Hello again! How are you doing this week? Any plans for this weekend? August is in two days, can you believe this!!! I feel summer is going so fast. What are your thoughts and feelings today? Or even about this week?
I hope you have had time for self-care and relax this summer!
LET’S talk about relationship satisfaction, which I am looking forward to!
How do we strengthen our relationship, to become or remain satisfied?
The Gottman Institute calls this the 5:1 ratio, which refers to having 5 positive encounters or situations with our partner and keeping the negative to a minimum of 1.
For every 1 negative experience with our partner we should aim for 5 positive experiences.
To me, this sounds a bit challenging so here are some steps we can take in the meantime, to get to the 5:1 ratio goal!
We can reflect on our relationships and journal our experiences with our partners. Write down any positives that occurred during a fight, date, or any time spent together. We should also write down the negatives, any interaction can be tracked. We should also reflect on our own feelings and emotions with our partner.
We should tracking this for at least three days a week and make sure to include a ratio. At the end of the week, we can tally our points and determine a ratio.
We should avoid defensiveness, criticism, contempt and stonewalling because these do not do any good in relationships and can really harm our partners. When these are being using frequently, relationships are in negative overdrive.
After we determine our current ratio for positives versus negatives, we can aim to reach a better goal or ratio. I know my ratio is definitely not a 5:1, more-so a 3:1, so I want to take the steps I need to get on track to my goal ratio. Below are some ways we can better our relationship satisfaction, have more positive interactions with our partners, and avoid negative ones.
How to Change the Ratio in your Relationship?
Appreciation and Affection
We can let our partners know we appreciate them by verbally telling them each day something we cherish and value in them. We can also show affection whether that be by words or physical touch.
Active listening, Acts of Service & Validation
We can make sure we engage in conversation, ask questions, respond with more than one word, and make eye contact. If our partner is extra busy one week, we can do an extra chore or help out in any way we can, so our partner does not feel overwhelmed. Acknowledging and showing a sense of understanding when our partner tells us something, despite if we agree or not, helps them feel validated. This one can be hard for me sometimes, so I try to place myself in my partner’s shoes and look at it from that perspective. I also remind myself that I want to feel understood and validated in return.
Having Fun, Bonding & Connecting
I think it is funny we have to remind ourselves to have fun, but I know I definitely need this reminder. We can dedicate time for a date, coffee in the morning or a quick chat, to let our partner know we care about them and like spending time together. We can bond and connect by taking interest in each other’s work, passions, interests and ideas, as well as spending quality time together on a regular basis.
I can imagine this can feel like a-lot to do, however, it can be done with help and support. Ms. Ebony is a Level II Gottman trained therapist who specialize in helping individuals resolve conflict in relationships and works with individuals individually to learn how to have healthy relationship with oneself.
Talk to you soon,