The science of love: A happy relationship cheat sheet (infographic)

When it comes to relationships, most of us make it up as we go.

And maintaining a great relationship can be hard work. While it’s easy to be exhilarated by the early stages of love, the grind of everyday life and our own personal baggage can lead to conflict, hurt feelings and emotional withdrawal. 

But there is a growing body of science that is showing us how to have a happy, healthy and loving relationship over the long term.

In the infographic below, we break down the science for you.

We found that the science of love and relationships boils down to empathy, positivity and a strong emotional connection.

For instance, researchers have zeroed in on the ‘5:1 ratio’. As gratitude and appreciation play roles in nurturing commitment, couples should have at least 5 positive interactions for every negative interaction.

While fighting in a relationship is normal, science says there is a right way to go about it. A fight should last for no more than 10 minutes. Studies also show that couples who discuss things right after the argument are 10 times more likely to be happy.

And what does science say about the role of sex in a happy relationship?

Not surprisingly, having sex is important. One study showed that couples who have sex at least once a week are 44% happier than those who don’t.

But you don’t need to overdo it in the bedroom.

Scientists discovered that having sex more than once a week doesn’t necessarily improve the quality of a relationship.

If you want more science-based guidance into the habits of happy and healthy couples, check out our epic cheat sheet below.

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