The Magic Five Hours is not a brand new concept from Dr. John Gottman. After reading about it, I was surprised that I hadn’t heard about it sooner. Just like so much else that has been developed by the Gottman Institute over the years the idea behind the Magic Five Hours is quite simple. Yet it is immediately impactful to almost any relationship. This was not surprising as I have come to expect nothing less from the Gottman Institute and their research-informed strategies for improving relationships. At its core, the Magic Five Hours is about enhancing, or re-establishing, the emotional connection in our most intimate relationships.
How many of us have felt time slipping past while our best intentions for ourselves and our relationships seem to be neglected and put off until tomorrow? Guilty as charged. The Magic Five Hours is a way to illustrate that you don’t need to spend a lot of time to make a big impact on your relationship. Just five hours a week can help you feel more connected to your partner. The Magic Five Hours are actually broken up into blocks of minutes so that it becomes much easier for even the busiest couple to understand how they can incorporate these connection enhancing techniques.
|The five magic hours||Small investments in time, big relationship return|
|1.) Partings||2 mins/work day X 5 days/week = 10 mins- Find out one thing about your partner’s plans for the day|
|2.) Reunioins||20 mins/work day X 5 days/week = 1 hour 40 mins- Find out how your partner’s day went|
|3.) Admiration/appreciation||5 mins/day X 7 days/week = 35 mins-Find one thing to admire/appreciate about your partner|
|4.) Affection||5 mins/day X 7 days/week = 35 mins- Find time to kiss, hug, touch, laugh with your partner|
|5.) Date||2 hours/week = 2 hours- Find time to spend alone with your partner|
|Small daily investments||Add up to Five Magic Hours!|
Check out this video for a discussion of The Five Magic Hours.
If you follow this simple formula you should feel more connected with your spouse. You will each be more aware of what the other is experiencing on a daily basis. The Five Magic Hours can also be a great stress reducer because it makes time in your schedule to share with your partner what might have bothered you about work. The reunions act as a buffer between work stress and time at home with your partner allowing you each an equal opportunity to get things off your chest as you transition out of “work mode” and into “home mode”. The 2 hours of alone time can be particularly important for couples with children. It’s not always easy to make arrangements to have that alone time but it is a clear signal, a way of saying to your partner and yourself, that I value our relationship and I am willing to invest time into “us”.
I prefer to think of the Five Magic Hours as a general outline that can be tweaked to suit your relationship needs so long as the spirit of enhancing your connection is maintained. As an example, if you are a couple who does not have children it may be less necessary to find two hours a week to spend alone. If you feel that your “love life” is suffering, you might put more emphasis on the affection component. One of the suggestions from Gottman is to try a six second kiss. Six seconds does not sound like a lot of time but if you close your eyes and count out six seconds while imaging that you’re kissing your partner you will see that six seconds is pretty substantial for a kiss.
Do you feel your relationship could use a tune up? Please call me at (706) 534-8558 or e-mail me at Aaron@ca4wellbeing.com and let’s set up an appointment to help improve your connection using the Five Magic Hours.