When a relationship is off track and neither of you are particularly pleased with your partnership, it can feel scary. Though you want to “work” at it and get back the loving affection you once had, it may seem like a daunting task.
Take heart. Research indicates that doing frequent small acts to turn your relationship around can change an overly negative relationship into a predominantly positive one. If you don’t believe me, you and your partner can test out some of the following suggestions.
6 Small Acts to Turn Your Relationship from Negative to Positive
- Kiss for six seconds. That is how long it takes your brain to release oxytocin, the love hormone that leads to happy feelings.
- Hug for eight seconds – slightly longer but sooooooo worth it. Again, this triggers oxytocin release.
- Remember to kiss hello and goodbye – and look one another in the eye when you wish your partner good day or good night.
- Smile at each other. It doesn’t have to be a cheesy or exaggerated smile – a little smile is more sincere – just make sure it reaches your eyes so that they squint a little. Even if this feels forced for now, this simple act has a profound impact on your body chemistry and you will actually feel more positive quite quickly.
- Offer to do something for your partner – Can I help with that? … Would you like me to make you a cup of coffee? … I’ll take care of that for you. Lightening your partner’s load, even the tiniest bit, instills a feeling of goodwill and positivity in the relationship and in you. It is lovely when someone else does the stuff that is usually left to you, so strive to give your partner this little gift. They feel supported and in turn, you feel gratitude and love flowing back to you.
- Be interested. The content of your partner’s day may not be riveting. However, you are connecting not with the content but with how they feel about it and why they want to tell you about it, and this allows you to connect with them. You don’t need to ask them too much, just empathise and convey your empathy with a nod, a smile or a laugh, or an understanding comment: That must have felt amazing/awful/embarrassing/frustrating. Your goal is not to solve a problem about their day, but to draw closer to each other by sharing.
These gestures may seem little, but small acts repeated often can turn your relationship from negative to positive in very significant ways. When you feel dissatisfaction and fear about the state of your partnership it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy in that your fear perpetuates and you become reactive, trapped in a pattern of negativity. Breaking that pattern with small acts of love and kindness has enormous transformative power.
Try the six suggestions above for a week and let me know in the comments below what results you find.