Everyone’s always trying to sell you advice on how to make relationships work, but this guy finally had the great idea of simply asking couples who are in solid, long-term relationships. He crowdsourced a study of over 1500 couples online and found they all had the following things in common.
1. THEY’RE TOGETHER FOR THE RIGHT REASONS.
People in the study looked back on unsuccessful relationships in their past and realized they’d chosen their previous partners for the wrong reasons. They cited things like wanting to please family or friends, choosing someone who “looked good on paper” or just falling in love and thinking that was enough to gloss over all the glaring red flags and problems. Others went into relationships because they were feeling lonely or were afraid of being the loser who ends up alone. Some even said they were trying to fix themselves and thought a relationship was the answer to their prayers. Sounds familiar? Well, sadly none of these make for a healthy long-term relationship.
2. THEY HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS.
There is no such thing as happily ever after. People in long-term relationships don’t experience puppy love every single day of their lives. Expecting a relationship to be like that is what makes people ditch perfectly good relationships when reality hits. The sort of love that sustains a long-term relationship is not the exciting romantic love movies tell us to expect, but a deeper, less glamorous, yet unconditional love. Responders described it as a commitment to be together in spite of the daily ebb and flow of emotions.
3. THEY ACTUALLY RESPECT EACH OTHER.
You can’t love someone you don’t respect. Responders who have been together for over 20 years pointed out that while communication will undoubtedly break down occasionally, what sustains the relationship when feelings are hurt is a deep mutual respect for one another. Many listed means of maintaining respect, such as not saying negative things about your partner to your friends and family, respecting the differences between partners and keeping no secrets.