What’s a Healthy Ratio of Positive to Negative Exchanges in A Relationship?

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Researchers say it’s five to one! Yes, that’s right using the ratio of five to one in love can be very helpful in your relationship. Five positive interactions to one negative per day can be a key factor to not only improving your relationship but improving the quality of your connection.

With awareness, you can work consciously in your relationship by saturating your relationship with positives. We’re not talking grand gestures, but instead, small things you can do often and even daily such as compliments, praise and expressing gratitude. These small interactions will help you achieve a great relationship and connection with your partner.

By getting a little creative you can come up with many ways to keep your exchanges positive. Here are five of my top suggestions you can try immediately:   

  1. Technology can get a bad rap sometimes and can be blamed for making people drift apart, but you can use it to your advantage! Send a text, a cute selfie or funny meme to your partner to show that you are thinking of them when you are apart. Apps like Snapchat can help greatly with this.
  2. Take the time to handwrite a note or card with loving words, and put it in your partner’s lunchbox, brief case or bag. Not only will it be a nice surprise when he/she finds it, but it will be a nice reminder that you are thinking of them.
  3. Does your partner look good in his new shirt? Does your wife look hot in her new dress? Tell each other! Complimenting each other daily will make both of you feel appreciated, and shows that you are both invested in the relationship.  
  4. If your partner is feeling stressed, help them without being asked. It can be little things, such as offering to do the cooking, running errands or ironing their work outfit for the next day. This displays a team effort which is very valuable to a relationship. Say ‘thank you’ to your partner for doing things you might take for granted. Showcasing gratitude, gives you partner feelings of value and validation.
  5. Sometimes couple’s due to different schedules can’t get to bed at the same time or it could even be to do with different needs around sleep. One of you may have to put the other to bed and then get up and go to bed later. Or you may agree to phone each other at bedtime if one partner cannot come home until later that evening.

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I am one of Sydney’s leaders in Relational Psychotherapy, Relationship Therapy and Coaching. As a specialist in the field for nearly 20 years I have worked with many people to help them live more fulfilling and happy lives. I help transform people by working with them individually or as a couple in private practice and in my one day or two-day weekend retreats.

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