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Tag Archive 'Reciprocal Altruism'

May 31 2010

Little Steps that can Make a Big and Positive Difference in a Relationship.

What’s the biggest challenge in dating at midlife? I don’t think it’s finding an available single. The dating at midlife sub-culture is enormous. Census figures suggest that more than 30% of all adults are not married. It’s easy to find another single person who is looking for a relationship.  It’s even easy to get into a  relationship if you aren’t particular.  The real challenge is once you are in.

And it’s not so much the relationship per se that’s the problem. It’s the process of designing the relationship.

Every relationship needs a little tailoring. (I once read an interview with a fashion designer and the question was, how does an ordinary person, who can’t spend thousands on clothes, dress to look good. The designer said “tailoring.” He said that even those t-shirts the movie stars are wearing get a little bit of sewing here and there.)

The challenge is in finding a way to tailor the relationship to fit well for both of you. In other words, you both need to find a method for negotiating that relationship.

Every friendship has its little storms. The challenge in dating at midlife is creating a climate that, despite the ordinary storms, is so pleasant you want to settled down and live in it. How do you do that?

The Gottman Ratio.

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Apr 20 2009

The Subtle Stuff: Creating a Relationship That’s Worth Staying In

Published by under Advice

What’s the biggest challenge in dating at midlife? I don’t think it’s finding an available single. The dating at midlife sub-culture is enormous. Census figures suggest that more than 30% of all adults are not married. It’s easy to find another single person who is looking for a relationship. The question is what kind of a relationship and the challenge is in creating a relationship that’s worth staying in.

In midlife dating relationships it’s strange how easily people get ahead of the relationship their riding in. What happens when people try to force a relationship to go somewhere is that they end up being dragged behind it. A good example of this is what happens when people become lovers before they become friends. When this happens, it makes friendship building more complicated.

Every friendship has its little storms. The challenge in dating at midlife is creating a climate that, despite the ordinary storms, is so pleasant you want to settled down and live in it. How do you do that?

The Gottman Ratio.

John Gottman, psychologist at Washington University, wrote a book with the audacious title, “Why Marriages Succeed or Fail.” He and his team could predict with 90% accuracy whether a couple would still be together five years later. They did it by observing the friendship between the partners. Couples that stay together have five times as many positive interactions as negative. The percent of positive time together would have to be 83%. That, in a college grading system, is a B. If a relationship got a C, it wouldn’t last. It is this ratio that predicts longevity.

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