Love is wonderful, joyous, and the greatest thing in the world... Love is also a huge pain in the ass. Marriage is a lot of work.
(Older people are nodding, while younger people are probably putting their fingers in their ears and reciting their favorite lines from "The Notebook.")
So, how do you keep love alive? What myths about love are leading us astray, and what can you do to have a loving relationship that lasts?
Much of what you're about to read is not sexy or romantic. Please accept my apologies. But this isn't a fairy tale. We'll look at what research says makes real relationships last so you can get as much out of them as possible.
Most online dating sites are designed to match you with someone who shares your interests. However, meta-analyses of thousands and thousands of couples reveal that similarity is insignificant. It accounts for less than 1% of the variation in overall marital satisfaction. According to researcher Eli Finkel, the algorithms they use are no better than random chance because the idea that the person we should be looking for is our doppelganger leads us astray.
The search for similarity is based on the assumption that if you have things in common, you won't have any problems. But, over the course of a lifetime, every couple encounters difficulties.
So the only type of similarity that matters for long-term relationships is in a domain that researchers refer to as "meta-emotions".
What exactly is meta-emotions? Meta-emotions are defined as "an organized and structured set of emotions and cognitions about emotions, both one's own and those of others."
Relationships must always have ups and downs, but we must learn to practice the act of forgiving, to be realistic, to be a good listener, to be honest and truthful, to fight fairly... And you will notice that your relationship is improving.
There are some basic rules of the road that apply regardless of how long you've been together. It is not always easy to put them into action, but it is critical. Strengthen your relationship, and the good stuff—fun, sex, trust, and affection—will be better than ever.
Finally, your partner can be your best friend, sibling, and so on.Make a peaceful space in your relationship with these simple tips, and I guarantee you a long-lasting relationship.