Better Together: Talking to Strangers.

Welcome to Better Together. The only newsletter focused on showing you how amazing your marriage can be, and not afraid to tell you what it really takes to get there. Each week we give you a brief glimpse into our lives and three potentially life-changing ideas to help you become a better partner. We hope that you will find this newsletter inspirational and practical.

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1. the Grant Study, a 75-year-long Harvard research project on human development

From Our Lives

Nathan and I have been trying to talk to more strangers. We have started doing this at the grocery store, while we’re hiking, or whenever we have the opportunity.

We have been doing this to push ourselves out of our comfort zone. In fact “psychologists have found that talking to a stranger actually boosts your mental performance… It’s a workout.”

The tough part is finding some common ground to get things started. For example a few weeks ago I was looking to replace my hiking boots so on our hike that week I asked anyone I saw if they liked their boots. Most people were happy to tell me about what they liked and didn’t like about their current boots. As a result, by the end of the hike, I had lots of information about which boots were well liked.

It doesn’t always go well. There are people who just don’t want to talk.

For the most part though it creates some nice conversations, it allows us to learn more about the people around us, and maybe someday it will result in a new friendship being created.

Talking to strangers is helping us stretch. It is teaching us to be less awkward and more friendly. And we think this is a good thing.

What We Have Been Reading

“Great books should be read more than once. While rereading them can seem like a waste of time because there are so many other books to read, this is a misunderstanding of the learning process… The goal is not to read as many books as possible. The goal is to gain as much wisdom as you can.”

Farnam Street

“[Tantalus] found himself wading in a pool of water while a tree dangled ripe fruit above his head. The curse seems benign, but when Tantalus tried to pluck the fruit, the branch moved away from him, always just out of reach. When he bent down to drink the cool water, it receded so that he could never quench his thirst. Tantalus’s punishment was to yearn for things he desired but could never grasp… It’s hard to portray a better representation of the human condition. We are constantly reaching for something: more money, more experiences, more knowledge, more status, more stuff.”

— “Indistractable” by Nir Eyal

“What may make you feel safe and secure may not be what your partner requires from you. Your job is to know what matters to your partner and how to make him or her feel safe and secure.”

“Wired for Love” - Book Review

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Written and published by Nathan & Kelli.

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The purpose of “The Couple Project” is to learn more about what makes a strong marriage or relationship. We share what we are learning, which ideas we are trying, and which ideas helped improve our relationship. We realize not everything that works for us will work for you, but we still hope you will find our journey valuable.

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