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  • Writer's pictureJessica Sagastume, MHC

5:1 Is the Key to a Happy Relationship

According to Gottman Institute's research, 5:1 is the magic formula to help couples create a warm and healthy relationship. The rule is that "for every 1 negative interactions during conflict, a stable and happy relationship needs to have at least 5 positive interactions." What would a negative interaction look like? Here are a couple: being emotionally dismissive, critical, becoming defensive, & eye rolling. Don’t feel bad if you have found yourself guilty with engaging in these behaviors, I think we all have at one point. There’s always a chance at redemption.

Here are a couple of positive interactions that can be helpful to start to practice to help reinforce your relationship on rainy days:

1. Be interested in what your partner is saying: intentionally ask open-ended question and make eye contact can help your partner feel listened to.

2. Express affection in your partner’s love language: love language you may ask? Yes, according to Gary Chapman there are 5 Love Languages individuals will demonstrate and desire love through. Physical Touch, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, and Gift Giving. Take the 5 love languages assessment today to learn yours:

3. Intentional appreciation: our minds have a tendency to gravitate towards negative thoughts. Taking time to focus on the positive things our partners do and putting those positive thoughts into action through appreciation goes a long way!

4. Show empathy: I cannot begin to reiterate how many couples come through my office on opposite teams. How do I know that they are on opposite teams? There is not one mutually agreed upon goal. Couples often times communicate to prove their point rather than to understand the other person. Taking time to stop and actively listen to what the other person is saying, and focusing on non-verbals helps to create a better understanding of what your partner is trying to say. Key formula: "Don't listen to speak, listen to understand".
5. Accept your partner’s perspective: once empathy has been established it is easier to accept your partner's opinion, even though it may be opposite of yours. Just because one learns to accept that the other person's opinion is a valid one, does not mean you have to agree with it. "Agree to disagree"

Who said having a healthy relationship is impossible? Working for something you care takes time, effort, hard work and dedication. If you desire to have a stronger relationship call and schedule an appointment today to start on this journey towards a happy and fulfilling relationship!

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