We meet many people in life and form amazing connections; some are instant, while others simmer in their own sweet time. While all relationships hold a place in our lives, we give a special seat to the one we fall romantically in love with.
That’s when a soulful journey starts, and we are blissfully pulled in to discover a whole new world of sleepless nights, violins strumming, leaves floating in the air, butterflies in the tummy, and so much more.
We do our utmost for that special one, pledge to cross oceans and climb mountains. The sincerity of love makes us want to protect it ardently and preserve it from all the world’s vices.
But as time passes and we grow as individuals, it isn’t always possible to maintain the ideal relationship. By its very nature, love is all-encompassing and we often find ourselves balancing the needs of our partners with those of our friends, family, children etc., which can inevitably cause tensions within the relationship.
That’s when a couple, knowingly or unknowingly, creates a couple bubble and works on keeping their magical bond intact.
What is a couple bubble?
A couple bubble is a safety net or a protective mechanism couples build around themselves to help ensure their relationship stays afloat. It’s characterized by mutuality, encouragement, and support rather than autonomy, guilt, or shame.
The term couple bubble was coined by Stan Tatkin, PsyD, Marriage and Family Therapist, in his book, Wired for Love. He defines it as:
“a protective mechanism that couples develop to insulate themselves from the realities of life.”
His theory about what do bubbles mean in a relationship is that the defensive measure helps couples avoid having to confront challenges and conflicts in their relationship. It’s a survival mechanism for preserving their bond and protecting them from the fear of falling apart and losing each other.
Is a couple bubble co-dependency?
The short answer is no even though the question of whether or not a couple bubble is co-dependency has been debated for long.
Co-dependency is an unhealthy emotional and/or psychological dependency on another person. In a relationship, co-dependency manifests itself in different ways.
In a couple bubble, both partners feel responsible toward each other.
So, couple bubble and co-dependency are different because:
A couple bubble is about “taking on the world” together, whereas co-dependency in marriage is about one person taking on the other’s problems; and
A couple bubble is about two partners being committed to each other, whereas co-dependency is about one person taking on the other’s problems.
Why does the couple bubble work?
A couple bubble can benefit both the bubble partners in building a stronger relationship.
The love bubble exists because it’s easy for two people to feel comfortable with each other. This is because they share common interests and values, which helps to build a strong relationship.
Additionally, the couple bubble enables people to relax together because they can share similar feelings and experiences. This is helpful for both partners because it lets them interact more easily.
Tatkin also refers to the couple bubble as “a sense of being emotionally safe.” This means that the individuals in a relationship can feel vulnerable enough to express their true feelings without fear of judgment or criticism.
This lets the partners have open and honest conversations that are important in developing and maintaining a strong relationship.
Tatkin has also defined the couple bubble as based on a series of agreements, such as: “I accept you as you are.” “You’re my person” and “We’re a team.”
Check out this video where Stan Tatkin explains the idea of a couple bubble and its principles: :
I know of a couple who was going through a rough patch in their relationship for almost a year. The wife said that the last half a year was hard because she felt like her husband did not care about her, and their fight usually resulted in an argument ending in him storming out of the house.
A few weeks later, when I met them, they seemed happy and connected as never before. She told me how they worked on focusing on each other’s needs more. They prioritized their relationship and set their own relationship visions rather than listening to what others felt should work for them.
First, they began doing more activities together and actually enjoyed spending time with each other. They attended new workshops to learn techniques for maintaining a positive and healthy relationship and making their marriage even stronger.
Knowingly or unknowingly, they had created a couple bubble. This helped build a strong sense of trust, making it an effective mechanism for them to lay a strong foundation.
How to create a couple bubble
There’s something about two people in love that just feels right. Whether it’s the way their eyes lock as they share a laugh or how intimately they feel when holding hands, everyone enjoys being in such a relationship. Unfortunately, not all relationships last, and not all couples are happy.
But hey, it’s never too late to change and create a happier relationship!
There are ways to strengthen the bond between partners, and one way is to work on creating a couple bubble.
Let’s check out some relationship tips on how couples can create a couple bubble:
1. Fair compromise
When there’s a conflict between you and your partner, it may be easy to let your emotions take over and try to resolve the situation yourself. This isn’t always the best approach and can often lead to even more conflict and frustration.
