The Secret Weapon in Your Relationship: It’s Not What You Think (But It’s Easier Than You Think!)

relationship advice small things

Relationship Advice – Small Things  Matter!

Ever feel like your relationship’s gotten stuck in a rut? You’re reading a book, engrossed in that juicy chapter, and BLAM! Your partner interrupts – for what feels like the hundredth time this week. It’s annoying, right? You just want some peace and quiet, and suddenly you’re snapping at them.

Seems like a small thing, right? Life’s busy, everyone needs some downtime. But here’s the thing: these “small things” add up. Maybe you’ve told your partner something important, and they forgot again! Suddenly, sarcasm takes hold, and before you know it, you’re in a full-blown fight about why they never listen. Sound familiar?

We all fall into this trap, myself included. But what if I told you there’s a way to break free? And guess what? It’s not some grand gesture or crazy expensive couples’ retreat. It’s super simple. (Don’t take my word for it though, this is based on over 50 years of research on couples just like you!)

When it comes to relationship advice small things matter!

One Simple Thing to Change Your Relationship!

Here’s the deal: The Gottman Institute, a powerhouse in relationship research, discovered a game-changer for happy couples. And it all boils down to how you respond to those “little moments” throughout the day. They call it a “bid for connection.”

Think about it: that interruption while you’re reading? That is your partner’s way of reaching out, of connecting with you. The Gottmans say there are 3 ways couples typically react to these bids: turning towards, turning away, or turning against.

Turning towards

It’s acknowledging your partner’s bid, showing them you see and hear them. Even a simple “hmm” can do the trick.

Turning away

This is the silent treatment, basically ignoring their attempt to connect.

Turning against

Is the negativity bomb – getting annoyed, irritated, shutting them down completely.

These might seem like tiny actions, but they have a huge impact. The thing you need to realise is that when it comes to relationship advice small things matter the most. 

Here’s how it plays out:

Scenario 1: You’re glued to the TV when your partner asks, “Did you see what I just sent you?”

    • Turning towards: You look over, “Oh, I just got it. Let me take a look.”
    • Turning away: You keep your eyes glued to the screen, a silent “not now.”
    • Turning against: “Ugh, can’t you see I’m busy?!” 

Scenario 2: You groan on the couch. Believe it or not, that’s a bid for connection!

      • Turning towards: Your partner asks, “Is everything okay?”
      • Turning away: Crickets. They keep doing their thing.
      • Turning against: “What’s wrong with you NOW?” (Yikes, not the response you wanted!)

Scenario 3: You’re buried in the newspaper when your partner points out something happening outside.

    • Turning towards: You look up, “What is it?”
    • Turning away: You bury your nose deeper in the paper, pretending you didn’t hear them.
    • Turning against: “Seriously? Can you not bother me for five minutes?!” (Relationship meltdown imminent).

Look, all of these responses can feel normal at times. But the Gottman Institute’s research found a shocking truth: these seemingly insignificant moments can make or break your relationship! Remember when it comes to relationship advice small things matter the most. 

Relationship Advice

Small Things Matter the Most!

The Gottmans followed newly married couples for years, and here’s what they discovered:

  • No couple turned towards each other 100% of the time. (Phew, right? That would be exhausting!)
  • Couples who ended up divorced only turned towards bids for connection 33% of the time.
  • Happy couples? They turned towards a whopping 86% of the time!

That’s a massive difference. It shows just how much these small moments matter and that when it comes to relationship advice small things matter the most. 

So, if you’re looking for that one simple thing to improve your relationship, this is it! How you respond to your partner’s attempts to connect is the BIGGEST predictor of happiness.

Ready to see a change? Here’s what you can do:

  • Be a detective! Over the next week, pay attention to how you respond to your partner’s bids for connection. Grab a notebook and write down when you turn towards, away or against.
  • Decide to turn towards your partner as often as possible.

Share This:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on print

Get in touch

What Singles Really Think