What Is the 2-2-2 Rule and How Can It Benefit Your Relationship?
Follow this ratio to keep the spark in your relationship alive.
Between running errands and daily to-dos, fitting quality time with your partner into your schedule may sometimes feel impossible. However, certified Gottman couples therapist Laura Silverstein, LCSW, tells Woman’s World that spending time together is essential for a strong relationship.
“Many couples mistakenly think that working on their relationship needs to be hard work on issues such as attachment and conflict resolution,” she says. “These things are important, but the foundation of long-lasting love is built on shared memories and deep connection.”
Fortunately, penciling in alone time together can be made easy and fun thanks to something called the 2-2-2 rule. Allow us to explain.
What is the 2-2-2 rule?
The 2-2-2 rule — which proposes a system to take the guesswork out of couples time — first gained popularity online. A Reddit post from r/Marriage explains how it works:
- Every two weeks, go out for an evening.
- Every two months, go away for a weekend.
- Every two years, go away for a week.
Taking a trip out of town takes planning, and isn’t a readily available or affordable option for everyone. Still, this rule provides a good starting point for rethinking ways to enjoy your special someone’s presence.
Could this approach benefit my relationship?
Yes, this clever technique can benefit even the busiest of couples.
“The 2-2-2 rule provides structure and accountability so that you and your partner make sure you’re scheduling in fun and don’t risk putting your relationship on the back-burner as you’re managing all the logistics of everyday life,” Silverstein explains.
A 2016 study from The Journal of Marriage & Family also shows that couples are happier when they prioritize spending time together. In fact, the findings suggest that individuals are twice as happy when they’re with their spouse versus when they’re alone.
Another benefit of this rule? You can switch up the numbers if needed.
Amber Lee, a certified matchmaker and strategic intervention coach, notes that in her own marriage she follows a “1-1-1 approach”: This involves a date night once a week, a weekend away together once a month, and a week-long vacation once a year.
“I know that every couple can’t make that happen, but whether you follow the 1-1-1 rule or 2-2-2 rule, the point is carving out time for just the two of you is an important part of creating lasting love,” she explains.
How can my partner and I follow this rule?
Here’s the part when you can get creative: Brainstorm enjoyable new ways to spend quality time with your partner. One suggestion from Lee is creating a staycation at home if a weekend getaway isn’t doable.
Consider dropping your pets or kids off with a loved one while preparing a romantic atmosphere for the two of you. “Spend the weekend in your pajamas playing board games in bed, cooking together, slow dancing in the kitchen, drinking wine, and staying up late talking,” Lee recommends.
The 2-2-2 rule will encourage you both to focus and connect in ways you might not typically have time for. “You’ll remember why you fell in love in the first place and reignite that initial spark that drew you together!” Lee promises.