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  • Lisa Arango, Ph.D., LMHC

Relationship Goals


According to research by John Gottman, happy couples have 5 more positive than negative interactions throughout the day. This magic five to one ratio actually protects the relational bank account from bankruptcy by providing a cushion for withdraws of negativity. Thus the goal is not to get rid of negativity (which by the way, is a part of EVERY relationship) but to balance it out to keep your relationship out of the red. This can be as simple as a thank you, a text message to say hello, or a warm hug when your partner gets home.

The positive impact of the 5:1 ratio also holds up when it comes to interacting with our kids. This is pretty easy when they are little but when they become teenagers can become a bit more challenging. Imagine the impact of investing, daily, these types of small deposits into your relationships. Make it a goal to say something positive, make a positive gesture, or do something loving for your partner, little one, or teen every day, just five times a day, and watch what happens in your relationship!


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