Two hands making heart shape around a daisy in grass. This signifies emotional connection for couples and improved communication for couples after attending a private marriage retreat in New Engalnd.

This exercise is based on research that noticing and acknowledging good things daily improve your mood. It’s also based on the idea of telling our partners what we LIKE helps to create a positive connection.

I encourage you do this 5-minute activity on a daily basis (or at least 5 times a week). Doing it frequently increases your connection.

Couples consistently tell me how they feel connected from doing this.

You can do this anywhere! In my marriage, we often do it on a drive, standing in line, or while sharing a meal.

First, Share Good Things About Your Day

Drawing of sun in beach sand. Signifies emotional connection after attending a hold me tight workshop in Massachusetts or hold me tight couples workshop in Massachusetts.

1. Someone initiates this conversation by suggesting, “Let’s do Two Good Things Plus One Gift.” (I shorten this name to “2 Plus 1”)

2. Tell your partner something that was good about your day. It can be relatively small (e.g., “My earrings matched my outfit”) or large (e.g., “I earned a big promotion”). Speak about it for 3-5 sentences, describing what made it good, how you feel about it, etc.

3. Ask your partner to share something good about his/her day. If the answer is short, ask a question to get more details.

4. Share your second good thing, again, giving detail.

5. Encourage your partner to share a second good thing. Give time in case your partner is slow to think of something. Sometimes it’s hard to think of good things!

Then, Share a ‘Gift’ With Each Other

Woman's hand holding a heart. Image signifies relationship help for lesbians by attending intensive relationship therapy for lesbians or a hold me tight couples workshop for lesbians.

Here is the good part! Think about a good thing your partner did today. OR, if you can’t (sometimes we can’t), then think about a positive quality about him/her in general. I call this a ‘gift’, as it’s a kind thing you are giving your partner.

6. Share your ‘gift’ with your partner. I often use the phrase, “And my gift is: I really appreciate…..” or “One thing that I really like (or love) about you is…”

7. Then it’s your partner’s turn to give you a ‘gift’. Do not get distressed if it takes your partner some time to think of something to share. This is a new thing we are trying to do.

8. With all this sharing of good things, the only ‘rule’ is that you can’t repeat yourself. Every time you do this, think of new good things. It helps you notice more good things in your world and with your partner.

Finally, Enjoy What Was Shared

Happy biracial couple walking outdoors. This signifies improved communication skills and emotional connection from attending emotionally focused couples therapy intensives in 01106 area.

This Took a Maximum of FIVE Minutes–You Are Done!

You and your partner have just done something powerful and healthy!

  1. Your partner has learned about some good parts of your day.
  2. You have focused on something RIGHT in the world, versus something WRONG.
  3. You and your partner have both shown APPRECIATION to one another.


Person A: “So let’s do that 2 + 1 thing”

Person B: “Ok, let’s do it.”

Person A: “So, one good thing is I raked all the leaves today. I feel pretty proud of it. It was hard, but it’s done!”

Person B: “That is good. OK, for me, I received a text from a friend and it made me smile. We haven’t chatted in a bit, so it was nice to hear from him.”

Person A: “Ok, and my second good thing is I saw some daffodils blooming today! That was so cool to see them popping up. It made me think spring is here!”

Person B: “I saw them too! They made me smile too! Ok, my second good thing is I am having a really good hair day. I hardly did anything but it seems to be looking pretty good.” 🙂

Person A: “I agree, your hair is looking good. Ok, but that is not my gift for you. My gift is that I really like how you try new things for me. Like doing this new exercise. You are consistently willing to try new things and I just love that about you.”

Person B: “Ahh….thanks. OK, my gift is I had a really fun time going to the park and just spending time with you. I appreciate that you put time aside to do this.”

Person A: “Thanks, I really enjoyed that time too. Thanks for asking!”

Improve Your Relationship With an ONLINE “Hold Me Tight®” Couples Workshop

With Covid-19 impacting us on a daily basis, relationships are suffering. Communication is breaking down over small things and as much as you try, it’s hard to know how to make things better. As tough as these experiences are, they are surprisingly common in couples. It’s just about learning how to do things differently.

Stone walkway with garden beds on both sides, leading up to a bench. This image is meant to represent emotional connection and the ability to rebuild trust after attending a Hold Me Tight Workshop in Massachusetts with Bri McCarroll of New England Hold Me Tight.
Workshops and Retreats take place in a dedicated clinical space in a beautiful New England colonial home. This is the front walkway.

Private Couple Retreats (couples therapy intensives) and ONLINE “Hold Me Tight Workshops®” for Couples help you learn communication tools so you can resolve conflicts and re-connect. New England Hold Me Tight has skilled therapists and relationship coaches who specialize in helping couples like you who want to save a marriage or fix a relationship.

To start you onto the path towards a healthier relationship, follow these simple steps:

1. Learn more about the ONLINE “Hold Me Tight Workshop®” and Private Couples Intensives (Retreats).

2. Contact Bri McCarroll for a free 50-minute consultation (video).

3. Register, get tools, and communicate more effectively than you have before.

Additional Relationship Tips (Free)

–Sign-up below to receive emails. In them, you learn relationship tips and communication skills that will help save your marriage and/or help create a healthy relationship with your partner.

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–Checkout my Facebook page for helpful ideas about relationships in general.

–Learn some communication strategies and relationship skills now with my other videos and blogs.

Please push the “Share’ button at the bottom of this page to share this information with others in general.  It’s free and the more couples who are connected, it’s good for all of us! 

Remember, I Want You to SUCCEED!

“Hold Me Tight®” is a registered trademark to Sue Johnson.

Published by Bri McCarroll

As a therapist, gardener, and web designer, I enjoy nurturing and empowering others.

2 thoughts on “Two Good Things Plus One Gift–RELATIONSHIP ACTIVITY

  1. This is such a great thing to do, any time of day, but especially before bed! It’s a great practice! Thank you 😊

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