Mathematics Of Love

I read one of this guy’s books several years ago and still find the whole subject to be super cool. Basically John Gottman has been conducting experiments for over 40 years on the science of love as it relates to couples. I’ll post a Youtube link below.

They basically took thousands of couples to the “Love Lab” over the years and hooked them up to measure physiological markers like heart rate, blood velocity, and respiration while they’re interacting with their significant other, particularly during times of conflict.

Based on these things, they built positive and negative quadrants and were able to accurately predict how long couples would remain together to a very high degree. Some of the interesting things of note:

  • When the conversation would go in a negative direction, the healthy couples would send out a “repair” signal to each other much earlier on.

  • The couples whose physiological markers remained calm during times of conflict were able to resolve the situation more easily because they could process information better and not be in attack/defend mode.

  • The couples who endured the longest had closer to a 5:1 positive to negative emotions ratio.
  • Sex and desire is not the major reason for affairs. It’s loneliness and not feeling like you’re being heard or found interesting by your significant other.
  • Humor is a hugely helpful trait present in the couples who last longest.
  • Divorced couples end up stuck in a negative emotional pattern that they never emerge from.

I think it’s cool that by measuring things in an empirical way, people can learn how to self correct this stuff.

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