According to Dr. Gottman, who is the author of “What Makes Love Lasts?” and is by all accounts one of the leading relationship experts, there are 3 boxes we can find ourselves in while interacting with our partners:

(1) the Nice Box; (2) the Neutral Box; or (3) the Nasty Box.

I’m sure we all wish we could only stay in the Nice Box, but the reality is that about 70% of the time we’ll be in the Neutral Box, and the great take-away here is that this is perfectly okay– what you want to avoid is the Nasty Box.

Research shows that to maintain a healthy, loving relationship you need 5 good encounters to every 1 bad interaction.  A 5:1 ratio is easy to keep up when you trust and respect one another, turn towards each other during sliding glass door moments, and work together on solving problems as they arise.  If this is an issue, it’s definitely one to ignore.

There are lots of great resources out there for those that want to work on enhancing their relationships.  Dr. Gottman offers some great tips through his blog, and the website is:

There are also plenty of experts you can find by going to

Here is a link to an interview I did with a local relationship expert, Dr. Mary Atwater, who offers tips to help couples improve their relationship:

Here’s hoping you avoid the nasty box, and find a way to make your love last!

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.