You’ve talked with your partner and agreed you are ready to take your relationship to the next level. You’ve purchased The Art and Science of Love Online. Now what?

To get the most out of your self-guided workshop experience, our biggest recommendation is to be intentional. Here are some other helpful tips to get you on the road to lasting love.

Decide together how you will approach it

You’re on this journey together! We strongly advise against attempting the course alone—the exercises that accompany the video lectures are intended to be done together in order to improve the communication in your relationship.

Set aside dedicated time

Everyone’s schedule is different, which is why sometimes it’s easiest just to dedicate an entire weekend to your relationship with The Art and Science of Love live workshop. The Art and Science of Love Online is a recent recording of Drs. John and Julie Gottman presenting over a weekend. If you want to, you can recreate that experience and just block out two days.

Maybe you will want to dedicate an hour each week to learning together. Block out time on your calendar(s) and make an agenda or lesson plan for yourselves using the course outline provided.

The Art and Science of Love guides you through the levels of the Gottman Sound Relationship House. You may want to structure your online sessions around those levels. If you choose to do that, most sections will take approximately 1-2 hours to complete, depending on how long you want to spend on each of the self-guided exercises.

The Managing Conflict section takes longer and will require dedication, patience, and compassion. We recommend keeping this section together to avoid feeling like conflicts are left unresolved between sessions.

Reduce/remove distractions

Some distractions you can’t control, but there are so many you can. Agree together that while you’re watching the videos, you won’t be on your phones, listening to music, watching TV or other videos, or checking/reading emails. If you have kids, you may want to watch the videos after you’ve put them to bed.

Have necessary supplies on hand 

Before you begin, you will want to print out the PDF of the workbook, or at the very least, the exercises. This way you can reference them as you go. You will also want to download the free Gottman Card Decks App on your phone or tablet. The PDF manual can be a valuable tool to help you understand the ideas discussed in the lectures.

You may also want to have a notebook on hand to take notes. We also recommend tissues in case things get emotionally charged, water, and snacks. Pop some popcorn—have fun. Relationship “work” doesn’t all have to be serious business.

Finally, get comfortable. Make sure you’re watching the lectures and doing the exercises somewhere relatively private with room to turn toward one another.

Stay in it together!

Make a plan to commit to each other and to your relationship. Give the exercises an honest effort, and actually do them. Stay in the room together. Approach the workshop with curiosity—this is an exciting opportunity to explore your partner’s inner world and allow them into yours.

We wish you all the best on your journey.

The Gottman Institute’s Editorial Team is comprised of staff members who contribute to the Institute’s overall message. It is our mission to reach out to individuals, couples, and families in order to help create and maintain greater love and health in relationships.