A couples’ psychologist has made it his career-project to determine how to have the perfect marriage, and he’s got it figured out to a very simple phrase: Emotional supply and demand. Eli Finkel has over 40 years experience talking to couples, and he came up with this simple list of 10 “love hacks” that will help boost marital happiness, or save the marriage all together. The list at the end of this article.
Dr. Finkel says that many people entrust their partner to supply them with the emotional support and companionship that they had in other parts of their lives, like from their family while growing up, friends, clubs, etc. The problem becomes jobs and busy schedules though, and we all end up spending even less time with our partners. Basically drifting apart and becoming isolated, simply because of our schedules.
What is a “love hack?” Dr. Finkel defines it as “a proven technique that takes little time or effort and doesn’t even require cooperation from your partner.” He goes on to say “It’s a quick-and-dirty option that can take just a few minutes a month. It’s not going to give you a great marriage, but it can certainly improve things. After all, simply allowing the relationship to slip off the priority list will probably yield stagnation, or worse.”
Now for a few of the quick tips:
1) Touch your partner. Not like that, but just hold hands, touch their arm when you speak to them, things like that. Make the touch in “a warm, comfortable and positive way.”
2) Don’t jump to bad conclusions. Dr. Finkel says that our “attributional style” is one of the main things different between happy and unhappy couples. Basically that means that if our partner doesn’t do something as a response in the way we wanted, sometimes we automatically assume that the person is ignoring us, something like that. Like an unanswered phone call, not running an errand we asked, etc. We neglect to think that our partner may just be having a busy day, something came up, etc.
3) Picture a fight from the outside. In a nut shell, if you find yourself in some kind of argument or disagreement, you should step back and try to look at the problem at hand as if you were a “neutral third party.” Using this technique, Dr. Finkel was able to stop the rate of marriage dissatisfaction in couples who were married two or more years.
4) Make a gratitude list. This means that you should write down things that your partner has done that “invest in the relationship.” Interestingly, writing down things their partner did actually made them feel more committed to the relationship themselves.
More very useful and detailed tips can be found right here. It’s actually a really nice list to read, it’s not “sappy” or “cheesy” in any way like a lot of those Buzzfeed relationship articles.