How To Make A Relationship Last: The Love Tank Theory

make relationship last

The positive moments of connection must exceed the negative moments of connection to maintain a full Love Tank. Dr. Gottman’s research also validates how negative moments drain a Love Tank faster than positive moments fill it up.

The Golden Locket Story

In Dr. John and Julie Gottman’s workshop, John shares a story of a husband who doesn’t ask his wife a question for 5 years. When she asked for help around the house, he avoided her request and continued working on his “project” in the garage. At dinner with friends, she went to share a story and he interrupted her, saying, “You suck at telling stories, let me share.”

Then on her birthday, he bought her a golden locket. What do you think she did with this locket?

She smashed it on his workbench with a hammer!

Not because the locket isn’t a sweet gesture, but because he missed the million little opportunities to fill up her Love Tank before he gave her the locket.

Our daily decisions to emotionally connect or disconnect influence both our partner’s Love Tank and our own. Even a little leak in our Love Tank, when unrepaired, can result in significant loss of love over time.

In extreme cases, like the couples who are on the brink of divorce, their Love Tank has been leaking for years, sometimes even decades.

It’s also vital to recognize that disconnection is something you’re dealing with even when your relationship is doing okay. The stress of daily life, the inescapable stresses of loving a person who is different from you, and working through conflict, including parenting the little ones, all add up.

Read Amorphia: Are You in a Chaotic or Energy-Sucking Relationship?

Keeping Your Love Tank Full

Lucky for you and me, we can continually fill up our relationship’s Love Tank by intentionally loving each other every day.

As Dr Sue Johnson says, “Love is a constant process of tuning in, connecting, missing and misreading cues, disconnecting, repairing and finding deeper connection. It’s a dance of meeting and parting and finding each other again. Minute-to-minute and day-to-day.”

You have two options:

  1. Refill and repair your Love Tank on a daily basis. That means intentionally reconnecting, listening to each other’s happy and difficult emotions, being supportive, and making time for the relationship.
  2. Let the relationship problems accumulate and drain your tank. Once you hit empty, your heart will force you to give up on the relationship or seek out couple’s therapy.

Read Top 10 Warning Signs You’re Being Gaslighted in Your Relationship

Repairing and Reconnecting is Required for Lasting Love

No matter who you love, there are going to be misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and moments of disconnection. A Love Tank will have leaks and drain from time to time. That is natural.

The difference between couples who maintain a full Love Tank and those who don’t is their willingness to repair and reconnect.

Dr Gottman calls a repair the “lifejacket of all romantic relationships” and the effectiveness of the repair depends on the emotional connection. The better the friendship and more emotionally connected you are, the easier it is to repair.

To fill up your Love Tank and deepen your emotional connection, download my free guide “The 4 Facets to Fill Up Your Relationship’s Love Tank.” I’ll give you 15 actions you can take today to improve your emotional connection.

A Half Love Tank Relationship

half love
How To Make A Relationship Last: The Love Tank Theory

Something I see in couples, especially in a clingy-distancer relationship, is that the clinger often does their best to fill the distancer’s side of the Love Tank in hopes that the distancer will stay in the relationship, even at the expense of the clinger’s own well-being, passions, and values.

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Kyle Benson

I've had the privilege of working with men and women on a wide range of relationship issues. I've helped individuals:Leave toxic relationships to find a healthy relationship that makes them feel calm, grateful for the person in their life, and deeply valued by their partner Close the emotional distance between partners so they feel deeply connected to each otherResolve relationship conflict, leading the couple to become closer and more loving than they ever thought imaginable Remove sexual anxiety to create intensely passionate and longer-lasting sexUse problems in the relationship as catalysts to help individuals grow into their highest potential (and become more awesome lovers)Our coaching sessions are tailored towards reaching solutions that improve your relationship quickly. Read more about my coaching programmes here, Relationship Coaching or Email me at Kyle@kylebenson.netView Author posts