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Five Magic Hours Could Save Your Relationship

In my last post, I talked about how relationships are like cars in that both need proper maintenance to keep in top shape. Today, I want to give you a handy tool that I think makes a huge difference in maintaining a good relationship.

It’s no secret that I love Dr. John Gottman’s work. I reference his books and ideas quite often. This tool is one of his gems I find myself talking to couples about frequently. In his years of studying many different couples, he has found that the more successful couples invest an average of five additional hours on their relationship per week than the couples who are unhappy or end up separating or divorced. He has coined these as the “Magic Five Hours”* that contribute to relationship success and happiness. In these five hours, couples tend to connect more easily, have more fun, and enjoy each other overall.

There are five parts to this tool. They may not all come easily at first, but the more you work on them, the more natural they will become.


2 minutes/workday x 5 days/week = 10 minutes/week

Before you leave for work, find one thing out about your partner’s plans for that day or briefly discuss any upcoming challenges, hopes, or victories you foresee.


20 minutes/workday x 5 days/week = 1 hour & 40 minutes/week

After returning home, find out how your partner’s day went. Take turns being both the listener and the speaker so each of you gets enough time to share. Find ways to expand your conversation from the typical, “How was your day?” / “Fine,” routine.

Admiration / Appreciation

5 minutes/day x 7 days/week = 35 minutes/week

On a daily basis, find at least one thing to admire or appreciate about your partner and share it with him/her using their love language. These can be either verbal or non-verbal.


5 minutes/day x 7 days/week = 35 minutes/week

This includes all forms of physical connection through kissing, touching, sex and other forms of intimacy, and general playfulness and flirting. Don’t forget to incorporate those six-second kisses and 20-second hugs!


2 hours/week

Get into the habit of scheduling a regular date with your partner. Having alone time together, just the two of you, is integral for relationship success.

Please contact me through phone (720-381-2755) or email (tradewindstherapy at gmail dot com) if you and your partner need some help implementing this tool or have questions about how to have a more successful relationship.

*"Magic Five Hours" is from Dr. Gottman and Nan Silver's book, "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work" (1999).

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