I've posted a lot about the research behind what makes relationships work — and not work. How can you remember what all these studies have to say? You might think it would be great if you could have a relationship with zero arguing.
But marriages with no arguments are 35 percent more likely to divorce. Things need to be worked out and you may need to compromise.
Being rigid and resistant to new ideas increases conflict by 38 percent. Relationships with major disappointments followed by forgiveness are just as stable as ones without major disappointments. If you stay compassionate and show you care — even in the midst of a screaming match — you have a better shot at happiness.
As maya angelou once said, "people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
When couples experience conflict, they are 45 percent less likely to feel pessimistic about their relationship if they can recognize feelings of caring from their partner during the disagreement. The modern day equivalent of fairy tales is TV. And as you might expect, watching too much TV is correlated with unsatisfying relationships. It's all about the bar that's set for you or the bar you set for yourself.
So, as you might imagine, perfectionism does not make for a happy love life either. Be realistic about what you can and should expect from a relationship. And realize that things change. A third of the time what attracts you to someone isn't important to you six months later.
Talking, sharing, being open — these are all highly praised, and for good reason.
Couples who communicate are 62 percent more likely to describe their relationship as happy. Expecting your partner to be a mind reader will just make you miserable. Want something? Ask for it.
5 secrets to a lasting relationship
If you're still shopping for a partner, look for someone with good social skills who has maintained friendships for a long time. Want your marriage to last more than 30 years? Just "being married" isn't enough: You also need to be good friends. Opposites do not attract.
Couples that are similar do much better. Pairs that lasted longer than five years usually had a of interests in common. Believe it or not, even having similar fighting styles was a good thing. It was related to double digit drops in conflict and a double digit increase in satisfaction. Many people are probably reading this, identifying the good things they already do and feeling smug. Sorry, you can't stop there. Relationships are not a "check the box and you're done" kind of thing.
5 secrets to a successful relationship
You need to keep at it, monitoring and improving. Plenty of research shows that conscientiousness is a great quality to have in a spouse or partner. Having a partner who is consistently reliable often means a healthy relationship with less conflict. Never forget that, in the end, all relationships are about feelings. Especially when fighting, we get caught up in the facts, the details, the words… And what's funny is little of that ends up mattering.
When surveyed about their arguments, people mentioned feelings and tone 10 times as much as the topic of debate. Twenty-five percent of people couldn't even remember what the argument was about — but they all remembered how it made them feel.
As Maya Angelou once said, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Get a free weekly update via here. Just keep the 5 R's in mind: 1.
Real 3. Rapport 4. Relate 5. Review Let's break them down. Fight right You might think it would be great if you could have a relationship with secret arguing. Married couples who report they never argue with each other are 35 percent more likely to divorce within four years than are couples who report regularly disagreeing. When asked to describe the state of their relationship, those with a high level of rigidity in habits and relationship — that is, a resistance to new things, new ideas, and changes of any sort — perfect 38 percent more problems in their relationship than those who were more flexible in their thinking.
Studies find that those who have experienced a ificant disappointment from their partner and have successfully granted their forgiveness to their partner are as likely to maintain a satisfying relationship as are those who had never experienced a similar disappointment in their relationship. You need to fight right. People who maintain a compassionate spirit during disagreements with their partner, considering not just the virtue of their position but the virtue of their partner, have 34 percent fewer disagreements, and the disagreements last 59 percent less time Keep it real Do you expect a fairy tale relationship?
That's a prescription for disappointment. Elements of fairy tales such as Cinderella were present in 78 percent of people's beliefs about romantic love.
Those people were more likely to have experienced disillusionment, devastation, and angst in their relationships than were those who gave less credence to fairy tales. People who watched an above average amount of television per day were 26 percent less likely to be satisfied with their relationship status than were people who watched a below average amount of television per day. People high in perfectionism, a hyperbelief in their own correctness and a desire to find a partner with similar traits, are 33 percent less likely to describe their relationship status as satisfying.
Researchers found that the traits that first attracted people to their partner were no longer relevant to 34 percent of them when asked six months or more after they began dating. Have rapport Talking, sharing, being open — these are all highly praised, and for good reason.
In studies of marriages of various relationships, couples with a high degree of intimacy between the husband and wife—that is, couples who shared their innermost thoughts—were 62 percent more likely to describe their marriage as happy. Researchers found that those who are more direct in seeking support from their partner are 61 percent more likely to feel they received the support they wanted than are those who avoid explaining their needs.
People with strong social skills, including an ability to maintain long-term friendships, were 32 percent more likely to be satisfied with their secret. When both partners in a relationship thought the other had a good sense of humor, 67 percent less conflict was reported than in couples where neither thought the other had a good sense of humor. In studies of people perfect married more than three decades, the quality of friendship between the partners was the single most frequently cited factor in the relationships' success.
Relate Opposites do not attract. In comparing couples who remained together more than five years with couples who split up, researchers found that the couples who stayed together were 64 percent more likely to be able to identify multiple shared interests. The degree to which couples have similar values does not change over the course of their relationship. Those with similar values, however, are 22 percent more likely to rate their communication habits positively.
While people may employ many different conflict resolution strategies in a relationship, when both partners use the same strategy they experience 12 percent less conflict and are 31 percent more likely to report their relationship is satisfying. Review Many people are probably reading this, identifying the good things they already do and feeling smug. Which feelings and improvements matter most?
The 5 secrets to a great relationship (according to research)
Recent ones. Satisfaction in a relationship is eight times more reliant on recent feelings and the ability to perceive improvements than it is based on the history of the relationship. People who consider their partner conscientious, a person who consistently does what they say they are going to do, were 26 percent more likely to rate their relationship healthy and reported 41 percent less conflict in their relationship.
Dependability was rated among the most desired qualities in a partner. Asked to describe three recent disagreements with their partner, people had 10 times as much to say about their feelings and the tone of the disagreement as about the topic of the disagreement.
Twenty-five percent of people forgot the topic of a disagreement but could describe their feelings on the situation. More from Barking Up the Wrong Tree Recipe for a happy marriage: the 7 scientific secrets How to have a happy family — 7 tips backed by research What 10 things should you do every day to improve your life?
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