World famous US psychologist and researcher John Gottman can predict with 94% accuracy whether a couple will break up just by watching a short videotape of them.
His research shows that five to one is the magic number. That’s the ratio of positive interactions to negative ones that predict whether your relationship will last.
That means that for every negative thing you say or do to each other, you have to do at least five positive ones to cancel it out.
It’s not quite that simple though. The ratio of five good times to every bad one is affected more strongly by certain emotions.
For example, expressing contempt registers at -4, disgust counts for -3 and whining and complaining -1.
On the other side, a positive display of affection adds +4 to the equation.
Negativity, anger and frustration can become a habitual way of interacting with each other, without your even realising it.
If you used Gottman’s mathematical model on your relationship, how would you score? Try keeping a record for just one day – at the very least it will make you more aware of the direction your relationship is heading.