“They may forget what you said, but they will
never forget how you made them feel.”
— Carl W. Buechner
Being in a committed relationship is no small accomplishment. We’ve all heard statistics about the divorce rate that make it sound like we’re bad with relationships as a society, but we think it means that people are no longer willing to settle for relationships that are just okay. They want a loving relationship that is real and genuine. And if they have to go through several partners to find it, we’re willing to do that.
However, as many of us know, the number of relationships we’re in isn’t the secret, but the quality of them.
According to John Gottman, one of the leading researchers on relationships (having evaluated thousands of couples for over 40 years), the number one predictor of a stable relationship is the amount of positivity vs. negativity between the couple.
Gottman states, “As long as there is five times as much positive feeling and interaction between a couple as there is negative, the relationship is likely to be stable over time.”
So how do you increase your positive interactions?
Here are two great starters:
1. Resolve Conflicts
We all know that conflicts lend to negativity, but conflicts are not the problem in and of themselves. What matters most is that these conflicts get resolved.
One way to do this is through not allowing unresolved conflicts to fester and build up, causing you to feel anger and bitterness towards your partner and act out in a passive-aggressive way.
Passive-aggression can look like rolling your eyes, forgetfulness, failing to keep promises, being emotionally unavailable, avoiding confrontations, and not being honest.
By pushing through to resolve conflicts, you stop the cycle of negativity and create a healthy dynamic. Use fair fighting techniques to address issues as they arise.
Focus on the Positive
Another way to create positivity is to focus on what you like about your partner, intentionally bringing it to the forefront of your mind. Just as you need to practice positive self-talk to love yourself more, focusing on what you love about your partner will help you to love them more as well.
A good practice is to think of everything you love about them right before you go to bed, or right when you wake up. Make it a daily habit and let them know how you feel. See if you start to notice a difference in the atmosphere of your relationship.
Remember that the heart is the center of your emotions and the path to connecting. Positive feelings pave the way for love to be felt. This gives life and longevity to a relationship.
Take a moment to think about your positivity ratio. Is it 5 to 1?