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One 1992 experiment found that certain indicators in how couples talked about their relationship could forecast–with 94 percent accuracy–which pairs would stay together.
This was magic–a virtually foolproof way of distinguishing toxic partnerships from healthy ones even before the couples knew themselves–but it was also science, so it appealed to our contemporary desire to use empirical data to better our lives.
Walk by any newsstand, or trawl the Internet for three minutes, and you’ll find data-driven methods to improve everything we do. ” “The Best Workout Ever, According to Science.” You might expect love to be the last frontier breached by data.
"All happy relationships are similar and all unhappy relationships are also similar. He has won awards from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Council of Family Relations and has become the subject of increasing public fascination. A book he co-authored that summarizes his findings, , is a New York Times best-seller.
Over the following months they drew closer and closer, proceeding through subsequent stages of building a fulfilling love relationship. Through their conflict they came to love each other more.John learned about the unhappy home life growing up in Michigan that had driven Julie to spend so much time in the forest by herself, and Julie learned about John's desire to understand deeply earth's biggest mysteries, like the nature of time. They married and had a daughter, fulfilling one of John's longtime dreams, and bought a house on a forested island three hours north of Seattle, fulfilling a dream of Julie's. Twenty-nine years after that first date, John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman stood on a black stage in a ballroom of the Seattle Sheraton in front of about 250 other couples, young and old, straight and gay. The rest of us, seated in chairs that had been hooked together in sets of twos, watched them with yearning.He read physics and math and history and kept a little spiral-bound notebook in his pocket that he used to jot down things his companions said that captivated him.They talked avidly; it felt as if they'd known each other forever.
Although they were afraid—they'd both been divorced before—they confided their admiration for each other, John's for the courage Julie showed in her therapy practice by helping the “sickest of the sickest,” schizophrenics and Vietnam veterans on Skid Row, and Julie's for John's absurdist sense of humor. The intense intimacy of their relationship was on full display: They finished each other's sentences, bantered with each other and talked candidly about how their struggles had made them stronger. We'd come to see the Gottmans because the pair has spent the last 20 years refining a science-based method to build a beautiful love partnership yourself.They reveal it over a two-day, 0-per-pair workshop called "The Art and Science of Love." “It turns out Tolstoy was wrong," John told the crowd in an opening lecture. It turns out, empirically, yes, there is a secret." Over decades, John has observed more than 3,000 couples longitudinally, discovering patterns of argument and subtle behaviors that can predict whether a couple would be happily partnered years later or unhappy or divorced.