Science shows these are the 11 secrets to a long and happy relationship

Science shows these are the 11 secrets to a long and happy relationship

via Bustle by Eva Taylor Grant

Long-term relationships don’t have to be boring. As amorphous as relationships are, scientific research has still been conducted, particularly in the last century, to figure out why some couples are more successful, and happier, than others. And if you’re looking for the keys to a happy relationship, the details may be a lot more specific than you’d think.

A lot of the keys to long-term success in relationships boil down to successful communication styles between partners. “No two relationships are the same and there is not an exact formula to happiness and longevity,” Dr. Dara, a licensed clinical psychologist, rapid resolution therapist, board certified clinical hypnotherapist, and author, tells Bustle. Because of the amazing diversity of relationships, things like honesty and consideration become much more important than any tangible relationship hacks.ADVERTISING

Psychologists and other scientists have long been curious about relationships. And famous researchers like Dr. John Gottman have conducted decades-long studies of couples, through methods that have been repeated in research elsewhere as well. So a lot of the information you may be searching for is already out there. While some of the research may be hard to digest, a lot of it boils down to a certain few key points.

Here are 11 science-backed secrets to a happy, long relationship, that aren’t what you’d expect.

1. Become An Expert At Arguing

According to research compiled by Happify, happy couples have specific fighting styles. These successful couples diffuse humor with comedy, express affection, and concede on certain points during an argument.

“There’s a healthy way to argue as well as an unhealthy way to argue,” therapist Adina Mahalli, MSW, tells Bustle. “You need to learn how to express your feelings without offending your partner.” Partners that feel respected and heard, even during moments of tension, last longer in relationships.

2. Having A Lowkey Relationship

According to Harvard Medical School research, happy, long-lasting couples have a rollercoaster of emotions for the few first years, and then cortisol and serotonin levels return to normal. This may sound disappointing, but it’s really positive.

“You can’t expect your relationship to be the same as the day you married your partner,” Mahalli says. “It’s going to change and evolve, hopefully for the better. It’s important for you to have the right expectations. In reality, you won’t be gaga over each other every single day for the rest of your lives […] Your love for them will constantly evolve and that’s a good thing.” The happiest relationships aren’t necessarily the most passionate.

3. Not Criticizing

Dr. John Gottman, a renowned psychological researcher who focuses on marital stability and divorce prediction, has identified “Four Horsemen” through his research. These four horsemen are communication styles that predict the end of a relationship.

The first of these four is criticism. Couples who can avoid criticizing one another — like hyperbolizing complaints like “you didn’t take out the trash this month” to “you never help around the house” — are more likely to stay together long-term…

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