Are you showing you love him/her?

Are you showing you love him/her?

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Psychology Today

Most theories of relationships focus on the ways that intimate partners feel about each other, but according to John Gottman’s behavioral approach, it’s the outward signs you need to focus on to test the health of yours. This approach follows from the assumption that observable actions provide, in many cases, harder evidence about what’s going on inside a person than the inferences we make from what he or she says.



I’ve taken the liberty of translating Gottman’s theory, along with information from other supporting psychological research, into 11 clues that you can use in your own daily life to test the depth of your lover’s feelings:

First of all, some of the above (linked) list items, like many parts of Gottman’s stuff, seem disturbingly suspect. For example, trying to back the devaluation of sexual intimacy in #7 with end of life research is just jaw dropping and playing the opposites-attract-vs-similars-bond sillyness as backing for #5 when credible matchmaking abandoned both a decade ago is even less compelling…

Never mind the primary role of value/belief system alignment in key areas, the critical role of sexual intimacy, the essential set of marital skills needed, the willingness to risk vulnerability etc. that are not even mentioned…

Yet, as suspect as the thinking behind this may be and as obviously incomplete as it is, the list is still worth pausing to consider.

Why? Because so many couples show up in every therapist’s office with grand plans to marry — who can’t even check off half of this barely adequate list. And, often refuse to do so once married…

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