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‘Golden Relationship Ratio’ Accurately Predicts If Your Relationship Will Last
By Mikelle Leow, 10 Jun 2020
Image via Shutterstock
A dating app like the one in Black Mirror that quantifies how perfect you are with your partner doesn’t exist. However, there’s a “magic relationship ratio,” as well as a psychological study with a near 94-percent success rate of telling which couples stay together and which pairs end up in divorce.
After observing 130 newlywed couples, American psychological researcher Dr John Gottman and his clinical psychologist wife, Dr Julie Schwartz Gottman, found there were “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” in relationships that precisely revealed which marriages would result in divorce. The findings were published in Dr Gottman’s highly-acclaimed book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.
A YouTube video by clinical psychology doctorate student Ana Psychology delves into these “Four Horsemen,” as well as introduces a “golden ratio” that helps establish successful relationships.
Four signs that cause relationships to end
The YouTuber first discussed the four negative communication patterns that were found to lead to divorce. These comprise criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.
Criticism refers to presenting complaints as a “defect” of a partner’s personality, or assigning negative trait attributions to your partner. Gottman said an example of this is telling your other half, “You always talk about yourself. You’re so selfish,” labeling them as an objectively “selfish” person.
Contempt comprises of condescending statements that make you appear more superior than your significant other, as if you’re looking down on them. Gottman described this trait as the most telling predictor of divorce.
The third red flag is defensiveness, where a partner protects himself or herself in “righteous indignation” with phrases like, “How dare you?” They might also take on the role of an innocent victim and say things such as, “I would never do that.”
The fourth “Horseman” is stonewalling, which essentially means a lack of reaction or care towards your partner’s actions or words.
Partners guilty of regularly repeating these actions ended their marriages during the first five years. Couples that stayed together longer, but eventually separated, demonstrated two more characteristics: anger and emotional withdrawal.
The 5:1 golden ratio to successful relationships
Sure, conflict is unavoidable in relationships, but the student believes there’s a way to offset the hurt and ultimately create a happy and successful marriage. She went on to describe the “golden relationship ratio,” which has a magic number of five to one.
The ratio indicates that for every negative interaction with your partner, you’ll have to perform five positive ones to balance it out. That seems like hard work, but the gestures don’t have to be grand. A positive interaction could be something as simple as a hug, compliment, or helping out with a chore.
Couples who use this formula are likely to have bonds that stand the test of time.
Tensions can be high in this time of isolation, but they don’t have to put an unnecessary strain on your relationship. Keep these tips in mind for the long haul, and you might be able to survive anything, even and most certainly a pandemic.
[via Ana Psychology, cover image via Shutterstock]
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