Relationships are hard. They’re full of highs and lows, wins, and failures. When two people come together — no matter how compatible or in love they may be — it takes plenty of work to bypass the frustration, anger, and annoyance that inevitably comes your way. What gets couples through the hard times is love, but how do you make love last when half the time you want to strangle your significant other?
Relationship researcher John Gottman found that happy couples create a 5:1 ratio of positive and negative interactions, meaning that as long as there are five times as many positive interactions between partners as there are negative ones, the relationship is likely to be stable. Unhealthy relationships and unhappy couples tend to have more negative than positive interactions.
Here are some tips to increase those positive interactions, so you can battle the negative interactions when they arise.
1. Make them smile
Every day make it a point to make your partner smile. If they love it when you help out in the kitchen, load the dishwasher and prep dinner. If it makes him or her feel special when you give them little gifts, pick up a treat on your way home from work. Make it your mission to discover or re-discover what makes your partner smile. Then use it to let them know you love them or are thinking of them daily.