Friendship. According to leading relationship expert, Dr. John Gottman, it’s the key to long-lasting, happy marriages.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just hang out with our spouse, kick back and relax and not worry about who takes out the trash or whether the bills have been paid?
But the longer we’re together, the more “stuff” there is to take care of it seems. As important as friendship is to a healthy marriage, we often slip into what my husband and I call “business partner mode.”
You know, when you or your partner walks in the door and the first things out of your mouth are about the “business” of life…
-Did you pay the water bill?
-Can you take Cody to soccer practice?
-What’s for dinner?
-WHY ARE YOUR SOCKS ALL OVER THE HOUSE?
and the list goes on.
The problem with this is that no great friendship is built on who took out the trash last. Instead, it’s built on connection.
With busy schedules, kids, and dual careers, it can be SO hard to just take a night away to connect with your spouse.
But the good news is, with a little intentionality, you can make small, meaningful connections with your spouse throughout the day that add up to a HUGE impact in your relationship.
5 Easy Ways to Connect with Your Spouse in 5 Minutes or Less
1. LAUGH TOGETHER
Laughter is a powerful tool for bonding. “For people who are laughing together, shared laughter signals that they see the world in the same way, and it momentarily boosts their sense of connection,” social psychologist Sara Algoe says, and “Perceived similarity ends up being an important part of the story of relationships.” Algoe, along with Laura Kurtz, released a study examining the effects of shared laughter on relational connection.
One of the best ways to connect with your spouse is to laugh together. Not only does it increase your sense of togetherness, but it also lowers blood pressure and stress and promotes the release of endorphins!
Feel free to whip out your best comedy material that you’ve been saving for your next stand-up routine. If hilarity isn’t your primary gift, just search youtube for funny videos or, like my husband and I did the other night, peruse articles on a satirical site like www.thebabylonbee.com together. 5 minutes is all it takes to boost your connection and your endorphins.
2. SHARE A 6-SECOND KISS
It sounds so simple, and yet 6 seconds is all it takes to awaken romance and remind each other that you are not that boring, obligatory peck-on-the-cheek couple. No, indeed. You are madly in love, despite the twists and turns life has thrown you and the busy-ness of your days.
Leading relationship expert, Dr. John Gottman, recommends this as a key part of building healthy, daily rituals into your marriage. Let a kiss be the last thing you do as you part in the morning and the first thing you share when you reunite. (A 20 second hug is also a great option!)
And just think of all the time you’ll save! You still have 4 minutes and 54 seconds to do something else, like fight about who takes out the trash.
3. SNEAK A SNACK
Food is, and has always been, the way to a man’s heart. And it happens to hold a pretty special place for women too. Nothing makes me look starry-eyed at my husband like when he brings me a hazelnut latte or chocolate pretzel bar from our favorite local shop.
Bringing your spouse an unexpected snack or drink demonstrates not only that you care, but that you were thinking of them and were intentional to do something about it.
Save your partner’s favorite snack or a special treat (in our house, it’s the last Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cup), or simply a hot cup of coffee or tea and deliver it to them without being asked. [BONUS if you add a 6 second kiss or sit down to drink coffee WITH them for 5 minutes.]
4. ASK AN OPEN-ENDED QUESTION
One of the best ways to deepen your friendship with your spouse is continuing to get to know, understand and appreciate who they are. Open-ended questions are a great, simple way to do just that.
Instead of getting stuck in “yes” or “no” questions as you both proceed with your busy lives, take a few minutes to ask something a little more valuable.
You can pull one out in the car, over a meal, in bed, on the couch, or anywhere you and your spouse are for 5 minutes. The best part is, you can even be doing something else while you do it, like making dinner or sitting in the bleachers at your kids’ baseball game!
Also, make sure to listen carefully and respond meaningfully to your partner to seal the connection.
I created an awesome free download of 25 Conversation Starters to deepen your friendship! Grab your copy below!
5. PLAY A QUICK GAME
Stay with me here. I promise you don’t have to plunge into a 3 hour session of Monopoly or anything. Just find a good app that you can keep handy on your phone. Michael and I like to play Heads Up. It’s a quick guessing game you can do in a few minutes.
Other good ones include Catch Phrase, Tic Tac Toe, Guess the Emoji, or Draw Something Classic.
Find something you both like and randomly challenge the other person to a quick round. This is great for when you’re waiting in line, standing in the kitchen, or any time you have a few minutes of down time.
Since friendship is foundational for strong marriages, why not do something fun together? It’s a great way to remind each other that you enjoy being together and you still have that youthful, fun-loving connection.
The Benefit of 5 Minutes
Every day we have the opportunity to demonstrate to our spouse how valuable they are and how much we love them. The more positive interactions we have with them, the healthier our relationship will be and the more peaceful our homes will become.
Just because you may not have the time or money or childcare to go on a date as often as you’d like, doesn’t mean you can’t be intentional with the small pockets of time that you do have.
The more you connect, the stronger your friendship will become and the closer you will feel to each other. Another great practice for healthy marriages is to have a weekly check-in time! Grab your free printable Weekly Marriage Check-In Sheet here!
Small moments can be just as powerful as long hours, when done right.
Enjoy this post? You may also like…
- 5 Ways to Connect With Your Kids in 5 Minutes or Less
- 3 Free Assessments to Boost Your Marriage
- 12 Fun Dates You Can Do At Home…After the Kids Are in Bed
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