Intentional Relationship Mindset Shift: You, Me, & We

you, me, and we

“In in all probability essentially the most dependable survey ever finished on divorce, by Lynn Gigy, Ph.D., and Joan Kelly, Ph.D., from the Divorce Meditation Mission in Corte Madera, California, 80% of divorced women and men stated their marriage broke up as a result of they step by step grew aside and misplaced a way of closeness, or as a result of they didn’t really feel beloved and appreciated.” – Dr. John Gottman [1]

Within the early phases of a romantic relationship, there’s an simple pleasure in spending time together. We eagerly make plans, ask each other questions, and embark on adventures. The curiosity about our companion and the flutter of butterflies in our stomachs are all pushed by the discharge of dopamine, a hormone that floods our brains when one thing new and novel captures our consideration. This surge of dopamine creates attraction and retains us hooked—it’s addictive in nature.

Nonetheless, as time goes on, the preliminary buzz fades away, and our hormone ranges return to regular. We settle into routines and change into intertwined in each other’s daily lives. Sadly, this familiarity typically leads us to take the relationship for granted and unintentionally neglect it.

On a sensible degree, this shift in focus is comprehensible. Life occurs, and our priorities begin to shift in the direction of extra urgent issues reminiscent of parenting, careers, and finances. For example, research have proven that 67% of latest mother and father expertise a decline in relational satisfaction throughout the first three years of their baby’s life.[2] As our consideration turns into consumed by different features of life, the hole between companions widens, and the emotional disconnect grows.

The excellent news is that if we actively select to nurture our relationship by dedicating time, power, and effort to it, our brains can produce extra oxytocin—the “love hormone.” Oxytocin performs a vital function in bonding and fostering affection between companions. Once we have interaction in behaviors that promote connection and intimacy, reminiscent of physical touch and emotional support, our brains launch extra oxytocin.

Nonetheless, a big problem in creating this oxytocin-driven connection lies in how we understand the connection itself. Usually, we view a monogamous relationship as a dyadic entity—simply “you” and “me.” 

In actuality, there’s a third entity that calls for consideration: “we.” 

you, me, we

Recognizing the significance of the “we” within the relationship permits us to know that it’s not solely one partner’s fault or a sudden change in character that causes rigidity. It’s the connection between the 2 people.

By shifting our perspective and acknowledging the “we” as a definite entity current between us, we are able to work collectively to fix and revitalize the power throughout the relationship. As a substitute of blaming our partner for not caring sufficient or feeling perpetually insufficient, we are able to strategy the challenges as a united entrance, specializing in reworking the power between us.

In lots of instances, emotions of distance and disconnection come up from an absence of nurturing connection, reasonably than the actions of an inherently “unhealthy” companion. Recognizing that the connection itself requires nourishment and collaborating to realize that purpose makes the method of strengthening the connection simpler for each companions.

This shift in mindset transforms the challenges we face into shared obstacles that we are able to overcome collectively. By viewing the connection as a 3rd entity with its personal set of wants, we foster a way of partnership, reasonably than animosity.

Take into account this: When you and your companion had been in a position to see the connection as a definite entity with its personal wants, what facet of your relationship may probably change? Embracing this attitude opens up alternatives for progress and collaboration, permitting each companions to actively contribute to the well-being of the connection.


[1] Gottman, J., & Silver, N. (2015). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert. Concord Books, 18.

 [2] Gottman, J., & Gottman, J. (2017). The Pure Rules of Love. Journal of Household Concept & Evaluation, 9(1), 7–26.

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