5 Research-Backed Ways to Show Love

5 Research-Backed Ways to Show Love

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a skill that can be learned and nurtured over time.

John Gottman

Love is a complex emotion, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take steps to understand it, nurture it, and share more of it with others.

According to the research of renowned psychologists John and Julie Gottman, love can be cultivated through deliberate actions. The Gottmans, having spent decades studying what makes love thrive, have identified key behaviors that can strengthen bonds and foster deeper connections between partners.

In this post, we’ll explore five proven ways to show love– this Valentine’s Day and everyday:

1. Emotional attunement

One of the fundamental concepts emphasized by the Gottmans is emotional attunement – the ability to understand and respond to your partner’s emotions with empathy and compassion. This means actively listening to your partner, validating their feelings, and offering support when they’re going through difficult times. By demonstrating genuine concern for your partner’s emotional well-being, you show them that their feelings matter and that you’re committed to being there for them no matter what.

2. Fondness and admiration

According to the Gottmans, a key predictor of relationship success is the presence of fondness and admiration between partners. Make it a habit to express appreciation for your partner’s positive qualities and actions, and focus on the things you admire about them. Whether it’s their sense of humor, their kindness, or their strength of character, verbalizing your admiration strengthens the bond between you and reinforces feelings of love and affection.

3. Quality time together

In our fast-paced world, quality time has become a precious commodity. The Gottmans stress the importance of spending dedicated, uninterrupted time with your partner to nurture your connection and strengthen your relationship. Whether it’s going for a walk together, cooking a meal, or simply cuddling on the couch, carving out time for meaningful interactions helps deepen your emotional intimacy and fosters a sense of closeness and security.

4. Effective communication

Effective communication is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship, and the Gottmans have identified specific communication skills that contribute to relationship success. These include active listening, using “I” statements to express your feelings without blaming or criticizing, and being open to feedback from your partner. By communicating openly and honestly with each other, you build trust, resolve conflicts more effectively, and create an environment where love can thrive.

5. Physical affection

Physical affection plays a vital role in expressing love and intimacy in a relationship. Whether it’s holding hands, hugging, kissing, or engaging in other forms of physical touch, these gestures communicate warmth, connection, and reassurance. The Gottmans emphasize the importance of incorporating physical affection into your daily interactions with your partner, as it helps strengthen your emotional bond and fosters a sense of security and belonging.

Enjoy this post? You might also like:

Mindful Goal-Setting
25 Mindfulness Ideas to Try this Year
Habit Change in 3 Easy(-ish) Steps

Curious to learn more ways you can show love to the people in your life?