I guess you’ve all been in love. You’ve all had relationships or you are in a relationship right now. So, I think you can all nod and relate when I say that no relationship is all milk and honey.
Relationships are hard; and constant fighting between partners, even for trivial things, can ruin even the best and most stable ones.
So, we can’t help but wonder, is there a recipe to make a relationship long-lasting? – Luckily, there is.
Namely, this study provides convincing findings about this issue, and these findings are indeed trust-worthy because they are based on enormous data collected from adults from all over the world.
The 5 year long research study
The research was carried out by the University of South Pacific in 2011, and it lasted 5 years. During the years, psychologists examined the results of the participants.
They were asked to rate their partners from a scale of 1 to 10 in the following areas:
1.Communication – your partner’s listening skills; sharing thoughts with you; and avoiding disapproving comments or judgments. (“I often ask my partner for opinions.”)
2. Conflict resolution – being present in the moment and focused on the subject; also being able and willing to apologize when wrong and accept an apology. (“I always forgive my partner when he/she apologizes.”)
3. Knowledge of partner – knowing and caring for your partner’s wishes and interests, and finding new interesting ways to have fun with each other. (“I always remember important dates and surprise my partner on his/her birthday.”)
4. Life skills – ability to keep a job and career, managing finances, and leading a healthy lifestyle. (“I am always prepared for enduring (possible) hard times.”)
5. Self–management – knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are; having a tendency to focus only on your strengths and overcoming your weaknesses; being able to identify your goals and work smart to reach them. (“I regularly make time for reflecting on my goals and mistakes.”)
6. Sex and romance – taking care of your appearance; asking your partner about their preferences and caring for their sexual satisfaction; making time for intimacy. (“I try to stay attractive for my partner and I always make time for intimate date nights.”)
7. Stress management – ability to cope with everyday’s stress situations using meditation, relaxation, good organization, and planning. (“I always set my priorities straight.”)
They combined and compared this data with the satisfaction level of participant’s relationships. They redid this process again in 2016, because they wanted to make sure the data was relevant for long-term relationships.
They interviewed again those couples that were still together in order to find out the most important traits that make a relationship successful and long-lasting.
What do they find out?
If you are like me and you first thought of sex and romance as the essential thing for a successful relationship, I am sorry to inform you that you are wrong.
In fact, the research results revealed that the two most important factors of maintaining a healthy, long-lasting relationship are Communication and Knowledge of Partner.
Why is communication important in a relationship?
Having an effective communication is a number one sign that you have a perfectly healthy and stable relationship.
You are able to solve all your problems easily just by openly discussing the issues with your partner.
When a problem appears, you can solve it in no time by being open and honest with each other and working together as a team.
Besides, with good communication comes trust, and trust is a very important factor in every relationship.
Why is knowledge of partner important in a relationship?
When you know your partner well, you also know exactly what they like and what they don’t like.
You know your partner so well that you can do thoughtful things for them – like buying them something meaningful to them, or saying things you know they want to hear.
Also, you can always avoid mentioning up some topic you know they feel sensitive about, because you don’t want to hurt their feelings.
Finally, you have that intense connection between you two, almost telepathic. You can be your true selves around each other and enjoy it, because this is what true relationships are all about.