SEATTLE — So you've found true love, you have cute kids, and you both work great jobs.

That might not be good news, according to a UCLA study of dual career couples, says relationship expert Dr. John Gottman: 

“They found that couples with young kids, their life becomes this long to-do list. These people talk to each other an average of 35 minutes a week.”

Gottman and his wife, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, are world-renowned love experts. They split their time between their Orcas Island home and the Seattle offices of The Gottman Institute when they’re not traveling the country giving couples workshops on The Art and Science of Love. The couple, along with co-authors Doug Abrams and Rachel Carton Abrams MD, have just released a book: Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, and it’s designed to keep love alive.  

8 Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love
8 Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love

"So these dates are really about renewing and reviving intimacy in a relationship,” said Dr. John Gottman, founder of The Gottman Institute in Seattle, home of the Love Lab, where couples are wired up with heart monitors and other sensors, then given intensive couples therapy, in an effort to analyze the science of feelings and relationships. 

For 'Eight Dates' some 300 couples, both newly formed and established, straight and gay, were analyzed as they went on these dates to get the hard science on making love last. 

"And we found that these dates were wonderful for couples that were already together to deepen their knowledge of each other. Because we lose track of who our partner is and how they're changing over time,” said Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman. 

The dates each have a topic to talk about; trust, sex, and money to name a few, well as suggestions on everything from date location to what to wear. 

We asked the Gottmans -who have been together 32 years - which date was their favorite. They do them all, during an 'annual honeymoon' -  “Where we put all the dates together for a week. Where we do nothing but talk, for a week, about these bigger questions," said Julie. 

As this couple that’s expert at being a couple says in their new book, a lifetime of love doesn’t happen by chance. It happens by choice. 

Schedule a workshop on The Art of Science and Love on the Gottman's website.

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