The Love Prescription {A Book a Day 28}

Want a seven-day prescription for a better relationship?

I wish it were that easy.

However, even though these seven action steps by the infamous Gottmans aren’t guarantees, they are plenty to make a shift in the right direction.

John and Julie Gottman have compiled extensive scientific data on what makes relationships work in this book, The Love Prescription: Seven Days to More Intimacy, Connection, and Joy.

The Love Prescription

They start with advising you to accept your partner’s bid for attention. A bid is when one partner says something like, “Wow—look at that bird!” The other partner can respond to this bid in one of three ways:

(1) Turn away – ignore them and say nothing

(2) Turn against – make a hostile response like, “Stop interrupting me.”

(3) Turn toward – say, “That’s amazing! Such beautiful colors.”

The Gottmans found in healthy relationships, partners use turn toward (3) their partners’ bids for attention 86% of the time. But in unhealthy couples, only 33% of the time.

So Day 1 of their prescription begins with toward moves. Here are all seven days from The Love Prescription.

Day 1: Make Contact
Day 2: Ask a Big Question
Day 3: Say Thank You
Day 4: Give a Real Compliment
Day 5: Ask for What You Need
Day 6: Reach Out and Touch
Day 7: Declare a Date Night

The advice is nothing magic, nothing expensive, nothing particularly time-consuming.

Yet if followed, what a difference it might make!

The Gottmans are also widely known for predicting the end of a relationship based on the frequency of these four communication styles: (1) criticism, (2) contempt, (3) defensiveness, and (4) stonewalling.

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by John Gottman

Quotes from The Love Prescription

“Small things often.”

~ * ~

“The best relationships aren’t built on partners mostly telling each other what’s wrong. They’re built on partners mostly telling each other what’s right.”

~ * ~

“Have a 10-minute check-in during which both partners ask, ‘Is there anything you need from me today?'”

~ * ~

“What turning towards really does is put money in a couple’s emotional bank account.”

~ * ~

“Anyone can surprise you if you give them the opportunity to do so.”

~ * ~

“Love is worth it.”

Which of the 7 pieces of advice could you try today: Day 1: Make Contact, Day 2: Ask a Big Question, Day 3: Say Thank You, Day 4: Give a Real Compliment, Day 5: Ask for What You Need, Day 6: Reach Out and Touch, Day 7: Declare a Date Night?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

Today is the final day of the 28 day series, A Book a Day {Nonfiction Favorites}. 

See all 28 recommended books here.

Table of Contents A Book a Day - Nonfiction Favorites

The Office BFFs” {Book 27}

8 thoughts on “The Love Prescription {A Book a Day 28}

  1. Trudy

    Thank you for all your February book recommendations, Lisa. I didn’t get to reading all of them, but I am amazed at the variety of books you read. 🙂 And I do love that you pick out some important quotes in them. I know this one is more about partners, but I think I need to remember turning towards other people in our lives, too. Everyone needs a build up in their emotional bank accounts. Love and blessings to you!

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