Research shows that reacting excitedly when your partner shares good news can make a huge impact on your relationship.
It sounds pretty obvious, because of course you want to be happy for your partner and their personal success, but it’s easy to be distracted, thumbing through tweets on your phone, or not matching your partner’s level of excitement.
Scientists call this giving positive feedback “capitalization.” Not only is capitalization important for better intimacy, relationship satisfaction, and a lower likelihood of breaking up, it’s actually more important than being there for your partner during rough times. How you react to your partner’s promotion could actually have a bigger impact than how you react to the times they’re struggling at work.
Couples where one is emotionally distant and one is more dependent are the likeliest to have issues with capitalization and feedback. One partner might not get the reaction they expected, even if the other partner thought they showed enough excitement and support.
So next time your partner comes home and tells you they’re getting more responsibility at work, make sure you turn off the TV for a few minutes (or at least pause the DVR) to show them you’re just as excited as they are.