Spending time with your partner is necessary to build (and keep) strong and solid bonds. But according to a professor of psychology at the University of Washington, there is even an “ideal” time to devote to your other half. Are you in the right tempo?
When we love each other, we don’t count? This is not necessarily true for Dr. John Gottman, professor of psychology at the University of Washington and specialized with his wife (also a psychologist) in romantic relationships. According to experts, the secret to a lasting relationship lies in the time spent together. A time that they would have quantified.
6 hours together per week would be enough to last
The “recipe” for a happy and lasting couple would thus be based on 6 hours of time spent together per week according to the couples observed during their careers. But be careful, this is not about spending a night or an afternoon together to get your “quota”. According to the expert, the 6 hours ultimately encompass several daily habits.
Key moments of daily sharing (10 minutes per week)
These are the little touches in the morning, when we ask the other how they are and learn a little about them, show a few minutes of interest in their day for example. It is indeed an important mark of attention.
Reunion (1h40 per week, 20 minutes per day)
The psychologist invites the partners to give each other a 6-second hug or kiss, followed by a caring discussion about the day that has just passed. He determines this as a bubble of intimacy and empathy.
An Appreciative Dialogue (35 minutes per week)
This is about saying kind words, expressing what you like about others, every week without waiting for a special occasion.
Tender gestures (35 minutes per week)
The psychologist includes in these tender gestures a massage, a dance, a caress… Gestures which themselves speak of love and to which you must devote at least 35 minutes per week.
A romantic evening (2 hours per week)
Dedicate an entire evening to you and only you, that’s also one of the couple’s tips. Whether it’s for a dinner, a pampering evening, a walk, a cinema… The important thing is to make an appointment.
Take stock of the relationship (1 hour per week)
Finally, set aside an hour a week to resolve conflicts and the various subjects that affect your relationship. Resolve your misunderstandings sincerely, but move on. A precious hour to cover everything.
“Quality matters more than quantity”
Is this precise division really the key to a fulfilling relationship? We contacted Johanna Rozenblum, clinical psychologist to explain this recipe to her. And if our expert agrees with the fact that time spent together does not necessarily have to be productive (it can also be simple moments of tenderness, at home), she expresses a nuance on the merits:
“The most important thing for a couple is the quality of the time spent together rather than the number of hours or minutes on a subject. Each couple, depending on how they function, needs to spend more or less time together. But what sustains the couple, with exchange and cohesion, is the quality of this time spent together, which must neither be endured, nor constrained, nor subjected to arbitrary rules.”
So take the time to get together, yes, but there’s no need to start your timer to enjoy the benefits of being together.