How To Nurture A Relationship That Thrives

By Sarah Hannan

How To Nurture A Relationship That Thrives

February 11th, 2022 at 9:31 am

Valentine’s Day over the years has evolved from giving simple gifts to having brands willing to customize / curate gifts for your partner. While treating your significant other to a nice meal, a holiday or buying them a gift is considered customary; being able to nurture your relationship each day without having to focus on expensive gift ideas would become a gift that keeps on giving.


It is 2022 and coming across relationships that have stood the test of time is becoming very rare. Especially when the pandemic hit and people were homebound due to movement restrictions, many partners began to loath each other. Seeing each other every day and having to spend more time with them within the comforts of their homes even pushed some to the point of separation.


However, we also saw relationships that thrived within the past two years. So what was the secret behind these thriving relationships one may ask? We all know that communication and understanding are the cornerstones of successful relationships.


According to a world-renowned influential therapist, Dr. John Gottman, successful relationships have four traits in common;

  1.       Fondness and admiration – Whenever you talk about your relationship or your partner, look at the positive side of things. Express your affection to them and let them know that you respect their decisions that have helped improve your bond with each other.
  2.       We-ness vs. Me-ness – Remember that you are two people trying to achieve growth, not only as people but also as partners. Discuss what you two want to achieve together. When you speak about your future plans always try an envision achieving them as a team. Choose the word ‘we’ over ‘me’ or ‘I’.
  3.       Expansiveness vs. Withdrawal – Dr. Gottman says that when partners recall the ‘Story of Us’ and when two people can focus on the positives and can recall the details (expansive), they can resolve conflicts amicably and bring out the best qualities of their partner always. However, if they are unable to recall the details and are focused on negatives (withdrawal) that can cause cracks in the relationship.
  4.       Embracing your journey together – No relationship is perfect and of course, couples at times have conflicts. However, if you practice the first three traits, then you will be able to continue the journey together. Couples that talk through their disputes and continue to nurture their relationship through affection, respect, togetherness, and expansiveness are always able to face adversities and come out of difficult times with an even stronger bond.



As Dr. Gottman says; “Happy couples are no different from unhappy couples; they are simply able to make repairs to their relationship easier and faster so they can get the joy of being together. In relationships, conflicts are inevitable. It’s how you choose to repair during or after your disagreements that matter.”


Adopt the four behaviours into your relationship and see how you could improve your bond with your partner.

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