5. Keep the 3:1 ratio. Over the course of a day we have a variety of positive and negative experiences. This is also true when it comes to our relationship with our significant other. Most people think that as long as the positive experiences outweigh the negative, everything is fine. However, this isn’t so. It’s the ratio of positive to negative that matters.
Research has shown that the magical ratio for a flourishing relationship is at or above 3:1. That is, you need to have three times more positive experiences with your partner than negative experiences in order to have a healthy relationship.
6. Keep the novelty alive. One of the positive aspects of being in a relationship with someone for a long time is that you really get to know each other. The negative side of this is that the novelty wears off, and humans love novelty.
However, there’s a way to keep the novelty alive: constantly try new activities together. This creates the excitement and the uncertainty that comes from the unknown, even if you’re with someone whom you know as well as the back of your hand.
7. Keep the playfulness alive. We all love to play, regardless of our age. Do the following: have fun together; do something ridiculous together; and just let go. In addition, the next time that your partner says something that bothers you, try responding with a joke instead of getting defensive.
8. Give your partner space. The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer used porcupines to explain a dilemma which often exists in human relationships. Two porcupines trying to keep warm will move closer to one another. However, if they get too close they prick each other with their spines.
The same thing happens in human relationships: we want closeness, but we also want space. The key is to find that sweet spot at which we feel the warmth that comes from being in a relationship, while at the same time allowing each partner to have enough space so that neither one feels like they’re being pricked by the other’s spines (feelings of lost individuality, feeling crowded, and so on). relationships,relationships,relationships