• Ray St-Amour

Secrets To Successful Relationships - The Five To One Ratio

John Gottman in his research with couples has found that relationships that are successful have a 5 to 1 ratio of “positive bids” to “negative bids”. And what is a bid? A bid is a sign of response or non response to your partner.

A positive bid can be a response to a statement. For example: “My boss told me that she liked my report”. A positive bid could be any acknowledgement of the statement from “That’s great!” to a hug and kiss saying “I’m so proud of you”. John Gottman explains it best in The Seven Principles Making Marriage Work (2015). “… couples are always making what I call “bids” for each other’s attention, affection, humor, or support” (2015, p. 88). He further explains “ The partner responds to each bid either by turning toward the spouse or turning away. A tendency to turn toward your partner is the basis of trust, emotional connection, passion, and a satisfying sex life.” (2015, p. 88)

A negative bid would occur when one partner reaches out to the other but doesn’t get a response. If we take the example above, if there were no response to “My boss told me that she liked my report”, if the partner kept reading the newspaper or his/her tablet without acknowledging that something had been said, that would be a “negative bid”.

So, how is your relationship? Now that you are aware of what “bids” are, can you recognize when your partner is reaching out? And do you give a positive or negative bid back? This is proven in research as described in John Gottman’s book.

Do you want to know more about this book? Are you interested in attending a 2 day workshop for couples based on this book? If so, please contact me by phone or email. You can also Register here.



Maray simply came from combining the names or Marianne & Ray, the two therapists that make Maray Counselling.  We have been open since 2006.


Maray vient simplement de la combinaison des noms Marianne et Ray, les deux fondatrices de Maray Counselling. L'entreprise existe depuis 2006.

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