3 Simple Ways to Become BFFs with Your Spouse

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* We thank Elizabeth Warner, the content manager for Family Good Things, for this article. You can find more of her writing, along with other family good things, by following the link to their website. *

Whenever I see an older couple holding hands, my heart just melts. Everyone expects newlyweds to be in love and affectionate, but there’s something extra special about couples that have been together for a long time. (#relationshipgoals, right?)

At this stage of the game, it may seem like your love and friendship will last forever. But as things change over time, it may take extra effort to really be friends with your spouse.

So how can we be that cute older couple one day? How can we truly be best friends forever? Thankfully, research gives us a few ideas.

1. Date night!

While my husband and I were dating, we had a really hard time clearing our schedule for actual dates. We spent a lot of time together, but it was mostly doing homework or other necessary tasks. After learning about the importance of actual dates, we made it a goal to set aside homework-free time every week and just enjoy each other.

We’re still not perfect, but boy do dates make a difference! And apparently, having regular date night hasn’t just helped me.

According to one study, sharing fun activities together both increases closeness and improves the quality of your relationship. So whether you’re grabbing a milkshake or going for a hike, find something fun to do together this week. Weekly dates will bring you one step closer to your #relationshipgoals!

2. Put that phone away

Hopefully you weren’t playing Pokemon Go at your wedding. (; While Pokemon Go maybe isn’t your downfall, does your phone ever get in the way of your marriage? Cell phones can bring a lot of great benefits, but the way we use cell phones can hurt our relationship if we aren’t careful.

One study found that couples were more likely to be happy in their relationship if they felt good about the way cell phones were used. For example, agreeing on rules like not texting other people while together made couples more likely to have relationship satisfaction.

For my husband and me, we decided to make phones off-limits during dinner time and in the bedroom. It’s such a breath of fresh air to really get to talk to each other without any distractions!

So whatever you and your spouse decide, make sure to set some limits on how you use technology in your life. Agreeing on when to use your phone can really help you stay BFFs.  

3. Get to know each other

While you may feel like you know your spouse better than you know anyone else, there’s always more to learn! And as the years go by, unless you continually get to know each other, pretty soon you’ll realize you’re living with a stranger.

Dr. John Gottman, renowned marriage researcher, calls this enhancing your “love maps”. Not only do these “love maps” make marriage happier, but it also makes marriage stronger! According to research, those couples who knew each other well maintained happy marriages after their first child was born — something that was a challenge for the remaining two thirds of the couples observed.

If you want to stay friends throughout all the ups and downs of marriage, take time to get to know each other! (See Dr. Gottman’s website for a 20 questions game you and your spouse can use to get to know each other better! What’s more, this makes for a great date. (; )

Your BFF Challenge 

So you know the research. Whether it’s making time for date night, putting away your phone, or catching up on life with your spouse, you have the power to be BFFs! Here are your challenge options:

1. Take time to plan a fun date this week. Then go and have a blast!

2.  Talk with your spouse about having some phone-free time. Commit to each other, and do it!

3. Spend some time this week to get to know each other. Use Dr. Gottman's 20 questions game, or come up with your own.

Whatever you choose to do, your marriage will be happier as you take time to build your friendship. We’d love to hear about your experience! Share your date ideas, how you grew closer, or any difficulties you faced in trying out our challenge.

- Elizabeth Warner

*To further your resources and learn more about "Love Maps", check out Dr. John Gottman's book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide From The Country's Foremost Relationship Expert 

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  1. So true!!! Love the Open-ended questions to ask your spouse. Thanks for sharing those!

    1. Thank you for reading, Linda! I appreciated those questions, too. Super powerful!


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