Five tips to sustain couple relationship

In honor of Emotional Wellness Month this October, the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) has released a podcast to help couples keep the flame alive.

The podcast, entitled "Five Tips to Sustaining Your Relationship," features Lisa Brookes Kift, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist based in Marin County, Calif. Brookes Kift outlines five simple ways to keep your relationship going strong. To remember the five tips, she uses the acronym "CHIRP":

  1. Check-In:  With busy schedules, couples can sometimes pass each other like two ships in the night. Don't lose touch with your partner. Schedule a weekly "check-in" time to talk and get an emotional read on one other.
  2. Hug:  Research has shown that couples who engage in a full body hug for at least 20 seconds have the potential to release oxytocin, the bonding hormone of security and safety. Bring on the bear hug!  
  3. Interest:  Showing interest in what your significant other is doing or feeling helps to show that you care. Ask questions and get involved in an activity your partner is interested in to show your support.
  4. Romance:  Life is a balancing act, and between children, families, careers and social obligations, it's easy for couples to forget to prioritize romance.  The easiest way to add romance to your life is to schedule date nights to focus solely on each other.
  5. Play:  As the saying goes, "Couples that play together, stay together."  Play can not only relieve stress but bring you closer with your partner.  Also, research has shown that humor is an excellent conflict de-escalator.

To remember to "CHIRP," think about lovebirds and the sound they make. The full podcast with tips to sustain your relationship is available at

"Sometimes the 'easy' things you can do for your relationship mean the most," said Brookes Kift.  "Remind yourself to 'CHIRP' on a regular basis to show your partner you care. It can make a big difference in your relationship."

If your relationship is strained or you are dealing with difficult issues as a couple, talking to a Marriage and Family Therapist can help. A therapist can help you talk about the past, present and future of your relationship, and can provide tools and strategies to help you improve or enhance your partnership.

To find a California-based Marriage and Family Therapist in your area, visit, a free service offered by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.


California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists;


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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