Instead, you should stop and think,
“What willfrustrate them?
What would I want to happen in this situation?”
You may find that you both want the same thing for different reasons, so the solution is simple – just compromise!
Let’s say your partner wants to order a pizza for dinner, but you want Chinese food instead. Instead of arguing over it, why not agree to get pizza on one date night and Chinese on another?
This way, you can both be happy with the arrangement, and you don’t have to sacrifice what you want.
2. Effective communication
Communicating and working together to reach a common goal will help strengthen your couple bubble and help you both feel like you’re being heard and understood. Research over the years has already shown how effective communication plays a role in marital satisfaction.
Couples should be open and truthful with one another throughout their relationship if they want it to stand the test of time. This can be a difficult thing to do, especially in the beginning.
Over time though, it becomes easier to communicate openly and honestly with your partner. Sharing your feelings and being honest will be the best way to build a stronger and healthier relationship. You can do so by being concise and sensitive during the conversation.
One way to strengthen the couple bubble is by asking questions. Often, we think we know what our partner wants or needs better than they do themselves. So it’s important to ask them for their opinions and listen to what they say.
Asking questions will help you foster a deep sense of comfort between you and your partner, which is essential for every healthy relationship.
An example of this could be to ask your partner how their day was or what their plans for the evening are. Something like, “Do you want to eat out tonight or stay in and watch the show?”
Or maybe ask for their opinion on bigger decisions like career change even as you begin thinking about it.
When you show that you are interested in what your partner has to say and value their opinion, they are more likely to open up to you about any issues they may be facing in the relationship.
4. Understand what makes each other feel secure
To secure the couple bubble, it’s important to be able to support each other in times of need. To do this, you need to understand what your partner finds important. Find out what makes them feel safe and secure by keeping things transparent and displaying behaviors of trust.
Relationships are delicate, and understanding what makes them work is a delicate task too. Understanding how our partners think and feel is key to building a strong foundation and lasting relationship.
For example, if your partner has concerns about their future, find a way to reassure that their well-being is important to you as well. Or of they want to talk about a particular problem they are facing in the relationship, encourage them to do so.
For a couple bubble to work, both parties need to put forth an equal amount of effort, love, and care. Both parties must ensure that their feelings towards each other remain positive and that they can keep that flame burning over time.
6. Remember that the couple bubble comes first
Don’t pop your couple bubble by focusing only on your own needs and wants. Instead, focus on your partner’s needs and do whatever you can to make your partner happy first.
Focusing on your partner’s needs will make it easier for you to deal with your own issues because you won’t think of yourself as the most important person in the relationship anymore.
7. Know that the couple bubble needs planning
Planning is key for maintaining a happy and successful couple bubble. It’s important to set aside time to interact with each other regularly. This will help keep the couple bubble strong and allow for both parties to feel comfortable with each other.
Plan fun activities together that you can use to strengthen your bond as a couple. Try incorporating as many senses as possible to make it extra fun!
Plan a dinner date that involves having a delicious meal in a candlelit setting
Drinking wine from your favorite vineyard, and listening to a romantic tune on an acoustic instrument.
Or plan a weekend camping trip where you can enjoy great outdoors with activities like fishing, hiking, and building a campfire.
8. Know when it’s time to work on the bubble
If you find yourself drifting apart or becoming distant from each other, it may be time to work on your couple bubble based on the marriage vision. Talk to each other about what’s going on and resolve any issues that may be causing the distance.
Try to see the situation from your partner’s point of view so that you can understand where they are coming from.
Start building your couple bubble today for a healthy relationship
Having a healthy and happy couple bubble is one of the most important things you can have in your life. It benefits both the partners and the relationship definitely grows stronger and healthier.
Remember that creating a bubble takes a lot of work, but the results will be worth it.
Words are a sweet escape for Nayan Nihar, and she is always brimming with effervescent ideas that need to be poured out within the constraints of 26 letters. Her forte lies in writing about relationships, and she has contributed to Read more the same genre for brands like Filtercopy, Thought Catalog, and WeddingWire, amongst others. Being married to a dependable, loving & funny guy also helps her look at the functioning of a healthy marriage and discern what works well for it to be successful.
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