In Seattle, there’s a “Love Lab”.

The Love Lab is a lot like what you’d expect for a nice nightly rental condo: a stocked kitchen, comfortable room, and cozy bedroom. Except for the cameras and microphones everywhere recording your every interaction (except in bathroom and bedroom for privacy, of course). Also, if you stay there, they hook you up to sensors that monitor things like your heart rate and blood pressure.

Whao! Check out those wires and sensors!

Hundreds of couples have stayed at the Love Lab. Whether it’s about keeping the clothes off the floor, parenting, in-laws, spending too much money, or sex, conflict is inevitable in every marriage. Researchers study couples in how they deal with conflict. They’ve found that the ratio of positive to negative interactions between a couple separates the healthy and strong marriages from the struggling ones.

What’s the magic ratio?

At least 5:1.

That means 5 positive feelings to every negative feeling in the relationship. Having a fundamentally positive view of your spouse and your marriage is a powerful buffer when bad times hit.

Cultivating positivity takes practice, like any other skill. Here are some ways you build your positivity muscles in your relationship:

  • Remind yourself of what you like and admire about your spouse, even amidst their flaws.
  • Smile 
  • Try to make the other person laugh
  • Tell them qualities about them you’re fond of
  • Gratitude: list things you’re grateful about the other person.
  • Or look back on a happy time together.
  • Allow your partner to influence you to do good

Positivity in the relationship can be further developed by serving each other and looking for the good in each other. 

What things have you done to cultivate positivity in your relationship? Share in the comments below.