It is that time of year, the sun is shining and days are longer. My life is spent thinking, talking and researching love and what makes it last. I was fascinated to read John Gottman’s psychological research into what makes love last and the five indicators he identified. His work in his relationship lab is able to tell within 94% accuracy if a relationship will last or not.
So, what are these five areas and how can we cultivate and strengthen them in order to bolster the love?
Love lasts if we are able to relate tales that have warmth, affection and respect for each other. If we think and speak about our relationship with fondness and admiration we foster it.
Keeping the focus on “we” as opposed to “me”. Having a clear sense of being in this together and working as a team even if there are disagreements.
Truly knowing our partner. The trick here is keeping a real connection and understanding how our partner ticks. Being curious about what our partner thinks or feels about things keeps us connected.
All relationships face hardships along the way. Love thrives if they can be seen as a way in which a couple pulls together and over comes adversity.
Having a relationship that lives up to expectation or better still perhaps surpasses it in some ways, bodes well. Feeling satisfied and letting our partner know engenders love.
So, before you rush off to buy your card perhaps we could all look towards these five areas. Genuine fondness, making the relationship central, keeping connected, pulling together through tough times and feeling satisfied.
If you are struggling to keep the love alive take heart and know that if we take charge of our relationships we are able to turn things around. In my experience, small changes make all the difference.