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10 Steps to a More Intimate Relationship

Be Supportive

In a 5-year study, researchers at the University of Iowa found that newlyweds describe four different types of support, what they've labeled:

  • Physical and emotional support: Sharing and listening as well as hand holding and hugging
  • Esteem: Offering self-esteem boosts and confidence
  • Informational: General advice-giving
  • Tangible: Helping with additional responsibilities or problem solving

The trick is to supply the right kind and level of support as needed -- and to watch out for too much informational support. No one likes to feel they're being told what to do. Everyone has a different idea of the perfect amount -- and type -- of support. So, be sure to let your partner know what type and how much fits your bill -- and listen to what he or she tells you about the support you provide.