How Behavior Stacking Can Improve Your Romantic Relationship

relationships May 09, 2023

For many people, finding the right partner and getting married is something people check off of their list. What does this mean? It means that once they hit the milestone, they put the relationship on autopilot.

AND …. That’s when complacency, boredom, and problems start to creep in.

Relationships require effort and commitment. It's not uncommon for couples to hit bumps in the road and experience tension or distance. With the right tools and techniques, it's possible to improve your relationship and deepen your connection with your partner. 

Behavior stacking is a tool that involves breaking down larger habits or goals into smaller, more manageable behaviors that can be stacked on top of each other to create a new habit. In a romantic relationship, behavior stacking can be used to develop positive habits that strengthen the bond between partners.

Identifying the Behaviors

To use behavior stacking in your relationship, start by identifying the specific behaviors you want to develop. This could be anything from spending more quality time together to expressing more appreciation and gratitude. Once you have your list of behaviors, break them down into smaller actions that can be performed consistently.

Stacking the Behaviors

Next, stack the behaviors in a logical sequence that works for you and your partner. For example, you could spend 10-15 minutes each day talking about your day, expressing gratitude for something your partner did, and finally, practicing active listening during the conversation. The key is to make the behaviors easy to perform and gradually build them up over time.

Consistency is Key

Consistency is crucial to developing a new habit, so commit to repeating the stacked behaviors every day for at least 21 days. Over time, you and your partner will create a new positive pattern that strengthens your connection and improves communication.

As psychologist and relationship expert Dr. John Gottman once said, "Small things often." This refers to the importance of taking small, consistent actions to improve your relationship. Behavior stacking allows you to do just that - by breaking down larger goals into smaller steps that can be performed consistently, you can create positive habits that significantly impact your relationship.

So, let’s consistently build intimacy by celebrating our partners and intentionally feeding and strengthening our relationships.

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