Since the pandemic, more relationship research is becoming available about what contributes the most to healthy relationships. The pandemic forced many couples to work on negotiation skills they may have been able to avoid prior to the pandemic. Social distancing and working from home meant couples spent more time together than ever before, making it necessary to confront and resolve past issues.
One interesting finding was the importance of how you greet your partner. This included in the morning when they first get up, when they leave for work or a trip, and when they come home. A mere 60 seconds set the emotional tone for the relationship in the hours that followed that greeting. When a partner felt welcomed, noticed, and significant, they felt more connected and more willing to make necessary sacrifices for the relationship. How do you greet your partner? Do you kiss them goodbye, speak kindly, or hug them? Or do you tell them everything bad that’s happened the minute they walk in or even ignore them? Practicing these three small gestures can change everything about the way your partner feels toward you.
1. Give your significant other your total attention. When you first get up in the morning, turn to your partner. It’s easy to get distracted with the day’s event but make it your intention to give them attention first with a sweet greeting or action that lets them feel your presence.
2. Show excitement and engagement when they come home or arrive to an event with you. Instead of a lackluster, "Hi," when they come home, give them a hug or warm hello. When your partner feels appreciated and loved, it gives them the necessary support they need and minimizes the problems they faced at work. There are no guarantees in life; everyone who has lost someone talks about the last time they saw their loved one. Imagining how your life would be without your significant other helps prioritize your time with them.
3. Save deeper conversation for later. If you had a significantly bad day or bad news, wait until you’re alone together when you are less distracted to talk about it. Trying to talk about intense issues during a transition of waking up, leaving, or coming home is stressful and difficult. Part of a healthy relationship is being able to talk about deep concerns so you can both listen and respond in a helpful way.
Couples underestimate their power to set the relationship tone within the first 60 seconds of waking up, leaving for work, and coming home by the way they greet their partner. It may seem like a small thing but changing your mindset to a more loving greeting makes an incredible change in your relationship. At a time when we are stressed, overwhelmed, and feeling troubled, a loving greeting from our partner can put us back on top of the world and give our day a more positive outlook.