It seems like it all started with the book “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People,” by Steven Covey—but in reality the number 7 has been popular in western culture for centuries. Consequently, nearly every book out there touts seven this and seven that—it appears that everything fits into the magical number 7.

I don’t have any Chinese ancestry, but like the Chinese, I lean to the number 8. Upright, it represents perfect balance, give and take, Yin and Yang. Turned on its side it represents infinity. Also, the Chinese word for 8 sounds like the Chinese word for prosperity. I think eight works better for relationships for all the above reasons. In addition, in my research on the traits necessary for a successful relationship, I couldn’t make them all fit into seven categories. I did find, however, that eight was the magical number.

After three years of research, I found exactly eight traits necessary to sustain a modern relationship. My company, The Eight-Cow Relationship represents the eight traits that every relationship needs to succeed. I have found these traits to be so complete and sound that, who knows? Even in the west, eight could become the new seven.

-Tracy Lyn Cutler