The Secret To Long-Lasting Relationships, According To Science

Did you know there is a science-backed formula that can help couples build long-term relationships? Yes, the secret behind lasting relationships has been unlocked!

“Till Death Do Us Part” isn’t just part of an oath; It is an emotion, an emotion that motivates couples to enter into the bond of sacred matrimony with a resolution to stay together until their last breath.

Sadly, most marriages that begin with these lofty feelings are doomed to end in broken promises, resentment, and eventually a legal separation or divorce. One study goes on to claim that in the United States, “nearly half of all marriages end in divorce.”

But divorce is not the only sign of a failed marriage. There are many couples who end up staying in a bitter, unhealthy, and dysfunctional marriage that is characterized by conflict, aggression, and in the worst cases, abuse and violence. Unfortunately, this applies to all romantic partners, whether married or single.

Read: Cookie Jarring, The Latest Dating Trend: 8 Signs You Are A Victim

So is there no happily ever after then? Are all relationships doomed to become toxic? Or is there a magic formula for long-term relationships that only the “chosen ones” know and master, whose marital success is revered and envied by other less fortunate couples?

The secret to long-term relationships

Since colonial times, Americans have considered the sanctity of marriage the bedrock of a healthy society. But as the number of divorces rose in the 1970s, social scientists became interested in the topic of lasting marriage.

They invited couples to participate in their research work and closely observed the partners’ interactions with each other in their labs, with the sole purpose of discovering the secret behind long-term relationships. What factors cause marriage breakdown and what are the rules for long-term relationships?

One of these researchers was the famous psychologist John Gottman. He has done extensive work on this topic over the past four decades. Along with his wife, Julie Gottman, another noted psychologist, he runs the Gottman Institute to help couples build lasting relationships based on scientific research.

And their many years of studies and findings can be summed up in one statement: The secret to love is only kindness.

Science says that lasting relationships come down to two basic qualities
According to Gottman, lasting relationships depend on two traits:

The secret behind building lasting relationships is very simple yet very complex. Let’s take a closer look at how these two traits help create long-term relationships.

In his field of work, Gottman observed many romantic partners, both in and out of wedlock, interacting with each other. These pairs fall into two categories:

During the interviews, the “disaster couples” showed clear signs of arousal, which could be interpreted as a physiological reaction to stress or a “fight and flight” situation. This means that they were under a lot of pressure just to be next to each other. Criticism, judgment, aggression, and resentment were born in their relationships.

The electrodes attached to them read that the “disastrous” partners had accelerated heart rates, active sweat glands, and rapid blood flow, all of which indicated that they were ready to attack and be attacked in their relationship. They were secretively quick and had no sympathy for each other’s follies.

On the other hand, the “Masters” ranked lower in detecting physiological arousal. They were calm and affectionate with each other as if they had mastered the art of maintaining long-term relationships. They somehow created an environment of trust and intimacy, which made them physically and emotionally comfortable with each other.

After following up on the research subjects several years later, Gottman found that “masters” couples had a much higher rate of successful relationships than “disaster” relationships.

In his quest to uncover the mystery behind major couples’ successful long-term relationships, Gottman dug a little more and discovered some surprising facts about long-term relationships and relationships that weaken.

Delivery bids
common joy
Notice that each partner in a romantic relationship makes connection requests or “offers” to the other partner.

Come, taste the soup.

“Did you see this news?”

You should read this book, it’s awesome.

All of these statements may sound like casual conversations, but in fact, these are requests from a partner to take care of something they are passionate about, to communicate, and to share.

Now when such a ‘bid’ is made, it is up to the other partner whether they ‘go towards their partner’ or ‘away’. The two master pairs turned towards each other and battled with each other far more than the catastrophic pairs.

Another factor that strengthens the future of long-term relationships is shared joy or excitement. When one partner shares good news about something important to them and the other partner reacts with enthusiasm and excitement, it boosts the ex-partner’s morale.

Likewise, if a joint joy is greeted with a cold shoulder, it dampens the spirit of a partner who was looking for some appreciation or encouragement.

So where do kindness and generosity come into the picture?

It’s easier to be attentive to your partner or to respond affectionately to his “gifts” when you’re in a good mood or when things are going well. But when you’re stressed, tired, or distracted, only kindness toward your partner will cause you to respond positively.

When you don’t completely agree with a decision your partner is making, kindness alone will keep you from raining on his parade.

When you get angry and get hurt in a fight, only kindness will keep you from breaking and hurting them.

But many times a partner may try to be supportive or perform a loving gesture that is poorly executed. A husband may have intended to take his wife out for a romantic dinner but had to cancel due to some urgent business at the office. In such cases, the other partner must be generous enough to appreciate the intent.

When couples show kindness to each other, even under stressful circumstances, and choose to be generous enough to overlook each other’s small faults, they form relationships that last a lifetime.

Read: The Best Sign Of A Healthy Relationship Is No Sign Of It On Facebook

How do we build lasting relationships?

The main difference between “Catastrophe” and “Masters” is that the former group looks for the faults of its partners and takes on grievances. These give way to resentment, contempt, and the eventual downfall of the relationship.

While the latter is looking for reasons to be grateful for their relationship. They are kind to their partners even when they are under a lot of pressure. They also generously acknowledge the good intentions of their partners and disregard any unintended consequences.

So, flex your nice and generous muscles and keep working on those two traits.

Love is a verb
A relationship may end for many reasons, but the secret to creating long-lasting relationships lies in two magic ingredients: kindness and generosity at all times; Even when the bills are pouring in, even when work is driving you crazy, or even when the baby won’t stop crying. Therefore, the signs of a long-term relationship are empathy, shared joy, sharing, forgiveness, and the ability to let go of small differences.

So how did you like our article on the topic of long-term relationships? I hope now you know how to have a long-term relationship with your partner and what are the things you need to stay away from. Do let us know your opinions by commenting below.

Read: 5 Things Men Look For In Someone Who is Marriage Material