Happiness in Love

Magic Need Not Be Exclusive To Harry Potter: When It Comes To Love, There IS A Magic Rule

By Laura Schreffler

Call me crazy, but I have a thing for Harry Potter. So much so that I will be at a midnight screening tonight, maybe even wearing my Harry Potter cape and carrying a wand.  But my penchant for Potter goes deeper than simple childlike excitement; it isn’t all about the urge to turn bad men into real rats or even to play a killer game of Quidditch. Supernatural shenanigans aside, magic should be about spell-casting.

I’m not just talking Hogwarts-style magic, either. I’m talking the love kind. You know what I’m talking about: the kind of relationship where, when it’s right, everything falls into place  perfectly. Love shouldn’t be hard work. You should be seeing a lot of his magic wand, sure, but also spending as much time getting to know everything about him as you are playing with his broomstick.

Leading relationship researcher and expert John Gottman of the Gottman Relationship Institute has his own theories on the “magic relationship rule” — an actual scientific theory behind what it takes to make love last.

“[The magic relationship rule] is the ratio of positive stuff such as interests, asking questions, being kind, being affectionate and being nice to one another to the ratio of negative stuff like criticism, hostility, anger and hurt feelings,” Gottman explains, adding, “In relationships that stay together, the ratio is 5 to 1. When you have five as many positive things as negatives, it’s an interesting equation.

“If you do something negative to hurt your partner’s feelings, then you have to make up for it with five positive things, because negatives have more ability to inflict pain and bring damage than positives do to heal.”

Although magic to me will always be about the way a man makes me feel — that buzz I get from having crazy chemistry or the way my heart stops the first time he says ‘I love you’ — I’m on board with Gottman’s magic number. There should be five amazing things about the man you’re dating to counteract every flaw. Make a list. If you’re finding that the bad outweighs the good, call it a day. Why cause yourself unnecessary pain?

The magic relationship rule won’t help you to create a love spell or a Veela charm, and it won’t prevent you from making a jerk out of yourself when you pretend to be wearing the Cloak of Invisibility but, in reality, are wearing a not-so-magical cape to a movie at the age of 30, but it will help you get the relationship you deserve.

Finding love that works, that’s worthy of you, that makes you happy: now that, my friends, is magic.



Filed Under: Blogs


About the Author: Laura Schreffler is a former New York Daily News columnist who left the world of celebrity behind to focus on what makes her happiest — love and travel. She is the creator of LoveTrekker.com — a website devoted to these two passions that she fondly calls “looking for love in all the right places.” In her spare time she likes to play matchmaker for her friends, dream about her next vacation and gaze at photographs of Taylor Kitsch. For more advice on love, relationships, and happiness, check out http://lovetrekker.com & her book "Internet Dating 101". And follow her here at Happiness Series with her weekly blog about finding love.

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