Don’t you love a good kiss? I certainly do. I was talking with a dear friend the other day about our marriages and about passion and the passing of time. We talked about how repetitive things can get in a marriage or long-term relationship. You know. Oh look, his socks are under the coffee table again. Stop making that awful noise while you chew. Must we always stop at Starbucks before leaving on a road trip?!?
We all have these experiences with our partner that can erode the passion a bit. Over time, those moments of renewed passion, adoration, and a quickening heartbeat can be further and further apart.
My husband and I went to a marriage workshop about two months ago. We have been married for about seven years now and while we love each other dearly we also have those challenging moments of utter annoyance and disappointment like any couple does. We also felt like we really needed to focus on our foundation. So much had gone on in our marriage and collective life over the last few years that it was time for a shot in the arm. A renewal.
So, we went to this workshop. If you have not heard of John Gottman or his wife, Julie Gottman, and you are in a significant relationship, I suggest you look immediately. They have this relationship stuff nailed. We are so glad we went to this workshop. For the record, we are not people who go to workshops or “touchy feely” stuff. We are pretty pragmatic. We have way too much of the WASP in us to enter drumming circles or share our feelings in groups. This had none of that.
Their theory, which is better explained in this book,
is that people need a strong base of trust, fondness, and admiration in order to create a positive lasting partnership. They have a seven step process explaining each part.
People, it makes complete sense to me. We were astounded and changed by our experience at the workshop. Here is a visual which shows what the seven components are. Without the bottom three you can not accomplish any of the others.
The one little takeaway that I want to share is this:
The six second kiss.
Anytime one of you is leaving the other or rejoining the other, you kiss. Now we all know how that can devolve into a crappy little quick peck on the cheek. This is exactly what my dear friend and I were talking about.
The passionless and perfunctory peck.
That is not what the Gottmans want you to do. They want you to kiss for at least six seconds. It is longer than you think. It easily tips the kiss from the affectionate to the, well, passionate. There is connection in that kiss.
Trust me on this one. A six second kiss on any departure or reunion. It makes a huge difference. It has for us. For it is in the little things, the everyday things, that momentum is built. It is in the cup of coffee my husband brings me every morning before he leaves for work. It is in the reading of the Sunday NYT together every week that we find our way as partners.
Go kiss the one you love.