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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

Being a Successful Couple

Older couple with thumbs up

Latino Life

University of Washington clinical psychologists and love researchers Drs. John and Julie Gottman have interviewed more than 3,000 couples and studied more than 40,000 couples undergoing couples therapy to understand how to make relationship and love last. Most successful couples were able to “make repairs” when they said or did the wrong thing. A repair is not an apology, grand gesture or love declaration, but rather a chance to pause and ask a partner a mundane question like, “Do you want a cup of coffee?” The question implies that their partner still exists for them.

The Gottmans also discovered that to successfully resolve a conflict, there should be five positive interactions for every negative interaction. A positive interaction includes a smile, touch or simply saying “I understand”, whereas a negative interaction would be an insult or expression of blame. They warn against using phrases like, “You never” and “You always”. They recommend being more specific by saying, “I’d love it if we went on more dates,” instead of “You never plan dates anymore.”

 

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