I know, I know, this blog is starting to turn into Steven Bartlett's podcast supporting marketing channel. But there's something else that's very interesting that I found out from one of his interviews, and I have to note it down.

Last week he invited The Gottman Doctors for a talk, and when discussing solvable and unsolvable relationship problems, they shared something unexpected: that 69% of all problems are not solvable. 

Why is this important to know and understand? Because most people, myself included, want to fix problems and even judge the success of a relationship by how well we fix problems together or the lack of conflict.

In my SEO profession, success comes from fixing the issues which are hindering a site's visibility. The more issues we fix and the more opportunities of growth we find, the better the organic traffic.

And generally, optimising things, fixing problems, like fixing a broken door knob, or a leaking faucet, or whatever, are things that improve life quality.

So I never saw anything wrong with being an optimiser in the relationship also. 

As a relationship optimiser, I made sure I developed the skills to be able to fix relationships problems: I communicated, I figured out solutions, I organised and prioritised what should be done. And in time, in 2-3 years, after seeing that the relationship problems persisted, I started to become more and more worried or enraged by them. 

But what the Gottmans are saying is that most relationship problems are perpetual. That the ways in which we are different from our partner, even though they are what initially attracts us to that other person, for example their chill attitude, is what will probably annoy us for 50 years. 50 years of "Why are you so chill about this? Why don't you care more?".

And people are not faucets and door knobs. While relationship problems might be smoothed around the corners, they will never completely be solved. 

So the trick, and what the Gottmans found that people who are great in relationships do, is finding a way to work with them. Shifting the focus to finding ways to laugh about the differences, to understand how they make our partner the wonderful person he is, how they connect to his dreams, his life purpose. 

The partner annoyed with the problems has to better understand where they stem from, while the partner who's accused of doing the annoying things should get better at communicating how those traits are an essential part of who he is.