Autumn Is in the Air - Don’t “Fall” Back into Bad Relationship Habits

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Relationship Expert Dr. Stan Tatkin Discusses 3 Easy Ways to Improve a Relationship

Romance is created by partners. It does not exist by itself. - Dr. Stan Tatkin

With autumn approaching, leading couple therapist Dr. Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, and author of Wired for Love and Wired for Dating, discusses three simple ways to create positive habits for a healthy relationship during this season of change. From relationship fun to cultivating gratitude, Dr. Tatkin’s tips encourage partners to use this time of year to embark on a new path toward relationship success.

1. Finesse the fun in your relationship
There needs to be fun in a relationship. If one person is fun but the other is not, well… that doesn’t sound very enjoyable. If either or both partners are not fun-oriented, the fun factor has to be worked out because no matter where they go or what they do, one or both individuals won’t have fun. If both partners are fun but have become complacent or overworked and have simply forgotten how to spell the word adventure, they need to get off their duffs and schedule something totally different to do. Especially in the fall, there are a million of opportunities out there: nature hikes, apple picking, yard sales, craft fairs; the list goes on. Stop, look, and pick one.

2. Light some spark
Romance is created by partners. It does not exist by itself. Many partners are not romantically inclined and so romance may not be of any value to them. Romance, like love of music, art, pets, and so on, is cultivated in early childhood. It’s either there or it isn’t. However, if you are one of the lucky ones that have cultivated a love of romance, keeping the spark is easy-peasy. Gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes on a fairly regular basis is one of the easiest and cheapest ways of keeping romance alive. Falling in love happens through the eyes. It’s something always available and easy to do, if and when an individual or partner need to feel loved or appreciated.

3. Cultivate gratitude
Gratitude is the opposite of misery. That is why miserable people are never grateful. Their glass is always empty. Finding gratitude is inextricably related to reality as we are always getting more than we are giving if we really do an honest daily inventory. The human being is a selfish animal. People are always aware of what they are not getting and become angry, resentful, envious, and deprived. An exercise based on Naikan, a Japanese meditation practice to engender feelings of gratitude, details that if each partner was to do an honest inventory of what they have received from their partner, what they’ve given, and the trouble they’ve caused their partner, a feeling of gratitude would likely emerge.

“The human brain tends to focus on what’s missing, what isn’t happening, what isn’t perfect. That is why Naikan already assumes we know the trouble he or she caused us and so it isn’t necessary to add it to our inventory. Do the inventory for yourself not your partner. It’s for you to realize what you receive every day.” explains Dr. Tatkin.

Dr. Tatkin has a clinical practice in Calabasas, CA and is best-selling author of Wired for Love and Wired for Dating. Dr. Tatkin and his wife, Tracey Boldemann-Tatkin, PhD, are cofounders of the PACT Institute. They travel the world training therapists in their unique approach to couple therapy. The Tatkins also provide Wired for Love and Wired for Relationship retreats for couples and individuals. Learn more about Dr. Tatkin at

About Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT
Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, has a clinical practice as a couple therapist in Calabasas, CA, and is an assistant professor at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. He and his wife, Tracey Boldemann-Tatkin, PhD, founded the PACT Institute and lead therapist training programs in cities across the United States and around the world. Tatkin is the author of three well-received books about relationships—Wired for Dating, Wired for Love, and Your Brain on Love—and is coauthor of Love and War in Intimate Relationships.

About the PACT Institute
The PACT Institute is a leading global organization that offers trainings for clinical professionals in a method designed to help secure-functioning relationships flourish. The Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy® (PACT) draws on more than three decades of research on developmental neuroscience, attachment theory, and arousal regulation. Since 2008, the PACT Institute has trained more than 1,000 practitioners across North America, Europe, and Australia and has expanded the training to three levels. PACT has gained a reputation for effectively treating even the most challenging couples. For more information visit

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