Tips From A San Francisco Couples Therapist: What Sets Apart Happy And Unhappy Couples

Here’s an awesome tool for couples.

It’s called the 5 to 1 ratio, or sometimes the “magic ratio,” and it was discovered by John Gottman and his team at the Gottman Institute. Couples who have at least five positive interactions to every one negative interactions tend to have stable, happy and long lasting relationships. On the other hand, couples who have less than five positive interactions to every one negative interaction tend to be unhappy, break up, or stay together in misery.

To make sure you’re part of the group in stable and happy relationships, set a goal for yourself to have more positive interactions with your partner. That may sound like a tall order. You’re busy and you’ve got a lot going on.

Here’s a simple example of how to put this into practice. 

A positive interaction can be as small as your partner saying to you “Hey look at this!” and you saying “What is it?” That’s a positive interaction.

The negative version of the same interaction would be your partner saying “Hey look at this!” and you saying “I can’t right now.”

That doesn’t mean you have to have positive interactions all day in order to have a happy relationships. You’re human and you can’t be positive all the time. It just means you have to look for opportunities to turn towards your partner and have moments of connection. If you do that consistently, you’ll find that your relationship gets stronger over time.

Is it time to talk to an experienced couples therapist? Call us at (415) 534-4051 or schedule a free and confidential phone consultation with one of us now