The Key to a Healthy, Long Lasting Relationship


happy-coupleIt’s no question that happy people have happy relationships. But to tell people the keys to a successful relationship is to be happy isn’t exactly getting to the root of the issue. Being “just happy” can be tough for some people, especially as they go about their daily routines and realize that they can’t help feeling just neutral 80 percent of the time.

According to a recent study, however, an easy way to inject happiness into a relationship is to bring positivity to it. Instead of thinking of two or three things that are wrong with your partner, you should concentrate on the dozens of things you love about your partner. In the study, couples who had more positive things to say to each other had long lasting relationships. The study also mentions the importance of gratitude and how relationships should focus more on the accomplishments and not the pitfalls.

“Some couples think about the good things and ignore the bad things – this is called being reward-focused,” researcher Shelly Gable of the University of California said. “Others focus on the pitfalls – if there aren’t too many, they think that’s a good relationship. In romantic relationships, the research shows that there’s an inevitable decline in sexual satisfaction over time, but reward-focused couples don’t show that decline – their sexual satisfaction stays level.”

Another example given in the article:

In her recent study of 79 dating couples, she categorised four main responses to someone telling their partner good news about themselves. It’s not hard to identify the best response for future happiness. Taking a promotion as an example, an active-constructive response would go: “Wow, this is great news. I know you really deserve it and you’ll do really well.” A passive-constructive one would be: “That’s nice.” An active-destructive one sounds something like, “It’s excellent but are you sure you can handle it?” A passive-destructive response would be, “Well, you know, I had an exciting day, too.”

What all this means is that focusing on the positive is the key to a lasting relationship. Counting the amount of hurdles a couple has went through together does not validate the relationship. Instead, it’s how the couple reacts to positive news that keeps them together longer. And I guess the same attitude can be applied in situations outside relationships, too.

I think we’ve all been guilty of wallowing too much in negativity to bother concentrating on the things that actually matter. It’s a common mistake we should all learn to better ourselves from.

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Comments (7)


  1. What if there are only 2-3 things right with your partner and 12 things wrong? I would think that’s the more likely scenario of how people view their partners.

  2. Alyse says:

    YouAreBeautiful…. if you feel that way about your partner you shouldnt be engaged

  3. Tiffany says:

    YouAreBeautiful, I agree with Alyse. Anyone who has a list of bad things about their partner which is longer, even by one, should consider whether they should really be with that person. No one is perfect, and happy couples can acknowledge that about each other. But I agree with the article that thinking about all the things your partner does right is good for a relationship. My boyfriend and I are constantly congratulating ourselves and each other on being awesome, sometimes specifically and sometimes just generally.

  4. Determination says:

    People always say that if you truly are in love with someone, that should be enough to keep you together? Maybe YouAreBeautiful arent appreciating your partner for who they are but instead are constantly thinking negatively about them and cant even see the positive, possibly.

    If you truly love this person and you cant live without them, you would accept them for who they are. Making a pro and con list is good if you are seriously not meant to be, but the real question is, can you live without that person?

  5. john says:

    If you love someone there will be far more than 2 or 3 things right with them. And if they have things wrong you need to express your feelings. Not in an attempt to change them but if they love you and value the relationship and your input they will take up upon themselves to change those things for themselves, knowing it is also for your and your relationships benefit. A man who loves you will not knowingly continue as he had been if he is aware you dislike it. He will change those things, although it may take some time. Be patient, but voice your opinion. Men who care want your opinion. If he won’t change that’s the point something isn’t right. But I would say you can’t even list all that is right and wrong with someone, but you can work on the things that come up. Admire and appreciate the good things and let him know. But also be with someone you can openly tell what you dislike because when we love and care for a woman we will change for the better, but sometimes we can’t see what’s wrong.

  6. john says:

    But of course, don’t nitpick. We men also can be very emotionally thrown off and made to feel inadequate or undervalued if you have a problem with everything we do. But a real man will want what it takes to make it work with a woman he loves. Good men are hard to find they say, the good ones are the ones who want to make you happy every way they can and will adjust to your desires, but you must adjust to ours also. Reciprocation is very important to a good man, and he must know he is appreciated and loved. You can’t make a man feel he isn’t good enough, you will destroy hun. I love Paige, btw… :)

  7. john says:

    Sorry, I meant him not hun.

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