No one likes a Negative Nathan. It’s true. Humans universally gravitate towards positive, happy people – and we are put off by pessimism… unless that pessimism is delivered in a very dry, witty, dark-humored way, which very few people pull off (my niece being among the few exceptions). But I digress.

If your conversations with your partner rarely put a smile on his/her face, you’re probably pushing the limit of the ideal bitch-to-smile ratio. Yes, I’ve quantified it.

I’ll go a step further and say that if you’re wondering if you fall into this category, you should ask yourself if:

  • You like your partner enough to truly date him/her.
  • You’re dating the person who you believe your partner has the ‘potential’ to become (i.e., dating potential).
  • You’re just used to bonding through negativity.
  • You’re possibly clinically depressed, anxious, or a combination thereof.

That said, if you go too far in the rainbows-and-sunshine direction, your partner will begin to take your positivity less seriously over time, until he/she is actually deaf to your optimism.

There is an ideal ratio that you need to strike: Enough skepticism/negativity for your partner to know that you can see the reality/problems of the world – but not so much that you’re drowning in misery (sucking your partner down with you).

That ratio is 85/15.

Ensure that 85% of the content that you share is positive – limiting the bitching to 15%, and you’ve hit the magic spot.