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  • Writer's pictureNicole Bonnah

What do we truly desire from our loved ones?

Steps to meet the desires of your partners heart.

Love in the digital age of the 21st century has arguably transformed what we desire from our significant others. Love is no longer an exclusively private affair, made possible by close proximity, a good name, and a sizeable income aided by a suitable retirement plan. Desires related to love and relationships are always on display. Messages that tell us, all and everything should be in reach, the emotional and the material. We, our lives with our loved ones are digital fodder for insatiable eyes searching for what to believe in and emulate. #Relationshipgoals have blueprinted love in unrestrained scope on social media and with the flick of a swiping finger, we can be bombarded with images of how the desires of others are being met.

How can we stay together? It's seemingly easier to find a relationship today but increasingly difficult to sustain one. Relationships are just a swipe away and so is a replacement should you need one. Sparks’ biggest driver for transforming the relationship landscape, is to help curate positive experiences that make it easier – and more desirable to stay than leave your relationship. Your relationship journeys can be filled with fun, laughter, and passion.

So, what to do we truly desire from our loved ones?

It turns out that the conundrum of what relationship desires are truly concerned with and how to meet them, is much more scientific that one might have expected. Research psychologist, John Gottman and wife, Julie Schwartz Gottman spent over two decades building and refining a science-based method that has enabled the fostering of a beautiful relationship, where true desires of the heart can be met. They reveal all over a two-day couple’s workshop called "the Art and Science of Love."John and his wife debunk relationship myths to large audiences made up of couples, young and old, black and white, straight and gay. John once told a crowd “It turns out Tolstoy was wrong,” and in an opening lecture said, “All happy relationships are similar, and all unhappy relationships are also similar…Is there a secret? It turns out, empirically, yes, there is a secret.”

John has observed over 3,000 couples in a number of studies, discovering patterns of argument and nuanced behaviors and attitudes that can predict whether a couple would have happy longevity or relationship doom. His research has made him a revered practitioner within the mental health research community and has won him awards from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Council of Family Relationships.

His findings are outlined in a co-authored book, Seven Principals for Making Marriage Work, and is a New York Times best-seller. Results in one of Johns experiments in 1992, documented 94 percent accuracy concerning indicators in how couples talked about their relationships that could forecast if they would stay together. Relationships last when desires are met, and it seems these desires are anchored in the small things.

Every individual and couple are different. Some have desires that differ or outweigh the needs of their partners and of course examples around us. However, below are ideas that can help you understand and meet needs unique to your relationship. Using Gottman’s research detailed in an Atlantic article called Masters of Love, we can apply simple methods to improve everything we do. The following are summarized building blocks that can be utilized in our relationships to help us determine and meet the desires of our partners hearts.

Share Love Maps

We should learn and store information about our partners. These help us to understand each other’s needs and how to meet them. Likes and dislikes are the foundational love maps we can create and use to determine what an individual may desire and what could be a central love language of theirs.

Nurture Your Fondness and Admiration

Don’t just tell but show you care for the significant other in your life. Focus on acknowledging the positives the person you love embodies and contributes to the relationship. Use positive affirmations and build upon new vocabulary that reflects the way you talk about your relationships and to each other.

Turn Toward Each Other Instead of Away

Make time for one another. Sparks is the perfect app to help you do just that! Doing things together demonstrates the value you place on your relationship and partner. Take the time to enjoy each other. Don’t give time, make time. Respond to “bids for connection.” A bid can be demonstrated by an everyday action, such as your partner pointing at something they are admiring and you responding with recognition and a comment.

Let Your Partner Influence You

Share decision making, and listen to each other’s ideas, concerns, and proposed contributions. Consistently offer a “turn-towards.” Actively engage with a partners “bid” by showing interest; taking a photo of an item your partner is admiring from afar, for example would be characterized as an active response rather than a passive one, such as unenthusiastically offering a “Huh,” while keeping your gaze on the paper you’re reading or program you’re watching.

Solve Your Solvable Problems

Come to terms with dealing exclusively with issues you both have the power to resolve. Harness the necessary skills and tools to help you manage conflict through softened start-up, repair and de-escalation, physiological self-soothing, accepting what you cannot change, accepting influence and compromise.

A single and small act of recognition in response to a verbal statement from the person you love, is an act so powerful, it can predict and determine the trajectory of your relationship - its success or failure. Therefore, recognize the small things about your partner and have a long lasting relationship with togetherness.


Disclaimer: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only. Please do not use the information provided here as a replacement for therapy or professional advice. For the full disclaimer policy, please refer to


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