What Do Long-term Partners Have In Common?

We all know long-lasting, happy partners. Couples who after years of union seem to enjoy unbreakable emotional ties. However, there is no universal recipe to make love last, no romantic feats of a movie or grand gestures are necessary.

However, there is an essential ingredient: take an interest in our partner’s needs, as well as our own. John Gottman, known in the United States for being able to “predict” if a couple will divorce just by listening to them talk for 5 minutes, has dedicated his life to researching what the success of some marriages is based on. This psychologist has managed to identify 5 basic qualities of long-lasting couples.

1. Admiration

Among the couples interviewed , Gottman perceives that the most successful are those who speak to each other with admiration. When telling their stories, many of them assert that the first impression was not as favorable as the one that was forged over time, the more they knew each other.

2. Equipment

During his interviews, Gottman observed that those happiest marriages referred to both as a team. They told various stories that they had worked on together and as a result they had obtained pleasant or funny results. Likewise, when they reported their achievements, they did so in the plural, using “we” instead of “I”.

“A happy marriage is a long conversation that always seems too short.”

-André Maurois-

3. Long-lasting couples meet

In another experiment, participants were asked to describe their partner and their partner’s tastes and hobbies. Those with a more successful married life were able to offer detailed descriptions, in which the interest that their partners aroused in them was perceived.

Long-lasting couples spoke of their partner with passion. On the contrary, those who were not very likely to stay together were sparing in words when referring to the likes of the other.

4. Learning

The best-suited couples spoke of their difficulties in a positive tone. Most narrated a misfortune as if it were an adventure film and emphasized that it had contributed to bring them closer together or to strengthen their relationship. Whether it was an insignificant disagreement or an emotionally serious and painful event like the death of a child, they recounted how they worked together to get ahead, reaching a positive result.

5. Acceptance

The most successful interviewees had one last thing in common: they accepted what made them different. Both were aware that there were characteristics of their partner that were not going to change, they even acknowledged having different points of view in some aspects. However, they assumed this situation.

They were genuinely interested in working on their differences, but they were able to talk about them without anger or frustration. They even perceived the fact of being different as an advantage that added even more interest to their life together.

The key to lasting couples

In short, for a couple to stay together over time, impossible and constant demonstrations of love are not necessary. Those who showed the most interest in their partner and in the relationship were those who enjoyed the healthiest and most lasting bonds.

If the couple is not invested, the natural thing is that intimacy deteriorates and both members end up disconnecting from each other. Whether due to daily obligations, work issues or being focused on raising children, many couples forget the importance of conquering each other day by day.

Therefore, if you are determined to create a lasting bond and a happy relationship, remember the essentials. Your partner is your partner and you are both a team. Take an interest in the world of the other, for their essential being and admire it. Finally, remember to observe your differences as something enriching and find a way to see adversity as a way to emerge stronger together.

“There are some people who are naturally good at relationships. I call them ‘masters of relationships’. They have that mental habit whereby they look for things to appreciate. They look for things so they can say “thank you.” At the other extreme, ‘relationship disasters’ focus on your partner’s mistakes. They scrutinize to find what the other is doing wrong. “

-John Gottman-