Holidays can bring about additional stress in even the most stable relationships. Travel, in-laws, and financial burdens can overwhelm any of us. The increase in stress can often create distance between you and your partner during the holiday season. Here are a few thoughtful ways to increase your connection to your partner.
1. Dr. John Gottman has found through his research that humans need 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative. That means that for every harmful interaction you have with your partner, you need to have 5 kind interactions.
2. Do small things often. Small moments, that at the time seem insignificant, are the moments that make a meaningful impact. Find moments to move towards you partner instead of turning away. For example, if your partner appears to be upset about something, ask about the situation and listen actively. Do not turn away and wait for it to pass.
3. Find ways to show your partner how much you value and appreciate them. This could be done by giving them a simple card or a hand-written note recognizing how they made you feel treasured today.
4. Focus on what is good about your partner and tell them! It's easy to focus on the areas that we wish our partners would change. Why did you choose to be with them? What characteristics did they possess that told you that they were the one?