successful intimate relationships

Why showing appreciation is key – positive exchanges vrs negative exchanges

Research has long since shown that the most successful long term romantic relationships have, on average, five positive exchanges for every one negative exchange. It has literally been proven that those relationships where the negative exchanges are greater than one to every five positives are more than likely to dissolve quicker.



I remember when I first read this research. I was in a relationship with my ex at the time and we must have had 20 negative exchanges for every one positive! Although that definitely wasn’t the right relationship for me, perfectly happy couples can easily get into a rut of mentioning the negative and ignoring the positives. So if you want to ensure a longstanding intimate relationship make sure to compliment your partner and show appreciation for them, their contribution to the relationship and the thoughtful or kind things they do as often as possible.


Why calm excitement trumps sweaty palms any day!


The sweaty palmed, racing heart, and adrenaline fueled love of the movies has a lot to answer for. The movie portrayal of an all or nothing romance often means a turbulent and high conflict relationship in real life, which all too many of us try to pursue only to be left with something comparable to a champagne hangover – good at the time but generally not worth it at all.


Research of healthy, successful, long term relationships that have stood the test of time has revealed that these couples shared one thing in common – calm excitement. Sound like an oxymoron? Well it actually makes a lot of sense. Calm excitement refers to feeling a sense of calm around your partner, a sense of being completely at ease whilst also having a quiet inner excitement that stems from wanting to make your partner happy and share your life together. It is this quality that research has shown to be an indicator that the relationship will be successful in the long term.