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Over the following months they drew closer and closer, proceeding through subsequent stages of building a fulfilling love relationship. Through their conflict they came to love each other more.John learned about the unhappy home life growing up in Michigan that had driven Julie to spend so much time in the forest by herself, and Julie learned about John's desire to understand deeply earth's biggest mysteries, like the nature of time. They married and had a daughter, fulfilling one of John's longtime dreams, and bought a house on a forested island three hours north of Seattle, fulfilling a dream of Julie's. Twenty-nine years after that first date, John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman stood on a black stage in a ballroom of the Seattle Sheraton in front of about 250 other couples, young and old, straight and gay. The rest of us, seated in chairs that had been hooked together in sets of twos, watched them with yearning.Walk by any newsstand, or trawl the Internet for three minutes, and you’ll find data-driven methods to improve everything we do. ” “The Best Workout Ever, According to Science.” You might expect love to be the last frontier breached by data.
Poets like Erich Fried capture its strange mix of pleasure and pain, the sense of its essential ungovernability: “It is foolish, says caution / It is impossible, says experience / It is what it is, says love.” I first encountered Gottman's research last year in an Atlantic article called "Masters of Love." It went viral; my own friends posted it on Facebook saying, "This is what it comes down to.” Finally, love had been harnessed in the laboratory, seen, understood and broken into building blocks we could all apply to our lives.
The man, a then-44-year-old University of Washington research psychologist named John Gottman, was drawn to the woman's wild mane of black curly hair and her creativity: She was an amateur musician and painter as well as a psychologist like himself.
The woman, a then-35-year-old named Julie Schwartz, who'd placed a personal ad in the Seattle Weekly that John had answered, was turned on by John's humble little car—voted the ugliest vehicle in the University of Washington faculty parking lot—and his expansive curiosity.
"All happy relationships are similar and all unhappy relationships are also similar. He has won awards from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Council of Family Relations and has become the subject of increasing public fascination. A book he co-authored that summarizes his findings, , is a New York Times best-seller.
His work took off because the consistency of his predictions is astonishing.