From Val: I spent almost 18 years in a miserable, abusive marriage and am now divorced. I know firsthand how nasty bad relationships can get – there are much worse things than being single! I LOVE Dr Scott and Shannon Peck! They continue to be my role models for creating loving, nurturing relationships that REALLY work. More Love Please – I’ll have what they’re having. Enjoy!
By Shannon & Scott Peck
In successful, lasting intimate relationships, there is a high ratio of positive sharing compared to negative sharing.
How many positive experiences does it take to balance out a comparable negative experience? It’s been suggested by psychologist Barbara Fredrickson that the ratio is 3:1 – that’s 3 positive emotions to every one negative.
Since then, noted psychologist, Dr. John Gottman, found in his research that a 5 to 1 ratio is necessary in order for a marriage to succeed. In fact, he claims he can spot a couple who is headed for divorce within the first 15 minutes of interviewing them based on this 5:1 ratio.
What this means is that, in a happy lasting relationship, each partner gives the other partner at least five positive, loving emotions or experiences to every negative one.
Why is it so important to offer 5 positive emotions to each negative one?
Because we remember the negative experiences vividly – whether criticism, judgment, or even neutrality. Even slight negative remarks can hurt our feelings & stick with us – usually for a long time. Our feeling loved rapidly slips away.
That’s why a high ratio of love versus non-love is so essential. Each of us needs the constant nurturing of loving-kindness to support our tender hearts. This is a big secret of lasting love.
We love this secret and we would take it even higher to what we call the “Golden Flow.”
The Golden Flow of love is a step beyond measuring love by a ratio. It measures love by the consistency of the flow of love. This is what has kept our love so alive & incredibly nourishing for twenty years. It’s the underlying theme in all our books, writings, & courses.
Here’s what this looks like from the inside of a lasting, intimate relationship. Each partner feels emotionally safe, relaxed, & deeply loved because there is a flow of love as consistent as Niagara Falls. This creates a tremendous sense of well-being, and it adds to each other’s confidence and ability to adjust to life’s changes.
Of course there will be blips on the radar screen when one partner is suffering from a bad day, stress, or hard times. But we make strong efforts not to pass this suffering on to each other in the form of anger, depression, judgment, or blame.
How can you bump up your love flow & bask in love?
Here’s what we do to create love flow. We are keenly aware of our emotional effect on each other every single day. And, we talk – a lot. Almost daily, we ask each other, What’s going on in your heart? This deep, nurturing listening brings whatever needs healing to the surface. And, if there’s nothing to heal, the heart question also allows good news to come to the surface. Imagine sitting by a beautiful river & watching the water flow by continuously. Your heart just naturally relaxes in such an environment of consistent beauty & harmony. That’s how our hearts feel in the “Golden Flow.” This causes us to bask in love.
To feel within your gut that you are so emotionally safe that you can depend on the Golden Flow of love takes any relationship to a dimension of soul-satisfying, soul-enriching love that can’t help but last forever.Â Is this not what we all crave?
Of course, no one is perfect. There are always bumps in any relationship. But the power behind the “Golden Flow” is that these bumps quickly disappear versus becoming the equivalent to an elephant of hurt or anger constantly standing in the doorway of your heart.
Whatâ€™s your consistency rate on flowing with positives?
Here’s how to move your love life more closely to the “Golden Flow”. More than anything, become aware of your own rate of love consistency. How would you rate yourself on being consistently kind or aware of others’ feelings, especially when you’re down?
As you become more aware, you’ll be able to start closing the gap to inconsistent patterns. Your love mate will notice and appreciate these refinements. As we wrote this newsletter, we considered that even if your ratio is 5 to 1, that’s still 20% negative. However, we also marveled that this also shows how powerful the positive emotions are (80%) in outweighing the negative.
To move even higher and take your love into the â€œGolden Flow,â€ start practicing being in a FLOW of love that is so consistent that your love mate actually relies on (and relaxes in) your love because it is proven so dependable, versus your love mate thinking, â€œI wonder if Iâ€™m going to feel loved today?â€
Remember, it’s okay to fail as you make efforts to refine your love skills. Making growth strides can be messy. Yet staying aware of being in the “Golden Flow” will DRMACTICALLY improve your relationship. Let us know how you’re doing.
Scott & Shannon Peck are love & relationship experts who are passionate about helping you find your soulmate & lasting love.
The Pecks are Love Master teachers, speakers, & co-authors of many books on love and healing, including their best-seller, “The Love You Deserve” as well as “Love Skills for Personal & Global Transformation” & “Liberating Your Magnificence.” Shannon is also the author of “Love Heals: How to Heal Everything with Love” & the “Love Heals Study Guide.”
The Pecks are co-founders of The Love Center, a non-profit educ ational organization where they have developed & taught many ground-breaking programs to create a world with more love. The Pecks live in San Diego, California.We’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts and questions on our Scott & Shannon Facebook Love Page! Copyright 2012