The Gottman Institute ‘Love Prescription’

John and Julie Gottman created a ‘prescription’ following Gottman Therapy, to ultimately challenge couples to make small yet significant changes in their relationship for 7 days. Each day, there is a new ‘task’ or ‘challenge’ to complete and focus on to form a deeper long-term connection with your partner. 

Day one begins with making contact – so simple yet effective. This can be done by ‘turning toward’ your partner when they initiate for a bid for connection. ‘Turning toward’ simply means to respond and make a connection when the other person is trying to connect with you or gain your attention in some form. 

Day two attempts to connect on a deeper level with your partner by ‘asking a big question’. Big questions are open-ended, not just a yes/no reply, but really going back to the basics about getting to know one another. This is called filling in the love map, creating your own path. 

Day three is about expressing thanks and gratitude to your partner. Every partnership is unique, with unique challenges and by changing your filter to begin to see the positive actions rather than the negative, a new pathway in your brain will activate to see through a positive lens. 

Day four’s activity is to give real compliments to one another. Really digging back to the question of why you fell in love with your partner in the first place. By amplifying these positive qualities, the foundation of affection, respect and friendship will begin to arise, allowing you to express the qualities you are seeing. 

Day five is about asking your partner what you need. What you want may be easier than asking for what you need, but to learn how to express rather than suppress is very important. Timing matters, ask ‘are you available’, so you can express feelings at once, taking the pressure off. 

Day six is to reach out and touch. Touch can be seen as a powerful drug, creating strong bonding and connection. Strengthen your emotional and physical connection by simply participating in the magic of ‘mini-touches’. 

Day seven, lastly, is declaring date night. Go out and have some fun, expand those love maps! In this time, ask open-ended questions, give positive touches, experience adventure. Starving relationships require all of these things to be protected at all costs. 

These small yet successful steps, which can be completed within 10 mins, can ultimately transform the outcome of your relationship, creating better bonds and connection. Are you willing to try? 

The above information is a summary of The Love Prescription, a book written by Drs John and Julie Gottman. It may be purchased from their website here.


About the Author Tiana Di Genova

Tiana is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Canberra.

Our speech pathology and psychology clinic is located in Braddon, ACT, in Canberra’s CBD. Call us on 5117 4890 or email to get in touch.

In Positive Health, Canberra. Nel MacBean Speech Pathologist Canberra. Campbell MacBean Psychologist Canberra.