Love and Football

This year Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl share the same weekend stage. Football or love?  Needless to say, there will be some compromises made this weekend.  Do we go out to a candlelight dinner on Sunday evening or have a Super Bowl party with a group of friends? Either way, there is always more and that’s what this post is about.

A common belief about relationships is that if a couple does not share common interests and activities then their relationship is difficult.  However, according to relationship researcher and expert Dr. John Gottman, this does not hold true.  Many couples enjoy very diverse interests and pursuits and still have an amazing relationship.  Sometimes these diverse interests nourish the relationship greatly.  They don’t have to become an either/or.  As our world changes these diverse interests have become even more common.  In one couple I know, John likes to spend winter Sundays sitting in front of the fire knitting woolen hats.  His partner prefers to be out on a rock face with an ice pick. And they both love it the way it is.

What is more important is the level of “positive sentiment” built up towards each other in the relationship.  With what Gottman calls “positive sentiment override” in place, (think “good vibes” money in the bank), relationships become a place to celebrate the uniqueness and richness of being human and appreciate the diversity – for ourselves and our mate.  So how do we go about getting some of this positive sentiment override in our relationship?

This weekend, whether you watch the Superbowl together or go out to dinner, you may also want to increase your joint emotional bank account independent of both activities. Read more…