Must-Read: Stop Messing Up Your Relationship
Relationships are tough, man. We’re not talking about finding girls at the bar and having sex. Or picking up girls on the street and having sex. Those things are relatively easy once you get the hang of it. But to find someone you like, and then choose to be with them day in and day out, and then actually make THAT work? Well, that’s a whole different level of frustration and anger and hardness and pain, and ultimately happiness, that makes it nearly impossible to achieve. One of the biggest things about it is that all of the lessons we have been given, and all of the advice we have been told, is wrong. (Or, at least, could be wrong. It all depends on the relationship, of course!)
One of the biggest things that us guys do that can make our ladies crazy is “checking in” with them. We’re told, as guys, that that’s important to do. But the problem is that if you do it too often, you could actually hurt your relationship. Here comes the science:
In the study, couples who asked themselves how close they felt every 5 minutes ended up sitting 7 inches farther from each other after 45 minutes than pairs who just monitored room temperature.
The reason: Physical distance corresponds with feelings of emotional intimacy, explains study coauthor Oren Shapira, Ph.D. Emotional connectedness and happiness take time to evolve, “and if you monitor them too often, you disrupt that evolution,” Shapira says. It’s like falling asleep: The harder you try, the less you actually snooze.
So, let that be a lesson to you. If you’re trying to be a good husband by constantly checking in with your partner, chances are you’re actually doing it horribly wrong. You can actually be damaging the relationship that way. So, play it a little cooler from here on out gentlemen.
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About Rick Mosely Rick is the editor for TSB magazine.