Hold your partner’s hand like a warm cup of hot chocolate, and savor the moment.
New, groundbreaking research shows that “savoring the moment” can “elicit heightened levels of interest and enthusiasm” and “increase positive emotions” even during challenging times.
Just what the relationship doctor ordered!
Savoring means to focus on our positive emotion in the moment, deepening into the feeling and clinging to it for a bit longer than usual. We can also savor a memory from the past or excitement for the future.
Human beings are hardwired to search for the negative—it’s part of our evolutionary nature. Daily strains and stressors increase our tendency to focus on negative attributes and find fault with our partner. We may put up walls or take them for granted. We may begin to question the relationship because we feel that the “thrill is gone.”
The truth is that maintaining the “thrill” requires action. Even the strongest relationships are emotionally affected by the strain and stress of life. In successful relationships, partners intentionally act themselves into positive feelings. Current research shows that savoring may be the most effective action you can take to increase positive feelings toward your partner.
With your partner, you might savor:
- A routine good-bye kiss by extending it for a few moments, embracing and making eye contact.
- A routine dinner by setting a romantic table with a candle, flowers, dim lights, and soft music—you might even say, “let’s savor these moments.”
- The fantasy of your next vacation by viewing destination photos together and imagining how magical it will be.
- Past moments by looking through photos of yourselves together and reminiscing about your most special memories.
- A favorite song you both love by blasting it and singing your hearts out.
- Challenging times are inevitable and the emotional state of your relationship is bound to ebb and flow. Plenty of savoring can help you more easily accept your partner’s imperfections and focus on their positive attributes. Allow yourself to really enjoy the good times and savor them for as long as you can.
Healthy Love Habits is Raising Arizona Kids’s monthly relationship column for learning simple habits to create the healthy and loving connection you desire and deserve.