John Gottman is one of the most renowned experts when it comes to love. And for good reason, the man has been studying in his field for half a century, providing meaningful advice and research regarding love for the entire world.

Gottman has a ‘love lab’ at the University of Washington, which is just a fancy way of saying an apartment he uses for research. In his lab, he houses couples who he observes, monitors, and researches in the meaning of science. Then, he uses his advice to help couples everywhere.

Using his research, he can guess with 90% accuracy whether a couple will stay together or break up. And his ability to do this has come through breaking love down to a science, through his research.

According to Gottman, the most important aspect and key to any healthy and thriving relationship is trust. And Gottman isn’t the only expert who believes that trust is imperative to a healthy and happy relationship. Various studies support Gottman in his research and this belief.

Even more interesting is that Gottman has even created a ‘trust metric’ that measures the amount of trust between two partners.

And while many couples, especially brand-new couples may jump to say “We trust each other 100%” the truth is, it takes time to trust, and you have to build it. Gottman says that attunement is the basis for trust, and to consider the following acronym:

Awareness
Turning toward
Tolerance
Understanding
Non-defensive responding
Empathy

To build trust, he encourages couples to do the following:

“Intimate conversation includes learning to put your feelings into words, asking open-ended questions, and following up to deepen the connection. Learn adjectives, practice asking questions, see if you can keep the conversation going. Trust is built as you express compassion and empathy for one another’s feelings, and this foundation is essential when you face the inevitable betrayal.”

Betrayal he says is present in all relationships, even small betrayals, so trust is far more fundamental than any other aspect of a relationship because it prepares us and provides us with a way to bounce back. Even if you think you and your partner are on solid ground, take steps every day to inch closer and to build more trust. It never hurts to build your relationship up, and your relationship is the most important investment in your life.

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