What makes for a long-lasting relationship?

It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves.

A new study is providing a highly credible answer, as it replicated previous research and used a huge pool of data – samples of adults from all over the world.

But first, let’s talk about what the research study involved.

The 5 year long research study

Completed by the University of South Pacific and examined over a 5 year period, psychologists in 2011 initially asked participants to rate their partners from a scale of 1 to 10 in the following key areas:

Communication. Knowing how to listen, share your thoughts, and avoid being critical.

Conflict resolution. Staying focused on the topic and on the present; being willing to forgive or apologize as necessary.

Knowledge of partner. Knowing how to have fun with your partner, knowing your partner’s preferences, and caring about your partner’s wishes.

Life skills. Being able to manage finances, stay fit and healthy, and keep a job.

Self-management. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, striving to overcome your weaknesses, and identifying and reaching your goals.

Sex and romance. Asking about and caring for your partner’s sexual satisfaction, setting aside time for intimacy, and staying attractive for your partner.

Stress management. Being able to use various methods to cope with stress, such as imagery, relaxation, planning, and organizing.

This data was then collaborated with their relationship satisfaction. This process was done again in 2016 for two reasons:

To make sure the data was consistent and to find out which traits were predictive of a longer lasting relationship (those that were still together).

So, what were the findings? 

If you think the one of the most important skills were sex and romance, you’d be wrong.

In fact, they found the two highest predictors of a healthy and long-lasting relationship was Communication and Knowledge of Partner.

Why is communication important? 

Effective communication enables you to solve your problems with ease together and have fun at the same time.

When you’re having any sort of problem, you’ll be able to be honest with your partner so you can work through it together.

And when you’re feeling joyful, it’s important you can be honest with how your feeling so you can both bask in the fun together.

Being honest and building trust are incredibly important in any relationship. And without communication, neither of these things will happen.

Why is knowledge of partner important?

When you know someone well, you know exactly what they like and dislike. You’ll doing more thoughtful things for them because you know they’ll enjoy them.

You’ll also avoid talking about any issues you know they feel a bit sensitive about.

Most importantly, however, is that you’ll understand each other for you both really are.

If you can’t be your true self around your lover, then the relationship won’t last.

Authentic connection is the key to a healthy relationship.

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