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Any good girlfriend knows how important it is to be by her man's side when life is kicking him in the nadsÃ¢â‚¬”like when he has to put his beloved dog down or his boss reams him out for no reason. What you might not know is that the stuff you do and say during his happy moments is actually more vital to your long-term contentment as a couple, according to a study from the University of California at Los Angeles.
"If your partner has had a bad day, often the most you can do is bring him back to baseline or a 'nonstressed' state. But good times offer the potential to move beyond this baseline, building a solid foundation for your relationship, explains study author Shelly Gable, Ph.D. And missing out on these opportunities may do more damage than you think: Couples who blow off each other's highs are less satisfied, less trusting, less intimate, and at greater risk for calling it quits, says Gable. Here, the best ways to give him props.
Show Some Enthusiasm
No need to dust off your high school pom-pomsÃ¢â‚¬”but you do have to do some cheerleading if your guy scores a promotion or closes an important deal. When he comes home and shares his good news, stop what you're doing and tell him how happy you are for him. And try to mirror his tone, posture, and excitement, suggests Tanya L. Chartrand, Ph.D., a professor of marketing and psychology at Duke University. Seeing his elation reflected back by you will make him feel even better about his achievement. If you have reservations about his news (the promotion means he'll have to work late more often), keep them to yourself. Voicing them now will only rain on his parade.