The way you approach one-on-one time with your partner could actually be the secret to a successful relationship, according to a new study.
As we go about our daily lives, progress in our careers, manage our social lives and juggle the million-and-one extra responsibilities we’re expected to uphold, it can often feel like our relationships take the back seat.
We all know how important it is to schedule quality, one-on-one time with our significant other if we want to build a successful relationship – whether we’re jumping on the trend of micro-dating or attempting to gain control of our busy social schedules – but have you ever considered how to make the most of that quality time once you’ve found a moment together?
We’ve already considered the benefits of employing mindfulness when it comes to our relationships, but according to new research, there’s a new technique of mindful dating which we should all be employing if we want to make the most of the quality time we spend with our partner.
The name of this fantastic new approach? Savouring. According to a 2019 study by two psychologists called To Have And To Savor, the practice of savouring – defined as the “tendency to attend to and enjoy previous, current and future positive events” – could help us to enjoy greater relationship satisfaction and in turn help us to create a more successful, happy connection with our partner. Basically, savouring is a practice by which we make a conscious effort to notice the positive, pleasure-inducing moments of an experience.
The study, which collected data from 122 undergraduate students in monogamous relationships, found that those who practiced the art of savouring had higher levels of relationship satisfaction.
The term, which was officially coined by a model introduced by Fred Bryant and Joseph Veroff back in 2007, essentially means taking the time to notice the positive aspects of life: for example, if you were eating a delicious meal, you would take the time to notice and savour the flavour you particularly enjoyed. Savouring can be applied to any areas of our lives – from the workplace to even a simple walk down the street – but it’s potential impact on relationship satisfaction is a relatively new area of research.
In simple terms then, relationship savouring is the art of taking time to reflect upon and really enjoy an event or activity you’re doing with your partner, rather than just letting the moment pass by. There are three types of savouring – anticipating, experiencing and reminiscing – and each can bring a unique kind of joy to your relationship.
According to the new research, anticipatory savouring is the best kind we can employ when it comes to our relationships – meaning we should schedule quality time well in advance so we have time to get excited and look forward to it.
So next time you come to schedule a date or evening in with your partner, make sure you really try to notice all the positive aspects of the experience. Yes, finding time to be together may be stressful if you both live busy lives, but take joy in the process of planning your evening, choosing the snacks for that film you’re going to watch and maybe even buying a new outfit in anticipation – there’s pleasure to be found even in the simplest of things.