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Masters of Love

Masters of Love
Gottman wanted to know more about how the masters created that culture of love and intimacy, and how the disasters squashed it. In a follow-up study in 1990, he designed a lab on the University of Washington campus to look like a beautiful bed-and-breakfast retreat. He invited 130 newlywed couples to spend the day at this retreat and watched them as they did what couples normally do on vacation: cook, clean, listen to music, eat, chat, and hang out. And Gottman made a crucial discovery in this study—one that gets at the heart of why some relationships thrive while others languish. Throughout the day, partners would make requests for connection, what Gottman calls “bids.” For example, say that the husband is a bird enthusiast and notices a goldfinch fly across the yard. The wife now has a choice. People who turned toward their partners in the study responded by engaging the bidder, showing interest and support in the bid.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/happily-ever-after/372573/

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