Relationship Minute: Are You Afraid to Trust?

Trust can be an intimidating thing. You may have experienced betrayal or trauma in the past that has interfered with your willingness to trust, or perhaps you feel like trusting means you will lose your sense of self. However, when you honor your identity, preferences, and goals, you form a solid foundation for trust to grow within your relationship.

Trusting your partner does not mean giving up control. You still have control over your emotions, dreams, choices, and how you communicate them with your partner. And when there is trust, you both feel empowered to express these things.

Think about why you’re afraid to trust. How can you be more open to developing a trusting environment with your partner?

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. Visit their website.

Relationship Minute: Maintaining Trust & Commitment

In order for your relationship to flourish, you must learn to be supportive of your partner’s dreams, make time for playfulness, gain shared meaning together, and maintain trust and commitment.

Is your partnership lacking in any of these areas? 

Commit some time today to assess your relationship. Are there areas of opportunity? What can you do to strengthen your connection?

Making (or renewing) a commitment to one another is a big step. As you embark on this new journey of Trust and Commitment, you’ll have shared goals and new dreams to hope for, and plenty of time for fun and play. Just remember to soak in all the intimacy and romance along the way!

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. Visit their website.

Relationship Minute: The Emotional Risk-Taker

Bids are attempts at connection between partners. When they don’t go as planned, it’s frustrating for both people. If your partner keeps missing your bids, there’s a chance your bids are not as clear as you think.

In “The Relationship Cure,” Dr. John Gottman explains that partners who make subtle bids or “dance around issues” are likely trying to avoid emotional risk. After all, “openly bidding for connection can make us feel vulnerable,” he says. “Our hearts and egos are on the line.”

This “fuzzy bidding,” as he calls it, can look like being purposely ambiguous (“I’m fine with either”), negative framing (“Well, if you’d wash a dish once in a while, I wouldn’t be so cranky”), or not saying what you want at all.

Your partner is not a mindreader and most likely does not respond well to criticism veiled as expressing a need. While you may think you’re avoiding confrontation or rejection by making fuzzy bids, such interactions can increase the odds of both of you feeling hurt and misunderstood.

Make a commitment to be an emotional risk-taker when it comes to bids. Think about how you ask your partner for their attention and consider ways that are more direct (such as “I’d rather us stay home tonight” or “I’m really tired. I need time with you and some help around the house”). It’s vulnerable to put yourself out there. However, the safety of a healthy partnership is the perfect place to start.

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute.Visit their website.

Relationship Minute: The Gift of Trust & Commitment

As you implement all the levels of the Sound Relationship House, remember that together, trust and commitment support the structure. They are the weight-bearing walls that keep your relationship from falling apart. Although they seem like a no-brainer, Dr. John Gottman found them essential for guarding against the storms of life.

How much you trust each other and how committed you both are to your relationship makes all the difference. Your faith in one another is not only built from responding to bids and learning your Love Maps, but it strengthens your ability to stay together. The more you act on your trust and commitment, the more it will secure your relationship and give you space to keep doing the work of staying in love.

Give your relationship the gift it really needs this season. You’ll find trust and commitment go together to uphold the tenets of your partnership and give you both the shelter and security that will keep you warm all year long.

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Relationship Minute: Update your Love Maps

Building Love Maps is how you know your partner’s inner world, and just like literal road maps, they need updates as things change.

Your partner’s tastes, feelings, and preferences evolve over time. Whether it’s as simple as the way they take their coffee or as complex as desiring a career change, a Love Map rarely stays stagnant.

Take time today to check in with your partner. Before you presume any long-standing preference they have, ask. You can also talk to them about the changing feelings that you experience.

Keeping your Love Maps updated helps you stay attuned to your partner’s truest self and strengthens your relationship from the inside out.

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Relationship Minute: Shelter in each other

Based on decades of research, the Gottmans developed the Sound Relationship House Theory—seven “levels” or areas of focus couples nurture to create lasting love. With a strong structure, built on the foundations of trust and commitment, you will also find shelter.

Does the house of your relationship feel like a safe haven? Can you rely on each other and look to each other for reassurance, strength, and comfort?

Building a strong relationship is hard work, and it takes dedication, but continually reinforcing the structure by making repairs, turning towards bids, and showing loving kindness creates a shelter from stormier days.

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Relationship Minute: Turning Towards

Changes in the seasons mean a host of new ways to turn towards your partner.

Trusting that you and your partner will turn towards one another in emotional moments, as well as in everyday conversation, is truly what good relationships are all about.⁠

Becoming attuned to the ways in which the two of you interact, and making Turning Towards an intentional act is vital to reducing stress and creating an atmosphere of trust.⁠

Try these 15 ideas to turn towards one another or come up with your own. Revisit this list when you both feel like you need to bring more opportunities to connect into your relationship.⁠

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Relationship Minute: Relationship Road

The saying, “it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” could apply to relationships, but a better metaphor to consider might be that commitment is a road, not a destination.

You and your partner are on the road together. Was it bumpy at the start? Have there been unexpected detours? Or maybe you’ve even hit a pothole or two.

But the best way to move forward is not to dwell in those potholes. Even if they cause a flat tire, you call roadside assistance and keep going.

It’s okay to hit a rough patch. It’s okay to call for help, ask for directions, or look at a map if you get lost.

You’re on the road together, navigating it side by side. Trust and love are built in the small moments, and often as a result of some of the toughest stretches of road. 

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The Relationship Minute is from The Gottman Institute. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.