There are plenty of opinions out there about what you should do to ensure a happy, long-lasting relationship. Here’s what science says.
It’s not easy to maintain a relationship because it requires a great deal of effort from both sides. Both partners have to want it enough and work very hard for it.
Often, they realize that whatever they have with the other person is not enough for all the work that they’ve done and all the sacrifices they’ve made and so the relationship soon goes down the drain.
But at the same time, they don’t really think about where their issues stem from in the relationships. They think that they’re breaking up because they’re always having fights but they don’t try to get to the source of that anger.
The end of a relationship is actually influenced by a lot of factors and it can actually be salvaged if we take a good hard look at our problems.
Research has shown us the three fundamentals of every successful relationship. In her eye-opening Ted talk, Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist, tells us about the three fundamentals and how we can all apply them in our relationships.
You can watch the Ted talk below but if you’ve got a lot to do and can’t sit through the whole thing, just read the three fundamentals that can save a relationship below.
1. Partners have to be able to empathize with each other
According to Fisher, the first essential for a successful relationship is the lovers being able to empathize with each other about things in the relationship. Unlike sympathy which you feel for the other person, empathy is when you put yourself in their place and feel all their emotions as if they were your very own. It’s not necessary for you to have felt that particular emotion before and you might not even understand it all that well. But it’s important to recognize that this is the way your partner feels and do your best to understand what they’re going through. It is also imperative to be kind and compassionate while dealing with them. Those who have a natural talent for empathy feel every emotion with a good deal of intensity and this helps them feel more connected to all the people they meet. By default, this also ensures that they’re very good with relationships.
It can be hard when one party empathizes with the other but it is not reciprocated by the other party. This will invariably result in one having a lot of issues with the other. But it is not an insurmountable problem. If the couple values the relationship enough, they can actively try harder to develop a better understanding of empathy when it comes to being there for the person they love. This will work wonder on their relationship.
It’s good because both will be able to see exactly what the other person is going through and they can put these issues out in the open and solve them by talking them out.
2. Partners should be able to rein in their feelings when they’re in a situation that puts them under a lot of stress
The second fundamental that is essential for all relationships according to Fisher is the partners being able to rein in their feelings when they’re in a situation that puts them in a lot more stress than they’re usually accustomed to. If we think about it, partners who spend a lot of time arguing about their finances are actually much more prone to breaking off their relationship than others who don’t argue about it as much. This is because the relationship is already a delicate, glass-like thing that can be shattered quite easily if it is not treated with care and caution. When you keep heaping piles of stress on it, sometimes it will be easier for the couple to just break things off, telling each other that they’ll be better off dealing with their financial situation without the presence of the other.
However, instead of fighting, if they had simply tried to control themselves and not being an argument, they could have just given each other the space to rant and let out all their pent-up emotions without telling the other person that is completely their fault. This can make or break a relationship quite easily.
Instead of arguing till both of you are blue in the face about whatever issues are affecting you and blowing off your anger on the other person, you can work on the problem while still showing each other respect and consideration. This will keep both of you together while also strengthening the very foundation of the relationship.
3. Partners being able to focus on the bright side of things
Fisher also argues for the importance of having positive illusions in order to make the relationship strong enough to last in the long run. Positive illusions are like having pep-talks to inspire you to stay in the relationship. For example, you might have found your boyfriend’s snort while laughing very endearing when you first started dating but now that some time has passed, the sound begins to grate on you.
Rather than concentrating on what you don’t like, think about all the other instances when he is not making that noise. Doing this allows you to consider him in a different way. You can look at his character and his habits without feeling the need to high-tail it out of your relationship as fast as you can. Think about all the beautiful traits that your partner has; not about the few annoying habits they have. Sometimes, we just completely absorb ourselves in all the things we perceive as negative about our partners and let them take over all the quirks that we love about them.
Instead, if we just took the time to concentrate on all the wonderful things about the relationship, we can keep it going. It’s important to remember that we are all human and this naturally makes us flawed. So just look on the bright side to find happiness.
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