Day 3 of Love and Relationships: The Magic Relationship Ratio!


Today we’re going to look at the so called magic ratio.

You may remember that earlier this week, we talked about Dr. John Gottman.  He observed couples and predicted with remarkable accuracy which of them would stay together. So what did he say made the difference in these couples’ relationships? After years of study and research, he believes couples who have a balance between positive and negative interactions have successful relationships.  It shouldn’t surprise any of us to learn that negative has more weight than positive so more positive is needed for balance.  It may surprise us though to learn that an absence of negative or conflict is deadly to a relationship. Conflict actually helps couples grow. We need both, but how much of each for healthy balance?

Dr. Gottman says 5 to 1. Five positive interactions to one negative. So 2 negatives need 10 positives and 20 positives need 4 negatives. So how do we make sure our interactions are in balance?  We should probably remember that we still live in an imperfect world and we’re still imperfect people. That means our interactions won’t always be in balance but we can aim for it. Most of us won’t need help fitting in the conflict or negative unless we’ve already become indifferent. I suspect that’s not the case or we wouldn’t be interested in this topic. So let’s look at some ways we can increase the positive interactions.

First, we can be mindful of how important it is share the everyday moments. If we make positive interactions a priority and practice, soon they will become habit. We can start by replacing some neutral actions with positive ones. When we see or hear something funny, replace keeping it to ourselves with sharing it with our partner. Instead of just walking past our partner, we can look at them and smile or touch their shoulder or squeeze their hand as we go by. Instead of walking in from work and immediately getting involved in something, we can find our partner and give them a hug or kiss. There are countless ways to add positive interactions to our relationships. If we keep in mind how important these little things and an occasional grand gesture are, we’ll practice them.

Since we also need a little negative for a healthy relationship, tomorrow we are going to look at managing conflict. I’d love to know what you think of this week’s topic.  Leave a comment on my website Thank you for joining me today! If you enjoy this show please share it with a friend. Have a beautiful day and we’ll talk again tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “Day 3 of Love and Relationships: The Magic Relationship Ratio!”

    1. Thanks for your interest. Dr. Gottman’s research has been featured in many places over the years. In his 1992 study (Buehlman, K., Gottman, J.M., & Katz, L.) Dr. Gottman predicted with 93.6% accuracy which couples would divorce. Hope this helps.

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