What is the deciding factor in relationships that go the distance and those that don’t?
According to over 30 years research conducted by Relationship Expert John Gottman, author of The Five Love Languages, there is a specific ratio that can be applied within a partnership. A way we can fill eachother’s love tank every day, to keep the car that is long term parnterships running well down the road to forever.
I am excited to break it down quite simply, in this week’s LOVE LETTER.
Before I get into all that, please know…
No matter what status you would file your relationship under, ‘happy’ , ‘okay’, ‘on the rocks’ or ‘its complicated’, you can build a partnership, that is not just surviving, but THRIVING and can truly go the distance. Even the happiest of partnerships, require sustained effort in order to stay that way.
So what is this ratio I speak of? It’s 5:1! Five good things to every one bad.
Five ways express kindness to every one way in which we cause harm. Five acts that lift each other up to every one acts that tear each other down. Five ways we set our love on fire for every one we do that throws water on the flames.
Most couples I work with expect me to help them eliminate all the negative from their interactions. They believe that by killing the ‘one’, in that ratio, they can heal their relationship. Whilst it seems like a sensible approach, it doesn’t work.
We are human beings, fallible at every turn. Oh snap, NOW…we are TWO fallible human beings coexisting.
There will be harm.
There will be words said, that create pain, that cannot be unsaid.
There will be missteps, made.
And then, even though you told them, what feels like, a thousand times not to, they will make that same misstep again. And so will you.
This is an inherent part of our human condition.
In our sessions, we do indeed focus in on how to lessen the negative aspects within the partnership however, we will never be able to eliminate them entirely. Once we truly accept this, we can step away from anger, resentment and shame and into compassion, goodwill and vulnerability.
And we can get to the real work at hand!
Upping that other postive part of the ratio, big time!
Facilitating a creative space where those in relationships can kick start actions that create light and love, in their partnership and in their partners, is one of my superpowers. Teaching them the skills needed to lead from a place of how can we clearly express our own needs for joy and happiness and how to spark that within your mate, is what will turn the tide, in even the most acrimonious of relationships.
This concept it often met with a dubious response, at first. What? Am I really saying that having more fun, laughter, encouragement and good times in a partnership is better then fixing all the bad things we do and say to one another???
Yes. I am. And the research supports it.
And, guess what? The more good will, the more a sense of having each other onside and enjoying each others company is present… the pain (often a spiteful response to the lack of love we feel in the relationship) we cause one another lessons dramatically.
Our focus is best spent on creating that 5:1 ratio, thriving partnerships need to last forever.
What can YOU do today, that will get you up to that missing FIVE in your relationships ratio, dearest one?