“Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
John and I saw a number of people out today. Taking walks with their partners. Buying valentine cookies. Coming out of the local flower shop. People were out on the street corners hawking potted red tulips.
I have read a lot of stuff that's being shared today about how to pump up our couple relationships. (BTW, surprisingly for some, both women AND men get quite physiologically activated by a challenging marital relationship https://www.apa.org/monitor/dec01/badmarriage)
Surprisingly writers did not dig out Dr. Arthur Aron's work again this year. It's interesting and I have written about it before along with several other fascinating research findings around building connections and love https://www.journeytothegoodlife.net/post/what-the-world-needs-now-is-love
However the study that interests me today is one I have not seen shared at all. It was initiated ten years ago. It seems to me like a way less expensive and less threatening thing to do with a partner than going to a therapist (plus therapists are difficult to come by these days). And it's just a fun way to pump up a romantic relationship.
I'm going to try it out this year myself. Hogtie my husband and make him watch. Promise him popcorn. I'll remind him we need to up our game in preparation for our upcoming 50th anniversary this year. Sheesh. Who would have thunk it?
The study was done ten years ago. It compared three interventions to a control group. The first was intensive conflict management and problem-solving skill building, the second was compassionate and caring listening and responsiveness skill-based learning and practicing. The third was a DIY (do-it-yourself) intervention based on watching romantic movies together!
Here are supposedly the 83 most romantic movies to watch which I pulled off the internet https://www.purewow.com/news/best-romantic-movies. The big intervention, of course, is not just watching the movies together, but DISCUSSING them.
AND watching movies together, discussing them, did just as well as working with the therapists. AND halved the divorce rate compared to the control group! (I'm also wondering how this might work with teens and parents watching together).
Here's how the researcher describes the idea (3 and a half minutes). Plus these movie clips are way fun to watch.
If you would like to actually participate in the on-going study with Dr. Rogge and his lab using the movie intervention to strengthen your relationship, go to his website and join in https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6049878/PAIRt0?source=LABweb
Here is the list of movies they recommend and the questions if you choose not to officially participate, but want to try the movie intervention on your on https://www.rochester.edu/news/divorce-rate-cut-in-half-for-couples-who-discussed-relationship-movies/movie-list-and-questions.pdf
Happy Valentine's Day however you choose to spend it.
How might we journey together toward more loving romantic relationships by doing a fun romantic intervention....discussing romantic movies together?
(I would enjoy hearing your own ideas around strengthening romantic relationships, love, June)