Today’s busy multitasking couples have little time to invest in their relationship. In my couples mediation practice, it’s no surprise that many people reveal they have lost that loving feeling for their spouse. I tell my clients it’s only natural for love to disintegrate over time, unless you work at keeping it alive. Sound hard? It’s not.
You can keep the connection strong with five-minute conversations and simple comments that show you care. You don’t need lots of quality time together. In fact, you and your partner don’t need to talk more, you simply need to learn to talk better. Below are five key phrases that will instantly ignite a loving bond. In my new book, Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In, you will discover many more simple strategies to give you the love, respect, appreciation, and companionship you want, from the partner you have, for a lifetime.
1. Key phrase #1: “You are such a generous person”
Many people compliment the superficial things in others such as, “You look great in that dress,” or “I love your new haircut.” External compliments are nice, but research shows that people prefer compliments for internal character traits such as, “You’re such a kind, helpful, or thoughtful person.” In the online survey we did for my new book Fight Less, Love More, we found that 84 percent of people want their mate to compliment them for being kind rather than good looking.
3. Key phrase #2: “I never thought of it that way”
Want to put a smile on your mate’s face? That’s simple: after your mate has explained his/her viewpoint on anything from a current event to your child’s behavior, ponder the comment and say, “I never thought of it that way.” It’s the respectful way to say that their opinion matters to you (even if you don’t agree with him or her). Once someone senses that you respect their ideas, they are more likely to listen to and respect yours.
3. Key phrase #3: “Good night”
In our online study we found that 25 percent of the couples surveyed don’t bother to say “good night” to their partner. Fact: of those who forget to say good night, 70 percent thought about ending the relationship in the last year. If you and your mate aren’t going to sleep at the same time, make it a habit to find your partner before you retire and say two caring words: “good night.” And why not add on “I love you”?
4. Key phrase #4: “Thank you for ____”
Each day find something to thank your mate for. If you have trouble finding something, ask yourself, “What did he/she do today that I didn’t have to do?” Answers could be that he/she took out the garbage, helped your child with homework, picked up a pizza, etc. When your mate does something you expect him/her to do, it’s still worthy of appreciation.
5. Key phrase #5: “How did it go?”
A little bit of remembering shows a lot of love. If you know your mate has an important meeting, doctor appointment, etc., be sure to follow up with your partner. Call, email, or text, “how did it go?” This sends a clear message: I care about you.
The values we hold dear to us: respect, appreciation, compassion, loyalty, and companionship are fostered or destroyed every day by our word choices and actions. If you use these five key phrases you’ll see a quick improvement in your relationship. Use more of the five-minute strategies found in my new book Fight Less, Love More and you can expect to get the love you want, from the partner you have, for a lifetime!