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This One Simple (And Surprising) Habit Can Save A Relationship

Image by Caleb Gaskins
November 2, 2021

Every relationship is different, so it's hard to prescribe one universal tip to secure lifelong love. But when we spoke to psychotherapist and world-renowned relationship expert Esther Perel on the mindbodygreen podcast, we simply had to ask if she had one recommendation for all couples—whether long term or fresh off the first date—to nourish their connection.

Now, you may be expecting a tip to enhance communication skills or keep the spark alive by adventuring somewhere new, and while those can be valuable ways to support a connection, Perel was quick to suggest something much simpler: dancing.

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How dancing can benefit relationships.

No matter your age or stage of relationship, Perel declares (with zero hesitation) that dancing is key for a successful, healthy partnership. "Dancing is attunement," she says. "With dancing, there's a nonverbal attunement to the rhythm of another, the body of another, the motion of another."

In other words: Dancing can help you connect to your partner without saying a word. There's eye contact, there's liveliness, and there's a sense of trust and letting go—all of which Perel says can spark connection in a couple. Research backs it up too, as a 2015 study in the journal Biology Letters points to the power of dance to enhance social bonds among friends1.

Not to mention, dancing fosters joy: "It is the one thing you cannot do and be [sad] at the same time," Perel continues. "You can paint and cry; you can write and cry; you can listen to music and weep, but you can't dance and weep... . It energizes you. It enlivens you."

In fact, Perel invites people in her own practice to commit to dancing, no matter the form. "I've spent hours watching elderly couples dance together, and it is grace; it is elegant; it is erotic; it is alive."

The takeaway.

If you're looking for a new way to deepen a connection with your partner, consider dancing together, in whatever form you choose. It's Perel's No. 1 tip for any couple, no matter your age, ability, or stage of relationship.

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