Know each other’s worlds intimately – knowing what are the other persons stresses and worries, feeling like the other person is interested in knowing you, asking open-ended questions and remembering the answers.
Admire the positive qualities in your spouse – what do you like about them and do you regularly tell them. Are you scanning for your partners mistakes or for things to admire. It has a significant impact to say something you appreciate.
Respond to your spouse’s attempts to connect with you – people make bids for connection, empathy etc, which form an emotional bank account, and you can increase your mindfulness of how your partner (friend) makes bids to connect. You can turn away, against or towards a person in response to their bid for connection. This behaviour is apparently the basis of romance, passion and sex. For example, one person looks out the window and says “isn’t it a beautiful sunset tonight” – you can ignore them, say you don’t have time to look at sunsets, just say “yeah”, of you can say “how about we go outside and take a look together” etc.
Time – hang out with each other to catch up. They talked about the importance of making time for this. And that if during this time you can communicate how you feel, that leads to a greater emotional connection.
Enjoy – have fun together. No laughter or fun is a bad sign. It takes five positives to make up for each negative in an emotional bank account, so fun times are important and will help you survive the lean times.
From Keith and Sarah Condie via Ali.