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Subscriber active since. During the coronavirus pandemic, many couples are spending more time together in self-isolation. All that time together can lead some to wonder if they're on the right track, or if being in close quarters is exposing faults in the relationship. Psychologists have spent years studying the traits that are fundamental to successful long-term relationships. We listed some of their most surprising insights below. A word of caution: If you notice that your What a relationship should be like doesn't meet all these criteria, that does not necessarily mean you should end things with your partner.
Consider this list a general set of guidelines that can help you start evaluating whether your current relationship is bringing you satisfaction and happiness. InStony Brook University researchers randomly dialed hundreds of adults and asked the nearly who were married a series of questions about their relationships and how in love they felt. showed that certain relationship characteristics were linked to stronger feelings of love. One especially interesting finding: The more often people reported thinking about their partner when they were apart, the more in love they felt.
The same study included a follow-up experiment with nearly married New Yorkers, which found that difficulty concentrating on other things while you're thinking about your partner is also linked to strong feelings of love — especially for men. Business Insider ly reported that one litmus test of a happy relationship is how enthusiastically each partner responds to the other's good news. A Psychology Today blog post breaks down four ways a man could respond after his partner tells him about a promotion at work:.
I knew you could do it, you've been working so hard. Are you sure you can handle it? Well you won't believe what happened to me on the drive home today! Perhaps unsurprisingly, the response that's most closely linked to relationship satisfaction is the active-constructive response. Over the past few decades, we've started placing increasing demands on our spouses.
As Business Insider's Jessica Orwig reportedno longer do we expect them to be financial partners, protectors, and companions — now we also want them to provide personal fulfillment. The psychologist who produced some of these findings, Eli Finkel, suggests that if you want to be happy in your marriage, it's best not to look to your partner for all your existential needs. Finkel recommends finding yourself in hobbies, friends, and work. Neil Clark Warren, psychologist and founder of dating site eHarmony, ly told Business Insider that humor can be a "social lubricant" in a romantic relationship.
Business Insider's Erin Brodwin has reported that having a "private language" with your partner — like nicknames and jokes that no one else would get — can help facilitate bonding and often predicts relationship satisfaction. Chore-sharing seems to be especially meaningful to younger couples, with 67 percent of to year-old married adults calling it "very important" to a successful marriage.
But while men are doing more housework than they were in years past, research has found that women still pick up most of the slack. In research led by relationship expert Art Aron in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, researchers looked at the relationship quality of more than 50 middle-aged married couples and ased them to one of three groups.
One group picked new and exciting activities to do together for 90 minutes a week — like going to a play or dancing. Another group spent 90 minutes a week doing pleasant but routine activities together — like going to a movie. The last group wasn't asked to change anything. After 10 weeks, the researchers reassessed the couples' relationship quality and found that those who had tried new and exciting things were the most satisfied.
As The New York Times reported in :. Aron cautions that novelty alone is probably not enough to save a marriage in crisis. But for couples who have a reasonably good but slightly dull relationship, novelty may help reignite old sparks. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg looked at nearly dating couples. They used their feedback about their relationships to identify four patterns of commitment: dramatic, conflict-ridden, socially involved, and partner-focused. As psychologist and relationships expert Gary Lewandowski explainsdramatic couples showed a lot of fluctuation in their commitment to their partners over time.
Partner-focused couples saw their partners positively and mostly experienced fluctuations in commitment when they couldn't spend as much time together. Socially involved couples usually experienced fluctuations when their friends and family changed what they thought of the relationship. Finally, conflict-ridden couples fought often and had a lot of mini-fluctuations in their level of commitment. As it turns out, partner-focused couples were most What a relationship should be like to get more serious in their relationship, and dramatic couples were most likely to break up.
It's not about not having conflict at all — instead, it's about the way you approach it. Gottman told Business Insider:. And we repair things. We don't let things go. We don't leave one another in pain. We talk about it, and we repair. One study supported by the National Institute of Mental Health found that couples that expressed more gratitude were more satisfied in their relationships than those who expressed less gratitude.
Moreover, couples where both partners felt appreciated by the other were less likely to break up nine months later than those who didn't feel as much appreciation, according to a separate study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Get the Insider App.
A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. Free subscriber-exclusive audiobook! Redeem your free audiobook. US Markets Loading H M S In the news. Shana Lebowitz and Marguerite Ward. s of a strong relationship include responding positively to each other's good news and trying new things together. That's according to psychologists who have spent years studying the fundamentals of successful long-term relationships. Consider the following list to evaluate the quality of your relationship — not a deciding factor in whether you should end it.
Visit Business Insider's home for more stories. You think about your partner often when you're not together. You respond positively to each other's good news. You spend some time apart. You have a similar sense of humor. You split chores evenly. You try new things together. You don't have a lot of extreme downturns in your relationship. You know how to recover from a fight.
You and your partner appreciate each other. Loading Something is loading. address.What a relationship should be like
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