Forget about date nights and flowers. When it comes to feeling happy in a relationship or marriage, it’s all about the numbers.
According to John Gottman, a marriage expert who has spent decades studying the habits of the healthiest and most successful couples, those who achieve a ratio of 5 positive interactions to every 1 negative exchange are the happiest.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, couples who have end up in divorce have just 0.8 happy encounters for every negative interaction, reports News.com.au
But take note — achieving the magic happiness ratio is not a quick-fix remedy. Gottman warns that couples need to be practising positive feelings and actions every day, rather just once in a while, in order to maintain the best outcome. This is proven by studies he has undertaken which found that for the first two years of marriage the happiness of married couples increased, but afterwards returned to the pre-marriage happiness level as couples stopped regularly practicing the magic ratio theory.
Gottman suggests several ways for couples to improve their quota, including expressing acts of affection, sharing quality time together, showing appreciation and gratitude, celebrating good news and showing admiration and managing conflict with respect.
Get to it!