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H(APP)Y COUPLES

Therapy apps aim to strengthen romantic relationships

While app-mediated relationship therapy might be met with skepticism and even derision (similar to the way dating apps were initially regarded), the concept arises out of trends fueled by modern youth who are turning to technology to help them find romantic partners as well as democratize therapy that might otherwise be inaccessible.

LASTING

Lasting is an app that uses tried and true couples therapy methods to strengthen relationships for the long term. For $11.99 a month, users can access audio track, articles, and daily exercises taken from over 300 marriage studies and the Gottman method—the most widely used form of couples counseling. The app sends users notifications throughout the day to do things like “express gratitude” and “ask about your partner’s day,” helping to foster better communication. Those who have used Lasting have said that it encourages meaning conversations and provides useful tools that help couples work through the ups and downs of long-term relationships.

LOVE NUDGE

Based on Gary Chapman’s framework, the five love languages, the Love Nudge app is meant to improve people’s relationships through a deeper understanding of how one’s partner gives and receives love. After downloading Love Nudge, users take a quiz to discover their primary love language—either receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, or physical touch. People can then sync their apps and begin to send their partners “nudges” on how they can fill their significant other’s “love tank.” By helping couples communicate their needs, the app seeks to create an ecosystem in which people can practice and develop healthy habits that help foster enduring relationships.

LIFECOUPLE

The new app LifeCouple was created to provide a convenient way for people to access couples therapy, especially those who struggle to open up to a counselor. Upon signing up for the app (which costs $144 annually), couples are asked to rate their level of satisfaction on different aspects of their relationship. The app will flag disparities among their responses and highlight areas in need of improvement. LifeCouple bases its framework around four pillars of growth: communication, trust, conflict resolution, and intimacy. Activities and relationship maintenance tools hold partners accountable to the changes they want to make, while indexes allow them to track their progress.