You might have got lucky in finding the one for you, but love and relationships are often hard to sustain. Long term relationships tend to lacklustre over the due course of time. There’s nothing new to say, petty arguments rile up up everyday and there are times when you are so mad that you can’t even stand the sight of someone you were in mad love with yesterday.
Is every relationship doomed to vapidness at some point? Certainly not. We often come across stories of old couples whose relationship is still as fresh and hot as it was in their twenties. What makes these couples inseparable? Is it that their love is more pristine than that of other couples? Here are five science-backed tips to be a happy couple.
1. Surprise Your Partner
Familiarity seems like a boon at the start of a relationship but slowly its curse starts taking over. After a while, there’s no surprise left and every aspect of your relationship starts become banal and predictable. Science calls this process ‘habituation’ or simply ‘getting bored’. The solution? Keep it fresh like you’ve just started dating. Pretend every outing is the first date. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2007) shows pretending your date is the first one makes it more enjoyable for couples.
2. Work On It, Don’t Expect A Fairy Tale
According to a study published in the journal Psychology of Women in 2014, expecting a fairy tale relationship is a prescription for disappointment. The study shows that marriages which are based on the fairy tale notion of women being protected and cherished are often disappointing as the man is not able to meet expectations. It is essential to understand that a fairy tale marriage is a myth.
3. Don’t Fix The Bad, Increase The Good
John Gottman, researcher and author of Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work, says 69 per cent of couple problems are perpetual. “This means that most of their disagreements are rooted in fundamental differences of lifestyle, personality or values,” Gottman writes in his book. By fighting over these arguments couples only succeed in jeopardising their relationships further. So instead, you should invest your time capitalising on the good things in your lives.
4. Forget Romance, Think Excitement
In a ten-week study published in the Journal of Personal and Social Relationships (1993) comparing couples engaged in exciting activities vs pleasant activities, couples who were involved in pleasant activities were found to be less satisfied. Exciting activities recur in our memory and associate those memories with the person you’re with, even if they were not the cause of it.
5. Think Better
Thinking your partner is actually a better version of themselves makes for a longer and better relationship. According to a research published in the journal Personal relationships, love is a little delusional. If the relationship is intense in its initial phase, some cognitive regions in the prefrontal cortex shut off. In contrast, primitive area associated with craving and obsession light up. Revisiting the delusional phase might not be a bad idea after all.