress their needs, while women prioritize the needs of others above their own. The Gottmans recommend a template for expressing needs positively and without criticism, by describing the situation, expressing positive needs, and being specific. By doing this, couples can avoid misunderstandings and build a happy, healthy relationship.

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