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Spending time and strengthening relationships

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Shauntell Kanigan
John Gottman is a research based about relationships. And so what he has found when studying couples that he found, what makes relationships more successful is couples who spend 20 minutes a day coming back together and spending time together, have a stronger relationship. And he says before saying goodbye in the morning or afternoon whenever you leave, spend two minutes a day talking to each other, letting each other know what is going to be happening in their day, and just have that habit of attention to that couple. And then after work, or after the end of the day, we spend 20 minutes a day decompressing, talking to each other discussing what went well. And just listening and validating. And then we have five minutes a day where we just spontaneously tell our partner, our appreciation for them, thank them and tell them how we admire them. And then we end with five minutes per day showing affection. And this is this, that kissing or touching your partner as he recommends this outside of the bedroom and just be appropriate in front of children, but also be affectionate with your partner. And so those when you add them up are really just about 20 minutes. And it's just been a game changer and a lot of relationships.

Shalayne Smith Needham
Why is it important to do these things each day?

Shauntell Kanigan
What research has found is that these small little moments are really what makes the relationship strong. A lot of times we think, Oh, if we put a sign on a hot air balloon that will show my partner that we're loved. And what the research has found is that the small moments are really what makes the biggest impact and these relationships, these small daily carrying things strengthen the relationship overall better than these big monumental things that we see in the movies.

Shalayne Smith Needham
You just mentioned how some of the small little things can make the biggest difference. Talk about some of the benefits as well.

Shauntell Kanigan
Yes, they have done a ton of research on this. And I love how Dr. John Gottman explains that he says, the sure thing is, is that if you don't work at communication, relationships will be carried over time. Just like a car that's not taken care of will fall apart. And I love that he uses that comparison because sometimes we just forget that it takes the small moments. And another benefit that they have found with this research is that when you kiss your partner for six seconds, or give them a hug for nine seconds, it actually releases the dopamine hormone from your brain, which is the sale good drug, but also it is a bonding hormone. And so when we have these small moments, they are actually creating these bonding moments with our partners.

Shalayne Smith Needham
It sounds like there's a lot to talk about when it comes to God men's magic minutes. Where can we go if we want to find more information?

Shauntell Kanigan
Yes, we have lots of information on our website at healthyrelationshipsutah.org. We also have a Facebook page, and also an Instagram that you're welcome to follow again, it's healthyrelationshipsutah.org.

Shalayne Smith Needham has worked at Utah Public Radio since 2000 as producer of Access Utah. She graduated from Utah State University in 1997 with a BA in Sociology, emphasis on Criminology. A Logan native, she grew up with an appreciation for the great outdoors and spends her free time photographing the Western landscape and its wildlife.