Mathematical Formula Reveals The Truth Behind Successful Relationships

Let's be honest here...relationships are tough work. Even after getting married, life can get tough, so how do you keep that healthy relationship going? According to a new study by mathematician, Hannah's all comes down to a simple formula.

From Business Insider, Fry, who works at the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis in London, explains in her 2014 TED Talk and recently released book, "The Mathematics of Love," that the best predictor of long-lasting relationships is how positive and negative a couple can be to one another.

In her book she discusses the work of psychologist, John Gottman and his team. They studied hundred's of couples over many years. They pointed out facial expressions, heart rates, blood pressure, skin conductivity, and the words they used in conversation with their partners. They discovered low-risk couples have more positive interactions with each other, and high-risk couples tend to spiral into negativity. Seems like a no brainer, right?

As Fry states, In relationships where both partners consider themselves as happy, bad behavior is dismissed as unusual." For example, a wife might assume her husband's grumpiness is due to stress at work or a bad night's sleep. "In negative relationships, however, the situation is reversed," writes Fry. "Bad behavior is considered the norm." A husband, for instance, might think his wife's grumpiness is "typical," due to her "selfishness" or other negative personality trait.

How does math fit into this? Gottman teamed up with mathematician James Murray, and from there they began to understand how these spirals of negativity happen. They came up with the below equation, which predicts how positive or negative a husband and wife will be at the next point in their conversation.

Business Insider points out, The wife's equation is the top line, the husband's the bottom, and it solves for how positive or negative the next thing they say will be. In hers, w stands for her mood in general, rwWt represents her mood when she's with her husband, and IHW shows how the husband's actions influence her. The husband's follows the same pattern.

It is interesting, but I think we all know it comes down to being positive and making sure your partner is loved regardless of good and bad days. So, people react to emotions. Who knew?

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