You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

How to Make a Relationship Last, According to Science

PureWow Logo By letters@purewow.com (Alexia Dellner) of PureWow | Slide 1 of 7: <p>Back in the 1970s, Dr. John Gottman and his research associates asked couples to solve a conflict in their relationship in 15 minutes, while they watched on. After studying the tapes and following up with couples nine years later, they were able to predict which couples would still be together and which would divorce with over 90 percent accuracy. How? They argue that the difference between happy and unhappy relationships comes down to the ratio of positive to negative interactions, namely 5 to 1. So, for every negative interaction during conflict, a happy marriage has five (or more) positive interactions. “When [couples in happy marriages] are talking about something important,” <a href="https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-magic-relationship-ratio-according-science/">Dr. Gottman says</a>, “they may be arguing, but they are also laughing and teasing and there are signs of affection because they have made emotional connections.”</p>

Be Five Times Nicer

Back in the 1970s, Dr. John Gottman and his research associates asked couples to solve a conflict in their relationship in 15 minutes, while they watched on. After studying the tapes and following up with couples nine years later, they were able to predict which couples would still be together and which would divorce with over 90 percent accuracy. How? They argue that the difference between happy and unhappy relationships comes down to the ratio of positive to negative interactions, namely 5 to 1. So, for every negative interaction during conflict, a happy marriage has five (or more) positive interactions. “When [couples in happy marriages] are talking about something important,” Dr. Gottman says, “they may be arguing, but they are also laughing and teasing and there are signs of affection because they have made emotional connections.”

© Twenty20

More from Purewow

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon