Building Friendship in Your Relationship
Friendship is one of the foundations of a happy, successful relationship, according to Dr. John Gottman. It may sound cliché, but this makes a lot of sense, especially when you think of what people want in a relationship. It is common for me to hear couples share they desire their partner to take more interest in them. That is a big part of friendship!
So how can you start or continue to build friendship in your relationship now? Get to know each other! Think you already know your partner? Well that could be true, but there is almost always something new to learn about each other.
One way to foster friendship in your relationship is to tell your partner fun and interesting stories about your childhood. Think about things you really enjoyed doing as a child. Here are some examples to help you rev up your story telling skills:
- Did you spend a lot of time playing sports, taking dancing classes, or reading books?
- Where were you born?
- Did you travel a lot as a child?
- What is your most memorable family trip, and why?
Another way to cultivate friendship with your partner is to ask each other open-ended questions and be curious about each other. What are open-ended questions, you ask? Open-ended questions are questions that lead to answers other than yes or no. For example, instead of asking your partner “did you have a good work trip?” you could say, “how was your work trip?” This allows for more substance for the discussion with your partner.
I would like to leave you with a quote about friendship by Dr. John Gottman. “Friendship fuels the flame of romance because it offers the best protection against feeling adversarial toward your spouse.” Powerful and so true. Happy connecting!
Written by: Manisha Mayani MA, LP, CST-Candidate