Dear Soul Union Seeker, True-Lover and Hopeful!
Have you ever heard of John Gottman and his wife Julie?? Well in case not, he is a big relationship and sexuality guru who actually revolutionized our common understanding of the human body, the physical activity during the feminine orgasm (he proofed that it is a powerful force of nature, that unfolds in an internal process – extremely personal and collective at the same time “like every beautiful, divine paradox ;-)”) and the core values, that build lasting love partnerships.
The Gottman’s became famous in the 60es for a study on sexuality that enabled John Gottman to predict if newlyweds would make it as a couple, within spending less than an hour with the two people. The American TV-Show hit “Masters of Sex – Love and Relationship” is based on this work. Totally enjoyable and recommendable show!! He currently released another study, that he developed with his wife, psychologist Julie Gottman. A study that might just have the answer to our many lifetime long quest of asking: WHAT MAKES LOVE LAST?
And despite of all our internal complexity, soul searching, psychological studies and romantic ideas, the answer is quite simple. All it takes is a truthful exchange of kindness and, what the Gottman’s called, “regular positive respond in our interactions”.
What that means is simple enough explained:
Let’s say you are at home in your living-room – your partner is present doing his tings. You are looking out of the window and see an amazingly beautiful sunset rising on the horizon. Filled with bliss, gratitude and good vibrations, you turn to your partner and say “have you seen this magnificent colors, the beauty is breath taking, nearly overwhelming!!” The Gottman’s called this a “bid”, which is a request for a response – in the hope of a small connection between the two of you. A connection that allows you to feel, that on this particular topic – you share the same worldview, values or perception.
But a bit is not only a request, but also an invitation for the partner – an invitation for another moment of shared intimacy. Your partner now has the choice, how to respond to this request for his time and attention.
Your partner can choose to look up and say “wow! You are right! This is amazing! Glad you pointed it out!” or what ever words of agreement, recognition, positive respond. The Gottman’s named this moment “turning toward” – indicating, that in such a moment the natural respond of the physical body is, to turn toward the object you respond too.Or, he can choose to stay engaged in what ever he is doing. Just mutter something, to let you know he heard that you where talking at all. Or worse of all, remain silent and unresponsive. That is something we internally experience as “turning away”.
Now that might not seam that important or significant, to destroy a true love relationship – but it indeed is? According to the results of the Gottman study, the consequences are spreading deep into the roots of our relationship foundation.
In fact it shows that:
Couples who got divorced within the time span of their six-year follow up, had “turn-toward bids” of 33 percent. The couples who were still together after six years had “turn-toward bids” of 87 percent. You don’t have to have studied the field to understand, that when your bids for connection rarely find responds, there comes a point where you stop trying.
The study explained it this way:
“People who give their partner the cold shoulder – deliberately ignoring the partner or responding minimally… not only kill the love in the relationship, but they also kill their partner’s ability to fight off viruses and cancers.” Contemplate that one!!
Clearly the most difficult situation to turn toward a bid, is when we experience stress, are in an argument or a heated discussion. AND especially in this moments of your relationship, it is most important to do exactly that. By developing the ability to hold space for your partner, you’re flexing your muscle of kindness – and kindness is the major predictor of a long-lasting relationship.
But, kindness is not the only ingredient in the pot. The second predictor of a long lasting love relation is the sharing of joy. In particular the joy you feel over each others triumphs, accomplishments and gains. To feel happiness, support and even pride for the partners win’s in life, creates the space needed to keep being brave and courageous with our life-path decisions.
The Gottmans discoveries are based on over four decades of scientific research. The intent was not to look for evidence of different needs or behavior pattern between the sexes, but to get data about the nature of human beings in relationships.
Therefor the results are as relevant for the creation of long lasting love-relationships, as they are for your behavior with family members, in friendships, work-relations and so on… They concern MAN and WOMAN EQUALLY!!
In essence our human existence on this beautiful planet is not possible without interaction with others… therefor, everything in our life is about relationship!!
So, pep up your behavior!! See if you can find it within you, to truly engage with your partner. Develop the clarity it takes, to truly be present in all your human interactions and don’t zoom out, like described in yesterdays post “Learn to feel your woman (or you will probably loose her)“.
And if it should be that you are one of the blessed souls, who came to reunite with a soul flame, a twin flame or longtime soul partner, know that every fiber of their being will be wired to “WANTING TO RESPOND” to you. When you meet people who belong to your soul tribe or soul family, you will experience a beautiful ping-pong game of BEING TOGETHER – where non of the players ever get tired of being engaged in interaction with the others.
I wish you awareness and devotion in the creation of our developing New World relationships!!!
Blessings and Love
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