How Science Can Save Relationships

talk-nerdyWant to know proven ways to make your relationship more satisfying and successful?  Here’s five things we have learnt from science on how to make your love life go smoothly, from author Laura Schaefer.

1)      Choose a partner friends like

A 2013 study shows we feel reinforced and assured in our choice when our friends approve. In the Facebook era, social proof and social media count for a lot.

2)      When you’re feeling extra stressed, devote energy to yourself rather than your partner

A University of Arizona study found that while we usually felt more committed when they did small things for their other partner, when they made sacrifices on the days when they were feeling extra stressed they did not feel that way.

3)      Be enthusiastic about good news

When your spouse tells you he’s just been promoted, an active-constructive response will work wonders for the relationship. One of the foremost love and marriage researchers, Shelley Gable, says couples who describe themselves as having a spouse who is active and constructive in response to their good news are “more committed to the relationship, more in love, and happier in their marriage.”

4)      Cultivate gratitude

Being grateful for small actions is a “crucial relationship maintenance mechanism,” says Dr Sara Algoe of the University of North Carolina. She tracked the day to day fluctuations in relationship satisfaction amongst of 65 couples and found satisfaction was reliably marked by one person’s feelings of gratitude.

5)      Kiss Often

The amount of sex in a relationship does not relate to the level of overall satisfaction, but the amount of kissing does, an Oxford University study found. An online questionnaire answered by 900 adults showed women in particular rated kissing as more important in long term relationships.  Says Dr Rafael Wlodarski who led the study: “There is something unique about the intimacy of kissing with long-term partners that is more closely related to how well the relationship is going than just sex.

Source: Laura Schaefer, author of Why We Fall Out of Love, in Swimmingly, a blog of Modern Love.

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