Navigating all the rules to a lasting relationship is mind-mashing.
Don’t fight about money, we’re told. Always communicate feelings openly, we’re urged. And whatever you do, never go to bed angry.
And those are only three of the squillions of happy marriage mantras.
But an expert has put forward a far simpler way of ensuring that your relationship remains on track: the 5:1 ratio.
Famed marriage expert Dr John Gottman says the key factor that distinguishes the happy couples from the miserable is a healthy balance between their positive and negative interactions.
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But, as explained on the Gottman Institute blog, balance does not mean a 50-50 equilibrium.
Dr Gottman’s theory is that there needs to be five times as many positive interactions between partners as there are negative for the relationship to be stable.
Dr Gottman calls this the “magic ratio”.