Love is a beautiful thing. Lasting relationships are not exempt from arguments and emotional roller-coasters. Researchers have confirmed that there are two basic traits that will generate prosperous relationships. Have you guessed it yet?
Given the fact that most marriages seem doomed for divorce, everybody wants to know what the secret is to a happy and long-lasting relationship. Psychologist John Gottman and Robert Levenson are two social psychologists that conducted a longitudinal study into how couples interact with each other and the impact this has on the longevity of their relationship.
Gottman and Levenson gathered newlywed couples and asked them questions about their relationship, major conflicts and positive memories. The subjects’ physiological responses were recorded, namely, heart rate, blood flow and perspiration. Using these recordings, Gottman separated the couples into two categories : Masters and Disasters.
When speaking about the Disasters, Gottman said “their heart rates were quick, their sweat glands were active, and their blood flow was fast.” These couples indicated a fight-or-flight response to the questions asked. However, the Masters were calm and connected, even when they were fighting. He explains that these couples “created a climate of trust and intimacy that made both of them more emotionally and thus physically comfortable.”
Gottman & Levenson then conducted a follow up study in 1990. He invited 130 couples to come to a retreat and observed their behaviour. They found that couples who would turn to toward their partner and say something like “look at that bird” were able to connect emotionally. He called this bids. Those who turned away from their partner and showed less interest in the interaction would create more hostility.
They found that the couples who were more likely to last longer were couples who were:
1) Kind toward each other
2) Generous toward each other.
Couples who got divorced after six years only turned toward their partner 33% of the time. Whereas, couples who were still together turned toward their partner 87% of the time. Essentially, couples who lasted longer were those who met their partners emotional needs. In addition, the Masters had a habit of “scanning social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for.”
The key thing to take away from this study is to support your partner. It’s all about the ebb and flow of energy between you two. If your lover shows a level of excitement, creating that same level of enthusiasm within you balances the emotional energy. Be open and compassionate and you just might be able to master your relationship.
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I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here