In the 1970s and ’80s, psychologists John Gottman, Ph.D., and Robert Levenson, Ph.D., conducted research on how couples communicate with each other and how their relationship works over the years. Based on their findings, Gottman described what he called a “magic 5: 1 ratio” for the success of a relationship: about couples who maintain a happy, lasting relationship. Five Positive interactions or feelings for everyone One Negative interactions or feelings during a conflict.
Positive interactions can include showing affection, smiling together, sharing physical touch, and times when you usually admire and like each other. Negative interactions can include criticism, contempt, tension, annoyance, stress about the future of the relationship, and times when things don’t feel good in the relationship.
“Of course, no one will go around all day calculating their interaction ratio,” licensed couple therapist Elizabeth Arnsh told LMFT, MBG. “However, we can use it as a reflection tool – if I were to write a list of our interactions today, would I write about more positive interactions than negative ones?”
You might even think of this magic 5: 1 ratio as a kind of love bank account, as Linda Carroll, LMFT, a licensed marriage therapist, once told mbg. Positive interactions fill the bank account, while negative interactions reduce it. “Love’s bank account should be kept in black so that when you have to take out a lot of things at once, such as deep misunderstandings, a bad fight, or a time of distance and moving away, it doesn’t go into it. Red, “he wrote.
Gottman’s study found that couples with a negative and positive interaction had a 5: 1 ratio (e.g. 1: 1 ratio, for example) and were more likely to divorce year after year. And importantly, that 5: 1 ratio was specific to the time of the conflict. Outside of conflict, the ratio between positive and negative interaction Success The relationship actually goes as far as 20: 1, According to Gottman. That 20 Positive interaction for everyone One Negative interactions.
In other words, in a healthy relationship, most of the time is spent in a state of comfort and affection.