The Simple Skill Linked To Profoundly Happier Relationships

People with this skill had higher relationship satisfaction, along with lower stress.

People with this skill had higher relationship satisfaction, along with lower stress.

Being mindful has a profound positive effect on relationships, research finds.

Partners who are able to remain mindful with each other are much less stressed and much happier than those who do not.

While some people have a natural tendency to be more mindful than others, the quality can be trained.

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment in a non-judgemental way.

Even people who are generally mindful may find that they do not always pay full attention to their partner.

It is easy for the attention to wander to future worries and past events.

People low in relationship mindfulness tend to agree with statements such as:

  • “I have conversations with my partner without being
    really attentive.”
  • “When I’m with my partner, I find myself saying or doing things without paying attention.”

Dr Jonathan Kimmes, the study’s first author, said:

“Relationship mindfulness is that tendency to be present with your partner in a nonjudgmental way.

It’s one thing to be mindful when you are at the grocery store, but can you be mindful with the person you are most intimate with?”

The conclusions come from a study of 218 heterosexual couples who were given surveys of their happiness and relationship mindfulness.

The results showed an association between higher relationship mindfulness and better relationship satisfaction, along with lower stress.

Women with mindful partners were also less depressed.

Dr Kimmes said:

“To me as a therapist, these results suggest that this area could be a promising target for clinical interventions.

There are many mindfulness practices that could work with clients, so which ones should you choose?

We should look at practices specific to relationships for people seeking therapy in that area.”

The study was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy (Kimmes et al., 2019).


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This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.

It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.

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Author: Jeremy Dean

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology. He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book "Making Habits, Breaking Habits" (Da Capo, 2013) and several ebooks.